My dad called a couple of days ago. He called to make sure my husband was getting home from work before me and was checking the mail. He sent a gift from Amazon and knew he had to send Dave a warning about getting home first.
I love getting the mail everyday. It is like a little present even if it is only a bill or an advertisement. I always ask Dave, "Did you check the mail?" Like he would ever forget because he knows I'm going to ask. I don't usually check the mail, I'm not allowed. You see, the act of receiving mail is very stressful for me. I had an incident once that haunts me to this day. My family knows if they are sending mail to me, CALL AHEAD. WARN DAVE, MAKE SURE TONI DOESN'T CHECK THE MAIL!
We have a large family, are we are spread out across the states. For Christmas, the adults used to draw names and send a gift to that person. My dad and mom were in charge of drawing names for everyone and they let us know. One year I drew one of my brothers. He said there was a book about computers he wanted. I got on Amazon, ordered the book, had it gift-wrapped and sent straight to his house. I was done, on time and something I knew he would love. I was smiling.
|This year's package, luckily not the size of a book.|
I came home from school and there on step was a package from Amazon, the size of a book. How could they mess this up so badly? I was ahead of the game and they just messed up my whole Christmas spirit. Did I put the information in the "to" and "from" backwards? It was a busy time of year, I was a Principal of an elementary school at the time and life before Christmas is crazy, but could I have been that rushed and confused? I took the box inside to contemplate the situation. I didn't want to open the box so I could send it back to Amazon, or should I just stick a label on it and mail it to my brother in Arizona? Could they have gotten the address wrong because both states, Alaska and Arizona, started with an A? Was this my mistake or theirs? Did I need a drink at this point? YES. I couldn't have one because I had to get 5 kids fed and all of us back to my school for the Christmas band and orchestra concert. I needed to make decisions and quickly.
So I called the help number on the top of the box. The conversation went something like this.
Me: "I'm calling about a book I ordered for my brother."
Amazon Customer Service (ACS): "Yes, that book was delivered to his house today"
Me: "Um, no, it was delivered to my house. I'm holding it right here."
ACS: "My records state it was delivered to ____(brother's address in Arizona) today and he signed for it."
Me: "I'm holding the book right here, could you have sent two, one to me and one to him? Should I send this back to you?"
ACS: "What is the title of the book you are holding?"
Me: "I don't know, it is something about computers."
ACS: "Can you read me the title?"
Me: (voice a couple of octaves higher and much louder now) "I didn't open the box, I want to send it back to you without having to pay extra postage."
ACS: "My records indicate that only one book was ordered and charged to this acct."
Me (so out of patience as the conversation was a lot longer than this, I'm severely editing my part) "Well then, why am I holding the book now and I live in Alaska?"
ACS: "M'am, could someone have sent you a present?"
ACS: "Why don't you open the package and see what book is inside?"
Me (opening the package): "Oh! It's a cookbook from a different brother. Oh, I'm so sorry"
ACS (trying to cover the sound of her laughing with a cough): "Not a problem M'am, you made my day. Merry Christmas."
My family no longer draws names for Christmas (as far as I know), and Dave checks the mail.
Scotch eggs are the perfect little package. The hard boiled egg, a taste of mustard encased in a spicy sausage cover all blanketed in crispy breadcrumbs and baked. I think the original recipes called for deep frying these tasty little morsels, and that would be one way to do it. I like to bake mine and then don't feel quite so guilty for putting more than one on my plate.
I made these delightful little morsels for our office Christmas open house. They were so good, Dave requested a batch for his work on Friday morning. After I baked them, I placed them all into a ceramic dish I heated in the oven. They stayed nice and warm in transport and for serving. Serve them with a selection of mustards.
1 dozen eggs for boiling plus two for coating
2 lbs. sausage (I use our moose breakfast sausage or spicy Italian moose sausage)
seasoned breadcrumbs (I used homemade seasoned with garlic, sage, salt and pepper ground fine)
assorted mustards for serving (I use dijon, stone ground, and spicy brown)
Boil eggs until whites are set but centers are soft. I fill up a pan with cold water, add eggs, bring to a full rolling boil, remove from heat, let sit 3 minutes, flush with cold water until cool. Peel eggs, rinse and dry.
Preheat oven to 375º F.
Divide sausage into 12 pieces (3 oz. each), flatten into rounds large enough to encase eggs. Squirt a small amount of mustard on sausage and top with egg. Cover egg completely with sausage and pinch to close completely. Roll carefully to make sausage smooth.
Beat extra two eggs in a small bowl, place breadcrumbs in separate bowl. Dip sausage covered eggs completely in egg, roll in breadcrumbs, pressing to ensure a complete coating.
Place on greased baking sheet, bake 25-30 minutes. I usually cut one right away to ensure the sausage is cooked through. Then you have to eat it because you can't serve a cut scotch egg!
Serve with assorted mustards.
The eggs are a little harder to peel because they are soft boiled, be careful but don't worry about how the eggs look, they will be covered with sausage. It's not like deviled eggs sitting on a plate.
Use small/medium eggs. The extra large I buy for baking make a really big serving and look intimidating. Buy the smallest available in your store (I know why there are so many recipes that use quail eggs!). The smaller ones also cover easier with the sausage.
Use at least 3 oz. of sausage per egg. I weigh mine, but you don't have to do that. You can use up to 4 oz. and it is a little easier to get the eggs covered.
These hold the heat very well and are great for making at home and packing for a potluck.
December 26, 2011 Daylight 3 hours, 44 minutes, 34 seconds Current Temp. -20ºF