Since our grand-twins cooked all of Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family, and one person got stuck for most of the cost of it, we decided to have our family Christmas dinner here at our house. I decided on a menu of spaghetti, meatballs, Caesar salad and bread. I bought a large pack of meatballs, but baby daughter decided that she and my grandson would fix home-made meatballs, and I could cook them and add them to my sauce.
It was set for yesterday, and in the morning, she brought me 2 pans of meatballs (ground beef and sausage) ready to be baked. One pan was a regular sheet pan and the other was a flat cookie sheet with no sides, but as it was lined with cupped aluminum foil, I didn't notice it had no sides. They were put in the oven at 350* to cook for 25-30 minutes.
We were all chatting in the den when Jim suddenly said "I smell something." I went to check the oven, just as the bell rang, and smoke issued in copious amounts when I opened the door. I turned on the fan; we opened doors and a window and started the ceiling fans, but it took about 5 minutes for all the smoke to dissipate. At no time did any of our smoke alarms go off - which is another problem - and we will have to check them. The meatballs were perfect, but the oils and juices had run off the flat pan into the floor of the gas oven, baked on and made a general mess of everything.
I added the meatballs to my sauce and cleaned the oven as best I could. My son-in-law arrived soon after with cleaning solution and he got on his knees and cleaned it some more - so that I would be able to bake the Italian bread loaves without smoking us out again.
By the time we were ready to eat, all the grandkids had arrived, except the youngest and the oldest - who were both scheduled to work on Saturday. We were doing our dinner Saturday because baby daughter, her husband and 2 sons were supposed to go to South Carolina today for his family celebration. However, baby daughter has been sick for 3-4 days and has not gotten much better. She is the 4th family member to have it now - and we hope it stops with her. She decided she has to stay home, especially since her mother-in-law just had pneumonia. We sure wouldn't want to get her sick again, or give it to the rest of them. Sorry about that, Linda. Another thing I am sorry about is that I didn't take any photos.
After a very good dinner and a suitable rest period, we had pineapple-upside-down cake and later, fruit pies. Suffice it to say we were all stuffed. Another good Christmas celebration has come and gone. We are grateful that we could be a part of it; grateful to be alive and in reasonably good health. I can only wish the same for all of you!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!