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Thanksgiving day diasters. Yours?

Thinking back on Thanksgiving day dinners, a couple of dinner-disasters really stick out in my mind. Actually, they both occurred on the same Thanksgiving, hosted by my sister (who I hope doesn't visit this site).

First was the mashed potatoes. She boiled them the night before and left them sitting in water until the next day. They basically turned to glue. Of course it was my job to finish them off, so I got the credit (not really) for the end product. They were horrible.

Second was her husbands brain-storm to try a new technique for cooking the turkey that he saw Martha Stewart do. She covered the turkey with cheesecloth and poured a bottle of white wine over it. Then placed at the very bottom of the oven with root vegetables under the bird. Problem was that by BIL's stove was gas, so the flame was an inch or two below the bird. By the time it was done, the veggies were burned beyond recognition and the drippings were horrible. And, it was my wife's task to make the gravy from this mess. Needless to say, the gravy was horrible, so she took the hit for that. (Of course everyone raved about all the food, despite the fact that is was horrible).

So what are your TDay disasters?

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  1. My first TD in my own apt. and I was cooking dinner for my BF and his parents... This was the before I knew about food safety, so I had put the frozen bird in the sink to finish defrosting while I went out to run some errands.

    When I returned home, I found my cats had attacked the turkey, torn through the plastic and and eaten off the wing tips. When I walked in one (Zbigniew- it was the Carter era) was still lapping at the frozen breast with fierce determination. I ended up washing it and trimming the wings and soldiering on.

    So it wasn't really that much a of a disaster. It is amazing how good-natured people can be about bad food. During that same time, I taught myself to make pecan pie. My first came out looking like something from a tar pit. I sent it off with the same BF when he went camping with his friends. Everyone assured me it was delicious, but perhaps everything tastes better when you're camping (and high if I knew them).

    1. Not mine personally, but I went to one a few years ago in which the oven died right in the middle of everything.

      That was problematic.

      1 Reply
      1. re: FuzzyDunlop

        Similar tale of woe....A half hour into baking 2 pies to bring to The Feast, the entire neighborhood goes dark from a power failure. Can't go next door and use their oven. Hmm, should I light the gas grill and take my chances? Well, I left 'em in the oven for close to 2 hours and they were great. Maybe I've hit on something....Adam
        P.S. Happy Thanksgiving CH'ers!!!!

      2. Ours are never with the food, but rather the plumbing. On a number of occasions over the years, the drain line in for our kitchen sink & dishwasher has clogged -- apparently from an overabundance of potato peelings and congealed fat -- making it impossible to wash dishes either by hand or in the dw on T-giving Day. Most memorable was 3 years ago, when we had 21 people for T-giving. My sister-in-law & I spent the evening in the laundry room, washing in the basin there. I have read that the day after T-giving is the highest volume day for emergency calls to plumbers.

        1 Reply
        1. re: masha

          potato peelings and congealed fat
          number of occasions over the years
          sink & dishwasher has clogged

          ......
          hmmmmm. do you detect a pattern? i never put those down the disposal. you're asking for problems.

        2. A friend of mine, not an experienced cook, was given a frozen turkey by her workplace. It was partly thawed when she started to clean it. She had heard that it's important to remove the little sack containing the giblets, so she reached in, starting at the neck end which was more thawed. She was reaching around trying to find it, and her hand slid through the opening and into the body cavity - and wouldn't slide back. Her frantic attempts to pull her hand back only made it worse as it began to swell from the tight constriction around her wrist.

          She wrapped a towel around the turkey, called a cab, and was driven to the nearest emergency room, where they were able to saw the turkey open and release her.

          She said the worst part was the fact that she worked at that hospital, and by the time she went back to work on Friday, the story - with photos - was posted on every bulletin board in the building.

          2 Replies
          1. re: judybird

            When this post is done, I am going to give an honorary award to the funniest disaster. Right now I don't see how anyone can top yours. Could have been an episode on I Love Lucy!

            1. re: judybird

              Ok, so my wife is questioning the authenticity of this story. It just seems too funny to be true. Are you sure you're not a script writer for sitcoms? Any chance the pictures are still around and you could post them? That would ensure you're 1st place spot (there's no actual prize of course).

            2. my sister-in-law and her husband always used to have TD. as the family grew it was decided to prepare a 2nd turkey on the weber. we read up on it and decided it would be best if we could first break the breast bone and collapse the turkey in order not to have the cavity fill up with hot air. so they got two large cutting boards out. placed the first one on the floor, placed the turkey on this board, then s-in-l held the other board on top of the turkey as b-in-l stepped on it. as he put his weight on it, she had to remove her fingers very quickly so they would not get crushed. this created a clam shell effect and the turkey flew out from between the boards and slid on the floor into the opposite wall! none of us could stop laughing, and it is still the single most retold TD story after 15 or 20 years.