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Thanksgiving disasters

Happy thanksgiving. Yesterday I spent 2 1/2 hours making a beautiful sweet potato souffle for today's feast. My mother finally agreed the marshmellow sweet potatoes had to go. (although I was asked to make a small casserole of it for my dad) I roasted the potatoes, toasted a pecan topping, lovingly whipped and sweet talked those taters into a thing of beauty. 1 hour before we were set to leave, I took dog A out without a leash. She proceeded to run and frolic through the woods, so I was outside about 5 minutes. Upon re-entering house I found sweet potato creation upside down on the floor, and Dog B, greedily licking out the last few morsels...fortunately she didn't touch the tiny casserole of marshmellow potatoes that were still in oven. So, i had to show up at my perfectionist, unable to relinquish control moms house (whom I love dearly) with this teeny tiny marshmellow covered sweet potato dish, and sheepishly tell her what had happened. So tell me, what's your greatest thanksgiving day disaster.

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  1. The 'juicy turkey' recipe that everyone is raving about on Allrecipes, the one where it's unbelievable and falling off the bone and you can't overcook. I must be the one person who screwed it up, b/c it was dry and horrible. LIke crumbly, steamed meat horrible. I took it as an opportunity to ask who really likes turkey anyway and found out, no one is really that crazy about it so I may try something different next year. Like reservations!!

    1. I think I mentioned this event on the IL thread - a couple of years ago, Mr. CB decided to cook a pan of yams and extra stuffing on the grill. The disaster was that he filled the yam pan to the point of overflowing with maple syrup. The maple syrup boiled over and the grill burst into flames. MIL started screaming. Mr. CB ran of the house and chucked the whole mess into the yard. Thankfully there was about a foot of snow on the ground that year.

      1. Many years ago, I was making dinner for the SIL and family. I had painstakingly prepared the turkey and when I pulled out the oven rack to baste the turkey, it slid out of the oven and across the kitchen floor. Oh the horror. All my juice went out as well! So I picked up the turkey, put it back in the pan and continued to roast (through mounds of shed tears). However, the saving grace, I had stayed up till 2:00 in the morning mopping and waxing the kitchen floors after everyone else was asleep. They were so clean you could eat off them! By the way, did you know you can make gravy out of blended stuffing???? It makes for a good laugh these days!

        1 Reply
        1. re: boyzoma

          Omg :). Every time I've roasted a turkey and opened the door to baste I've worried about the scenario you're describing. Pulling the rack out to baste it, it's just so easy to have it happen.
          I'm a clean freak with my floors in the kitchen....must be because, intuitively, I know the possibilities.

        2. My brother and his dog joined us for Thanksgiving dinner. He gave his dog what he thought would be a treat for her and fed her a big dish of turkey skin leftovers. The fat overwhelmed her kidneys and she passed away that afternoon.

          4 Replies
              1. re: FarFar

                Wow. That had to be a lot of skin? I have heard of heart disease and diabetes
                in pets from excessive feeding of animal fats, but not outright death due to one feeding. I realize this is not a dog board by this is kind of shocking (not to mention very sad).

                1. re: Dax

                  So very sad indeed.

                  I was at the vet a few years ago and they were consoling a woman on the death of her elderly basset hound. Somehow he got her holiday roast off the counter, ate the the whole thing and died. They did think it resulted in a heart attack, not the ingesting of meat but they cound not be sure.

              2. My first Thanksgiving was just about ten friends. I was thrilled that I got a free turkey and made fresh green bean almondine, parslied potatoes stuffing and gravy. I was not a favorite of my mil at the time and asked her when to know when the turkey was done. She told me to wait til the meat on the drumsticks pulls away from the bone. I served turkey flavored sawdust. Now her turkey was always perfect and i know she did that to spite me as she was very giddy during dinner. Oh well. I was all proud to say "hey this is my first turkey and I made the whole meal for 16$ for seven people with leftovers". It took a smidge of the wind from her sails. Never let them see you sweat.

                1. I made Mario Batali's Chestnut & Prune stuffed Turkey Breast the day after Thanksgiving. I had leftover stuffing (waste not, want not) so I put it in a dish and put it in the oven. Where it turned to ash. But I didn't know it, because it was covered in foil. I brought it to my host's house. She said, oh shall we put it in the oven to keep it warm?

                  The thing is, all the guests were really good sports and ate the stuffing anyway. I drenched it in sauce and ate it too. I know what NOT to do next time I make that recipe.

                    1. re: Withnail42

                      Oh it pains me to say I can relate

                        1. re: joe777cool

                          No. The whole family was a bowl full of crazy and a side of nuts.

                          1. re: suzigirl

                            I would say I have one of those but my wife's parents are now divorced so now I have 2 of them!

                            1. re: joe777cool

                              Yikes. I did too. But i don't anymore. That's the magic of divorce.

                      1. I accidentally set myself on fire this T Day when I leaned over the gas burner to stir a pot. I smelled smoke, but couldn't see anything burning on the stove. Then, I suddenly felt uncomfortably warm and looked down to see flames climbing up my scarf. OMG. Ripped it off and threw it in the sink. Learned my lesson: Fashion will now take a back seat to cooking in the kitchen.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Kat

                          Glad you're OK. I've learned the lesson - no loose garments or hair in the kitchen. I've set a fair number of potholders and wooden spoons on fire over the years, but that's been the worst of it.

                          1. re: tardigrade

                            I have set my (long, curly) hair on fire several times while cooking (or lighting the grill). I have finally learned to pull my hair back when cooking.

                            1. re: tardigrade

                              I dropped a potholder onto the heating element in the oven one time when I was 9 or 10, and it caught on fire. I completely panicked and my dad just stood there laughing at me. I wouldn't take anything out of the oven for years. :/

                              I still don't like ovens, honestly.

                              1. re: Kontxesi

                                I just did that about a month ago! It was time for new potholders anyway, but trying to get it out with the smoke alarm going off wasn't fun.

                          2. Had to check the date of this post, as I shared such in an earlier thread (would guess about 5 years ago).

                            Years back, before we were married, my wife drove up to my apartment, about 100 miles away, for Thanksgiving. I was at work, but she had her key. She brought a turkey, but had never cooked one before, and also was not really familiar with my oven, and my pots, or perhaps lack-thereof.

                            She did not remove the plastic bag of "innards" and they burst into flame. In her attempt to put out THAT fire, the aluminum foil (it WAS heavy-duty, but still not a roasting pan) was punctured, and grease fell onto the heating element, bursting into flame. The fire alarms went off, and neighbors banged on the door. She yelled for them to call 911, which they did. The fire department quickly arrived, and helped her put out the fire. About that time, I arrived from my office, and stood among the firefighters.

                            When it was all said and done, there was only a heating element to replace, and then some soot to wipe off.

                            The turkey was ruined, with melted plastic on the inside. I took her to dinner at a local hotel, and we were finally able to laugh about the incident.

                            Now, I had similar, with my first attempt at "Cajun Deep-fried Turkey." We had a new burner and pot, and my wife had a recipe from Emeril Lagasse. We had house guests, and 5 gals. of peanut oil. I had placed the burner, and the pot of oil on the grass, in the backyard. My wife prepped the turkey, while I put on a heavy, long-sleeved shirt, found my fireplace gloves, and my ski goggles. The oil hit 350F, and the turkey came out, on the little apparatus to lower it into the oil. I hooked on an ice-climbing ax, and the turkey began its descent into the hot oil. Well, unfortunately, my wife had been drinking wine with our guests, and neglected an important tip - "dry the inside of the turkey well."

                            As that turkey descended, I knew that I was in trouble. Suddenly, a volcano of flame shot from the turkey's nether regions, and climbed about 30' into the evening sky. [Picture attached]

                            Luckily, I had that heavy shirt on, plus the gloves and goggles, plus a hat. Unfortunately, I had on shorts and flip-flops. The flaming oil climbed, and climbed, and Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport had to divert air traffic. Fortunately, I have freckles on my legs, so the scars are not really visible. The grass was killed instantly, but I put in a putting green, so that did not matter. However, that was a great turkey, and many got a laugh, at my expense. Somewhere, my ex-partner has a motor-drive sequence of shots, showing the explosion.

                            About four years later, we repeated that Cajun Deep-fried Turkey, but that time, all non-participants were on the upper deck. The burner was on the pool deck, and the turkey was well-dried. My ex-partner and I were decked out like volcanologists, and the turkey was suspended from a 10' pipe, that we held far from our bodies. The camera rolled. The crowd gasped, and nothing happened. The dried turkey sank below the surface of the oil, and cooked perfectly. At least we were prepared that time.


                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                              Hunt, out of all your stories, this is the best! And proof that practice makes perfect.

                              1. re: coll

                                We chucked our turkey fryer after a friend nearly lost his legs from the knees down in a tragic fryer mishap. And this was someone who had one for years and "knew" how to use it.

                                1. re: coll

                                  Well, my poor, long-suffering wife, only tells THAT story, in close company.

                                  Luckily, and for both of us, that is the worst, that has happened - to either of us.

                                  Still, in my case, the turkey was great, and I have completely recovered. In her case, the turkey was ruined, but I took her out to dine, so all was not lost.


                              2. Epic, epic fail on the pecan pie - as in it should have been turned into candy when I got if off the stove. As I started yet another (different recipe), SO came in and yelled at me about "How hard can it be??? It's Karo syrup and pecans!" Pecan pie is his favorite and he is now invited to make it next year.

                                Smoked turkey was not quite a disaster - It WAS quite rare in the center but it made great leftover enchiladas. The smoke smell on the otherhand. . . .