LUCY BURDETTE: By the time you get to our blog on Thanksgiving, you are finished with cooking for the day, right? Who needs a new recipe for stuffing or cranberries or even dessert? Who needs to be reminded what she forgot to do, or wished she done for the holiday? We thought it might be fun instead to tell you some cooking disaster stories. Because believe it or not (LOL), not every dish we make comes out perfectly!
My disaster came a couple of years ago when we hosted a giant family Thanksgiving dinner. Along with the turkey and gravy I made pumpkin and chocolate cream pies. Chocolate cream pie on Thanksgiving, you say? But my husband's family loves anything chocolate. And I was happy to show off, even buying designer chocolate instead of the usual Baker's. I've made this pie a dozen times--using a recipe right out of the JOY OF COOKING. The graham cracker crust was lovely, but the chocolate pudding part looked grainy. And though I refrigerated it overnight, it never set. We served it in bowls and I was humbled. Though the mounds of whipped cream did help...(These pix are the actual offending pie--If you look closely at the full pie, you'll see the grainy texture. Why you might ask, did she stop to take a picture? I must have known in my heart this would come in handy one day!)
Happy Thanksgiving to all our MLK readers! xoxo Lucy
KRISTA DAVIS: At least you could eat it, Lucy! Our big holiday disaster happened one Christmas. My mom was ready to put the goose in the oven when – boom – the electricity went out. We probably could have tried roasting it on the grill, but what about all the side dishes? Instead, we phoned everyone and ate our Christmas dinner the next day. As I recall, the electricity returned about eight o'clock that night.
My current trend seems to be forgetting at least one dish in the fridge on Thanksgiving. LOL! No matter, everyone seems thrilled to have another dish added to the yummy leftovers the next day.
A very happy Thanksgiving to all! Whatever happens, don't forget that the little kitchen mishaps often make for the funniest memories. ~Krista
DARYL WOOD GERBER
aka AVERY AAMES: Krista, I know about forgetting a dish. LOL! I think we all do that. My disaster was the Thanksgiving we moved into our new house in Los Angeles. New kitchen. Lots of people. Not enough space. And everyone wanting to "help." Ooops. Too many cooks, you know? I dumped the stuffing on the floor as I was trying to negotiate going around someone to get to the oven. I really hadn't figured out the square footage of "between the oven and the island" very well. And then the milk boiled over for the mashed potatoes! And the milk oozed
below the stove to the drawers so they all had to come out and get washed down. Before dinner! Ugh!!! But the dinner was delicious, and by this time, everyone was participating in clean up. Too funny. But not so funny at the time. I do remember having a delicious sauvignon blanc...again and again...
Happy holidays, to all. May you enjoy those you love and let those you love "help" when they can.
~ Daryl aka Avery
SHEILA CONNOLLY: I can't recall a lot of disasters of my own, although for the first half of my life turkeys were either overcooked to dryness or still pink in the middle--there didn't seem to be any such thing as "just right." I can remember my mother and grandmother poking the darned things and arguing whether it was ready or not.
The worst Thankgiving dinner I ever attended was when my husband and I were guests of a colleague of his, in North Carolina. His wife was a bit mentally unstable and retreated to the bathroom in tears, and Jim was left holding the turkey and asking us, "How do you make gravy? Do I just add water to the pan?" We all survived, but their marriage didn't.
To balance that, one of my best Thanksgivings ever was in Berkeley, where there are lots of people with few relatives around. One person gathered together 25 guests for a potluck. The long table occupied the entire living room and extended six feet into the hallway. That's the way to celebrate Thanksgiving!
PEG COCHRAN: I, too, have forgotten side dishes in the fridge--usually the homemade cranberry sauce! With so much on the plate how would you even notice! When I was a kid my grandmother made the turkey, getting up at some ungodly hour to get it in the oven. That turkey was COOKED by the time it came to the table. As my cousin always said, you don't have to carve Grandma's turkey, just hit it on top with a fork and all the meat will fall off the bones.
I've been lucky not to have had too many disasters (okay the make it now, bake it later dish that contained tiny canned shrimp and white bread..but that was before I knew better.) At some point, it was in the late 90s, I learned about brining a turkey. It was all the rage almost overnight (I was really into food and had honestly not ever heard of it before.) I decided I would brine our turkey. It was fairly small but I still didn't really have a big enough container for it (this was before I learned you could use a clean garbage bag.) I ended up putting it in my large soup pot. It was a snug fit, and the lid wouldn't quite go on. And there wasn't any room in the fridge for it, but it was hovering around freezing so I put it outside on the front steps (I had no deck and the back door was downstairs.)
When I went to retrieve it to cook it the next day, I had to chase a whole bunch of birds away. They were nibbling on the raw turkey! Fortunately I was able to retrieve the situation by cutting off that end of the turkey. We all survived! Hope you not only survive but thrive! Happy Thanksgiving to all. Peg
MARY JANE MAFFINI/
AKA VICTORIA ABBOTT: Oh disaster! You bet, and If only it had been food. All our food disasters happen at Christmas and New Year's. But two years ago, as we were driving to the cottage after having picked up a turkey for Thanksgiving, we drove over the crest of a hill just as the sun was starting to set in the early fall sky. We were blinded by the sun in our eyes -- the windshield went black. Worried about hitting someone head on, the little mister pulled over to the side of the road, taking out a farmhouse mailbox and the front bumper of our 4-month old car.
Some time later, we were
grateful that we hadn't killed someone or been killed. There's always a bright side when turkey's involved. Have a lovely Thanksgiving everyone. Enjoy your family, friends and food. Look our for mailboxes.
XO MJ (aka Victoria)
CLEO COYLE: MJ, sounds like that turkey was a party crasher! Hey, no groaning. Bad jokes are allowed on Thanksgiving--after a few adult beverages. And adult beverages were definitely on the menu after this disaster...
Fast-forward to a small apartment kitchen in New York City. Marc proudly prepped and stuffed his ten-pound turkey, and popped it into the oven. All done! Right? Wrong. Before long a foul plastic smell filled the apartment. What was it? Some illegal incinerator going full tilt? An unlicensed construction crew? No matter, the stench quickly passed and the turkey roasted to beautiful perfection—but looks were deceiving.
Marc had failed to clean the gizzards out of the neck flap, and they were sealed in plastic. The bird looked great—but it tasted like hot, wet Styrofoam! That Thanksgiving, Marc and his friends enjoyed dinner at the local fast-food joint (Nathan's), where the hot dogs were delicious.
of our readers...