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Thanksgiving Disasters

Thanksgiving is a holiday I associate with disaster; my memory bank is loaded with images of Thanksgiving mishaps. I’m not quite sure why these bad things always happened, but maybe it was because people got so carried away with emotions triggered by the presence of all that family that they lost their balance or forgot how to carry platters of food.

One year my grandfather, seated at my parents’ long dining table, temporarily forgot that he was sitting on a backless bench. He was reminded of this fact when, leaning back to sip a last drop of wine, he crashed to the floor. (Luckily grandfathers seldom sue for injuries sustained due to bad furniture.)

Sometimes, when we had a large number of guests, Mom hired some help for the occasion. One year, the help arrived having had a few too many crantinis. While the woman did fine when she climbed the kitchen stairs to change, she descended those stairs in a tumble, as my father would say, “ass over teakettle.” Luckily, she was unhurt, and even unfazed by the fact that her wig had arrived at the bottom of the stairs before she did.

Another year, a nephew tripped while presenting the turkey, sending it skidding across the dining room into the jaws of an ecstatic dog. There was also the Thanksgiving in Baltimore, when Tom’s sister Julie dropped a massive platter of sauerkrut, although this may have been been engineered by certain members of my family who were thus relieved of the responsibility of eating the stuff.

Do you have any Thanksgiving disaster stories (or is it just me?) Leave a comment!

Comments

14 Responses
  1. Oh ,how I remember some of those types of holiday meals. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Warren says:

    I think I told you about my aunt who cooked a turkey in a trash bag cause she was too lazy to go to the store and get a turkey cooking bag. We began to smell burning rubber, and after investigation we dicovered the black bag turkey smoking away in the oven. The Turkey was a black plastic coated, burnt tire smelling monstrosity, which we needed to put out with a fire extinguisher. It was tossed in the back yard and even the dog would not come near it… We had to air the house out for 2 weeks to get the smell out and needless to say we had Chinese Take Away that year. That was about the worst….

  3. julie says:

    I laughed so hard when I read this that I nearly wet my pants. Where ever did you find that photo and what in the world was I wearing?

  4. Warren says:

    Umn, yes, I am sure it was pretty moist as none of the liguid could escape its hard plastic shell….lol

  5. Joannie says:

    Well, now that you mention Thanksgiving disasters…..The pivotal experience at my Mom’s house on Thanksgiving which became the inspiration for hosting our own dinners with selected friends, began the day she STARTED the turkey about 1 hour after we got to her house and the oven burst into flames. She was very amused, tickled even. I was famished, furious and filled with a new mission. Thanksgiving on time, tons of food and all the leftovers at our house. A worthy goal, sometimes achieved.
    My thanksgiving fiasco was about 5 years ago. I put the turkey on the grill as my husband, daughter and son left to spend the day at the gym. They came home to a tiny turkey brichette. 3 inches of carbon surrounding very little remaining meat. I’m not allowed to grill and they have to help a little.
    Hope your Thanksgiving day is filled with amazing food and delightful surprises!

  6. Don Kehn, Jr. says:

    JH,
    This reminds me of going to a friend’s one year and finding his ‘K-mart Lothario’ dad in the kitchen having cocktails with a pair of lady friends he’d met (at, you guessed it), one of whom was already “relaxed” & sitting in the kitchen sink…Later she got up to go to the ‘powder room’ upstairs, and upon her return missed a step–or four–and came tumbling down like Dick Butkus, indelicately putting a beefy forearm through the wall that my friend’s father had only newly sheetrocked in order to try & sell the house.
    We had to make swift egress to laugh it off in the frontyard. Ah, warm seasonal memories!

  7. Matt Gettys says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Jessica!

    OK, this is 100% true. One Thanksgiving morning, my mom and dad forgot to take the turkey out of the freezer the night before. When dad got up, there were a few choice words about this mishap and then a flash of brilliance struck him and my mom. I awoke to the sound of two hair dryers in the kitchen and the frozen bird being “prepared” for dinner by my parents who looked very determined to dry and fluff before they roasted and stuffed!

    Love and peace to all.

    Matt

  8. Jean Franken says:

    One year, my husband (who would have nothing to do with Thanksgiving except to issue grave warnings about how i was overcooking the Turkey) decided he wanted a Goose instead. OK. Goose. How could it be different? I had about 15 people. I have a policy about dinner parties and that is: Always serve a soup for a first course. This way, should there happen to be a kitchen disaster, no one starves, cannibalism crosses no one’s minds. Thing is the Goose wouldn’t cook. Hours went by and my Goose was uncooked. Or, put another way, my Goose WAS cooked. Called in expert advice (well a guest who cooked). Then it became funny to us in the kitchen. More wine and it became hysterical. Ran out of my soup. Guests (I hardly knew them. My husband said they were people who “Had nowhere to go” I said: “With good reason.”) Some 8-10 hours later, I believe the Goose was done but everyone was passed out by then or had left for Pizza. Now I roast Chickens.
    Still make the Carrot/Thyme soup though. Have a deep and abiding mis-trust of all birds.

  9. DMS says:

    Our family has never really had any disasters, unless you count the year my Mom forgot to make corn (it’s been almost ten years, but she still gets grief for it, and not always at Thanksgiving). One of us usually says something rude at the table,and everyone else laughs, but, that’s one of the family traditions I always look forward to. That, and, seeing who can get the middle finger in the most pictures–but, then, my mom should know better than to try to take pictures of us when we’re trying to eat. 😉

  10. Our family has never really had any disasters, unless you count the year my Mom forgot to make corn (it’s been almost ten years, but she still gets grief for it, and not always at Thanksgiving). One of us usually says something rude at the table,and everyone else laughs, but, that’s one of the family traditions I always look forward to. That, and, seeing who can get the middle finger in the most pictures–but, then, my mom should know better than to try to take pictures of us when we’re trying to eat. 😉

  11. Michael says:

    Oh my Lord, your poor grandpa; funniest thing I heard all week. :)

  12. Lloyd says:

    That is a riot of a story, and what do you have on indeed? Unfortunately being raised in a religious family my stories were always serious and formal, follow by the rules and sit up straight.

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