10 LOL Thanksgiving Fails

10 LOL Thanksgiving Fails

It’s no holiday until the smoke detector goes off and there’s a risk of food poisoning.

By Wendy Robinson

Ah, the picture-perfect Thanksgiving … A well-dressed, cheerful, and wholesome extended family, all grateful to see each other, gathers around a long table, topped with plates of delicious food and a tasteful centerpiece. Sure, some families have that version of Thanksgiving, but then there are the families who falter, fizzle, and fail miserably at creating the picturesque holiday ideal. And those are the ones we’re going to talk about today -- those of us who have failed hard at creating Thanksgiving bliss and lived to share and laugh about it.

There are people like my friend Kris, who remembers a less perfect holiday when “my uncle tried to grill a turkey. It wasn’t defrosted. We had mac and cheese that year.”

It turns out that defrosting is kind of an important part of the cooking process, as Emily also found out: “I got a turkey but didn’t manage to defrost it all the way. So then we had a rolling blackout in the midst of cooking. Finally managed to eat around 1 a.m. The bottom of the bird wasn’t done. We cut around it …”

Even when you do remember to defrost the bird, disasters can still happen. “I once cooked the turkey with the giblets and the plastic gravy starter pack still inside the bird. I also forgot the pie was still in the oven until the smoke detector went off, and didn’t make enough mashed potatoes for everyone to have some. I think my new in-laws were super impressed,” jokes Sue. Also not making the best impression on her extended family was my friend Claire, who is still living down this blooper: “I was carrying the turkey on a huge platter … my dad handed me a bunch of serving spoons. Those spoons got caught in the door as I passed through it and the whole platter fell and shattered on the outside concrete … every so often during dinner someone would pull a ceramic shard out of their mouths.”

All of these stories may make you start to rethink even having turkey in the first place. Jaime would advise you to reconsider that. She says, “I thought it would be fun to do something different than turkey for Thanksgiving so I catered a Korean buffet. I seriously overestimated my family’s interest in trying new things. There was crying.”

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Sometimes our Thanksgiving disasters are side-dish related. I know of people who’ve had to intervene to stop culinary crimes, like Annie’s aunt who “ ruined the yams by putting peaches in them,” and Nikki, whose family “had to covertly intercept my sweet grandma to prevent her from making her ‘famous’ gravy, which is made from canned cream of mushroom soup.”

Whether it is the main dish or a side dish, cooking can be stressful, especially if you are my friend Jonna, whose story of Thanksgiving woe still makes me laugh: “Adam was at the airport picking up his family and I acted so PUT UPON that I do this one dish … so he calls while I am making this ONE DISH and I got so flustered that I dropped the phone into the oven. ONTO THE HEATING ELEMENT. I was screaming, he was screaming, the whole house and food smelled like melted plastic.”


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Of course, not all awkward holiday moments are food related. My own favorite blooper was the year that I celebrated with a group of friends and the 4-year-old daughter of the couple hosting took the break between dinner and dessert to cheerfully ask the group, “Hey, everyone! Who wants to see me buck naked?

A 4-year-old wanting to be naked is at least kind of sweet compared to what happened last year at Toyia’s family dinner, when Thanksgiving was ruined because “my nephew announced at the table that he was engaged to someone nobody liked and then asked if everyone could chip in $1,000 each to pay for the wedding.” I’m guessing nobody stayed for seconds of pie that year.

Have you ever had a Thanksgiving go all sorts of wrong?

Wendy Robinson is a writer, working mom, and graduate student. Someday she'd like to sleep in again. She also blogs at www.athleticmonkey.wordpress.com.

Image ©iStock.com/steele2123

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