when the Thanksgiving meal turns sour; 10 tales of woe

On the fourth Thursday of November many American families and friends will sit down to a Thanksgiving dinner which in most cases has some type of turkey as the staple.

Many first-time turkey cooks make ill-fated attempts to impress new mothers-in-law, husbands, grandmothers, or other special people.

I imagine the Pilgrim cooks had many mishaps when they were preparing for the first Thanksgiving in 1621. The Pilgrim cooks had some of the same problems as modern meal preparers. The celebration was attended by more guests than expected (90 Native Americans and 53 pilgrims) who stayed longer than expected (three days). Pilgrim chefs also had to adjust their menus when the Indians showed up with eel, five uncured deer, cod and sea bass.

By the time of the first Thanksgiving, there were only four women among the 53 surviving members of the Mayflower Travelers. The men of the day were too involved in their ceremonial games to worry about cooking. It seems somewhat similar to today’s men who are often more interested in gaming on TV than knowing what goes on in the kitchen. Oh, and I’m sure the Pilgrims and Aborigines didn’t wear the clothes that are usually depicted in elementary school plays. Can you imagine trying to cook in those outfits!

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Disasters with funny, dangerous, or laughable outcomes have been well documented by holiday cooking hotlines, newspapers, and poison control centers. Instead of the late night critics’ top 10, here are the top 10 hits.

1. The husband apparently stored the varnish in a plastic container in the refrigerator. The wife thought it was a condiment for the turkey, so he varnished the turkey. The turkey turned out to be a wonderful golden brown. Sadly, the mistake was only realized after everyone had eaten a glazed turkey. Fortunately, no one needs urgent care.

2. New cooks have also been known to cook the turkey upside down and leave a giblet bag inside the turkey. At least turkey processors have stopped using plastic bags.

3. Turkeys and household pets don’t mix. Many cases have been noted where the family dog ​​or cat ate a meal of turkey before the turkey reached the oven or table.

4. My favorite dog/turkey story involved a Chihuahua stuck inside a melting turkey. The cook and frantic dog owner called the Butterball hotline. The hotline operator calmly advised the owner to pull the dog too hard or enlarge the cavity, and then thoroughly clean the dog’s hair from the turkey’s cavity before grilling.

5. Volunteer to bake pumpkin pies for your mother-in-law and forget about putting sugar in the pie.

6. Take a cooked turkey to Grandma’s house. Misfortunes included backing a car over the container with cooked turkey, taking off dogs with the turkey left with a car door open, or trying to bring a fully cooked turkey onto a plane as carry-on.

7. Big walk into the dining room with a golden brown turkey on a plate, tripping over it and splattering turkey bits all over people’s clothes. In one instance, a turkey leg fell on top of a chandelier.

8. A 16-pound frozen turkey fell on its foot, fracturing a bone.

9. A 16-pound frozen turkey fell on the Wiener family dog, resulting in the animal’s death.

10. Overhearing a cook who didn’t know how to roast a turkey because her stove only had bread and roast options.

If cooking gets sour at Thanksgiving, there are options. You can get fast food from any open restaurant. And in a pinch, you can go to the local store to buy some delicious slow-roasted sausage!

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