I heard a statistic on the radio yesterday that 75% of people surveyed said that if their turkey hit the floor while they were taking it out of the oven, they would serve it anyway. I got the giggles going down the road thinking of Thanksgiving catastrophes past, so I dug up these old stories and dusted them off to share.
Well, it's on. I spied with my eye.... the first grocery store kiosk of Butterball turkeys.
I have a love/hate relationship with the sacrificial poultry. I can't really blame the turkey for the Thanksgiving fiascoes of years bygone. But, I do believe my concentration to get that trussed up bird presentable, flavorful, and on the table at the right time may have contributed to other guffaws of the day.
One shocker was the first turkey I cooked for my husband Don's family 25 years ago. The turkey just wouldn’t get done (no matter how many times I opened the oven door to check it.) An hour and a half over the scheduled meal time, Tom Turkey finally gave up the ghost and made it to the table. Don’s step-mother, a rotund little shorty at 4 '10" chose her portion—a huge leg—and started devouring it Flintstone style with her hands! I had to give the kids looks of warning as they gawked at her. Club style, she worked that drumstick down to the gristle. Grease from the turkey skin smeared from one side of her face to the other.
My very first Thanksgiving turkey turned out beautiful! I was so proud. A few minutes into the meal, my father-in-law tapped me on the leg. I peeked down as he graciously dropped the cooked bag of giblets into my hand. What the heck were the giblets doing in the neck? I didn't check that hole. He and I were the only ones that knew about it.
Another year I lined my kitchen counter with desserts. Pumpkin pies, cherry cheesecake, and a beautiful chocolate meringue pie. My son-in-law came to me with his bowl and a quizzical look on his face. "When did pies start requiring batteries?" he asked, holding up a AAA battery. "Thank you, I have been looking for that," I replied while washing the battery off in the sink. The battery had been sitting on top of the microwave, ready to re-load my camera, and it had apparently rolled off into the pie, submerging itself into the thick meringue.
Oh, then there was the year that I decided to change up a bit. I cooked 10 cornish hens instead of a turkey. The menu was a surprise to say the least. My daughter pulled the foil off of the roasting pan and my grandchildren jumped back in horror. I believe they are still scarred. They thought grandma had succumbed to killing baby turkeys.
Two years ago, a very costly pan of oyster dressing in a presumably faulty Pyrex baking dish exploded in my kitchen at 6 a.m. sending shards of glass into two rooms. It sounded like a shotgun blast! Don came running from bed. His concern was evident upon arrival and it wasn't the shards of glass on the couch and floor everywhere. Instead, it was "Save the stuffing!" He seriously pulled the center of the stuffing out claiming it was still good. He lived.
Waves of laughter still ping in the Milky Way from our Thanksgivings bygone. I close my eyes and remember thankful prayers before meals that warmed my heart. I visualize the friends and family throughout the years. Moving, marriages, divorces, death, and new life have changed the faces gathered around the table. Some have passed on, some passed up, and some are still saying, "Pass the potatoes please." I am always grateful for each of them.
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving story? Add it to feed comments and share the chuckles.