Do you have a Thanksgiving disaster story?
I have heard so many great Thanksgiving disaster stories, from frozen turkeys to broken ovens, and everything in between.
As a very young culinarian, before culinary school and professional kitchens, I was learning mostly by trial and error and I certainly had my share of disasters - burned biscuits, melting croissants, gluey mashed potatoes, and probably a few other things I have put out of my mind. My family was always gracious and pretended to enjoy their gluey mashed potatoes, but I certainly knew that we would NOT be saving those as leftovers.
A few years ago, while preparing Thanksgiving dinner for 300 guests with pre-paid dinner tickets, as opposed to my small and forgiving family, we learned the turkeys we had "reserved" in July somehow hadn't been recorded. So just two days before Thanksgiving, we were without turkey and our purveyors had nothing to offer to help.
Luckily, our purchasing manager was able to drive all around town and buy up nearly ALL of the local stores' frozen turkeys. Problem solved! We would just need to defrost them quickly and get them in the brine and we would be back on track.
Since it was well below freezing overnight and her search for turkeys kept her out to a late hour, she decided to leave the birds in the back of her vehicle. She would be heading into work early in the morning and the turkey would be safe inside her car. Or so she thought! A neighborhood bear smelled the hint of a Thanksgiving meal and helped himself to nearly all of it! There were no leftovers in sight - just some plastic bags and a lot of mess.
After a few panicked minutes and several frantic phone calls, we found a store in a neighboring town that had JUST the right number of turkeys for us. We asked them not to sell them to anyone and I think we may have even paid for them over the phone and rushed to get our turkeys. They weren't our first choice, or even our second, but we had the centerpiece for our Thanksgiving dinner. And in the process, I learned how to quickly defrost a turkey while also brining it. And to this day, my former boss tells me that was his favorite Thanksgiving meal ever.
I would love to hear your stories! Please comment and share some of your most challenging dinner preparation anecdotes, Thanksgiving or otherwise.
To ensure avoiding another disaster this year, I would love to make your dinner for you. From the grocery shopping to clean-up and everything in between, the only time you will have to lift a finger is to pick up your fork. Dinner includes a free-range turkey with all the trimmings, home-made sourdough, soup or salad, three sides, and dessert. Plus, leftovers; because what is Thanksgiving without leftovers?!