Thanksgiving Disasters, Have You Ever Lost a Turkey?

by Anne Maxfield on November 26, 2015

Most Americans prefer white meat turkey. Strangely enough, the Accidental Locavore’s family is primarily a dark meat chicken or turkey group. One year at Thanksgiving we had about a dozen people for dinner, and when we were done,  the back of the turkey looked like it had been dipped in acid, not a morsel left, but the breast was almost totally intact. The following year I thought I was being smart by ordering a turkey and four extra legs so there would be plenty of dark meat for all. Went to the store, and picked up two enormous (and expensive) bags with the turkey in them.

Thanksgiving morning we took the bags out to see how big the bird was. One giant turkey leg, two giant legs, three giant legs, four giant legs…oops, no turkey. Even in New York City, have you ever tried buying a turkey on Thanksgiving day? We finally ended up with a frozen kosher bird. I”ll never forget my father and I, alternating between a hair-dryer, and water bath. Don’t even start with the “you’re never supposed to defrost anything that way” thoughts. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Finally, after a couple of hours we got it defrosted, stuffed and put it and the giant legs in the oven.  If you’re wondering why we felt the need for a whole bird…inside stuffing. It’s just so much better when it’s cooked in the bird (and I know the same people who are against speed defrosting are probably anti-inside stuffing too…tough).

Dinner was only delayed by about four hours, we were getting low on wine, so everyone was pretty wasted, not to mention hungry, by the time we sat down for dinner. But we knew we had a story for the family history book. Ever since then, we just buy a whole turkey, and if someone wants extra legs, it’s strictly BYO. What was your most memorable or disaster ridden Thanksgiving?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne Maxfield December 1, 2015 at 12:23 pm

Like you, we just ended up eating much later than originally planned. By then we were almost out of wine, so I’m not sure anyone really noticed what the turkey tasted like! 😉

Sue November 29, 2015 at 9:34 pm

I’m sure it all tasted wonderful when you all sat down to eat.
My first Thanksgiving turkey that I cooked was in a small apartment with a small oven that was on a crooked floor. When I slid the rack out to check the bird and oops, the pan slipped right off the rack and onto the floor with the bird falling out of the pan. Needless to say I picked up the turkey and put it right back into that pan.
Not sure if it was last year or the year before, remember I turned off the oven accidentally in the early cooking process and many hours later realized that the oven was off. Dinner was delayed for several hours.

Anne Maxfield November 29, 2015 at 7:11 pm

That’s pretty funny! I hope you didn’t have to schlepp it very far.

Anne Maxfield November 29, 2015 at 7:10 pm

Ha! That’s almost as funny as a guy I worked with who accidentally ate the plastic thing that pops up to tell you when it’s done…

Lisa November 26, 2015 at 11:13 am

I was in a residency hotel after being transferred to my new city. I’d barely been at the hotel, having traveled for a month meeting clients in a hand-off. But I did decide to cook a Thanksgiving dinner and when I asked my nephew to open the oven door, we discovered … there was no oven, only a stove.

(Fortunately, I had signed a lease on an apartment. No furniture — but it did have an oven.)

Bernadette November 26, 2015 at 9:10 am

When Joe and I were first married I was excited to cook my very first Thanksgiving dinner.
Everything went really well until it was time to carve the turkey; I didn’t know I was supposed to take a plastic bag of innards out of the turkey before roasting…

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