Holiday Mishaps And Other Kitchen Adventures - Penny Lane Blog at - 257598

Penny Lane

Holiday Mishaps and Other Kitchen Adventures 
Nov. 19, 2011 1:55 pm 
Updated: Nov. 26, 2011 11:41 pm
Here I sit - the Saturday before Thanksgiving - 5 days before the big feast.   The pastry is made and resting in the refrigerator.  The cranberry sauce is complete.  There isn't much else I can do today and it is driving me nuts.  It's too early for pies and cakes.  Way too early for rolls.  Chopping and dicing vegetables will have to wait.
The anticipation of creating another round of holiday memories is killing me.  Thanksgiving here is like running a marathon with a sprint at the end. 
When all is said and done - the taters mashed, the gravy whisked and the bird carved I collapse into my chair at the end of the table.  Exhausted but happy.  The kids are antsy - they have had to wait for me so they can crack open the Thanksgiving poppers.  Once reserved for Christmas the "Christmas Crackers" are now incorporated into Thanksgiving as well.  Filled with a cheap toy, a riddle and a paper crown they are a well loved tradition.
We say our blessings - read our riddles and dig in. 
Soon the stories begin & laughter ensues. 
Remember the time.....
 I offered to host Thanksgiving for the first time.  My mother in law Lois offers to bring the turkey.  Great! Until she showed up Thanksgiving day with a frozen solid bird!  Rock hard.  After an exasperating day trying to defrost a 20 lb turkey we ate at about 9 PM. 
Then there was the time that Aunt Judy brought a Pilgrim cake - taking a bite I thought it tasted 'off' and put down my fork just as I heard Judy proclaim that she had made the cake for last Easter but didn't get eaten so put it in the freezer - scraped the frosting off and re-invented it as a pilgrim.   Ahhhhh - the off taste was indeed freezer burn.
Of course the story of Betsy will be told - the cocker spaniel that managed to nose her way into a bag of tarts someone had brought to share and consume the entire batch.
Or the Thanksgiving Eve   I decided, after a couple of glasses of wine,  to score chestnuts with a brand new serrated knife - opps!  There went the end of my index finger and off to the ER.  (There is an important lesson to be learned here.)
Along with the Grandma Lois stories will be the cranberry relish story.  Let me explain....
Lois always made her "Famous" cranberry relish.  Whole oranges (pith and all) whole cranberries and an assortment of other ingredients ground up together. Truth be told - the only people who liked this stuff were her two sons.  (or at least they claimed to like it)  We would all take a scoop - place it carefully on the side of our plates and dutifully smear it around the plate disguising it the best we could.    Then along came the year that I looked across the table to see my brother in law shudder and pucker.  "Hey - Mom ....."  "Oh, Honey - how do you like the relish?  I didn't have any oranges so I used grapefruit!"
Then their was the year my stubborn father learned why we don't feed the dog table food.  He offered to carve the ham and ignoring our warning was tossing the dog scraps of ham fat.  After we all finished eating we heard that ominous noise...  "BAAAARRRFFF" and the dog vomited all over my fathers foot! 
Then there is the story of the year we were invited to our friends house.  35 + people, sit down - pass the dishes type dinner.  I arrived to the wonderful smell of turkey roasting - coming down to the wire I offered to help.  She said "Grab the turkey from the lower oven and I will get the one out of the top oven."  I open the door and the oven is cold - there sat a poor turkey in it's bag - raw.  She forgot to turn on both ovens!  
At the time of these 'events' we weren't laughing - well, most of us weren't.  Years later - not only do we laugh but these hiccups ARE the reason we remember that particular holiday. 
I can't wait to hear the kids and now grand kids tell their stories this year.
Remember - to smile & laugh - your kitchen adventures are memories being made. 
Happy Thanksgiving! 
Nov. 19, 2011 2:08 pm
>> "Until she showed up Thanksgiving day with a frozen solid bird!" that's funny, I am sure it was not that day however.
Nov. 19, 2011 2:15 pm
LOL! You have some great stories here! It's good to just laugh, otherwise you'd want to cry or hurt someone... :)
Nov. 19, 2011 2:16 pm
Today - it hilarious! Then - I wanted to cry. Lois was a character - she left her mark on this earth and we have tons of stories to remember her by.
Nov. 19, 2011 2:17 pm
We had the year my DD's parakeet got out of the cage and decided the gravy boat looked like a bird bath. I do believe each person at the table got a splash! Happy Thanksgiving.
Nov. 19, 2011 2:17 pm
Mother Ann - Next Thursday there will be memories made all over this great just have to laugh!
Nov. 19, 2011 2:21 pm
BSM - now that is hilarious! LOL! - I have heard of Bird's Nest Soup but never Bird Bath gravy! LOL.
Nov. 19, 2011 2:24 pm
This year, our little family will have their Thanksgiving later. My DSIL's parents want to meet his Mother-In-Law (me) so we will be traveling an hour south. *hoping I don't embarrass my daughter*. My daughter signed me up for 2 dishes (only 2!!??) I'm accustomed to making everything. I expect I'll be taking a few more things :) Our Thanksgiving "stories" include a dog who devoured a whole turkey and got VERY sick, Grandpas and Great Uncles who lay down on the floor after the big meal and promptly go to sleep, and yes, late dinners due to "cold birds". . .nobody went hungry though! A Blessed Thanksgiving All!
Nov. 19, 2011 2:34 pm
Have a great Thankgiving LS - I am sure you will have a wonderful day with the In laws. :) Blessings to you.
Nov. 19, 2011 2:36 pm
Well, it’s kind of, where should I start. It’s been the turkey once and the rolls getting burned, but most of the time it is the sweet potatoes. I love sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows, so did my husband. I’m also lazy and use canned sweet potatoes. I dump the liquid from the can into a large pan and add all my spices and chunks of pineapple and tons of brown sugar and let them start boiling down to make a syrup. When the syrup is really thick I add the sweet potatoes and let it boil long enough to get the potatoes hot. Then it’s into a baking dish, pile them high with marshmallows and into the oven to brown the top. At this point it’s all well and good. Half the time I get busy and the syrup boils over on the burner and, well, it was a good thing I had a full container of salt, it took it all to get the flames out and then it just smoked like a chimney for the rest of the dinner. If I can make it through the boiling, Oh, Oh, once I thought I would save time and just dump the marshmallows on the sweet potatoes and then when it was time pop them into the oven. I didn’t think about the heat from the potatoes softening the marshmallows…they did. When I put them in the oven to brown they were already half melted from the heat and they finished melting before they had a chance to brown and marshmallows ran over and onto the bottom coils of the oven and, well, let’s just say I had lots of smoke and 4 and 5 inch flames. Of course, I melted all the marshmallows off the sweet potatoes and had to put more and try again. I did manage to get the second go around toasted, but by then I had every smoke detector in the house going off. It isn’t considered holiday dinner unless I set off a smoke detector or two…or three. The time with the turkey, the oven circuit breaker turned the oven off when the turkey was about half done, so no turkey with dinner, but we had lots of leftovers for sandwiches.
Nov. 19, 2011 2:49 pm
Oh Kitten - your Sweet Potato Casserole adventure is why I leave that to other people! Good thing you were prepared! Your poor oven! But see - you made fond memories!
Nov. 19, 2011 3:16 pm
OMGosh what a Terrific and oh so funny blog! Nana, you should be bored more often! BBAAHHAA
Nov. 19, 2011 3:20 pm
Our worst Thanksgiving memory was the year the turkey was bad...after patiently thawing it for days, we opened it Thanksgiving morning to discover that it was spoiled/bloody/bruised...looked like it had been used as a bowling ball! So we made dressing with chicken broth and opened a can of chuck chicken and a jar of chicken gravy. With the usual mashed and sweet potatoes and all the usual accompany dishes, it actually turned out well, considering.
Nov. 19, 2011 3:23 pm
Geeze, didn't mean to hit post quite so soon. I don't have any stories from my end. I pretty much fret,shop,fret,shop,cook,chop,bbq over the meal for a week, like the rest of us and they gobble the dam@ thing up before I can catch my breath!! But my kids can not Wait till The Day! In fact, they wish it was a week early! I remember the video of the lady who thought her turkey was already stuffed and she pulls out the freshly roasted gizzard bag! Bout dies of laughter!! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family BN:) Thanks for the stories. LOL
Nov. 19, 2011 3:38 pm
SWchef - I have had that happen - just not on Thanksgiving. I had bought a fresh bird and bought everything to do Thanksgiving in July - which at that time of year is not an inexpensive adventure - the turkey was rotten - I returned it - the butcher opened up every other turkey in the case and they were all bad. We ended up having pork roast with all the Thanksgiving sides. Very frustrating. I am glad you were able to make the best of it.
Nov. 19, 2011 3:42 pm
Patty Cakes! I fret - shop - fret - double check - fret and still these things happen. Yes - days of plotting planning and cooking are over with in record time. I am usually the last one sitting there with my dinner. I think everyone knows someone who has cooked the giblets in the bird! LOL - Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Patty Cakes.
Nov. 19, 2011 3:55 pm
I absolutely burst out laughing at you dad and the puking dog:) One of our favorite memories is when I had invited about 30 friends and family for sit down. Olympia had a BAD wind storm and we all lost our power. No oven, no stove top (electric) and with gail force winds we couldn't have dreamed of cooking on a grill. I believe we ended up with a few diehard guests and a late night dinner of sorts. ahhh memories:)
Nov. 19, 2011 3:56 pm
We got our money back as well. And, by the way, I was so bored this afternoon that I started writing Christmas cards!
Nov. 19, 2011 4:02 pm
mauigirl - I bet you remember that Thanksgiving! We lost power once - about 15 minutes AFTER I pulled the bird out. Whew! How about that for timing. We had a candle light dinner and the kids thought it was great.
Nov. 19, 2011 4:04 pm
sw chef - I actually THOUGHT about doing cards and then nixed the idea. I decided to do a slow roast Prime Rib and write a blog. The Christmas cards are waiting for me though.
Nov. 19, 2011 4:05 pm
well of course we have had adventures, I wish I had a Lois in my family, oh wait, I do:) The element went on the oven one year so the turkey was done on the BarBQ and the buns were partially crunchy on the BBQ as well, nice way of saying the tops were black but the bottoms were done. I have since made good buns on the BBQ, just not that year. A friend invited us for turkey day, she had never cook much besides frozen pizza and canned soup, poor thing. She wanted to baste the turkey so badly to keep it moist that after 6 or so hours in the oven it was still partially raw, everytime her red light lit on the oven to say it was heating, she opened it up to baste. We ended up microwaving some slices of turkey just to feed the starving children. We have had sick family members, a few heated discussions about politics, religion and the age old question-to spank or not to spank your child. We play many games of cards over the holiday and usually the newest member to the card game wins pot after pot of quarters. I dropped a bowl of potatoes while taking it to the table-did you know potatoes can fly higher than planes and are especially attracted to ceilings? I have forgotten so many dishes in the kitchen with the idea to try something new several years, only to find it was still in the kitchen after the meal. No one missed it because no one knew it was on the menu. My whipping cream for pumpkin pie turned to butter in 2 seconds flat as I was scolding one of the kids, turned away from the mixer and POOF great butter was forming. All in a days cooking, all great fun
Nov. 19, 2011 4:23 pm
RNG - Everyone needs to have a Lois in their family! It makes for years of entertainment. I forgot about the year that the gas regulator died on the oven and the kitchen filled up with gas. The Gas Company was called - the oven was deemed dead. Fortunately, my neighbor was going elsewhere for Thanksgiving and gave me the keys to his house and let me use his oven. Any discussion of politics or religion are stictly banned! Been down that road and it is a dead end. My son and his first wife are divorced - I am sure that it is because he made his "Famous" mashed potatoes and managed to trip and drop their offering - breaking Great-Grandma's serving dish. No potatoes + broken heirloom = divorce. As for the 'butter" - been there, done that - do you know that is British Clotted Cream? Yes IT IS. If is weren't for these mishaps it would just be another day!
Nov. 19, 2011 4:24 pm
redneck gramma.....My mom calls anything she has burned "Oklahoma brown" thus making it suddenly edible in a home that is far from Oklahoma. We have only had one politically uncomfortable "scene" at our Thanksgiving in all my MANY years. My mother in law married a widower after she was widowed. This educated and wealthy new member of the family decided to deride gays and lesbians at our beautiful dinner in front of a friend who happens to be a lesbian ( and he knew) and in front of us who have the fortune to have a wonderful son who is also gay.(which he also knew) I don't know how anyone kept their cool. The fun part is when he left. They were the first out the door and all the rest of us had dessert, played cards, drank and made fun of the boorish poop the rest of the night. At that point, I had been at 45 Thanksgiving dinners and NEVER had a "scene" at our table. This man was never allowed back in my home again. He died last year and I didn't shed a tear. No one goes after my friends and family!
Nov. 19, 2011 4:27 pm
Especially at Thanksgiving!
Nov. 19, 2011 4:50 pm
politics or religion yep, bad news.
Nov. 19, 2011 5:07 pm
When I was about 5 or 6, I was happily watching my Mom scurrying around the kitchen making the Turkey dinner. She opened the oven and slid the turkey forward to baste it. I was sitting on the floor in front of the oven. The entire turkey flew out of the oven and landed on top of me. I got burned but not bad enough to leave scars, physical ones at least. not funny but oh so memorable.
Nov. 19, 2011 5:19 pm
Well I don't remember any food mishaps yet about the holiday...probably will come to me later. But here's a tip for when your inviting guests over....Stock you bathroom with plenty of TP and not only make sure you have plenty but make sure it's in the bathroom when it's needed...I need not to further explain...but it sure what comical.
Nov. 19, 2011 5:20 pm
the only thing bad that happen when cooking thanksgiving dinner in the past 35 years is three times the oven stopped working during cooking (not the same oven). It is hard to pan fry a whole turkey.
Nov. 19, 2011 5:32 pm
Thanks for all the laughs! These funny stories are what make holidays memorable!
Nov. 19, 2011 5:33 pm
One Thanksgiving when we were up north, I got a good deal on potatoes. I cooked them for the meal, skins and all. When I mashed the red potatoes, I ended up with pink potatoes! Not appetizing, especially for turkey day! Then, because it snowed that day, and I was scheduled to work the next day (we only got holiday pay if we worked our normal shift on both sides of the holiday) I woke up early. I had to walk 5 miles because the plows hadn't gotten to my street to get to work. I got holiday pay. A coworker lived further away, and didn't want to drive in---he only got regular pay because of the rule about showing up for your shift on both sides of the holiday!
Nov. 19, 2011 5:39 pm
I think one of my most memorable Thanksgivings was when we went to Plymouth Plantation on Thanksgiving Day. I was very impressed with the deer roasting over the pit and the seafood and corn cobs being steamed in seaweed.
Nov. 19, 2011 6:22 pm
Okay. I've shared this when I first became a member but it was one of my " oh craB" moments. My daughter and her hubs invited us to Thanksgiving dinner at their new house. I brought sides and was so happy to be with our young grandsons on a holiday. After a great meal we women folk cleared the table and stored left overs and I started to deal with the scraps. I turned on the water and pushed the scraps down the sink drain . I asked my daughter where the switch was for the garbage disposal-- I couldn't see it. She stood stock still and her eyes blinked twice and she said, " We don't have a garbage disposal!"... call me Lois.
Nov. 19, 2011 7:04 pm
Mauigirl - as horrid as that encounter was it made that Thanksgiving one you will always remember - That boorish man was the looser in the long run - I am sure there was a lesson learned in all that mess - even if that lesson was to never invite HIM again.
Nov. 19, 2011 7:06 pm
Covergirl - You are lucky that you were not seriously burned or killed! Another valuable lesson. Kick the kids out of the kitchen! YIKES!
Nov. 19, 2011 7:08 pm
mis7up - Ahh yes - that master check list MUST include TP! Another valuable lesson!
Nov. 19, 2011 7:11 pm
KingSparta - Three times? Different ovens? Really - you are jinxed! I had that happen once. Indeed - pan fried turkey is darned near impossible. I would have been banging on the neighbors door or dusting off the grill.
Nov. 19, 2011 7:13 pm
iceemama - All over the country there will be memories made this Thanksgiving - some more memorable than others! In the long run, they are funny.
Nov. 19, 2011 7:17 pm
Sueb - Pink potatoes? I bet you got a ribbing about that. Five miles? in the snow? Geez - you deserved more than holiday pay!
Nov. 19, 2011 7:22 pm
Hi Lois - opps I mean Linnie! :) That could so easily have been me. I have always had a garage disposal and used it. I have managed to plug the drains at a friends house by feeding their garbage disposal lettuce - I guess theirs is a picky disposal and doesn't except lettuce or much else for that matter. Why have a disposal that you can't use!
Nov. 19, 2011 7:41 pm
OMG do we ever have mishaps!--->
Nov. 19, 2011 7:42 pm
On another note, made your focaccia tonight. DELICIOUS!
Nov. 19, 2011 7:45 pm
OMG this blog is too funny. First Thanksgiving we were married (and I had only been married 1 month), I hosted both sets of parents and some aunts. Everything came out perfectly. How, I'm not sure. But everything was good. My MIL, said "well you did pretty good for a beginner". I'm sure she meant that as a compliment, but coming from a woman who could never get jello to set up, forgot to turn on the deep fryer when cooking fish, and didn't defrost a duck until she was about ready to put it in the oven, that just frosted my cupcake, if you get my drift. The other memorable moment came 9 years later, same parties invited. DH's crotchety old aunt made a snotty comment about my not being dressed when they arrived. Little did they know, I had spent the entire morning with my head shoved in the toilet since I was 2 months pregnant and the smell of raw poultry set me off. I couldn't even get the bird into the cooking bag. DH had to take over. No one in the family knew I was pregnant yet except for my Mom. I "announced" it that day by asking my MIL to make me a dress and I gave her a pattern for a maternity dress. Same woman who wasn't too sharp in the kitchen, didn't get the significance of a MATERNITY pattern. Had to spell it out for her. LOL.
Nov. 19, 2011 8:01 pm
WFDM - Thanks! That is hilarious and I KNOW you understand. So glad you like the Focaccia - it is still one of our favorites.
Nov. 19, 2011 8:05 pm
Magnolia Blossom - don't you love those comments! Gee, thanks! I think your maternity pattern announcing your new arrival is brillant - too bad that she didn't get it! Amazing how brillance can be lost on those that aren't. (aren't brillant that is...)
Nov. 19, 2011 8:54 pm
Haven't we all had something like the above happen to us? Thanks for the laughs and uh-huhs, Baking Nana. I'm sure everyone has a story of having to wait for a turkey to get done or a dish that was forgotten. I love finally getting into bed on Thanksgiving evening!
Nov. 19, 2011 10:07 pm
I'll share a story my mother told. She's gone, only 1 sister left, but everyone remembered this story: In those days, cooking supplies were bought in bulk. Aunt Pauline (Prissy Aunt Pauline) brought the most beautiful cherry pies to our house for the family TG dinner. My brother couldn't wait for a slice of that pie. As soon as he'd "cleaned his plate", he asked for some. He took 1 bite, and spit it out, "Eww! that tastes awful!" he puckered. Mom, totally embarrassed, (she stressed manners), scolded," You eat that pie!..." Aunt Pauline tasted it, and she agreed! She had used cups of salt, not white sugar! Thanks for the entertainment tonight, everyone!
Nov. 20, 2011 5:44 am
Oh Marianne, the forgotten dishes are too many to count. I am with you, when all is done, that bed feels mighty fine.
Nov. 20, 2011 5:49 am
Mamaw - I can just imagine your brothers face! I actually had that happen in a very upscale restaurant in Palm Springs. They offered this wonderful souffle for dessert but it had to be ordered in advance when making your reservations. Our generous host ordered these and was beaming from ear to ear when they were brought out.....that was until he took a bite! Yep - salt not sugar! Someone probably lost their job over that one.
Nov. 20, 2011 6:06 am
Such an awesome blog BN! I will never forget the year when I was about 6 or 7 years old. A live turkey appeared in a pen in my Noni's yard. I loved that turkey. Until Thanksgiving morning when I found Noni plucking feathers out of a bird in the garage. Needless to say I figured out what bird it was, had a screaming fit and refused to eat turkey for the following 4 Thanksgivings!I think I am still traumatized. LOL! Happy Thanksgiving Nana!
Nov. 20, 2011 6:16 am
you know i just remembered something after Mamaw's comments. sue and I made a lemon meringue pie, back in 1979, but we did not use sugar, we used saccharin. needless to say that Diet pie was awful. it went into the trash.
Nov. 20, 2011 6:19 am
Oh Anissa! What a memory! :( When I was a kid we had chickens - one of the roosters was pretty mean and would peck me. One day I came back to the house with eggs and told my dad how much I hated that rooster. Next thing I knew he was pucking it and making chicken soup. I felt so bad and I hated that chicken soup. Have a joyous Thanksgiving!
Nov. 20, 2011 6:29 am
KingSparta - now there is a lesson learned.
Nov. 20, 2011 6:35 am
Great blog! Ah, the stories of years past. The child eating the unpitted black olives and leaving no seeds on her plate. A new recipe resulting in a turkey as salty as the Dead Sea. The oven dying right before the rolls were cooked causing, for the first time ever, NO rolls for Thanksgiving. That was back in the day when hardly anything was open because most everyone was spending the day with family! Thanks for sharing your memories!
Nov. 20, 2011 7:11 am
Good morning Cat! The dying oven has to be the worst. Grrrr ;( You know - every store in our area will be open Thanksgiving day. Sad really. Two of my grandsons have to work Thanksgiving day, they are 18 & 19 years old. Triple time doesn't make up for lost family time.
Nov. 20, 2011 7:42 am
My Turkey mishap-my brother decided he wanted to raise turkeys. So, me being naive about turkeys-I said I would cook the turkey -he cleaned the turkey, but when he gave it to me the turkey still had whatever is stuck in the turkey where the feathers go--see how much I know? I had to take tweezers to get all those things out. Anyway, my brother decided not to raise turkeys--and I am certainly not volunteering to get any home raised turkey ready for a dinner. Goes to show you I am a city girl. LOL
Nov. 20, 2011 8:05 am
It's so good to know that people have and still are respecting the bird. I mean...after all where would all this Thanksgiving humor come from if we were out shopping? Thank you Baking Nana for another great blog.
Nov. 20, 2011 10:24 am
Awwww this is a great blog! Definitely gave me a smile. Thanks for sharing your favorite and comical stories. I find the bloopers always make for these best memories around here :D Happy, safe, and blessed holiday to you and yours
Nov. 20, 2011 10:39 am
Wonderful memories - the hiccups and the laughter are what we remember best, aren't they...
Nov. 20, 2011 11:07 am
Lela, Now that is a VERY valuable lesson. My girl friend Julie had a similar experience. Never again! I have bought turkeys who are harvested and processed properly and never had an issue. I just can't see myself tweezing a turkey.
Nov. 20, 2011 11:10 am
bd.weld, You are so right - look at the great memories that those shoppers are missing out on. Thanks for stopping in and Happy Thanksgiving.
Nov. 20, 2011 11:14 am
lovinghappyhome, I am glad that our bloopers made you smile. :) Happy Thanksgiving to you too. Thanks for stopping in.
Nov. 20, 2011 11:23 am
Kathnh - If there were no hiccups what would we talk about? Besides, none of us are exempt from life's bloopers so we might as well laugh! Happy Thanksgiving to you.
Nov. 20, 2011 11:43 am
Fantastic blog and comments! I did Thanksgiving yesterday with a free-range turkey bought from a local farmer (very yummy) no mishaps, no dramas. But been there, done many similar to much of what other have shared. Loved the giblet-inside-the baked-bird comment--boy did I feel like a moron after doing that, nice to know I'm not alone. One takes for granted good cooking skills developed from necessity. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Nov. 20, 2011 11:55 am
I have been to a chicken processing plant (about 20 times) it is interesting on how it is done, but it is certainly not for the squeamish. The roaches love the chicken blood that collects in the troff's
Nov. 20, 2011 12:29 pm
King Sparta...Thanks for the visuals NOT!
Nov. 20, 2011 3:10 pm
Wendie! Gosh I have missed you! Thanks for stopping in! I am glad that your Thanksgiving meal came off without a hitch. :) Ah yes! the good ol' giblet bag. Remember to check BOTH ends of the bird!
Nov. 20, 2011 3:13 pm
KingSparta - WOW - we could all do without that visual! This is a FUNNY blog! Let's not kill the humor. Happy Thankgiving! Cheers to you!
Nov. 20, 2011 3:44 pm
I have had so many laughs reading this blog! Oh my gosh! Thankfully, I haven't had any cooking mishaps on Thanksgiving Day. The mishaps I have encountered were the relatives not getting along. When I was 10 I walked into the garage to see my mom choking my uncle!!! UGH! They soon made up - but WTH???? Totally respected my mom after that, by the way.....
Nov. 20, 2011 3:54 pm
All the stories (ok, except the KingSparta chicken processing one!) have really made me laugh. We haven't had any major ones that I can remember, so I guess I can say we're lucky, but then again, aren't we all lucky to be able to share the lovely holiday with family and friends. BN, you're probably made all of us wish we had a Lois! : ) Happy Thanksgiving to you, and thanks for the laugh today.
Nov. 20, 2011 3:54 pm
LeeAnnetteJ I love it. I want your mom in my corner :)
Nov. 20, 2011 4:01 pm
LeeAnnetteJ...I added you to cooks I like so I can give you & your mom a heads up if I am ever in a bind :)
Nov. 20, 2011 5:14 pm
LeeAnnetteJ - that is too funny! I too would have a new respect for your mom. I assume she was older than your Uncle. Size has little to do with power. I just love these family stories. Oh and yes - I want your Mom in my corner!
Nov. 20, 2011 5:17 pm
I always think of my dad calling "Grace!" (for prayer), and Gramma (Grace) calling, "What?" from the kitchen - still makes me smile (= My big tragedy wasn't at the Thanksgiving (or Christmas) dinner table - it was dumping my hot "cinnamon rolls" in the kitchen sink last Thanksgiving morning when I was trying to flip them out of the baking pan. I cried! My kids were very sweet about it - God bless 'em!
Nov. 20, 2011 5:22 pm
wisweept - Lois was one of a kind. As much as we all laughed at her, she is missed. One year she brought a stuffed elephant to the house - it's nose twirled and moved to music. Thereafter she was known as Grandma Elephant. Oh God, help me! I will sick with Baking Nana as my "name." Everyone should had a "Lois" in there life. She left her mark - that is for sure.
Nov. 20, 2011 5:29 pm
Barb - "Let's say Grace." GRACE! LOL. I remember the cinnamon roll tragedy. I would have cried too and then picked them out of the sink! God bless 'em!
Nov. 20, 2011 6:12 pm
Baking Nana, sorry about that.
Nov. 20, 2011 6:19 pm
Thank you KingSparta. Happy Thanksgiving to you!
Nov. 20, 2011 6:35 pm
Man-child and babyxray ate as many "off the top" as they could (=
Nov. 20, 2011 6:48 pm
Barb - they are good children - understanding and obviously hungry! :)
Nov. 21, 2011 3:03 am
I thought of another Holiday Mishap. I love my xils - always have. But we were on the outs for a few years before the end of my marriage. (Long story) My ex wanted to have Thanksgiving dinner with his family - but I wasn't ready. No big deal. I told him to go and take the kids. I was going to stay home and make a mini T Day dinner for myself - and just relax. Well, when man-child heard what I was planning, he decided to stay home with me. Then his sister did, too. (Why don't they realize that it can be a GOOD thing for a parent to stay home alone?) Well, I was in BIG trouble now - so we decided to compromise, by having a little T Day dinner home as a family, then go to the in-law's for dessert. I was feeling awkward as we walked in anyway. Everyone was on the back patio chatting. I sat down on one of those white plastic patio chairs . . . and the legs went out on it, and I ended up on a broken chair on the floor on my fanny - with his entire family watching. The bruise to my ego was deeper than the one on my rear end! Ouch!
Nov. 21, 2011 3:04 am
[Oh, yeah, and the kids obviously like Mom's cinnamon rolls (= I took that as a compliment!]
Nov. 21, 2011 5:13 am
Great stoies thanks for sharing. For the last several years I have been helping the in-laws with doing the dinners. While up until this year everything was great no problems. This year Thanksgiving it will be called the "Turkey that would not cook". My mother-in-law picked up a frozen 18 lb bird. She placed it in the fridge to deforst in plenty of time but when we went to put it into the oven there was still some ice. We rinsed it out put the bird into the oven at 2:30 pm at 350 to cook. At 5:30 the bird was at 135 degree. Turned up the heat. 7 pm was at 145 degree turned heat up to 400. At 9:30 the bird was cooked and nicely brown. Was jucie but all the sides were cold.
Nov. 21, 2011 5:15 am
Oh gosh Barb! Collapsing chairs are one of my biggest fears. I hate those stupid plastic chairs.
Nov. 21, 2011 5:21 am
Nadine - 7 hours! OMG - I think that bird was jinxed! By 9:30 my family would have eaten all the sides and the pie too. The turkey would have been dessert! I wonder if her oven isn't going out. I bet you will never forget this Thanksgiving!
Nov. 21, 2011 7:22 am
Wow! I have really enjoyed all these stories – thank you everyone for sharing!! Yes, great memories :) I haven't had any outrageous mishaps myself fortunately, just minor typical ones of forgetting to serve something or forgetting to heat up something. But one story I thought of to share is when I was about 9 years old my mother invited the neighbor who was a lonely but friendly older man whose mother was recently put into a nursing home. We learned later he had a tendency to drink. As he sat down to enjoy our meal with us we watched in horror as he picked up the gravy boat and told my mother what great coffee she had made. That may be why I’m just not a fan of gravy – I do hate to admit that, I feel like something is wrong with me but I just don’t care for gravy at all!!
Nov. 21, 2011 10:19 am
Jodi, Thanks for stopping in. The gravy boat story is hilarious! :)
Nov. 21, 2011 11:35 am
I had been married about 3 years when we had both families over at the same time, the house was perfect, the table was spectacular, and I was going to impress the socks off the parents of my husband and myself! Everything was going according to a Norman Rockwell painting and I was coming out of the kitchen with this gourgeous, perfect turkey and the cat decided to get tangled up in my feet. Before I knew it I was on the floor, and the turkey was sliding across the floor with the cat in hot pursut! Bless my father in law for saying the 5 second rule applied and think of how much fun this story will be in a few years! At the time I could have died! but he was right! it is now one of my fondest memories. I dearly miss that wonderful man!
Nov. 21, 2011 11:56 am
Diana - I would have been mortified! oh wow! Thanks mauigirl and Baking Nana. My mom wasn't all that big but she was one of those "authoritative" older gals. No one messed with her...not even Uncle Elmer. LOL Sadly, she died in 1984, but I feel her every T-Day since I make everything the exact same way she did (can't believe my memory still works!)
hi-desert Kath 
Nov. 21, 2011 1:50 pm
We had my extended family over for TG dinner. My brother and brother-in-law each took their shoes off at the door. I tried to get them to put them back on but they insisted. We had a new dog and before long I was horrified to find that she had chewed the tassels off my bil's very expensive loafers! He was so sweet and just lied and said that he needed new shoes anyway. I have also learned, over the years, to have my first glass of wine when I sit down at the table. I came to that conclusion only AFTER having most of the mishaps listed above.
Nov. 21, 2011 2:13 pm
Wishing everyone a memory filled Thanksgiving Day. My only mishap (tho ashamedly has happended more than once) is taking out the cheesecake from the fridge only to have to bottom fall out of the springform pan all over the floor! Dang, after waiting for that baby to chill all day, too!
Nov. 21, 2011 4:12 pm
I have had a great time reading all the great memories...I have been cooking Thanksgiving dinner for my entire family since I was about 14 years trust me when I say it's been a long, long time! My Grandma would fly out here from Guadalajara each year to celebrate with us, she loved what this day represented and we loved having her here with us. She was the very best cook, I have ever known and she took command of her kitchen, but on Thanksgiving, she would relinquish that to me and say you just tell me what you want me to do. Which was a huge thrill for me because I was so amazed by her cooking skills. I will always remember the time, I pulled my turkey out to baste and did not realize that when I pushed it back in some of the juice has spilled out on the bottom of the oven. I smelled something burning and of course pulled open the oven door only to have flames come clear out of the oven!! The flames were shooting clear up to the ceiling, or so it seemed! I panicked, but my Grandma just grabbed a houseplant my Mom had and pulled out the plant while ordering my sister Gabriela to get more dirt and threw the dirt in the oven to extinguish the flames, which she did. I thought for sure my turkey was full of dirt and ruined, but not one speck on it. To this day, I don't know how she managed to do that. but we were all so happy that dinner wasn't ruined. My Grandma was the hero that day, and my hero every other day of the year. I learned so much from her and about her on those Thanksgiving mornings we spent together preparing dinner for our family. I tresure those memories close to my heart. I miss her so much!! But I know she is with me in spirit especially every Thanksgiving morning. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! When I count my blessings, I always count my All Recipeeps among the first!! Great Blog Baking Nana!!! ;)
Nov. 21, 2011 7:20 pm
Diana: I could just imagine being in your shoes, I would have wanted to die. Bless your father in law! Seems you chose your "family" well.
Nov. 21, 2011 7:35 pm
LeeAnnetteJ - What wonderful memories you have of your mother. Physical size has nothing to do with it. Even when it comes to putting Uncle Elmer in his place. Your mother lives on through the traditions and meals she established and the tradition you carry on. Happy Thanksgiving!
Nov. 21, 2011 7:43 pm
hi-desert Kath - Oh dear, puppies and shoes! That will teach them to keep their shoes on! LOL. YES - I have learned the "wine" lesson well. It goes so much smoother not to mention faster if I don't partake until AFTER the dinner is served. Lessons learned. :)
Nov. 21, 2011 7:56 pm
sunflower - Happy Thanksgiving to you! You have one on me - I have never had the bottom fall out of the spring form pan - AFTER it was baked and chilled. I did have one hit the floor and oven door on the way TO the oven. Lesson - place spring form pan on sheet pan. Problem solved.
Nov. 21, 2011 8:06 pm
Noemi, I loved your fire/dirt story about your grandmother. Isn't it wonderful to have such great memories of those who are no longer here at our table? Thanks for being such a special lady!
Nov. 21, 2011 8:11 pm
Noemi - Thanksgiving is such a uniquely American holiday - it is heartwarming to hear how your Grandmother adopted and embraced Thanksgiving. her quick reaction to your oven fire tells me this wasn't the first oven fire she had dealt with. :) I have used many things to put out a fire but never a house plant! Happy memories! Thanks for sharing them with us.
Nov. 22, 2011 2:45 am
Enjoyed reading your blog, so many funny memories. I have one from back in the day, I was in charge of assisting with sides for T-day, we had a family friend coming to dinner who was a very picky eater. She was the type of person who would eat at a top notch restaurant and still complain about the food...anyways, as I'm dishing out the gravy into the boat from the pan, my brother passed me his plate to add his gravy from the pan to his potatoes. We sit down, everyone else has gravy on their dinner from the gravy boat. My brother asks me what my 'secret ingredient' is in the gravy as his has 'crunchy lumps' and pulls something from his mouth to show me. I'm fuming (being embarrassed and all). I get up go over to the pan and spoon a big amount from bottom of the pan and tell him the secret ingredient is (expecting nothing)..PLASTIC!!! My dad had placed a clear plastic lid in the pan, since it fit perfectly and was clear, I never saw this before using the this day my brother will tease me before eating anything I make and ask for a list of my secret ingredients in the dish!
Nov. 22, 2011 4:54 am
isbeau, Wow, what a memory that would be. I know my brothers would never let me live that down!
Nov. 22, 2011 8:24 am
Great Stories! I have one, a little disgusting perhaps, but funny now. Years ago, we went to my father-in-law's for T-day. His wife (hubby's stepmom) was never one for cooking & asked me to make the dressing. Made me proud! 1st I had to make cornbread & that's where I discovered the weavils. MIL just said oh, don't worry about it, the stores are all closed today anyway. So, I made cornbread, bugs & all. Then I made dressing, which was a great hit with all the in-laws. Hubby & I didn't eat any. I was mortified & took a long time to get over that one. NOW it's funny!
Nov. 22, 2011 10:01 am
Newslady OMG! Hysterical.
Nov. 22, 2011 10:09 am
Great Memories! I have been musing the Thanksgiving that my step daughter had delivered her first child on the 27th, just the day before Thanksgiving and her favorite holiday has always been Thanksgiving. Would you believe that with my fixing the holiday meal and the other three children and theirs coming to dinner she got a furlough from the hospital and her hubby went to pick her up in my care (because it was a better ride) and she left that sweet little baby alone at the hospital so she could enjoy her Thanksgiving. I guess the child did not know what happened but looking back I wonder how in the world this could have happened. Not sure I could have left my child at the hospital for my pleasure. Young people seem to make their own way no matter what the old folks desire. Happy Thankgiving and make many fond memories.
Nov. 22, 2011 10:24 am
Some of these are really funny. Most of mine have never been that big. One time my oven overheated and I had to finish the turkey on the gas grill. It turned out so good that now I only make roast turkey on the gas grill. I've had cornmeal and flour with bugs in it. No big deal. Just put it in a fine sieve a shake. The cornmeal or flour will fall through and leave the bugs in sieve. Also onetime my grandmother's bird got his foot tangled in hair while inspecting a brush and we had to take him to the emergency vet. They got it off and he was fine.
Nov. 22, 2011 12:05 pm
Baking Nana, these are so funny! I'm hosting for the first time this year and have been so nervous (I have lists all over the house). Reading this has been a nice break from the planning and worrying. I hope you and your family have a very Happy Thanksgiving this year!
Nov. 22, 2011 1:07 pm
Great blog, BN! I'm still laughing out loud from the parakeet in the gravy bath and the turkey sliding across the floor with the cat in hot pursuit. I must admit to being a charter member of the "giblet-bag-in-the-other-cavity" club when I did my first turkey. Mom was right...I didn't pay enough attention when she and Grandma and sis were messing around in the kitchen! Our family had its own "Lois," too--Aunt Florence, the queen of shortcuts and substitutions, but she didn't always admit to it before anyone sampled the dish she contributed. She brought a cherry pie to dinner once made with cherries she'd grown in her backyard orchard. It was beautiful with a lattice top. She didn't tell anyone that she had not pitted the cherries. When the first person took a bit and came up with pits, she said that if anyone wanted to eat cherry pie badly enough, surely they wouldn't mind spitting the pits out after each bite! Have a Happy Thanksgiving with all your loved ones close this year!
Nov. 22, 2011 1:13 pm
I have my own Thanksgiving mishap to add to yours. Just a couple minutes ago, I finish up the pumpkin pie and pour the filling into a flimsy aluminum pie dish. As I am putting it in the oven my finger touches the 425 degree oven and the half the pie spills onto the oven door. Hey, at least I made two pumpkin pies this year.
Nov. 22, 2011 6:28 pm
My mother would burn the rolls every year. She would be so happy everything else turned out she would forget them. I seem to forget something in the frig until the next day. I will always remember the smell of burnt rolls and the hurt for what I forget the next day for lunch
Nov. 22, 2011 9:38 pm
NewsLady, Ewwww - weavils! When I lived in the Middle East weavils were a part of life. I never could get used to it. My step mother would sift and then say, "What's a little extra protein." Yuck!
Nov. 22, 2011 9:42 pm
Donna - I think I would have postponed Thanksgiving or asked that it be brought to the hospital! Hannahlah - I am thinking of doing our turkey on the grill this year. I hope it comes out as well as yours did.
Nov. 22, 2011 9:46 pm
Maria - You will always remember your first Thanksgiving. I am a list maker too. As much as I plot and plan, the turkey will either get done too soon or not soon enough. Good luck, I am sure it will be great. If something happens, remember, you are not alone. You are merely making memories.
Nov. 22, 2011 9:50 pm
Pointer Sister - Are you sure Aunt Florence and Lois aren't related? Lois once brought me a jar of plum jam. It looked a little off and I wasn't too sure about it so I asked my hubby if he minded if I tossed it. He said, "No problem - I don't want to eat it, just save the jar." So I turned on my disposal and tossed the jam. A horrible noise ensued - yep - there were pits in the jam. Happy Thanksgiving!
Nov. 22, 2011 10:00 pm
Catlyn - Thank God for two pies! This is exactly why I put the pies on a cookie sheet. For me the worst part is cleaning the oven. Think of it this way - you now have a reason to remember Thanksgiving 2011.
Nov. 22, 2011 10:04 pm
southernshoe - I usually forget the rolls - I have been known to burn garlic bread on a regular basis too. Each year I wonder, What am I forgetting? I wonder what it will be this year! Happy Thanksgiving!
Nov. 23, 2011 5:06 am
Hilarius, BN! Cute stories. I feel for the gal with 35+ people and no turkey!!
Nov. 23, 2011 10:20 am
Not my mishap - but one I always share: MANY years ago, early one Thanksgiving morning, I was xraying a little old lady with a broken hip. She had gotten up to baste her turkey and flipped it in the process. Some of the juices splashed on the floor, and she slipped and fell. Everyone, please be careful if you flip your turkey!!!
Nov. 23, 2011 12:05 pm
Barb - I have heard horror stories of people getting burned or injured flipping those heavy birds. I don't flip!
Nov. 23, 2011 12:51 pm
My favorite thing to do at thanksgiving is take the turkey for the final flight. THis is something my mom did when we were kids. She would clean the turkey and remove the gizzards and she would fly it around the house waking up us 3 kids. She would make it a huge deal flapping his wings and saying good bye mr tom turkey. I have started the same tradition of course i have a two story and carrying that 22 lb bird up and flapping it wings is not as easy as it once was. My kids love it and they are running behind me saying good bye Mr. Tom Turkey. Enjoy your last flight. It is one of the great memories i have of my mom who passed in 06. Still miss her and think what a great memory and hopefully tradition.
Nov. 23, 2011 5:25 pm
One year, I was hosting a small dinner in my new apartment. I went all out, food wise. The (then but now ex) BF and I invited his mom and step dad, but they declined as they had other plans. Still, his mom "stopped by to say hello and Happy Holidays." But she wouldn't leave. The guests arrived, we had a cocktail and some apps...still she would not leave. Repeatedly we both asked her to just stay for dinner, to which she replied "Oh no, I am fine." I assured her she was welcome and there was plenty of food..."Oh no, I am fine." I had no idea what to do. I was trying to keep my lovely (and thoroughly planned out dinner) warm without it drying out, but to no avail. Clearly, I thought it would be rude to just serve dinner with this woman sitting in the other room by herself, but at the same time, I couldn't really switch it to a buffet style because only the dining room was big enough for everyone. Plus I had planned a sit down meal with a beautifully set table. No hint you could give this woman seemed to land in her logical mind. We didn't eat until shortly after 10 p.m. and I still have NO idea what her supposed other plans were, or why she wouldn't just take us up on one of our 100 invitations to just stay and eat!!!!!! I still don't know if I handled that properly...but seriously every solution I came up with she shot down. I took a hot bath that night and cried just a bit. And I have never hosted again!
Nov. 23, 2011 6:20 pm
Geez! Where are MY manners!? I also meant to add great blog BN and thanks for all the funny stories everyone else as well! May you all have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving :)
Nov. 24, 2011 7:24 am
Great memories, Nana! Thank you for sharing, and Happy Thanksgiving!
Nov. 24, 2011 8:09 am
Wonder what other great memories will be made this year:)
Nov. 25, 2011 5:24 am
angeleke - What an amazing tradition! I can't imagine carrying by bird through the house like that...I have trouble carrying it across the kitchen! Nice visual though.
Nov. 25, 2011 5:27 am
Puck - there is NO way I would have waited to serve! Some people are just clueless and need to be shown the door, I have a feeling she really did want to share Thanksgiving with her son and just wanted to be begged to do so. Hope your Thanksgiving was great this year.
Nov. 25, 2011 5:28 am
shinesohard, I hope you had another memorable holiday with laughter and joy.
Nov. 25, 2011 7:37 am
BN, I love hearing the cherished memories of others! It is so fun to nod along and laugh just imagining some of the things hapening. I have my own little mishaps from our first Thanksgiving (There were a few haha). My hubby is military so we are far from home and invited a bunch of single Airmen who had nowhere to go to our house to share the food and festivities. I was expecting 12-15 people! I made tons of everything and the only people who showed up were our neighbors and another couple who were from England and never had a Thanksgiving before! I used frozen green beans in my casserole and they turned out with a really weird texture...Our oven was WAY too small for our turkey and sides so I used the neighbors oven since they were at our house to eat and it was getting down to the wire, sides were getting done and waiting on the turkey, which just wouldn't get up to temp...I felt so dumb when I realized my 2 year old had switched it to Celcius!!!! By the time I realized it and changed it back the temp was way too high...It was like the turkey in Christmas Vacation when it just poofs apart and you have to dip it in water hahaha!! I also had it in my mind the night before to make homemade pies, including homemade crust. Try as I might, I just could not get the crust to turn out! I was so upset that I was crying and my dear husband tried to calm me and offered to go get some refrigerated ones when I snapped and just threw the crust...It stuck to my wall! Thankfully, my only mishap this year was making a pudding/cream cheese layered pie in a regular pie crust (store boughten haha) I put the filling in and looked down...I forgot to bake the pie crust first! Another Thanksgiving eve trip to the store for my poor hubby! I will say I was thankful to have him around to help!
Nov. 25, 2011 8:26 pm
emills88 - First - Thanks to your husband for his service- to you for supporting him and for his service to your pie adventures. I can't imagine making food for 15 only to have just a few show up....still you taught those Brits what Thanksgiving is all about. My daughter produced one on "those" birds this year. Lessons learned. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving 2011.
Nov. 26, 2011 11:41 pm
OMGarsh! I just thought of another. (I think I've shared this one, before, too.) I was not a party to this one, but I was a witness! While we were dating, my ex got Crock Sticks knife sharpeners. He loved them! He was "playing with his new toy," and sharpened his mom's kitchen knives, right before Christmas. I don't think he told her. Anyway, she served Christmas dinner with bandaids on several of her fingers, after preparing it with suddenly very sharp knives! She was not pleased! It was one of those stories that was told and laughed over for years after!
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Baking Nana

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Member Since
Aug. 2009

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Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Italian, Healthy, Quick & Easy

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About Me
Every morning my granddaughter calls and says, "Good morning Nana. Whatcha doing? Are you baking Nana?" Hence my name, Baking Nana. I love to bake bread and never get tired of it. Yeast is additive! Visit me at If you would like to contact me directly please use the 'Contact Me' on my site.
My favorite things to cook
I go through phases, Asian for a while then Italian then on to something else. I love experimenting with new flavors and different spices. Some times my husband will ask if we will ever have "ordinary" food again. Once in a while I have to toss him a burger just to keep quite! Actually, he is a good sport and my favorite taste tester.
My favorite family cooking traditions
In our family if it is your birthday you get to choose the menu. We have had some really interesting meals. In March we have 5 birthdays so we do one big party - what a crazy menu that is! Christmas dinner is very traditional. Sausage rolls, Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, gravy, Green beans with bacon, Mashed Potatoes (the really fattening kind) and trifle for dessert. If I were to dare to omit any of those items I would be lynched.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering really great bread is probably my biggest triumph. I am always so pleased when I create a perfect Asian dish.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few but none so horrible that I can't laugh about them now.
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