Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What's your worst Thanksgiving story?

My mother-in-law filled a Hefty bag with raw turkey and Liquid Smoke, and two days later plopped it on the table for Thanksgiving dinner. 25 years later, the memory of that nasty thing still haunts my husband.

One year half the family at my grandmother’s collected some bug that had me and my sister vomiting on the plane ride home Thanksgiving night- my mother thought we had botulism. I remember watching my sleeping sister throwing up in all over the seat and I chalked “Flight Attendant” off my list of possible careers.

One year a windstorm blew into the Seattle area on Thanksgiving morning, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of people around Puget Sound, most of them with the turkey still in the oven. In my family, Thanksgiving dinner happened at lunchtime, so when the storm hit our dinner was already on the table. We ate by Coleman lantern light, and then my dad pulled the battery out of someone’s car ad hooked it up to the TV so that my uncles could watch the football game. My Great Grandmother, Marie, who had just cooked the entire dinner for 20 or so people, came into the room with a slice of pumpkin pie and said, “Turn on General Hospital." My uncles grumbled and whined and threatened to mutiny but we watched GH to see what was happening with Luke and Laura. Everyone- even the grumbly uncles.

So who’s got the best Worst Thanksgiving Ever story? Don't be shy- Thanksgiving is the time for sharing.



Blogger Eric Levin said...

One year we decided to go anti-tradition. I bought a 10-pound lobster. It would not stay on the cutting board. I put on oven mitts and threw it back in the crisper drawer in the fridge.

Then I realized I did not have a pot big enough to cook it in. I ran to K-Mart and bought the biggest cheapest pot I could find--a turkey fryer, ironically.

But it was deep rather than wide. And that big brown monster would barely fit. Finally I had to jam it down into the billowing steam.

This was years before I read about humanely executing a lobster before cooking. So as the head and claws reached the boiling bottom of the pot, the tail starting flapping. Hard.

I slammed on the lid, but with tail extended the lobster was bigger than the pot. I held the lid down with both hands, feeling the tail kick against the metal until at last it weakened and finally stopped.

It also took an ungodly long time to cook. I was used to 10-12 minutes for a 1-pound lobster. This took over an hour, as I recall.

I think I contented myself with mashed potatoes and cauliflower that night.

November 26, 2008 at 6:35 AM  
Blogger lscooks said...

I'm the oldest of six kids, with 5 younger sisters. Family holiday gatherings were always big, fun, and of course loud. The combination of our immediate family, relatives, and the inevitable friends, usually made for a very long table that extended well into the living room.
The most memorable Thanksgiving was the last one that all four of our grandparents attended. Amazing what a couple glasses of wine will do, but I recall all four of them digging more deeply into their past and our Irish and Danish heritage, than we'd ever heard. I learned that we had a lot of seafaring individuals on both sides, that my great grandfather led a party of settlers across the country, briefly landing in Oregon, and ultimately settling in the Sebastopol area in California. Very interesting Welsh background that we never knew about, as well as a tiny amount of native American blood that I've always been proud of. Moments that we'll treasure always. You can't get those back. Enjoy your family and friends, and of course put your soul into your cooking! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

November 26, 2008 at 11:10 AM  

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