Here are my three favorite reader-posted Thanksgiving disasters--congratulations to the winners, and do check out the rest of the stories in the comments section from this post. Winners will receive a copy of Thanksgiving 101.
"When my mother was first married, she naturally wanted to cook a nice thanksgiving dinner for my father. My grandmother (who is a terrible cook) suggested that she put a towel soaked in chicken broth on top of the turkey as it cooked. The towel, a circa 1973 synthetic polyester avocado-green pseudo-fiber, melted into the turkey before catching on fire and driving my parents from their apartment with the smell of melting chemicals.
My father was a grad student at the time and a fellow grad student from Eastern Europe took pity and invited them over for an "American Meal" of spaghetti with ketchup sauce. To cap the day off when they returned home their dog had eaten most of the smelly, green, burned turkey which naturally made him sick for the rest of the week. My mother stopped getting cooking advice from my grandmother and now she is a wonderful cook."
"When I was little we would always have Thanksgiving at my Grandparents old Victorian house. Their old fashioned oven wouldn't fit a large turkey so once a year they would use the old oven in their Mother-In-Law apartment. In 1986, Grandpa did the usual routine and "cooked" the turkey for hours, basting and waiting. After the usual amount of cooking time he brought the turkey upstairs and began carving. To our horror the turkey was still bright, bright pink inside. Turns out, the seldom used oven was broken.
My very stubborn Grandpa insisted that it had cooked for the correct amount of time and was therefore "done". As my uncle chased down his 6 year-old sons who had been given the almost raw drumsticks we were all microwaving the turkey every time Grandpa turned his back. Needless to say, this was the last time we allowed Grandpa to cook the turkey."
"The worst Thankgiving disaster I've had was the year my husband and I were hosting a dinner with friends and co-workers who had to work that day and couldn't attend dinners with family. One friend offered to bring suppies to make frozen daiquiris and try out my new blender. What none of us realized until too late was that he was using 150 proof rum instead of regular and before we knew it we were all feeling pretty woozy.
By the time dinner got to the table none of us was in shape to pass the dishes around and wound up eating whatever was on the table in front of us. If you were sitting with the cauliflower with cheese sauce, that's what you had for dinner!!!"
Over at SF Station is my review of Sotto Mare a funky little seafood bar in North Beach.