My first Thanksgiving away from home was a mixed bag of emotions. I missed being home, gathering with my big Irish family, but on the other hand…it would be fun to help make a meal for my boyfriend and another couple.
I had never cooked a turkey in my life, so I was nervous. I wasn’t even sure which end of the turkey was ‘up’ in the pan. Fortunately my boyfriend had a lot of experience. He helped me pick out the bird, and he made the stuffing too. All I’d have to do was stuff the turkey on Thursday morning, and roast it. Forever. (Good thing I had a meat thermometer, or that meat would still be crisping up in my small oven in Tucson, Arizona.)
The day arrived. All my guests had to work, so it was just me and the turkey. Confident on the positioning of the carcass (it was placed in the pan for me!), I rinsed the bird one more time, and started stuffing it like a pro. I may have even spoken a little French. I felt like a gourmet chef.
Wonderful smells filled the air of my apartment. I checked and basted every hour. I was so proud of myself, I was near tears. As the guests came in with their side dishes, the smiles and sighs were all the reward I needed. I was the Thanksgiving day mom, and the turkey was my prized child.
After all were seated, the turkey masterpiece was carried to the table, browned to perfection. After grace, my BF began spooning stuffing out of the turkey into a waiting bowl, while describing the spices and seasoned bread cubes he had used.
The stuffing was coming out in globs now, with clear strings attached like spider webs. The stringy mess stretched without breaking from carcass to bowl. And it stunk. He was devastated. His delicious, home-cooked recipe somehow morphed into an epic fail.
Then came that fateful question: “Did you take the packet of giblets out of the cavity before you stuffed it?”
The what? I didn’t know there were giblets, much less where the evil turkey processors hid them. The clear strings? They were melted plastic from the giblet bag. Um…”Ooops?”
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about the lesson I learned from a kitchen failure. You can read it here.
Many commenters related to the theme of messing up a recipe, and some shared their own stories of kitchen disasters. So I thought, why not have a little fun with it, and offer a give-away based on our stories? As you just read, I started us off with my turkey story.
I invite you to share your own natural disasters in the kitchen or on the grill. Let’s have a giggle or two! All comments will earn a chance to win a $10 Starbucks gift card. I’ll leave this post up all week, and announce the winner on Sunday. The winner can soothe those feelings of failure in a specialty coffee, tea, or unburned bakery product!
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