Thanksgiving Mishaps and Miracle(s)

Hope all those who celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday enjoyed their day as much as I did. My brother’s family (four kids ranging in age from seven to two) and my mom joined me, my husband and boys for a wonderful meal and a lot of fun.

 So, I’ve been married over fourteen years and have had Thanksgiving at my home thirteen times. (That fire I blogged about a while back pre-empted last year.) That translates into thirteen successfully cooked turkeys, right?

 Almost not so this time. Allow me to share…

 1. My husband brought home a twenty-nine pound bird which I wasn’t sure would even fit in my oven. Luckily, it did, but not much else could. (What can I say? Hubby’s a Leo. They’re known for doing things on the grand scale. Good thing his mom had recently given us a counter-top multi-function broiler-oven unit. That thing saved the side-dishes’ day.)

 2. A quick glance at the cooking times suggested roasting this thing close to seven hours. No biggie—until I realize the directions stopped at the twenty-four-pound mark. (Oh, and I’d already scheduled everything around a two-o’clock dinner time after putting the bird in at 6:45 AM. Good thing my mom brought those appetizers.)

 3. Of course this huge critter’s foil pan needed to be supported underneath, so I placed a baking sheet under it—with a plastic market bag under it to keep raw turkey juices off the counter. Found out, oh, about three hours into cooking I’d forgotten to take it out. (By some miracle, nothing smelled so I replaced the baking sheet and tossed the one now coated with melted plastic out. What else could I do at 10:30?)

 4. A while later, I hear way too much sizzling coming from the oven—lots of smoke, too. This bird’s drippings are too much for the roasting pan to contain, so…hubby lifts Tom out, we suction as much as we can with my dollar-store baster, have a good laugh and put that monster back in the oven along with a few sweet potatoes. (I piled them on the side of the bird, against the oven wall.)

5. Fast forward ninety minutes after that: never turned on the oven after mishap #4. (Turn the oven up another 50 degrees and pray no one ends up with salmonella.)

 Somehow, it all came together. My kids, ages thirteen and eleven this month, adore their little cousins, and kept them entertained on the trampoline or with video games until dinner was ready—by 3:30. Not bad, right? My mom and my brother did the Italian drive-each-other-nuts thing that everyone else ignores or makes fun of in the other room.  My very fun sister-in-law made my day by gushing about the ‘flow’ of my downstairs ‘decor;’ the turkey turned out incredibly moist, tender and delicious; my stuffing got its usual raves—recipe at my website (—and did I mention? I forgot to put one of the basket parts into the coffee maker. Did that once before and ended up with steaming brown liquid all over the counter. Not yesterday.

 Now it’s your turn to share! Leave a comment the rest of us can enjoy!