Post your Thanksgiving disasters here

Newly married. Visited wife’s favorite sister and BIL for turkey dinner. He was “in charge” of the meal. He stuffed his turkey with bread crumbs, walnuts and fresh cranberries and then over cooked the bird. I thought I’d slipped back in time to Plymouth Colony. Everything was ineatible, except for the mashed potatoes.

Do you have any disaster you could share?


Thanksgiving morning - I had just turned 9 years old* 2 months prior:

My Father woke me and said he needed my help. My Mother had cut herself while attempting to unwrap the turkey. They were going to the hospital to get her stitched up.

First task:
Get cold cereal on the table and wake up my siblings. Supervise the meal and clean up after so the kitchen is ready to begin turkey day preparation. A more bickering bunch of little kids never existed…They refused to recognize my newly found status as temporary parent.

Task two:
Parents arrived home, Mother went to bed since she was woozy from pain meds. I am to assist Dad with cooking the feast. I learned to chop, mix, measure, mash, stuff, blend, baste and more.

In the midst of this our indoor Burmese cat comes to the kitchen and begins a series of mournful howls followed by excited chirps. Eventually we investigate. The cat has begun his Thanksgiving feast early.

Task three:

The gerbil funeral. A shoe box was made suitable for his final resting place. I furnished it with a little pillow I sewed, a cut bit of old towel and some vegetable bits. I swore never to speak to the murderous feline ever again. A hole was dug in the back yard, mourners assembled, words said, tears shed.

Task four:

The meal. Everything seemed to come out just fine! I was tired but had learned the very important secret that the cooks get to nosh on all sorts of wonderful nibbles not available to mere diners.

Task five:

The clean up. Discovered there is a talent for gauging the quantity of leftovers and choosing the appropriate container. I have repeatedly relearned that I am severely lacking in the ability. The trained engineer Father was not particularly pleased by this skipping of the mathematics gene.

By this point my Mother is hovering over us and giving instructions regarding the care of the sterling and fine china. I learned that I detest drying dishes.

Fifty years later this Thanksgiving is still referred to as the Shiva for the gerbil.

  • The deceased had been my birthday gift.

What a day you had! At least the meal itself was fine.


OMG, this reads like a script for a holiday special. I hope that subsequent Thanksgivings have treated you much better!


The ex-wife made a perfect looking pecan pie but there was a problem, she used salt instead of sugar.


Oh no! Hopefully only one person experienced that disappointing bite.

We both tried it and naturally it was inedible.


The only disaster I can think of is when we used one of those foil pans. My husband pulled it out and half of drippings spilled onto the oven floor and smoked the room up. It was 30* out so I opened all the windows up to air out the house and everyone started to complain how cold it was. So shut the windows.
Never made that mistake again with a foil turkey pan😊


They are Satan’s creations.


Then there was that Thanksgiving…

We lived for quite some time with a Siberian Husky that never quite “got” the Alpha Dog and Pack Order parameters required by living in a human household. She found countless ways during her lifetime to assert her perceived leadership; some of them amusing, most of them confounding.

So it was one thanksgiving, a rare occasion when all of the kids could return home, that the dominant dog gene played out. We had a very large bird that year, out of the oven and resting on a sideboard. The family was in the living room raising glasses in a holiday toast, and watching the Detroit Lions fizzle out again.

Dear wife stepped away to return to the kitchen, and in moments we heard an ungodly howl / shreek which prompted us all to rush to her rescue. What we saw was the Husky, standing on her rear legs, front paws on either side if the turkey platter, gnawing on the side of the bird. The dog looked at us all for a fleeting moment, and then doubled down on her chow fest.

Snatching the bird away from her put her in a surly mood, so I had to put her in a time out in another room while we all discussed next steps. (this she countered with yips and howls for quite some time).

We finally decided the bird was big enough without the consumed wing section, that it went to the center of the dinner table, and later was pretty much destroyed by the seven of us.


I laughed out loud!! Thanks!


With a rambunctious dog in our house, I totally relate. You may have also predicted our future. Tomorrow. :joy:


This was the first victim of the Great Gerbil Massacre. It didn’t help that the rodents were suicidal explorers whose life ambition was to escape their quarters. Eventually I was informed that the gerbil section of the pet cemetery was full and there would be no more gerbils in the house.

Are gerbils even a thing any more? They were very popular that year and rather hard to find. Pet stores didn’t have them - you had to find a breeder. I was completely infatuated by them. They don’t do a thing for me now!


When I really started cooking, I was a teenager and my dad had been diagnosed with heart disease.

My mom was buying all kinds of low fat cookbooks which were also the rage at the time along with all kinds of fat free items.

I can’t recall which festive holiday it was but I :

  1. made the mistake of trying a new recipe.
  2. That recipe being a tofu cheesecake.

Fortunately, I was smart enough to taste test it before serving it only to learn that it was completely vile.

I can’t recall what ended up as dessert that night.


One year I thought I would make handmade candles for the holiday table. As I poured the liquid wax into the mold it started to melt. Hot wax quickly covered the kitchen butcher block counter, cabinets below it and carpeted kitchen floor. The carpet melted and had to be cut and a new pc refitted a week later. Circa 1973 carpet. I was scraping wax off the cabinet and counter for hours later after holiday company left and clean up began.

Almost every year for Christmas someone buys me a candle with a note references this incident. I can still see my Mothers expression🤬.


Did you ever try to make candles again? :laughing:

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Outside, sand candles with my sister running the show. :wink:


wow, what a great story. My sister is 18 months older than I am, and we have three younger brothers born in close succession, in NC. Stuff happened, but I’m guessing we bickered a lot more than your sib group did! You had so much responsibility and did so much on that Shiva Thanksgiving. I know I could not have handled all that when I was nine. what a memory, and a fast maturation for you…everything can seem easier after a day like that…

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Since the day was so unusual the memory stayed strong. Plus I seldom had that long of a span of my Father’s company. He did pretty good considering he seldom cooked and wasn’t used to delivering that level of instruction needed for a child.

I’m the eldest of four - with 5 years 2 weeks between me and the youngest. I can’t imagine such brief spaces between births! But back then having a baby once you were past 30 was seen as being a bit unusual. At least in my Mother’s world!


I keep having the image of this run through my mind and I break out laughing! She knew, considered the ramifications and went for it!