Thanksgiving Day Mayhem

True Stories of Dinner Disasters

A few years ago my parents hosted Thanksgiving. My mom was in charge of the turkey and appetizers, but my grandma was bringing everything else for the main meal: mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc. My grandparents live over an hour away. When they got to my parents' house, they realized they left all the food at home! - Sophia Andersen

We had just moved into a new house and were having family over for the holiday. A few days prior to Thanksgiving our boiler broke but couldn't be replaced until after the holiday weekend. We crossed our fingers the boiler would make it through, especially since the weekend was going to have near-record cold temperatures. Mid-way through Thanksgiving dinner, the heat was no longer coming on. The normally warm boiler room was no longer warm. After an initial panic, we realized that somebody had inadvertently switched the boiler to off. Crisis averted, but my husband's stress level didn't recover for the rest of the night! - Maya Porrino

I actually don't have a dinner disaster story. My Aunt Robin is the Queen of Thanksgiving; we're just the lucky beneficiaries. She decorates her whole house in porcelain turkeys - every mantle, ledge, windowsill, etc. is adorned. She has turkey napkin rings and name cards. The crudité is in a turkey shape. She's a gourmet chef who has never once under- or over-cooked a turkey.  The side dishes overflow and are always perfect... then she serves an embarrassment of pies and cakes for dessert and we all roll out of there happy and stuffed.  - Jen Berniker

My mom is the hostess with the mostess. When it comes to hosting big meals, she times everything to perfection. A few years ago I was tasked with preparing the mashed potatoes. Attempting to create the quality of my mother's dish, I mixed and mashed far too long and ended up with potatoes the consistency of paste. Around the table everyone took a bite of my belabored potatoes; there was a big pause followed by hysterical laughter. They were so bad all we could do was laugh!  - Anna Barnes

We were sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner with friends when we heard their Jack Russell terrier, Marlin, barking in the neighbor’s yard. Turns out, Marlin had crawled under the porch to catch a raccoon and got stuck. All ten of us, dressed in good clothes, tried to free Marlin from under the porch. After two hours our friend, Scott, went to his garage, got out his chainsaw and cut a hole in the neighbors porch. - John Videler

A few years ago I hosted Thanksgiving dinner for my family. I had never cooked a turkey before so I didn’t know it had to thaw if it was frozen. We ended up having chicken instead because the turkey wouldn’t have thawed in time for dinner! - Mindy Briar

My family had Thanksgiving with friends who lived on a small “farm.” They stored rice in their barn which they cooked to serve with dinner. When the rice was passed to us we noticed some of the grains had small black eyes. We didn’t eat much after that. - Robin Moyer Chung

I have a very large family so every year our Thanksgiving meal table spread is huge. One year at my uncle's house, the beautiful, perfectly-cooked turkey was placed down on his dining table. The turkey was so large and heavy, the marble tabletop cracked in half and all of the food fell to the floor! - Marisa MacLean

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