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  #1  
Old 11-15-2012, 09:44 AM
Taomist Taomist is offline
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Your Thanksgiving Stories, Anectodates and Silly Stuff (SASS)

Turkey Day! So named because I was born then. Really, it's all my fault!

Any Thanksgiving memories, traditions, reminiscenses, wierdnesses?

-Though my name means 'Christmas', I was born on Thanksgiving; my dad was supposedly hunting deer at the time, but I have a suspicion there's more to that story.

-Thanksgiving was often at my grandma's house, with turky AND ham AND potato pancakes AND peach/apple/whatever pies; her crusts always fell apart but were soooo good to eat.

-I have yet to host a Thanksgiving at my own house; once, in college, my roommates folks came down for the weekend, and I thought we would do it then, but my roomate said "Nope; we go to the movies on Thanksgiving!" That was the first time I had heard of that kind of tradition, and thought it was weird. But it was fun!

-When I was 16, we'd been in our new house after a huge move for only a day or two. My birthday was the day before Thanksgiving that year, and I'd been in bed with a serious flu the whole time. So on Thanksgiving, when I was feeling better, we pretended THAT was my birthday and had cake and stuff then. Which I promptly threw up all over the place.
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  #2  
Old 11-15-2012, 09:54 AM
tdn tdn is offline
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A few years ago I met someone of Middle Eastern descent. They usually had TDay dinner with her family, where they had traditional Middle Eastern foods plus a roast turkey.

One year she had dinner with her husband's family. She was amazed at the stuffing. It was the best part of the meal! She didn't know anything could taste like that.

As it turns out, in her own family, they just put a few pieces of bread in the turkey's cavity, because that's just what you're supoosed to do.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:56 AM
Minnie Luna Minnie Luna is offline
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I had my wisdom teeth removed the day before Thanksgiving one year. Lucky me, all the mashed potatoes I could gum!
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:03 AM
FairyChatMom FairyChatMom is offline
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My grandmother hosted Thanksgiving in my youth, then my mother took over and does it till this day. Most of our dishes are pretty traditional, but there's one that I've never seen anywhere else.

You peel sweet potatoes and boil them till they're cooked thru. Then you slice them into 1/2" (or so) thick hocky pucks. These are fried in butter till they've got a black crust on the outside.

Apparently they have to be burnt. Personally, I don't like them, but my mom and a couple of my sisters inhale them. My grandparents loved them, too. I'd prefer a baked sweet tater, especially instead of the marshmallow topped version - that's waaaaaaay too sweet for me.

I did turkey dinner a few times, but our house is too small for a big gathering. So I bake the pies and take them to Mom's. Which reminds me - I need to make sure I've got pie makin's...
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:16 AM
swampbear swampbear is offline
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No weird Turkey Day stories but my next to oldest brother was also born on Thanksgiving. We refer to it as the year mom had a turkey for Thanksgiving.
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  #6  
Old 11-15-2012, 10:22 AM
tdn tdn is offline
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Originally Posted by FairyChatMom View Post
I did turkey dinner a few times, but our house is too small for a big gathering. So I bake the pies and take them to Mom's. Which reminds me - I need to make sure I've got pie makin's...
I can do everything in my apartment for a tiny gathering, but it's a pain.

I used to cook for an ex. Since her apartment was right down the hall from mine, it was pretty easy. I'd go over to her place in the morning and make the stuffing, then stuff the stuffing into the bird, then stuff the stuffed bird into her oven.

Then I'd go back to my place and make everything else. Since I had a probe thermometer with a remote monitor, I could watch the turkey cook from my apartment.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:30 AM
DMark DMark is offline
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Hated Thanksgiving as a kid - we had to go to my paternal grandparents' house...loved them but loathed my Aunt and Uncle and their three obnoxious kids. My aunt could only speak in a VERY LOUD voice and she never shut up; my uncle was the worst of the right wing nut jobs and pontificated at every dinner; they would watch one football game after another after another, all day; the TV had to be up full volume to drown out the voice of my aunt. Let's just say it was 10 hours of sheer agony.

Now I make the dinner at home. I buy the biggest turkey that can fit in the trunk of my car, even though there are only two of us. It is the same amount of effort (none really) to make a huge turkey versus a smaller one. Slap it in the oven and leave it alone! (Don't bother basting it - useless and needless.) All leftovers freeze quite nicely, and use the remains to make a big pot of broth to be used for countless recipes. Side dishes can be semi-prepared in advance and tossed into the oven when you take the turkey out and let it sit before carving.

Never understood the problem people have making Thanksgiving dinner - I have it down to a science and can (literally) do it half asleep. Plus, pound for pound there is nothing cheaper than a turkey at Thanksgiving - so this huge dinner costs less than any other big Sunday dinner, by far.

Oh - I do remember doing Thanksgiving dinner in Berlin once, and an American woman and I made two pumpkin pies - from scratch (using real pumpkins). Trust me, I will NEVER do that again! Took forever to make and the guests wolfed it down in about 2 minutes.

Last edited by DMark; 11-15-2012 at 11:33 AM..
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  #8  
Old 11-15-2012, 11:48 AM
lorene lorene is offline
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I have never had the sweet potato-marshmallow thing that people talk about OR the green bean casserole. True story.

I love cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Unfortunately, my mother really wants to host it at her house this year, and we're not going to be around on Christmas, so I owe her a holiday.

<types out hugely long post about how much the last 2 Thanksgivings have sucked. Deletes>

Taomist, what do you mean when you say that you think there was something more to the story than that your dad was deer hunting?
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  #9  
Old 11-15-2012, 01:49 PM
Sister Vigilante Sister Vigilante is offline
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Thanksgiving and Christmas are amazingly the only times my entire extended family can get together and be nice and friendly and have fun together. It's the rest of the year we all hate each other.

I used to host Thanksgiving after my mom quit doing it and after a Thanksgiving "dinner" of hibachi Japanese, I decided "eff this, I want effing TURKEY and STUFFING for Thanksgiving."

That worked out for a while, but it became a pain eventually. I was without holiday time the past two years and it's hard to come home from work and clean your ass off every night till Thursday and then host 15 people for a day. And then clean it all up. Plus, and I've told this here before, but I have an annoying aunt who liked to act helpless and clueless because she was allowed to now that she was old. (Unfortunately, she fulfilled her own prophesy by actually becoming helpless and clueless since then, but that's another story.)

Anyway, some of the things she would do while at my house for Thanksgiving:
  • snoop around upstairs (when she could navigate steps)
  • glance at me from across a crowded kitchen and remark on how much weight I'd gained, and ask me to lift my shirt up so she could see my belly
  • run her fingers along a piece of the oven I'd neglected to clean, asking, "doesn't this come off?..... why yes, it does." (Note: this aunt formerly lived in a mixed state of hoarding and squalor, but wasn't as bad as any of those you see on TV - just enough that when her landline died, rather than call someone out to repair it, she just switched to a cell phone which she never charges)
  • bring a huge mac 'n' cheese thing she'd gotten from the store that needed 40 minutes to cook... while everything else was already ready to eat
  • literally the instant we sat down to eat, she gets up and putters around the kitchen because she suddenly decides she wants coffee now, with her dinner, and can't find the coffee, the filters, or work the damn coffee machine. I ignored her for about 15 minutes but she JUST WOULDN'T SIT BACK DOWN so I had to leave my plate and fix her damn coffee. Every year after that, I made sure to have coffee ready for her. She NEVER EVER drank any again.

This year, none of us is having Thanksgiving together. Mister V and I will make our own small Thanksgiving by ourselves.

Last edited by Sister Vigilante; 11-15-2012 at 01:53 PM..
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  #10  
Old 11-15-2012, 01:58 PM
Sister Vigilante Sister Vigilante is offline
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Originally Posted by Sister Vigilante View Post
This year, none of us is having Thanksgiving together. Mister V and I will make our own small Thanksgiving by ourselves.
Oh, and our dog. AND HER DOG, which we are going to adopt if the two get along.
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  #11  
Old 11-15-2012, 02:20 PM
tdn tdn is offline
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Sister Vigilante, your aunt sounds... colorful!

This year I'm spending it with some friends and some strangers. There are a few rules. The only ones I can remember are 1) No football, and 2) No relatives. But one guest might be bringing her aunt, who apparently 1) is the nicest person in the world, and 2) talks incessantly.
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  #12  
Old 11-15-2012, 02:31 PM
sitchensis sitchensis is offline
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My Great Grandma was a cook for a large fraternal club. I believe it was the Eagles but it could have been the Moose or something. Because of this all our family recipes are scaled for a commercial kitchen. We don’t do stuffing, we do dressing, and the recipe will fill a 6 inch deep commercial kitchen pan. It takes four pounds of country sausage. I love it so much I could eat just turkey, dressing and gravy for Thanksgiving and be happy.
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:39 PM
Voyager Voyager is online now
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A couple of years ago we in the Bay Area wanted to give our old car to our daughter and her husband who live in NJ. It was late in the year, so we decided to do it over Thanksgiving week. We drove the car to St. Louis - perfect weather. They flew in from NJ. We rented Marriott suites hotel room, with two stories and a full kitchen. She froze a complete Thanksgiving dinner, packed it into a suitcase, and flew it to St. Louis. (It so got opened by TSA.) They arrive Wednesday evening, took everything out to defrost, and we had an excellent Thanksgiving dinner. The put the leftovers in a cooler we brought with us, and on Friday they drove to the airport and departed for home.

The whole scheme worked perfectly.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:06 PM
Dung Beetle Dung Beetle is offline
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One Thanksgiving when I was in my teens, I was dreading the family get-together because I was trying to hide a couple of hickeys. I kept my collar turned up all day, and felt I had gotten away with it until we sat down to dinner and my Uncle David wound up the blessing with, “And dear Lord, please heal Julie’s neck…”

Also, I am famous for contributing this to the family meal one year: Circus Peanut Gelatin. I saw the recipe and it was so nasty I couldn’t resist.
The next year I brought a cat litter cake. Ever since, whatever I bring to Thanksgiving dinner is approached with utmost caution.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:07 PM
Taomist Taomist is offline
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Originally Posted by lorene View Post
Taomist, what do you mean when you say that you think there was something more to the story than that your dad was deer hunting?
I actually do not know, but will have to ask him. He's begun talking to me like an adult now; only took 47 years!

But you know how parents can tell when kids are lying? Yeah...kids can tell when parents are lying, too. And they've told other fibs along the way, for good reasons, (Like..."We got married on your mom's birthday!" when in reality they didn't get married until the 4th kid was born) but still, you can tell when something's not being said. I don't think he was cheating or anything, but I suspect the hunting trip may have been more an excuse to sit in the woods and drink beer or something; all I know is my mom was PISSED that she had to drive herself 50 miles to the hospital; I was her first kid, her water had already broken, and apparantly I was crowning as she pulled up to the door. She is a fast birther
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:41 PM
tdn tdn is offline
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Originally Posted by Dung Beetle View Post
Also, I am famous for contributing this to the family meal one year: Circus Peanut Gelatin. I saw the recipe and it was so nasty I couldn’t resist.
The next year I brought a cat litter cake
That is seriously sick and disturbing.

Circus Peanuts?!?
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  #17  
Old 11-15-2012, 04:39 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is online now
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Back in about 1983 I was deployed to Japan as the number two guy with a team of Seabees. As Thanksgiving approached, I though it would be a nice thing to prepare a traditional dinner instead of eating in the chow hall. Being unable to cook in the barracks, I opted to do it in our warehouse instead. So we managed, in good Seabee tradition, to steal a stove from the local base housing people, and a kettle barbecue from behind the officers' quarters.

I made the mistake of thinking it wouldn't be a problem to pick up a turkey at the commissary the day before, and was shocked to find none in evidence when my buddy and I went to pick one up, along with a ham on that Wednesday. The ham was no problem, but. . .no birds. It was too late to cancel, so we raced back to the office and looked in the military base directory for the Yokota AFB commissary. Yep, they had plenty, but they were closing at 2:00 pm. My watch said it was about 11:00.

If you've ever driven anywhere in the Tokyo region, and by "anywhere" I mean within about 50 miles, traffic is horrendous. The distance between the two bases is only about 40 miles IIRC, but it always took at least two hours to get there. We jumped in the truck and took off, but within about five miles we were slowed to a crawl. We finally got to the Yokota main gate at about 1:45 and slid into the commissary parking lot at five to two. Success!

The warehouse was drafty (and smoky after I got done), but the meal came out great and everybody seemed to enjoy it. I made the mistake of making sure everybody else got served first and ended up with no meat on my plate, but the taters and gravy were sure good.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:52 PM
cwthree cwthree is offline
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Originally Posted by Minnie Luna View Post
I had my wisdom teeth removed the day before Thanksgiving one year. Lucky me, all the mashed potatoes I could gum!
I feel your pain. My orthodontist chose the day before Thanksgiving to do a major adjustment of my braces. I couldn't chew a damn thing.

On the brighter side, one of the best pies I've ever eaten was at Thanksgiving a couple of years ago. It was a double-crust blueberry-apple pie made with wild blueberries, sugar on the top crust, and much enthusiasm.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:21 PM
ioioio ioioio is offline
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A couple of years ago I had a medical procedure the day before Thanksgiving. My sister came to stay with me. On Thanksgiving, we were up for eating but not for cooking, and the only place open nearby was IHOP.

It so happened that I had a favorite IHOP waiter, whom I’d wanted my sister to experience. He was fabulously flaming, along with being a great waiter and very funny. He was not happy about being forced to work on Thanksgiving, but Sis and I got his full attention since we were the only customers in the restaurant at the time. (IHOP is traditionally open on T-day, but has no special menu for the day . . . and then refuses to accept the 2-for-1 coupons because it’s a holiday.)

We overheard our waiter excitedly telling a coworker that someone had left him a $20 tip earlier in the day. So Sis and I left him a $20 as well.

Fabulous Waiter disappeared from IHOP shortly thereafter. I hope he’s doing well wherever he’s gone. He turned a pretty yukky holiday into a fun experience for me.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:49 PM
Yllaria Yllaria is offline
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Originally Posted by Sister Vigilante View Post
. . . Every year after that, I made sure to have coffee ready for her. She NEVER EVER drank any again. . .
Huh. Prophylactic coffee.

------------

The year after high school, my oldest son worked at Jack in the Box, and he was scheduled as the team leader for Thanksgiving day. I told him that if he liked, I could bring in a turkey dinner for him.

When he said sure, I swung into action, ready to bring the whole spread. His younger brothers thought it was a cool idea and pitched in. At the expected time, the three of us trooped in with a whole turkey on a platter and everything else in casseroles in a couple of boxes.

He was pleased and touched. He especially liked being able to wave me to the back to set it up so that the rest of his crew could have some. There were more people in line than I would have expected for Thanksgiving, possibly because they were the only fast food place in town open. A couple of the folks in line tried to claim that we had to share with everyone.

We set things up and then scooted, to be out of the way. We had a second turkey at home for those of us not working.
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  #21  
Old 11-15-2012, 08:39 PM
melondeca melondeca is offline
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Originally Posted by Dung Beetle View Post
Also, I am famous for contributing this to the family meal one year: Circus Peanut Gelatin. I saw the recipe and it was so nasty I couldn’t resist.
That sounds absolutely vile...I can't wait to make it for Thanksgiving.
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  #22  
Old 11-15-2012, 08:43 PM
doctor krieger doctor krieger is offline
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Thanksgiving at my house is always a mess. My parents invite people from both sides of the family. My mom's side is almost all in AA. My dad's side of the family all should be. Hilarity does not ensue.
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  #23  
Old 11-15-2012, 09:54 PM
flatlined flatlined is offline
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Do you know how you are supposed to let the turkey "rest" after cooking? And do you know that cats love turkey?

The first time that I had a home of my own and I cooked a turkey, I put it on the top of the stove to cool down, had friends over, happy times...until Fred jumped on the counter and burnt his kitty lips while trying to get a bite of hot turkey.

We heard him scream, laughed and then cut his bite mark out and tossed it away. Ate the rest.

It wasn't until the next day that I realized that Fred had actually hurt himself because his mouth was all swollen. Anyone want to know how that vet visit went?
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  #24  
Old 11-15-2012, 10:30 PM
FlyByNight512 FlyByNight512 is offline
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Mom was PISSED that she had to drive herself 50 miles to the hospital; I was her first kid, her water had already broken, and apparantly I was crowning as she pulled up to the door. She is a fast birther
Good grief! I've heard plenty of giving-birth-in-the-car stories, but never one where the woman was also driving! Did they even get her inside, or were you born in the parking lot?

My family's Thanksgivings are pretty tame. This'll be the first without my grandfather, he passed away in July. He was 92 and very, very ready to go, but he'll be missed anyway. He was pretty far gone mentally - fortunately the happy part of his personality won out, and everything was WONDERFUL all the time. Especially food. It was DELICIOUS, always. He also developed a bad habit of snatching food off the serving dishes with his fingers. There's going to be a hole at the table this year. I think his role could be filled perfectly by a big, overly friendly labrador retriever, but somehow the rest of my family isn't on board with that.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:22 PM
AWB AWB is offline
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Well, since being married, we've done a variety of "traditions": inviting the to-be in-laws, pot luck with friends, invited to friends', dinner at restaurant that has Thanksgiving buffet.

My favorite pre-marriage tradition: I used to live across a highway from a strip club in Arlington, VA. The owner set up a quite-affordable Thanksgiving buffet, and turn on every TV (10 of them) to every possible football game being played that day. And then at 6PM, out came the usual entertainers.
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  #26  
Old 11-16-2012, 12:24 AM
Taomist Taomist is offline
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Originally Posted by FlyByNight512 View Post
Good grief! I've heard plenty of giving-birth-in-the-car stories, but never one where the woman was also driving! Did they even get her inside, or were you born in the parking lot?
.
I was inside on a gurney, and I believe they got her into a room.
She had similar experiences with my brothers; one was born in the bathroom, after they didn't believe her when she told them 'This isn't gonna take long', and the other was born in the hallway, on a gurney, literally squirting out with the doctor barely catching him. I saw the movie Big Fish and swear that part of the movie was about him.

Last edited by Taomist; 11-16-2012 at 12:25 AM..
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  #27  
Old 11-16-2012, 09:47 AM
August West August West is offline
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Back in about 1983 I was deployed to Japan as the number two guy with a team of Seabees. As Thanksgiving approached, I though it would be a nice thing to prepare a traditional dinner instead of eating in the chow hall. Being unable to cook in the barracks, I opted to do it in our warehouse instead. So we managed, in good Seabee tradition, to steal a stove from the local base housing people, and a kettle barbecue from behind the officers' quarters...
Ahem, I believe the verb you're looking for is "appropriate", we Seabees never "steal"!

My story is from 5 years ago. We had raised our first small flock of heritage-breed turkeys and I saved the biggest one for our feast, the first time we were hosting the entire extended family and some friends.

The turkey was so big I had to cook it on the grill, but it worked out beautifully! Great looking crispy skin, perfectly cooked in every way.

Luckily for me I decided to carve the bird in the kitchen and serve it "buffet-style" on a giant platter, because when I began carving I found that in my inexperience in butchering turkeys, I had left the crop in place. A giant sac full of turkey feed, corn, and for some reason, straw. (Why would the turkey eat straw? I have no idea). I tasted a slice of breast meat from nearby and it didn't seem to have affected the flavor, so I sliced out the crop and whisked it into the garbage before anyone else noticed.
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  #28  
Old 11-16-2012, 10:01 AM
Dano83860 Dano83860 is offline
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I can't remember a Thanksgiving with my inlaws where my MIL didn't forget about the yams and set fire to the marshmallows.

Wife says its tradition.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:48 AM
Mama Zappa Mama Zappa is offline
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Our first Thanksgiving as newlyweds, we were living an 8-10 hour drive from the nearest family - and on the wrong side of the DC/Baltimore area (so driving there would have SUCKED). So we decided to host for friends at our little apartment.

While we were doing kitchen stuff in the early afternoon, we heard a couple of shouts from the folks across the hall. Later on, they dropped by for wine and told us what had happened: one of the burners on their electric stove had basically exploded, sending sparks. No fire ensured, fortunately, but when they got over their shock, they saw a **chunk** missing from the ceramic coil.

Later that day, we were boiling a pot of potatoes, when
BANG
sparksparksparksparksparksparksparksparksparksparksparksparksparksparkspark

I remember jumping and shrieking - then I lifted the pot and sure enough, a chunk was missing from the coil. Yes, the **exact same thing** happened to us that had happened to the neighbors a couple hours earlier. There were bits of potato burned onto the inside bottom of the pot, presumably the part directly above the burner's failure point.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:44 PM
Clothahump Clothahump is offline
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Thanksgiving 1983.

I was working overseas at the time and was in Sydney, Australia. One of the Aussie ladies I worked with decided she was going to do a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for all the Americans. She did a great job; it was like being back home.

The nicest part was that she and I started flirting with each other and as everyone was leaving, she asked me to stay for dessert.
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:04 PM
DMark DMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Clothahump View Post
Thanksgiving 1983.

The nicest part was that she and I started flirting with each other and as everyone was leaving, she asked me to stay for dessert.
So, uh, how was the stuffing?

(Come on, someone had to ask...)
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:31 PM
Sahirrnee Sahirrnee is offline
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Originally Posted by Minnie Luna View Post
I had my wisdom teeth removed the day before Thanksgiving one year. Lucky me, all the mashed potatoes I could gum!
I had my tonsils out the say before Thanksgiving, I didn't have sick leave yet at my new job so I had them out for the 4 day weekend.
It sucks to have all that good food in front of you and it's too painful to eat.
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  #33  
Old 11-16-2012, 01:38 PM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Originally Posted by August West View Post
Ahem, I believe the verb you're looking for is "appropriate", we Seabees never "steal"!
.
"requisition"

My silly story - mrAru, being Navy at the time, would always bring home a couple guys for the various holidays so they wouldn't be stuck in barracks [single guys or geographic bachelors] so one crisp Thanksgiving morning Gil's truck rolls up with another guy inside with him. In they come, NewGuy with a six pack of a decent beer, Gil with some assorted chips and dip. Bright and cheerful, mrAru annpunces 'Great, Let's get the turkey ready!' and off they go, outside. They corral the turkey after a brief chase and off goes the head. Upside down by the feets they hang the poor not so little bird [44 pounds. Sucker was over a year and a half old. they get *big*] to drain the blood, and let the 85 gallon overpack drum finish heating the water to get ready to scald and pluck. There was absolutely no way that we would have been able to use the usual 5 gallon pot to scald with!

So, NewGuy - looking rather green around the gills decides to hole up in the house and do KP with me on the rest of the side dishes, so I plunk him in front of a football game to peel apples, potatoes, sweet potatoes and snap beans ...

Gil had mentioned 'fresh turkey' [as in not previously frozen] but he didn't mention *how* fresh the bird was going to be! NewGuy was a city kid, to him all meat came in little plastic trays from the freezer or meat departments!

I will add that Giblet [why yes, we do name the animals. My very tasty sheep were named Opal and Lambchop.] was so large we had to remove the shelves from the sliders and balance the one used on bricks set in the bottom of the oven, and mrAru had to make a roasting pan because we didn't have one large enough. Giblet filled the oven almost to touching the sides and the elements. Very tasty - one of our better thanksgiving birds!
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  #34  
Old 11-16-2012, 02:15 PM
August West August West is offline
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Originally Posted by aruvqan View Post
I will add that Giblet [why yes, we do name the animals. My very tasty sheep were named Opal and Lambchop.] was so large we had to remove the shelves from the sliders and balance the one used on bricks set in the bottom of the oven, and mrAru had to make a roasting pan because we didn't have one large enough. Giblet filled the oven almost to touching the sides and the elements. Very tasty - one of our better thanksgiving birds!
The turkey in my story above was named "Smarty Jones".

We've also had pigs over the years named Breakfast, Lunch, Maple, Apple, Hickory, Loin, Shoulder, Ham, and Belly.
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:15 PM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
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My inlaws had a 40-ish pound turkey one year as well, fresh-butchered, and too big to fit in the oven normally. We ended up taking out all of the shelves and putting a muffin pan in the bottom of the oven to support the pan and keep from crushing the electric heating element.

An inlaw changes her eating habits wildly and without notice; one cookout she asked me if my vegetarian sausages were also gluten-free and soy-free. Obviously not. She ate chicken sausage instead. I'm making a gluten-free cake for a relative with celiac disease, and I plan to use a recipe that's also vegan and soy-free. With my luck, the "refined" (brown) sugar will cause it to be snubbed by the fly-by-night "dieter."
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:04 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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If you live long enough, you'll have lots of Thanksgiving stories.

Way back in 1950 (I was 5), we were expecting a large number of people. My mother had a ginormous turkey that barely fit in the oven, and she had been in the kitchen all week, preparing all the "trimmings." But Mother Nature stepped in and, beginning the night before, a huge blizzard took place. by morning it was still snowing, and one by one the guests called to cancel. By the time it stopped snowing everything had many feet of snow, and I remember looking out the second-floor windows, and it looked like I was on the first floor. At first everyone was trapped in their homes, but gradually over the weekend, people dug themselves (and their neighbors) out. The street was plowed many times, and by the time it was cleared there were huge mountains of snow on either side. So all the kids were sliding down into the street (there was virtually no traffic). But the thing I remember most: We had this huge Thanksgiving dinner all to ourselves. I swear that's all we ate for a month. And all our would-be guests were at home, starving.

Another year, my brother and I had been fighting over who'd get the turkey's tail. But as soon as it was served, some woman grabbed the tail for herself. I don't even know who she was, but my brother and I were pissed . . . especially since the bitch never ate it.

Another Thanksgiving, My aunt was in the hospital giving birth, while her other kids were having Thanksgiving dinner with us.

Another Thanksgiving, I was volunteering at a suicide/crisis intervention hotline with two other counselors, and as usual, all the married people were home, celebrating with their families, while we singles were filling in. We had just started to bitch about missing dinner, when a caterer showed up with a ginormous holiday dinner for us, and eventually a local soup kitchen. We never found out who sent it.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:24 PM
Seanette Seanette is offline
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Quick tip: if you use oven bags for turkey roasting (which I highly recommend. No, the skin doesn't get picture-pretty, but the meat is wonderful), do not also cover your roasting pan. One year, I nearly served turkey sashimi as a result of this mistake.
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:00 AM
Iggy Iggy is offline
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Mom always made homemade pies fro T-Day, taking particular pride in her made-from-scratch pie crusts. She scaled her pie crust recipe to make either 5 or 20 crusts. She felt 5 was too few so it was always about 15-18 pies by the time she used a second crust to top a few apple pies. The minor problem from my point of view... I HATE pie.

I went to college quite far from home and one year stayed on campus. A friend invited me to a nice T-Day dinner with his family and his dad kept pointing out their traditions. After dinner we settled into the living room as dad explained they always watched a tape (VHS) of It's a Wonderful Life to start the Christmas season. Dad then spent the next five minutes fighting with the cellophane wrapping of the never-before-watched tape.

Another year and T-Day at a different friend's home the cooking was going well. My friend started to pull the turkey from the oven and the flimsy aluminum roasting pan started to buckle. Hot drippings spilled from the pan and an instant grease fire erupted. I doused the flames with the closet thing that would work - a jar of salt. It put out the fire and ruined the turkey.

Years later I traveled to Colombia over the T-Day holiday and it was the big meet-the-soon-to-be-inlaws trip. I planned to cook a full American Thanksgiving spread.... and then the reality of poverty and the effects that has on a Colombian kitchen ended that plan. No one in the entire neighborhood owned an oven. La novia's familia cooked for a family of 12 on a two burner cooktop but I could not figure out a way to cook a turkey given what was available.
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Old 11-17-2012, 05:26 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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Less than 2 months after getting married we were invited to my parent's house for Thanksgiving. My mother told my wife that she planned to have dinner at 2:00 in the afternoon. We lived in New York then, about 3 hours away. At 11:00AM Mighty Joe Young was playing on the TV and I intended to watch it. My wife began to get nervous since I hadn't bothered to shower or get dressed yet. The movie final ended and it started snowing outside. It was already 1:00 and I got dressed and ready to go, but then insisted on eating something before we hit the road. She was going crazy. I told her to relax there wouldn't be a problem but she was freaking out about being late and driving in the snow. We drove down to Philadelphia without problem, the snow wasn't that bad, arriving around 5:00. My wife was tearing her hair out worried to death about showing up late with the dinner already over. This was the dark ages and there were no cell phones so she had no way to tell my mother we would be late and I refused to stop and find a pay phone on the way. I was also messing with her. When we arrived my mother said "Oh hi, your'e here. Dinner will be ready soon". I knew this would happen. My mother couldn't get an ordinary meal out on the table on time much less a Thanksgiving dinner. My wife's mother and sister had been invited also and showed up at 2:00, and they were starving. We finally ate around 7:00 that eveniing.
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  #40  
Old 11-17-2012, 05:29 AM
FairyChatMom FairyChatMom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferret Herder View Post
An inlaw changes her eating habits wildly and without notice; one cookout she asked me if my vegetarian sausages were also gluten-free and soy-free. Obviously not. She ate chicken sausage instead. I'm making a gluten-free cake for a relative with celiac disease, and I plan to use a recipe that's also vegan and soy-free. With my luck, the "refined" (brown) sugar will cause it to be snubbed by the fly-by-night "dieter."
In cases like this, I'd probably be inclined to lie. I'd never try it with someone I either didn't know or someone who truly had food allergies or other issues, but randomly picky eaters make me crazy. One of my sisters is like that. She asked me once if I put onions in a certain dish. I lied. She ate it. She liked it. She suffered no ill effects. But if told her about it today, over 30 years later, she'd retroactively start to puke.

I have no patience with food drama.

Back on topic, a gazillion years ago when I was a kid and my grandmother was still having turkey at her house, part of the entertainment was my grandfather, his two brothers, and his two sons, along with my dad, drinking and bragging about all sorts of stuff. One uncle claimed credit for something to do with the manufacture of horse shoes - it might have been true, but it seemed really random to me. I also recall that the more they drank, the louder they got.

And how could I forget this gem: about 3 years ago, my youngest sister was offering everyone at the table $5 if they'd drink the pitcher of gravy. I'm thinking alcohol was involved in that also. No one took her up on her offer, but every year, she tries again.
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  #41  
Old 11-17-2012, 06:54 AM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FairyChatMom View Post
In cases like this, I'd probably be inclined to lie. I'd never try it with someone I either didn't know or someone who truly had food allergies or other issues, but randomly picky eaters make me crazy. One of my sisters is like that. She asked me once if I put onions in a certain dish. I lied. She ate it. She liked it. She suffered no ill effects. But if told her about it today, over 30 years later, she'd retroactively start to puke.

I have no patience with food drama.
It is drama, too. I've been a vegetarian for 20 years, for a variety of reasons. She's just trying on the "diet of the week" and is skinny as a rail. She eats all types of food at other times. (My WAG: Since it's Thanksgiving, all non-health-issue diets will be forgotten about.)

Thanksgiving mishaps:

Getting a ~27-ish pound turkey and realizing it would present issues in fitting it in the brining bucket (just barely fit diameter-wise), and only when it came time to flip the turkey halfway through roasting did I really appreciate how tough that would be to do with such a big bird. Plus it hung out over the sides of the roasting pan somewhat, so I had to use foil as a baffle to keep drippings in.

Another time, we had a warmer-than-expected evening (mid-40s+) and I couldn't keep the turkey cold enough on the enclosed-but-uninsulated back porch for brining. I had to throw on a jacket and go out after 10 pm - in my sweats - to a nearby gas station to buy ice.

Last edited by Ferret Herder; 11-17-2012 at 06:55 AM..
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  #42  
Old 11-17-2012, 09:03 AM
PapSett PapSett is offline
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Not a happy, funny story, but a Thanksgiving I will never forget.

It was 1978, my first Thanksgiving as a horse owner. I had him boarded at a stable owned by an equine veterinarian. My family had out dinner early in the day, and after, I made my horse up a special treat of cereal, cut up apples & carrots and molassass. I spent time with him, playing in the arena, grooming him, and just being thankful for him. Then the vet came out and asked if I would mind helping him for a moment. I followed him to one of the 'hospital stalls'.

In it was a beautiful yearling Thoroughbred filly with a seemingly minor cut on her forehead. But she was down in the stall, drenched in sweat and convulsing. See... her owners had thought giving her a tetnus shot was unnecessary, so they saved the ten bucks and didn't give it. She had cut her head, and tetnus had indeed set in.

She was dying.

And they would not allow my vet to euthanise her because she was insured, and statistically, there is a 15% recovery, so if she was euthed while there was still a 'chance', they would not get their insurance pay-out.

For the next hour or so, I did what I could to help, handing him what he needed, putting fresh shavings around her to absorb her sweat and just listening to Greg (my vet) talk about what a waste it was and how he wished he could end her suffering.

I will never, never forget how when she convulsed, her neck bent backward, over her back, at a seemingly impossible angle.

Before I went home, I went back to Star's stall and I cried on his neck, and swore I would NEVER skimp on that tetnus shot. Never did, either. That was also theday that I decided there was not enough money in the world to make me become a vet. Love of animals is not enough; you also have to deal with their owners, and you are not allowed to slap sense into them.
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  #43  
Old 11-17-2012, 01:57 PM
Dr. Girlfriend Dr. Girlfriend is offline
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My dad was born on Thanksgiving. He hated turkey with a passion, Mom would say that it was because it would be cannibalism if he ate it.

We used to have Thanksgiving dinner at my paternal grandparents' house. My grandpa's sister and her two daughters would come for dinner, it was about the only time we ever saw them.

The youngest daughter was a bit "friendly" with the local hockey team. One year we all sat down for dinner and "Laurie" announced she was pregnant. "I don't know who the father is," she says. She goes on to list the different hockey players who could possibly be the father.

Grandma is sitting at the table looking like this: Laurie's mom looks like she wants to slide under the table and hide. Grandpa turns off his hearing aids and continues eating. Smart man.

Last edited by Dr. Girlfriend; 11-17-2012 at 01:58 PM.. Reason: Laurie's mom, not Grandma's...
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  #44  
Old 11-17-2012, 07:43 PM
cwthree cwthree is offline
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During my only year in grad school, my then-spouse and I decided not to travel across the country to my parents' home for Thanksgiving. We didn't have any friends in town, so we hadn't made plans to have dinner with anyone. We also hadn't made any particular plans to make dinner at home. Somehow, we assumed that there would be restaurants open on Thanksgiving day in a smallish midwestern town. We drove around town that even, looking for someplace to get a semi-festive dinner. We finally found a pizza joint that was still open, went in and picked up a pie, and ate pizza at home for Thanksgiving.
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  #45  
Old 11-18-2012, 08:50 AM
Mama Zappa Mama Zappa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seanette View Post
Quick tip: if you use oven bags for turkey roasting (which I highly recommend. No, the skin doesn't get picture-pretty, but the meat is wonderful), do not also cover your roasting pan. One year, I nearly served turkey sashimi as a result of this mistake.
:::snerk::: And when you want to remove the turkey from the bag, just cut the bag - don't try to lift the turkey out of it somehow. Otherwise you may have to invoke the "15 second rule" as my mother did the year she tried it .
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  #46  
Old 11-18-2012, 01:46 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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For a change of pace, here's a Thanksgiving story about a decoration:

Years ago, my son's class made construction paper turkeys. You traced around the child's foot for the body and around the hands for the tail feathers, add eyes, a beak, etc., and you're set. Just the thing to tape to the inside of the front door, which is what we did.

It looked rather nice, and my son asked if we could keep it up after the holiday. "We can keep it up as long as you want," I said.

His eyes gleamed. "The turkey will stay up forever!"

And it's still there...
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  #47  
Old 11-18-2012, 02:06 PM
Count Blucher Count Blucher is offline
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The first year that I was really into photography as a kid, I had asked for a camera for my birthday. I got one, but it was a Polaroid camera. The film cost me a mint so it basically got shelved. Around Thanksgiving, when I was taking some candids,
I got reminded that I never used that camera. So, I dug it out dusted it off and decided to walk around and take some more candids.

At one point, my sisters were helping my mother with the turkey and I thought it would make a good picture: women in a kitchen interacting around food. To get a more natural and less staged picture, I had decided to move into the doorway quickly and to take a surprise shot
(I still think candids are 1000 time better than lining people up to say "cheese"). At the time, one of my sisters was in the middle of stuffing the turkey. When I snapped the shutter, she was both looking at me surprised and had her entire arm, up to the elbow, inside of that bird.

It took 2-3 minutes for it to develop and maybe 2-3 people saw that picture before Sis destroyed it. Its been many Thanksgivings since then & she's the one sister I still keep contact with. We are on great terms... but... I'm not sure that I was ever quite forgiven for taking that picture....
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  #48  
Old 11-18-2012, 03:45 PM
evasgram evasgram is offline
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My ex-husband was in the Army. He was stationed in Germany, our two kids and I were there with him. One Thanksgiving, he was out in the field until that morning (or so I thought), and then came home in the afternoon for our family dinner and celebration. Oh, happy times, daddy's home! Well, not so much. Shortly after he arrived, one of his sergeants showed up at my door to make sure the kids and I were ok. I was confused by what he meant until he informed me that my loving husband had been with his girlfriend for the last several days and he wanted to make sure we were going to have a nice dinner despite the fact that he wasn't there (sergeant didn't know hubby had actually bothered to come home). So, I went a little crazy, hubby left, kids and I ate turkey.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:13 PM
flatlined flatlined is offline
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Originally Posted by Dendarii Dame View Post
<snipped>It looked rather nice, and my son asked if we could keep it up after the holiday. "We can keep it up as long as you want," I said.

His eyes gleamed. "The turkey will stay up forever!"

And it's still there...
That is so cute
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  #50  
Old 11-19-2012, 10:21 AM
Spiderman Spiderman is online now
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When we got married, my Mom said she was tired of cooking for all of the holidays & we needed to pick one. We chose Thanksgiving. The first couple of years there was some electrical disaster.
Year 1 - the bottom element in the stove broke. The skin on the top of the turkey was browned to perfection, the breast was at the right temp but when it was pulled out, we found out the dark meat was still raw.
Year 2 - blew a fuse...over the dining room table. It was an, um, 'romantic' dinner for 8. We were in an apartment & didn't keep spare fuses as that was maintenance's job.
Despite that, we continued to have guests in later years.
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