I have none, but recall the epic Chicken In The Oven thread from... New Years?
Come on. Spill.
I think the worst thing I've seen happen at Thanksgiving was just some burnt rolls or forgetting to put the bread out to rise. Which in my family IS a horrific sin, but nothing like a burning trapped bird...
"The nice thing about memories is the good ones are stronger and linger longer than the bad and we sure have some incredibly good memories." - EverythingButWings
Not really horrible, but it still makes me laugh: when I was a little younger and lived with my mom, we were in charge of making the turkey for a family get-together at someone else's house. We had it in the fridge to thaw the night before. All was well until we noticed that one our dogs was nowhere in sight (and she was a very at-your-feet dog). Found her in the kitchen, or in the refrigerator, rather, having an intimate feast of raw turkey with the cat. They both looked up when we walked into the kitchen, then went back to eating. No invitation for us or anything! We still can't figure out how she got in there, as she wasn't the brightest dog (bless her heart), but the cat must have orchestrated it. Even with it being the night before Thanksgiving, we were able to find a turkey of similar size at a 24 hour kmart down the road.
Last year, the power was out at my house til the night before Turkey Day and at my parents' till late in the morning OF. Calling my mom cheerily that morning to say, "Happy Thanksgiving! When are we going to <relative's> house?" was a terrible idea. Ended up with me saying, "fine, I'll go without you," and then all of them coming to my house to shower.
There was also the year that my uncle had an exchange student from Japan, for whom eating turkey was a sin or something equally bad. Well, he ate some turkey and then my cousins TOLD him what he ate and he proceeded to barf it up.
I thought those Japanese students ate ANYTHING, very rapidly and slurpily, with the WORST table manners I've seen. We had one with us on an archaelogical dig in western Wyoming. He had mass quantities of pgotographic equipment, and took elaborate pictures of EVERYTHING. One morning a mounted man driving a dozen horses in front of him came into sight, and the Japanese student shoved everyone aside as he ran up with his camera, shouting "'Amelican cowboy! Amelican cowboy!"
2 years ago, before I cut off my relationship with my mother.
She came to Thanksgiving, and about an hour before dinner took her "meds." She took a combination of Oxycontin, Xanax, Somas and god knows what else.
During dinner she starts to tell a story. In this story she tells everyone at the table, including 5 children about how she was riding in a semi with her boyfriend through Dallas, Texas and had to take a sh!t (exact wording used). She said they couldn't stop because there was no exit, so goes into great detail about sh!tting in a plastic Wal Mart bag in the truck. She then tells us how she had to throw the bag out the window and started laughing hysterically at the thought of the bag hitting the windshield of another car. All 5 kids, and adults are just listening open-mouthed, kind of horrified. My niece then says "Why would you do that? That would be mean." Then my mother proceeds to try to explain how funny someone getting a bag full of crap on their windshield would be.
A little while later she took her dentures out, and flung them down the table at my nephew, who is a germaphobe. That didn't go over too well.
The last straw was when she started telling the kids about the prostitutes in East St. Louis trying to proposition her boyfriend while on the semi. When we stepped in to try and explain it wasn't appropriate to tell 5-12 year olds stories about prostitutes she became very aggressive and accusing my sister and I of being overly protective and shielding the kids of "reality."
That was the last Thanksgiving I spent with my mom. Ugh.
"I'm an idealist. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way."
A few years ago, a friend of mine cooked her first Thanksgiving turkey and invited 8 or 10 guests to dinner. As we were chit-chatting and enjoying a glass of wine befor the meal, someone pointed out the lack of gravy. Since this was a problem for a significant number of the attendees and our hostess didn't know how to make it, I volunteered.
The first snag we hit was the lack of any kind of stock in the pantry. Okay, I'll just use the pan drippings. So I whipped up a quick roux and had someone slowly pour in the pan drippings from the turkey. It was looking really good and thickening up nicely as I stirred, but then suddenly started looking really odd and...separating??? I stopped stirring, and my gravy divided itself into a nice, normal-looking gravy with about 3 inches of clear liquid on top that would absolutely not mix back in.
I finally asked our hostess what in the world she had put on the turkey. "Oh," said she, "that's coconut oil. It's good for you, and I read somewhere to put gobs on the turkey." LOL. Okay, coconut oil removed from top of gravy and we're ready to serve. It looked really good, so took a quick taste. Holy cats! So salty! "Oh," said she, "I read to brine the turkey, so it's spent the last couple days in salty water."
We did eat the turkey AND the gravy, both of which were tasty but oh-so-salty, and had a good laugh.
Ahhh - the exploding turkey! My sister (who. cannot. cook.) decided to have Thanksgiving at her house after watching how easy it was to prepare on The Food Network. Everyone brought side dishes - she was in charge of the turkey. She forgot to put vent holes in the basting bag and when that sucker went BOOM!, everyone was ready to dive under the table before evacuating the premises. We honestly thought a gas main had blown.
After everybody's heart rates slowed and realized the paramedics weren't needed, we actually had very nice, tasty and unforgettable dinner (with lots of wine). Took us a while to find the cats and dogs thou - they bailed for safe hiding places!
My father was diabetic. Unknown to any of us, he decided to double up on his insulin so he could eat more (yes, not a wise choice). As I was putting dinner on the table, and on time, I might add, he went into insulin shock, staggered across the floor and fell. 911 called.
They show up, we had to move the table for them to be able to get him out. My lovely youngest sister, the one we swear was switched at birth, moved her chair along with the table as it was being moved so she could continue to eat. My father's blood sugar was 25, he tried to refuse to go to the hospital. My mother was beginning to suffer dementia, and she said if he didn't want to go he didn't have to. I had medical power of attorney, so I told them to take him. Much arguing later, my brother says, "wow, dinner AND a show". The EMT's choked back laughter, took my father. My brother and youngest sister followed. We ended up going to a hotel for dinner...it was cold and ruined by that point. Did you know the only restaurants other than Chinese that are open on Christmas without prior reservations are hotels? Now you do.
MIL wrapped a turkey with foil one year on Christmas eve too. No vent holes. After a grease explosion, the oven caught on fire. We had no oven until I could get one delivered 3 days later. Christmas dinner was steak on the grill...quite good actually.
"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant
Oh wow Jamie, that's almost TMI just because of the topics - my MIL goes down that road sometimes but she's a big eater so passing something tasty usually saves us.
I have been blessed. Apart from the time that I was really little and my Mom failed to shop for Thanksgiving or make reservations, and we spent what seemed like hours driving around trying to find someplace - so long that I fell asleep and I can't even remember whether we wound up eating bologna sandwiches at home or what.
anyway, back when i was a teen i was living in los angelas with my future ex husband. we decided to go to turkey day brunch at ihop for a lark.
unbeknownst to me, future ex and buddies were all planning on taking acid, and knowing i would be horrified decided to slip me some in my oj.
so there i was in the ihop slowly starting to freak out cuz i was starting to hallucinate.
i ran into the bathroom and met an old woman in there who was crying. her kids took her out for the day and took her to ihop.
she only saw them once a year and was broken hearted.
togther we sobbed in the ladies room and comforted each other until we were capable of going back into the dining room.
i never saw her again but think of her every thanksgiving.
fast forward 12 years and i'm a single mom in my new little home planning on hosting my first all alone dinner.
i have the gas guys out on wednesday to fill the propane tanks and somehow they discovered a bad leak in my ancient stove. they disconnected it right there and then and ordered me to not cook until it was replaced.
ok, but i have a thawed 20lb turkey and all the fixings, plus a house full of company expected that night!
so i rented a condo at the nearby ski area and hosted dinner there.
the place was totally empty except for us, so i felt ok about bringing my wonderful huge white kuvazs dog. little did i know that he would begin to blow his immense coat that day--and my bil was freaking out about it---followed the dog all over with a vaccum!
it was pretty fun after all, if not much more than i had planned on spending.