Fifteen years ago I made my first Thanksgiving Dinner. Those of you who have read Our Story, know my cooking left a little something to be desired. When I was first married I was not a cook. My husband and I lived on a diet of tuna helper, hot dogs, and fettucini alfredo. Our first Thanksgiving I was determined to impress him and decided to cook a full dinner for the two of us. Not only did I want to impress my husband, but I wanted to impress his command. I volunteered to make 20 pounds of mashed potatoes for the sailors and soldiers who had to work that Thanksgiving.
I woke up early and started my meal. I peeled all those potatoes and cooked them. I am pretty sure I clogged the disposal with peels, but I can’t quite remember. After all the potatoes were cooked, I started the mashing part. I had a small hand-held mixer and plunged it into my gigantic bowl of cooked potatoes…and potatoes started flying everywhere! In my complete shock, it took me a few seconds to turn off the mixer, so by the time I had turned it off, my kitchen was covered in mashed potatoes.
After what seemed like hours of cleaning, I was finally able to finish the potatoes and send them with my husband to work. While he was working I began to prepare our own Thanksgiving dinner. I worked very hard all day to make this a perfect meal. When he arrived home from work after 7pm, we sat down to my beautiful meal, complete with my very first turkey.
Everything was going well until we both bit into the turkey and looked at each other. The turkey was uncooked! It was chewy and almost raw. It was all I could do to keep from throwing up. I didn’t understand why the turkey was so underdone. I checked, and the oven was indeed turned on. The turkey had been cooking for over 10 hours, and it wasn’t a big turkey. We put the turkey back in the oven, but both of us were so grossed out, neither of us wanted to try it again. So we just threw it out and enjoyed the other dishes I had prepared.
A few weeks later I made an interesting discovery. My oven was broken! It would only heat to about 200 degrees. Since I rarely used my oven I hadn’t noticed this problem. The few times I had used it, I just thought things took a really long time to cook!
After my first Thanksgiving failure, I spent the next few years avoiding turkeys altogether. We had pizza one year, lasagna another. It took me seven years until I felt confident enough to make another turkey. That turkey was a resounding success, and I have been making them ever since. I’ll share my secret to perfect turkeys in another post.
Our last Thanksgiving was probably our most memorable. I am thankful my friend captured the event in her blog post last year.
Time to share your turkey tale for a chance to win a Butterball turkey. To enter to win link up with your favorite Thanksgiving adventure. If your Thanksgivings are uneventful, you can post a link to your favorite Thanksgiving recipe or any traditions your family incorporates into the holiday. Feel free to link up an old post, just make sure you link back to this post. If you don’t have a blog you can leave an entry in the comments or email me if it is really long (sometimes my spam filter dislikes long comments).
I will pick 4 random winners on November 12, 2009.
Turkeys provided by Butterball.