Monkey Business
Monkey Business

Monkey Business

Thanksgiving mishaps

The blue turkey

When I went away to college, all the girls there were wearing blue jeans, something my mother heartily disapproved of. Even so, when my parents drove to Santa Barbara, California, with a bunch of my stuff, I convinced my mother to take me to Sears to buy some jeans. When we got to the store, she still refused to buy any blue jeans. I had to settle for a pair of white Wranglers. But I had a plan. I would dye them blue. I didn’t have any way to do that in my dorm room, so I waited until I got home for Thanksgiving break.Thinking ahead, I had already bought the package of blue dye and identified the biggest pot in the house: the roasting pan. My opportunity came when my parents were out of the house for a few hours. I heated up the water in the roasting pan, added the dye and dropped my white Wranglers in the pan. They turned a lovely blue. After the allotted time, I dumped the blue water down the drain, hung my blue jeans on the line and didn’t give much thought to the roasting pan. It was one of those black enamel pans, and I just let it air dry. On Thanksgiving morning, I helped my mom stuff the turkey, put it in the roasting pan, covered it with foil and popped it in the oven. A couple of hours later, I had some explaining to do when the turkey came out of the oven and the foil came off to reveal a very blue turkey (while I turned red).

Kathy Wallace

Too big for the “oven”?

Can you imagine trying to cook a turkey in an Easy Bake Oven? That’s more or less how my first “adult” Thanksgiving away from home went. 

My freshly 18-year-old self, along with my now-husband and siblings-in-law decided Thanksgiving would be best served in a rented motorhome on the wide-open highway to Florida for a warm holiday road trip. 

The whole drive there, the “chef” of the group very confidently reminded us that he’d be taking the lead in the kitchen since he knew the best on-the-go recipe for a roast turkey. 

But when it came time to prepare our meal, of course the bird didn’t even fit in the oven. So, his — still overly confident — solution was to tent the oven gap with an entire roll of tin foil. 

To no one’s surprise, hours later about half the turkey was burnt and the rest was still raw. 

But there still remained a sliver of hope in that we had plenty of side dishes and my mother in-law’s famous mashed potato recipe to make … at least, until we realized that the refrigerator had broken down likely hundreds of miles ago and everything in it had spoiled. 

“Well, there goes our Thanksgiving,” someone said, right as the phone rang with a call from an unknown number that turned out to be the local restaurant confirming our Thanksgiving feast was ready for pickup. 

Let’s just say that year we were extra thankful for my father in-law who anticipated our utter incompetence in the kitchen and pre-ordered a complete Thanksgiving dinner days in advance for us to enjoy in the Sunshine State. 

Erin Malcolm

Never trust your dog on Thanksgiving

Last year, we decided to cook a ham and a turkey for Thanksgiving because my son is allergic to poultry. We carved up enough of the ham for him to have a few slices and left the remaining ham (which was a lot) on the counter in the kitchen, while we ate in the dining room. A few minutes later, we heard a “plop” and realized our dog had pulled the ham off the counter and was trying to eat it. He didn’t get very far because our other dog ran in to help herself to the feast, but ultimately no one got a lot of ham, my son included.

Lindsey Harrison

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