Thanksgiving is a time to make memories
Thanksgiving is usually all about spending time with family and friends and making memories.
Many times, however, these memories are cherished because they are just plain funny.
And, sometimes the turkey is not the animal that takes center stage at Thanksgiving.
Marion Paden, President and CEO of Oklahoma said she remembers Thanksgiving Day when her family put the turkey on the screened porch just before dinner.
“The neighborhood cat came in and shredded the bird with such interesting claw marks,” Marion said.
When Debbie South’s daughters were young, they had Thanksgiving guests.
“At the cooking stage, I burned my hand with hot fat,” she said.
With the food already on the table, the guests rushed Debbie to the ER. After a painful process, they returned home.
“While we were gone my little dog hopped up on one of the chairs and got on the table and ate most of the turkey and tasted all of the sides,” Debbie said. “So much for hours of prep and cooking. We didn’t even have leftover turkey sandwiches that year.
Lawrence and Mélissa Ross‘the Tallulah dog was stuffed after Thanksgiving dinner a year ago.
“That year, we made a well-stocked turkey dinner with all the trimmings,” Lawrence said. “Another thing that happens during the holidays is the forbidden treats we give ourselves, and sometimes, sometimes, our pets too.”
Tallulah, an elderly dog resembling a German Shepherd, could be described as a “sausage-shaped” dog, he said.
“But, the rule was not to ‘feed the people’ for her,” Lawrence said. “Since no one wanted to be surprised by giving him little treats during meal prep, everyone ended up giving him treats. It was also the year we gave him a turkey leg, just for her.
After the guests left, everyone got ready for bed.
“Tallulah, as stuffed as the turkey was earlier today, is already sleeping at the foot of the bed,” he said.
Several hours later, Lawrence woke up with an apparent gas leak.
“By the time I get to the kitchen I realize it’s weaker and not a broken gas line,” he said.
The radiator was not 73 degrees Oklahoma that day.
“As I retrace my steps, I realize that the smell has spread throughout the house, so thick it is almost visible and my eyes start to cry as I approach the bedroom,” said Lawrence. “It was then that I heard a deep liquid gurgling sound, followed by an increase in miasma that invaded the house.
“That’s when I realized Tallulah was the reason for what amounted to such a foul smell, we got out, turned on all the fans and waited.”
He said they were waiting for the sun to come up or for the smell to dissipate.
“The most astounding fact: one of our family members, who will remain unnamed, had to be awakened,” Lawrence said. “How can a human sleep through this, we still don’t know.”
Food – and the cooking process – can be a source of laughter. For the Hefner clan, it is the mashed potatoes that triggers the giggles.
“Our family had visited Boston for Thanksgiving a few years ago, where we joined my son-in-law’s family to celebrate,” Carol Hefner noted. “Amid all the chaos with dozens of family members enjoying the conversation, the mashed potatoes had been neglected over high heat.
“With a loud explosion, the lid flew off and potatoes splashed against the cabinets and countertops,” she said. “A few cooks were also targeted.”
She said it took a bit of cleaning up.
“But, it was a memorable funny moment when one of the kids exclaimed in rapture, ‘Thanksgiving confetti!’”
Marie PointerAn important detail left out of her mom as she made dessert for Thanksgiving dinner.
“Mom was in a hurry and made a chocolate cake,” Mary said. “But, she forgot to cook it and just iced it.”
Presentation is a defining part of Thanksgiving, Jane gamble noted. After her son’s wedding, Tyler, a horny Jane had a stepdaughter and later a granddaughter to be part of the family over Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“My son and grandson have always had my heart, but they’ve never been so excited about Thanksgiving and Christmas wrappers,” she said. “Now Elaine and Maya have shared my enthusiasm for every detail.”
When Maya was 6 or 7, the family gathered in New Jersey to share Thanksgiving.
“Wednesday night before the big day, we were sitting in the family room and we heard that loud clicking noise, over and over,” she said.
Elaine shared that her daughter Maya practiced the greatness of “presenting the turkey”.
“With a lot of blooming, she was removing the large silver dome from the lower shelf,” Jane said. “Now the dome was hanging over what she did and it took a lot of energy for her to lift it over and over again.
“The next morning I went downstairs and to my surprise she got up early, all by herself. And there on the platter, under the dome, was the wrapped turkey that she had taken out of the refrigerator.”
Maya would lift that big cover and get into the mind of a turkey dinner party in all its glory, Jane said.
“I will never forget her joy on the occasion and the joy she has given us all her life,” she said. a perfect turkey presentation.
Then there are the ladies trying to impress with their first Thanksgiving dinner.
When Leslie Baker was dating the man who eventually became her husband, she described herself as an inexperienced cook.
“Making gravy was definitely not in my wheelhouse,” Leslie said. “I was proud of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner I made for our first vacation together, and it bravely tasted it all.
They stored most of the leftovers and took a break from watching football on TV.
“When we finished the cleanup a few hours later, he flipped the gravy boat over the table,” she said. had fallen into place like concrete.
The husband-to-be admitted it wasn’t very tasty, and Leslie said they had a good laugh about his attempt gone awry.
“I learned how to make edible sauce in the years that followed,” she said.
When Debbie loweryThe brother of got married many years ago, his wife wanted to impress the family and cook the turkey for the family Thanksgiving dinner.
“My family is very large and they cooked one of the three turkeys we needed,” Debbie said.
Each brought their respective specialties.
“When we opened hers it was just beautiful,” she said. “We started to carve it and of course to taste it.
“It tasted weird, but, hey, this was her first attempt. Once we got down to the bone and pulled each piece out, I noticed something coming out of the cavity.”
The new sister-in-law had cooked the turkey with the plastic bag of giblets inside the cavity, Debbie said. The odd taste was the plastic bag that echoed in the meat.
“A valuable lesson learned,” she concluded.
As a newlywed, Joan Bryant bought a 20-pound one that barely fit in their tiny apartment stove. She then went to TG&Y and bought a large platter with a colorful turkey on it and although there was a chip on the rim, the Bryants used it for many years.
“It was difficult to put leftovers in the small apartment-sized freezer section of the refrigerator,” she said. “Oh, what memories! “