I want you to close your eyes and picture the most beautiful Thanksgiving turkey you have ever seen. I can promise you that the turkey my hubby cooked was just about perfect: 22 pounds of crisp golden-brown skin and juicy meat. He spent two days in the kitchen preparing a feast for his family, and
when he sliced into the turkey, the aroma filled the house and we knew this was the best Thanksgiving meal ever! His entire family had made the trek to Dallas – parents, brother, sister, her kids, husband and dog, Zing. Since this was the first time we were all together in over a year, we decided to get a family picture outside before the kids spilled their dinner down the front of their clothes. We left our food on the counter and stepped outside for less than five minutes. As we walked back into the kitchen we noticed that the platter of sliced turkey was wiped clean; Dingo and Zing were sitting calmly on the floor licking their lips. OMG!! The dogs ate our turkey! How did we not anticipate this scenario? Thankfully they left the legs untouched and we were able to salvage enough meat off the bones to make a satisfying meal. After the initial shock there was nothing left to do but laugh! We all (even the grandparents!) took pictures and posted them to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and we laughed at the hilarious comments people left on those photos. This will be a story my children pass down to their grandkids.
Let’s face it. The months between November and December are the most stressful time of the year. The best way to cope with a holiday disaster is to expect that something will go wrong. We get so focused on creating the most Pinterest-Perfect meal that we forget to account for the inevitable hiccup. Now that you are mentally prepared for anything to happen, what should you do if your holiday meal is headed for ruin?
- Stay Calm! Remember that it’s only one dinner. Our tendency is to get stressed and start lashing out when things go wrong. Is one meal worth damaging a relationship with your friends and family? Take a deep breath and accept the crisis.
- Did your oven decide to stop working as soon as you got the turkey in the pan? You are in luck! Call your Camden community office and a maintenance professional will get back to you as soon as possible. The solution might be as simple as a flipped breaker and they can talk you through some simple solutions over the phone.
- Fire??!! Did you have a momentary lapse of judgment and fry your turkey indoors? Did grease spill on the heating elements? If something starts burning, call 911 immediately! Your Camden community office wants to hear from you, but not until the appropriate emergency professionals have been dispatched.
- Have you forgotten your culinary skills? Although you can Google “What should I do if I forgot to cook my turkey”, in times like these it’s sometimes more reassuring to listen to a voice on the phone. Several hotlines are available to help walk you through a cooking nightmare:
- Laugh! As much as we want a picture-perfect day with friends and family, the most memorable stories come from chaos. You might remember the warm feeling of having a long talk with your sister over a glass of wine, but if that bottle tips over and stains the heirloom tablecloth, your grandkids will hear about it. Embrace these moments and keep a wonderful sense of humor. This is where family legends are born!
If all else fails, order a pizza and turn on A Christmas Story. Until this past week I thought that dogs only ate the turkey in the movies. Now that I know it can happen to anyone, that movie is even funnier!
I wish everyone a wonderful (and cooking disaster free) holiday season!