If Confession Be Good for the Soul…

Then, confess, I shall.

 Thanksgiving Day was Thursday, and Thursday is well behind me now. All is well in the Bristolwood, and I am able to smile as I recount this most unfortunate event now.

I had written on my blog at about 1:30 in the afternoon on Thursday that I had become rather efficient in preparing a Thanksgiving Feast, as I have been doing so for many years. Ah, the irony….and oh, those famous last words!

At about 3 pm, we were to be seating ourselves to the moist, delicious culinary delight I had prepared, but alas, Michelle and I were cleaning the oven instead….

Mark would point out that in my world “behind the lens”, I tend to be a little absentminded, forgetful….You understand. However, on my own behalf, I tend to see myself as creative and inquisitive.

The brined turkey I prepared was baking so well, and the succulent aroma filled the house with such temptation, everyone kept asking “how much longer?”  The one small factor that was miscalculated was that a brined bird tends to produce a great deal of liquid. I have never owned a “roasting” pan before, and I had never seen a bird produce so much juice. And, I had never seen the juice spill over into the bottom of the oven, causing flames in my propane oven to lap upward, towards the bird!

As I watched, totally mortified, through the oven window, I calmly announced to Mark that we had a “slight problem”. As I explained the situation, he became very furstrated and told me to turn off the gas immediately. I ran to the basement and turned it off, and watched as black clouds of smoke lashed out of the exit orifices of the oven. At this point, I donned my “Ove Gloves” and prayed, asking the Lord to allow my Guardian Angels to watch over and protect me.  I quickly opened the oven door, grabbed the pan with the turkey, then slammed the door shut once again. Fortunately, I only singed a little of my bangs….

The fire lingered on for a few minutes, now starved of gas and the offending juice adding fuel to the fire.

The turkey sat on the counter for about 45 minutes, as Michelle and I cleaned up the horrendous mess of soot inside the oven and on the oven floor once the fire ended. 

When I removed the foil “tent” (which was very well blackened, might I add) from the turkey, the turkey was blackened as well, as though burnt beyond recognition. My humiliated state of disbelief sent me into an instant state of feeling totally inadequate. It was only when Mark suggested that the turkey was only “sooted” that I took a damp paper towel and realized (to my utter amazement) he was correct. I “washed” our dinner, feeling quite raccoon-like in the process!

I turned the gas back on, fired the oven once again, and finished cooking the stuffing, sweet potato souffle, and heating the potatoes.  I made gravy and was relieved when everything was finally complete and ready to set at the table.

I did however, burn one more element of the meal….that being the delicious cloverleaf rolls that I had so lovingly formed with my own hands.  It was only when I had brought all of the dishes from the table and wanted to examine the stove interior that I spotted the quite well-browned, hard-as-rocks rolls.

As we went around the table, each person uttering their own words of Thanksgiving, I was once again feeling that defeated feeling as Mark was grateful that the house didn’t burn down, and Ben was thankful that I didn’t catch on fire.

I ate about a tablespoon of sweet potatoes, potatoes, and stuffing, then headed up the stairs to bed.  I shall brine another turkey and I *shall* buy a roasting pan specifically for a large roast. And, I shall happily forget Thanksgiving Day, 2007.

And now, my soul doth feel greatly unburdened!

6 Responses

  1. Well, I suppose all is well that ends well, and it seems that in the end you did have a tasty dinner. I feel somewhat responsible since the honey-brined turkey was my suggestion…sorta! Oh well, there is always next year!

  2. God indeed gave you a lesson and blessed you all in the same day. I agree with Ben….and Mark. Snuggle with the scotties and all will seem brighter in the morning. And no pictures of the blackened oven or the sooted turkey? You’re slippin’ me girl.

  3. Yes, Carly…all IS well! And, even after the beating that poor turkey took, it was delicious. Mark didn’t know whether to laugh or cry…but was quite impressed by the moist meat! Pssst….believe it or not, there is ANOTHER turkey waiting in the wings. Hahaha! You know Mark…thrifty and unable to pass up a good deal!

    DAYNA! You have NO idea how itchy my trigger finger was on Thursday. To photograph, or to NOT photograph. If I DID photograph it, I would have admitted defeat. Someone needed to defend my cooking honor. And, since the MEN in my family were not, I took matters into my own hands. I decided no photos.

    I will also plead the fact that I was not feeling “up to snuff” on this ill-fated day! Perhaps my condition did indeed contribute to my near-disaster!

  4. This is definitely a Thanksgiving you won’t forget, a part of family history you’d be telling to your children, to your children’s children….:-)

    I understand what you are feeling..I once burned a lasagna because of a faulty oven and took all the blame to myself and my cooking honor. Hubby just told me to forget it but dang, a cook don’t always forget kitchen tragedies easily!

  5. I used to store things in the oven that was in my soap kitchen. One time it got put on accidentially and candle wax melted. I spent hours scraping and thought it was all out.
    The only time I used this oven was to bake a cheesecake for Christmas Eve. So I finished everything put my cheesecake in the oven and a while later I thought I heard something strange and went back into the soap kitchen. The wax had burst into flames and the inside of the oven looked like a fire place. I reached into the flames and got the cake out then dumped tons of a salt I used for bath salts on the flames. Finally the flames were out and I baked the cheesecake in the downstairs oven. It had little flecks of soot on the top which i dug out and disguised with powdered sugar. So when Bob came home from work every window in the house was open and the house still had a burnt fragrance smell. He looked at me and before he could open his mouth I said DON’T SAY A WORD. He didn’t and it was only a few days later that I told him and my kids what happened. They still laugh about the time I almost burned down the house and didn’t call the fire department because I had just finished cleaning and thought they would made a mess!

  6. Grace, I am always grateful to hear others’ tales, so at least I don’t feel so all alone in my mistakes!!!

    Frances, I smiled from ear to ear upon reading of your experience!! I giggled when it came down to you disguising the cheesecake so no one would be any the wiser. That is SO like something I would do!!!! Bob must have been so good-natured. Mark will likely never let me forget this little Thanksgiving fiasco! I also love the part where you wouldn’t call the fire dept, as they would mess up the house. That also is so ME!!! We certainly MUST be kindred spirits!

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