Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Thanksgiving Cooking Disasters

I’m always looking for stories that will console me about my lack of cooking aptitude and talent.

So this Associated Press story was a clipper!

“See, Eric, you don’t want me to cook, really you don’t.”

To read the full AP story, “Holiday cooking hot lines share the disaster stories they’ve heard,” written by Tanya Bricking Leach, click here.


I’ve excerpted the real prizes:

Sargent is a baking instructor at the King Arthur Flour Co. in Norwich, Vt. She helped launch the company’s Baker’s Hotline in 1993. Her favorite disaster story involves a woman who called while trying to bake bread.

Sargent says the woman described how the dough she had put in the oven to rise was oozing out the sides of her oven and gushing onto the floor in volcano-like bursts.

Turns out the woman took the recipe literally when it said add a packet of yeast. Sargent says the woman didn’t realize the recipe meant a 2 1/4-teaspoon packet, not the 1-pound package she had bought.

At the Ocean Spray Consumer Helpline, calls have ranged from odd (“Help! I can’t get the sauce out of the can!”) to weird (“Can I dye my hair with your cranberry juice?”) to disturbing (“Can I give cranberry juice to my cat for its bladder infection?”).


Speaking of cats, one caller to the Foster Farms Turkey Helpline wanted to know how to fix a turkey that the family cat had chewed holes into prior to roasting. Foster Farms spokeswoman Teresa Lenz says the woman was urged to buy a new bird.

Then there’s Clingman’s kitty-litter incident.

A caller from Georgia wanted advice from the Butterball folks on cooking a turkey inside her husband’s new gas grill. The catch was that her husband didn’t want the grill to get dirty, so he’d filled it with kitty litter to absorb the grease.

Would it be OK to grill the turkey with the litter? No, Clingman didn’t think so.

Becky Wahlund, director of test kitchens at Land O’Lakes, says the company’s former holiday baking hotline used to get some hilarious calls, including the woman who asked whether she could substitute tartar sauce for cream of tartar.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment OLDFLYGIRL (Deb)

    Thanks for the laughs, Therese! I’ll never forget, as a 23 yr old bride, my first time cooking a Thanksgiving turkey. It was in the oven and my Father-in-law, who cooked frequently, stopped by to see how I was doing. I told him everything was fine. He then proceeded to ask me what I was going to do with the ‘innards'; he said I could add certain parts to the gravy, etc. I looked at him blankly…”What ‘innards’?” we discovered I had left the whole plastic package of them in the bird, because I didn’t know they were there! we dug them out of the turkey and re-stuffed the bird! The sweet man never made fun of me! That was 38 yrs. ago, and my husband & I still talk about it!

    Pray you had a nice Thanksgiving! Love & Blessings to all here!

    I pray

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jean

    I am the world’s worst cook; I rarely get up the gumption to even try any more. It’s comforting, though, to know that I have avoided some REAL disasters, as mentioned in the article!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cb

    Well, Jean, you may be the worst cook, but I’m next to the worst.

    For 10 years, while my kids were small and I stayed home w/them, I cooked & baked everything from scratch. Now, I’ve retired. Cooking to me is putting a bagel in the toaster. My 26 year-old son moved out of the house nearly 2 yrs. ago and he writes to say he misses my cooking. I don’t.

    I don’t think I ever had a real cooking disaster but these days I avoid cooking entirely.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sam Gyura

    Classic! I must admit I did consider cranberry juice for my cat Minnie when she had cystitis a while ago…

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