Food & Drink

We Asked Readers to Share Their Thanksgiving Fails, and the Responses Were Priceless

Botched family recipes, too-big turkeys, and other holiday mishaps

Photo: Adobe Images

In a recent Talk of the South newsletter, we asked readers, “What was your biggest Thanksgiving flop?” Here are a few of the many responses:

The first year I hosted Thanksgiving, I made my mammaw’s cornbread dressing. I did not realize I had to cook the cornbread first. Needless to say, we had a big pan of flavored cornbread. —Donna E.

It was my first time cooking the meal for our family after being married. The turkey was too big for the oven. —Sylvia M.

We found a macaroni and cheese recipe in an old book from my wife’s grandmother. The recipe called for one cup of sweet milk, so we put in a cup of sweetened condensed milk. The mac and cheese was very sweet, tasted strange, and no one liked it. We later discovered that sweet milk back then was meant to be whole milk. We laugh about that mac and cheese every year at Thanksgiving. —Jack H.

It was my first time hosting and cooking. I made the turkey, and upon carving I discovered the entire goblet/innards bag was inside the cavity behind the stuffing I filled it with. I pulled it out quickly and got it to the garbage before anyone but my husband saw. —Lisa H.

It was Thanksgiving morning and I’d returned home from college for the holiday. We had about twenty people coming for dinner. I went up into the attic to fetch something my mom needed. I slipped off one of the beams and as I fell one leg plunged through the sheetrock. I won’t say what part of my body stopped the fall, but I let out a scream. So did my father. Of all the places he could have been, he was sitting in the chair right below me, now covered with part of the ceiling and dust. I was forced to explain the hole in the living room ceiling over and over as each guest arrived. —Bob J.

I was a newlywed cooking my first turkey. I forgot to remove the packet of gizzards, liver, and neck from the body of the bird. It cooked into a ball of disgusting yuck. My husband found it as he was slicing the turkey and he proclaimed to the tableful of family, “Look, I found the dog’s toy.” —Gail R.

My sister invited us to dine with them for Thanksgiving. She tried to grill a huge turkey that she had stuffed with fruit on a barbecue spit. Every time the turkey rotated on the down slide it shot fruit cocktail out its tail. She will never live it down. —Suzanne H.

I thought I was being so smart and ordered a fresh turkey. I didn’t think that it wouldn’t be cooked. Dinner was very late. —Diane M.

One year I thought the family would enjoy something different—a great Thanksgiving feast with no traditional dishes. Oy! —Peter H.

Because my husband always prepared Thanksgiving dinner…well, every dinner because I don’t cook, I decided to surprise him and bake one of his favorites, a coconut cake. The frosting recipe called for sugar, so I added granulated sugar. Ultimate fail! The cake weighed about eight pounds, with frosting as gritty as sand. —Jeanne M.

My biggest (and only) Thanksgiving flop was getting creative with my Senator Russell’s Sweet Potatoes by adding a layer of crushed pineapple. Almost in unison, everyone looked at each other in horror. My husband looked at me and said, “I love you, but never mess with the Senator Russell’s again.” I never have. —Gwen H.

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