If you’ve ever been involved in a kitchen during Thanksgiving, you know that holidays are not about putting your feet up with a glass of something icy and alcoholic. When feeding the family falls on your shoulders, there’s no time for chatting with relatives or indulging bored children. It’s all hands to the pump. Scream at your irritating stepsister to move away from the oven and shriek at any pet unfortunate enough to get in your way. Cooking doesn’t get tougher than this.
Fortunately for most of us, the meal comes and goes without much major incident. However, it’s inevitable that when the stakes are this high, there are going to be some casualties. We should just all be thankful that we managed to survive. If, at the end of the day, you can sit back, relax and laugh at someone else’s holiday disaster, you know it’s been a good year. Here are eight spectacular fails from Thanksgiving 2018 to make you feel extra smug.
1. Melted Turkey Bag
There's nothing worse than closing the oven, thinking all is well, only to open it and find what looks like a melted condom covering what should be your spectacular centrepiece. At least this chef has learned to triple check his plastic before turning up the heat.
2. Flamin' Hot Mac and Cheese
Any great chef will tell you that the key to running a great kitchen is communication. You should know exactly what your crew are up to at any given moment. Else, they might accidentally grill one of your side dishes into ashy oblivion. Who knew pasta and dairy could burn so spectacularly?
3. Deep Fried Disaster
You know those videos where daring, glamorous chefs send whole turkeys plunging into bubbling oil, only for them to emerge minutes later, golden, crispy and delicious? It turns out that there's a whole lot more to it than dunking and hoping. If you're not careful, you could well end up with something that looks like a Vietnam vet got a little carried away with a flamethrower.
4. Don't Speak too Soon
With all the stress around you, it's never wise to tempt fate in a Thanksgiving kitchen - a point aptly proven by this unfortunate picture. Personally, I couldn't care less if devilled eggs do or don't make it to the table. But it does seem a shame to waste all that work.
5. Never Give Up
It's always worth remembering that, no matter how bad things might first appear, there's usually a way to salvage the situation. Take this example. It might look like Thanksgiving is ruined, but you'd be amazed at what can be achieved with some well aimed scraping.
6. Double Trouble
What's worse than ruining one part of Thanksgiving? Destroying two in one fell swoop. When you're juggling so many different dishes, all at different temperatures, it's inevitable that accidents happen. Another reason you can't switch off for a second.
7. It Ain't Over 'til It's Over...
Even after all the long hours spent in the sweat and the heat, and the loud, raucous meal itself, no chef should feel that they're out of the woods. With leftovers, turkey sandwiches and curries on the cards over the coming days, letting your guard down is not an option - lest this happen to you.
8. Everybody's Human
If you've had an absolute shocker this year, it's not the end of the world. Even the polished superstars that you've been trying so hard to emulate cock it up a some point. Exhibit A, Chrissy Teigen. Sure, she might have millions of dollars and a cookbook, but she can still burn a pie.
In cooking as in life, there are going to be setbacks. Even if you have ruined the mac and cheese or massacred the turkey, it's worth remembering that it could always be worse. Don't despair just yet.