Oh, fabulous Thanksgiving flubs. If the truth were told, we’ve all witnessed at least a couple. And I betcha nine dollars if Zogby did a scientific poll, we’d probably find the usual suspects in most households were an overly dry turkey. As a kid, I certainly remember a few. Over the years, the Frantz family has amassed our own special list of memorable culinary disasters. However, for some reason none have involved poultry from the Sahara Desert. Usually our mishaps are of the minor organic garden variety. And they don’t happen every year. It’s more like every few years. Like the time I forgot to put sugar in the pumpkin pie. Thankfully, it was hubby that sank his bicuspids and molars into the first bite. The guy does love his dessert. “Hey dear, I hate to say this but the pumpkin pie tastes a little punky,” Hubby announced. Heads around the table turned in my direction followed by silence. Then there was the unmistakable tinkling of dropping forks into china plates. “Sorry guys. I knew I shoulda bought that can of pie filling instead of the punkin’ puree that you have to add lots of stuff to,” I said, sinking down into my chair. As I’m not particularly fond of pumpkin pie, my mom’s chocolate pie is number uno in my book, I didn’t consider it quite the Shakespearean tragedy. Always one that wishes to learn from her mistakes, it was after dinner while tossing rinsed plates into the dishwasher that I reflected on how I managed to totally mess up the punkin’ pie. Geez, I’ve made that fool-proof recipe at least 30 times over the years. Finally it hit me. That year was my first attempt at extreme multi-tasking the Thanksgiving feast baking two pies, three casseroles and my sister’s award winning multi-step potato roll recipe … all at the same time. To be sure the pie was NOT my finest Martha Stewart moment. I have since learned to delegate … or should I say drag a couple pair of extra hands off the couch kicking and screeching from a college football game. It’s a proven fact … you can get lots of chopping, dicing and stirring accomplished during commercial interruptions. And foregoing halftime highlights for culinary activities works just fine as you are pouring on the praise like a Kindergarten teacher. Then there was the time the boys were deep frying a very large turkey on the wooden deck in back of the garage. Oh, the turkey turned out great. There was no problem with the quality of the frying. The bird was nice and moist and seasoned to Cajun perfection. The disaster had more to do with frying technique. Instead of gently dipping the bird into the pot, the slippery thing got accidently dropped into gallons of very hot peanut oil. Good thing my boys can run faster than a speeding bullet. Thankfully, the few burns were of the minor variety and did not require a visit to the emergency room. The back of the garage and fence bore most of the wrath of the boiling oil from the blow pot. My most memorable, notice I didn’t say “favorite” Thanksgiving catastrophe, involved a very expensive spiral-sliced encrusted ham from one of those ham stores where you have to stand in line for about an hour if you picked the day before turkey day for pick-up. Maybe you already know where this one is going. Buck, a lively black Labrador, came for a visit that year, along with a family member. This dog, although quite large, we learned that day was also quite stealthy. Two canine qualities I never considered went well together. You’d think Buck was lying at your feet and then the next minute he was AWOL. I recall the table was set and all the casseroles and side dishes were lined up on the kitchen counter ready for serving and the saying of Grace. Hubby was in the kitchen all by himself taking the foil wrapping off our luscious fragrant ham. I don’t remember why, but he stepped into the family room to ask a quick question. Two seconds later we heard the crash. Buck had entered the kitchen and pulled the ham, the roasting pan, and all its sugary sweet contents onto the tile floor. There is only one thing you can say at a time like that. “Anybody care for peanut butter and jelly with their green bean casserole?” said hubby. I probably mopped the kitchen floor eleven times in three days before the bottom of my socks didn’t stick to the kitchen floor. That was the last time Buck was invited to dinner at the Frantz house. May your Thanksgiving feast be one surrounded with family, friends and very moist turkey! Dixie Frantz is a long-time Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist since 1996. E-mail Dixie with your comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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