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November 12 2019

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Thanksgiving Disaster 1: How To Thaw A Frozen Turkey Pronto

Thanksgiving Disaster Frozen Turkey

It was our first Thanksgiving in the country, having given up our rent-controlled apartment in New York City. We’d planned a quiet celebration alone—until good friends called that Wednesday. They, too, wanted a country Thanksgiving. With their teenagers. Suddenly, a twosome with a turkey breast morphed into a sixsome with a whole bird. We ran to the store, fought the crowds, and stocked up on everything—including one of the last...

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Thanksgiving Disaster 2: The Bird’s Too Big for the Oven

Thanksgiving Disaster Oven
It’s your turn to host Thanksgiving and everybody’s coming—even Aunt Jezebel and her new beau. And his home-health aide. You know the rule: one pound of turkey per guest, not including vegetarians or vegans. (You want leftovers, not politics.) In doing the math, it seems you need a whopping 22-pounder.

Or do you?

Let’s do a cost-benefit analysis on that monster fowl.


  •  You’ll have drama—the quintessential ...

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Thanksgiving Disaster 3: The Bird’s Roasted—But Still Raw

Thanksgiving Disaster Thermometer

The pop-up timer popped. The majestic Thanksgiving turkey is burnished brown. The drumstick jiggles. Brandishing a carving knife, you smugly take the first slice from the thigh—and then you see a trickle of pink. You rub your eyes, thinking surely it must be your imagination, and then look again.

No, it’s real.

Can you play dumb and pretend the darn thing isn’t slightly underdone?

Count your guests. Count your bathrooms. There’s your...


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Thanksgiving Disaster 4: Transferring the Bird to…Oops!

Thanksgiving Disaster Dropped Turkey

The table is set. The guests are gathered. You’ve planned for every possible contingency. But you forgot one thing. Your sleek, chic, trim Tom Cruise of a Thanksgiving turkey will eventually morph into a sweaty, bulky, out of balance, downright gawky John Goodman of a hen by the time it comes of the oven. And you somehow have to get it from the roasting pan to the carving board while decked out in your holiday finery.

Before you commence...

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Thanksgiving Disaster 5: 1 Oven, 4 Burners, 124 Recipes

Thanksgiving Disaster Crowded Counter

Thanksgiving is probably the most denial-inducing dinner party that you’ll pull off all year. The way your dad’s new girlfriend keeps asking your mom if she’s sure she didn’t play against Mary Pickford in a movie. The way you’re reminded that you didn’t go to the college your parents wanted. The way your aunt tips the scotch bottle right to her lips.

And beyond those personalities at the table, you have one oven, four...

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Thanksgiving Disaster 6: Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen!

Thanksgiving Disaster Help

Friends pestering us in the kitchen with offers of help was never an issue when we lived in Manhattan. No one ever asked. Not because New Yorkers are inherently rude. Because our kitchen was only four feet wide—that included cabinets and appliances. You couldn’t stand in front of the oven and open it at the same time. If Sylvia Plath had lived in our apartment, she’d be alive today.

But after we moved to the country, we were...

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