The Splendid Table

By Ann Shayne
November 17, 2018
Merry Making is our Field Guide chock full of Thea Colman's superfast gift projects

Leave a Comment

  • Ann, we did thanksgiving for a family reunion one year in crockpots when the stove was out and we couldn’t get the part to repair it. We must have done the turkeys in a fryer, but we lined up several crockpots and made do. It’s a good memory.

    • I can envision your TG and the crock pots; thanks for the share. We’ve had no electricity out here in the boonies on such occasions…..We ate cold food and used our Aladdin oil lamps to assist; seriously!!

      Dump meals, to include desserts, are frequently done in crock pots. We have a large and small one. The pots and the books; LOL!! We love cookbooks!! I don’t recall how, but I ran into the dump cake/pie crock pot concept and our daughter and I dumped a pumpkin pie into the small one…..and it was marvelous!!



  • I love the Spendid Table Thanksgiving call-in show – people call in with holiday cooking conundrums and they solve them on-air. My absolute favourite, still-makes-me-laugh episode was in 2007: a man called in with a turkey emergency. He and his friend had a bet going with their wives – deep-fried vs. roasted turkey. Things had been going well until the men knocked their deep-fryer over with a football. “Don’t worry,” he said, “the fire is out and we’ve got most of the grass clippings off the turkey. But if we take it inside to finish cooking, we’ll lose the bet.” The hosts spent the next 10 minutes talking them through how to cook the massive turkey on the barbecue (garden shears were involved). It’s been 11 years and I’m still wondering who won…

  • Ah, yes… Willful ovens misbehaving on Thanksgiving… Last year we had a fire in the oven and had to get emergency rotisserie chickens from the market. Turns out the fire was caused by a mouse having himself a Viking funeral. He had built himself an empire using stolen dog food & flew too close to the “sun”/ pilot light. Who knew that dog kibble (and mice) were so flammable?!

    • OMG, that’s hilarious! It reminds me of the time Mom stored her turkey in the garage to thaw slowly and a mouse nibbled a quarter-size patch on one thigh. It was in the days when all but the gas station convenience store were closed so she painted the spot with Kitchen Bouquet and assured herself that roasting would destroy any mouse germs. I ate white meat that year.

      • One of our favorite family stories is the one when Mom put the turkey on top of the car in the garage (in MA, so it was cold enough) because EVERYONE was coming home for Thanksgiving and the fridge was full. On the day before Thanksgiving, she drove off in the car, forgetting that the turkey was on top; she didn’t even realize what she had done until she returned to find the turkey in the driveway with sizable bites out of it thanks to the neighborhood dogs. That year the turkey was carved in the kitchen, and a platter of oddly-shaped turkey slices was brought to the table. She didn’t tell us anything until after dinner.

  • Everyone got what they wanted last year when we decided to cook two turkeys… one to fry outside with men standing around with beers in hand, plus a second turkey in the house oven so I could season it well and still make gravy with the pan drippings. And if anyone has a pressure cooker, those bones at the end of the day make the best stock in about 30 minutes.

  • Turkey on the grill is absolutely delicious. Especially when it’s cold out: you really want to celebrate the meal when you’re ready for dinner.

    • OK this is such a brilliant idea, Erika. The problem with the oven is that it’s a double oven, and it spontaneously shuts down only when both ovens are on for a long time. Grilling one of our two turkeys is going to Solve This Problem! And it’s going to be so delicious. Thank you for saving Thanksgiving!!!

      • My hubby always grills the turkey. If you spatchcock it first (or get the butcher to do it), it will cook faster and more evenly.

  • Ann, one of your best holiday visitor stories was when your bathroom sink wasn’t working and no one told you. That made me laugh because I can totally imagine my family/visitors doing something similar. “No, it’s fine! We love using the bathtub to wash our hands! We’re just glad to be together.” So much love.

    My son that you met last year, Andrew, is coming home from Nashville. My heart is very excited.

    • How fantastic–my lads are coming home too. I’m unreasonably excited!

      And yes, the sight of my wee niece brushing her teeth in the bathtub will live on as my Lowest Moment Of Hospitality . . . so awful and funny and everything!

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and your Andrew.

  • Ok, how’s this for dashed Thanksgiving dreams? I am the only person in the house who loves turkey. Oh sure, if it’s all there is to eat, they’ll eat it, but they’d REALLY rather be eating something else. So…I got ham for this Thanksgiving. For like the fifteenth year. Sigh.

  • I decided to try going vegetarian for the month of Nov. My mom was horrified when I told her and texted back “what about turkey?” and my response was “more room for pie.” Lol.

    I LOVE the Splendid Table podcast. The new episodes drop on Friday and they are my soundtrack for the drive home on Friday night. The new host, Francis Lam, is fantastic.

  • Ah, yes…..the Splendid Table; we caught it in the days of Lynne Rossetto Kasper. Weekends would find us OTR as a family with our car’s radio tuned to public radio. I’m thinking she had a call in segment of “I’ve got just these ingredients in the fridge so what can I make with them?”

    Hubby restores tube radios of all kinds and our house is full of them with me fighting to keep my knitting nook unencumbered! LOL!

  • Two years ago was a warm december and the wind blew so hard that power went out all over town. We cooked the whole dinner outside on the deck in the host’s giant grill, and then lit every candle on the menorah for light even though it was only the second night of hanukkah. One of the best christmases I can remember.

  • Two years ago, I managed to blow up my stove (not really that dramatic, but I shorted out more than one burner). Over the next several months, one burner after another was replaced till it was almost like new…but not. Two weeks before last Thanksgiving, the whole thing blew out again. I learned that it is next to impossible to buy a new stovetop in a hurry (unlike water heaters). I gave up: we ate elsewhere and I brought storebought pie. My fingers are crossed for the coming week.

    (On a related note: the busiest day of the year for the guys that clean out your sewer line is Thanksgiving day, and they charge double. You can just imagine how I have come to know that)

  • As a non-American and ardent turkey fan, I think the idea of two celebration turkey dinners close together sounds SO good! Alas, we are having our Christmas dinner at my parents place this year and they have made it clear that it’s roast lamb and ham only this year (*sigh*) so I may need to have an emergency turkey fix early in the New Year…..I’ve also always wondered how long it takes to deepfry a turkey (and does it taste any good?).

  • Is the Fritzing oven in Monteagle or Nashville? I have a “guy” if on the mountain. Otherwise, Publix is probably your best friend . . .

  • We love smoking a turkey in the Weber as an alternative to the traditional oven turkey. With a big family it means you can have two medium turkeys instead of a huge one that takes forever to cook!