What does Thanksgiving mean to you? Is it that beautiful time of year when your family comes together to share a meal, hug and share stories? Or is it when your grandma gets drunk and asks you why you don’t have a boyfriend yet? Maybe it’s both or neither, but the one thing I do know is that each person’s Thanksgiving is unique. That’s why in preparation for the big day I asked friends and family to share their best Thanksgiving food stories. Read ‘em and weep (or laugh), but most of all, be thankful for the holiday ahead of us when it’s finally okay to let your inner glutton shine (although we all know it probably does every Saturday at 2am).

1. At least someone enjoyed them
“One time my mom woke up at 4 am and spent all morning baking and decorating these really beautiful turkey shaped cookies. Then after hours of laboring over them she went to shower and get ready to head over to my cousin’s. We came downstairs and my dog had eaten every last one of them.”

2. A creative solution to leftovers
“A Thanksgiving is not complete without our annual food fight. My cousins and I (and sometimes the adults join in) all end up with sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes stuffed in our ears and hair.”

3. The meatball thief
“My grandma and I always specialized in making bite-sized Swedish meatballs, and my favorite part was always when I would get to be the first one to taste them. And then I would usually sneak in a few more bites until she realized a dozen were gone before she served them.”

Thanksgiving

Photo by Kelda Baljon

4. In the words of Shaggy: It wasn’t me
“My grandma and I always make home fries and my grandpa without fail will eat a pound of them while they’re being made and then yell at us and pretend it’s not him eating the food.”

5. Would you like some pie with that salt?
“My dad, who used to be a chef, accidentally added about three times as much salt as he was supposed to in the pumpkin pie…we didn’t have pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving that year.”

6. Sounds like my Saturday night
“It’s not Thanksgiving until I knock over someone’s drink.”

7. What are friends for?
“Burnt turkey… frozen turkey… dry turkey … freshly killed turkey (ew)…  best turkey? Turkey made by friends!!”

Thanksgiving

Photo by Parisa Soraya

8. Everyone deserves some Thanksgiving treats
“Every year before dinner, my mom sets aside a plate for each of our dogs with a little bit of everything from the table.”

9. Leave it to the experts
“One year, my parents and family friends decided to try this hot, new Thomas Keller turkey recipe, which included basting the turkey in mayonnaise for moistness. Turns out people should leave Thomas Keller recipes to Thomas Keller since the whole turkey came out black with the mayonnaise layer charred. It tasted pretty good though, once we scraped the burnt layer off!”

10. Classic drunk Grandpa
“My mom got this really nice cream table cloth and nobody was allowed to spill and all the kids were warned to be really careful. But then my grandpa got a little drunk and spilled red wine all over it….might only be funny if you know my grandpa.”

Thanksgiving

Photo by Elizabeth Layman

11. No pain, no gain
“For Thanksgiving in 7th grade, my family had bread rolls shaped like little pumpkins. They were really tough to cut, so while trying to slice through the bread roll, I accidentally stabbed myself with a butter knife and it bled for literally hours. It totally ruined my Thanksgiving and I still have a scar on my left middle finger from the whole incident.”

12. You’d find me in the other room eating alone
“Thanksgiving weekend means the end of football season, aka the best rival football games and the best snacks. Everyone piles into the family room to watch the University of Michigan vs. Ohio State game. Sorry, Duke…”

13. The murder plot
“Once my aunt cooked the turkey with the plastic still inside and almost poisoned the whole family. After being the passive aggressive family we are, eventually we laughed about it.”

14. When I eat a full cake I just get in trouble, but when he does it…
“One year my uncle ate an entire ice box cake after Thanksgiving dinner. Now we make two so he can have his own.”

Thanksgiving

Photo by Mimi Tanako

15. Reasonable vengeance
“Once my Grammy was sold a frozen turkey and she was going to do a drive by and throw it at the store.”

16. Meals on wheels
“A few years ago my family and I drove 8 hours from New York to University of Virginia to have thanksgiving dinner in my brother’s apartment. Rather than cooking there or buying some ingredients in Virginia, my mom cooked absolutely everything in the few days before, stuck a fully cooked turkey, tupperware full of appetizers and side dishes, and a few pies and desserts into the trunk of our car. It was literally Thanksgiving on wheels.”

17. The gourmet child
“I’m the only vegetarian in my family and was extremely picky when I was little so my family made me a “special dish” instead of turkey. I thought it was super gourmet but it turns out it is only baked spaghetti with ketchup..sounds disgusting but it’s actually delicious. I still eat it as my Thanksgiving meal now.”

18. I will definitely be trying this one
“One year my aunt bought a pre-cooked turkey from the store, brought it home, put it in a pan in the oven and pretended she made it. Everyone believed her until several Thanksgivings later when she confessed after one-too-many glasses of wine.”

Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away so good or bad, be sure to make some new memories this year!

 

More Thanksgiving fun here: