The Year the Turkey Refused to Cook

A few years ago, it was my turn to fix Thanksgiving dinner for the family. We had 15 people coming, so we’d cleaned the house, set the table and put out snacks for appetizers.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

There was just one little detail I forgot: to allow enough time for the turkey to thaw before putting it in the oven.

I’d transferred it from the freezer to the refrigerator two days before, not realizing it probably needed four.

With Bob’s help, I did all the things you’re supposed to do in a pinch. We immersed the bird in a bath, and we let it sit in the sink with water running over it. Short of taking it to a tanning booth, we did everything we could to speed up the defrosting.

But when I put it in the oven, it was still an iceberg on the inside.

Oh, well, I thought….we’ll turn up the heat, set out some more chips and play some more card games. It’ll all turn out okay.

Well, not so much.

We were supposed to eat at 6 p.m., but when we inserted the thermometer in the turkey, we could feel ice crystals where the tender roasted meat was supposed to be.

At 7:00, it still wasn’t safe to eat.

At 8:00, my niece and her young family started gathering up their things to leave, since it was close to the kids’ bedtime.

Finally, at 9 p.m., we took the beast out of the oven. Bob cut it up and microwaved the pieces so everyone could finally have a slice as they headed out the door.

Did it all turn out okay? Depends on how you look at it.

Years later, I still haven’t lived it down. It didn’t seem funny at the time, but since we’ve been laughing about it ever since, maybe I could have found some humor in the moment.

I’ve learned that three things can help when well-laid plans go haywire:

1. Take deep breaths.

2. Ask for your fear-based thoughts to be healed.

3. Ask your guides to give you comfort and a glimpse of the next step.

Then look for the light in the situation—some spark of goodness or humor. It’s always there because the light is always in you. And, really, that’s all you need to know things are going to be okay, no matter how they look in the moment.

As it turns out, Bob and I are hosting Thanksgiving again this year. But we bought a fresh turkey, not frozen.

I’m wishing you and yours a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving, filled with gratitude for all the light in your life, and all the gifts you bring to mine.

With blessings,


One Response to “The Year the Turkey Refused to Cook”

  1. Jennifer P. Brown says:

    I love the part about finding value in a mistake because it became family story retold many times. When my mom was young and trying to give dinner parties, she kept failing at pies. Once, when a chocolate cream pie fell apart, she scooped it into tall clear glasses, I guess like champagne flutes, and served it in the dining room. Your frozen turkey reminded me of that. Thank you.

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