Christmas dinner disasters

(69 Posts)
piebald Sat 08-Dec-12 08:08:02

Come on weve all had them-in fact my christmas feast always seems a little dull without them
My favourite was the year i cooked the turkey upside down and didnt read the rest of the recipe that said-"for the first 20 minutes" 3 and 1/2 hours later it looked as though a steamroller had gone over it! No ceremonial carving that year we had to hack it up in the kitchen and send it out like school dinners

When I was 19 my mother had enjoyed a few too many festive tipples on Christmas morning before tackling the dinner.

Culminating in her dropping the half-cooked turkey on the kitchen floor and slipping and falling in the resulting grease. The bird slid all the way across the floor and thudded into the kitchen door.

I went to work that night with 2 packets of spring onion crisps in my belly shock sad

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Sat 08-Dec-12 08:27:46

I had a lucky escape when I set light to the Christmas pud a couple of years ago and it went up in a fire ball. A minute in the microwave is apparently too long to warm the vodka for flaming. My mum and dad heard the WHOOMPH! as it went up and turned round to see me looking like a startled rabbit with a flaming jug of vodka on the worktop. As the flame is almost invisible it looked eerily beautiful smile

It was delicious though and no eyebrows were lost in the incident grin

DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Sat 08-Dec-12 08:28:30

XMIL once came out with flaming oven gloves as well as the pud.

queenofthepirates Sat 08-Dec-12 13:56:55

Every flipping year my mother is involved. She is a bit, how can I say this, controlling. She devises a menu that would feed an army, goes to Sainsburys three minutes before it closes on Christmas Eve and tears round frantically NEEDING Mexican cherries and nothing else will do. Christmas Day starts with her making a big breakfast from very early in the morning and lo betide you don't eat all of it or she wails that she has SLAVED over it for hours....

Snacks are served every ten minutes which is a good thing because the next eight hours, the kitchen is a no go zone (Gaza is more hospitable, I kid you not). She uses every pan and plate going to produce a huge lunch, served at around 6pm. If you try and ask how long it will be, you get a plate flung at your head and she screams before breaking down into sobs about how ungrateful we all are. She won't accept any help and when persuaded to, she watches over you and complains you're doing it wrong.

My brother (an excellent chef) and I have stepped in one year and gently relieved her of the mantle only to have her hovering over the hob most of the day begging to be allowed to peel potatoes. In short it is a pain in the backside.

Thankfully my parents had the courtesy to divorce so we only have to endure this once every two years. This year I have my dad and his family over and I shall cook, quietly and gracefully and accept all offers of help until dinner is served at 1pm and we can all go to sleep for the afternoon as normal people do.

piebald Sat 08-Dec-12 19:05:08

WHOA seem to have hit a nerve there Queen of the pirates!
Sorry didnt mean to remind you of your difficult years--hope you enjoy a peaceful lunch this year!!

ContinentalKat Sat 08-Dec-12 19:11:43

Very new house with Aga. Christmas dinner 3.5 hours later than planned. Family munched bravely through rare turkey and sprouts al dente... Luckily no casualties...

ohfunnyface Sat 08-Dec-12 19:19:23

I'm sad I have no funny stories- these are great!

hurricanewyn Sat 08-Dec-12 19:40:46

My first Christmas with DH, also my first time cooking anything more complicated than a ready meal.

Decided not to go traditional, but instead cook our favourite dinner. Steak, garlic mushrooms & mash for me and quorn sausage, cabbage & mash for DH. Melon for him to start & prawn cocktail for me.

DH's melon was hacked to bits but edible. I forgot to defrost my prawns so gad salad with Marie Rose sauce. On to dinner, didn't chop the potatoes small enough & didn't check they were cooked before straining & pouring milk & butter on so they were rock hard & impossible to mash. Burned the mushrooms so they were inedible. No colander, so the cabbage was wet on the plates - my lovely christmas dinner ended up being steak & cabbage in a green puddle! I had PND & cried!

Pudding was fine though grin

queenofthepirates Sat 08-Dec-12 20:04:51

sorry piebald, I appear to have unburdened myself all over your thread. I do feel lighter somehow.....

Not exactly a Christmas Dinner Disaster ... But ...
Opened the Aga door on Boxing Day morning to heat some croissants , to find the roast parsnips still in there , looking a little overdone .

ceeveebee Sat 08-Dec-12 20:23:46

Not my dinner but my DBIL bought a frozen turkey from a man in the pub once, defrosted it and on Xmas day went to put in oven and it was totally rotten, absolutely stunk. He managed to find a corner shop that was open and they bought two chickens instead!

ohfunnyface Sat 08-Dec-12 20:23:58


That cracked me up!

Nivet Sat 08-Dec-12 20:25:47

There was the year that my Mum didn't wear her glasses to do the Christmas grocery shopping. She picked up a 12.5 kg turkey instead of 12.5 lb AND didn't notice until Christmas morning.

The bastard thing was the size of an Alsatian and wouldn't fit in the rayburn. I came downstairs to find Mum still in her dressing gown, fag in her mouth, knee on the turkey sawing it in half with a bow saw. It didn't exactly look like the picture in Delia's Christmas but it tasted ok. grin

piebald Sat 08-Dec-12 20:28:37

Thats fine Q of the P, I can imagine how frustrating your christmases must be
Ha ha ContinentalKat- my first year with Rayburn I didnt realise how hot it could get- I just remember my brother looking at the roasty tray and saying "I didnt know potatoes could do that" They were glowing red like hot coals

Convert Sat 08-Dec-12 20:29:41

Nivet that is fucking hilarious grin

piebald Sat 08-Dec-12 20:30:36

Doilooklikeatourist-i regularly find old burnt garlic bread in my oven

BrianButterfield Sat 08-Dec-12 20:32:50

Is it just me that would still eat a turkey I'd dropped on the floor? blush

Have you seen how much the bastard things cost?

piebald Sat 08-Dec-12 20:33:47

Did anyone try Nigellas brined turkey? The briny bit is fine but that maple syrup baste over the top--It was went as black as the potatoes! We spent xmas dinner making up headlines "Nigella ruined my christmas"

piebald Sat 08-Dec-12 20:35:57

BrianButterfield-why not-round here we just call those bits extra seasoning

PartyFops Sat 08-Dec-12 20:36:03

I once left the bag of giblets inside the turkey (I didn't know they were in there!), it smelt revolting half way cooking and only then did I notice. Although I think we still ate it! blush

Last year I managed to completely over cook the ver ver expensive Turkey my mum had talked about for weeks, totally organic etc etc.

sausagesandwich34 Sat 08-Dec-12 20:38:44

never made a christmas dinner and at 35 years old I am not about to start now grin

piebald Sat 08-Dec-12 20:41:53

Ooh partyFops I have done the giblet thing with chicken
I am insisting on buying the turkry myself this year so if i knacker it i have less guilt.

piebald Sat 08-Dec-12 20:43:18

Oh gwan sausagesandwich-you know you want to -listen to our stories of what fun it is

LadyIsabellasHollyWreath Sat 08-Dec-12 21:09:42

Bloody Abel & Cole put two bags of giblets in their turkeys one year, and we only removed one of them. Tasted OK though.

DA, who is not a great cook, decided to show off to her DPILs one year and do homemade Giblet Gravy. For the record, it is vitally important that you not include the gall bladder if you do this envy.

DM thought she'd put the turkey out of the cat's reach one Christmas Eve - she was wrong.

DPs went to a party at their next door neighbours one Christmas Eve leaving us (aged 8 and 6) asleep at home. All the other guests were medics, and the punch got spiked with medicinal alcohol. DM came back to do the hourly check on us and passed out on the stairs. DF eventually realised she'd disappeared and went back to find her, and also fell asleep. This was an extremely lucky escape for both of them, because everyone else in the neighbourhood was very ill indeed until New Year. The hostess (who'd been staying sober) went off to Midnight Mass, and came back to discover that the male guests had decided that it would be a hilarious idea to eat her pot plant. Unfortunately one of them had an previously undiagnosed latex allergy...and it was a rubber plant. He survived (like I said, all medics) but he had a very very bad Christmas.

brighthair Sun 09-Dec-12 01:26:19

Not really a disaster but every year my mum cooks the sprouts and forgets to put them on the table. It's now a bizarre tradition that we have to cook some sprouts and not serve them grin

recall Sun 09-Dec-12 01:32:47

My poor Mum's oven broke one year, on one side. We had a glass of wine. Husband and Dad returned from the pub to find us pissed and a the Turkey cooked one one side. My husband was great, and did a bit of nifty microwaving and managed to salvage it.

Selks Sun 09-Dec-12 01:35:34

Last year I rather enthusiastically applied warmed brandy to the christmas pud at the dinner table. Lit a match and the whole thing burst into blue flames as did Granny's paper napkin that was resting too close to the pud; this then set fire to the paper (classy, me grin) table cloth! Cue everyone leaping up in panic and DD chucking a glass of water over the pudding and now rather burnt table cloth and generally everywhere. We gave up on the now sodden dinner table and poor pudding at that point and retired to the sofa with the Baileys!! grin

recall Sun 09-Dec-12 01:36:44

and my mate's Mum decided to defrost the Turkey in the washing machine to save on space in the kitchen, and forgot and put the dog's bed in on top of it and washed it on a full cycle. Apparently they still cooked and ate it shock

Selks Sun 09-Dec-12 01:39:49

Lol @ Nivet's Mum and the sawn turkey! grin

Selks Sun 09-Dec-12 01:40:52

Noooo Recall that is too funny!! Crying here! grin grin grin

Tragedies Sun 09-Dec-12 01:49:20

OK recall you win. I'm crying! I have heard of salmon in the dishwasher, but turkey in the washing machine...

CointreauVersial Sun 09-Dec-12 02:02:45

One year my mum, having heard a suggestion from some chef on the radio, decided to stuff the turkey under the skin (apparently it makes the breast very moist). It was all very technical, involving pushing up the skin with an upside-down teaspoon and easing the stuffing in.

All went well for the first hour or so of cooking, then suddenly there was an almighty bang from the oven. The turkey had exploded.

By the time it reached the table it looked as if it had been strafed with machine-gun fire. Most of the poor bird was plastered all over the oven interior. But the small amount of breast meat that survived was indeed very moist.

piebald Sun 09-Dec-12 09:42:56

These are great-love the washing machine one and the moist turkey breast and the turkey the size of an alsation

piebald Sun 09-Dec-12 09:44:35

Oh and dont make breadsauce with brown crumbs, it turns into glue

toomuchturkeyatendofthedinner Sun 09-Dec-12 12:47:31

Tears rolling down face at nivets mum sawing the turkey!! grin

Nivet Sun 09-Dec-12 14:33:45

grin Thank you. My Mum was a comedy genius. I miss her.

MIL accidently left the oven door slightly open when we all went to the pub.

We returned to find the turkey half cooked and the oven knobs melted grin

kiwigirl42 Sun 09-Dec-12 15:50:02

first Xmas with DS, 2 wks old. Everyone had flu so we had to stay at home at last minute. No food in as we had thought we were going away. So ended up eating cheese sandwiches, baby on lap, bawling my eyes out. Worst Xmas day ever. Things could only get better after that you'd think? DF decided to die at 1pm on Xmas day 6 yrs ago. He was lovely but a belligerent old Scotsman so it would have made him laugh to know that every year as I put the turkey on the table I'm thinking of him. Old bugger he was.

My MIL always cooks the turkey the day before because apparently it 'goes further' if you carve it when cold confused She doesn't reheat it either so you have a plate full of hot vegetables, roast potatoes etc alongside some stone cold turkey hmm Very odd.

And we eat xmas dinner from trays balanced on our knees in front of the TV. Maybe I'm a snob, but I do find it a bit miserable and un-festive sad

Do I have my MIL minivers ? Cold dry turkey with hot veg and
Potatoes is very familiar grin

Dromedary Sun 09-Dec-12 16:08:54

DM wasn't a great cook. Memories of turkey still frozen solid when it was taken out of the oven, and having to stick little bits of it under the grill.

I don't know caffeine - does yours also cook with the back door open so we all have to sit huddled by the gas fire in our coats while we're waiting?

zinaida Sun 09-Dec-12 16:17:16

Couple of years ago it was just me and mum for christmas. I asked her several times if there was anything she specially wanted to eat she said no. 7pm on christmad eve 'we ARE having trifle arenakt we?,' Apparently its not Christmas without trifle, so I cobbled together something trifle-like, making my own custard - which I realised had gone badly wrong when I poured it over the sponges and they all bobbed to the surface.

And there were no chickens left, we had to have crispy duck with pancakes.

The back door is always open as everyone just drops by and pops in smile but I don't recall a fire grin

CaroleService Sun 09-Dec-12 16:53:27

The year of Mouldiegate - Xmas nearly didn't happen as I gawped over the x billion posts.

sweetkitty Sun 09-Dec-12 17:01:19

Some of our Christmas dinners growing up my Mother is a terrible cook, Birds Eye Roast beef microwave roast dinners. Or silverside of beef that she would utterly cremate until it was like an old leather belt. Veg was peas and carrots out a tin (years later when I served her carrot batons she asked if I bought them like that, she couldn't comprehend buying carrots and cutting them up), roast potatoes were boiled potatoes thrown in the deep fat fryer for a few minutes. And some Viennetta for pudding.

kiwigirl42 Sun 09-Dec-12 17:22:02


DoesntTurkeyNSproutSoupDragOn Sun 09-Dec-12 17:39:11

And Lo! A fun thread is ruined.

hattymattie Sun 09-Dec-12 18:23:22

Can we move this thread to chat - it would get more responses.

Mouldiegate - also a mystery to me but enjoying the dinner stories.

Selks Sun 09-Dec-12 18:28:44

Yes get it put in chat....this has the makings of a Mumsnet Classics (if only for the sawn / washing-machined turkeys! grin

fizzybeerandsausages Sun 09-Dec-12 20:21:48

Nivet, I've just cried trying to read DP your post. He was wondering what was making me laugh so much grin

piebald Mon 10-Dec-12 07:10:35

I too have cried over these replies!!
Mouldigate-no idea
Dont know how to move to chat but it would be worth it for more tales of culinary christmas adventures

When I was about 8 I was given a hamster for a Christmas present. We'd had our Christmas lunch, but the remains of the turkey were sitting on the kitchen bench waiting for my dad to carve up later in the day for leftovers. I was alone in the kitchen whilst my parents were watching the Queen's speech in the next room, and I starting picking bits off the turkey to feed the hamster which I was holding at the time. Being a bit cack-handed with my new pet, I accidentally let go of him, and he landed on the turkey. I was desperately trying to catch him, and he was frantically scurrying over the carcass, shitting himself the whole time. I finally got him, carefully picked all the little turds off the meat, and never breathed a word to my parents (and still haven't!). Mum couldn't work out why I wasn't so keen on my turkey sandwiches that year grin

Selks Mon 10-Dec-12 13:55:22

Haha! grin

CheungFun Mon 10-Dec-12 14:53:22

One year DM was trying to extract the turkey from the freezer (it was completely wedged in with all of the other Christmas goodies) and managed to get it out and drop it on her ankle...cue huge lump and much whingeing grin

EggNogRules Mon 10-Dec-12 15:03:27

I like my roasties fresh from the oven. Left until the last minute to drain, I opened the lid of the pan to find the carefully sourced King Edwards had dropped to become the consistency of wallpaper paste. There was nothing left the drain over the size of a sprout. Dinner was an hour away and we had DH's family over.

DH amazingly found a shop open and we made do with some frozen roasties. The rest was delicious. We always have spares in just in case.

missusjen Thu 20-Dec-12 19:10:01

This is the funniest thread ever. I've pulled a muscle and everything.... grin

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Fri 21-Dec-12 02:06:14

When I was about 15 it was my grandmother's turn to cook the turkey, because she had a new oven she was very proud of. Basically, grandparents lived at the other end of the road and the plan was (Looking back, this is completely fucking insane but it appears to be the way people carried on in the 70s) that she would cook the turkey and she and Granddad would put it on the back seat of the car and drive it down to my parents' house, where my mum would be ready with the veg. Anyway, the Fabulous New Oven was a bit pants, so the turkey wouldn't cook for ages. I remember my mum urging me and my brother to eat the crisps and nibbles which she usually forbade us to have more than one or two of, while my dad belted up and down the road to give us status updates on the turkey...

pathwithheart Fri 21-Dec-12 14:09:26

One year my family were staying up some mountain in Wales. There were about 20 of us in a big house with a tiny fridge so we put the turkey in the car to keep cold and, overnight, it froze completely. We ate it on Boxing Day. My mum then developed a habit of not cooking the turkey properly - raw meat on a plate kind of thing. Strangely one of us always cooks these days. Thank you all for making me laugh sooo much - I'm cooking for the inlaws this year and will keep all these stories in mind.

Festivelyfedup Fri 21-Dec-12 14:21:01

DM once had a new oven installed in Christmas Eve. It turned out the thermostat was faulty and so the turkey was, let's say, a little overdone. (Black after just an hour). DM hates cooking anyway and it was all somehow DF's fault.

Saker Fri 21-Dec-12 16:12:15

I was keeping the turkey on top of the freezer in the garage until Christmas morning because there wasn't room in the fridge and it was sufficiently cold in the garage. Every time I needed something out of the freezer I would hold the turkey in one hand, and pull out whatever I needed and slam the lid shut. Christmas morning, my mum goes out to get the turkey and can't find it. With a sinking heart I went out to the garage, opened the freezer and found the turkey fully frozen inside, where I must have accidentally put it on one of my trips to get something out. Anyway it wasn't a huge turkey so we ran it under the warm tap, massaged it, microwaved it and managed to cook it for a latish lunch !

UpStuffedForXmas Sat 22-Dec-12 17:32:22

This will probably out me so have NC'd!

We had a lot of people over for Xmas one year so my Mum couldnt fit all the balls of stuffing on one tray. A few extra were put on a smaller tray at the back of the oven. I found them, in the oven, on the 27th December grin Rock solid, couldnt break them with a hammer!

sharond101 Sat 22-Dec-12 23:38:12

I sat on the Christmas pudding by accident and so desert was After Eights, one box between 9 of us!

neveronamonday Sat 22-Dec-12 23:55:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Varya Sun 23-Dec-12 15:09:01

I had a dog who opened the drop-down oven door and removed the capon to drag off and eat on the living room carpet. More recently we all sat down to eat and were about to start on the cheez-board when I remembered that I had bread sauce and stuff still in the fridge and had forgotten to serve them!

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire Mon 31-Dec-12 21:28:18

Not actually a disaster, but there was the year when we were going to Mum's for christmas lunch, but DP and I came down with flu. We were too ill to leave the flat. We had Fray Bentos tinned pie for christmas dinner! sad

OccultGnu Fri 11-Jan-13 20:24:15

belated entry and not my story but a friends.

Two couples she knew would alternate hosting Christmas dinner, one one year and the following year the other couple.

Whichever of the couple were hosting the dinner would prepare and cook all the veg, the ones travelling to the venue would cook the turkey and bring it with them.

All went well until one year there was a mix up and their respective cars passed each other on opposite sides of a deserted dual carriageway each carrying a lovingly cooked turkey on the back seat.

Bagofmashings Fri 11-Jan-13 20:26:53

The oven broke on Christmas Eve. 'Nuff said.

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