Since Thanksgiving is coming up next week I'd thought I'd start a thread recalling your worst fails or experiences.
Being a professional chef I always always pride myself on the quality of the meal I serve. The Thanksgiving meal is important to me. I want each holiday meal to be an experience my guests will always remember. Well a couple of years ago one of my regular guests asked if she could make the meal that year I reluctantly said sure for I have had many good meals at her house in the past. Well that year we went over for Turkey Day and everything was excellent. The following year I was so busy at work she asked if she could do it again,recalling the year before I said sure again. Well we went over and dinner was served, She over cooked the bird the night before and sliced it up and reheated it. To say the least it was dry and tough, even the dark meat. The dressing was made in muffin cups and was dry and burnt. She served canned gravy and cranberry gel just popped out of the can.
The vegetables were over cooked mush and she served plain boiled potatoes. The dessert was store bought, which would not have been a problem, but even that was awful.I never said a word and just ate what was put in front of me. I could not believe this was the same person cooking the excellent meal I had the year before.
This meal was so bad and ruined my day that I went to the store on Saturday and prepared a small Thanksgiving dinner that Sunday for my partner and myself to erase some of the memories of that disaster and vowed never again will I give up Thanksgiving dinner to someone else.
Being a chef some friends of mine are intimidated cooking for me but I'm very easy to please, I always tell them make something you are comfortable with and except for this dinner the food has always been good. This weekend I'm planning the menu for Thursday, remembering why I do it each year.
I believe Thanksgiving food should be the very best you can afford to serve family and guests even it it means packaged and frozen foods but if you follow directions and put some thought into it, read the suggestions on making it better, every Thanksgiving meal can be your best no matter what your cooking experience is.