Team Turkey Topper: Our Biggest T-Day Mistakes

Nov 25, 2015

One thing we don't get to do very much on the blog is share the great sense of humor that makes working at the ATAK office so much fun. Since it's one of the things I'm thankful about when I reflect on working here, I thought I'd prompt the team with the following question:

What’s the biggest thanksgiving dinner blunder you’ve made?

We'll start with the big bosses...

David Ephraim, CEO: Tin foil is as good as a lid, right? WRONG. Two years ago I volunteered my new car for the “Big Turkey Transport” to my aunt Kathy’s place. The turkey was clearly too large for any lid we had, so I just figured a second layer of foil would totally hold everything together. A $300 detail later, my car looks fine, but still smells like a cooked bird.

Josh Goodman, COO: I was cooking two turkeys, and pulled one of them out for a check. Well, I have been using a disposable aluminum foil roasting pan for a 14-18 pound bird and it collapsed in the middle. I watched it bounce and roll across the kitchen floor… and I didn’t say anything to my family, just put it back in the oven on high. If you ask me, that one tasted extra tender!

Austin LaRoche, CMO: For years, I’ve had a fatal flaw in the kitchen: whipping up a roux. This is a terrible problem to have when you insist on having macaroni and cheese every year at Thanksgiving, which I do because deep down, I’m still a seven year old.
During my first Thanksgiving away from my mother, I had to have my Great Grandmother’s recipe for mac and cheese. I whipped up the roux and noticed it wasn’t sticking together so I threw in some more flour. Waited a little bit, still not that thick. I threw in more flour. A good five minutes later I had this disgusting flour-tasting cheeseball in my mixing bowl that was more akin to pizza dough than a cheese sauce. I went to the only place in my neighborhood that was open, 7-Eleven, and had to settle for another favorite macaroni and cheese recipe that Thanksgiving: the one on the back of the Kraft box.

Madison Guerriero, Communications Manager & Creative Strategist: One time I was trying to impress this guy the day after Thanksgiving and “cook” for him. In reality, I just reheated Thanksgiving leftovers and plated them like a pro so they looked super fancy. He still has no idea, and..... I still can’t cook.

Julien Gledel, Director of Project Management: Julien has never made a Thanksgiving dinner mistake (being from France, he's only had a handful of Thanksgiving dinners). This is why he's our Director of Project Management.

Svetlana Klyuchkova, Outreach + Digital Marketing Director: My husband and I love hosting potlucks, which is a challenging task when you have to supervise too many people. So we assigned our dear friend Mykael to keep an eye on the oven while toasting garlic bread. The next thing we know - the smell of the burnt toasts was spreading around the dining room. Thanks God for having extra baguettes in our kitchen! Our friend ended up sitting on the floor by the oven to avoid the distraction and ensure that the last load of carbs made it safe to the Thanksgiving table. Moral of the story - multitasking may not be the best choice during your holiday prep, unless you have a hidden stash.

Lyndsay Peters, Director of Inbound Marketing: I love to make turkey soup with the rest of my thanksgiving turkey carcass. One year I had it in the slow cooker for 12 hours and it smelled like heaven, and looked like liquid gold. I set everything up to strain out the vegetables and collect my stock. Everything, that is, except the bowl. 2 gallons of homemade turkey stock went right down my drain.

Renee Smith, Inbound Marketing Coordinator: It was my first time making a Thanksgiving meal for a bunch of people. I had successfully managed to cook the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and even a pie. Before we ate, I just had one last thing to do: thicken the gravy. I had never thickened using flour before and probably put a bit too much (as in I DEFINITELY put a bit too much). I looked away for a second, and when I came back I had a batch of gravy gelatin brewing on the stove! Some water and lots of curse words later, I managed to work it out. Cooking tip: add flour slowly, wait for boil, and THEN decide if you need to add more.

No matter how you celebrate (or how well you cook), happy thanksgiving from everyone at ATAK!

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