The Turkey of Terror
Let me start off by saying that the title is a tad melodramatic. But hey, this was my first time cooking Thanksgiving dinner by myself, with a little help from my sister.
My mother, who usually cooked the turkey, was ill this particular year. She was too sick to help or even answer any questions I may have had. I ended up calling my eldest sister (who lived in Missouri at the time) for details on how to cook the turkey itself. Everything else I already knew how to cook.
However, there was some confusion as to whether the turkey need to be covered at first or not. I ended up having to take the turkey out of the oven and cover it with foil (seeing as is was freaking huge). This was back when we got the biggest turkey possible, not realizing that a 19 pound turkey could feed the four people easily while still having leftovers.
Anyway, when I took the turkey out the foil decided to disobey my will to have it adhere to the pan properly. Eventually I made it submit, though not before burning myself on the roasting pan. Then I went to put it back in the oven only to find it now wouldn't fit properly. So after I moved the oven grates and made to put it back in the oven, some of the chicken broth in the pan spilled into the inside of the oven. Annnndd naturally caught fire. Plumes of smoke began to rise from the kitchen. Then the smoke alarms started. Needless to say, it was a marvelous experience.
The fire itself I managed to put out fairly easily, but the windows had to stay open for awhile and the alarms would not shut up. I was amazed that my mother somehow managed to remain dead asleep during this debacle. Luckily her then-boyfriend was there to help clear the smoke by holding the door open, so I didn't lose my only helper. I eventually got the turkey back in the oven with no remaining problems. It even browned rather nicely. My mother did get up in time to watch me take the thing out of the oven. She looked over at the turkey and suppressed a giggle. I glared at her in her pajama'd glory, me in my dirty apron and sweaty brow, and asked what was so funny.
I cooked the turkey upside-down.