July 26, 2014

When Bedlam Strikes, You Have a Choice…


bread dough over rising

It’s been “one of those” weeks for me, and that is an understatement. A multitude of bedlam moments struck full force causing untold damage that is so unbelievably blog worthy, I can’t even stand it. For the sake of protecting parties involved, I’m not posting it (but wow, it’s so incredibly tempting.)

So when I woke up to this “three loaf” bag of frozen bread dough this very morning, I just chuckled, took a picture, and knew that it was a reminder of the choices I have this Thanksgiving week.

Rhodes Frozen Bread DoughLadies – Bedlam will strike this week, and we have a choice. We can either react or respond.

Turkeys will not be thawed in time. Pies will burn. Company will be late. Kids will throw up. Kids will fight. Dogs will throw up. Dogs will fight (well, maybe just my dogs.). Grandparents will lose their patience with said kids and dogs. Jokes will be misunderstood. We will be misunderstood. Our food may be misunderstood. Our new recipe may not be enjoyed….

This list could continue for awhile, but I think you get the point. But guess what? Amongst this all, we can find beauty in the midst of those bedlam moments.

So when your turkey is dry, and your tablescape isn’t what you want it to be, it’s OK. When your bread dough over flows onto the ground, just laugh, so you don’t cry, and remember me whispering that you have a choice: to take a deep breath, and JUST LAUGH. Enjoy the beauty in the midst of the bedlam. (But please make sure you take a picture and share it with me next week.)

Would you care to join me?

Have you ever had a food related “bedlam moment” on Thanksgiving?

I really could use a good laugh if you don’t mind me laughing with you, not at you. :)

Simple Rules for Tasty Tuesday Parade of Foods – If you’re joining in with a recipe link, two simple requests. As always, please link directly to your recipe post and not your blog URL, so that everyone can find the recipe months from now.

Also, please link back to my site so that everyone can join in the fun. I don’t ask much in order to participate, but many of you are not linking back, and it’s just common courtesy of blog carnivals.


  1. I’ve stuffed way too many potato peels in the garbage disposal and dh had to unclog it. It was humorous though as he had laryingitis at the time and he was getting mad at me, but in a Minnie Mouse sounding voice. I tried hard not to laugh. :)

  2. Whatever happened, I’m glad you’re taking it with laughter! And thanks for the reminder to breathe this week – I’ll be needing it!

  3. I agree, taking lifes mishaps and laughing abou them is the best thing to do! So sorry about your dough!

  4. Oh yes…it was my first Thanksgiving when living on my own. I made my cranberry sauce — turned out wonderful and proceeded to pour the hot cranberry sauce into a cold, crystal bowl. Yes, it shattered EVERYWHERE! And I didn’t just laugh it off–I called my mom in tears. Although, honestly I was more upset that it was a bowl my mom gave me than the sauce being ruined. :( But years later, I can look back and laugh. :)

  5. My recipe link is for my favorite bread. Usually we forget about it & the bread rises until it is pushing the lid of the bread maker up. It looks a bit like an alien is trying to escape. Good thing the recipe is VERY forgiving.

  6. So this happened yesterday. I was trying to make my husbands favorite molasses cookies, which i’ve never made before. There were several distractions while I was making them but hey that’s how it goes. I snapped a picture after the first batch and sent it to him only to get a response that they are supposed to be flat. I thought I made the balls too large so I pulled out a ruler and rolled smaller balls and put the right size in the oven. Still, no flat cookies. At this point I call my husband and start ranting that something must be wrong with the recipe. I got it from a family cookbook his mom made and there have been several recipes where ingredients or steps were accidentally left out. After my rant to him I pulled out another cook book to see what the culprit could be hoping that I would locate a missing ingredient or step. I got so excited when I found another molasses cookie recipe and read baking soda. I was like aha! That’s what’s wrong with the recipe it’s supposed to be baking soda and not baking powder. I start comparing the recipes and then realized that the recipe I used did call for baking soda, there was nothing wrong with the recipe at all. The problem was me. **Sigh** At least they taste good even if they aren’t the right shape.

  7. Mine wasn’t Thanksgiving, but Easter. It was a stressful time, because my Memaw had just passed away. I peeled over 4 dozen hard boiled eggs to make egg salad and deviled eggs. Only problem is that I wasn’t thinking and did it over the sink. The sink clogged up big time and we had to eat Easter lunch with it full and yucky. The boys took the pipes apart to fix it afterward. I actually did laugh about this. It turned out to be a nice distraction to the otherwise sad day.

  8. I love your story. Thank you so much for sharing!!! You make me feel so much better! I have had my own Thanksgiving Oops experiences! Desserts that burned and it was one I was bringing to my future husband’s family dinner. Yikes! I was heart broken…but he took it in stride and helped me come up with a plan that would help me to have something to bring but still have a little self respect in a family of great cooks! LOL

    Thanks for reminding me to keep my sense of humor this week! I am trying a new recipe for the dish I am bringing to my, now husband’s, side of the family Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve got my prayers going and fingers crossed! LOL Its going to be great I can feel it! :D

    Thanks for letting me join the gathering!


    Mary Joy

  9. Just this evening I forgot that I was making toffee and did not remember until the candy thermometer was at 325. My husband and kids heard me exclaim in horror and they all yelled “don’t toss it, it may still be edible”. And it was, but it wasn’t pretty, so I had to start all over again and make a pretty batch for my neighbors. :)

  10. I love your realistic attitude! Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. So from Canada where our Thanksgiving was in October: This year I waited and bought a fresh turkey (as opposed to frozen) just 2 days before and son was putting the massive grocery shop all away when his long lost buddies arrived. They hadn’t seen each other for two whole months! They all pitched in and got the stashing done in no time – excess to the basement freezer and refrigerator. Thanksgiving morning early I asked dear hub to retrieve the bird from the fridge. He comes up with a rock hard fully frozen gobbler! Son had not heard or understood or maybe just forgot my clear instructions – “This goes to the fridge!” A quick few phone calls around town tells us all the fresh ones are sold, including breasts and drumsticks and pieces. So this year we had leftover roast as beef-dip and buns and a small BBQ rotisserie chicken for the poultry portion – with mashed garlic spuds and pumpkin pie and we were very grateful to have it all!
    And the bird was thawed and cooked the following weekend to feed all the hungry movers helping another son move into their first house with our newest grandbaby girl! Again a grateful celebration! The two for one year!

    Jens Reply:

    @Anita, Ok, Two days ago, I told my son to put the turkey in the fridge (from the freezer). REading this, I need to go make sure he did that. Love that you got a 2 for 1 from that. :) Sweet family time.

  12. This happened when I was a kid. My entire family (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc) were all gathered at my grandmother’s for Thanksgiving. My grandma had made the turkey and was quite proud of herself. We all sit down to the feast. Everyone takes a bite. AND. UM. It’s AWFUL. Somehow, the turkey had spoiled.

    What’s worse is my aunt didn’t want to offend my grandma and tried to force her kids to eat rotten turkey! Finally, my mom stepped in so the poor kids didn’t get sick

    We had pizza for Thanksgiving that year!

  13. Jen, this is a great post! And I love reading through all the comments. This will only be my first year of hosting, so I am sure I’ll have a great moment to share after Thursday. I know the prepping part has provided enough Bedlam to last me the year through! :) Happy Thanksgiving Jen and thanks for hosting…

  14. Yesterday we did Thanksgiving at work. I made pecan pies. I brought 2 but we only needed to cut into one. Turns out that one of them was perfect and the other was a runny soggy mess (oops)! Guess which one they cut in to?! lol!

  15. I have never hosted Thanksgiving. We always go to my parents and I can’t remember too many bedlam moments, but everyone brings a dish, so the pressure is off of one person.

    Thanks for the linky.

  16. Thank you for the reminder! Hope your crisis is over by Thursday!

  17. Last year on Thanksgiving, our Turkey was 99.5% FROZEN! I ran out to the local grocery looking for help and the meat manager said “How much time do you have?” I told him and it was enough for me to cook my Frozen turkey anyways. I normally don’t stuff my turkey so it worked out beautifully. I just added spices and cooked it on low for a bunch of hours. It was the most moist turkey I’ve ever cooked! I turned my bedlam into BEAUTY!!

    Jens Reply:

    @Bette @Frugal Mom x3, YEa for great meat managers and chaos avoided. :)

  18. One Christmas, when my kids were young, I was still stuck on the “make the holiday perfect” thing. So, homemade apple pie, etc. As I was pulling said pie out of the oven on Christmas morning, crash! it went onto the floor. Tears? Yes. Ruined Christmas? Not at all! Memories? Priceless!

    Of course, once the kids discovered chocolate mousse, they threw over the pie in favor of mousse for dessert EVERY Christmas. It’s a win-win, because I can make it the day before & it really simplifies my Christmas morning.

    Jens Reply:

    @Elaine Pool, Elaine – I love this story and how a new tradition was born. :)

  19. No funny story right now, only because I can’t remember, but I’m sure there’s one! Just a thank you for the reminder about laughing and enjoying the family time no matter what happens. I’ve recently had a HUGE attitude and understanding adjustment in how I’m looking at the holidays and I think these will be the best yet!

  20. I’m having my first holiday party next weekend and I’m worried about all these horror stories! I have to try to keep in mind all your tips because I’m going to freak out if something goes wrong!

  21. I’m sure i will have those bedlam moments, I just don’t know what they will be yet! BUT, you made me smile this morning, so thank you!! for that :) have a blessed thanksgiving!


  22. The first year my husband and I were married we hosted Thanksgiving as newbies to everything. Just as we set the 18 lb. Turkey in the electric oven the power went off. It did come on 1 hour later and we were able to proceed however, when we took the stuffing out we learned that you don’t stuff a turkey by packing it in! The stuffing was like cement. I think we laughed then, although it was 33 years ago… but we certainly do now in remembrance.

  23. Thank you for reminding me to take out my turkey! I think you just saved my Thanksgiving! :)

  24. Hehe…can’t remember if it was LAST year or the year before but I dropped a gallon of oil from the top cabinet where it hit the countertop and the then the ground, lid shot off across the kitchen into the dining room with oil following. Ummm…do you have any IDEA what peanut oil and tile do? The grout? I just stood there, stupified … then started laughing (it was the last of my oil and we were on turkey #3 and Hubby thought we might need a ‘tad’ bit more) … I mean seriously, what the heck?? FYI – Sonny Boy who can be real smart, suggested I gather as much as possible with paper towel and newspaper and the sprinkle flour over the tile. Worked like a charm but man, what a mess it was!

    Jens Reply:

    @jan, OH MY, JAN! Yes, I am completely imagining the HUGE mess. Oil, of all things…..it makes for a funny story now, but I KNOW it wasn’t then.

  25. Once upon a time I made a birthday cake for one of our sons. It was a superman cake. I piped the super hero on in all the colors of icing and piped around everything with black. Everyone, including grandparents walked away from the table with black lips and teeth. We laughed … a lot… at each other and ourselves before everyone made their way to the washroom to ‘clean up’.

  26. The first one that comes to mind is Christmas Day with my in-laws years ago. I had made scalloped potatoes and ham. I didn’t allow enough time in the oven, and they were so runny!!!! But my dear in-laws were so kind….I sometimes think we make a bigger deal out of it then it really is….!!! LOL!!! :)

  27. I’ve had my share of troubles, we all have, but THANK YOU for the reminder to take things in stride and not become overwhelmed by them. I’m afraid of quite an ordeal this week with some family so I needed to hear this!! :-)

  28. My fondest Bedlam Moment happened Christmas Eve when I was about 8 or 9. My developmentally disabled older brother’s birthday is on dec. 24th, and he always got soooo wound up, and especially always managed to eat too much. Some time during that night, he was visited by a strong urge to visit the bathroom,but his compass got sort of off in the hallway by the bedrooms, resulting in his circling the hallway a little too long… He couldn’t stop a large and well-formed turd from slipping smoothly down his pajama leg onto the hall carpet.

    Now, visiting us that year for the holiday was our “Uncle Chuck”. Chuck was a dear friend of the family, a “confirmed bachelor” who years before had hovered over my widowed mother and disabled brother like a mother hen. He was, however, pretty prissy, so Murphy’s law of Bedlam would have it that when he rushed out into the hall to see what all of the hullabaloo was all
    about, he stepped barefoot right on that turd.

    The best part, though, came when at Christmas services we kids asked for everyone to pray for “Uncle Chuck”. Nobody knew my mother had a brother named Chuck, but they were sure worried about him. But we kids thought what happened to him was about the worst thing we could think of happening
    to a person… Luckily Bedlam is sort of the default mode in my family, so Mom wasn’t too discomposed, having to explain it to everyone.

    Kerry D. Reply:

    @Kristina, I love this story! Thank you so much for sharing it. I can completely relate… In our family, we have, on a number of occasions found unidentified poops on the floor in the hallway–no one would claim ownership! (Two have neurological issues so there is ample confusion.) All we can do is clean it up and then laugh. (Now they’re older, we havn’t found any in years, thankfully.)

    Jens Reply:

    @Kristina, Oh my goodness, my friend. You and I have our bedlam, don’t we? Thanks for sharing. Is it ok if I am laughing with you…now? That is a great memory, I’m sure.

  29. What a great post and so true. We choose if we’re going to react or respond. Personally I’d much rather respond (C:

  30. WONDERFUL reminder. THANK YOU!

  31. When my son was 5 he came out of his bedroom white as a sheet and his stomach hurt. We finally got it out of him what he had done……..chewed several pieces of Feen A Mint gum from our medicine cabinet. I tend to panic at things like this but aftere a call to the hospital, we found out it would not hurt him, he would just not feel well and be on the commode a lot for several days.
    What a relief………there is always a silver lining……..he got into no mischief that Thanksgiving Day, just layed around.
    I hope you get a laugh from this. We did, well after the fact.

    Bethany Reply:

    @Marj M., Oh, my goodness, this is too funny! Because when I was a little girl, I did the same thing! I loved gum and that Feen A Mint was just too tempting! lol

  32. One year, my husband and I had Thanksgiving with his uncle’s extended family. Most of these people were completely new to me. Everyone was raving about Aunt So-and so’s brussel sprouts, and when they learned that I had never tried brussel sprouts before, they insisted that I must eat one. I’m basically a meat and potatoes gal. Some vegetables have even been known to make me gag, but not wanting to be rude, I popped a big ole brussel sprout in my mouth and proceeded to chew. What ensued must have look like a segment from Fear Factor, you know the part where someone has to eat rotten fertilized duck eggs to move on to the next round. I managed to get the thing down and keep it there, while hoping no one noticed my little struggle. Apparently everyone noticed because for Christmas that year, my husband’s aunt gave me a cookbook. It was inscribed , “Don’t worry, there aren’t any brussel sprout recipes in here.”

    Jens Reply:

    @Kelly, haha, Kelly and I bet you thought NO ONE noticed. I am NOt a fan of brussel sprouts either, but believe it or not they were sampling them at Trader joes, so I thought I would go for it. Amazing what a few years will do. Theyweren’t that bad with tons of cheese on them….lol

  33. Hi Jen! I am laughing with you, not at you! Seriously the WORST bedlam moment was my mother’s first thanksgiving after moving from an apartment in Brooklyn to Long Island and having a ton of friends and family. I think it was the first thanksgiving she ever cooked, not being from america. She purchased a huge turkey, and could not fit it into the oven! So, she took it out, and with the help of my surgeon father, they broke its back, shoved it back in–and jammed a chair under the oven door. The top skin as a little CRISPY, but it was fine, and I think my mother handled it well! Wishing you and your family a happy thanksgiving! My link up this week is a coconut oil giveaway just in time for the holiday baking season! All the best, alex

  34. I had to laugh a bit about the bread explosion, as I have soooo been there. Thanks so much for hosting again this week. I am off to mingle.


  35. Well, just the other day I was making some apple cinnamon muffins for a friend who lost a relative. But I was multi-tasking at the time trying to make SpongeBob mac-n-cheese for my boys for dinner and make the muffins. So instead of dumping the mac-n-cheese in the boiling water, I accidentally dumped the SpongeBob pasta into the muffin mix that was waiting to be poured into muffin cups. Ugh! So I had to start all over again with both the muffins and the mac-n-cheese.

    When I made my first turkey, I cooked the turkey with the giblet and neck pack right in it. That thing was baked right into the inside.

    I also made fresh mashed potatoes one year that turned to cement glue. So I had to send dh out to buy refrigerated mashed potatoes.

    Actually, I no longer host Thanksgiving any more because it is too much work with too much room for error. LOL. I rather host Christmas Eve dinner which is less stressful on me.

  36. hahaha! Too funny! Yes, kids and dogs will throw up!

  37. One year, I don’t know what happened, but I must not have thawed the turkey all the way. It was in the oven for like six hours, and the little button thingie would not pop up. I concluded that the thingie was broken and took the turkey out of the oven to serve. When we cut into it, it was completely cold and raw in the middle. We tried to microwave separate pieces before serving. It was awful!!! Every year when we eat my very yummy and perfect turkey, we remember that fiasco.


  38. I’ve been married for over 9 yrs now, so it’s been a few years, but beginning with our FIRST Thanksgiving (one month after getting married) in our tiny apartment, with my new in-laws coming over, I fixed the entire Thanksgiving dinner for them to come over and enjoy with us. I didn’t know you were supposed to take anything OUT of the turkey before cooking it! Uh, yeah, and that’s not all…. I’ve done this a total of THREE times (two times thinking that I had gotten all of the “stuff” out, but there always seems to be the illusive tiny bag in the back of the cavity of the bird – HA!) We all live and learn, don’t we? LOL


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