I think it’s time to confess what happened to me last Thanksgiving. I hope you’ll find this funny and have a laugh at my expense. If it helps you feel better, then my experience was worth it!

I think.

Little did I realize I’d need to read my own weblog for support before the night was over.

On the afternoon before Thanksgiving, I had a rare moment of pretentious kitchen creativity. It so happens that a few times a year, I feel I’m channeling Julia Child. This time I decided to make a pureed soup with a new industrial strength blender. I used fresh organic carrots, celery, cooked mushrooms, green peppers, onions, spices and potatoes. I was on a roll.

Unfortunately, the potatoes made the soup too thick. I found a box of chicken stock, and poured a bit of it into the blender. It was then that I noticed the box had expired in 2007.

I put a lot of effort into this soup. Yet the funny taste was unmistakable. After much sorrow, I took it off the stove, and my family took me out to dinner. They later left me at home and went to see a movie. But could I let it rest?

Um, no.

My desire to get rid of the evidence was so great that I dumped the poisoned soup into the sink. I thought the puree would go easily down the drain. Instead, a persistent brown fluid stared back at me. With false confidence, I went to the garage and found the plunger.

Happily, the plunging seemed to help the fluid drain away! I added more water from the tap to clear out the remains in the sink. I didn’t know it yet, but I had actually been forcing water into the dishwasher, and it had started to overflow. I was feeling smug, congratulating myself on having saved hundreds of dollars. When I finally saw brown liquid streaming through bottom panel of the dishwasher, I realized the jig was up, and hysterically called the plumber sporting the biggest ad in the Yellow Pages.

I charged down to the laundry room for towels to sop up the mess. When I turned on the light switch, though, I heard a sizzling sound and saw the lights sadly flicker. I looked up. To my horror, brown water was raining from the ceiling and onto prized electronic equipment. I dried it as quickly as I could and ran back upstairs. I began to scoop water out of the dishwasher with a mixing bowl, dumping the contents into a toilet in the next room, running back and forth with the bowl. I emptied garbage onto the floor, so I could use the bin to catch the brown rain. Finally the plumber arrived.

He informed me that snaking the sink might not work with our old pipes, and that the basement ceiling might need to be opened. He pointed accusingly at the deteriorating trap under the sink, shaking his head at my household neglect. He got a new trap out of his truck, but while replacing it, he cracked a different pipe, which then also needed to be fixed.

After I wrote the check, I closed my eyes, grateful that the sink was unclogged, and that the ceiling was intact. I collapsed into bed and searched the internet for “holiday disaster stories.” It turns out there are quite a lot of them. Strangely, I began to feel better.

Then I read my own post “Holiday Survival #1.”