Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays for so many reasons. I love getting together with family, and I love that the kids aren't asking every five minutes if they can open presents. But I think my favorite thing about Thanksgiving is preparing and eating the big turkey dinner.

We had a 26 pound bird this year to accommodate a large guest list, and I started cooking it around 3:00 in the morning at 300 degrees. I expected it to take a while to cook, but I didn't expect to wake up to what I did...

My wife was frantic and the kids thought the house was on fire because of all the smoke. But if the house wasn't ablaze, what could it be? Turkey juice! Lots and lots of turkey juice! I thought my roasting pan was deep enough, but I was obviously wrong.

I turned off the oven to let it cool down as we opened all the windows to air out the house, and thankfully, it was a warm day. I saw all of the black goo that was once delicious turkey broth that was caked on the bottom of the oven. Once it was cool enough, I had my wife hold me by the belt loop as I went in to take the oven apart.

I took that bottom panel out to the garage and removed the gunk with a chisel (go big or go home, right?). After replacing the part, I fired the oven back up, and after just a minute or two to cook off what I didn't get, the smoking stopped and we were back to the cooking and baking blitz.

What's the worst thing that's ever happened to you when trying to prepare a meal for a large group of people?