Holidays Made Easy

Martha Stewart reveals why her first Thanksgiving was a disaster

Today, we think of Martha Stewart as the woman who can do it all around the kitchen, house and garden ... and do it all to perfection.

But as Stewart reveals to The Daily Mail, her very first attempt at Thanksgiving dinner after being married was far from the idealized event she would perfect years later.

In fact, it was a real turkey!

"As a young newlywed many years ago, I (bravely!) invited our entire family to what I hoped would be an impressive first Thanksgiving," she writes in the post, which also includes her favorite turkey recipes and side dishes to serve at the big holiday meal.

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How to use pickle brine to spice up a Thanksgiving turkey

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How to use pickle brine to spice up a Thanksgiving turkey

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Stewart recalls that she purchased a 30-pound turkey from a local farm (even back then, Stewart was all into local sourcing!) and stayed up until 3 a.m. making pies, dressing and vegetable sides.

At last, she preheated the oven, stuffed the turkey and "struggled to get the enormous bird into the electric oven by 3:45."

Dinnertime was set at 1 p.m., which was what her mom ("Big Martha") traditionally did each year.

But then things went horribly wrong. "I went to sleep only to awake to a house full of black smoke — the turkey was burning!"

She and her husband Andrew (to whom she was married from 1961-1990) raced to the kitchen, but it was a total loss. The turkey, that is. "[T]he bird was hopelessly charred!" she related. "(My fateful mistake? I preheated the oven to 500 degrees, then forgot to turn it down to 325.)"

A mistake, indeed.

Fortunately, there was still time to save the day. "I started to cry while we drove back to the turkey farm, where luckily one lone thirty pound turkey lay partially frozen in the walk-in freezer, a customer's forgotten order. I grabbed it, rushed home, and placed it under running water to thaw it."

Out went the stuffing from turkey a la char, she stuffed the new turkey and held guests off until 7 p.m., when the turkey "emerged glistening and golden, cooked to perfection — six hours late."

And here's what a Martha Stewart turkey looks like today:

Hint: cook it upside-down, as she's explained to TODAY.

Hey, if Martha Stewart can learn from her mistakes, so can we all!

For more tips on how to perfect your Thanksgiving bird, check out our favorite tips from the Butterball experts.

Follow Randee Dawn on Twitter.

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