A Thanksgiving Special Dan Pashman, host of the Sporkful (@TheSporkful), and a surprise special guest join the show — and three listeners share Thanksgiving horror stories. Then, as always, the best things that happened to our listeners all week. We're back with a deep dive on Tuesday, and our regular wrap on the week next Friday. As always, you can reach the show at samsanders@npr.org or @NPRItsBeenAMin. Tweet at Sam @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
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A Thanksgiving Special

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A Thanksgiving Special

A Thanksgiving Special

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  • Transcript

BETTY: Hey y'all, this is Sam's Aunt Betty. This week on the show, me.


(Laughter) How long have you been longing to say that Betty?

BETTY: Oh, never.


SANDERS: Hey, Betty, thanks for doing this today. I'm Sam Sanders. IT'S BEEN A MINUTE. Today, the one, the only - you usually hear her just announcing our guests each week. But today, my very own Aunt Betty, sister of my own mother, is on the phone from her office in Delaware to be a guest on our show.

DAN PASHMAN: Nice to meet you, Aunt Betty.

BETTY: Thank you. It's my pleasure.

PASHMAN: Can I call you Aunt Betty?

BETTY: Absolutely. You can call me Betty. You don't have to call me Aunt Betty (laughter).

SANDERS: Also, Dan Pashman is here. Hi.

PASHMAN: Hey, how are you?

SANDERS: Dan Pashman hosts a podcast called "The Sporkful." It's a podcast which you say is not for foodies. It's for eaters.

PASHMAN: That's right.

SANDERS: I like that. I like that. We're doing a special Thanksgiving episode. And my Aunt Betty is one of the best cooks that I know. So we had to have her involved. You are. I'm not joking.

BETTY: I have to (unintelligible) the great. Thank you.


SANDERS: Well, all of y'all can cook 'cause Carrie Joe (ph) could cook - my grandmother. She was a very...

BETTY: Yeah, mom could cook.

SANDERS: Yeah. Anyway, so I was like, Betty, we're going to do this show. And she texts me and says, y'all have to call me because if I call you, they're going to charge my office.


SANDERS: I said, OK. So we called Betty.

BETTY: I'm a state employee. We don't play there.


SANDERS: So we are taping the show in advance. But we got a lot of good stuff for you. I am going to be talking with you, Dan, about thanksgiving food. But the thing that I'm most excited about today is that we're going to take calls from listeners and hear a few of their Thanksgiving horror stories.


SANDERS: (Unintelligible) really proud of that tape.


PASHMAN: It's the little victories.

SANDERS: It's the little victories. So we're doing this because of two simple reasons - I love thanksgiving, and I love horror stories. That's it. So, Betty, I prompted you last night in advance of this conversation to share, if you would, a Thanksgiving horror story. Do you have one or several?

BETTY: Oh, you know, I think every adventure into the kitchen is a potential horror story for me.


BETTY: Because I'm just going by gut. You know, I don't use - unless I'm baking, I'll use a recipe. So it's - this looks like it might taste good in there. Let's try this. So I do have a horror story. I made - in the South, we call it dressing. Up here, y'all call it stuffing. But I made dressing and couldn't get the flavor right. And I just kept thinking that it needed more sage. So I kept...

SANDERS: Oh, I know this story...

BETTY: ...Adding sage and adding sage.

SANDERS: I was hoping you would tell this story. I didn't want to make you tell it, but I wanted you to tell it. And I'm glad you're telling it. Go ahead.

BETTY: (Laughter) So by the time I finished and I cooked it, it had a slight green tint to it.

SANDERS: Dan, I was there. It was not slight green. It was verdant.


BETTY: So, of course, when Sam comes in, all we talked about the whole weekend was that green dressing. And I had to coax him into eating it because it was just too green to be appetizing.

SANDERS: If I recall, the turkey was green, too.

BETTY: The turkey was not green.


BETTY: Just the dressing.

PASHMAN: But here's the question, Sam. How did it taste? Did it have enough sage?

SANDERS: Betty's never cooked a bad meal. Presentation and plating might be an issue sometimes...


SANDERS: ...If the dressing is green. But it's actually been good. So my whole mother's side of the family - they're all from Alabama, from Birmingham. And they just know how to cook good Southern food. I've never had a bad meal from my mother or any of her sisters. I promise that. That is true, Betty.

BETTY: Oh, well, thank you. I'm going to write that down and pass it on to the others.

SANDERS: Although, Donna (ph) never cooked.

BETTY: Well, Donna is more organic lately, so she cooks differently.

SANDERS: Yes, yes. And like, Alsa (ph) could just cook two things very well. So we just made her cook those two things. She would do fried chicken very well and potato salad very well.

BETTY: And she made the best banana pudding from scratch...

PASHMAN: Oh, yes.

BETTY: ...You ever put in your mouth.

PASHMAN: Oh, I love banana pudding. Nilla wafers - does she do it with the Nilla wafers?

BETTY: Vanilla wafers, yes, old fashion.

SANDERS: So Betty, you have to get back to work. But I want you to give us one quick bit of Thanksgiving advice for those cooking this year because you do a pretty good job of it.

BETTY: Well, thank you. So my advice is - for those cooking this year - is just to really remember why you're there to be thankful for each other and for health and for family and for whatever you're thankful for. You're going to have a sink full the dishes. You're going to have a ton of garbage to take out. Do it. Keep smiling. Get folks to help you as much as you can. But, you know, what I tell people?


BETTY: If it's not good, it's free. (Laughter) You don't have to eat it. It's free.


SANDERS: Exactly. All right, Betty.

BETTY: All right, thanks.


SANDERS: Bye, Betty.

BETTY: Bye. Bye, Dan.

SANDERS: Dan, in just a bit, we're going to hear some Thanksgiving horror stories from our listeners. But I want to talk first with you, a longtime food journalist, about something you've declared recently. You've said you're going to swear off Thanksgiving content.

PASHMAN: That's right. Yeah, we did a "Sporkful" podcast last week that we called the last "Sporkful" Thanksgiving special ever. And it's bold, Sam. It's bold...

SANDERS: Why would you do this?

PASHMAN: ...And it might be a terrible mistake. Basically, you know, when I first - I started in news like you - in radio. And I started this food podcast as a side project many years ago, and it became my job. And I was worried when I first started making food my career that if it became work that I would lose my passion for it.

SANDERS: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

PASHMAN: And I had to say, for the most part, that has not happened.

SANDERS: That's good.

PASHMAN: But the one issue has become Thanksgiving.


PASHMAN: Because I always used to love Thanksgiving. And I found myself dreading it because there is so much anxiety around it. And especially when you're in the food media, you're expected to have something new and different to say every year on Thanksgiving. It's the most food-centric holiday - like, it's the only holiday where the food is the point, really.

SANDERS: Yeah - which makes it the best holiday.

PASHMAN: Agreed.

SANDERS: I guess, so to reclaim Thanksgiving insanity, you're just swearing off...

PASHMAN: First of all, if I keep doing new Thanksgiving specials, I'm part of the problem.

SANDERS: The Thanksgiving industrial complex.

PASHMAN: Exactly. I don't want to be part of big Thanksgiving special.


SANDERS: I mean, but - yeah, OK. I see that. So then where is all of this energy that used to go into you being caught up over Thanksgiving - where's it going to go now?

PASHMAN: I want to focus on drinking.


SANDERS: Is there a certain Thanksgiving cocktail that you can recommend?

PASHMAN: The autumn bonfire.

SANDERS: The autumn bonfire.

PASHMAN: This is Rosie Schaap's perfect cocktail for a fall day in the kitchen.

SANDERS: Wait. Let me guess what that drink would contain...

PASHMAN: Please.

SANDERS: ...Based on the title. Autumn bonfire - Fireball (laughter).

PASHMAN: No. It's one part Applejack...


PASHMAN: ...Which is an apple brandy.


PASHMAN: One part smoky scotch...

SANDERS: Smoky scotch...

PASHMAN: ...Like a - something sort of peaty or smoky...


PASHMAN: And that's kind of where you going to get that fire - that bonfire vibe from. One part non-alcoholic - apple cider or apple juice...

SANDERS: Oh, yeah.

PASHMAN: ...A couple of dashes of bitters and then a splash of maple syrup.

SANDERS: Maple syrup - is it weird that I like the smell of fake maple syrup more than the smell of real maple syrup?

PASHMAN: I don't think that's weird.

SANDERS: Thank you.

PASHMAN: I mean, you know, especially because, like, you know, there's something deep about pancake syrup as it's technically - the FDA requires it to be called.

SANDERS: Oh, really?

PASHMAN: Because you can't call it maple because it's not actually from maple tree.

SANDERS: Oh, it's not maple. Yeah.

PASHMAN: So it's called pancake syrup. But there is something about that that's sort of like...

SANDERS: It's good.

PASHMAN: ...Corn syrup with caramel food coloring...

SANDERS: Right up my alley.

PASHMAN: ...That just taps you right into childhood, you know? Like, if you grew up with that, like, it's just - but I think you should give thought to how alcohol takes up stomach space. Like...

SANDERS: Alcohol usually frees up some space for me. It always makes me hungry.

PASHMAN: Really?

SANDERS: I eat when I drink.

PASHMAN: All right. Well, then you should be drinking on Thanksgiving. Where's your cocktail, Sam (laughter)?


SANDERS: Well, Dan, I hope you enjoy your first Thanksgiving-free Thanksgiving. Well, that's not the way you say it. How would you say it?

PASHMAN: It's going to be Thanksgiving-full, really, Sam. I'm going to focus on the holiday...

SANDERS: ...And not the pomp and circumstance and the stress.

PASHMAN: ...The stress, the stress.


PASHMAN: In fact, I'm going to be so relaxed. I'm not even making dessert. I'm not even buying a fancy dessert. I'm buying an amazing dessert.

SANDERS: What is the dessert?

PASHMAN: I'm going to get a Patti LaBelle sweet potato pie.

SANDERS: Can you get those? - because they were sold out for a while, right?

PASHMAN: I think they upped the supply.

SANDERS: The Patti pies...

PASHMAN: That's right.

SANDERS: Is the pie that good?

PASHMAN: It's really good. It's really good.


PASHMAN: I mean, look. It's like the part of you that pancake syrup taps into.

SANDERS: (Laughter) The Patti pie does that, too?

PASHMAN: Right. Right.

SANDERS: I love it. I love it. Well, now we're going to hear about probably some bad Thanksgiving food. We're going to have you stick around and help me listen to some Thanksgiving horror stories.

PASHMAN: Let's do it.

SANDERS: Don't go away. I'm Sam Sanders, and you're listening to IT'S BEEN A MINUTE from NPR.


SANDERS: We are back. You're listening to IT'S BEEN A MINUTE from NPR. I'm Sam Sanders. We're taking a break from the news this week, and we've got a special Thanksgiving episode. Let's get back to me and food podcaster Dan Pashman. He hosts a show called "The Sporkful." And we're taking some calls from listeners. We've got three lined up. They're sharing some Thanksgiving horror stories.


SANDERS: First on the line we have Lindsay (ph). Lindsay, hey.


SANDERS: How are you?

LINDSAY: I'm good, thanks.

SANDERS: Good good. You're on the phone with me and my friend Dan Pashman. He has a podcast all about food. Where are you calling from?

LINDSAY: I'm calling from Philadelphia.

SANDERS: OK. OK. All right. What is your Thanksgiving horror story?

LINDSAY: So it doesn't actually have anything to do with food.

SANDERS: That's fine.

LINDSAY: My horror story was when I was in high school, my mom decided during dinner that we should change up the traditional going around the table and saying what everyone is thankful for and saying what the person next to us should be thankful for.

SANDERS: That is so passive aggressive.

LINDSAY: It really was.

SANDERS: Why would she do that?

LINDSAY: Well, just wait. She went first and came over to me and said that I should be thankful for her.


SANDERS: That is mom 100.

PASHMAN: Seriously, that is like mom squared.

LINDSAY: Well, we only got through two people before some bad feelings erupted and dinner was over.

SANDERS: Like, just over?

LINDSAY: Yeah, just over. People left the table. The only one still left was my grandma, who had her hearing aid turned off.

SANDERS: (Laughter) Dan, what do you do in moments like that?

PASHMAN: I mean, you guys got to focus on the food. It's your family. It it'll all blow over eventually hopefully. Wait. Lindsay, what did you say the person next to you should be thankful for?

LINDSAY: Well, I was the cause of the problem. I told my brother, who I was angry at at the moment for who knows why - but told him that he should be thankful that anyone still speaks to him.

PASHMAN: Oh, my God.

LINDSAY: I was an angry teenager.

SANDERS: Oh, so was I.

PASHMAN: And was that the end, or did he then go next?

LINDSAY: Nope, that was the end.


LINDSAY: The next Thanksgiving, we did not continue that tradition. We stuck to the saying what we are thankful for ourselves.

SANDERS: Good. Good. Good. Hey, well, thanks so much for your call.

LINDSAY: Thank you. I love your podcast.

SANDERS: I appreciate that. Bye-bye.

All right. Let's take another call. We have Robert (ph) on the line from Wisconsin. Robert, you there?

ROBERT: Hey, Sam. How are you?

SANDERS: I'm good. I'm good. How are you?

ROBERT: Wonderful.

SANDERS: Good. Good. You're on the line with me and my friend Dan Pashman. He has a podcast all about food.

PASHMAN: Hey, Robert.

ROBERT: Hey, Dan. How are you?

PASHMAN: Good. How are you? What's your Thanksgiving horror story?

ROBERT: Well, I was - I started hosting my whole extended family for Thanksgiving. Just out of college, I was like 24. I was all proud of myself that I could do that with my young wife and our little children. And maybe the third or fourth year, we had a new house. And I was trying to show off my new house (unintelligible) Thanksgiving. And this was the first house where I had a garbage disposal. So I was excited about that. So I did like, you know, two dozen potatoes, did a big batch of mashed potatoes. And I just washed all the potato skins down the garbage disposal because I thought that's what you could do.

SANDERS: Why can't you do that? I would think you could do that.

ROBERT: Well, you know, you can't as it turns out...

SANDERS: (Laughter).

ROBERT: I learned that because about a half hour in - you know, half hour later, my sink is full of water and won't go down. So naturally, I just ran more water in the other side of the sink thinking that, somehow, this will magically make it all go away. Obviously, this isn't working. So I just said, I'm going to be a plumber now, in addition to a chef, and start to take apart the under stuff of the sink to try to figure out why it's clogged.

SANDERS: Oh, man. You're bold.

ROBERT: So, you know, thinking ahead, I grab a little ice cream pail to catch the water. I'm a terrible judge of water volume.

SANDERS: (Laughter).

ROBERT: So I unplugged the sink from underneath the sink, and there's, like, six or seven gallons of water in there.

SANDERS: Oh, my goodness.

ROBERT: And it all just immediately pours - floods my entire kitchen.

SANDERS: Potato water.

ROBERT: Potato water - gross, nasty, viscous potato water - and a couple weeks later, a plumber came and had to, like, cut out a 4-foot section of the pipe in the basement because the - what he - he described it as four feet of concrete that had resulted from all those potato peelings.

SANDERS: Oh, my goodness.

PASHMAN: No. Wait. Just so I can understand, Robert, did you actually run the disposal?

ROBERT: Yeah. It mashed them up and made them into like this wet paste, which then hardened in the pipe.

SANDERS: Oh, oh.

PASHMAN: You made potato peel glue.



SANDERS: So could you clean up in time for that 5:30 meal time?


SANDERS: Look at you.

ROBERT: Yes. Everything worked great. That's why I said, it was a horror story for a while there. But I was quite heroic. And I told everybody exactly what I accomplished and all the craziness of the water and the flood in the kitchen. But everything worked out great.

SANDERS: Was there anyone in your family who was like, I told you so?

ROBERT: No - because growing up I never had a garbage disposal. So I kind of blame my parents for never teaching me how to properly use a garbage disposal.


SANDERS: It's their fault.


SANDERS: Well, Robert, thank you for sharing your story with us. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

ROBERT: Same to you - thank you very much.

SANDERS: All right, man.

PASHMAN: Take care, Robert.


ROBERT: OK - bye, bye.

SANDERS: Dan, before we take some more calls, let's take a second to plug an episode of "The Sporkful" that you put out recently that was really interesting. It was a story about a sandwich shop in Aleppo.

PASHMAN: Yeah, a friend of mine told me that he had been to this sandwich shop years and years ago before the Syrian civil war started back when you would go on vacation to Aleppo.


PASHMAN: And it was this life-altering sandwich. And it was clear to him that this sandwich shop was a destination spot...

SANDERS: What was in the sandwich?

PASHMAN: He had a chicken sandwich. He had a tongue sandwich. And I got the impression it's kind of one of these - similar to like a falafel or shawarma place where you can choose different salads to put on there. So the exact sandwich you're going to get can vary depending on which salads you pick. But it's got a protein. It's got some pickles...

SANDERS: What's the bread about?

PASHMAN: French baguette.


PASHMAN: But this is one of the things that we learn. So I basically sort of set out to find out what made this sandwich shop special to people in Aleppo.

SANDERS: It was that special?

PASHMAN: Yes, it was - this was a known place. This was like the Ben's Chili Bowl of Aleppo.

SANDERS: (Laughter) OK.

PASHMAN: And - or the Franklin Barbecue in Austin or La Taqueria in San Francisco...

SANDERS: The line's across the street.

PASHMAN: Yes, well-known and, like, a destination for locals. So we set out to find out what made this place special and also, is it still there? We were able to get calls into Aleppo. And it's interesting you ask about the ingredients. One of the things that I learned in pursuing this place to try to find what made it special was that these sandwiches really unique to Aleppo because one of the things that my friends had experienced when they were there was the French bread. Syria - France occupied Syria for decades after World War I.


PASHMAN: There's also - there's hot peppers in these sandwiches, which you don't find all over the Middle East. But there are a lot of - some of the spices that you find in Syria were brought by Armenian refugees who came over during the Armenian Genocide.

SANDERS: Oh, OK. So this sandwich kind of tells the history of Syria.

PASHMAN: Right. Right.

SANDERS: Did you - and have you tasted one yet?

PASHMAN: I have not. I have not. But I am dying to. And - well, I don't want to give away too much because it's really a good ending. But I think that it's a satisfying conclusion.

SANDERS: Is it in your feeds now?

PASHMAN: Yeah, wherever you get your podcasts.

SANDERS: OK, you are listening to IT'S BEEN A MINUTE from NPR. This is a special Thanksgiving edition of the show. I'm here with Dan Pashman from a podcast called "The Sporkful." It's a show about food that's not for foodies. It's for eaters. That is a very good catchphrase.

PASHMAN: Oh, thank you.

SANDERS: Yeah, yeah - glad you're here, man.

PASHMAN: I'm glad I'm here, too. Thanks for having me.

SANDERS: Yeah. We're taking calls from listeners hearing about their Thanksgiving horror stories. All right, Dan - time for one more call. Jen (ph), you there?

JEN: Yes. Hello.

SANDERS: How are you?

JEN: Good, good - thanks. How are you?

SANDERS: I'm good. Where you calling from?

JEN: So I live in Denver, Colo.

SANDERS: Cool, cool. Well, you're talking with me and my friend Dan.

PASHMAN: Hey, Jen.

JEN: Hi.

SANDERS: Tell us your horror story.

JEN: OK. So this was about five years ago. My husband and I went to his folks' house for Thanksgiving. And my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law have never really gotten along. There's always been a lot of kind of back-and-forth jabs that happen and just a lot of tension there.


JEN: My mother and I get along great. We have a wonderful relationship.

PASHMAN: Hang on, Jen. I'm sorry to interrupt you. I just want to make sure I understood. Who is it that doesn't get along?

JEN: Sorry, yes. It's my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law.

PASHMAN: So your husband's mom doesn't get along with the woman that your husband's brother married.

JEN: Yes, that is correct. That's the scenario.

PASHMAN: OK. Got it. All right.



JEN: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sorry, a little confusing.

SANDERS: It's all good.

JEN: Anyway, so - yeah. Just these really passive-aggressive jabs are coming from my mother-in-law. And...

SANDERS: Like what? Can you give me an example of one?

JEN: I'm trying to think of some of the things. But, like, some of them are kind of awful. But, like, at one place, she said, like, oh, you know, it's a really good thing that you guys don't have kids because your kids, you know, might be kind of ugly.



JEN: Like, yes. Exactly.

PASHMAN: Jen, I'm going to need you to do a quick fact check. That's not passive-aggressive.

SANDERS: That's just aggressive.


SANDERS: That's like - that's totally mad aggro.

PASHMAN: (Laughter).

SANDERS: Oh, my God.

JEN: Totally fair. Very fair.

SANDERS: What did y'all say when she said that?

JEN: So the whole time, everyone - and, like, in my husband's family, everyone just is, like, super conflict-avoidant. Anyways, everyone's just, like, sitting, like, kind of this, like, fake smile plastered to their face. So then on Friday, my...

SANDERS: You guys survived the actual dinner on Thanksgiving in spite of this.

JEN: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly, yeah.


JEN: We kind of, like - fake smiles - push through. So we sat my mother-in-law down and said, like, hey, listen. You need to stop this. Here's what's happening. Here's all the things you're saying. Knock it off.


JEN: So that totally blew into this, like, screaming match. Just like, horrible - like...

SANDERS: Oh, no.

JEN: All of these things that are being brought in from, like, all this past stuff. And so, like, right in the middle of this, my poor brother-in-law and sister-in-law come walking in. They have no idea what they're...

SANDERS: These are the ones that she's been insulting.

JEN: Yes. So then she turns on them and just unleashes.


JEN: Huge yelling match. Everyone's angry. Everyone's yelling. Meanwhile, my father-in-law is just sitting, reading the newspaper, not looking up.



JEN: In the recliner, not even reacting. And so we're just, like, all, like, yelling at each other. It's this total crazy thing. And then, all of a sudden, he just like - my father-in-law puts down his newspaper. He stands up. And he says, there'll be no more yelling in this house. That's enough. If you're going to yell, you've got to take it to the Dairy Queen (laughter).

SANDERS: The Dairy Queen. Is that where one goes to yell?

PASHMAN: (Laughter).

JEN: Apaprently. Anyway, so yeah - kind of - so - and then he just sat back down and picked up his paper again. And it totally broke the tension. Like, all of us kids left and went out and got a drink.

SANDERS: You didn't go to Dairy Queen?

JEN: We did not go to the Dairy Queen.


PASHMAN: What part of take me to the Dairy Queen did you not understand, Jen?


SANDERS: Have you gone back since then?

JEN: We haven't actually...

SANDERS: Good (laughter).

JEN: ...Since the last time...

PASHMAN: Actually, Sam, they now have Thanksgiving at the Dairy Queen.


JEN: It's where we do all our family get-togethers, you know?

SANDERS: Exactly.

PASHMAN: (Laughter) And no one fights.

JEN: Yeah. The funny thing is my husband and I still, to this day, whenever we're having an argument, and we feel, like, ourselves getting upset with each other, then we turn to each other, and we say, do we need to take this to the Dairy Queen?


JEN: (Unintelligible).

SANDERS: Can I adopt that, like, as a new catchphrase of my own?

JEN: Yes. Please do. Please do. Yeah. Any time you feel like you're going to yell...

PASHMAN: Take it to the DQ.

JEN: ...Or are angry, just take it to the Dairy Queen (laughter).

SANDERS: Take it to the Dairy Queen. You better get a Blizzard, buddy.


JEN: Exactly.

SANDERS: Hey. Well, thank you for the call. I hope you have a drama-free Thanksgiving weekend and...

JEN: Oh, thank you so much.

SANDERS: ...Maybe still go to Dairy Queen just as well. Yeah.

JEN: Yeah. We might have to go get some ice cream just because, you know?

SANDERS: Exactly. All righty, take care.

PASHMAN: Bye, Jen.

JEN: Thank you so much. Bye.


PASHMAN: I've got to say, Sam, I grew up with a Dairy Queen, like, 1 mile from my house.

SANDERS: Blessed.

PASHMAN: It was super old-school. Like, there was no inside.

SANDERS: Just a drive-through. walk-up drive-through.

PASHMAN: A stand, yeah.


PASHMAN: And there was a summer when I went. I got a vanilla Blizzard with M&M's every Little League game.


PASHMAN: I put on a lot of weight that summer.


PASHMAN: (Laughter).


SANDERS: Before we finish, just want to thank everyone that sent us their Thanksgiving horror stories. I got sick. I ate too much. I left the giblets inside the turkey.

PASHMAN: Classic.

SANDERS: Yeah. It seems like we all kind of have the same universal Thanksgiving problems.

PASHMAN: Although, Butterball re-engineered the plastic bags that they put the giblets in inside the turkey, so that if you do accidentally cook the turkey with it in there, you can still eat the turkey.

SANDERS: I don't trust that.

PASHMAN: (Laughter).

SANDERS: So the plastic just melts inside this carcass? No.

PASHMAN: (Laughter).

SANDERS: No, Dan. I don't trust that.

PASHMAN: It may not be organic.

SANDERS: Yeah. You think?

PASHMAN: (Laughter).

SANDERS: Anyways, for all those enjoying Thanksgiving and the weekend after it, pace yourself. Be good to yourselves. If it doesn't work out, just order pizza. It's OK.

PASHMAN: And drink.

SANDERS: Yes, yes. All right, Dan. I think we did it. Dan Pashman, host of The Sporkful - check out his final ever Thanksgiving episode. Is it in your feeds now?

PASHMAN: Yeah, wherever you get your podcasts.

SANDERS: OK. And also behind that episode, there are two great episodes all about your search for the Aleppo sandwich.

PASHMAN: That's right.

SANDERS: Some good stuff there. Thanks, man. Appreciate it.

PASHMAN: Thanks, man. Happy Thanksgiving weekend.

SANDERS: Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks again to Dan for hanging out. Now it's time for us to end the show as we always do. We ask you, our listeners, to send us the sounds of your own voice sharing the best thing that happened to you all week. We play them right here. Let's take a listen.

CARLA: Hi, this is Carla (ph) and my 8-year-old son, Tomas (ph).


TOMAS: The best thing that happened to me all week was when my grandmother got here from Bolivia.


CARLA: And the best thing that happened to me all week was when my mom - Tomas' grandmother - came from Bolivia to spend two months with my wife and with Tomas.


MALACHI: Hello. My name is Malachi (ph).


MALACHI: And I'm 8 years old. The best thing that happened to me this week - I lost a tooth.

JOCELYN: On Sunday, I completed my first marathon.

SANDERS: All right.

JOAN: I went into a virtual queue this morning and came out on the other end with "Hamilton" tickets.

SANDERS: All right.

ELI: I was informed that I won a brand new mattress, bed frame, sheets, pillows for filling out an online review.


ELI: So I'm able to give my parents a brand new bed for Christmas.


KYLIE: Hey, Sam. This is Kylie from Durham, N.C. The best thing to happen to me this week was a rose-induced game of knockout with two deflated basketballs during our Friendsgiving. I don't like sports, but I do like my friends. And it was very cold, but I still felt warm inside.

SANDERS: That sounds real fun.

MAGGIE: Hey, you guys. It's Maggie (ph) in Maine.


MAGGIE: Like a lot of people, I've been wanting to do more in the world, but my husband and I both work full time. And we've got three little kids, including a baby. So time and money are pretty short right now. But we live in Maine, where real estate is cheap, and we have this big, old farmhouse with plenty of space, of which we're not even using.


MAGGIE: So after a few months of trying, we finally connected with a family recently arrived in this country from Burundi.


MAGGIE: They are asylum seekers and just need a little while to get on their feet. It has been such an awesome week. I went from having no kids in the local public school to three 10th graders.

SANDERS: Oh, my goodness.

MAGGIE: And I've learned all about that. We're all figuring out how to talk between English and French and Kirundi.


MAGGIE: I have five extra sets of hands to hold the baby. And it's been a great week.

SHAUNA: Hi, Sam. This is Shauna (ph) from Bloomington, Ind. And the best thing that's happened to me all week just happened this morning. I received a phone call from a number I didn't recognize, and when I answered, I found out it was a board member from Habitat for Humanity telling me that they are excited to bring me on as a homeowner.


SHAUNA: And this will be the first time for me owning a home. And as a single, working mom to twins and a child with special needs, it just warms my heart more than I can express to be able to have this opportunity. I'm so grateful to be able to give my children the space and accessibility that they need.


SHAUNA: And I just wanted to share that with you.

JOCELYN: I hope you have a great week.

ELI: Thanks.

SHAUNA: Happy Thanksgiving.

SANDERS: Wow. Thanks so much to the voices you heard there - Carla and Tomas, Malachi, Jocelyn (ph) Joan (ph), Eli (ph), Kylie, Maggie and Shauna. As always, you can share your best thing by email. Just send me an audio file to samsanders@npr.org. Do that any time at any point throughout any week. We listen to all of those that come in, even if we can't include them all in the show.

And that's a wrap on our Thanksgiving edition of IT'S BEEN A MINUTE from NPR. The show was produced by Brent Baughman and Anjuli Sastry, with Steve Nelson, and editing help from Jeff Rogers. Anya Grundmann is our VP of Programming. We're back next week with our regular format - a wrap on the week of news and culture and everything else. I'm Sam Sanders. Happy Thanksgiving. Talk soon.


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