Challenge,  Fun Stuff,  workshops

Well, That Was Fun…

Holiday Adventure And A Sale…

The sale you all know about from last night. And I will answer a few questions below, but first a holiday adventure.

Started off a couple days ago when Kris and I were talking about maybe not having enough turkey for leftovers because we had a small turkey and five people planning at dinner. We both really like leftover turkey for a few days, so on a whim out shopping, I grabbed a second bird. With the sale on the bird and a secondary special discount, I didn’t really notice how big it was. Turned out it was huge. And that might be an understatement.

I cook turkeys in those tin disposable pans, so I took the small turkey this morning down to our old condo and got it cooking down there. Then in our new place here I managed to get the monster into one of those pans and cooking. (We are getting rid of the old condo on the first, so last time I could use it. And I had forgotten how stupidly difficult it was to cook two turkeys at the same time. I had done it once before when we had the big house in Lincoln City and owned the neighbor’s house as well. About twenty years ago, so memory faded clearly.)

So all good until I went to take the small turkey out, burn my arm (I am fine) and spilled turkey juice all over. Yup, that was fun to clean up.

Got the small bird upstairs and then about an hour later went to take out the monster and spilled hot turkey juice all over again. (And yes I had taken a bunch out before I tried to move it. Not enough, clearly.)

So another clean-up, but I left the stove on because I was going to heat up rolls. Then I happened to glance around and see smoke pouring up out of one burner. (Gas burners, so I figured the pan had something on the bottom and I turned off the burner and moved the pan and turned away. When I turned back, flames were filling the over and there was a lot of smoke Seems a bunch of the juice got down in the bottom of the oven. I shut off the oven, opened the patio door, got fans going to clear the smoke and all was well.

Until while talking with the guests, I turned back on the over to heat the rolls and put them in the oven. Yup, you guessed it, in a minute or so, more flames and smoke. Our rolls had a nifty smokey flavor.

Deck doors back open, oven off, fans on, and the smoke clears and all is fine.

So about halfway through dinner we start hearing a weird sound like a truck backing up. At first I thought it was one of our modern appliances which have more stupid alarms than a prison. But nope.

And no tucks outside.

We finally figured out it was the building’s fire alarm sirens on lower floors. So Kris and Lisa Silverthorne headed off together to see if Lisa’s cats were all right in her condo. Next thing I know we are watching fire truck after fire truck pull up in front of the building. 12 trucks were dispatched. And then Kris calls and tells me she and Lisa are evacuating Lisa’s cats because the alarm on Lisa’s floor is full blast. (We still could only barely hear it up on the top floor, so the fire folks clearly didn’t want to chase us out and figured we were in no danger and were fine. So we had pie while Kris and Lisa were chatting up the firemen down on the street.)

Eventually, Kris and Lisa got the cats back in place and joined us for desert. As of the time Kris and I went out for a walk a few hours ago, there was still no idea where the fire was or where all the smoke came from, but they think it was something like my adventure, only not caught until it set off the alarms and 12 trucks were dispatched. Oops.

It wasn’t me, I swear.

And wow do we have a lot of turkey, and Lisa and the others took a bunch as well. But can’t use the stove until it is completely cleaned. (grin)

So hope you all here in the States had a fun holiday.


The code is HolidaySale to get 50% off any workshop or challenge or lecture or Pop-Up.

We are calling it the HolidaySale (code is all one word) because it is started Today, on American Thanksgiving, goes over Black Friday, then through Small Business Saturday, and through Cyber Monday to end on Thursday, December 2nd. Just one week with a major US holiday and three major shopping days in that week.

This is on Teachable.

And yes, you can give workshops as gifts. Just write me directly and I will make sure it happens.

And you can get credit for future workshops as well. (A number asked about this… Ninth or so class on the list is a way to get three workshops at a discounted price, then at half price. Those act as credits you can use any time.)

All of the December and January regular workshops are up and available, and we have up at least 54 Pop-Up classes now.

The challenges of doing a short story per week, a novel every two months, or publishing a major project every month are available in this sale as well.

Also the best deals are the lifetime workshops. Six new Study Along workshops coming this next year are added to the Lifetime Study Along.

So just find whatever class you would like, hit purchase, and then put in the code HolidaySale on the top of the next page to get 50% off the price. Make sure you hit “apply” after putting in the code.

Again, This is on Teachable.

Any problems or questions, feel free to write me directly.

And for those of you in the States, I hope you had a less fire and smoke-filled day than I did.


  • Britt Malka

    Aw, poor Dean.

    I have to confess that I was laughing my hiney off because of your description. Until the firetrucks showed up. That must have been scary. Like you said, must have been another one crisping their turkey. 😉

    Thanks for your sale. I just grabbed a pop-up I’ve had my eyes on for a while.

    • dwsmith

      Not really scary. This building might be the safest building for fire I have ever lived in. The entire building is concrete. Floors, ceilings, and most of the walls. And has an amazing sprinkler system they keep up and fire alarm system that is maintained regularly (and annoying). And the building is fairly new, about seven years old or so. So a ton of things would have to go wrong to have a fire even think of spreading. So never worried except for Lisa’s place since they evacuated her.


    I make a mean turkey myself and I have to say those disposable tin pans are 100% the way to go. I’ve been using them for years. Once the turkey is gone, you toss the pan in the trash. Nothing worse than scrubbing a giant steel pan in a small sink.

    As for your smoke, I had a similar deal here. I live in a tiny studio apartment and my oven started smoking like Cheech & Chong. I shut it off and realized it was last year’s turkey juice I failed to fully clean–it congealed to the bottom and heated up into smoke.

    • Mary

      i agree the flimsy aluminum pans make cleanup easy, but they’re just too flimsy for a large turkey. So, best of both worlds, insert the aluminum pan inside a sturdy roasting pan. Voilà. No clean up, no spills.

  • Mihnea+Manduteanu

    Right there with you with the “fun”. Managed to spill half the oil from the frier on the kitchen floor and walls. Not fun.

  • Nathan Haines

    I’m glad you and Kris had a great Thanksgiving!

    We had a pretty nice time this year. Decided to get together with family the afternoon before and do all the side and stuffing prep and hang out while doing it. A little washing dishes as we went along and by the time we were trying to to wait for everything to settle enough to eat pie, there weren’t any dishes that didn’t belong in the dishwasher.

    That said, for next year I might want that recipe for Dean’s Famous Smoked Rolls, lol…

  • Patricia Finney

    I loathe, hate, despise turkey. I ate it on Thanksgiving when my husband was alive because he was an American. We lived in the UK (and I still do) and every year it was the same palaver: no turkeys available until Christmas except supermarket battery farm ones. I’d go to a farmer I knew and beg for a turkey for the last Thursday in November. He always gave me a long lecture about how when the turkeys are being fattened for Christmas is probably the happiest time of their lives, and my poor turkey would miss it. Guilt made the turkey taste worse. At least I loved pumpkin pie.
    Christmas pudding is a wonderful traditional English dessert for Christmas – it’s like a very very rich fruit cake with brandy in it, served with custard and brandy butter. I love it but it’s a pain because you’re supposed to steam it for 2 hours. One Christmas I put it in the microwave and guessed the time.
    Five minutes later there was a dull thud and the sound of crackling. I opened the microwave. There was a Christmas pud volcano inside, complete with flaming lava. My kids thought it was wonderful.