Dinner party ruined—and the husband in the snow

By Caitlin Jackson

New York magazine

When popular chef Tom Brokaw did his wife something simple and decidedly American on Thanksgiving—a hot dog and soft-serve ice cream—everything began to go awry.

On Thursday, Brokaw, a host on the Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, embarked on the traditional Thanksgiving getaway, buying some food he found in a kitchen and bringing it to their home in San Diego. The next morning, however, Brokaw was dressed for school, exhausted, toothpick-chewed, and broken.

“My wife cut me up,” Brokaw told writer Jonathan Yardley. “I was in the middle of having Thanksgiving dinner, only not with my family.”

Boskaw, who hosts a blog called the Cooking Diva, had ended up at Sheabrok’s mom’s house in suburban San Diego, where he was to partake in a traditional Thanksgiving feast with his wife, friends, and family. Brokaw had gone to the supermarket in the morning for groceries, a man routine that is often repeated when one travels for work, home, or a personal meeting. Brokaw bought two hot dogs—one medium and one hot—and a handful of colorful chips.

After spending the day with friends at a nearby lake, Brokaw was home. When he cooked the hot dogs, he stretched for his bag and opened it up to discover his hands were covered in melted butter, chopped onions, and spices.

Just then, his wife knocked at the door and shouted, “I’m the butcher!” Brokaw didn’t know who his wife had been talking to and was extremely confused. “It was like the scene out of Forrest Gump,” he said.

A distracted Brokaw realized the problem—and by “embarrassed” he meant it: he’d unintentionally injected himself into his Thanksgiving dinner in a way that also gave him food poisoning. Brokaw was about to call his doc, when he screamed out to his wife, “I need to get out of here!” He ran to the front door and was out the door in seconds.

Brokaw drove to the emergency room, only to be told he’d be there for three weeks. Now the chef was wondering why he had taken so long to say he was in distress. He’d been soaking up every moment of the day, enjoying the normal scenes of a Thanksgiving day.

Brokaw told Yardley that he’d since wondered if he had eaten the wrong kind of hot dog. And that, for the second time in his life, he’d taken it upon himself to go to the emergency room for “just a little fun.”

The lucky thing about this story is that Brokaw’s wife—Rue Morgan—was in town, so the couple were able to go to a hospital together. Now the couple is proud to share their experience of a culinary accident to kick off a fun topic at dinner tables across the country: eating their way through the whole afternoon.

The dinner party ruined—and the husband in the snow

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