Talking Turkey {Giveaway}

I cooked my first turkey when I was 17 years old.  It was intimidating, but a proud moment after all was said and done.   I was a new mother & wife and we couldn’t live farther away from family at the time.  I remember calling my mom and grandma countless times, asking all sorts of questions to make sure I was doing it right.   And even as proud as I was, there was a moment that was more special that day.  My husband invited one of his coworkers to our home for Thanksgiving.  He didn’t have anywhere to go, no family, and definitely no home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner to eat.  My husband has always been a very thoughtful & kind man, still is.  As soon as they finished up their day of work (cows don’t know it’s Thanksgiving), they headed in to enjoy some football and food.  Looking back, I now see that my husband is so much like his mother.

We have cooked our turkeys various ways over the years and probably prefer the oil-less turkey fryer method the best, but today I want to share my favorite tips for cooking your turkey and preparing your Thanksgiving day.  Remember, as nice as it is to present a beautiful table setting, all that really matters is who you’re sharing the day with and the moments you are creating, together.

THE TURKEY

I have learned over the years that the turkey does matter and will always recommend Butterball turkeys.  I recommend that you buy a bigger turkey than you think you will need. I say this for two reasons:

  1. You never know what extra mouths you may end up feeding and it’s always better to have more than not enough.
  2. You can have some great turkey leftovers and we all know, the last thing we want to do after Thanksgiving, is cook.

If you want to truly set it and forget it, buy the Reynolds Oven bags and a thermometer. I love the bags.  You can butter your turkey all up, stick in the bag, and walk away.  Keep the thermometer in there so you’ll know when it’s done.  I always say to just leave the turkey alone.  Don’t poke it. You can pour some juices over it once or twice but just leave it alone and let it roast.

THE SIDES

Instead of slaving over everything, ask family to bring a side or dessert.   This will ease your workload and pile up the table with plenty to eat.

THE COMPANY

Chances are, you’ll get a tiny bit stressed making sure everything is done on time.  This can also make you a bit more snappy so I’m telling you to slow down and don’t stress out.  The food will be done when it’s done.  Enjoy all the moments you can and don’t let the lazy bones watching football annoy you by their lack of participation.

BE THANKFUL

Finally, and what it’s really all about, be thankful.  Be thankful for the food on the table, for the company you have, and count each blessing in your life.  Ask everyone to share their own thankful moments and when you’re sitting around feeling full as a tick, thank God for the day ’cause you’ll never get it back and tomorrow is unexpected.

BUTTERBALL TURKEY CHECK GIVEAWAY

To help your pocketbook this holiday season, I want to giveaway 3 $20 checks to help you buy that perfect turkey!

TO ENTER

Leave a comment on this post sharing your best (or even secret) tip for Thanksgiving preparation.  (You may do this once a day as long as the tip is different each time.)

Be sure to visit the fabulous sponsor, Butterball!  They’re on Facebook, Twitter, and keep their 800# handy to help you answer all your turkey questions.  1-800-BUTTERBALL They also have an awesome app, Butterball Cookbook Plus, to help you prepare the perfect Thanksgiving, including recipes that will become a family tradition.

While sharing through social media doesn’t get you an entry, I’d still love for you to share this post.  All the tips left in the comments will definitely help someone have the perfect Thanksgiving!  Giveaway ends on Nov. 11th, around 10pm CST  so that I’ll have time to send checks out!! Open to US only..sorry! Good luck to all! Thank you Butterball for sponsoring and for helping create memorable moments.

 

Discussion

  1. Audrey says

    My first turkey cooking was “smoking” one——which meant getting up at 5 am to get the charcoal going and keeping it going because the weather jusst happened to turn cold that year. The turkey turned out great——-I was exhausted!

  2. Mami2jcn says

    We’re the same age! Hahaha!

    My tip is to use the juices that are pooling in the turkey tin/dish to wet the turkey all over. I do this every 15 minutes or so to keep the turkey moist.

  3. DEBIJOT says

    When planning a large family get-together for Thanksgiving, I will get everything I can prepared ahead of time. i.e. the sauces made up, cornbread cooked for the dressing, etc.

  4. Barbara Stenby says

    Thanksgiving is my ABSOLUTE favorite holiday for cooking. I grew up w/ my mother being the most amazing cook and since she has passed I still cook her Thanksgiving meal. Her stuffing was the absolute most moist delicious stuffing. Her secret was not to pre-cook the sausage meat for her stuffing. It adds moisture, flavor and makes the stuffing delicious. ALSO she always cooked Butterball Turkey. No tenting, no bacon wrapped, only salt & pepper and baste baste baste! Juicy cuicy bird! No complaints ever.

  5. Valerie Beuth says

    What a wonderful blog! My tip is do as much as you can a few days ahead of time. Some sides can be almost finished and refrigerated. By the time of the big day, just throw the turkey in the oven and you’re done (except for making the gravy). I’ve found that the turkey is the easiest part of the whole meal!

  6. Dominique Booth says

    I have no special recipe, however I do roast pumpkin slices and serve it with the turkey. Seems to make a big hit with everyone!

  7. Anne Marie says

    My best tip is to use a Butterball turkey and a Reynolds turkey bag – turns out perfect every time.

  8. Lindsay W. says

    I need all the tips I can get this will be my first year cooking the Turkey so fingers crossed it is eatable when I am done!

  9. Linda Stewart says

    I always stuff my turkey with ‘my’ special dressing and cook it the night before Thanksgiving. I cook it on a reduced heat setting and allow it to ‘simmer’ all night. The next morning when I take it out of the oven it’s always really moist and ready to eat. The house smells awesome and leaves the oven free for cooking other treats throughout the day.

  10. Marilyn Wons says

    I gently rub oil over the turkey and cover it with foil while baking in the oven. This turns the turkey golden brown.

  11. alice sims says

    I like to do all the cooking myself and I prepare for a large crowd on Thanksgiving. My tip is to prepare as much as possible ahead of time and freeze. I usually prepare my stuffing the day before and let all the wonderful flavors of celery, onions, and spices mix well together in the refrigerator over night. I also like to plan my menu in advance and determine what casserole dish or pot I will be using for each menu item. That way I know I will have the right size dish or pot for everything. I do my shopping early so I do not have to worry about the grocery store running out of the items I need. I make a list of everything I need to prepare each dish and check my pantry for what I may already have on hand.

  12. Alicia Clinton says

    Mostly I’ve assisted with the turkey making – so most of my tips have been initiated by my father.
    Tip #1 Cook upside down, so the breast is nice and juicy.

  13. says

  14. Shannon Baas says

    In our family, everyone brings something. The host does the meat and potatoes and everyone else brings the rest of the food.

  15. carol cas says

    We enjoy deep frying the turkey. We like the crispy skin, I know ur not suppose to deep fry and eat the skin, but what the heck once a year not bad..lol

  16. Marjory says

    Ever since I married my husband..I’ve used McCormick Turkey Rub as my *secret seasoning. It was the best…until they discontinued it last year. This year we are creating a new *secret seasoning. My tip to all is make sure your turkey is thaw out before cooking. We sit it out the night before to ensure we are good to go. It all depends on the weight of the turkey.

  17. Carolyn G says

    One of my favorite tricks to keep the breast moist is to make an herbed butter. Then when you are about to put the turkey into the oven, you take the herbed butter and place it under the turkey skin. SO when it cooks, the butter melts into the breast and makes it flavorful and moist.

  18. Angela Kinder says

    What we do is cook a lot of the side dishes the night before and reheat them in the oven. That way, all we have to do is worry about the turkey and not spend all day over the stove. We’re able to enjoy more time with the family!

  19. Rochelle says

    I bake my yams before making my yam dish. Once they are coo enough to touch but still warm I peel them by hand. The skin falls off so easily. Beats peeling them raw before hand. Thanks!

  20. Babs says

    The best tip I can think of is being organized. Do all your planning and shopping as early in the week as possible. Try to have everything prepped ahead of starting in and actually doing the cooking. It makes everything so much easier if you don’t have any surprises, like “Oh, no! I forgot the (?)”

  21. Christy harris says

    Thanksgiving is when my husbands family finally started having a holiday tradition at our house. The best thing is to have each family being a dish already cooked and we cook the turkey!

  22. says

    I make at least half the side dishes the night before (like sweet potatoes and deviled eggs and mac and cheese) so I only have to heat them up when it’s time to eat.

  23. Kandace says

    Plan ahead. I made my first thanksgiving a few years ago for us and 3 guests, including my MIL. I obsessed over every detail so we had a plan for everything and did manage to somewhat enjoy the day. Everything was perfect.

  24. Suzette Rummell says

    A week ahead I get all the dishes and utensils ready that I will be using and put a little post it note in each one written what will go n it.

  25. Ashley says

    My tip for a great thanksgiving dinner is to make a great apple pie and serve with vanilla ice cream.

  26. says

    I prepare the sausage-cornbread stuffing a day or two before (baking the cornbread and freezing it a few weeks in advance as well) keeping it refrigerated before baking it on thanksgiving day.

  27. Lisa says

    Prepare as much as possible the day before. Also, don’t try to do too much. I have found sometimes the simple things are what make the day great! Focus on memories and family/friends.

  28. Margie says

    If you want a moisted turkey and have lots of juices for gravy take 4 cups of water and put it in a pot on top of the stove to that add 1 to 1 1/2 sticks of butter and bring to a boil are just until the butter it melted.Take and run your fingers up under the skin of the turkey and rub butter good all over and salt and what ever other spices you want to use. Then pour your water butter mixture over the turkey and cook like you usely do.

  29. sunnie says

    Ive never fully made my own turkey, my dad in law helps. I dont have any tips. Maybe this year I will make my own!

  30. Vicki says

    Good article Lori! It is making me hungry for turkey and dressing! My tip is… If you don’t have many to feed, a crockpot with a turkey breast in it is a fabulous way to have a small,simple thanksgiving. My best tasting turkey came out of the crockpot!

  31. says

    My best tip is don’t forget to remove the bag of innards. I have forgotten twice! I was 17 when I cooked my first turkey dinner also:)
    smchester at gmail dot com

  32. Donna B says

    Our family loves Sweet Potatoes. We always used the canned ones until last year when I had the opportunity to fix “fresh from the garden” Sweet Potatoes. They were literally the BEST we had ever had!! And I agree with you about using the bag to cook the turkey (and it should be a Butterball turkey). So easy and so moist!! Thanks for the opportunity!!

  33. Wendy says

    I always clean, chop and slice all vegetables the day before the holiday. I measure everything out into containers or plastic zip lock bags and label them clearly. Then when I prepare each recipe it’s a cinch! Love your photo of the first Thanksgiving. You did great!!

  34. says

    I’ve had good luck with brining the turkey, but it’s some extra time and work, and you have to have room for the bucket in the fridge! Not a lot of extra room during the holidays unless there’s an extra fridge.

    I always use a disposable roasting pan and criss-cross whole carrots and celery stalks,underneath and filling in with quartered onions and garlic cloves. These raise the turkey up much like a rack does and gives awesome flavor to the drippings! I’ve even pureed the veggies to use in the leftover turkey soup.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  35. mary says

    My Mom always used a cheesecloth soaked in butter and put on turkey while roasting . It was so moist and had a beautiful brown skin.

  36. Deb C says

    I use a poultry injector and inject a mix of chicken broth and real butter, melted, into the meatiest parts of the turkey.

  37. Kit says

    It’s been a tradition in our family to have wild rice. It’s so good with turkey gravy on it. A few more carbs for Thanksgiving. That’s what it’s about right? Can be made a day or 2 before too.

  38. Nanette says

    My best tip is to use the Reynold’s Turkey bags to cook the turkey. Clean up is a breeze!!

  39. Jamie Myers says

    I did my first Turkey all by myself last year and my mom made a back up turkey een though she said that she had it in case there were more hungry people than normal…ya right!! I don’t really have a tip other than be confident in your turkey. I got my recipe online and everyone loved it.

  40. Denise says

    Last Thanksgiving I had to roast a chicken instead of a turkey :( Not the same! I love cooking chicken and turkey in the oven cooking bags. They always come out moist.

  41. Karen G says

    I brush on Popcorn oil all over the turkey, then sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Did this last year for the first time and everyone liked it. Doing it again this Thanksgiving.

  42. Chrystal says

    My best tip is to let mom and Gran Gran cook the turkey, they’re the best!

    Was disappointed you weren’t in your first Thanksgiving meal picture!

  43. Natalie J Vandenberghe says

    My secret was using my Mom’s recipe for stuffing; and, when she was still here, my biggest tip was getting her to help me make it! Thanks for the giveaway!

  44. Lauralee Hensley says

    My tip is if you cook a turkey in a rotissiere make sure it’s not stuffed. Make the stuffing separately and not in the rotissiere. Also, if you live at higher altitudes and you’re cooking that turkey in a rotissere, you might want to cook it for an extra thirty minutes, that way you won’t be surprised by pink juices near the center. I mean those rotissiere cooking booklet instructions that come with the systems are nice, but they don’t always take into account higher altitudes.

  45. says

    One of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes is Sweet Potato Casserole! The best tip I can give regarding this dish is to use fresh sweet potatoes (not canned) and to mash them with a hand masher. This makes the texture perfect and not at all “gluey” or stringy. I also recommend using finely chopped pecans in the topping as opposed to the big pieces. :)

  46. says

    I soak my turkey overnight in a brine. A few years I’ve used Grill Mates Garlic Herb & Wine Marinade on the turkey and it was sooooo good!

  47. Colleen Sowa says

    I do my baking the day before, I also do as much prep wotk as possible the day before… like breaking up the bread, chopping onions and celery… veggie platter items. This really saves time on Thanksgiving! xo

  48. April V. says

    Sadly, I have no secrets as I am a terrible cook but one thing my mom always does is make her mac n cheese with extra sharp cheddar which makes it so much yummier.

  49. Kimberly says

    My tip is to have everything you need ahead of time and having extra ingredients on hand, never hurts either.

  50. jon brierton says

    … when ordering a Thanksgiving Day dinner, ASK if the turkey is COOKED.
    One year my GF didn’t and when she went to “pick up the goods” — the bird was FROZEN SOLID !

    Oh well, we had a nice ham dinner at the cafeteria …

  51. says

    For smaller gatherings buy just the turkey breast and a pack of turkey legs/thighs (to satisfy those who like dark and light meat). It’s easier to marinade/brine these smaller cuts as well.

  52. Wendy says

    I plan Thanksgiving about a month ahead and start shopping for ingredients as they go on sale. Not only do i get good prices but the burden of shopping for everything is spread out through the month. I just set up a space in the kitchen (or a closet) and start stacking up cans and boxes. Of course, there are perishables that have to wait until that week. It just works for me to do it this way as we always have lots of people for this meal.

  53. Joyce S says

    Butterball has been my turkey of choice for all 38 years of marriage. It’s always delcious and bakes up just right. My best tip is: find a friend who has a smoker and deep fat turkey fryer. The last few years, I buy my Butterballs, take them to Tom’s and he cooks my som fixed by each of these ways. There are usually around 30 of us for Thanksgiving and the vote as to which is best is pretty much split down the middle!

  54. Nicholas S says

    We tend to buy Butterballs as the flavor is great and they bake up consistently well. There’s really no special trick to them, other than we’ve found it’s important to tent them in the oven when they get a golden brown as desired.

  55. Linda Stewart says

    If I don’t have to cook a really large turkey, I look for one that will fit in my large oval shaped crock pot. I make several balls of aluminum foil to rest the turkey on so that it doesn’t lay solid on the bottom of the crock. Stuff it as usual, then turn it breast side down on the foil balls. Add about 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of the crock, spay with vegetable cooking spray, plop the lid on, turn it on high for a couple of hours, then turn the heat to low and let cook for about 6-8 hours depending on the size of the bird.

  56. says

    One tip is to know that there are many things that can be done in a slow cooker. I make mashed potatoes and stuffing, even veggies in there. Allows me time to do other things

  57. Elena Vo says

    My tip is having different appetizers that follow a theme. Last year, for example, it was pomergranate and pears, the year before it was Italian appetizers, and this year it will be smoked appetizers. It adds some excitement to the usual fare!

  58. nannypanpan says

  59. Barbara M says

    My best tip – we all bring an agreed upon dish to share.
    Takes a lot of pressure off the host!
    Thank you.

  60. ellen says

    My tip today is to preprepare as many dishes as possible you want to spend time with your guests not with the oven.

  61. Margie says

    My best tip it to prepare as much of the food the day before. Like do your deviled eggs and eggs for potato slad. Make your pies and cut up your celery and things to go in your stuffing.get the dishes out that you’re planning to use.easy clean up is to wash the dishes has you go that way there want be alot went the meal is over with.Clean fridge out the day before so you will have room for lefted overs and try to send as much of the lefted over food home with someone else that way you want be timid to over eat more after everyone is gone.

  62. Ellie W says

    My tip for making the best dressing is to boil a whole chicken and shred it into the dressing. Then use the fresh chicken broth instead of canned. It makes a HUGE difference.

  63. says

    I’m from the south, so collards or cabbage are usually made for holiday meals. Cooking them until they are almost done and freezing is a great option. Also, cooking them in your crockpot is my other method and works great. I ususally make them vegetarian with lots of onion and garlic, vegetable broth, and liquid smoke.

  64. Elena Vo says

    My best tip is to brine the turkey! It takes a lot of space in the fridge (or in the shed!) but the results are so worth it. I add apple cider to my brine for a subtle sweetness and tang.

  65. Amy Brewer says

    I just usually get up around 5 am to start. That way, I have time to prepare everything. Only real tip I have

  66. Kelly G. says

    My Thanksgiving tip would be to complete as many of the sides, desserts, etc. that you can the night before so that you don’t have so many things to prepare on Thanksgiving. Takes away some of the stress that way.

  67. laura ari says

    I make a detailed schedule that details what food need to be cooked at what temperature for how long so everything gets cooked on time!

  68. Lauralee Hensley says

    Make sure to allow a bit over 24 hours to unthaw for every five pounds of turkey. A ten pound turkey will need about 2 and a half days to unthaw in your refrigerator. Sometimes if you need a super huge turkey, it would be wiser to get two smaller ones, so you can be sure they’ll get unthawed before it’s time to cook them. It’s also good too, because the second turkey can remain uncut and stay warmer until the first one is eaten. Just be sure to cover it with foil to retain the heat.

  69. DEBIJOT says

    never try a new recipe on Thanksgiving, use one your have used before and you know it will work out.

  70. kimbly says

    My best tip is to shop and plan early. Pre-prep is your best friend, don’t leave too much for the last minute because it won’t get done. Stick to your basic favorites but the most important thing is to make the experience as fun as you can. It’s a holiday and even as the cook, you’re supposed to enjoy yourself too!

  71. says

    I make quick desserts like fruit crumbles (canned or preprepped fruit) with a box yellow cake mix or making a yellow cake mix taste more homemade by using milk, butter, and adding a box of jello pudding to it. I make the cake the day before, but the crumbles are best made the day of.

  72. Elena Vo says

    I make my own breads (seeds and nuts bread, rye bread, etc) about a month before Thanksgiving and put them in foil and then in a freezer. When it’s time for the holiday, I oull them out and serve with dips and spreads as an appetizer. It works really well the few hours before dinner when everyone is working in the kitchen and doesn’t want to sit down for a square meal yet.

  73. Ellie W says

    Don’t try to do it all yourself. If you do the main dishes have someone else bring sides and desserts.

  74. Lauralee Hensley says

    My tip is to make sure to have more than one tub of Cool Whip on hand. Some people like to put more than a dab on their pumpkin pie. Some people like to drown their pie with Cool Whip (no hubby I’m not talking about you). LOL…..

  75. ellen says

    A safety tip- do NOT cook stuffing in the bird. The internal tempertaure doesnt always reach what it should and you could get your family sick. Roast it in a different pan.

  76. Elena Vo says

    I add roasted garlic to my mashed potatoes along with evaporated milk and chives. Tastes great! That’s my tip.

  77. Kelly G. says

    My Thanksgiving tip is: when cooking the turkey NEVER rely on the button they put in the turkey to tell you when it’s finished cooking. The button is almost always wrong; making you end up with an under-cooked bird.

  78. says

    Real dishes and silverware are nice, but for larger groups I use the “silverware” that looks real but is plastic and I use nice, heavy duty paper or plastic plates and clear plastic cups, plus thick disposable napkins.. For smaller groups (less than 10) , I use regular dishes, silverware, and glassware.

  79. Kelly H. says

    My tip is that you can never be to organized so plan your menu, your schedule, and prep as much as you can ahead of time.

  80. Linda Stewart says

    Deep Fry the turkey. During the frying process continue to inject the turkey with a Cajun seasoning. OH MY!

  81. Ellie W says

    I always make my dressing the day before because I know the oven will be tied up with the turkey.

  82. Diane Baum says

    My best Thanksgiving tip is to add chopped oranges and pecans to your homemade cranberry sauce

  83. says

    Dry the bread overnight at room temperature, or bake it in the oven for about an hour at about 200 degrees. Bread that’s too moist will make a soggy, sticky stuffing.

  84. Lauralee Hensley says

    My tip is have the kids make the table decorations and if they aren’t perfect it doesn’t matter. It’s a way to help them feel like they are helping.

  85. ellen says

    My tip is do not choose Thanksgiving to get too creative serve some tried and true dishes everyone likes.

  86. Margie says

    A easy way to make deviled eggs look pretty is to take a small ziplock baggie and snip a very small opening in the corner.Put your egg yolk filling into the baggie and squeeze down to where the hole you snip is and pie this filling into your eggs.

    if you’re making sweet potato casserole and using can sweet potatoes be sure to drain the liquid off of it first or you will have a watery casserole.Also mash the sweet potatoes really good and mix all your ingredient and put into a greased casserole dish and put into fridge until the next day then you can add your topping and bake.That way you want have to mix it the day your cooking it and save sometime.

  87. Elena Vo says

    I always make my signature pumpkin hot chocolate before the guests come in so the house smells delicious and gets them hungry!

  88. Ellen B says

    If you can make things ahead of time and freeze them – do that – you an save some time on the big dinner day

  89. ky2here says

    Prepare as much in possible in advance. Use the grill for brined turkey. Save your oven for other dishes.

  90. Lauralee Hensley says

    My tip is not to swap out more than one tried and true recipe dish that your family will eat for a new recipe dish they’ve never tried at any one Holiday. That way if the new recipe dish is a flop they still have lots of tried and true items to choose from and eat. The reason I say this, is because we were once invited to another family’s home for Thanksgiving and boy the only thing that tasted like our favorites was the turkey itself. We didn’t care for the stuffing, the dessert she put her cranberries in, or any of her sides at all. We ate, but very little. Then we came home to some left overs she sent with us that we tried to politely decline, but she’d hear nothing of it. I can tell you, I’m the only one that ate any of the sent with us items, and I ate very little. So, I’m just saying don’t swap several things for several different things, be smart and only swap one, if you even do that. I say stick with tried and true, so no one will be blue (okay so no one will be hungry).

  91. Mary Cloud says

  92. laurie says

    my tip is i try to do as much the day before as possibel to make it easier for me on thanksgiving

  93. Kelly G. says

    My tip for Thanksgiving is to make sure you give your turkey enough time to thaw. Some people forget it takes quite a while for a frozen turkey to thaw enough to be ready to bake.

  94. Beverly M says

    My tip is to prepare all the food you can the day before, such as the pies and squash dishes, etc. Makes it much easier on Thanksgiving. I would love to buy a Butterball turkey, they always are juicy and brown nicely. Thanks for this contest!

  95. Summer D says

    My tip is to get everyone involved. We always have lots of family over and if everyone brings one dish, it makes it a lot easier on everyone.

  96. Laurie Clark says

    My tip is to prepare all the side dishes and dessert the night before. As soon as the turkey is out of the oven I get the side dishes and desserts out of the frig and warm them. Less stress and more enjoyment for Thanksgiving :)

  97. ellen says

    My tip is if you decided to cook your turkey outside- grilling. Make sure you have plenty of time and plenty of fuel before starting- do not run out of fuel on Thanksgiving because places to get more fuel are generally closed.

  98. Kellie Conklin says

    My best tip is to make two turkeys, one cooked normally and one deep fried. It is sure to impress your guests and leave everyone satisfied!

  99. Sumer B. says

    Get everything ready the day before so all you have to do is pop it in the oven and clean as you go.

  100. Betty C says

    I wasn’t much of a cook as a teenager but I read where someone had basted their turkey with Coca Cola. I talked my mom into letting me do that with our turkey and it turned out great.

  101. Robin says

    Do as much preparing ahead of time as you can. Try to clean up as you cook. This saves a lot of time later so you can enjoy yourself after the meal.

  102. clynsg says

    If you are hosting a large dinner of family and/or close friends, there is absolutely nothing wrong in having some of the dishes brought in by the guests, especially if you have been able to coordinate the menu.

  103. says

    We eat turkey year round and have several different methods, but the one that turns non-turkey lovers (you know, the ones who take just enough to be polite) into fiends is Alton’s method of brining, stuffing with fruit & onion, starting out super high then turning the over way low. It is so moist and delicious every single time.

  104. says

    For a small Turkey take a brown paper bag, rub it down with Butter, put the Turkey inside and bake as usual. The buttered Bag helps it self baste and makes the skin the perfect brown while the meat stays moist

  105. cindy says

    With $60.000 dollars of mounting medicals bills a coupon for a free turkey would be a blessing. I love my turkey baked with oyster dressing yum

  106. Chrissy Nestor says

    I make meals with my daughter and my sister, It’s more fun and it’s easier with a little help.

    chrissylea1979 (at)gmail(dot) com

  107. Aaron Bretveld says

    My best tip would be to spatchcock the turkey. It cooks a lot faster and actually more evenly too. Another bonus is that it takes less vertical space in the oven too so you can cook other things on a higher or lower shelf.

  108. Lynde F. says

    We have done pretty much the same recipes for Thanksgiving for the past 13 years-we have it down pat:)
    Sometimes we have to get an extra turkey, depending on how many guests, but other than that we haven’t had many mishaps in awhile thanks to a great routine we begin a few days beforehand. I would say to plan & start things you can a few days before Thanksgiving.

  109. Sunnie says

    Id say to plan ahead, make a meal plan. Know when your going to put what in the oven, time and temo.

  110. Ellen B says

    Its ok to try something new this year – do it! I want to try making the cole slaw that my dad used to make – wish me luck because he never taught me the recipe but I sure do miss having that cole slaw.

  111. Claire McKeon says

    My best tip is to plan everything! I collect my recipes and make a list of the total amount of various chopped veggies I need and other items that need preppring. I map out a time line of what steps for each dish need to be done. Everything is either already cooked or assembled by the time guests arrive so I am able to relax some before the last push of cooking.

  112. susan smoaks says

    i like to prepare as much as possible the night before so we do not have to work too hard on the big day. i also serve Thanksgiving at the supper time.

  113. Julie M says

    I always cut up all the celery, onions and potatoes for my mother. I also make cranberry sauce and desserts. Sharing the work helps alot.

  114. Lauralee Hensley says

    My last tip is to sign up others in your family to do clean up duty. The cook deserves a break. LOL.

  115. Laurie Emerson says

    My best tip is to have everyone pitch in. My youngest daughter and son love to make the salad after I have everything cut up. They also love arranging the cranberry sauce. My husband helps by making the stuffing and sweet potato casserole. We all help make the pies the night before and because we all pitched in , it goes so much smoother and I really think we enjoy it more.
    lauraemerson17 at yahoo dot com

  116. Tammy Greer says

    I set up my dining table the night before and I premake my pies and desserts. This helps a lot.

  117. says

    Make a menu plan and grocery list. This may seem like a no-brainer, but believe me, we all forget that one item we need, and then try to make a mad dash to the store to get it at the last minute. Not a problem, when you have your list made up ahead of time.

  118. Lisa Garner says

    My tip is for new Turkey cooks and it’s to not forget the thaw your turkey. It takes about 1 day in the fridge per 4 pounds of turkey. I didn’t realize this the very first time I cooked turkey and ended up having to run out and buy a ham for our first Thanksgiving.
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

  119. Sarah L says

    Many hands make light work. If someone offers to help – let them. There’s always something they can do.
    Thanks for the contest.

  120. Bryan E. says

    Thanks for the giveaway… my Mom taught me (and my wife concurs) that you must wash-soak-rinse the turkey in a cold brine solution before cooking for the best results !

  121. Betty C says

    Our large family always shares meal preparation. Appetizers, side dishes and desserts are always brought by family members. Not only does it make it easier preparation, but it also keeps the cost spread over the whole group.