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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.



  1. 151

    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.

  2. 152

    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.

  3. 153

    jen gersch says

    my tip is to peel the potatoes the night before and keep them in cold water in the fridge

  4. 154

    Deana C says

    My best tip is to prepare everything the night before!

  5. 155

    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.

  6. 156

    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.

  7. 157

    Nadine L 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

  8. 158

    Jeni Lutz says

    I put the trukey in the night before on the 250, and it makes the house smell so good all night

  9. 159

    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

  10. 160

    cindy says

    Putting extra butter under the skin helps to keep it moist.

  11. 161

    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

  12. 162

    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.

  13. 163

    Kenny F says

    Take time to eat

  14. 164

    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.

  15. 165

    Sunnie says

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

  16. 166

    Trisha McKee says

    Prepare and time everything. Baste often.

  17. 167

    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.

  18. 168

    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.

  19. 169

    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.

  20. 170

    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.

  21. 171

    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.

  22. 172

    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

  23. 173

    Tammy Greer says

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

  24. 174

    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.

  25. 175

    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

  26. 176

    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.

  27. 177

    Eve says

    ask guest to bring in dishes. Some people are afraid to ask but theres nothing wrong with it

  28. 178

    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 !

  29. 179

    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.