tutorial for the perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

You’re hosting Thanksgiving. Maybe for the first time. You’re feeling a little overwhelmed (or a lot overwhelmed). It’s a big meal, and a holiday. And you don’t want to ruin anyone’s holiday.

The good news is: You’re not going to ruin anyone’s holiday. They are so glad you are hosting and they can’t wait to see you. The other good news: You’ve got plenty of time to prepare. The bad news? Turns out there is no bad news! It’s going to be great.

Here’s what you need to know:

1) Getting the turkey done right will definitely help this be the best Thanksgiving ever. Here is a clear, helpful, informative guide on roasting the most delicious turkey you’ve ever eaten. And here are suggestions on how to garnish the turkey for serving.

Warm Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Pecans and Parmesan | Design Mom

2) Decide on a your side dishes. Tradition says you’ll need stuffing — here’s a crowd-pleasing, adaptable recipe. Typically, there’s also a green vegetable — try Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Parmesan, and a squash or sweet-potato dish as week, like this.

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3) Make plans for the easiest, prettiest Thanksgiving centerpiece. Anyone can make this — no florist skills needed. And when Thanksgiving is over, you can eat the produce and compost the greens.

4) You get huge points for upping your pie crust game. Also, a variety of pies is recommended — pumpkin, pecan, berry, something chocolate, maybe a banana cream. And throw in some cheesecake too.

kitchen_pileofsilverware

5) Do a quick kitchen inventory now while you have plenty of time to place online orders. Do you need a tablecloth? Napkins? Do you have enough plates and silverware? What will you serve drinks in? Are there any spares for last-minute guests? Think about serving dishes and trays too, and make sure there enough seats at the table. If you’re feeling creative, you can make a tablecloth (this one was stamped with bubblewrap), or even sew gorgeous linen napkins.

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And look at that. The menu is decided. You’ve got solid sources on turkey roasting and pie-crust making. You’ve got an easy way to prettify the table. And you just placed an order for some extra plates. Now you get to relax for a few weeks. Go you!

Now it’s your turn. I’d love to hear: What’s your typical menu for the big day? Do you like to try new recipes each year? Or do you stick with old faithfuls? (And speaking of old faithfuls, if you have a link to a go-to recipe, please share!) Also, what time to you like to serve the Thanksgiving meal? Mid-day? Evening? Late afternoon?