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Thanksgiving Tips to Make Your Day a Cinch

Enjoy the feast of Thanksgiving, and be thankful for many things, including the fact that it’s easier than you might think. I actually enjoy preparing Thanksgiving dinner because my formula for making it easy really works. It’s all about making a list and planning ahead.

Decide what “goodies” you want to include as your side dishes, then make a list of what ingredients you’ll need to make them.

How many people you are feeding will determine how big a turkey you will want to purchase. About one pound per person, plus plenty for leftovers. Once you decide that, put it on your list. Will your turkey be free-range or conventional? Put that on your list as well.

What will you be offering for beverages and dessert? Put them on your list.

Now here’s the key to success. Prepare your side dishes the day before. Your vegetable dish, your stuffing, cover them up tightly and put them in the refrigerator. Your sweet potatoes can be cleaned the day before, then prepared the day of, as your turkey is cooking.

If you are making dessert, try to do that the day before as well. Even better, get an apple and/or pumpkin pie from your favorite store, or have someone bring dessert.

Then come Thanksgiving morning, all you have to worry about preparing is the turkey and the sweet potatoes, which is simple. Add some fresh orange juice, some orange zest, a little maple syrup, some butter and salt and pepper. Delicious and nutritious! **Try getting your marshmallows at a good health food store,  they’re a little better than what you find at regular supermarkets.

**I make a butter herb rub that I coat the outside of the turkey with. I also use about a tablespoon under the skin to keep everything nice and moist. The ingredients are up to you, some room temperature butter or Earth Balance, chopped parsley, thyme, oregano, sage, and salt and pepper, mix thoroughly. I also put some herbs inside the turkey along with two cut up lemons for aroma and moistness.

And don’t forget that once the turkey is done, take it out of the oven and let it sit for 20-30 minutes to let the juices settle, that way when you slice your bird the juices will stay in the meat and not run out and end up in your pan.

Happy, healthy Thanksgiving. May your day be joyous and plentiful. Giving thanks reminds us how lucky we are.

Janet

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