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Nov 13, 2008

Celebrate Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving means many things to different people but for most it means the wafting aromas of roast turkey, spicy pumpkin pie, and all the trimmings that go with the holiday. For others it could be an easy day spent watching football games and kicking back with an easy meal. Below are some ideas on how to celebrate this most quintessential holiday.
   Select the menu several weeks in advance. Most people fix roast turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, a couple types of vegetables (for example, squash), cranberry sauce, several pies and a bread.
    Write down the grocery list. Check the pantry for what you don't have and prepare a list for the items you will need. You may need to visit the local Farmers' Market, the butcher's, the supermarket and the bakery. It helps to divide the list into these different items to avoid confusion.
    Shop for the Thanksgiving meal in advance. Pre-order the turkey and any other items that might experience a rush. If you can freeze items in advance, buy these the earliest to help reduce the last-minute purchases. Baked goods are best bought fresh on the day if possible - or bake them yourself.
    Prepare the menu and choose your recipes. For menu and recipe ideas, there are some external links listed below.[1] Otherwise, you might like to try wikiHow's own excellent selection:

           Make Cranberry Sauce
           Make Great Thanksgiving Cookies
           Make Pumpkin Pie
           Make a Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dinner
           Prepare a Turkey Dinner
    Defrost the turkey following the package directions. This may take several days depending on the weight of the turkey.
      The traditional pumpkin pie for dessert
      Bake the pie or favorite pies and dinner rolls Make Dinner Rolls a day in advance.
   Roast the turkey and complete the meal preparations on Thanksgiving day.
      See how to make a beautiful and easy Thanksgiving dinner table. Arrange the table decorations the day before Thanksgiving if you have a separate dining table available. If not, lay out the items somewhere ready for quick deployment on the day.
    Clean the house several days in advance.
   Prepare casual foods such as appetizers, sandwiches, soups or chili for a casual get together.

     When trying a new Thanksgiving recipe, prepare the dish in advance as a test run.
     Choose simple Thanksgiving recipes if this is your first time preparing the Thanksgiving holiday meal.
     It is okay to buy some prepared food items to help round out the meal. Not everyone has the time or inclination to prepare everything from scratch.
     Try to use make-ahead recipes to ease Thanksgiving Day stress.
     Remember to heed the time needed for defrosting. You probably know of a friend of a friend who was still trying to thaw the turkey on Thanksgiving morning.