Thanksgiving Prep and Troubleshooting

The thing with these bags is I have occasionally had the bag stuck to the skin and when you open it, it rips a chunk of skin off the bird. I recommend spraying the interior of the bag/exterior of the bird with good quality non-stick spray. I don’t like the PAM types with glycol propellant. I prefer the 100% oil all natural kind. Hopefully that’ll help.

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Cheese cloth and butter!


Oh, yeah, I baste the bird all over with olive oil first. It also makes the skin brown. The turkey looks kind of sad and pale otherwise.

I can’t do butter, sadly, because one of my guests this year is allergic to all things cow.


OH! I’d suspect that olive oil would work as well!


I would suggest to find a task for these people to do in the kitchen. Some people feel more comfortable helping and feel out of place being a guest.


Lemons? You heretic. Oranges and limes, dammit!

@awjt: My SO is smoking his bird this year, too. Are you brining yours first? Also, cooking spray has been replaced with an oil mister in our house.

My turn to be the heretic: I still love that stupid WWII green bean casserole. Over the years, I’ve found that it can be greatly improved by changing the veg content up a bit. This year we’re doing the beans, peas, cauliflower and swapping out one can of cream of mushroom with a can of French onion. Normally we use one can regular cream of mushroom and one can roasted garlic cream of mushroom, but the stupid store had none. As for potatoes, I don’t think it matters which one you mash provided you have added sharp cheddar. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


The past couple of Thanksgivings we’ve done the fried turkey and a smoked turkey. I loved both of these. They were tasty. They gave the menfolk something to do. It got the bird out of the oven and freed it up for the other items. Consider these options seriously.

The fried one especially surprised me. My hubbie said, “You’re thinking it will taste like a big KFC, aren’t you?” Reading my mind. It is really juicy and not greasy. One of the better birds I ever ate.


Many of my friends have gone on and on about brining a turkey first. I tried it once and I have to say, I do not prefer it! I keep a low-sodium profile, due to high blood pressure, so it all works out. Some people prefer a good brine first, and I wouldn’t even think of eating low sodium corned beef, egads. But for birds, I like 'em unbrined.

What I am gonna do is make sure that darn thing is absolutely encrusted in a thick mat of herbs. I want to be able to eat the skin, and if I smoke it with a thin or no rub, it’s going to be too smoky and nasty on the outside for us to eat it. So I am going to use a pile of cheap herbs from WalMart. It’s all going to be mostly scraped off or fallen off anyways. I just need it to be there for the smoking process.

You are right on the veggie dishes. I like that WWII recipe too, and sharp cheddar makes everything beddar!!!



Olive oil is a fine stand-in for buddah. You could even think about coconut oil… hey, now that gives me an idea!!!

I second @ChickieD about helping. I don’t know your mom, but I am also that kind of person. If I can be helpful, I will, but being overstimulated is not fun. If there is an area which is quieter, it can be helpful for me to get away for a little while, so I can recharge. I love my family, and there is hardly ever any drama and no fighting, but I still need to periodically go to a quiet place so that I don’t lose my damn mind. I volunteer for last minute store runs, taking a baby for a walk, something not so overwhelming.


I’ll come around, stay quietly in the corner and help you drink your alcohol, if you need.


What oil mister do you have? I like an olive oil spray but I don’t like the disposable aerosol cans much. They always seem to stop working while still obviously 1/4 full.

It’s a manual model, no propellants or cans to recycle or pitch.
The first thing I did with it, lo these many years ago, was bake falafel in the oven, spraying before each flip.


Another interesting thing I saw with the cheese course was nuts being served as a dessert. So yesterday I made a test batch of candied pecans.

They are gone now :smile:
Yes, they will be part of the small cheese course.


Dessert isn’t something we do much of, but we’re going to attempt a key lime cheesecake. Therein combining the only two pie-like things I actually like into one really evil thing.

I hope it works out.


How about the prep of making sure the car has a full tank of gas to drive across the border where it isn’t a holiday and pay for a nice dinner where someone else does the cooking and clean up for you?


So everyone confident? I expect photos and charming tales :smile:

My mother is indeed going to bring slides from the late seventies and eighties, and if I get my ass in gear I can find the damn super 8 from my grandfathers train crash (really).

I am starting the day with Bing Crosby and Seth McFarlane.

If this high tech programming thing doesn’t work out maybe I’ll just start a catering/party business :smiley:


You need some Esquivel! for the best holiday party ever.


If you find the super 8 from your grandfather’s train crash, I am kickstarting that bitch to be converted to something you could put on YouTube. I HAVE to see it!!!

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I had one. Its little nozzle stopped spraying and started squirting a single stream of oil. Aargh. I pumped harder, cleaned it out, cleaned the nozzle, tried different oil. No dice. So in the trash it went, with the salad shooter. No, I did not buy a salad shooter; it was a gift. But it was something that I couldn’t even inflict on a casual Goodwill shopper. I had to send it to the landfill.

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