Holiday Cooking Hints: Open Forum!

Hey, Sweet Things!

Last night I was helping a younger woman with a few hints for roasting her first Thanksgiving turkey. It caused me to think someone else might need a couple of tips so I threw some things I’d told her on Twitter. Then, I got enough responses to wonder if I should open up a forum for questions and helps here on the blog today. I talked to Jan Morton, one of our most beloved Siestas and the owner of one fabulous kitchen, and she promised she’d pitch in this afternoon, too, so LET’S DO THIS! It’s perfect timing since we’ve still got a few days and, if it turns out to be too late for some of you, keep in mind that all of this applies to your Christmas cooking as well.

Now, listen. I am not a stellar cook. I really am only fairly proficient at country cooking and meals like rump roasts and gravy and smothered steak and gravy and pork chops and gravy and fried chicken and gravy and, okay, anything at all with gravy. (And, no, I surely cannot eat that way all the time which is why I don’t cook much.) What I am is a women’s teacher/tutor and I think this is a perfect time to help some women out in the kitchen and it’s Biblical, after all.

Do you remember what Peter said to the beggar at the Temple gate in Acts 3? “Silver and gold have I none, but that which I have, give I thee!” (I love it in the KJV.) So, I don’t have mad cooking skills but, what I have, I give thee. Because I love thee. And because few of us are flat-out gifted in the kitchen. Most of us have to learn and that means somebody needs to teach us. SO, calling all teachers!!!

Since I lack a lot in the kitchen myself, here’s what I’m going to do: I’m opening this up for you less experienced cooks to ask questions and you more experienced cooks to read through the comments and answer as many of them as you can. If you see that someone else has already answered the question but you still have something to add, go ahead and leave an additional comment. I really need you seasoned cooks in our community to jump in here and help me because I won’t have the opportunity to answer them all myself. You also don’t have to wait for a comment in order to offer a tip. Go ahead and share some things you learned from other good cooks. Things that come in handy for holiday meals. It’s just wide open, Girls. Teach and be taught on here today.

I’ll get us started with a few things I threw out there last night and I’ll be able to explain a bit more in this format.

If you’re baking a turkey this year for the first time or you’ve done it many times but can’t get it consistently tender, consider using one of these: (You can get it and most of the other items on this post at your basic grocery store like Kroger.)

Just follow the directions exactly and it will tell you how long to bake your turkey according to its size. Even though most of them are basted these days, I can’t resist slathering them down with at least a half stick of melted butter, generous salt and pepper and minced garlic. Then I stick it in the oven bag and bake it just like it says. Girls, be sure and reach in your turkey and pull out the packet in the inside cavity before preparing the turkey. Don’t be embarrassed about not knowing those kinds of things. You can’t know what you don’t know. The size of a turkey means that you usually end up wallowing the thing all over the sink and counter before you finally get it in the bag SO this is a really good time to use a Windex or any other kind of counter spray that includes antibacterial.Remember to spray down things like the handle on the refrigerator. Use your antibacterial on anything the raw turkey touched or your hands touched before you washed them.

After your turkey is completely done, set it out on the counter and start allowing it to cool off. (NOTHING smells better than a turkey roasting.) Girls, turkeys take quite a while to cool off. This actually comes in handy since most of us only have one oven and we can’t fit any of our casseroles in it at the same time our turkey is roasting. Even if you have to wait an hour before your dressing or other casseroles are baked, it’s no big deal. As long as you don’t slice the turkey until the last minute, it will stay warm. You might just lay one piece of aluminum foil over the top of it.

Now, for a few gravy hints. The drippings to a turkey are absolutely divine. After you’ve let the bird cool off enough to work with the drippings, tear open your roasting bag and use a cup or ladle to pour a generous amount into a measuring cup exactly like this:

See how the spout is at the bottom? The fattest part of the liquid will rise to the top after just a few minutes. You only want to use the bottom part to make your gravy or it’s too greasy. Set the filled measuring cup to the side until it’s time to make your gravy. Do you girls have iron skillets? They are best for making gravy but not imperative. You want it to be one of the last things you do before serving your meal. I’m going to tell you how to do basic gravy rather than giblet gravy so you’ll know how to make it from any roast whether beef, pork, or bird. I’ll leave giblet gravy to one of the other cooks on here.

Go back to your measuring cup of drippings. Pour that lower (less fat) half of your liquid in a skillet. Heat it up to a rolling boil. Depending on how much liquid you have in your skillet, put about a heaping tablespoon of flour (not into your pan yet!) into about a fourth cup of warm water and stir it up really well until the lumps are out. While the liquid in your skillet boils, pour in the flour mixture and stir constantly for at least several minutes. After it’s well mixed, decrease your heat to a low boil. Add some salt and pepper if the liquid needs it. (You can’t be afraid to taste it in process or it won’t be well seasoned.) The liquid in the skillet will all begin to thicken. Keep it boiling until it looks like gravy. Grin. And add some water – just a little at a time – until it has the consistency you’re looking for. Especially with any of my bird-gravies (chicken or turkey), I like to add no more than a dime-size of this:

It simply adds a little color. For those of you with access to a Williams Sonoma, however, this is absolutely FABULOUS (this is the only thing on here today you can’t get from a regular grocery store):

You can forget all the trouble of making gravy from scratch and only use the jar (according to the directions, of course – you whisk it with milk) OR you can make your own gravy like I prefer and simply whisk in about a fourth of a cup of the jar to it. When I add the Williams Sonoma gravy base, I do NOT use the Kitchen Bouquet. Each one gives good rich color and a little extra flavoring. Don’t use both.

If you’re like me, you love yeast rolls for holiday meals but they’re often too time consuming to do from scratch. (I did it for years and it’s still the best way but so much is going on in the kitchen at once on Thanksgiving and Christmas, I have to give something up. I only have one oven and in a fairly small kitchen.) Sister Schubert Rolls are so good and they require no thawing and only about 15 minutes of baking time. They’re in the freezer section of almost any decent grocery store. I don’t have mine yet so I can’t add a picture but they come in round foil pans. And don’t you dare put margarine on them. B.U.T.T.E.R.

Okay! Those are a few of my tips! They are basics as you can see but a lot of our women need to know the basics. No shame here! I hope our better cooks tell you lots of other things you can put to great use this holiday season. So many women out there can leave me in the dust in the kitchen and we need to hear from them today! (And, yes, ladies, you are welcome to post recipes. Just try to use some that aren’t profusely long.)

And just because it’s Thanksgiving week, I’ll add this picture IF you think you can handle it. Annabeth at her Mother’s Day Out Thanksgiving Feast last week. She then visited the ministry in period costume and we all fell so in love, we were worthless.


Come on, questions and cooks! It’s a kitchen free-for-all in Siestaville today!

Surely you know by now that I love you. Grin.


PS. You girls made me so hungry, I had to get up and spread me a peanut butter and jelly just so that I could keep moderating the comments!



557 Responses to “Holiday Cooking Hints: Open Forum!”

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  1. 101
    Lisa Curtis says:

    We have traditional menu and this year my husband’s family is coming to our house. We all do just a few recipes but this year I am to do a dessert. Few care for pecan pie and we have pumpkin already coming. What’s a good Thanksgiving dessert?

    • 101.1
      Sara Freeman says:

      One of the old family recipes our family loves for Thanksgiving is German Apple Cake, along with the traditional pies.

    • 101.2
      Diana says:

      Any pie is good but at our house we love chocolate pie with chocolate cookie crust and banana cream pie.

    • 101.3
      Lynsie says:

      I am a Pampered Chef consultant and this year we’re all making a Taffy Apple Pizza. Easy and delicious and folks will think you’re awesome! Here’s the link:

    • 101.4
      Leslie Olson says:

      This is a Pillsbury Bakeoff Winner that has some nuts, but my nut hating family absolutely loves this pie….I guess the bake-off “win” would testify to that. If the link doesn’t work, google Oats and Honey Granola Pillsbury Pie and it should show up at the top of the page. Here’s the link:

    • 101.5
      Eva says:

      Banana Pudding

    • 101.6
      Lynne says:

      Delicious, easy cream cheese danish type dessert. Everyone loves it! God bless and enjoy!

      2 – Pillsburyยฎ Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls 8 oz (8 ct)
      1 Package cream cheese, softened (8oz.)
      1 cup sugar, plus 1 teaspon
      2 teaspoon cinnamon
      2 tablespoons melted butterDIRECTIONS
      Preheat oven to 350. 2 Unroll 1 can of the crescent rolls and place into a 9×13 pan, smoothing out the seams. Mix together the cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer until blended well. Spread cream cheese mixture on top of crescent rolls. Unroll 2nd can of crescent rolls and place on top of cream cheese mixture, pinch together the seems. 6 Brush top with melted butter. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar and 2 teaspoons cinammon. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until lightly brown. 9 Cut into bars and serve.

      • Elaine says:

        Can’t wait to try this. Thanks! Happy Thanksgiving.

      • sydney bumpass says:

        oh my goodness . my beautiful, talented, tenacious sister . who in the past 50+ years has never exhibited any interest or ability to cook . made this for thanksgiving weekend . and it was fantastic! . ps . she wasn’t ever lolligagging during the preparations . she was decorating (not just setting) the table . which she does better than most magazines . we all have our gifts because He made us unique . ponder on the zebra!

    • 101.7
      Heather says:

      Apple pie is a great harvesty pie. Don’t forget the vanilla ice cream, though. Alamode is the only real way to eat apple pie!

    • 101.8
      Karene says:

      An apple crisp is good. You can find a recipe in a Betty Crocker cookbook, or probably any cookbook (or online). Serve warm topped with whipped cream. Yum! Plus it goes nicely with pumpkin pie for those who want to sample both ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 101.9
      JoAnn Janik says:

      You cannot go wrong with a warm apple or cherry pie with CRUMB TOPPING and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. My Mother always makes one or the other and it’s everyone’s fav. Not sure exactly how to make the crumb topping but I know it has butter, flour, and sugar. You mash it together until it makes little crumb balls of yumminess. I think she even uses the Comstock apple pie filling and dresses it up abit. The cherry Comstock is perfect (no additions needed).

      I bet you can find it on the pie website below.

    • 101.10
      Cathy says:

      Pumpkin Cobbler –go to–

      So easy and so very, very good!!! Their cheesy basil potatoes are amazing too.

    • 101.11
      Shelly Story says:

      I think carrot cake is a nice compliment to Thanksgiving and is different enough to not overshadow the traditional pumpkin pie. (Of course, there is always the thought of another kind of pie.) Another dessert I have always loved is called “blueberry crunch” at our home…crumb crust, cream cheese/cool whip layer, blueberry pie filling, and a sprinkle of crumb crust on top. Or, my last suggestion, go crazy and serve chocolate cheesecake!

      I have amazing recipes for carrot cake, blueberry crunch, and chocolate cheesecake I would gladly share if asked. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 101.12
      Leigh says:

      Lisa, an apple pie would be good, or an apple crisp. However, I think I would make this:

      Cherry Dump Cake

      1 can cherry pie filling
      1 small can crushed pineapple
      1 yellow cake mix
      1 cup butter, melted
      1 cup chopped pecans

      Spray a 13×9 cake pan with Pam. Spoon the pie filling evenly into the bottom. Spread the pineapple, undrained, over the pie filling. Sprinkle the DRY cake mix over the fruit. Pour the melted butter evenly over the dry cake mix. Top with the pecans.

      Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for about an hour til nice and bubbly and browned on the top.

      Very good served with Blue Bell homemade vanilla ice cream.

    • 101.13
      Sarah says:

      One year to switch it up a bit, I made a Zucchini Spice Cake with Penuche Frosting . . . sounds a little urgggg, but it’s delicious, it’s in “The Cake mix Doctor” cook book . . . for that matter, ALL the recipes I’ve tried in this book have been amazing!!!

    • 101.14
      Jane Smolen says:

      Chocolate Bread Pudding: Here’s the link:

      This thing is HEAVENLY! Don’t be intimidated by it- it doesn’t have to look lovely.

    • 101.15
      Brenda says:

      Apple Dumplings are so easy and so good.
      from Ree Drummond (on the pioneer woman website)

      2 whole Granny Smith Apples
      2 cans (8 Oz. Cans) Crescent Rolls
      2 sticks Butter
      1-1/2 cup Sugar
      1 teaspoon Vanilla
      Cinnamon, To Taste
      1 can (12 Oz.) Mountain Dew Soda

      Preparation Instructions
      Peel and core apples. Cut each apple into 8 slices each. Roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. Place in a 9 x 13 buttered pan.
      Melt butter, then add sugar and barely stir. Add vanilla, stir, and pour entire mixture over apples. Pour Mountain Dew around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream, and spoon some of the sweet sauces from the pan over the top.

    • 101.16
      Laura says:

      Southern Living online has a yummy pumpkin pecan cheesecake. An apple crisp or pie is delicious too. Don’t know if you need a recipe or not?

    • 101.17
      Melody says:

      Apple Pie is always a great one! Few people can pass it up. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Or if you haven’t tried Pioneer Woman’s Apple Dumplings, they are to die for and are sooo easy.

    • 101.18
      Terri says:

      Our favorite Thanksgiving dessert is warm apple pie in a crumb crust, with warm caramel drizzled over the top. If you want to really indulge, drizzle a little chocolate topping over the warm caramel. Oh my, is this good!

    • 101.19
      Liz Taylor says:

      Hey Lisa!
      I have had all kinds of desserts for Thanksgiving. Pies that are great for a Turkey meal: berry, cherry, apple, or even mince meat. However, it is Thanksgiving, I often make whatever dessert my family is most thankful for (which is usually chocolate cake).
      Hope that helps!

    • 101.20
      Jammie says:

      I think bread pudding makes a great Thanksgiving dessert. Use a recipe that has a little cinnamon in it. (Or even one that calls for pumpkin if you’d like another pumpkin dessert.) And make a hard sauce or caramel sauce to go over it. Simple and inexpensive to make, and so very tasty!

    • 101.21
      Sherry says:

      How about Nana (Banana) pudding is great! The recipe is on the Nilla Wafer box?

      My son’s favorite is egg custard pie. I’ve been told it tastes like flan by my sister in law.

      I have an easy recipe – eggs, milk, sugar, tsp vanilla flour and butter is all you need. will be happy to post if interested

    • 101.22
      Shelley says:

      I love Paula Dean’s Gingerbread Trifle on her website. Beautiful, easy, delicious!

  2. 102
    Kathy says:

    I saw a great tip for turkey on tv this morning.

    If your turkey is dry (or the leftover turkey), put the slices in a baking dish (ceramic or glass is better), pour some Swanson’s broth over it, cover, and put in the oven on warm for 15-20 minutes. The turkey will absorb the broth and look (and taste) great!

  3. 103
    Sandy Hartley says:

    Love that little pilgrim Annabeth!! Makes we want to dress up my two boys but I don’t think they’d go for it ๐Ÿ™‚

    On the food note: If anybody wants a change from cranberry sauce out of the can, I’ve been cooking mine from the fresh state (follow directions on the bag-just boil with a little water and a lot of sugar) then after it is totally done cooking but still hot, I throw in about a cup of frozen (or you could use fresh)…
    ~ Blueberries!
    It makes for a fun little change. Happy Thanksgiving dear sisters -we have so much to be thankful for – His Love being top on the list!!

    • 103.1
      Karene says:

      Yes!! Have been making my own fresh cranberry sauce from the bag’s recipe for years now–it tastes so much better. And it’s easy! (Haven’t tried blueberries, but sometimes I add a few chopped toasted pecans after cooking–that’s when I have more time.)

    • 103.2
      Sarah says:

      Yummy and AMEN!!!

    • 103.3
      Bridgett Junkin says:

      I’ve been doing homemade cranberry sauce for several years. It is fun to hear the cranberries when they pop open. However, my silly family prefer it from the can! But that’s okay, I still make it and I enjoy it. By the way, cranberries freeze right in the package so that you can use them all year round.

    • 103.4
      Casey says:

      that is how I make mine every year

  4. 104
    Jenny M. says:

    This is an easy and delicious Chocolate Mousse Pie recipe I made last week, and it was delicious. Of course I had to give it a trial run before taking it to family Thanksgiving celebrations! YUMMY You can find all kinds of easy pie recipes at This is my version of their white chocolate mousse pie recipe because I use what I have on hand when I want to make something and it worked out great!

    1 can sweetened condensed milk
    6 squares unsweetened chocolate (1 oz each) (Baker’s)
    1 pkg. whipped topping mix, prepared (or a small tub prepared whipped topping such as Cool Whip)
    2 pkg. mini graham cracker crusts (or 2 regular size graham cracker crusts)

    Chill glass mixing bowl and beaters first.
    In a double boiler or use glass bowl over pan of simmering water, melt chocolate with sweetened condensed milk. Cool completely, stirring occasionally.

    Prepare the whipped topping according to package directions. Fold whipped topping into cooled chocolate mixture and spoon into pie shells. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

    This can be made the day ahead and it is actually best when well chilled overnight.Just make sure you cover the pies. I put the pies into a plastic container to keep the tops looking nice. If you use the normal sized crusts the plastic lid is included.

    It tasted as good as the chocolate mousse I had on my wedding anniversary at a fancy restaurant. Hope you enjoy this recipe. We love chocolate and hate pumpkin pie so this is our kind of dessert!

    • 104.1
      Cathy says:

      Ohhh this sounds wonderful, especially for chocolate lovers, and would have to be good any time of the year, right?! :+)

  5. 105
    Krista says:


    There used to be short 1-2 min. promo clips for your Bible Studies and I remember one that took place in Israel and there was a really cool song that played I think in the Hebrew language. Can you tell me what Bible study that is and the name of that song please?

    Also, I saw the Inheritance promo video clip and that sounds excellent and aligned with truth.


  6. 106
    Michele says:

    Awesome, Mama Beth, I need help!

    Ladies, I have never had a chestnut in my entire life. Chestnut stuffing has always sounded soooo tastey and “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” have always made me feel left out…SOOOOo…this year my hubby and I found a package of already peeled and cooked chestnuts….now what do I do? Can you eat them just heated? Do they taste bad on their own or are they more of a taste that you want mixed in something? I am dying to find out?! :0)

    • 106.1
      Lisa Patti says:


      I used chestnuts one year but was disappointed. I thought they would taste wonderful. I used them (already cooked) in a italian soup that sounded wonderful but to be honest, the texture was something I did not care for. Don’t know much about them either other than the Italians use them in everything at holiday time so I thought I would give them a try (my husband’s family is Sicilian).
      If you find a great way to use them (and you like how they taste), please repost so I can try them again in a different recipe.

    • 106.2
      Shelly says:

      I have never tasted them either, but I hear they are GROSS! Let us know…….I am dying to find out, but you are braver than me!! Happy Thanksgiving!

    • 106.3
      Melanie says:

      It’s a good thing you found chestnuts already peeled and cooked! I too was curious one year, I got some fresh chestnuts and was going to roast them. In order to roast them you have to split the shells (or they’ll explode when heating, I think). The shells are hard to split though and while doing so I cut my finger wide open. It was awful and now that’s what I think of when I think of chestnuts. ๐Ÿ™‚

      That’s not fair to the chestnut though. As for their flavor, I would say it’s pretty mild. You can heat them up and season them with cinnamon and sugar. When added to a dressing (I’ve never done this), but I think it would be like adding nuts to brownies – a nice addition.

  7. 107
    Jerrie says:

    When I first got married, I used to get lumps in my gravy frequently, because I was mixing the flour into the hot liquid. But I have since found out that if you mix your flour with cold liquid you will not get lumps. Then you can slowly pour that into your hot stock and keep stirring while it boils and no lumps! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 107.1
      Jackie says:

      Thanks Jerrie. I tried that and I made smooth gravy!!! First try ever. My husband thanks you too ๐Ÿ™‚
      Ps. My potatoes still were a little lumpy. Tips? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. 108
    Jerrie says:

    My mother-in-law always makes this recipe every year with the left-over turkey and it is very good. It is called Thanksgiving Tomorrow

    Stuffing Mix (like Stovetop) made according to directions
    2 c. cubed cooked turkey
    1 can cream of cream of mushroom soup
    1/2 c. chopped celery
    1/2 c. chopped onion
    salt and pepper to taste

    Combine all ingredients. Put in a greased 1 qt. casserole dish and bake until lightly browned on top.

  9. 109
    arlet says:

    I cooked my first Thanksgiving turkey in a paper bag just like my sister told me to. DISASTER!! So now I use the oven or the roaster my mother in law gave me. One year I mistakenly roasted it breast side down – best turkey ever – so now I do it that way on purpose. I sort of lost my fascination with stuffing – so now I cut up a lemon, an orange (don’t bother with peeling them), slice a big head of garlic in half (don’t worry about peeling it either) and stuff those along with some fresh rosemary, thyme and sage into the cleaned out cavity and roast away. After the bird is done, and before it has cooled off, I wrap it tightly in a big beach towel to keep it warm and moist and to free up the oven. This is also helpful if we’re going to someone else’s home rather than having dinner at our house. Oh yes, and I get the biggest turkey I can find/afford because we all know the best part is turkey sandwiches on Friday ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Thanksgiving!

    • 109.1

      I did the same thing! (accidentally roasted it upside down!) It was awesome! The breast soaks up all those juices while it’s cooking and it never fails to be yummy. hehe I’m kinda relieved to know that I’m not the only one because my family always laughs…while chowing down on the juicy turkey, of course! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 109.2
      Sherry says:

      Amen Siesta!! With Duke’s mayonnaise here in the south!!

  10. 110
    Jennifer T. says:

    Siestas –
    First, I’m wondering if I’ll go pickup the Pillsbury crust rather than the Trader Joe’s (I love TJ’s stuff, but it’s further away). Will see how the kids are behaving when I load them in the car Tuesday!
    NOW – my question. My man is gonna brine our bird-zilla. The thing is 20+lbs. I have no idea why my MIL chose such a big bird, but it’s been thawing in our fridge for a couple of days already and there’s no turning back, of course! In the past we brined in a huge plastic tub I bought new at our Home Depot. It has worked and the kids and I don’t seem to be any worse than before. Now I’m reading stuff that says NO BRINING IN PLASTIC! FOOD GRADE POTS ONLY and stuff like that. I read one suggestion here to brine in a plastic trash bag but I’m wondering how in the world you get the whole beast covered that way. Maybe my question is: Is using an orange home depot bucket okay for brining? If not, where in the world do you get a CHEAP food-grade ginormous pot three days before Thanksgiving?

    Love you all, Siestaville! Can’t sign off without telling you!

    • 110.1
      Sarah S. says:

      Bathtub! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have no idea. This is the very reason I am going to my mother’s for Thanksgiving (and when it’s ever at my house I buy pre-cooked)! Bless your soul is all I have to say.

    • 110.2
      Shelly says:

      My daddy always brines our bird in a huge cooler packed with ice! We are fine too….. Good luck!

    • 110.3
      Leslie Olson says:

      Not an expert, but it is my understanding that you should only brine a FRESH bird….the frozen ones already have so much added “moisture/liquid” that you basically waste your brine….they won’t take it on and it can add too much salt….see Pioneer Woman’s blog for more info on Brining, but my local high end butcher did confirm that as well…..

    • 110.4
      Charlotte says:

      Alton Brown on Food Network uses an ice chest to brine turkeys. I hope that helps.

    • 110.5
      Marlene Boss says:

      I have one of those big orange buckets from Home Depot that I use just for brining turkey! The lid makes it really nice, too. I store it with the turkey lifters, etc tucked inside, nice and clean. Have a happy thanksgiving…

    • 110.6
      Mariposa says:


      I have been brining in a Home Depot bucket for years. I have one specially reserved for my turkey with a lid. Judt make sure that you ahve ice in your brining liquid and that you put the bucket in a really cold place or in a cooler surrounded by ice. I put the liquid in first then trukey brest side down and ice on top and then put the lid on. It has worked for me. Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving.

    • 110.7
      Kelly Bollman says:

      I brined in a trash bag last year and it worked fine… I just flipped the bird a few times.

      • Jennifer T says:

        Somehow my connection DIDN’T update with all your awesome responses ’til this afternoon… AFTER we had taken the leap and went with our trusty (and reserved only for turkey) home depot orange bucket with lid. The bird fit in the bucket and the bucket fits in our fridge. VERY LITTLE ELSE does now, though.
        I was skeptical about the frozen turkey issue b/c we’ve always done fresh. But my precious MIL got involved with her frozen giant and my husband insisted on brining so I kept my mouth shut for once. I hope it ends up tasty. Meanwhile, Kelly, I’m not mature enough to let it go… I giggled when I read your “I flipped the bird a few times.” I think I may end up wanting to do that too, God forgive me.
        ALSO – Ladies – if you want to read something GREAT, google “George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation” seems the doc was lost for 130 yrs then bought at an art auction and now resides in the Library of Congress. Wonderful stuff. Happy Thanksgiving, Siestas!

    • 110.8
      Donna says:

      Jennifer — My friend is going to try brining her turkey in a pickle bucket — same size as Home Depot, but food quality. Also, I saw brining bags at WalMart. They are supposed to hold up to a 24 pound turkey. Good luck!

    • 110.9
      Susan says:

      Jennifer T-
      If you can find an inexpensive ice chest that’s big enough, it’ll work fine! And they have to be food safe. Right?

    • 110.10
      Laura says:

      I have always brined my turkeys in a big ole cooler, not styrofoam. It makes it easy to keep adding stuff to it ~ I’m a big fan of juices, spices and cloves.

      Have fun!

    • 110.11
      Carolyn C says:

      Use a large cooler. My son is a chef. He brined our turkey last year in a covered cooler. It was awesome…gobble gobble…

  11. 111
    Dawn, Ohio says:

    Here’s a recipe for the best-ever & easiest dinner rolls. Since it makes 36, it’s perfect for those family-sized Thanksgiving gatherings, and it’s the perfect work-ahead dish because you mix the dough and let it sit on the counter or stove top to rise overnight!

    California Rolls

    Ingredients: 1 pkg. dry yeast, 1/2 c. sugar, 1 c. warm water, 2 eggs (beaten), 1 tsp. salt, 4-5 c. flour, 1/2 c. butter or margarine


    In large bowl,mix yeast, sugar & warm water.
    (I use my Kitchen-Aid bowl and use the dough hook to mix & knead). Let stand 30 minutes. Add eggs, salt, butter & enough flour to make dough leave side of bowl.

    Let stand overnight and without refrigeration. Next morning, divide dough into 3 balls. Roll each ball into a 10-inch circle on a flour-dusted counter. Cut into 12 pie-shaped wedges. Roll each wedge starting from the large end (it will be a crescent roll). Place on a well-greased cookie sheet & let rise from 1-8 hours. Bake at 375 fro 10 minutes. Makes 3 dozen

    I wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving! Special hugs to that little Pilgrim girl ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. 112
    Dawn, Ohio says:

    Forgot to say to cover the bowl with the dough while it sits out overnight to rise – I just use a cotton towel ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy!

  13. 113
    Martha in Ms says:

    My advice would be to buy fresh cranberries and make real cranberry sauce!! It’s really easy and tell you how on the bag. So much better than out of the can! Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

  14. 114

    my friend(from Texas) told me she makes sure to have everything cooked and cleaned up before guest get there. All dirty dishes and pans washed. I’ve been doing this for the last few years and it is doable and so much nicer! I do the turkey, stuffing(made today and ready to bake Thursday) gravy and potatoes. divvy up the side dishes. this year we will have 18 for dinner so I will cook the first bigger turkey on Wednesday, so I don’t have to put it in the oven at 6 a.m, and the smaller one on Thursday. set the table early if you can(we have cats so it’s not a good idea for us) and enjoy yourself. put on fun music!

    • 114.1
      Heather Smith says:

      I have cats AND I set the table the night before….I just cover it with a king size sheet and the cats don’t go near it!! (This also helped when my kids were small….. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. 115
    charmaine bailey says:

    in South Africa we do not celebrate thanks giving but hang this has made me so in the mood to cook i might just join in the celebration! (and great to keep for Christmas) thanks to all for their wonderful tips and recipe’s.
    and Siesta Mama … we love thee right back!!! you are inspirational!! love you to bits!

    • 115.1
      Jan says:

      Charmaine! Where in South Africa do you live? I visited your beautiful country two years ago and fell in love with the beauty and the people. I hope to come back one day. My husband and I did some mission work. It was one of the best things we’ve ever been blessed to be part of.

  16. 116
    Shannon says:

    Hey girls! What an awesome thing to suggest ideas! I FEEL LIKE IM.PART OF A HUGE SISTERHOOD! WAIT I AM!! here is the recipe for divine deviled eggs….and nothing is measured here….yolks…miracle whip dill relish, and crumbled bacon…the real thing..and a dash of dried mustard. Blend well with.mixer spoon in eggs and sprinkle with.pepper not paprika. They are great and I am being honest here…the bacon idea comes from my brother in law Kevin. Bacon makes everything enjoy!

  17. 117
    Kathy says:

    I need some recipes using all organic ingredients for Thanksgiving and Christmas. My daughter in law has been diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma. My son has been elliminating all chemicals and preservatives from their diet. Lots of fruits and veggies. Help!

    • 117.1
      Kristie says:

      I never measure anything, so you’ll have to play with it, but I bake about 3 pounds of organic sweet potatoes, then I peel and mash them. Next, I add a good bit of stevia extract, organic vanilla, a bit of aluminum-free baking powder, half a stick of organic butter (melted), 3 good quality eggs, a pinch of salt, and a good bit of organic ground cinamon. Add organic heavy whipping cream and beat until smooth. Bake in a casserole dish until nearly set. Then sprinkle the top with a crust made from almond meal, stevia, and softened butter. Bake a bit more until you can smell the almond meal toasting on top. Enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Also, 2ish Tbsp. melted unrefined virgin coconut oil + 2 droppers KAL liquid stevia extract + 1 tsp. organic cococa powder + a small amount of organic heavy whipping cream (whisk all together until smooth)…stirred with LOTS of almond meal–until “doughy”, and then rolled into small balls and refrigerated makes YUMMY truffles!

      Good quality eggs can be used to make deviled eggs…use a small amount of chopped dill pickles, pepper, organic mayo, and mustard.

    • 117.2
      Jamie says:

      Hi Kathy,

      Just a couple of days ago I wonder over to the organic section of my local Kroger and was surprised by all the organic items that are available. As you may already know, many fruits and vegetables are available in the organic section of the produce department. When selecting recipes substitute organic ingredients.

      Possible menu
      Organic turkey (organic onion, carrots and celery inside cavity for flavor)
      Squash casserole (
      Mashed sweet potatoes (butter, cinnamon and nutmeg to taste)
      Sauteed fresh green beans with slivered almonds
      Organic green salad
      Homemade cranberry sauce (follow the directions on the bag)

      Sorry I can’t think of any ideas for dessert. I LOVE to cook and eat but healthy and dessert seems to be a contradiction in terms to me. LOL! Part of the reason why I could lose some weight. Anyway I hope these ideas help my sister.

      Happy Thanksgiving,

    • 117.3
      Liz Taylor says:

      Hey Kathy!
      With all my food allergies I have been cooking more organically, so I can understand the frustration. First, find out if you are anywhere near a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods Market. Even if it’s a drive it is totally worth it. Also, since organic is also a fad, don’t be surprised with higher prices. Your best bet is to use some tried and true recipes and just substitute all organic products. This has worked beautifully for me. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask her what she is hungry for or for recipes she likes. Depending on her health she may want something nontraditional which is totally okay. As someone who also suffers from immune issues, I can attest to the need not so much for food but fellowship. May God bless you as you Bless your daughter-in-law.

    • 117.4
      Pat says:

      Might check out weight watcher’s recipes, as they use lots of fruits and vegetables.

    • 117.5
      Shelley says:

      Hallelujah Acres has awesome healthy recipes for the holidays. Also, you can make most anything organic by cooking with whole foods, not processed and use organic ingredients. Organic spices, etc can be found at a health food store if they are not available at your grocer.

  18. 118
    Natalie says:

    Beth~just wanted to share a poem I wrote. Felt like God has been leading me to do this for a while! (wrote it bk in August) but I just haven’t done it yet. I wrote this when I was going through a really tough time and couldn’t sleep. At 3 AM I woke up and God gave this to me. I hope everyone enjoys it and is encouraged in some way.

    The Gravel Road

    I walk along a gravel road, He leads me by the hand
    Up ahead I barely see my given promised land
    As I walk I let Him go, I’m getting way off track
    He’s standing there arms open wide and says, “my love
    come back.”
    I run to Him, this gravel road becomes so hard to bear
    He says, “my dear just lay it down I’ll carry all you care
    I trip and fall, He picks me up and wipes away my tears
    He says, “my child look in my eyes, you have nothing to
    I drudge along, this gravel road so rough beneath my feet
    I must sit down I’m losing breath, can’t handle all this
    I’m pricked, I’m pruned, I’m churned, I’m burned
    He’s slowly changing me
    To be the woman Jesus died to set my spirit free
    The pain’s too great, the fire’s too hot
    How will I make it through?
    He says, “you won’t unless you stand and let me carry you”
    He picks me up, He carries me, I’m now becoming bold
    He says, “just look, this gravel road is turning into gold
    I see it now this promised land so bright and mine to
    This gravel road was walked along in the power of Jesus
    I ran the race, I fought the fight and now I finally see
    That through it all Himself I gained He set my spirit free
    So when you walk your gravel road you find so hard to bear
    Just remember Jesus said, “My Spirit’s always there!”

    Natalie H.

    • 118.1
      Beth says:

      That is just beautiful, Natalie. I could almost feel that gravel road under my feet.

      • Cathy says:

        Oh Natalie thank you so much for sharing, so touching. I would like to copy and print it out to put with my Bible, if you do not mind. God bless you!

    • 118.2
      Pat says:

      Thank you, Natalie! I will share this with a friend who is struggling on her journey right now!

    • 118.3
      jane says:

      Natalie – how beautiful – thanks so much for sharing! God bless you!

    • 118.4
      Barb Beecham says:

      Beautiful! We live on a gravel road and we’re also walking a “gravel” road in our family life. Thank you for letting God lead you to share this. I loved the part where the gravel road was turned into a road of gold. We have so much to look forward to don’t we?!
      I’ve been so blessed by all of the recipes and this poem and suggestions for the upcoming holiday. Thank you Beth for opening this up for others to share. There is such a collective wisdom among these women!! God is blessing us all. Barb B.

    • 118.5
      Cathie Byers says:

      Thank you! That was beautiful!!

    • 118.6
      Pamela McDonald says:

      Thank you, Natalie, for posting your poem. It is beautiful and touched my heart.

    • 118.7
      Jenn says:

      Loved this! Thank you so much for sharing.

    • 118.8
      Mary says:


      Your poem brought me to tears. What a beautiful reminder of our loving, caring Savior. Thanks for sharing.

    • 118.9
      Heather B. says:

      I absolutely needed to read this today Natalie. Thank you so much for posting it.

    • 118.10
      JoAnn Janik says:

      Very encouraging and heart-felt. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    • 118.11
      Marion says:

      Natalie, thanks for sharing your poem. It is wonderful!

    • 118.12
      Diane Rogers says:

      This is a great poem, Natalie. It spoke to my heart and sometimes doubting spirit. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • 118.13
      Jennifer says:

      Natalie! From another writer…. good job! It’s beautiful, and I can almost here the country music surrounding it! Rock on! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 118.14
      Hannah says:

      That was so great! Thanks for sharing that – I hope you don’t mind if I copy it down to read later. I’ve randomly been feeling distant from God and Jesus this past week, so it was very encouraging for me right now.

    • 118.15
      Puzzlepiecesista-Angela says:


      The poem really moved me….beautiful, uplifting, encouraging…..there really is sooooo much to thank Jesus for this Thanksgiving Day!!!! Praise Him!!!!!!!

      Thank you for sharing!! Happy Turkey Day!!

  19. 119
    Christina says:

    Hi:) first time commenter here:):) We had Thanksgiving at my granny’s on Sunday. She did something called “Brining” the turkey. You can google it. I’ve never tasted anything better. It was unreal!!!!! So juicy and tender. A perfect taste! If you are able and have time to brine your turkey, you should do it!!! It will totally blow the socks off your family!!!!

  20. 120
    Jan says:

    Jan – Clarkston, MI

    THANK YOU, Marie, for the gluten-free/dairy-free website! My daughter has recently begun this diet, and I’m glad to have some recipes she can eat!

    Also, thanks, Beth, for the gravy plan. My husband, who takes pride in making the gravy will appreciate the tips. DARLING little pilgrim!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have a blessed Thanksgiving everyone!!

    • 120.1
      Liz Taylor says:

      Hey Jan!
      Don’t forget to use gluten free flour in the gravy. ๐Ÿ™‚ As one with celiac/wheat allergy I can tell you my mom often forgets all the “little” places she uses wheat.

      • Steph says:

        I know I’m super late on this, but maybe you will still see it. My Mom also has celiac, and we have discovered that you can use the gluten free toaster waffles instead of toast in your dressing/stuffing. It comes out wonderful!!

  21. 121
    Meg says:

    Cooking Tips:

    If married, confer with husband about what menu should look like. Views might be vastly different. Your down home menu may resemble his “soup kitchen” menu and lead to tears, laughter, and eating at the Olive Garden. (true story!!)

  22. 122
    Lisa Patti says:

    I use Williams & Sonoma’s suggestion of brining a turkey for Thanksgiving. I have done this the last couple of years and the turkey turns out amazing. Plus, you don’t have to cook it as long as you would a regular turkey. Go to Williams & Sonoma’s website for their brining recipe, it has great things in it like oranges, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, etc. You throw it all in a bag with ice cubes and put in the fridge overnight. You take it out of the bag in the morning and stick it in the oven. It will be the most tender, moist turkey you have ever had!

    I also suggest Giada DeLaurentis’ Savory Bread Pudding as a casserole dish. I have made this the last several years and my family loves it! It is basically roasted parsnips and butternut squash mixed with challah bread in a cinnamon, brandy and cream sauce, and baked in the oven! It is heaven on earth and I could eat the entire casserole! If you can’t find the recipe, let me know and I will try to repost later.

    Happy Thanksgiving to my siestas!

  23. 123
    Denise B says:

    Holidays are a minefield for me. I want to eat all those wonderful traditional meals, however, I have issues! When I head to the family gathering, I take food that I can eat and is healthy. Some of the family will partake but not all. My favorite dish is a sweet potatoes/carrot recipe that all the family likes.
    (Note: smaller slices less bake time.)
    3 or 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced (1/2 inch)
    5 carrots, peeled and sliced (1/2 inch)
    1/2 cup dried cranberries
    1/2 cup chopped pecans
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1 TB maple syrup or agave syrup

    In a large bowl, mix potatoes, carrots, cranberries, cinnamon and syrup until well coated. Spread in a large oiled baking dish.

    Bake for 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Sprinkle with nuts before serving.

    Good stuff!

  24. 124
    Melissa G says:

    I LOVE Wolfgang Puck’s turkey brine recipe off of Food Network. I only do the brine part of the recipe and then put the turkey in to bake as usual. I think it even beats deep-fried turkey.

    Also, a lady at church told me to put a pat of butter into your pot when you are boiling pasta or potatoes and it will not boil over. It totally works!

  25. 125
    Cherri says:

    One tip I love to use is to make my mashed potatoes first thing in the morning and then put them in the Crock-pot on ‘low’ or ‘keep warm’ until ready to serve. It gets one dish out of the way and off the stove to make room for other stuff.

  26. 126
    Becca says:

    I am blessed to be the recipient of most of the baking and not the primary chef, however gravy has become my “job” since I was pretty small. It has even become my job at my in-law’s house. Rather than flour, I use bisquick to thicken it up (or whatever pancake/ biscuit mix is around). It just gives the gravy a better flavor in my opinion. Usually it needs a tad more seasoning (salt, pepper, a smidge of garlic) and also I take a whole onion that was cooking with the turkey and keep it in the gravy while I’m preparing it.

  27. 127
    Karen says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
    I know that everyone always thinks that their Mom’s dressing is the best but, I have to tell you that I KNOW my Mom’s is!! It is easy and tastes amazing. Anyone who eats it wants to know how she makes it. I help her every year and so I know her secrets! I think that I will share them!
    Make and bake 3 boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix according to directions on box. Cool and crumble into an LARGE mixing bowl. Add one large bag of Pepperidge Farm HERBED stuffing mix and combine with the cornbread. Saute a large white onion (diced) and a whole bunch (all the stalks) celery (diced) in 2 sticks of melted butter until translucent. Pour all of this sauted mixture into the cornbread mix. Add 10 beaten eggs to mixture and stir well. Then, add at least 4 cans of chicken broth. Stir well. Mixture needs to be very “soupy” so you may need to add water to make it this consistancy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour in greased large casserole dishes and bake until firm and golden brown. ****The stuffing mixture already has sage and other spices in it, so you do not need to add any more!!!
    Blessing to all!!

    • 127.1
      Leigh Ann Long says:

      Thanks for sharing Karen ….. I think I can do this! May need to half it, since there will only be 5 of us this year!

  28. 128
    Cynthia says:

    Beth –

    Thank you for the gravy tutorial. I’m not a stellar cook either, but can generally get the end result I’m looking for – lol. However, I’ve never been able to master gravy. Your post gives me hope to try again! Although, not for Thanksgiving…my aunt will take care of this! We will be in your home state with cornbread dressing and all! Wouldn’t be Thanksgiving with out it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a blessed day with your family. This is so my favorite holiday!

    Cynthia in OK

  29. 129
    Serena says:

    You are so funny Beth! I love you!! Your notes always make me laugh and I LOVE TO laugh! I just told one of my clients (I do hair) to use an oven bag! So glad you posted it to! It is sure fire! You also can flip the bird over, breasts down for most of the baking, last half hour flip it up, slit the bag over the top and peel back to crisp up the skin. This makes the white meat a little more juicy. So thankful this season!!!

  30. 130
    Kristine says:

    Ok, so this is not really a “cooking tip” but a recipe finding tip. A friend of mine has been using “google” to find fantastic recipes. Simply type in “the best recipe for __________ (whatever it is that you’re looking for)” and it truly helps you weed out the other 2,000 recipes for cornbread stuffing and only gives you the rated 5 star recipes. I’ve been doing this for the last couple months and have had no flops yet. I am usually directed to the best recipes from

    Happy Thanksgiving Ladies!

    • 130.1
      Jennifer says: also has a great feature where you can search based on ingredients you want or don’t want and key words. On the top of the home page, just above the search bar, click “ingredients” and you can search for a yam recipe without brown sugar and gluten free for example. Sort the results by “rating”, and you get the best at the top. This is also great when you have a mess of odd ingredients in your fridge and don’t know what you can make with them.

  31. 131
    Sharon Kay says:

    This “fun” blog was just what I needed during a stressful week! I think this is the first time I’ve ever commented but I read, love and pray for you all! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    • 131.1
      Beth says:

      So glad you commented, Sharon! We honestly get to know each other by watching the names come up over and over. So glad you joined in!

  32. 132
    Judy Woodward says:

    I’m making your Texas Sheet Cake
    for our Thanksgiving dessert. My family
    absolutely loves it!

    • 132.1
      Beth says:

      I’m so happy, Judy! I have copied and pasted several of the dessert recipes among these comments so I was thinking about not doing it this year but, then again, my family might have a fit.

      • Leigh says:

        For some strange reason, Thanksgiving is not the time to try new recipes. My crew doesn’t really care what we eat at Christmas, but try to change up the Thanksgiving menu? You have never heard such whining and complaining! So Beth you better make that cake!

  33. 133
    Dana says:

    Just wanted to mention that rubbing sage on the turkey like Beth described with salt and pepper is good too. I always put an apple and an onion in the turkey cavity for added flavor (it isn’t eaten later, it’s just to add flavor to the turkey while cooking). It’s a question I had to ask my mom years ago while watching her preparing the turkey. ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. 134
    Carol says:

    I agree with Beth, some things from scratch are special and necessary, (the turkey and mashed potatoes have to be from scratch at our house) but there are some short cuts that you can use and still present a feast fit for a king. One of my families favorite short cuts is in the area of stuffing. I have never been a REAL fan of stuffing, my mom and grandmother made it from scratch and put all sorts of things in it from the giblets to chopped water chestnuts, it was okay but I don’t ever remember going back for seconds. My best cheat is Stove Top Cornbread stuffing and add a bag of Craisins, it’s perfect EVERY time!! I make like 4 boxes because otherwise there wouldn’t be any leftover for seconds, and my family ALWAYS wants seconds! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

  35. 135
    Annette says:

    My husband is a fabulous cook but leaves Thanksgiving to me and if there is one thing in this world I don’t care to do it’s cooking.

    I find it best to use simple recipes such as the recipe for cranberry sauce on the back of the cranberry bag.

    I prepare a big green salad w/ lots of veggies, bake the turkey in an oven bag, make the cranberry sauce and dressing and then I cheat…the gravy comes from jars, the rolls from the refrigerated section of the grocery store and the mashed potatoes from a box (no one knows because I used 1/2 & 1/2 instead of milk to make them).

    I pray my Siestas have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  36. 136
    Sarah says:

    For an easy stuffing recipe. I just add my own flavors to Stove Top. No worries to have it in the oven and have been complimented on it for years and actually finally this year shared my secret and didn’t hide all the packaging.

    2 T oil
    1/2 onion
    2 stalks of celery
    Stove Top (normally I make 3-4 boxes)
    can of amoke house almonds

    add oil and veggies in stock pot cook until tender add water (1 1/2 C per package of Stove Top) bring to boil, remove from heat, add Stove Top and almonds let sit and then fluff 5 minutes later.

    Easy for new cooks or cooks like me that want to find tasty ways to make the prep easier. Lets me be less stressed and enjoy others more.

    • 136.1
      Linda Lloyd says:

      Firt time posting, love reading everyones comments,and especially Beth and her family! Just wanted to say to Sarah i have a smiliar recipe using just the seasonings sifted from the stove top with jiffy corn bread, i dont use the cornbread in the stop top, add the cream of chicken soup ,& celery soup with chicken broth and onions and celery! wonderful

  37. 137
    Louise says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you Beth and your family.
    I am so thankful for your teachings.

    If you have not used the Gravy Base shown on
    the blog…..your missing out! Its so good and
    takes the stress off of us who just seem to stress
    over how many lumps will stay in the gravy~

    I believe the best appetizer is the glorious
    p & J sandwich!! amen I am getting one right now!

  38. 138
    Ashley says:

    Mouth watering posts…just sayin. I think I scanned all of the comments and didn’t see any for fresh cranberry sauce…any suggestions?

    I had some recently with cranberries, nuts, and (I think) some oj…but commited the regretful act of NOT asking for the recipe! I’m not one for the can-shaped version =) but this was really good!

    How about you, Momma Beth? Will cranberry sauce adorn your Thanksgiving table?

  39. 139
    Christine says:

    I make my turkey the way Beth described in the Roasting Bag… but I pour in a bottle of champagne before I close the bag. It gives it fabulous flavor (all the alcohol cooks out), and makes it fall right off the bone — no carving required!!!!

  40. 140
    Julie Bottger says:

    Natalie, I loved your poem. Thanks for sharing with us! And Annabeth in her pilgram outfit — too adorable!! I have no kitchen wisdom, or wonderful cooking tips, but such as I have, give I thee — (loved that in Casper, Mama Beth) — and that is a thankful heart. As we are coming and going and shopping and planning and cooking and cleaning, etc., etc., may we be GRATEFUL for all that we have, for friends, and family, for the years that we had with those who are gone, for Siestas and siestas ๐Ÿ™‚ for the Christ and the cross, for a Heavenly Father who thinks we are just as adorable as Annabeth in her pilgram outfit. Can you hear Him singing over you? Love you all. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  41. 141
    Laura M. says:

    Good Morning Seista Dahlins! I want to share a link to the recipe for the most devine pecan pie I’ve ever tasted in my life! I tried it out on my husband first, before braving with the whole family gathering, and we both just stood at the bar scarfing out like a couple of cows. It’s called Four Layer Pecan Pie:

    May the Lord richly bless your Thanksgiving celebrations!

  42. 142
    Linda Goepper says:

    I learned this 30 years ago from a chef on TV. I have never had a dry turkey because of his advice. Lift the skin on the breast of the turkey and slide your hand between the skin and breast. There is a membrane that you will break through and when you have done that place a stick of butter in slices under the skin of the breast. This will keep the turkey moist and no basting necessary. Also, don’t over cook the turkey. Purchase a good meat thermometer and take the turkey out when the thick part of the breast registers 160. The turkey will continue to cook. Let it rest about 15 minutes before you slice as slicing too soon will cause the juices to run out while slicing. Enjoy!

  43. 143
    Carol says:

    We will be eating at my mom’s (84 yrs.old and still making Thanksgiving dinner!) I know… my siblings and I should be ashamed…but she loves (and insists on)doing it! As a good south GA wife/mom, I will take cornbread dressing and vegetables from my garden/freezer (butterbeans, Silver Queen corn).
    Mom will make stuffing as well…going back to our Vermont roots!
    Mom’s rule for stuffing: ALWAYS put COLD stuffing into a cold turkey. NEVER put the stuffing into the turkey while it(stuffing) is still warm, because it can have time to grow bacteria before the inside of the turkey is hot.
    My favorite dessert is very traditional, simple pumpkin pie with REAL whipped cream!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  44. 144
    Donna says:

    Beth, I sure hope you post some pictures of your family Thanksgiving dinner…

  45. 145
    Amy says:

    My biggest piece of advice would be to not get stressed out. As women, I think we put way too much pressure on ourselves to make holiday meals something special. In my opinion, what makes the meal special is being with the people we love. Good food is just an added bonus!

    I thought I would share a few links to some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes.

    Sweet Potato Casserole:

    Crescent Rolls:

    Perfect Pie Crust:

  46. 146
    Diane Bailey says:

    Don’t have much time for a long comment, I’m in the process of making Gumbo as part of our Thanksgiving!

    Love you Siestas! Happy Thanksgiving!

  47. 147
    Crissy says:

    Just love you to pieces! I need a great pecan pie recipe! Anyone got one?

    • 147.1
      Tracey Knight says:

      hi crissy, i use this one…
      into your fav unbaked pie crust (pioneer woman’s perfect pie crust is yummy), pour 1 heaping cup of chopped pecan CHIPS (these are teensy).
      then mix & pour over the pecans:
      1 cup white sugar, 3 Tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 cup corn syrup, 3/4 tsp vanilla, 1/3 cup melted butter & 3 beaten eggs.
      cover w/ foil & bake @ 350 for 30 minutes. remove foil & bake 20 more minutes.
      if you want to be considered the best pecan pie maker in america, add 1 cup of ghirardelli chocolate chips to the pecans. ๐Ÿ™‚

  48. 148
    Shelly Story says:

    I too am a gravy “artist” at my house. I lovelovelove a good roast with gravy over mashed potatoes! It was so fun to read your tips and so I will share mine. I long ago gave up mixing flour into water and whisking that into the boiling broth. I now use Wondra Flour. It is finely processed, and whisks in perfectly (assuming you don’t dump a whole gob in at once. I just whisk as I add it, right into the boiling broth, and voila! Gravy!

    This is fun–thanks!!

    PS…I have a picture I need to figure out how to send to you (e-mail, possibly snail mail) when I get the chance. I co-chaired a one-day ladies retreat in our town earlier this month, where we had around 70 women in attendance, and we used “A Day With Beth Moore” as our study. I had never ever heard anyone teach on Asher–it was amazing! Anyway, I made an annoucement for all Siestas to come up for a picture. There were 3 of us faithful who hugged each other for a picture in front of the screen, and then I took the opportunity to make a plug for this dear blog. If I find a spare minute, just for giggles, I’ll send you the picture. ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. 149
    Peggy says:

    I love reading how everybody else cooks. I only buy a BUTTERBALL Turkey with a self-timer, and I also use an oven bag. I mix salt, pepper, garlic salt or powder or minced garlic. So simple! When the turkey is done, I take it out of the oven and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.

    For gravy, I remove most of the fat and then add ice cubes and whisk it. Then I add the flour and whisk again. Add Kitchen Bouquet and salt and pepper to taste. Yum!

    I want to try Williams-Sonoma gravy base.

  50. 150
    Jackie says:

    Sweet. Just in time. I made my first turkey ever today for my husband and boys tonight. I’m getting ready to make the gravy. Pray for me. I’ve never made gravy. I don’t have a cool spout thing like that. I poured all the juice from the bag into a measuring cup. So how do I get that off stuff off the bottom? Now I need to read all of the above comments because I think you all will be more helpful than Betty Crocker herself ๐Ÿ˜‰

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