Thanksgiving Host Virgin

I have made it 36 years without hosting Thanksgiving and I have never cooked a turkey, or whole chicken for that matter. Actually, I pretty much avoid all meat with bones in general. 2012 is the year, and why shouldn't it be? Everything else about this year has been crazy, might as well host a major holiday feast too.

Fortunately for me, our gathering will be relatively small, just 10 or so. If I completely destroy the turkey, there will be very few witnesses. Of course I am doing all my homework, so hopefully that will not be the case. I guess the flip side would be if I miraculously bake the world's greatest turkey, there will be few witnesses to that as well.

My theory at the moment is go big or go home, so I have pre-ordered a fresh turkey from a local farm. (Trust me, I looked into the Honey Baked Turkey as an option, but I am all in on this one). I am searching the web for some no-brainer turkey recipes. I think I have decided to borrow my mom's pan, buy a bag and one of those pop out timer thingies. Still looking for the recipe though. Oh, and I am going to go stuffing out too.

Speaking of stuffing, that is another first for me. I have of course done Stove Top and, what is it, Pepperidge Farm in the bag kind, but I have yet to make stuffing from scratch. Since my kids won't eat it anyway, I figure I can go adult with this side dish. That is my next search after I nail down the turkey recipe.

I am going way light on the side dishes for several reasons:
  1. Did I mention 10 people, 3 of which are my kids who don't eat Thanksgiving side dishes
  2. I will spend the rest of the weekend getting ready for Christmas, and I need to conserve my energy
  3. I don't have room in my fridge for all those side dish leftovers which will only be eaten by Pete and I, maybe the dog
  4. I hate doing dishes
I could probably list several more, but you get the point.

Beyond the turkey & stuffing I have committed to mac-n-cheese and broccoli + dessert (of course I am going to make dessert). Those my kids will eat. My mom is baking my grandma's famous rolls. My siblings may bring something else, or they may not. I may even cave and toss in a sweet potato dish or some fruit, but that is my limit.

If anyone has any turkey & stuffing for dummies recipes they can recommend, please shoot them my way. Hopefully by Friday I have them locked and my shopping list compiled so I can round everything up. Any tips or tricks are greatly appreciated as well. As much as I love to host parties, this whole turkey has me a bit intimidated.

Happy Cooking Everyone!


Elizabeth said…
I'm sure its going to be delicious! I'm thoroughly looking forward to it- and I wouldn't bother with another side. I 'll probably bring some roasted butternut squash- which is along the lines of sweet potato food anyway. I highly recommend brining the turkey- its super easy and makes it so much more tender!

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