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cap, captain miss america
--The Quick Quotes Quill EXISTS. Holy crap I want one of these. Sadly, I lose pens like whoa.

I did my serious hardcore Thanksgiving To Do List Excel Spreadsheet last night. That thing is crazy. But it's done and today I start cooking!

How is everyone else out there? I can't do comics this week because I don't have access to a scanner, so I would like to assist you all in your Thanksgiving feasts if I can! Do any of you need Thanksgiving help? Tutorials? Ideas? Recipes? Let me know if there are Thanksgiving tricks or tips or suggestions you would like to know and I will happily do some Thanksgiving write-ups. Anything from stuff to bring to potlucks to cooking the full feast!

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Yes, actually. I've never roasted a turkey before! I've always made just breasts or drumsticks, never a whole bird. So...what do I need to know to not totally screw this up?

I am working on a detailed answer for you!

Do you have a frozen turkey or a fresh one? Or have you not bought it yet?

I am also doing this for the first time! So I second this question. (And my turkey is frozen!)

Okay! If you have enough fridge room, you want to get your turkey moved to the fridge TODAY. That will give it enough time to thaw out properly. If you don't have fridge room, You can take it out Tuesday or Wednesday and I can walk you through doing a cold water de-thaw.

Agh! My comment to you didn't seem to post!

Frozen turkey needs about 5 hours per pound to de-thaw if you are doing it in your fridge and have enough room to do that. That's generally the best way because it's slowest but it's hard if you don't have room. It takes 5 hours per pound, so depending on the size of the turkey, you'll probably want to take it out today or tomorrow to get it fully thawed by Wednesday so you can clean it and have it all ready to go in the over on Thursday.

If you DON'T have enough room in your fridge, you can do it in a cold water bath, and the best time to do that would be Tuesday night or Wednesday during the day (then Wednesday night late you can get it all ready to put in the oven and make your turkey stock and not be stressed Thursday). It takes about 1 hour per 2 lbs of turkey. You want to do it in sink-cold water, fully submersing the turkey, and change the water out once every half-hour to an hour (less if you have to but to keep the temperature the most constant, that's the most ideal). So, if you have a 12lb turkey it will take about 6 hours. If you have a 20 lb turkey, it will take about 10 hours.

I'll write outmore tips that don't have to do with de-thawing later, it's just the de-thawing that you need to do soonest! If your turkey is really big and you want to de-thaw it in the fridge, you will want to start fridge de-thawing it tonight!

I have a comment reply email in my inbox, but the comment isn't here! Anyway!

Okay! If you have enough fridge room, you want to get your turkey moved to the fridge TODAY. That will give it enough time to thaw out properly. If you don't have fridge room, You can take it out Tuesday or Wednesday and I can walk you through doing a cold water de-thaw.

I can take it out tomorrow, but right now my fridge is slammed. My fridge runs rather cold, though, so maybe I should do some rearranging so I can take it out tonight. I'm planning on brining it Wednesday afternoon and leaving it in the fridge overnight. Or, damn, maybe I need to do that sooner since I need to make gravy stock Wednesday night? I worry slightly because I have to work Wednesday evening (from 6 until whenever), so if I wait to start that for when I get home (which was when I was planning on doing my gravy, prepping my stuffing & veg and making my cake), will it brine for long enough?

Take it out tonight if you can-- if you want to brine it, you actually want to do that TUESDAY night, wash it off Wednesday night, and let it sit out of the brine Wednesday night!

You can brine it when it is not completely thawed, though, it will keep thawing in the brine! But your best bet is to try to pull it out now, or worst case scenario, cold-water thaw it on Tuesday during the day.

Awesome. These are all things that recipes don't tell you! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

No problem! I'm going to try to write up a list of common mistakes and instructions that they just kind of assume you know, like taking out the giblet bag and checking for pinfeathers and stuff later.

It's frozen and about 12 pounds.

Okay! It will take you about 2 days (to be safe) to de-thaw in your fridge-- so take it out tomorrow if you have enough room to de-thaw it in your fridge-- that way you will have time to clean it out and make stock and stuff on Wednesday.

If you don't have enough space in your fridge, you will want to do a cold water de-thaw, which will take you about 6 hours (2 lbs per hour). Let me know if you need to do that and I can write out instructions. Again, best bet would be to do that Wednesday, during the day if John can do it while you're at work, so you have time Wednesday night to clean the turkey and get it all ready in the pan and make stock if you want to.

Oh, also, I gave Vedette instructions on how to do the cold water bath above, so if you need to do that, just check that comment out.

I need a good simple dessert recipe. Every year my aunt, my mom, and I tease each other all year about how our dessert is going to be best. My mom's Lemon Supreme and my aunt's Peanut Butter pie (which came from a label on a hot fudge jar, I do believe) are past favorites. Two things I've brought in the past that were almost completely snubbed were Derby Pie and Banana Split Cake. Which I thought were delicious and simple, but whatever. Usually everyone brings the same thing every year. My other aunt always brings cheesecake (from a box, with canned strawberries) and my aunt who died last year always brought banana pudding, so I don't think I can do that either. I want to really "wow" everyone this year. I was thinking of making truffles, but they would have to be refrigerated and people might not realize they're there.

Any ideas?

My old standby Thanksgiving dessert recipe is this German Chocolate Pie recipe from the 1970s:


Assuming everyone in your family likes nuts and coconut?

What helps extra is if you make fresh whipped cream with light brown sugar instead of white sugar. It is amazing!

What are you starting to cook right now? And what do you plan on saving up until the last minute?

My kitchen is super, super small, and my oven is even smaller. My fridge is even smaller. And my time frame to cook is even smaller.

Aw! Um, mine is probably not going to be helpful. Tonight, I'm pickling eggs for deviled eggs, making my clementine-cranberry compote, making chicken liver mousse, making dough for crackers and dressing for salad. I already candied my pumpkin seeds for the compote

Last Minute is mostly reheating things. The turkey gets roasted on Thursday. The Mashed potatoes get made on Thursday, and the scallops and broccolini get sauteed on Thursday. The pudding and stuffing get baked, and the gravy gets made! Most things just get assembled, reheated, and served!

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