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Tips for Your Thanksgiving Feast

Get your turkey in gear! Check out our tips for Thanksgiving day.

Looking for a turkey recipe? Check out our recipe for 

If you are one of the lucky ones who will be enjoying Thanksgiving dinner elsewhere and won't need to dirty your kitchen or break out the good china, then good for you! Enjoy your week and don't forget to pick up a hostess gift.

However, for those of us who will be the recipient of the aforementioned hostess gifts – it's show time people! Not to put you in a planning panic, but it's time to get cooking.

According to a Thanksgiving timeline suggested by Williams-Sonoma, by one or two hours ahead of time you should plan your menu, table setting, serving dishes and decorations, shop for the appropriate cooking tools and equipment and bring the table linens to the dry cleaners for cleaning and pressing.

Seriously? Cooking tools? Decorations? Dry cleaners?

All laughing aside, there is still time to throw together a feast that would make the pilgrims proud. Check out these awesome  and suggestions from Rubia Jasinevicius, author of Woodridge Patch's "The Local Dish" column. As she explains, you don't have to be Martha Stewart to make a successful dinner.

What next? Back to the Thanksgiving timeline, here are some more practical tips to keep you on schedule:

  • If you're planning on cooking a fresh turkey as opposed to a frozen turkey, get it now. As of Sunday,  and  both had a great selection, but fresh birds tend to fly the coop sooner than frozen so don't wait until Wednesday.
  • If you're taking the frozen turkey route, leave yourself plenty of time for it to thaw. Contrary to popular belief, thawing it with a hair dryer or wrapping it up in an electric blanket won't do the trick. Check out this video for the best thawing method.
  • Child labor is cheap - put the kids work. Have your helpers clean out the coat closet, spruce up the guest bath and if you trust them, set the dinner table.

Talk Turkey

Intimidated by your turkey? Located in Naperville, the experts at the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line® can walk you through just about any crisis. Call 1-800-BUTTERBALL or check out their website  for every type of cooking and entertaining tip you can imagine. They will be available all day Thanksgiving waiting for your calls.

Finally, if you find that you just don't want to cook, leave it to others. Dominick's and Jewel-Osco are offering a full line of complete holiday dinners and appetizers. 

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