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202436 tn?1326477933
OT-Thanksgiving
Ok ladies here's the deal.  I want to invite my FIL and BIL for Thanksgiving becuase they usually spend it alone.  The thing is (and this sounds really stupid) my FIL is an AWESOME cook....typical southern style.  I'm just an OK cook..I can follow a recipe but I won't be on the Food Network anytime soon.  So, my question for you ladies is this....How do you prepare your Thanksgiving Turkeys and Hams?  I need some ideas.  Are there any other traditional dishes that you always have with your meal?
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304970 tn?1331429594
Can't you invite your FIL and just tell him you are intimidated by his "skills," and could he come over a few hours early so you can cook it together and bond? Just a thought. It could be really fun and it could be the start of a new tradition and definitely could be a bond for you guys? If not, maybe ask him for his recipe? Best of luck.
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1055658 tn?1300848890
I don't know how to cook a turkey because my SIL always makes it lol so I'm out for that one. My mom always makes all the sides since she doesn't have to make the turkey. We always have mashed potatoes, stuffing, Mac n cheese, green bean casserole, and cranberry sauce straight out the can. Nothing that she makes is super special but it's my moms cooking so it's always good to me. I unfortunately have to share holidays with dh's family so we eat twice that day and my moms food is so much better imo.

Check out the recepies on food network . Com that's where I always go when I need ideas and it never disappoints. You still have time too that you can try out some of the recepies before the big day too. Good luck and happy cooking!
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971074 tn?1362763366
We brine our Turkey the night before. It makes a big difference. We do a guinness beer brine but if you search the net...there are all kinds of variations.

I always make Roasted Sweets n' Beets. It's roasted sweet potatoes and beets. There is a recipe for it on allrecipes.com if you are interested. It's a little different than the regular sweet potato dishes that people serve. I also make Mashed Parsnips and Potatoes. It's a mix of potatoes and parsnips boiled and mashed. There is a simple recipe for that on foodnetwork.com It is a little lighter than regular mashed potatoes. Other than that, I usually make green beans, a huge mixed salad, cranberry sauce, gravy, stuffing, and some kind of starter soup.

It can be daunting to cook a big meal like this. I make some stuff before hand like the starter soup, cranberry sauce, and I tear up the stuffing bread the night before and season it.
Good luck!
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1433383 tn?1287668880
I've never done the turkey, but ham I can do. I usually just get a boneless ham from the grocery store, then I cut diamonds into the top and bottom. After that cover it with a mixture of orange juice, water, cloves, and pepper, thyme, and canned pinnapple (in juice). Just make the mixture based on the size of the ham. I believe you cook about 15 minutes per pound since the hams are pre-cooked. Sometimes you have to add water as it's cooking to keep it from burning. It tastes amazing, I hated ham as a kid but I LOVE it like this. We make it for Easter for my husband's family every year and everyone thinks it tastes great! Good luck!
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1035252 tn?1427231433
I was going to say exactly what Spiket said...the key is to brine it for 12-24 hours. Then no matter how you decide to cook it, it's going to have a rich full flavor and be nice and tender and juicy....we also make smashed potatoes using a dollop of mayonnaise, some sour cream, salt, pepper, and butter....the mayo and sour cream make the 'taters SOOO rich and delicious.

We're combining my family and the in-laws this year and I think it's going to be interesting, to say the least...lol.
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1123420 tn?1350564758
yum my favorite part of thanksgiving is mashed potatoes and gravy and homeade rolls, and of course pumpkin pie!!   always gotta make the green bean caesural too lol.. im not a turkey eater so i depend on the sides lol
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287246 tn?1318573663
I have only been cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the past 3 years.  Well, last year didn't even count.  Mary was only about 8 weeks old, so I did Luby's last year.  Um, big mistake.  It was NOT good.  Anyway, the year before, I bought a brining kit.  I brined the turkey overnight and then cooked it the following morning.  I also lift the skin from the breast and rub it down with butter.  I like to fill the cavity of the turkey with citrus fruit slices, such as oranges and lemons.  Oh, I like to throw an onion in there with the fruits.  I based the turkey in its natural juices/butter from time to time while it is cooking.  I also keep the turkey covered the majority of the cook time.  I only uncover it towards the end so it will get nice and brown.

Other things I like to make are green beans, mashed potatoes, stuffing (I prefer corn bread stuffing), and rolls.  I also like to make a pie.  I am not a pumpkin pie person myself.  Neither is DH.  We like Pecan.  But my girls want pumpkin this year, so I guess I will make both.  Oh, and for my green beans....I like to saute bacon and onions and then add them to my green beans.  Talk about yummy!!  Okay....my stomach is now growling.  LOL!!
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202436 tn?1326477933
Ok dumb question but what is brining and how do you do it? LOL

FIL isn't the type you "bond" with he's old southern country folk, doesn't talk a lot
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I put my turkey in the oven for the alloted time and just continuously baste it. (I stuff it first of course). I made my first thanksgiving dinner for family last year and my turkey was super moist and yummy. I do rub ol' tom down with a mixture of salt, pepper and poultry seasoning then put some chicken (yeah I use chicken broth) broth in the bottom of the roasting pan to mix with the natural juices from the turkey. Nothing fancy but so yummy. :o)
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1330108 tn?1333680904
Brine the turkey oh man it's amazingly good!  We usually have:
-Mashed potatoes (really well mashed and mixed in is sour cream, butter and milk) to mash them really well you can use a hand mixer after you mash them by hand.
-green bean casserole: fresh steamed green beans mixed with campbells cream of mushroom soup mix, parmesan cheese and whestacher sauce baked with frenchs fried onions on top (the container has a recipe too)
-turkey w brine and grilled
-stuffing surprisingly even the stovetop stuffing is yummy
-cranberry sauce (put frozen cranberries in a blender with a splash of OJ)
-acorn squash halved and cooked with butter and brown sugar
-sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows (even the canned ones are yummy)
-buttermilk biscuits
-French bread
-apple pie
-pumpkin pie
-pecan pie
-pumpkin pecan cheesecake

We make all the breads and pies homemade but store bought are usually just as good.
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1330108 tn?1333680904
OH and cranberry bread and date nut bread too
And of course gravy
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287246 tn?1318573663
Brining is basically salt, sugar and other holiday spices mixed together.  By other holiday spices I mean thyme, sage, garlic, etc.  You basically mix all of these things together with water and bring it to a boil so that it all dissolves.  You wait for it to get to room temperature and then submerge the turkey into it.  If you have a big stock pot, that is great.  I don't, so I used a brand new and well cleaned bucket.  Ha ha!  You let it sit 12-24 hours in the refrigetator.  I did it overnight.  You can buy the brining kit that basically has all the spices combined already.  You just follow the direction.  I bought mine from Target for about $5.00 if I remember correctly.  I only used half of it because I only make the breast.  So, I have the other half for this year.  Oh, and if you get on the Food Network website, they actually have videos for brining.  Tyler Florence has a good one.  I actually just watched it last night with my girls.  Take a look there as well.  You will get tons of tips.  Some of the things I do to my turkey, I got from there.  I just took what I wanted for whatever host and kind of spliced my own little recipe.
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1330108 tn?1333680904
My father is from the south so much of what we cook is southern style even sometimes we do collard greens and our pecan pie has pecans all the way to the bottom of the pie. We also have cornbread.

Surprisingly man of the dishes you will make you can find a recipe for on a package like the corn meal should have cornbread recipe which is probably amazing, the cream of mushroom soup has a green bean casserole recipe so does the Frenches onions.

Big advice here DEFROST TURKEY EARLY they take freakin forever to defrost and most people running in to trouble on Thanksgiving have a half frozen bird on their hands. We start defrosting on Mon so defrosts Mon-Tues evening. Then on Wed it can go in the brine and Thurs is can go on the grill.
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287246 tn?1318573663
Oh good tip SunWorshiper!!  I forgot that one.  Yes, defrost early!!!  Since I only cook the breast, 2 days is normally sufficient for me.
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202436 tn?1326477933
Thanks ladies, I'm gonna check out the brining thing.  Sounds good.  I know we'll have mashed potatoes, corn, cornbreadstuffing, greenbeans (italian style made with bacon and lawrys seasoning salt), cheddar biscuits, rolls, pecan pie, banana pudding  and cranberry sauce.  I may add one or two things....my family is really picky so sweet potatoes, squash and other things like that are out.  I'll prolly throw in some salad too!  Oh and I like to do bread dip and dill dip....my moms recipes and REALLY yummy!!
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202436 tn?1326477933
any other ideas?
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