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Thanksgiving Newbie. What do I cook?

So this year I've been made to be in charge of most of the food for thanksgiving. I've never cooked a turkey before. What are the dos and don'ts and how do I keep it juicy. Also I love candied yams but never made them before. What's a good recipe? Need other ideas as well.

For desert I plan to make a pumpkin roll but not sure on anything else.

Answer Question

Asked by Femommy at 7:52 AM on Nov. 11, 2013 in Holidays

Level 9 (316 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • Go buy a injector. It is just a big ass needle to inject butter or broth into the bird. Keeps the bird juicy. Do not over cook the bird.

    Answer by louise2 at 8:42 AM on Nov. 11, 2013

  • Sweet potato cassarole

    That is the recipe that my southern sister-inlaw uses and it is heavenly. You can make that instead of candied yams. We also have these at every Thanksgiving.

    mashed potatoes


    pepper and tomato salad

    fennel green beans

    cranberry relish (fresh cranberries with sugar and orange zest)

    canned cranberries

    relish dish...all kinds of pickled things


    I think the main thing is to think about your families favorite side dishes and try to incorporate them into your dinner.


    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 8:55 AM on Nov. 11, 2013

  • Use one of those bags that the turkey goes into. It keeps it moist and juicy, I put herbs, lemon and an onion in my turkey cavity. The amount of time you cook it depends on the size of the turkey, you can't trust those things that pop up to tell you when it is done, a meat them. is the best way.

    Answer by 2kids2dogs2cats at 9:05 AM on Nov. 11, 2013

  • Have you been introduced to the Wonderful World of Pinterest yet? I suggest you head on over!!!

    My key to moist juicy turkey is low and slow, I also like the stick my hand up in between the meat and the skin and place butter and seasonings in there, it helps get a crisper skin too. Don't forget to put tin foil on the little wings and the ends of the drumstick so they don't burn to a crisp.

    Have Fun, Don't Stress too much!

    Answer by cassie_kellison at 9:17 AM on Nov. 11, 2013

  • Cassie is on point with the butter. I soften two sticks of butter, mix it with rosemary, salt, pepper and paprika. I break the skin away from the turkey and rub that mix all over. I then shove a halved onion in the cavity of the turkey, MAKE SURE, you remove the neck and giblets, throw those in a pot of water and simmer all day, chop up all the giblets and use them and juice in pan to make giblet gravy,

    Cranberry relish ( homemade, it's easy and fast and you can make it ahead)
    Green bean casserole
    Pies & desserts
    Mashed taters
    Creamed cheese corn

    Answer by funlovinlady at 9:24 AM on Nov. 11, 2013

  • Lots of ways to cook a turkey (I like them fried), but whatever you do Don't forget to take the bag out of the cavity!

    I'm not a fan of turkey, but if I were serving it I would probably go buy the whole meal at a store that prepares it for you.  


    Answer by QuinnMae at 9:53 AM on Nov. 11, 2013

  • You don't cook order everything & have it delivered.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 9:53 AM on Nov. 11, 2013

  • I have made a small cook book just for Thanksgiving because it's my favorite holiday. :)

    Do not be afraid of the bird, and do not be afraid of getting your hands dirty. Make a time chart starting with when you want dinner to be on the table and work backward so that you know when to put the turkey in the oven. Also, if you buy a frozen turkey (you should; they are less expensive per pound), put it in the fridge to thaw on Sunday or Monday. Remember to put it in a bowl or pan in case the package leaks.

    And relax. It's your first Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone who matters to you will love what you do simply because you worked hard to do it.

    Answer by May-20 at 10:04 AM on Nov. 11, 2013

  • Go to and use those tips. They also have an 800 number you can call on Thanksgiving! I always do a sweet potato cassarole. Great recipes can be found on Food, All, and Southern Living. I also make squash cassarole, beans with garlic and sauteed almonds, and this year I'm going to do stuffed mushrooms. Good Luck, its going to be great!

    Answer by busymom954 at 10:26 AM on Nov. 11, 2013

  • Who is making you do thanksgiving?
    How many people?
    What is your best dish?
    Are they coming for the whole day or basically for the meal?
    If they are there for the day, will you want appetizers?
    Are you able to ask people to bring a dish or is it all on you?
    Will hubby help?
    Do you want left overs?

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:33 AM on Nov. 11, 2013

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