• If you’re ordering a fresh turkey, do it now; if you’re buying a frozen turkey, you still have time, but don’t wait until the last minute. Remember: It’s best to allow four to five days for it to thaw.

• Floral centerpieces finish off a well-set table. Florists are busy this time of year, so order flowers now.



• Start defrosting the frozen turkey in the back of the refrigerator, where it is coldest.

• Compose a shopping list, and purchase all non-perishables. Wait until the day before Thanksgiving to buy salad greens, fresh bread, or seafood.

• If you’re baking pies for dessert, make the dough for the crust, roll it out, lay it into pie plates, and freeze.



• Prepare the serving pieces, plates, flatware, glasses, etc.

• If you’re using cloth napkins or tablecloths, iron them now.

• Make the cranberry sauce (try our Cranberry Orange Relish); a couple of days in the refrigerator will give the flavors time to develop.

• Homemade stuffing often calls for stale bread; cut and cube the bread now, and set the cubes out in a single layer on a baking sheet.



• Pick up the fresh turkey from the market.

• Prepare the stuffing (try our Classic Stuffing), but leave out any raw eggs until you stuff the bird.

• Make the Giblet Stock for the gravy.

• Defrost pie dough; assemble and bake pies.

• Peel the potatoes, then refrigerate them in a pot of cold water.

• Make side dishes that require baking, such as casseroles, and reheat them tomorrow; or assemble them today, and cook them right before dinner.

• Set the table tonight or first thing in the morning.


THANKSGIVING DAY: DINNER AT 4 P.M. (one twenty-pound turkey)

8:30 a.m. Remove the turkey from the refrigerator, allowing it to sit for ninety minutes to two hours at room temperature. If your stuffing recipe calls for eggs, add them now.

10:15 a.m. Preheat the oven, and stuff the turkey.

10:30 a.m. Put the turkey in the oven, basting it every half hour.

11:00 p.m. Chill the white wine.

12:00 p.m. Make the mashed potatoes. Closer to dinnertime, place them in a heat-proof bowl and set them at the back of the stove over simmering water.

2:00 p.m. Prepare the coffee, but do not brew it until about twenty minutes before it will be served.

• 300 p.m. Check the temperature of the turkey at the thigh, which is the thickest part. If the thermometer reads 180°, remove the turkey from the oven. If not, check the temperature every fifteen minutes until the bird is done.

4:15 p.m. The turkey will need to sit for thirty minutes prior to carving. Take advantage of the break to make the gravy.

4:30 to 5:00 p.m. Call everyone to the table.


Thanksgiving Notes:

Pruett family dressing

For 28-32 bird;  22 people

4 boxes Mrs. Cubbison, seasoned (not cornbread stuffing) 

2-12 oz Jimmy Dean sausage, crumbled and cooked (I used one regular, 1 Firehouse hot)  Turn off heat after sausage is browned and add:

Add 2 cups chopped onion

4-5 cups celery

6 cubes butter, melted

Toss butter lightly with bread crumbs.  Gradually toss sausage mixture with bread crumbs.  Toss, don't mix.

Add 8 cups chicken broth…again tossing lightly.

Stuff the bird.  Make sure you "Don't pack it too tight…it will explode!!"


Woman's Day Greatest Make-ahead Turkey Gravy

4 Turkey wings (about 3 or 4)

2 mdium onions peeled and quartered

1 c. water

8 cups chicken broth

2 medium carrots, cut in chunks

2 medium ribs celery with leaved, chunks

4 sprigs fresh thyme

3/4 c. flour

2T. stick butter

1 tsp. Freshly ground pepper

Heat oven to 400.  Put wings, in roasting pan.  Roast 11/2 hours or until wings are browned.

Put wings and onions into 5 qt. Pot.  Add water to roasting pan and stir to scrape up any brown bits.  Add to pot.  Add 6 cups broth, carrots, celery, thyme.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncover 2 hours.  Remove turkey parts, remove skin and save for later use. 

Strain broth into saucepan.  Discard veggies.  You can refrigerate now and then skim off fat.

Whisk flour into 2 cups broth until blended and smooth.

Bring broth to a gentl boil in saucepan.  Whisk in flour mixture and boil 4-5 minutes to thicken.  Stir in butter and pepper.  Makes 8 cups. 



Side Dishes

Marcy's Broccoli Salad

2 bunches broccoli, flowerets only

1/4 lb. sunflower seeds

1/2 lb. bacon cooked and crispy


1 c. mayo

1/3 c. sugar

2 T apple cider vinegar

1/2 c. onion, finely chopped

Prepare dressing and toss with salad at least 1 hour before serving.


***Susie's alternate dressing:  (Jeff gavce the thumbs up)

2/3 c. mayo and 1/3 c. light sour cream

2 T. seasoned rice vinegar


Patty Kuchenski's Pretzel Surprise (from Olive Sawyer?)

2 2/3 c. broken pretzels sticks, pecan size

1 c.          melted margarine

12 oz       cream cheese

1 c.          sugar

1 c.          Cool Whip

6 oz         Strawberry Jello

12 oz       Frozen, unsweetened strawberries

Toss pretzels and margarine together in a 9 x 13 pan.  Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cool really well.

Cream until smooth cream cheese and sugar,  Spread over cooled pretzels.  Then spread Cool Whip.  Place in refrigerator (I did this for one hour.)  Dissolve Jello according to package directions.  Add 1 bag unsweetened frozen strawberries. Refrigerate until thickened.  Carefully spread over chilled topping.  Refrigerate.


Dorothy Bozung's Pea Salad

20 oz bag of petite peas, uncooked

1 can water chestnuts, chopped

4 green onions, finely chopped

3 stalks celery, finely chopped

3 T toasted almonds, chopped

6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Mary Ann's Cheese Topped Baked Onions

2 lbs. Small white onions, peeled

2 c. Thin white sauce

1/2 c. packaged bread crumbs

1/2 c. shredded cheese

3 T. melted butter or margarine

Cook onions in boiling, salted water 20-25 minutes or until tender.  Drain.  Prepare white sauce. 

Place onions in baking dish. Pour white sauce over onions. 

Combine bread crumbs, cheese, butter;  sprinkle over top/  Bake 400 for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

4-6 servings.

Green Bean and Pearl Onion Casserole
1 pound fresh green beans
2 cups pearl onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, chopped
2 bay leaves
3 cups assorted wild mushrooms, sliced (such as oyster, cremini and shiitake)
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
1 can fried onions

Blanch the green beans and pearl onions by placing them into a large pot
of rapidly boiling water. Cook them for about 2 minutes, until the green beans have brightened in
color. Remove the vegetables from the boiling water with a strainer then plunge into an ice bath to
stop the cooking process. Drain them, then remove the skins from the onions and set aside.
Coat a skillet with olive oil and butter over medium heat. Sweat the garlic and shallot down until
they caramelize. Add the bay leaves then the assorted mushrooms. Stir to combine, season with salt,
pepper and thyme. Sprinkle the mixture with flour to tighten up. Add the milk and boil for 3 minutes
to thicken.   Place the green beans and pearl onions in a 2-quart casserole dish. Pour the "mushroom soup" over
the vegetables. Toss to make sure the vegetables are well coated. Bake in a preheated 350


Marcia's pie crust

2 c. flour and 1 t. salt

(Sift first and then lightly spoon into measurig cup)

2/3 c. shortening

Separate 1 egg yolk, beat with fork and add milk to make 1/3 cup

Cut shortening into sifted dry ingredients until mixture resembles corn meal.  Mix milk and one egg yolk with 1/4 c. of mixture

Add to remaining mixture to form dough.  Divide in half.  Roll out dough and place in pie pan.  Spread 1 T.  flour in pie crust. 

Fill and roll out dough for top crust.  Crimp edges and provide vents.

For Blackberry pie...

1 prepared pie crust

6 c. berries

3/4 c. sugar

2 T. tapioca

Bake 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until bubbling.


Marcia's Apple Pie

5-7 large tart apples

3/4 c. sugar

2 T. flour

1 t. cinnamon

1/8 t. salt

1/4 t. nutmeg

Pare, core, and slice apples.  Add sugar mixed with flour, spices.  Fill 9" pastry pan.  Dot with butter.  Bake 450 10 minutes;  then 350 for 40 minutes.  Note:  If apples aren't tart, add 1 T. lemon juice


Great Grandma Pruett’s Pumpkin Pie

1 can pumpkin or half of a large can

1` c. sugar

2 eggs

1 can Pet milk (small=6 oz)

¾ c. whole milk

½ t. salt

¼ t. nutmeg

1 t. cinnamon

1 scant teaspoonful ginger


Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.  Reduce to 325-350 and bake for 40 minutes or until done.  If baking in pyrex, leave it a little soupy in the middle.  It will firm up.


After Thanksgiving…

Jeff’s Grandma Max's Turkey Noodle

1 cup onion (and/or leeks)

1 cup celery, diced

leftover turkey bones and meat

1 can Cream of Chicken soup

1/2 lb. medium egg noodles


Chop onion  and celery and saute it in a little olive oil.  Add enough chicken stock (and/or water) to cover

turkey bones.  Gently simmer until most of the turkey meat falls off of the bones.  Remove bones. 

Remove any excess meat from the bones and add it to the soup pot.  Cool broth…and skim any fat off of the top. 

Re-heat and blend in 1 can of Campbell's cream of chicken soup (fat free).  Add medium egg noodles and

cook until just done.  (Don't overdo it or it will be mushy).  Serve immediately with green peas sprinkled on top. 

Max said her mother used to serve this over mashed potatoes…but we both agreed, it was too much starch!