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Ten Cooking Tips for Thanksgiving

1) Stock up on dry pantry staples now so you won't be lugging tons of grocery bags home all at once. Get your flour, sugar, spices, wine or other drinks now.

2) Order your turkey or ham now. Allow 1/2 pound per person. If using a frozen turkey, allow at least a couple of days or longer for it to defrost sufficiently in the refrigerator before planning on cooking it. 

3) Serving soup as a starter? Make it now and freeze it. Chicken, vegetable, minestrone are all good choices. My favorite is: Meatball soup

4) Make the stuffing a couple of days ahead of time and cook it separately from the turkey, adding some hot chicken or beef broth to keep it moist while it bakes. The new thinking is not to stuff the bird because of possible contamination.

5). Don't need a whole turkey or have only white meat eaters? This is one of my favorite ways to serve turkey breast: Rolled stuff turkey breast

6) Invest in an instant read thermometer so you will not have to guess when the meat is cooked. The safe reading will be 165F.

7) Whipped and elegantly smooth cauliflower makes a great side. Steam it until florets are soft, then puree with a little heavy cream until smooth; add melted butter and a dash of nutmeg.

8) Set the table two days ahead of time.

9) Prep green beans, carrots, Brussels sprouts two days ahead of time.

10) Make pie shells a week ahead and freeze. Make pumpkin pie filling two days ahead and refrigerate.

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