Planning for Thanksgiving 2020

It’s that time of year again, and Stella takes us step by step.

Stella's Place

Thirty-seven days away!

I know it seems early to be planning, but I’ve already ordered my free range turkey from the same local farm as last year. As I said I would do (see Thanksgiving post from 2019), last year I cut the bird into pieces and dry brined it (for two days) before roasting on the big day.

The turkey was absolutely delicious and a big hit with everyone (except my vegetarian grandson, of course.) I will do this again this year. It takes a much shorter time to roast, and the meat is perfectly cooked and juicy.

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88 Responses to Planning for Thanksgiving 2020

  1. frank field says:

    Give thanks to the Lord for His mercies endure forever!


    Liked by 12 people

  2. Order your face diaper with the “turkey & dressing portal” to keep the Covidiots happy

    Liked by 2 people

  3. MicD says:

    Thanks Giving 2020 will be like none in the past. :/
    Thanks Giving 2021 will be like none in the past, :p

    Please don’t be Over Confident, Vote Vote Vote !!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dutchman says:

      When people keep reminding you not to be “overconfident”, it generally means you’ve got a pretty damn good reason to be CONFIDENT!

      And I AM!

      Being confident doesn’t mean I am not going to VOTE, or work hard to encourage others to vote, for PDJT.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ReglarMerican says:

    These ideas look really good. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Shelley Childs says:

    My husband bought a smoker this summer so we’ve planned to smoke a turkey for Thanksgiving, encrusted with a homemade poultry rub:

    3 tablespoons brown sugar
    1 tablespoon kosher salt
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    2 teaspoons dried oregano
    2 teaspoons dried sage
    2 teaspoons dry ground mustard
    2 teaspoons smoked paprika
    1 teaspoon dried thyme
    1 teaspoon ground coriander

    Liked by 8 people

    • boogywstew says:

      It’s not nice to make folks drool on their computers.

      Liked by 7 people

    • MNcarrypermitholder says:

      I smoke a turkey every year for Christmas, and occasionally a few months early for practice. If this is your first time, I highly recommend doing a practice turkey now. Invite over a couple of brave friends, and send as much of the leftover turkey home with them as you can.

      Smoker times can be very unpredictable. I use the “1 hour per pound” rule (at 225 degrees) to decide when to put it in, but it stays in until the thigh thermometer says it is done. Based on my 14-15 pound target size, and my 1:00 meal time, It goes in the smoker around 10:00 PM the night before. In practice, it might be ready to come out at any point between about 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM, and you can’t really tell in advance.

      I do mine upright sitting on a ceramic “beer can” (Sittin’ Turkey), filled with apple cider, beer, wine – whatever drinkable liquid I have lying around. My rub recipe uses sweet hungarian paprikla, and ends up very bright red, which makes it very easy to spot thin parts when coating it.

      I triple line a rimmed baking pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, alternating top/bottom/top, and put the ceramic cone on it, then the turkey upright on the can, wings tucked up and behind the neck. If too much liquid builds up in the pan during cooking, I use a baster to drop it down the neck hole (the ceramic cone is down there to catch it). When it is ready to come out, I remove as much pan liquid as I can with the baster, and save it for gravy. Then the whole pan comes out, and a helper follows to keep it from tipping while I carry it back into the house.

      The pan juice makes very smoky gravy, which some people like and some dislike. If you use it, you may want to have some backup gravy ready to go too.

      Plenty of other methods are available – this one works well for me, but it took a few tries to get good at it.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Right to reply says:

    Ok, so now I’m hungry!

    I have been KETO for 5 years, so its roasted pork belly for me, and a treat of sweet potato all herbed up to taste like stuffing, with broccoli and gravy.

    Desert treat will be 5 large frozen strawberries, 1/4 cup of heavy cream, 1/4 cup of strawberry flavor zero sugar soda. Blitz it up to make excellent ice cream, and a squirt of whipped heavy cream on top.

    Liked by 6 people

  7. Deplorable Canuck says:

    We Canadians have our Thanksgiving in October so as to avoid Turkey overdose in Late November-December! Too much tryptophan! As the Proverbs say:

    A little folding of the hands, a little closing of the eyes, a little slumber and sleep! Every time!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. WhosaHoo? says:

    Will be deep frying mine again.

    Liberally apply “Slap ya Mama” white pepper cajun seasoning 24 hours prior
    Inject with creole butter (homemade or Cajun Injector brand both work well”
    Fry for 3.5 minutes per pound (we use breast only so it’s a 30 minute cook)
    Slice off finished breasts with skin and serve.

    2 6-8 lb breasts and a locally smoked ham is enough for our family of 10 and days of leftovers

    Liked by 2 people

    • dayallaxeded says:

      Big Easy oil-less infra-red cooker for us. Used to oil fry, but the Big Easy produces a very similar finished product without dealing with gallons of oil and open flame. My SIL still demands the oil fried, so I get that it’s a matter of taste and choice. But for those who want to fry, but find dealing with the oil daunting, the Big Easy is an excellent alternative.

      Liked by 2 people

      • dayallaxeded, I’m going to tell my husband about that Big Easy cooker. Oil less sounds wonderfully easier and less disaster prone. We’ve had the oil spill, over flow and make fire all over. My husband tries but he has cooking issues. It sounds like I could do the Big Easy.

        Liked by 1 person

        • dayallaxeded says:

          It’s made by Char-Broil and runs on propane, so if you have the gear for a big fryer/boiler, you’re half way there. They’ve gotten a little expensive, but keep an eye out because they go on sale from time to time.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. jenevive1 says:

    Pretty much have almost everything. Just need to wait a little to buy the stuff
    that won;t last like the turkey, potatoes and celery.. Otherwise already have
    all the other items. Cranberry sauce, stuffing mix , turnips, pies.. Also getting ready for
    Christmas cookie making time have all those ingredients already.

    I already notice certain things in the store shelves are empty so buying it early
    to avoid the rush and finding items not stocked.. and avoiding the last minute
    crowds in the store.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. mamadogsite says:

    Years ago, I learned a few secrets from an amazing cook. Her roasted turkey or chickens always turned out super moist.

    She stuffed the bird with cut up tangerines, oranges and lemons. Seems the acidity moisten the meat from within.

    And baste often. When your bird is the perfect brown essay, cover with aluminum foil for the last 20 minutes.

    Finally, let it sit on the carving board or platter before you begin to carve.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. RedBallExpress says:

    That Turkey looks like an ideal platform for bacon.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. billygoat65 says:

    A gorgeous plate! You eat with your eyes first they say.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. MTeresa says:

    I’m so grateful to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. I have a new grandbaby that was quite a surprise. Praise God for He is good………………….All of the time!

    Liked by 8 people

    • Dekester says:


      Cheers we were blessed with a grandbaby too not so long ago.

      Great Stuff!!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Rosemary B says:

      I hope we can gather with one of our daughters. Both have littles.
      my younger has 3 under 3. Well, the oldest just turned 3. It is a circus over at their place but all of them are so darn cute.
      I hope everyone blessed with grand babies enjoys these days. They are little gems

      Liked by 3 people

  14. Dekester says:

    A very Happy Thanksgiving to our neighbours South of the 49.

    May God continue to bless we Canadians with your terrific President for at least four more years.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. DaveK says:

    My favorite way to cook a turkey is on a rotisserie. The skin comes out crisp and tasty, while the meat (especially the white) is still moist an succulent.

    Liked by 3 people

    • booger71 says:

      Must be a small turkey or a really big rotisserie.


      • DaveK says:

        I’ve done a 15 lb bird in my oven rotisserie, and on my Weber BBQ I’ve done one that was 20 lb. They cook surprisingly fast. In the BBQ I set up two banks of burning charcoal on either side of the bird on the spit, then cover it all with the lid and keep all the vents wide open. That 20 lb bird was done to perfection in 2 1/2 hours. The 15 lb bird took only two hours with the oven rotisserie.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. donnyvee says:

    My family will be breaking many laws on Thanksgiving in CA. I can’t wait to see everyone.

    Liked by 14 people

    • Veritas says:

      Don’t forget, unless the legislature passed a bill for the governor to sign, they are just pretend laws and have no constitutional authority.


  17. I’m frustrated. I keep trying to to have some of your turkey but the fork can’t seem to get through my iPad screen. Where’s my knife? Let me try it that way!

    Liked by 6 people

  18. freepetta says:

    Ty Menagerie. Been waiting for this recipe 💁🏻‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

  19. VegGOP says:

    I am very thankful to God. I am thankful for Sundance’s genius and for this site. And I’m thankful to be a staunch Republican!

    However, I think it’s important to avoid stereotyping Republicans as meat eaters. I am a longtime vegetarian. And I know other Republican vegetarians.

    I WILL be voting straight GOP, but I will NOT be consuming any poultry on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or on any other day!

    Blessings to all!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Menagerie says:

      That’s great, but since Stella explained IN the post that her grandson is vegetarian I not understanding your announcement.

      Liked by 1 person

      • VegGOP says:

        My blunder, for which I sincerely apologize. I responded to the title and picture without reading.

        I falsely generalized an experience I’ve had many times at GOP events, where vegans and vegetarians are sometimes denounced as leftists. That did NOT happen here.

        Liked by 1 person

    • willthesuevi says:

      I will be soooo very happy when the permanently offended class is no longer relevant, …………………………..again.

      Not everyone here is a Republican, so you can take your own stereotyping comment to heart.

      The most innocuous post on this board in months, and someone is still a victim. Good grief.

      Liked by 2 people

    • boogywstew says:

      I’m a pescetarian Republican!


    • stella says:

      Yes, my grandson has been a vegetarian since he was five years old (he’s 20 now). Before that, we had a friend every year for dinner who is also vegetarian. MOST people are meat eaters, and not even close to all of them are Republicans. I try to provide enough food so that any vegetarian at my table is happy and satisfied. I will not, however apologize for eating meat, poultry and fish. It has nothing to do with politics.

      The Thanksgiving table in the United States (and Canada too) is traditionally centered around a roast turkey. I don’t understand your comment – at all.

      Liked by 2 people

  20. willthesuevi says:

    I can’t stand bird of any kind, but that looks great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rosemary B says:

      I used to LOVE turkey and all of the trimmings.
      Now, I have wondered over the years if something happened to my taste buddies….. I also have a moderate aversion to turkey and somewhat to chicken.
      Potatoes… I love potatoes

      Liked by 1 person

      • willthesuevi says:

        I love potatoes too! I gotta have some Irish somewhere in my background. Potato Pancakes with Apple Sauce. The Pilgrims’ had to have some of those as well, didn’t they? 😉


    • stella says:

      I do prime rib for Christmas Eve.

      Liked by 1 person

      • willthesuevi says:

        What time do you want me there! I’ll bring the fresh horseradish, you have au juice at the ready!

        Love your yearly contributions Stella and thanks Menagerie for posting them! Sure brings a ray of light and a comforting sense of home in these tempestuous times.

        Thank you.

        Liked by 2 people

  21. TreeClimber says:

    The holidays will look a little different for me this year, since I was diagnosed with celiac disease in September. Not too much of a change from my previous diet, I’ll just have to be way more careful about making sure I don’t have any cross contamination. And I have a perfect excuse not to eat stuffing – which I don’t like anyway. ^_^

    My husband tried to suggest I cook for Thanksgiving this year, but with only a couple pots and pans, two burners that sort-of work, and an unpredictable oven, I declined. We’ll be going over to his grandmother’s house like we usually do, and I’ll probably try and figure out a gluten-free (sugar free, dairy free) dessert to take that will accommodate everyone’s various food restrictions.

    Liked by 3 people

    • hoosiertruthfan says:

      I have celiac too. The adjustment is tough, particularly at the holidays, but I felt so much better after they finally figured out the issue. Wish I had a way to be of more direct help with suggestions (good, great, avoid at all costs, etc.).

      If I may suggest a dessert? Try a pavlova. You can do them sugar free by using Swerve. Top with your favorite fruits and a lovely sorbet. They can be gorgeous on the table too thus perfect for the holidays.

      Best of luck with the celiac diagnosis and I hope you feel as good as I did once I got gluten eliminated.


      • TreeClimber says:

        I’ve been playing around with Honey Flax no-bake cookies, trying to invent my own recipe. Cookies were previously my go-to snack, since they were easy to store, inexpensive to buy, grabbable with one hand and easily dispensed to tiny people. Now I can’t have most cookies, and baking with curious toddlers around is a nightmare, so I’m experimenting with no-bakes.

        My husband’s grandmother is diabetic, and our step-nephew is allergic to dairy, so I’m trying to figure out something we can all eat if I take a contribution.


        • hoosiertruthfan says:

          Lots of good almond flour recipes for cookies but not good for those with nut allergies.
          I find ditching dairy is a lot tougher than the gluten or sugar.
          Wishing you a happy stress-free Thanksgiving and that it all comes together seamlessly. 🙂


          • TreeClimber says:

            I find I’m rather partial to coconut flour myself, and it’s cheaper. Who knows, maybe if I can make them work out in time for Thanksgiving I’ll post the recipe on the usual thread. ^_^


  22. Kroesus says:

    We try to have turkey and ham. We just moved earlier in the year and are now located near much family. I think it will be a big celebration this year. This is a recipe from my mother that is good around the holidays.

    1 can of crushed pineapple
    1 can whole cranberry sauce
    1 container Cool Whip
    1/2 cup coconut
    1 bag mini marshmallows

    Mis all ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate overnight. A taste of the holidays and the marshmallows soften to where they melt in your mouth.


    • Patience says:

      Oh… ambrosia!
      One of Dad’s cousins used to make that; OMG!!!! yummy

      She also used to make jello molds –to die for.
      Layered ones, creamy ones, fruit ones and veggies. All delicious & pretty.

      But ambrosia?


    • stella says:

      We always had Waldorf Salad. Apples, grapes, mandarin orange section and sometimes nuts. Dress with whipped cream and mayo (mixed).


  23. Kathy says:

    Greetings, Menagerie and Stella … Love the timing of this thread! I actually did a Turkey Test Drive last weekend, spatchcocking an 8-pound chicken to familarize myself with the reduced roasting time. Also wanted to test a new brine (using apple cider and orange peels), as well as a dry rub (from a different website). So glad I did this experiment ahead of time because — except for the chicken being a tad salty — all the flavors married beautifully. This means the only change to make for our Thanksgiving turkey is reduce the amount of salt.

    I was able to invert a roasting rack inside a large pan, placed the chicken atop this rack, and roasted the chicken by itself for 45 minutes. During these 45 minutes, I halved red baby potatoes, sliced onions, and cut chunks of carrots, turnips, parsnips, and butternut squash — tossing them in a large bowl with rosemary, thyme, garlic, and a little olive oil. These veggies were carefully spooned into the large pan under the inverted rack, then roasted for an hour along with the chicken. This was done so the chicken drippings would fall onto the veggies below. These veggies also passed the test and will definitely be on our Thanksgiving Dinner menu.

    Finally, here’s our family’s favorite cole slaw for Turkey Day (also great for summer picnics). I’ve posted it previously, both here and at Stella’s, and has been well-received at both sites …

    Wishing everyone a Blessed Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. czarowniczy says:

    We have two scenarios in the planning, depending upon the election. If Trump wins it’s a classic Turkey Day dinner. If Biden and Harris win we’ll be eating cold turkey sandwiches while we did trenches and firing positions.

    Liked by 4 people

  25. jimboct says:

    Being the only family here in Connecticut (when most live in Arizona, California, and Wyoming), longing for family makes Thanksgiving difficult. This year, we are blessed with our first Grandson due to be born in 5 days. We truly have a lot to be thankful for and I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving holiday. The only social distancing we will practice is when I get a little gassy. That’s the best part of being an old fart 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  26. kimosaabe says:

    Some militant vegetarians and anti-birders weigh in with their militancy. Guess their looking for someone who cares.


  27. fleemit says:

    You got me started on my turkey quest last year. I wound up spatchcocking mine with the limbs cut off. I don’t remember if that is what you did, but you definitely inspired me to look into cutting the turkey before cooking.

    The quick cooking time and the taste were both great.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. regitiger says:

    lo and slo pork ribs.

    lo and slo brisket

    shrimp etoufee pie for deeezert..

    real sasafras “beer” aint lived until you had stump juice.

    home made blackberry and muscadine ice cream for second dinner sugared with raw cane mollases.

    already bricked in a pit for the christmas hog stuffed with duck. side of blackened red fish and slathered flounder.

    y’all come on down.. we got chairs

    Liked by 1 person

    • Menagerie says:

      I’m gonna need to be there for that hog!


    • pgtsndthinker says:

      @Regitiger: Wonder how long of a drive it would be for me? Sounds like a cultural experience I sorely need right now in granola-tofu-land.


      • regitiger says:

        22 hours to san pedro island ..1985

        in an old beater truck.

        probably faster and easier these days.

        we got got room.

        open invite.

        day after is the standard goose hunt.

        speckle bellies in the bayou…

        if you fly its kind of sketchy right now…most carriers have cut back on these tight margin hops.

        same with Lafayette.

        Houston is 2.5
        hours drive…3.5 on heavy traffic..


  29. maggiemoowho says:

    I toss my turkey(well turkey breast) in the crock-pot every year. My family laughs at this method, but it works good and it’s a no fail method for me. One year I forgot to take the sweet potatoes out of the oven and they cooked in syrup and butter for about 3 hours. Let me just say it was the best mistake I ever made, those potatoes were chewy like taffy and tasted soooo good. Did you know that if you cook a sweet potato long enough in syrup and butter it turns a translucent orange color. 😄👍

    Liked by 2 people

  30. JTR says:

    I’ve ordered a “Honey Baked Ham” and my daughter will bring a spicy fried “Popeye’s” turkey! Are we lazy? No. It gives us more time for the special goodies!

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Veritas says:

    I’ll be joining a local Trail Life USA troop for their annual family thanksgiving potluck. The troop supplies the turkeys and the families bring all the sides and desserts. About 150 people.

    We have fried, smoked and trash can turkey.

    Some of the kids are coming home the weekend before so we’ll do Thanksgiving a week early with them. May not do anything special ourselves the actual day. Maybe a bike ride if the weather cooperates.


  32. Momof4 says: has a great recipe for planked salmon with maple glaze – and the glaze, which I double and freeze (lasts indefinitely and doesn’t freeze solid so it’s easy to remove any amount) is equally fabulous on shrimp, scallops, swordfish, any pork/ham and any poultry. I use it for my Thanksgiving turkey.

    For those doing just a breast, it’s easy to stuff boneless thighs (meat guys will do for those not doing it solo) with your favorite turkey or chicken sausage (casings removed) – just drop it in place of the bone, roll it up, tie with 2-3 strings, bake @ 350 for 60-90”, depending on size of thighs. Check with thermometer because of the raw sausage. Maple glaze works great. No need to brown before roasting. Make ahead and freeze, raw. Thaw before roasting. Hard cider and fresh herb gravy, of course – even better with a splash of applejack or smoked maple bourbon.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. sunnydaze says:

    Ai yai yai Stella. Wish that pic wasn’t on the front page.

    Makes me (VERY) hungry every time I scroll past it!

    Liked by 1 person

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