T minus 0 – Your Thanksgiving questions answered
November 24th, 2010
11:00 PM ET
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The big meal is nigh on upon us and ya know what? You'll get through it. No matter what happens, in a few hours it'll all be a memory and ideally, you'll have a few luscious leftovers and warm, fuzzy feelings toward mankind.

We're here to get you through to the other side. Just submit your questions in the comments or hit us on Twitter @eatocracy and we'll get you an answer as soon as you possibly can. Your queries may be culinary - or even just a plea for solidarity and moral support.

Pull up a chair - we'll be serving up support in this here post all the way through T-Day.

High & Dry

Help. My turkey is already done and it was supposed to take a couple more hours. The thing popped up and I checked it with the meat thermometer and it is ready. I didn't stuff it and I took the legs off so that I can allow them to cook more after the breast is done. I guess that is why it cooked faster. My guests aren't expected for two more hours. What do I do?

Baste that baby, foil it up - not a tent, but swaddle the whole bird, and put the oven on a low setting – around 200°F. It should remain moist and delicious for your guests and if that doesn't work, there's always gravy.

Going Cold Turkey

My turkey is still a little frozen. Can I put the stuffing and and start baking? - Susan Jaros

That's not a safe option if you're stuffing it at home. Give the bird a bath in cold water, changed out every 30 minutes or, if your microwave is commodious enough, zap it with the defrost setting. With either method, you'll need to get it into the oven as soon as it's un-thawed. Just distract the guests with charades or appetizers until it's ready. Read more about safe, speedy thawing - and good luck!

Deep-fried indoor turkey – for science
November 24th, 2010
08:00 PM ET
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Around this time last year, a colleague who was long on culinary passion and short on storage space offered me a brand new Butterball Digital Electric Turkey Fryer, that claimed to be suitable for use indoors. I am, if nothing else, not the least bit risk-averse when it comes to big cooking projects and somewhat of a glutton for peril.

And, quite frankly, I've gotten a tad fed up with some media's seeming obsession with making people panic that if shopping benchmarks aren't achieved by a certain point, all will be lost, family will disown you and your dog will regard you with a mixture of pity and disdain.

I set out to prove that one can indeed be birdless, mid-afternoon and have a company-worthy turkey by early evening, and that deep-frying doesn't have to spell disaster - if you exercise appropriate caution.

November 24th, 2010
07:45 PM ET
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On Thanksgiving, many of us will eat way more than normal and then waddle away contented, with a turkey and sweet potato buzz.

Having a belly stuffed with comforting food can feel like a warm hug from the inside.

Evolution has given us the instinct to eat a lot every time we can, preparing for hard times. It's the drive to survive, like puffy-cheeked squirrels storing up for the winter. It's also fueled by competition: beating the others to the food.

Our brains reward us for it, by releasing pleasure chemicals - in the same way as drugs and alcohol, experts say.

Read Why eating a lot feels so darn good on CNN Health

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Filed under: Diets • Health News • Holidays • Thanksgiving

5@5 - Sara Moulton
November 24th, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Tomorrow is the big game, and hopefully, we've sent you to the field with a winning offensive strategy. The last thing we want to see happen is you frantically dial the Butterball hotline (and local fire department) with gravy running down your cheeks and stuffing matted in your hair, while your mother-in-law mans the fire extinguisher. That's a situation - and not the Jersey Shore kind.

Like we've said: seriously, it's just a meal. That's not to say we don't want you to pass with flying colors, which is why we've brought in an expert.

Along with being a chef and cookbook author, Sara Moulton is one of Food Network’s founding personalities, hosting numerous cooking shows through the years including “Cooking Live,” “Cooking Live Primetime” and “Sara’s Secrets." She was also the executive chef of Gourmet magazine from 1987 until the beloved publication sadly folded in the fall of 2009.

Needless to say, she has a few Thanksgiving dinners under her belt and seen her fair share of home cooks make amateur mistakes - but that doesn't mean you have to be one of them.

The Five Biggest Mistakes People Make When Cooking Thanksgiving Dinner: Sara Moulton

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Filed under: 5@5 • Think

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