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
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
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!
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.
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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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
At 21 weeks of age and 45 pounds each, Apple and Cider would normally be prime candidates for Thanksgiving dinner this year. Instead, the two California-born turkeys will get a new lease on life today when President Obama pardons them in a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House.
Obama celebrates the 63rd anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation, which will include sparing the two birds whose names were chosen from more than 200 suggestions by California school children, a White House statement said.
It's that time of year again when some people try to take the fun out of Thanksgiving dinner by highlighting just how many calories the average American will be consuming in this one, very special meal. It completely overshadows the fact that the individual, traditional components of this feast have some true health benefits and with some simple techniques can be prepared in a tasty AND healthy way. It's worth a reminder of what we're eating (in moderation) is truly good for us.
Read Turkey skin: More good fat than bad, and other Thanksgiving truths on CNN Health
Our pal Pete is planning on smoking his bird. I spent yesterday afternoon deep-frying one inside my apartment (stay tuned for the recap). My friend Eric Diesel, with whom I've spent the past dozen Thanksgivings has been brining like a fiend and will, I'm guessing, roast a super-succulent turkey for tomorrow's feast.
There's a bounty of ways to tackle cooking a turkey, and most of them have their merits. Extol the virtue of your favored method in the comments below.
Get more Thanksgiving anti-freakout tips and share your culinary quandaries in the comments below. We'll be manning the hotline through turkey time.
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