Do Thanksgiving: The Right Way


Whether it’s your first time hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner or you’re just looking for some new ideas, we’ve got plenty for you!  Here is your Guide to the best resources on and off the web for a great Thanksgiving.

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In this guide you will find help on WHAT TO MAKE,  BUYING KITCHEN EQUIPMENT, FINDING RECIPES, ORDERING MAIL ORDER, or FINDING A RESTAURANT and finally ENTERTAINMENT, so read on!

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WHAT’S FOR DINNER, A TRADITIONAL THANKSGIVING MENU: Of course people serve endless variations on the traditional, basic menu, adding hams, baked ziti, lasagna, even peking duck.  Anything you want to serve is fine.  But here are the basics:

  • Turkey.  The centerpiece of your meal.  Can be roasted, braised, deep fried or even grilled.
  • Gravy.  For your turkey and your potatos.
  • Mashed Potatoes.  With skin, without, with lumps or without.
  • Sweet Potatoes.  In some form.  Yams, sweet potato pie, roasted, mashed or boiled.
  • Cranberry Sauce or Relish.
  • Corn.  Can be on the cob, usually isnt.
  • Green Beans.  Sauteed, steamed, or in an old school casserole.
  • Dinner Rolls or Biscuits
  • Apple Cider
  • Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie or Apple Pie for Dessert
       

KITCHEN TOOLS:  Now that you know what to make, you’ll need some basic equipment.  Or for some of you it might be time to replace your old equipment.  You can shop online at Amazon using our links, or at Bed Bath and Beyond, Williams Sonoma or any local cook store.  Here’s a few recommendations.

  • Roasting Pan.  This is your number one tool, so if you have the money to spend this is where to spend it.  Rule #1, resist all temptations to buy a nonstick roast pan.  A stainless steel pan will brown your turkey better, and last you a lifetime.  We recommend All-Clad, , Calphalon,  or Cuisinart.  If you go off brand, that’s okay too,  just stay with a Stainless Steel pan and a nonstick rack and you can’t go wrong.
  • Turkey Fryer.  Becoming more and more popular each year.  We recommend the Bayou Classic
    available online or at the Home Depot, or the Eastman Outdoors Fryer Kit.  Both include everything you’ll need but the turkey, the fire extinguisher and the first aid kit.  Be careful!
  • Turkey Baster.  Look for stainless steel, the plastic ones can shatter.  Basically helps you to keep your turkey moist.
  • Silpat.  These nifty little mats turn any cookie sheet or pan into the perfect nonstick surface. Reusable.  Easy to clean, and browns as well as a stainless steel surface.  Great for cookies, rolls, pastry and more.  Buy a few extra to give as Holiday gifts.  They’re little miracle workers. Silpat Non-Stick Silicone Baking Liner
  • Potato Masher.  We suggest the zig zag shape.  To smash up your potatoes real good.  Some people prefer a potato ricer, but we like to go the old fashioned way.
  • Potato Peeler.  Nothing is worse than peeling potatoes so you want the most comfortable, fastest peeler you can find.  We like two.  The most comfortable is the OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler, and we also love the Kuhn Rikon Original 4-Inch Swiss Peeler.  It’s the cheapest, and you can’t beat this little workhorse.  Use it as a stocking stuffer too. 
  • Chefs Knife.  A great knife will save your life.  For a basic home chef, a simple Henckels brand chef’s knife is your best bet.  We love all of their knives but even the inexpensive Eversharp line is wonderful. Range from $13 to $90.
  • Instant Read Thermometer.  Just to be sure you don’t poison your guests with undercooked turkey! You can go simple and old school with Taylor Classic Instant-Read Pocket Thermometer or for a few dollars more, combine it with a kitchen timer with the Taylor Digital Cooking Thermometer/Timer.
                

RECIPES RECIPES RECIPES!  Unless you have a great cook in your family, you will need some recipes and there is an unlimited number of places to get them.  But how do you know which are good?  And you probably need some tips, techniques and how-to help too.    Here’s our recommendations.

  • Cooks Illustrated.  The number one source for great recipes in every category on the internet, particularly if you’re looking for the best recipes for traditional cooking.  The downside is, you have to pay to join.  But it’s well worth it, and it’s the equivalent of buying a library of cookbooks. Plus they have a menu planner, a shopping guide, and best of all Recipe 911– advice for what to do when everything goes wrong.  And they offer a 14 day free trial!    Visit them here
  • Williams Sonoma.  Their website is FREE and has many excellent Thanksgiving recipes as well as cooking tips, techniques and more.  Visit their thanksgiving headquarters here.
  • Whole Foods.  You don’t even have to shop there to use their amazing Thanksgiving resources! It’s free, healthy and delicious.  Bookmark this site.
  • King Arthur Flour.  An absolutely essential resource for bakers- King Arthur Flour provides the finest flours, pure extracts, and all kinds of baking tools… Everything a baker needs can be found at this excellent site.
    

MAIL ORDER THANKSGIVING.  Sure it’s great to make everything from scratch, but sometimes you need a little bit of help.  Or a lot of bit of help.  Either way, here are some great resources to assist your Thanksgiving prep.  There’s no shame in buying.

  • Williams Sonoma.  Once again, a first stop in Thanksgiving shopping.  We particularly recommend their Butternut Squash Puree (makes a great soup), Turkey Gravy Base, Pumpkin Butter and Focaccia Stuffing, all of which can be ordered online or bought in store.  You can also mail order Organic Turkeys, Fried Turkeys, Cajun Turkeys and more, but they’re on the pricier side for mail order turkey. Get everything here.
  • Penzey’s Spices. These should fill your cabinets.  They make everything taste better. Shop here.
  • The Cajun Grocer.  This is where to order the world famous Turducken!  The wonderfully sinful deboned turkey stuffed with a chicken that has been stuffed with duck breast, with seasoned dressing layered between each of the layers.  Ranges from $85-125 including delivery. Get it here.
  • HoneyBaked Ham Co.  Order a complete Thanksgiving dinner for 4, only $112.95.  Order now.
  • MH Foods.  Order a deep fried cajun turkey for $69.95.  Order here.
  • Highland SugarWorks.  For the best maple syrup for any recipes that require it, like maple glazed sweet potatoes perhaps? It’s dark, sweet and so mapley! Order here.
  • King’s Cupboard’s Organic Cream Caramel Sauce.   King’s Cupboard of Montana ha.ve been concocting delicious, all-natural dessert products for over twenty years. All good stuff, but in particular- their Organic Cream Caramel Sauce is an incredible drizzle over any of your Thanksgiving pies, ice cream, your own hand…whatever.  Buy it here.
  • Jacob’s Andouille Sausage  If your cornbread stuffing calls for andouille sausage, I’d highly recommend that you order the authentic spicy cajun pork sausage from Jacob’s in Laplace, Louisiana and you can get them online here.

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GET OUT.  NO REALLY.  If you just want everyone out of your house, need a change of pace, or are tired of your Aunt Franny’s cooking, no matter where you are in the country you can find someplace that will cook your Thanksgiving dinner for you. (check with the restaurant confirm all prices). For a guide to other Thanksgiving activities near you, check out the Mapquest Guides to Thanksgiving in every state.:

  • Around the Country.  Get extensive listings for where to go on Thanksgiving Day near you here.  Updated daily.
  • New York City.  Come in for the parade, and stay for dinner.  There are long lists of choices but we suggest Telepan ($85/adult) Cupping Room Cafe ($58/adult) Kitchenette ($48/adult) or West Bank Cafe ($38/adult). Click here for the full list. Check out Mapquest’s guide to Thanksgiving in New York City for information on the Parade, where to volunteer and more. 
  • Chicago.  Mercat a la Planxa (order a pig or turkey to go with 72 hours notice), Smith and Wollensky ($49/adult)  Sugartoad ($40/adult) , Zed451, and Mike Ditkas for a more casual Thanksgiving. Click here for the full list.  Also Check out Mapquest’s guide to Thanksgiving in Chicago for information on the Parade, Thanksgiving Cruises, volunteering your time to help others, and more.  
  • Los Angeles.   The Bazaar by Jose Andres  ($65/adult), The Blvd, Jar Restaurant  ($85/adult),  Melisse in Santa Monica  ($89/adult), Palomino  ($27/adult for a more casual environment), Stefan’s at LA Farm ($45/adult)  Click here for the full list.  Check out Mapquest’s guide to Thanksgiving in Los Angeles for information on the parade, volunteering, and more. 
  • Washington DC.  Ardeo + Bardeo  ($45/adult), Blue Duck Tavern  ($90/adult), Charlie Palmers ($60/adult) Founding Farmers  ($35/adult) Goodstone Inn & Estate, Joe Theismann’s  ($25/adult)  Click here for the full list. Check out Mapquest’s guide to Thanksgiving in DC for information on the parade, turkey trot, and where to volunteer.
        

I ATE TILL I CAN’T MOVE, NOW WHAT!? And of course, no matter where you go, no matter what you do, regardless of what you eat or who you eat it with, don’t forget to watch your  Thanksgiving Movies:

And finally, your Thanksgiving football schedule:
  • The Green Bay Packers vs The Detroit Lions  12:30 pm est on Fox
  • The Miami Dolphins vs The Dallas Cowboys  4:30 pm est on CBS
  • The San Francisco 49ers vs The Baltimore Ravens 8:30 pm est on NFL Network

    

Did we miss anything?  Send us your Thanksgiving ideas and favorites.

89 Comments

  1. Lunch Journals

    November 12, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Who put this piece of brilliance together?!

  2. Aceofspades7

    November 12, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    we grill our turkey every year and it is awesome – loosely follow this recipe – http://www.weber.com/grillout/recipes/poultry/brined-and-barbecued-turkey-with-pan-gravy

  3. Nick Kukoski

    November 12, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Missed one thing. Last Waltz.

  4. fleshjockey

    November 13, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Baltimore Ravins? can UCB Fred draw his words correctly maybe??

  5. Guy Caribbean

    November 13, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    That can of Cranberry is the best Goddamn thing. To me it’s Cranberry sauce day.

  6. Traciarcher

    November 13, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Thank you so much for the info! I never would have thought of Williams Sonoma for the yummy extras. On my way there! Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Zzam

    November 15, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    This is the best Turkey cooking video I have seen.

    http://hilahcooking.com/how-to-roast-a-turkey/

  8. Pat

    November 15, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Ant-covered cupcakes for dessert Fezzy??

  9. Will

    November 15, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Fez, please serve Zito a giant serving of humble pie for dessert.

  10. Liz

    November 15, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Fez, I can give you a recipe for gobble gobble cock pie.

  11. ManOSteel

    November 15, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    how bout a nice cup of cherbet for Pecker Lips and Zito?

  12. Anonymous

    November 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    How about some dead dad pie?

  13. pipeloader

    November 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    this year’s menu includes fried elk and catfish. And buttermilk pie rules.

  14. Anonymous

    November 15, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Don’t forget the Red chili to smother your dinner with…only in New Mexico

  15. ManOSteel

    November 15, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    How about a nice pot of turtle neck soup as a side, Fezzie”

  16. Bill

    November 15, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    If the gravey tastes burnt stir in a tablespoon of peanut butter it works

  17. Pigford Stuyvesant

    November 15, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Cornholers…I believe you call them “gaize”.

  18. Anonymous

    November 15, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    For dessert will fez make homoqueer-sicles ?

  19. mistawag

    November 15, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    i once had a turkey that was cooked in the oven inside a paper bag.. a grocery bag.. best turkey i ever had.. even better than the deep fried.

  20. Queen Elisabeth

    November 15, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Certs pudding for one and all

  21. TFor3

    November 15, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Don’t forget the cake. There’s always room for cake ain’t there Fez? Come on have a piece of cake

  22. Anonymous

    November 15, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    be transparent with the readers/listeners – who is making the $ from the commissions on those amazon affiliate links?

    • BunnyKickButt

      November 15, 2011 at 7:22 pm

      Why shouldn’t they make money? They aren’t making you click on the links. You can search for your own products if you like.

  23. LizSetsFire

    November 15, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I like peppers idea of thanksgiving, whiskey and Vicodin.

  24. LizSetsFire

    November 15, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Isn’t fez familiar with dead man soup?

  25. ManOSteel

    November 15, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Hey Fez!!! How bout you study up on stuffing Pecker’s ass??

  26. Anonymous

    November 15, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I hope Fez doesn’t cook the turkey wrapped in lettuce.

  27. Vincent Kaprat

    November 15, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Butter and bacon is good under the skin.

  28. Zzam

    November 15, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    There is a site called “Hilah Cooking” and she is doing a whole month of Thanksgiving and she has some older episodes with everything you need. Today is Cranberry sauce.

  29. Anonymous

    November 15, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Better not have COOKIES for desert, otherwise the cats will be everywhere!!! COOKIE, COOKIE!!!

  30. Ollie

    November 15, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Creative sides make the dinner: caramelized brussel sprouts, smoked bacon and sourdough stuffing, and a strawberry and arugula salad.

  31. Jeff -Greenlightning

    November 15, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    fuck it Fez. Just get it catered and pretend you did it yourself.

  32. Big Cat

    November 15, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    How about some tasty Precum Coleslaw!?

  33. TheGorillaBob

    November 15, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    buy your turkey at Turkeys-R-Us

  34. horsen around

    November 15, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Just get take out from Cracker Barrel.

  35. Dezfusion

    November 15, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    Fez, be careful. Once you go dark meat……..

  36. Loganfield

    November 15, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    You guys know this is going to end in disaster and you all will be having A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving with popcorn, toast, and jelly beans, right?

  37. Anonymous

    November 15, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Does Fez have the BIG SCREEN for the game and plenty of seats?

  38. Blumanta

    November 15, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    some sliced clementines in the cavity…The turkeys not Fez

  39. mistawag

    November 15, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    if you want an authentic thanksgiving you should invite a native american and cover him in small pox blankets.

  40. horsen around

    November 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Just get take out from Cracker Barrel.

  41. LizSetsFire

    November 15, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I’m married but hicks rules.

  42. ManOSteel

    November 15, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    How bout a BIG POT OF TURTLE NECK SOUP, FEZZIE??

  43. Pirate Film Company

    November 15, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Are peas a stand alone veggy

  44. Bnbracer

    November 15, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    You can do it fezzie!!!

  45. Anonymous

    November 15, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Fez’s dads after thanksgiving dessert – A bag of M&Ms and kick to the center of the chest.

  46. HappyBirfday

    November 15, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    This rules, Fez. Can you make links to each section from the top?

  47. Brian

    November 15, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    I’ve been getting my Thanksgiving turkey from Griggstown Farm for years. There is absolutely no better bird: http://www.griggstownquailfarm.com/thanksgiving

  48. Anonymous

    November 16, 2011 at 10:02 am

    good tip dont load your turky with stuffing, it will suck the moisture out, load it with fruits and veggies

  49. Ed Youdon'tneedtoknowmore

    November 16, 2011 at 11:46 am

    You gotta brine that turkey, like Alton Brown. Best. Bird. Ever.

  50. Brian in VA

    November 16, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    fez, try to say the word pumpkin….

  51. CenterShot

    November 16, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Wrap the turkey in bacon as you cook it, replace cooked bacon with new bacon. The flavor of the turkey will be the shit! I do this every year with mine.

  52. Nature Boy Again?

    November 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Looking forward to the Food Poisoning show on Friday. Ronnie doesn’t like his ice cream well done, Fez

  53. Golumki

    November 16, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Such a great job guys on doing Thanksgiving the right way.This is such a great use of the I-Bang keep up the great work..thanks for the movie ideas

  54. Rich from Georgia

    November 16, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Green Bay is two words, dinks.

  55. I am no one.

    November 17, 2011 at 3:52 am

    it isnt thanksgiving without the traditional hotdog top ramen casserole. and dont forget the dollar store mac n cheese too.

  56. Cornsail

    November 17, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Can I get all these dishes in Jones Soda form!?

  57. Tinmantd

    November 17, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Fez don’t forget to include a taste of Lemmon in the turkey

  58. Pingback: The Filtered Excellence: November 17, 2011 - The Interrobang | The Interrobang

  59. Anonymous

    November 18, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Oh boy! Today’s the big day. Are we going to have to send PAT DUFFY in for clean up?

  60. Carter " Coon-Skin " Johnson

    November 18, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Hey Fezzy, u gotta git ya sum a dat Fried Possum like Dale J.R. likes !!!

  61. charles weisinger

    November 18, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I am very proud of Fezzie..I truly thought he would just buy it some place…I am proud of you Fezzie..HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ONE AND ALL.

  62. Pigford Stuyvesant

    November 18, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    “Refrigerated Biscuits” sounds like the name of a band on Gold-Plated Covers.

  63. Kevin Smith

    November 18, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Congrats FEZ….. Good Job!

  64. Z_Typical_Gay_Guy

    November 18, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    When are we gonna see the pictures of Fez’s juicy meat?

  65. Anonymous

    November 18, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Fezie with the big ass DUB today.

  66. F_RonBennington

    November 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Hearing Pepper attempt to Say “Grace” makes me want to back to church.

    • F_RonBennington

      November 18, 2011 at 12:25 pm

      “Go Back to “. church.

  67. Kurt Muller

    November 18, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    listening to these guys eat is like sitting next to my retarded cousin at thanksgiving, just lips smacking and a cloud of crumbs and food specs around the plate

  68. Chip

    November 18, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Your guide needs music selections.

  69. Norden

    November 18, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Fezzy I hope you didn’t use your jack rag as a pot holder.

  70. Fez's Joke Smile

    November 18, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Only on thanksgivingggggggg!

  71. Fez's Cat - "cookie"

    November 18, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    While Fez was napping I put a special basting on the turkey

  72. Blmiller2002

    November 18, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Fez you’re inspiring me to cook Thanksgiving for my family now….Appreciate it dogsey

  73. F_RonBennington

    November 18, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Turkey Day isnt complete without watching Charlie Brown Thanksgiving….

  74. Donwrightgm@aol.com

    November 18, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Need the fez giving corn casserole recipe!

  75. Wes

    November 18, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Pepper saying Grace was the funniest thing I’ve ever heard…

  76. unfun

    November 18, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    cooking… cooking…

  77. LizSetsFire

    November 18, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    ron being serious almost made me cry 🙂

  78. Pingback: The Interrobang - PHOTOS: Fez Whatley Makes Thanksgiving the Right Way | The Interrobang

  79. Colormekaren

    November 18, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I actually feel emotional about this whole thing! Ron and Fez show brings a plethora of feelings on a daily basis. Thank you Ron for your sincere thoughts… and Fez, I am so proud and happy for you!!! I am thankful for my radio buddies!!!!

  80. Taintlicker

    November 18, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Honey Baked Ham Co. is delicious. I bet Pepper wants a blunt right now.

  81. Hoo-Ah

    November 18, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    How could you forget Scent of a Woman? One of the best Thanksgiving scenes ever. “You’ve forgotten the taste of real honey!” Hoo-Ah!

  82. Cbsfan

    November 18, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    One Broke Fez Monday Nights CBS 8:30pm

  83. Pcbchbum

    November 19, 2011 at 4:31 am

    Fez, did you hose the birds ass crack, in your driveway, first?

  84. Lori Satterlee

    November 22, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Seriously: WHO WRITES THIS PAGE? Perfect, exactly what I would tell anyone putting together their first Thanksgiving or just trying to up their game.

  85. Pingback: Cooking Tips Techniques | We Dip It Cooking

  86. Dionna Kelleher

    December 8, 2012 at 2:30 am

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that.

  87. codemax63

    December 25, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    goodf thanks
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