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It's Turkey Day

Updated on November 20, 2018
Virginia Allain profile image

We all fix food and have our favorite meals to prepare. I'm sharing some of mine. Have fun cooking!

A wild turkey hastens past my house in Florida.
A wild turkey hastens past my house in Florida. | Source

Get Ready for Thanksgiving

Americans sometimes refer to the Thanksgiving holiday as "Turkey Day" because of the emphasis on the big turkey dinner. Of course, the holiday is so much more.

It's a time of reviewing our blessings and celebrating the harvest season as winter approaches. One more time, we think back to the early settlers and their interactions with the Indians.

Here are some ways to enjoy this uniquely American holiday. Actually, I need to correct this. Thanksgiving is celebrated in Canada on a different day.

Time to Cook the Turkey

How Early Do You Start the Turkey?

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Turkey and Gravy Make a Tasty Meal for the Holiday

Of Course, You'll Want Gravy with the Turkey

  • My Mother's Recipe for Giblet Gravy - Here's Gail Martin's way of making gravy to go with the turkey for special meals and Thanksgiving. This recipe will feed a crowd.
  • Another Way To Make Turkey Gravy - Plain old turkey fat just won't do for me! After I clean and stuff the turkey, I dissolve 2 chicken bouillon cubes in 2 cups hot water and pour it in the bottom of the roasting pan. Then I put 8 butter pats, about 1/2 tablespoon each, on the bird.

Turkey, Ham or ??? for Thanksgiving

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A Pretty Holiday Table Setting

A festive flower arrangement with candles, your pretty china, and a nice tablecloth make your holiday meal special.
A festive flower arrangement with candles, your pretty china, and a nice tablecloth make your holiday meal special. | Source

Set a Pretty Table for the Turkey Day Feast

Even If It Is Just the Two of Us, We Decorate Our Table

  • Thanksgiving Decor - Table Runners - A Thanksgiving table runner sets the tone for the holiday table decoration. When it's time for the big turkey feast, you'll want the presentation of the meal to look extra special.
  • Place Card Holders for Thanksgiving and Christmas - A well- dressed table sets the stage for a festive family gathering for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Holiday place card holders complete the scene. You can make your own for the occasion or buy a set ready to use.
  • Decorate the Dining Room for Autumn - Cooler days, falling leaves and Thanksgiving coming soon. It's time to add some autumn touches to the dining room decor. Besides the traditional colors of gold and orange, baskets of harvest vegetables and some mums, there are many ways to give a fall touch to your room for Thanksgiving.

Why Turkey Is Part of the American Thanksgiving Feast

Have You Ever Cooked a Wild Turkey?

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Photos of Wild Turkeys - By Virginia Allain

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This tom looks majestic with his feathers all puffed up to impress the others in his flock.
This tom looks majestic with his feathers all puffed up to impress the others in his flock.
This tom looks majestic with his feathers all puffed up to impress the others in his flock. | Source

Enjoy Some Wild Turkeys Strutting and Showing Off

Wild about Turkey Cookbook

Wild about Turkey: Tantalizing Tastes of Turkey and All the Trimmings, Withrecipes for Thanksgiving...and Beyond
Wild about Turkey: Tantalizing Tastes of Turkey and All the Trimmings, Withrecipes for Thanksgiving...and Beyond
This has the traditional turkey recipe for Thanksgiving, but gives you plenty of ways to cook the bird at other times of the year. Take advantage of the great bargains around the holidays to stock your freezer with turkeys. They make great eating through the winter.

Journal Your Gratitude Year Round, Not Just at Thanksgiving

The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude
The Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude
The author has a loyal following who like her for the upbeat approach she takes. Get this for yourself and for a friend too. I love this book and find it helps me to stay in touch with what I should be thankful for. After all, isn't that what Thanksgiving Day is all about (and oh, yes, also about the turkey).

Use Turkey Day to Reflect on Appreciating What You Have

How to Appreciate What You Have

Often the news on TV seems relentlessly filled with only bad news. Our minds start to focus on the negative things that happen and the problems we encounter each day. It might be time for an attitude adjustment. Here's how to shift into more positive thinking.

Things You’ll Need:

a notebook
a pen
a few moments each day to think

I've often seen the suggestion to keep a gratitude journal. The idea involves recording in it the little and big things that you appreciate. It sounds like a wonderful way to shift focus away from the negative things that drag down your spirits. Instead of thinking about all the problems that threaten to overwhelm you, take a few minutes each day to think of good things.

We take so many things for granted and get into the habit of being critical and complaining. At first, it might be hard to think of something in a grateful way. Maybe there are bills to pay, too many meetings to attend and a difficult person to handle. Sometimes our thinking gets stuck in a negative mode and it all seems a bit overwhelming.

Shift your thinking for just a moment. I could be glad that I'm able to hold down a job so I can pay my bills. I could appreciate that my opinions count for something and that groups want me at their meetings. I could be thankful that over the years I've learned to respond calmly to upset people. Same situations, but different thinking.

Filling in the pages of the gratitude journal would force us to start thinking beyond the big things in our lives. We would get beyond the obvious things, such as being grateful for a comfortable home or a caring spouse. Finding some things to note down every day would expand our view. It would force us to really look around at the smaller things that make up our lives. Let's try it out, by looking around right this minute at all that surrounds us.

Here are some examples from my own experience. I'm grateful for: * living in a climate where I can be active outside in winter * having more books to read than I'll ever have time for * getting good enough at golf that I'm no longer embarrassed to play * having a computer literate family so we can keep in touch by email

This starts to get addictive. After you write down a couple, your mind brings up more and more. Probably one should get a good-sized notebook before starting to write a gratitude list. Once the mind shifts into gratitude mode, it’s hard to stop.

How Many People Came for Dinner at Your House This Thanksgiving?

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Our Family Thanksgiving in the 1960s

Our Family Thanksgiving in the 1960s
Our Family Thanksgiving in the 1960s

Write about Your Family and Thanksgiving

  • Holiday Writing Triggers for Family Memories- I give memory prompts to start you writing about long ago holidays. It's important to write down these memories to save for your children and grandchildren. Who knows, maybe you'll even have enough to self-publish a book...
  • A Martin Family Thanksgiving (memories from 1960s) - Almost forty years ago. It's hard to understand that so much time has passed. I look at the black and white photos. On the back of the photos, I'd written 1968 and the names of the people in the pictures. Of course, I knew their names without having
  • My Flint Hills Childhood by Gail Lee Martin: Biographies & Memoirs - The chapter about a 1930s Thanksgiving is a good read. My Flint Hills Childhood book by author Gail Lee Martin (my mother). Preview and learn more about this self-published memoir written by an octagenarian.

Baby Turkey Hatching

© 2009 Virginia Allain


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