Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day, Wishing You All A Very Happy Turkey Day!

Thanksgiving Day is a special time of year when family and friends gather to express gratitude. Many of us look forward to the traditional turkey dinner. It is very important how you store, cook and serve your turkey is important. The following information is some smart dos and don’ts to keep your Thanksgiving turkey and your family safe from harmful bacteria and foodborne illness.  thanksgiving-day

Turkey Preparation 1

Do These Steps:

  • Defrost a frozen turkey in the refrigerator, in a cold water bath or in a microwave oven.
  • Allow one day of thawing for every 4-5 lbs. of turkey. If using a cold water bath, change the water every 30 minutes.
  • Keep utensils, dishes, kitchen equipment and work surfaces clean.
  • Wash your hands before and after handling a turkey.

Don’t Make These Mistakes!

  • Defrost a turkey on the counter at room temperature. This allows bacteria to grow.
  • Refreeze a thawed turkey.
  • Use cutting boards and knives that have touched raw meat or other foods without washing them first.

Cooking the Turkey

Do This:

  • Separate the giblets and the neck from the turkey.
  • Rinse the turkey and pat dry.
  • Use a meat thermometer to see if the turkey is done — 180º Fahrenheit.
  • Cook turkey to appropriate temperature in one session.

Don’t Do This:

  • Cook stuffing inside the turkey. If you do, the stuffing must reach a minimum of 165º in order to be safe from salmonella and other bacteria, typically resulting in an overcooked turkey.2
  • Partially cook the turkey one day and continue the next.

What to Do With Leftover Turkey

  • Remove the leftover turkey meat from the bone.
  • Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of serving the meal.
  • When reheating, make sure that the turkey reaches 160º Fahrenheit.
  • If you have a dog, it’s yes to turkey, no to bones. Turkey can be a great lean protein to share with your pet — just remove any excess skin or fat, stick with white meat and make sure there are no bones.

If you have any questions concerning the preparation or cooking of poultry or meat, call the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or send an email

Turkey Fryers
A longtime favorite in the southern United States, the deep-fried turkey has quickly grown in popularity. Although many people rave about this creation, Underwriters Laboratories Inc.’s (UL) safety experts are concerned that backyard chefs may be sacrificing safety for good taste.

“We’re worried by the increasing reports of fires related with turkey fryer use,” says John Drengenberg, UL Consumer Affairs Manager. “Based on our test findings, the fryers used to produce those great tasting birds are not worth the risks. And, as a result of these tests, UL has decided not to certify any turkey fryers with our trusted UL mark.” However, if you intend to use a turkey fryer, UL offers some tips for safer use. Be smart and cook and handle your turkey properly. Enjoy your Thanksgiving Day!

Classic Sweet Potato Casserole

Thanksgiving Day dinner won’t be complete without a sweet potato casserole. This mouthwatering sweet casserole will satisfy lovers of crunchy pecans, cornflakes and marshmallows:

  • 4½ pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1¼ cups cornflakes cereal, crushed
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1½ cups miniature marshmallows


  • Preheat oven to 400°. Bake sweet potatoes at 400° for 1 hour or until tender. Let stand until cool to touch (about 20 minutes); peel and mash sweet potatoes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
  • Beat mashed sweet potatoes, granulated sugar, and next 5 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Spoon potato mixture into a greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish.
  • Combine cornflakes cereal and next 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle over casserole in diagonal rows 2 inches apart.
  • Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle marshmallows in alternate rows between cornflake mixture; bake 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

For more interesting Thanksgiving Day recipes visit Southern Living. Enjoy!

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From Our Home to Yours, Happy Thanksgiving Day!