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When Should I Start Thawing the Turkey? ... and More Thanksgiving Reminders

It's November and that means it's time to think about all the little details that go into Thanksgiving

It's a shame that many of us stress ourselves out to the point of exhaustion around holiday time, when we should be in a joyous and relaxed mood. For those whose lives are moving at warp speed, here are a few reminders as we approach the holiday dedicated to giving thanks. 

• Thaw the Bird! If you purchased or plan to purchase a turkey weighing 21 pounds or less, you should make sure that you've moved that bird from the freezer to the refrigerator because it's going to need time to thaw. 

Here's some information from the United States Department of Agriculture

  • Allow 24 hours for each 4 to 5 pounds in a refrigerator set at 40 degrees or less.
  • Make sure to put the turkey in a container so juices don't drip in the fridge. 
  • Frozen turkeys should not be left on the back porch, in the car trunk, in the basement, or any place else where temperatures cannot be constantly monitored. 

Refrigerator Thawing Times
Whole turkey:

  •  4 to 12 pounds: 1 to 3 days
  • 12 to 16 pounds: 3 to 4 days
  • 16 to 20 pounds: 4 to 5 days
  • 20 to 24 pounds: 5 to 6 days

A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for one or two days before cooking.

• Guests! Is there anyone in your circle of friends and family or beyond, who may be alone on Thanksgiving? Not that there's anything wrong with a contemplative day alone. But give it some thought, and consider inviting someone who might like to share in your tradition and ritual of Thanksgiving. 

• Decorations! Any plans for a centerpiece on your table, aside from the bird? If you think funds are too tight this year to spend a little extra on a centerpiece of holiday decorating, you can find that you need not look further than your own back yard. If you wander into the woods you are likely to find Bittersweet and other wild plants that could make a wonderful centerpiece for your table. 

• To-Do! Take time to make a list of everything you need to accomplish before your guests arrive on T-Day. If you create a production schedule well in advance and allot a reasonable amount of time for all that you need to check off your to-do list, you will be able to actually enjoy this special day rather than feeling overwhelmed and rushed. 

• Dessert! In Beachwood, bakeries like Davis Bakery and the White Flower Cake Shop have plenty delicious treats. If you run out of time, Giant Eagle and Whole Foods always have plenty of pumpkin rolls and pies, too. 

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