Thanksgiving Tips From Martha Stewart

I almost met Martha Stewart.

She once filmed a segment at the Iowa State Fair.  We were all kept away from her.  She and a State Fair vendor walked down one side of the Grand Concourse multiple times with Martha carrying a corn dog.  I can't recall if she EVER actually took a bite of the corn dog.

The side of the Grand Concourse was cordoned off so we all watched Martha do her corn dog walk from the OTHER side of the concourse.  After the segment was over, she was magically whisked away and folks like me were left with a story of how we ALMOST met Martha Stewart.

I love her anyway.  Despite the explosion of home-and-hearth advisers on television, she's the original.  Plus, she's an original gangsta, having spent time in prison.

That's why I am glad to take Thanksgiving advice from Martha.  Plus, she says “I have never been sick cooking a turkey,” so she knows what she’s talking about.

  • Keep everything clean - This is her first hack for making sure your guests don’t get sick. That means washing your hands frequently, keeping your cooking area sanitary by wiping up “turkey juices” with paper towels, not cloth towels, and Martha recommends wearing rubber gloves, too.
  • Keep that turkey just cold-enough before cooking - “If you bought a frozen turkey, thaw it in the original bag it comes in,” Stewart advises. “If you have a fresh turkey, just keep it really cold in the coldest part of the refrigerator.” And today’s the day to think about this because she says it’ll take two days to thaw a large frozen turkey in the fridge. But wait to stuff it until the day you’re actually cooking it.
  • Use the right tools - Don’t skimp when it comes to putting the turkey in the oven, Martha says those “floppy aluminum pans” are a big no and that we should be using a proper roasting pan with a rack instead. Then make sure to use a thermometer to check the turkey’s center and the thickest part of the thigh to make sure it’s 165-degrees. And her final suggestion is to “Garnish beautifully, of course.” She is Martha Stewart, after all.

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