Thanksgiving is upon us once again with all the food, fun and family stuff that we all know and love/loathe. A traditional Thanksgiving dinner is actually a very simple, but complicated meal.

Oxymoron much?

Let’s break it down:
Turkey: If you’ve cooked a whole chicken you can cook a turkey.
Mashed Potatoes: Easy! Boil potatoes, mash them with milk, butter and salt until they taste good.
Gravy Drippings, a little flour and water, and done.
Cranberry Sauce – whats easier than opening a can? Making them from scratch is slightly more time consuming but pretty darn easy – berries, some water, some sugar some boiling and poof, homemade cranberry sauce.
Veggies: A vegetable side dish can be as easy or as complicated as you want.
Dessert: Make the day before or buy it.

So maybe I’m being simplistic but the basic components are not the tough part, its procedure of getting it together on the table at the right time with a bunch of people running around the house, “helper’s” of dubious helpfulness, potential familial drama and all the other stuff that happens when we get together with the extended family is what makes it complicated.

Cook a great Meal: This is actually the first Thanksgiving that I am doing the whole deal in my house so I called the Google to help me out. Here are some of the sites I found that were really helpful, starting with a great step by step guide to pulling together a fab thanksgiving meal from Julie Van Rosendaal and Parents Canada

This letter, however, is an example of how *not* to ask for help from your family to prepare the meal. Seriously.

Make sure you have enough food!Trying to figure out how much turkey to serve was frustrating because I found recommendations from 1 pound per person (which got some very scathing comments about being insufficient) to 2 pounds per person. I’m going with 2 pounds because I’d rather have too much than not enough, and because I like turkey pot pie for leftovers! I liked because it had a calculator to help you determine the amount of bird, stuffing, thawing and cooking time. Speaking of which, I need to go get that bird out of the freezer!

Raw Turkey

This 15 pound bad boy needs to defrost in the fridge for up to 4 days before serving. If you forgot, you can use the cold water method in half the time.

Wine is the nectar of the gods: I like white with turkey (especially German Whites) but a lighter red goes well too and and there are some great light BC reds. Natalie Maclean has a nifty Wine-Food Matcher and I liked this blog about wine pairings with Turkey

Make it purty: Last but not least, I love fall colors and decorations but I don’t have a creative bone in my body. So I found these for decorating inspiration:

Angie from Echoes of Laughter sets a gorgeous table and a beautiful front entrance.

And there are so many ideas from that I don’t even know where to start.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!