Lyon County Extension Family and Consumer Sciences agent Rhonda Gordon says the Thanksgiving turkey "strikes fear into the heart of even the most experienced cook," but it doesn't have to be that way this week.
Gordon says everything starts with a properly thawed turkey. If you have bought a bird, that process should already be underway.
There is a safe cold-water method in case you're running late on the thawing. Put the turkey in a sink filled with cold water. Change the water out every half-hour and allow 30 minutes per pound to make sure the turkey is ready for the oven. Before it's in, Gordon suggests avoiding the traditional bread stuffing. Instead, use fruits and vegetables like celery and apples to add moisture and flavor.
Gordon says you should have several pieces of equipment before you start: a shallow roasting pan, a roasting rack, kitchen string for tying the legs together and thus helping to seal in moisture, a baster, an oven-safe meat thermometer and aluminum foil to cover the bird.
How big of a turkey should you get for your throng of guests? Do a head count and figure up to a pound and a half of meat per person, especially if you want leftovers.
For more information, call Gordon at 341-3220 or go online to www.lyon.ksu.edu.