Turkey Time!

It’s Thanksgiving and it’s your turn to cook! What to do? It can be especially unnerving if this is your first time cooking for all the relatives. Relax — it’s actually easier than you think. Here are a few tips:

1) Delegate. Have each guest (or family unit) bring a dish to share. Not only do people really want to contribute, but it also makes them feel needed and appreciated. And, as you know, Thanksgiving is all about showing gratitude!

2) Plan Ahead. Set the table the day before. Designate which serving dish you’ll use for each item on the menu. Peel the potatoes, bake the pumpkin pie. Anything that you can prepare ahead of time will make your job on Thanksgiving day that much easier.

3) Laugh at Your Goofs! Keep a sense of humor — it helps you and your guests. Plus, it won’t be the first time someone left the bag of giblets inside the turkey!

4) Call a Hotline. When all else fails, here’s who to call:

USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline: 888-674-6854. Food-safety specialists will answer food preparation questions from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

Butterball Turkey-Talk Line: 800-288-8372. A team of home economists will answer bird-related questions on Thanksgiving Day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Crisco Pie Hotline: 877-367-7438. Get advice from pie pros from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

5) Have a glass of wine. Relax! Enjoy yourself. You may think it’s all about the food, but it’s really about the company you keep. Now, go out and have a happy Thanksgiving!

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