Martha Stewart’s Turkey Day Tips and Thanksgiving Day Myths


To go hand in hand, with my last post about Thanksgiving Day Food Hacks…here are some tips, from Martha Stewart!  Just in case you haven’t read enough about Turkey or Thanksgiving! Plus, this is another chance to post some really funny ecards that literally make me snort!

Martha Stewart’s Thanksgiving Tips


Shop early for staples. 

“Shop for all the staples as far ahead as possible,” Stewart advises. “Nonperishables can be purchased the weekend before. The rest should be purchased on Tuesday morning.”

Start cooking a few days out. 

Don’t wait till Thanksgiving day to hit the kitchen, that’s about as big of a rookie mistake as you can make. Stewart says to make certain sides ahead of time, like cranberry sauce, which can hold for several days in the refrigerator. Other things that can be made ahead include pie crusts, biscuits, gravy, and certain desserts. Leave the day-of for the turkey, stuffing, and vegetables.

Don’t forget how much time your turkey will need to defrost. 

Getting a turkey ready to hit the oven takes an awful lot of time. If you purchase a frozen turkey, it’ll need to defrost in your refrigerator one full day for every five pounds of bird.

Cook your turkey in parchment. 

Wonder how Stewart chooses to cook her turkey? Apparently she’s a big fan of using parchment paper. Head here for her go-to roasted turkey recipe.

Keep the extras—including the drinks—simple.

“When hosting your first Thanksgiving, you may want to stick to wine or [serve] just one cocktail so it isn’t overwhelming,” Stewart advises. The same goes for the table decor, and anything extra that might add to your stress load. Your guests will care more about being together than about the color napkins you put out.

Thanksgiving Day Tips

Having celebrated Thanksgiving your entire life, you probably think you have a firm grasp on the holiday, but you might want think again. So many of the ideas that we hold to be true about the holiday—how it started, why we eat Turkey, the idea that turkey makes you sleepy—are actually entirely false. Yes, chew on that this Thanksgiving.

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Thanksgiving Day Myths

So you can be the next Cliff Claven at your Thanksgiving table… here are some Thanksgiving Day myths, compliments of StyleCaster!

Here, we investigated some of the biggest myths surrounding Thanksgiving to see how they hold up under the microscope.

1. Turkey makes you sleepy.
False—sort of.
This is the possibly the biggest myth surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday. The chemical tryptophan gets tossed around a lot as to why turkey makes you sleepy, but in reality there is no more tryptophan in turkey than there is in pork or cheddar cheese or even spinach for that matter. So then why are you so tired after eating your Thanksgiving meal? Do you really need to ask—you’ve just packed four meals into one, along with booze, perhaps, and a long day spent with family. So no, you’re not exhausted after Thanksgiving solely because of the turkey, but we won’t blame you for wanting to take that extra-long nap after dinner.

2. The pilgrims ate turkey at the first Thanksgiving, and that’s why we eat it every Thanksgiving.
While it isn’t exactly known what was eaten on the first Thanksgiving, there are historical accounts that venison was the main dish served. Author and magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale concocted the Thanksgiving we know of today. Hale published in the popular Godey’s Lady’s Book recipes for turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie and started traditions that had nothing to do with the that 1621 feast. She successfully lobbied President Abraham Lincoln, who in 1863 agreed to declare Thanksgiving an annual holiday celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November every year.

3. White meat is healthier than dark meat.
False—sort of.
You aren’t wrong to think that there are nutritional differences between white and dark meat. Dark meat is definitely fattier and it has more calories, but there other nutritional benefits to dark meat like zinc, iron, riboflavin, B6, and B12. The differences between white and dark meat are fairly minor, and you shouldn’t worry that a piece of dark meat will set you back any more than an extra helping of stuffing will.

4. The presidential pardon of the turkey started with Abraham Lincoln.
According to legend, President Lincoln’s 10-year-old son, Tad,  supposedly became fond of a turkey given to the family to be eaten in 1863. Tad named the turkey Jack, and begged his father to spare the bird, which Lincoln did. Where this fable doesn’t hold up is that this actually happened on Christmas, not Thanksgiving. The official tradition of Presidents pardoning a turkey goes back to 1989, when President George H.W. Bush officially pardoned the first turkey.

5. The bigger the turkey, the better it is.
When buying a turkey you should compare the size of the breast to the size of the rest of the bird. Larger-breasted turkeys are new breeds that were created to produce a larger amount of meat, not better flavor. Go for a fresh heritage turkey or a crossbreed turkey, and get the idea that bigger is better out of your mind while doing the Thanksgiving grocery shopping.

6. Sweet potatoes and yams are the same thing.

Sweet potatoes and yams (both Thanksgiving favorites) are not only different vegetables, they aren’t even from the same botanical family. Yams are related to water lilies and are grown primarily in Africa and Asia, while sweet potatoes are related to morning glories and hail from the Americas. Neither is closely related to potatoes believe it or not. What are you eating at Thanksgiving dinner? Most likely sweet potatoes.

7. After the first Thanksgiving in 1621, Americans have been celebrating Thanksgiving every year.
At the time of the 1621 feast (the “first” Thanksgiving), nobody thought of that meal as anything particularly special. In 1789, George Washington made Thursday, November 26, a Thanksgiving holiday, but only for that year. In 1863, Lincoln declared the fourth Tuesday of November a national holiday. In 1939, Franklin D. Rooseveltdecided to move the annual Thanksgiving holiday to the third Thursday of November to make the Christmas shopping season a little bit longer. There was so much opposition to the move that two years later he changed it to the fourth Thursday in November.


No song of the day, but instead a Video of the Day:  Ellen Degeneres starring in 50 Shades of Grey. Because sometimes, you just need to laugh!


Tomorrow there will be a blog on Black Friday…because we haven’t heard enough about Black Friday!  😉






Ba dum dum…I’m here every Thursday…try the veal! 🙂

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Best. Thanksgiving. Ever!





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