Tips, Tools, Thawing and Time: Let’s Talk Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving is on the way to a dining table near you, and it’s let’s talk Thanksgiving turkey time.  I refer to Thanksgiving as the first leg of the holiday season which makes me think about turkey legs, which gets me to thinking about the Thanksgiving turkey plan, prep, roast, baste, carve and serve part of Thanksgiving day.


Herb-Rubbed Turkey with Pear Stuffing

Tips, tools, thawing and time is a big consideration in regards to buying, thawing, prepping, stuffing, roasting, and serving the bird.

Thanksgiving turkeyBetter Homes & Gardens

In this pre-Thanksgiving calm before the storm period, I’m utilizing my time to gather the roasting pan, carving set, kitchen essentials and necessary information needed to ensure total Thanksgiving turkey success.


Places In The Home is a design and decorating show and tell, and dining, dishing, and delicious recipes goes with the territory.  With that being said, I thought I might offer a few suggestions regarding all things Thanksgiving turkey.

Let’s talk turkey, shall we.

How Much Turkey Do I Need?

From the folks at Delish:


Thawing the Frozen Thanksgiving Turkey

For Refrigerator Thawing:

Place turkey on a tray to eliminate leakage to other areas of refrigerator. Thaw breast side up, in original unopened wrapper on a tray in the fridge (40 degrees F or below).  Allow at least 1 day of thawing for every 4-5 lbs.

Suggested thawing time for a frozen turkey:

4 to 12 pound turkey:       1 to 3 days
12 to 16 pound turkey:     3 to 4 days
16 to 20 pound turkey:    4 to 5 days
20 to 24 pound turkey:    5 to 6 days

Cold Water Thawing:

Thaw breast side down, in original unopened wrapper.  Cover the turkey completely with cold water.  Change the water every 30 minutes.  Estimate a minimum thawing time of 30 minutes per lb.

4 to 12 pound turkey:       2 to 6 hours
12 to 16 pound turkey:     6 to 8 hours
16 to 20 pound turkey:    8 to 10 hours
20 to 24 pound turkey:   10 to 12 hours

The good people at Butterball offer cooking calculators and conversion charts for everything Thanksgiving turkey.

Who and where do I send a thank you note to?

Here’s the link: Butterball Calculators and Conversions Chart


Thawed turkey roasting times in a 325 °F regular oven:

6 to 10 pounds:     2 to 3 hours (unstuffed)        ||    2¼-3½ hours (stuffed)

10 to 18 pounds:   3 to 3½ hours (unstuffed)   ||   3¾-4½ hours (stuffed)

18 to 22 pounds:     3½-4 hours (unstuffed)    ||   4½ – 5 hours (stuffed)

22-24 pounds:       4-4½ hours (unstuffed)     ||   5-5½ hours (stuffed)

24-30 pounds:       4½-5 hours  (unstuffed)    ||   5½-6½ hours (stuffed)

Thawed turkey roasting times in a 325 °F convection oven:

6 to 10 pounds:     1½-2 hours (unstuffed)       ||   1¾-2½  hours (stuffed)

10 to 18 pounds:   2 to 2½ hours (unstuffed)   ||   2½-3¼ hours (stuffed)

18 to 22 pounds:     2½-3 hours (unstuffed)    ||   3¼ hours (stuffed)

22-24 pounds:       3-3½ hours (unstuffed)     ||   3¾-4¼ hours (stuffed)

Cuisinart Wireless Meat ThermometerCuisinart Wireless Meat Thermometer

The turkey is done when the temperature with a meat thermometer reaches 170 °F  in breast or stuffing.   Use a food thermometer to check the turkey in the thickest part of the breast.

If you stuff the Thanksgiving turkey, the center of the stuffing must also reach 170 degrees F.   Cross contamination between turkey and stuffing is a concern, so just make sure both turkey and stuffing reach 170 degrees F.

Let the turkey stand 15 minutes before carving.

Safe Turkey Prep, Thawing, Stuffing, Cooking, Clean Up Tips:

Always wash your hands before and after preparing or eating food.

Thaw turkeys in the refrigerator, never on the counter.

Don’t wash raw poultry before cooking. It can spread germs to other areas.

Place stuffing in the turkey just before cooking.

Cook raw poultry thoroughly to an internal temperature of 170 degrees.

Wash your counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat.

Don’t feed your pets raw food. 

Amazon Fire 7 with Alexa

Amazon Fire 7 with Alexa (7″ Display Tablet)

A tablet and/or an Echo calls up Alexa the answer machine, now we’re cooking playlists, recipes, and the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line® (connect with the Talk-Line through social media, live chat, texting — even Amazon Alexa).

Amazon Echo (2nd Generation) Alexa-enabled Bluetooth Speaker

Amazon Echo (2nd Generation) Alexa-enabled Bluetooth Speaker

I’m a fourth generation fan of the granite ware oval roasting pan. Tradition runs deep in the Places In The Home holiday kitchen, and roasting a turkey like my great grandmother, grandmother and mother did/does requires a granite ware oval roaster.


Graniteware Oval Roaster

The black graniteware covered roaster speaks holidays to me, but I could be swayed by the Mauviel Mtradition Roaster in copper.

copper-roasting-panSur La Table

And perhaps the Cuisinart 8-Piece Roasting Set.

Cuisinart 8-Piece Roasting SetCuisinart 8-Piece Roasting Set

Time saving multitasking marvels of kitchen efficiency are my kind of holiday helping hand!  Equally as important as the well-stocked holiday pantry is the well organized holiday baking, cooking and entertaining kitchen prep area and items used to create, delight, and store delicious dishes fit for the holiday table.

Emile Henry Artisan Deep Ruffled Pie DishEmile Henry Artisan Deep Ruffled Pie Dish

nordic ware baking pan

Nordic Ware Harvest Bounty Loaf Pan

Aluminum Bundt PanAluminum Bundt Pan

Southern Baked : Celebrating Life With Pie - by Amanda Dalton Wilbanks

Southern Baked : Celebrating Life With Pie – by Amanda Dalton Wilbanks

Stoneware Quiche Dish - Cream - Hearth & Hand™ with MagnoliaStoneware Quiche Dish – Cream – Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia 

Starfrit Rotato Express Electric PeelerStarfrit Rotato Express, Electric Peeler

Lodge 5 Quart Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch OvenLodge 5 Quart Seasoned Cast Iron Dutch Oven


Plymouth Silicone Spatula Set

Instant Pot Duo 6qt 7-in-1 Pressure CookerInstant Pot Duo 6qt 7-in-1 Pressure Cooker

Instant Pot Bible More Than 350 Recipes and Strategies The Instant Pot Bible 

copper measuring cupsCopper Measuring Cups- Set of 4

mixing-bowls-hobnailTabletops Gallery Hobnail 4-pc. Mixing Bowl Set


Corningware French White 4-Quart Oval Casserole with Glass CoverCorningware French White 4-Quart Oval Casserole with Glass Cover


staub-ceramic-stoneware-pumpkin-cocotte-oStaub Ceramic 16-Oz. Petite Pumpkin Cocotte


Oxo OXO Twine  Cooking Twine 

Don’t forget to tie those bad boy turkey legs together with cooking twine.

goodful-knife-setGoodful 6-Pc. Knife Set, Created for Macy’s

BLACK+DECKER ComfortGrip 9 Inch Electric KnifeBLACK+DECKER ComfortGrip 9 Inch Electric Knife

Farberware 12 Inch by 18 Inch Hardwood Drip Trench Cutting BoardFarberware 12 Inch by 18 Inch Hardwood Drip Trench Cutting Board

Norpro Krona 11" S/S 12 Wire Balloon WhiskNorpro Krona 11″ S/S 12 Wire Balloon Whisk

Oxo OXO Good Grips Good Gravy Fat SeparatorOXO Good Grips Good Gravy Fat Separator, 4 Cup

Lock & Lock 4 piece Tall Canister Storage SetLock & Lock 4 piece Tall Canister Storage Set

Godinger 5-Pc. Hammered Copper Storage Bowl SetGodinger 5-Pc. Hammered Copper Storage Bowl Set

A cook is only as good as the kitchen and cooking tips, essentials, tools and accessories he or she uses.

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This post contains affiliate links.  If you click on one of the product links and make a purchase from the retailer I receive a commission from the sale.

Happy Thanksgiving My Dear Friends

Happy Thanksgiving my dear friends.  I count your friendship, loyal support and continued readership among the things I am grateful for.


Family will gather together here at Places In The Home to enjoy each other’s company, a Thanksgiving dinner with all the traditional trimmings guaranteed to please, and the Southern comforts of home we’ve come to love and appreciate.


May love of family and friends, health, the comforts of home, appreciation of beauty, and wealth in all of these richly touch and bless your life each and every day.


Happy Thanksgiving!

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Do You Know What Your Thanksgiving Tabletop and Decorating Plan Is?  

It’s the 1st of November.  Do you know what your Thanksgiving tabletop and decorating plan is?  Inspiration is everywhere, and we thrive on it  here at Places In The Home.  Let me share with you a few of the Thanksgiving tabletop and decorating suggestions and finds in seasonal color, texture and pattern to set the holiday tone and the Thanksgiving table with the look of the season.


Birds of gorgeous feather colors flock together among 6′ baby tear and frosted eucalyptus garlands from Hobby Lobby.  Duck hunting in the Sportsman’s Paradise goes with the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and this new to me find sets the scene- one very well known to the men of the Places In The Home family.


Fall clearance sales are underway much to the delight of the tablescape maven.  May I also suggest checking out dollar, craft, hobby, and fabric  stores for candles, candle holders, decor, chargers, etc…  Dollar stores are inexpensive to begin with, so there’s that.  The upside to Christmas and holiday items being stocked and displayed on a store shelf near you earlier and earlier each year is the deep discounts on fall and harvest themed items shoppers see sooner and sooner in the season.  The cream craft pumpkin from Lowe’s is 50% off, and the Ashland Finial Vase from Michael’s is on clearance.  Both are calling my name.

thanksgiving tabletop

Frosted Eucalyptus Garland  ||  Cracked-Look Candle Holders  ||  Cream Craft Pumpkin  ||  Grace Dinner Plate  ||  Antique Crown-Embossed Compote  ||  Autumn by Lenox  ||  Vintage Soup Tureen  ||  Ironstone Pitcher  ||  Transferware Vegetable Dish  ||  Copper Bowl  ||  Ashland Finials  ||  Quail Figurine

Thanksgiving Tabletop and Decorating

After creating the gallery I remembered Dollar Tree stocks a white stoneware dinner plate with gold rim.  You can’t go wrong with a set of  white dinner plates with gold or platinum rims.  A simple yet elegant white dinner plate makes a strong argument for the perfect foundation plate, and complements almost every china pattern known to man.


My style preference leans traditional.  Classic tableware and vintage linens set most of my holiday tablescapes and Thanksgiving tabletop, but I do like to gift the eye a decorative surprise.

Marry a traditional china pattern to a modern and/or contemporary pattern.

Intermingle pops of bold color with the customary fall palette.

Mix seasonal buds and branches with roses and taxidermy.

I am always impressed and amazed when decor accents and accessories that normally would not be paired together come together in perfected contrast to create remarkable beauty.


PomPom Design Dinner Napkins – set of 4  ||  White Burnout Snowflake Dinner Napkins-set of 4  ||  Godinger Dublin Goblets  || Cromwell Highball Glasses  ||  Antique Crown-Embossed Compote

Halette+Pedestal+Cups+Cake+StandDessert compotes remind me of my grandmother- a woman who mastered the art of the holiday table with signature style and grace.

vintage-soup-tureen-and-ladleVintage Soup Tureen

One of the best pieces of Thanksgiving tabletop and decorating advice I can offer is this:  I embrace the words do small things with great love.  Incorporate pieces, finds and treasures you love into your Thanksgiving tabletop and decorating.  Personal mementos and collections tell a compelling all things house that make a home story.

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From Table to Turkey: Thanksgiving Finishing Touches

From table to turkey, holiday hosts and hostesses are putting their Thanksgiving finishing touches on all that reigns holiday supreme.


This past Friday as I was planning and primping the decorative details of our Thanksgiving gobblepalooza, an unfortunate event in the Places In The Home Thanksgiving holiday celebration occurred.  I was in the dining room putting the Thanksgiving finishing touches on the sideboard and tablescape decorations, and as I always do, I asked my mother to come and see the progress. Stocking feet and hardwood floors make a hazardous combination, just ask my darling Mother.  It was the fall heard round the house, and over the river and through the woods to the emergency room we go.  Several tests and x-rays later the ER doctor delivered the unfortunate news; fractured kneecap.

My mother is one tough bird and a pretty good patient however, the attention to decorating detail has now shifted to total healing detail. We’ve  rearranged our Thanksgiving dinner plans and re themed the Places In The Home Thanksgiving celebration.  We are a grateful, not graceful people.

Thanksgiving finishing touches

What decorating I accomplished before the fall will have to be as good as it gets.  No formal place settings, adorned placemats and table runner, silver flatware, crystal goblets or formal china patterns this year, but with a pumpkin here and a turkey figurine there it festively all came together.


The dining room redo is not quite finished, but far enough along to give a glimpse of things to come.


I am thrilled with the leopard print accent chairs as the choice for captain’s chairs.


One change in placement and one edit took the look from “this just isn’t working” to “that’s it!”


I’m looking forward to a thankful and grateful group of loved ones coming together and the next round of holiday decorating.


As we enter the Thanksgiving homestretch, take a moment to admire the Thanksgiving finishing touches and the Home for the Holidays beauty you’ve created.  It’s one of the best parts of holiday decorating season.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends! In this wonderful season of togetherness, sharing  and thankfulness, I am continually grateful for the beauty of each day and for each of you, my readers and friends.   May you and yours be blessed with love, health, safety, comfort,  joy and the beauty of the entire holiday season.


Happy Thanksgiving from our family to you and yours!



Places In The Home For The Holidays: Setting The Thanksgiving Table

Decorative options are a lovely thing!  It’s those options that allow us to take a slight step or total turn from traditional and/or expected decor choices.  The holiday table begins as a blank canvas ready to reflect a personal interpretation of holiday style and splendor.  Setting the tone for holiday magic begins with setting the Thanksgiving table.

holiday tablescape ideas

Traditional colors, shapes and accents associated with the Thanksgiving and Christmas tablescape have lead the way for years as the hallmark of holiday distinction.


Martha Stewart. Who else?


Traditional is timeless, but the updated classic beauty of new traditional style proves there’s a new and stylish sheriff in town.

dining room chairsvia

The mixing of styles, patterns and presentation invites rave reviews. Begin a new tradition by one or two updated classics to your holiday tabletop and home decor accessories.


It is guaranteed to keep guests guessing and the holiday tabletop decor festive and fresh.  Holiday time “presents” the perfect reason to update tabletop and home decor accessories.


What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term casually elegant?  Beautifully understated?  Comfortable?  Cozy?  Warm?  Inviting? Simple sophistication?

tablescape accents

Stunning does not have to be expensive or labor intensive. Simple is the whole point behind the concept of simple sophistication.  The above examples demonstrate how free, inexpensive and clever ideas produce elegant results.  Craft paper makes a super easy table cover. Use a Sharpie to write heartfelt messages or quotes on the craft paper to be read by your guests.  I love the free place card template from Martha Stewart.  Martha is such a giver!  Now you know I couldn’t do an idea post without mentioning the Dollar Tree.  The free wheat bushel and ornate frame printable from The Graphics Fairy will make a wonderful header for a printable Thanksgiving menu.   Type it up,  place it in a Dollar Tree decorative frame,  and place it on the table or sideboard as an informative accent.


Happy decorating!

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In Grateful Appreciation~ Happy Thanksgiving 2012

I remain truly grateful for the beauty of each day and for each of you, my readers and friends.  Thank you for welcoming me and my words into your world.


May the blessings of health, love, family, friends, and beauty be plentiful in your life and the lives of the ones you love.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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A Season of Thanks: Thanksgiving Tablescape

My Thanksgiving tablescape is rich in colors of the season, natural elements, good deals, vintage pieces, and memorable keepsakes from the past.

Thanksgiving tablescape

I stumbled upon these boxwood letters at Hobby Lobby.  At first glance I was intrigued.

decorated light fixture

After a much closer second look, I was sold by the yellow and red beauty of the clearance price tag.

T-H-A-N-K-S !


Stop me if you’ve seen this one.  A quail, a turkey, a duck and a pheasant… This group made their first guest appearance on my casual Christmas table,  A Dash Of Louisiana “Seasoning”: A Casual Christmas Tablescape.

Thanksgiving china

Burlap sandbags continue to be my first choice for fall and Thanksgiving tablescapes.   Deep gold placemats and oatmeal goblets, heirloom vintage lace napkins, and gold resin acorns achieve the look and feel of the season.


The recipe for making the tablescape your own is simple-bring items of special meaning to the table.


Fruits, flowers, and vintage finds accentuate the casual, the simple and the elegant.


The sideboard display is a potpourri of locally grown and sold items. The knock out roses are from a local nursery, the cotton stalks from local fields, the vegetables from local growers, and the salad plates from the local Goodwill.


“Forever on Thanksgiving Day the heart will find the pathway home.”

Wilbur D. Nesbit

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