How to make a complete turkey dinner

Things Needed

Turkey to feed everyone
Homemade stuffing
Mashed Potatoes
Squash (and/or other vegetables)
Perfect homemade turkey gravy
Bread or rolls
Holiday dinners all over the United States generally means that families will be gathering and sharing a big meal. In some families there are long standing traditions about what is served for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. This year, some will be starting their own long lasting dinner traditions.
Today, you can start planning your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner menu and compiling recipes so that you will be ready. Make a list today to ensure that your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner menu is ready to prepare and that you have all of the supplies on hand that will be needed for a perfect Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Source

Selecting your turkey

Creative Homemaking suggests that you allow 3/4 of a pound of turkey (for turkeys over 12 pounds) per person. For turkey's under 12 pounds, you should allow 1 pound of turkey per person. This means that you need to purchase the right size turkey for the number of people you anticipate serving.

Make sure you observe the following:
  • Be sure to follow instructions for safe poultry handling
  • Wash your hands and any surfaces the(raw) poultry touch with hot, soapy water
  • Do not stuff your turkey until you are going to put it in the oven
  • Refrigerate leftovers promptly
The pictures in this database may be viewed, downloaded, linked, manipulated, copied, displayed, and redistributed free of charge for educational, non-commercial purposes as specified by the following Creative Commons License Creative Commons license
The pictures in this database may be viewed, downloaded, linked, manipulated, copied, displayed, and redistributed free of charge for educational, non-commercial purposes as specified by the following Creative Commons License Creative Commons license | Source

Thawing and preparing your turkey

Depending on the size of your turkey, thawing could take as many as six (6) days in the refrigerator. The USDA suggests thawing your turkey in the refrigerator versus cold water soaking. Turkeys that are between 20 and 24 pounds may need five (5) or six (6) days to thaw in the refrigerator versus 10 - 12 hours in cold water.
Cooking your turkey means that the minimum internal temperature should reach 165 °F. Turkey should be cooked for approximately five hours for a 20 - 25 pound turkey. Cooking your turkey from a frozen state (which may be done) will increase cooking time by approximately 50%.
Ben Franske - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Ben Franske - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Stuffing and other side dishes

While your turkey is roasting you may prepare your stuffing and other side dishes. If you have stuffed your turkey you may still need to prepare vegetables including mashed potatoes, squash or turnip (or both) and other side dishes.
If any of your side dishes are ready before your turkey has finished make sure they are tightly covered and removed from the heat. You may re-heat them in the microwave or the oven when the turkey has finished cooking.

Things Needed

Fresh or Frozen Turkey (thawed)
1 stick of butter
Stuffing if desired
Deep roasting pan
Cooking spray
Aluminum foil
Meat Thermometer
By MOs810 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
By MOs810 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

How to cook a perfect turkey

A whole turkey should be thoroughly cleaned in preparation for cooking. Remove all insides (save for gravy if desired) in cold water. The water should run clear. Be certain to thoroughly clean all cavities and check for possible feathers while cleaning. Once the turkey is clear, pat dry and place in deep roasting pan that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
For a perfect turkey you need to prepare it properly for cooking. Force the skin on each breast back slightly. Take the stick of butter and slice it into four (4) long pieces that are of approximately equal size. Force the butter up under the breast skin. If desired, you may also rub butter all over the skin of the turkey for added flavor and browning.
If you prefer to have your turkey stuffed, prepare your favorite stuffing recipe and stuff the bird. After stuffing, place and end slice of bread into the cavity to hold the stuffing in. Truss legs to hold in place.
Once you have prepared the turkey for cooking, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees (F). Cover loosely with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Turkey should be cooked approximately 25 minutes per pound for stuffed turkey and unstuffed turkey should be cooked for approximately 20 minutes per pound.
About 30 minutes before you estimate that your turkey should be cooked, remove the aluminum foil to allow the skin to brown. If these directions are followed, your turkey should not require any basting during cooking. Allow turkey to rest approximately 20 minutes after removing from the oven; prior to slicing.


When Should You Consider a Bridge Loan?

If you are considering purchasing a property that is under-utilized, you are probably concerned about funding. A bridge loan may offer you what you need; bridge loans provide temporary financing until the property is fully utilized and you are collecting income. Here are some of the scenarios where a bridge loan can work:

John and Jeanette Carroll are considering purchasing an unoccupied 20-unit apartment complex. Four of the units have suffered extensive interior damage and cannot be rented until they are rehabbed. Additionally, most of the units need minor work; paint, new appliances, and floor refinishing. Because the unit is not currently occupied, they are unable to secure permanent financing; they also need the cash to rehabilitate the property before they can rent the units. This is the kind of a problem a bridge loan can solve.

Karen and Joseph Makhen recently signed a purchase and sale agreement for a strip mall. The mall has been vacant for several years; part of the reason for the vacancy is the roof needs replacement and the heating and air conditioning system is aging and should be repaired or replaced.  Karen and Joseph have already found suitable tenants providing the property is upgraded. They understand how difficult it will be to get a regular loan; their best option is a bridge loan where they can roll the rehabilitation costs into the amount borrowed.

Lauren Neadreau is considering purchasing an office complex. The property has 20 available units for lease; although the property has been vacant for the last year. The current seller informs Lauren that in addition to landscaping work, the property needs upgrades including the electrical system, carpeting in the units, and the elevator needs repair. Because of the cost associated with these repairs, the property is selling for $75,000 less than its appraised value. Lauren sees this as a great deal, but is concerned about securing financing. Lauren talks to a private investor who recommends a bridge loan and explains how it could benefit her; pointing out that rehab costs may also be included in the loan amount.

Banks and Permanent Financing

Generally, if you are purchasing commercial property, bank financing may seem like the most sensible option. However, when a property is not fully occupied, you do not have the level of income necessary for typical permanent financing. An unstable property with limited income, one that is vacant, or lacks current income will not support a bank loan. In these cases, bridge loans will be a better option.

Bridge Loans for Property Stabilization

A bridge loan provides you, as a buyer the opportunity to stabilize your property. For example, let's assume you purchase a strip mall that has only 50 percent occupancy. The goal is 100 percent occupancy. However, before you can seek new tenants, you need to make certain renovations or repairs.