That Time I made Thanksgiving Dinner and Didn’t End up on the News

I’m going to blow your minds I cooked a Thanksgiving turkey and didn’t end up on the Philadelphia Nightly News. People assume that because I blog and I eat moderately well that I can also cook. That is way beyond false. I can cook simple foods such as fish, steamed vegetables and oven bread….but a turkey?

thanksgiving meme

That visual should fuel your LOLZ tank all week.

Let’s rewind a bit.

Wednesday I found myself having one of the worst days of my life. That’s not an exaggeration.

Rewind even further. 

Tuesday evening I had gotten extremely sick (gone from fine to pulling over on the side of the road vomiting within a half hour drive).  The fact of eating anything (let alone cooking a turkey) was overwhelming. After composing myself and getting home, I immediately went to bed.  I slept and hoped I could sleep it off.

I woke up on Wednesday feeling a little bit better but not much.   I went to start my car (in the freezing rain) and it wouldn’t start. My car has done this before (normally in upstate NY when it’s below 0). I was left sick at home, in the freezing rain and alone.

Due to outside factors, there was no promise T would even be home for Thanksgiving. I had a turkey in de-thawing but I was sick and I wasn’t cooking a turkey.  So I did what any normal person would do…I cried and went to bed.

After essentially sleeping for 24 hours on Wednesday, I woke up feeling much better on Thanksgiving.  I didn’t wake up ready to run a Turkey Trot or the Beer Mile but I was able to move. (Edit to add: nearly a week later and I’m feeling pretty good, I think I ate undercooked chicken…which was my fault).

I guess this is the part where I actually talk about Thanksgiving.  On Thanksgiving morning, I ventured to Wegmans.  I got a few last minute things (and thankfully Wegmans wasn’t that crowded).  After picking Tim up, we went for a run and I cooked the Turkey.

How did I do it?  Not fancy like most bloggers, facebook friends and social media users.  I followed the exact directions so I didn’t set my house on fire…”bake in oven at X degrees until the center is X degrees (roughly 3 hours).”  

thanksgiving turkey

It’s funny what happens when you follow directions right?


We had a nice Thanksgiving together.  It was quiet and laid back.  Now that I cooked one turkey and didn’t destroy South Jersey, I can attempt to cook something fancier next year.  While it was quiet, I could enjoy Thanksgiving without getting sick. It’s no turkey like mom cooks but I’m not on the news either so I consider that a success.

Questions for you:

How was your Thanksgiving?

How do you cook your turkey? 

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  1. Clay smoked our turkey in a big green egg grill. It was chilly here but not too bad so a lot of people down south will grill turkeys, fry turkeys, or cook em outside.I think I know more people who do it that way than in the oven. It looks like you did a great job with yours, I’ve never cooked a turkey (I don’t eat turkey), but looks like you had a good Thanksgiving and I’m glad you’re feeling better. Being sick is the pits, especially on holidays!

  2. Congratulations on not becoming a statistic! 🙂 Thanksgiving here was very peaceful. I took over the kitchen while watching football. (= Heaven) I decided to do the turkey in the convection oven this year – injected with herb and butter and rubbed with a creole seasoning. In the past I’ve also fried it and or smoked it, as well. Mmmmm….

    It was 60° outside, though. Nice, I guess – but I’m ready to see some snow on the ground! Glad you’re feeling better!

  3. Haha, glad you’re feeling better and Well Done with the Turkey!!
    I am attempting cooking Turkey for Christmas dinner…fire department on speed dial, lol xo

  4. BRAVO! You are officially on your way to being a real girl (said in the Pinocchio voice). And if you are feeling better, maybe you should market your skills as curative…

  5. It looks delicious! Congrats on a successful turkey day!:)

    My Thanksgiving = Turkey, pie, football, beer. And a sinus infection, but I felt way better by the end of the day.

    My turkey = Gordon Ramsay’s roasted turkey recipe. I do everything that man tells me to do — I’m scared not to.

  6. I’m absolutely -terrified- of eating undercooked meat, so no one lets me near the bird because I always end up leaving it in way too long to make absolutely sure it’s cooked through, which makes for one dry bird 😆 Glad to hear you had a nice quiet Thanksgiving — sometimes those are the best.

  7. I remember when I cooked a whole chicken for the first time. It was such an achievement. I’ve never cooked a whole turkey tho so major kudos to you! I think people can over-complicate things by stuffing it with crazy things or deep frying it…
    Glad you’re feeling better. Being ill and alone is a sad combination – but at least you rectified both of those things for Thanksgiving anyway 🙂

  8. A couple days before state cross country my junior year I started to feel really sick. Everyone told me it was just nerves since I get so nervous. The day of state I was worse than ever, but people still just said it was nerves. After I ran in the meet I made my parents take me to the hospital. I had severe food poisoning and had to spend the night hooked up to IVs. I literally thought I was going to die.

  9. Good job on the Turkey! My favorite way to cook a turkey is to use a dry brine the night before (just rub kosher salt all over the outside and inside). Roast for an hour breast side down, then flip it, breast side up the rest of the time. It’s an adventure to flip a piping hot turkey, but it’s worth it.

  10. Haha you rock, lady love. I won’t go near Thanksgiving dinner beyond dessert, but that’s mostly because Joe is 1.) a perfectionist chef and 2.) actually really good at what he does, so rather than the two of us arguing in the kitchen because I think something is good enough, while he disagrees (I should say that whenever I actually cook something, he is very kind and humors me nicely….it’s when something doesn’t come out perfectly the way he wanted/expected and I try to help that he gets snarky….and then I go out and buy super annoying toys for Milo to play with and a collar with a bell and accidentally leave him with all his new toys and collar in our bedroom while Joe is trying to sleep….whoops), I just steer clear, hanging out (since I make sure to get my baking done the day before) and asking how much longer every five minutes since I’m a child.

  11. WEGMANS!! Anyway, serious kudos for cooking a turkey. It’s always a production for us, and my mom has a tried-and-true system.

  12. Wow I am impressed! I cook most days but I have never tried cooking a turkey and it makes me nervous! I’ll probably need my parents to help the first time I do it:) Glad you had a good Thanksgiving!

  13. I’ve never cooked a turkey before! Either my parents or Jon’s do! Last year was the first year I even made something for the holidays! Getting sick sucks! I’m so glad Jon can give me IVs to rehydrate me when I get sick! I feel like I get sick way too much!

  14. Hahaha I have to admit I’d definitely assume you can cook 😉 cooking a turkey sounds horrible — I can cook but I KNOW I’d find some way to mess that up!

  15. Oh my gosh Hollie! I am sorry you were so sick! No lie, being sick and stuck in a car or plane is one of my biggest fears.

    I am crazy impressed that you cooked a real turkey, you must feel like such a grown up hahah! I love to cook but the thought of cooking a Turkey, much less a Thanksgiving Turkey is crazy intimidating!

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