Staff Writer Caroline Mullooly and Deputy Editor Vivian Zhou combine their vast cooking knowledge together to help you have a smooth-sailing Thanksgiving…haha just kidding, Thanksgiving is never smooth-sailing, but we ARE giving you a few cooking tips. 

It’s that time of the year again. Sure, you’re excited to get away from school, but are you excited to see your entire extended family? Are you excited for the stress of making an entire meal for all 10 of them? Worry not, we have a few tips and tricks to help you out.

1. Preparation is key. 
Start compiling a list of what you need for each dish about a week before the big day. Take inventory of what you have at home, and cross-reference the list with your recipes so you know exactly what to buy at the store.

2. Stock up early. 
Be sure to buy extra chicken stock, butter, lemon, heavy cream, and any of your other Thanksgiving essentials. There’s nothing worse than leaving this to the last minute because the stores may close early and things may be sold out, so stock up several days in advance.

3. Time and Temperature, Not Brought to You By TD Bank
Each of your dishes will have to be cooked at a different temperature and for a different amount of time, so note this before you start cooking.

4. Delegate.
Got relatives? Friends? Individuals that will be attending said Thanksgiving? Take the load off by delegating the extraneous dishes. Not a fan of appetizers? Carl’s cheese and crackers will suffice. Afraid you may pass out of exhaustion before dessert? Tina’s store-bought brownies will be fine.

5. Dry brine your turkey!
Dry-brining is an easy way to make your turkey taste fine without the mess of a wet brine. Check out our favorite brown sugar dry brine recipe here.

6. Keep that breast moist
Everybody knows that the breast is the worst and most dry part of the bird. Sure, every gym rat will eat chicken and turkey breast until the day they die, but for the rest of us, we would rather eat something yummy. Before you cook your turkey, make a mixture of salted butter, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and lemon zest and stuff the cavity between the skin and breast with this mixture. Make sure you give the breast a good rub but DO NOT break the skin. This will make your turkey breast nice and tender.

7. Stuffing your turkey
No, I’m not talking about making stuffing. I’m talking about actually stuffing garlic, onions, and lemon into your turkey. This enhances the flavor of the turkey. Chop all three in halves and stuff it starting and ending with lemon.

8. Use sour cream in your taters!
That’s right! You’re reading this correctly! Apparently sour cream is the secret to the best mashed potatoes. One Bwogger said she’s been making this recipe since she was 10.

9. Cover that crust!
Before you put the apple pie in the oven, place aluminum foil around the circumference of the pie’s crust. This will prevent the crust from burning and falling off, while still retaining that golden crunch.

10. Yes, “having too many cooks in the kitchen” is “a thing.”
As much as you love your Aunt Becky, she may not be the most helpful person to have in the kitchen. Stay on track by focusing on your food, which your guests will enjoy much more if their two-cents isn’t baked in. The same logic applies if you’re a guest; as much as you may want to help, sometimes it is more helpful to resign to post-dinner dish duty.

Got more tips and tricks? Email to tell us all about your favorite Thanksgiving meal trick!

Bwog’s thanksgiving table via Flickr