Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

November 22, 2013

Around the Town: Tackling a new Thanksgiving dish

By Jan Boston Sellers
Chronicle correspondent

CROSSVILLE — So, I am, well, it really doesn’t matter how old I am. But, I am doing something next week I have never done before: I am cooking a turkey. I am still not quite sure how this whole cooking a turkey thing came about, but I am doing it and subsequently checking one item off of my bucket list.

I know, I know, most people’s bucket list doesn’t include cooking a turkey primarily because they have already been there, done that so to speak. I, however, have somehow managed to avoid the entire cook a turkey for Thanksgiving thing. This year, once my husband gets my Christmas presents out of the oven, I am, as Nike posits, just doing it.

I have my game plan ready. I have interviewed numerous people, read a couple of cooking websites and articles and made my shopping list. Next on the agenda is to actually, really, authentically, cook it.

This process isn’t coming easily to me. I am normally responsible for the cranberry salad (and, yes, I actually make it myself) and a dessert. These two I can easily do while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. My biggest challenge now is determining when to begin preparing and then cooking the 12-pound beast. I feel somewhat like a pilot: I have assimilated a checklist of things I must do to ready myself for the actual event — in their case, take off and landings, and in mine, just putting it in the oven, remembering to turn it on and taking it out, hopefully, in edible condition.

A friend offered to cook it for me. I think she was a little (okay a lot) frightened that my family would end up turkey-less over the holiday. I assured her I have this under control. I consulted another friend who cooks numerous turkeys each year and has it down to a science. I am pretty sure I’ve got this.

But, just in case, you see my family and me out at a local eatery on Thanksgiving Day, I am not 100 percent promising anything. Just keep your fingers crossed and hope that if need be I can get through on 1-800-BUTTERBALL.

If you are hitting the roads this Thanksgiving, please exercise caution: wear your safety belts, watch out for other motorists, observe speed limits, be careful in construction zones and don’t mix alcohol with driving. Thanksgiving holiday is traditionally the most traveled day of the year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Saturday marks the opening of one my very favorite Christmas plays at Cumberland County Playhouse: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson opens at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. This hilarious live action comedy centers on the Herdman kids as they attempt to participate in their first Christmas play. It will set the stage, pardon the pun, for a happy Christmas season. Don’t miss it! Call the Playhouse box office for show times and ticket prices. It runs through Dec. 21.

Crossville and Cumberland County have been chosen by American Express as one of the American Express small communities after the Chamber of Commerce entered a competition and won. Nov. 30 (the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend) is being called “Shop Small Saturday.” Chamber members will utilize the social media, newspaper and radio to let locals know which local businesses they will be at on the day. Customers will have a chance to win one of 50 $25 gift cards from American Express.