How to Cook a Turkey and More Family Traditions

By: Jaden Hair

When planning the same holiday year after year, how do you keep your celebration fresh and interesting while maintaining a sense of tradition? We asked our favorite bloggers and food people to share what's inspiring their Thanksgiving planning this year. From ancestor's recipes and falling leaves, to beautiful piles of ingredients and thoughtful home decor, there was no shortage of imagination. See what motivates some of the most creative minds we know, and then start planning your annual feast.

Every year, it’s tradition that my husband, Scott deep-fries a turkey. Hello crispy skin! We’re big on veggies, too; you’re likely to see quite a few dishes on our Thanksgiving table. You really can’t go wrong with snappy green beans, shallots sautéed in nutty browned butter and toasted hazelnuts. Or maybe we could toss cauliflower florets with olive oil, bacon and garlic and roast for 20 minutes for a simple side dish. 

Another one you might see is Brussels sprouts, one of the most controversial vegetables, right next to artichokes and mustard greens. You either love them or hate them. I love them. My husband hates them. But he ate these Brussels sprouts.

The day after Thanksgiving is fun, too – I love all those turkey bones! I love making Turkey Congee the day after. And if I really want to be inspired for Thanksgiving, all I have to do it look at this, “ how to cook a turkey” by my oldest son Andrew, because that is what it’s all about, family.

For more Thanksgiving ideas, visit our Thanksgiving Inspiration Board Gallery.

Jaden Hair is a food columnist, television chef, recipe developer and a mom of two little boys who love to eat. You can find her every Sunday with new recipes in the Tampa Tribune newspaper, cooking up a storm on the Daytime show that's syndicated in 100-plus markets, and blogging away at the award-winning blog, Steamy Kitchen. Jaden is also the author of the Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, available online and in stores nationwide. She lives in Tampa Bay, Florida with her husband, Scott, and sons Andrew and Nathan.

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