Thaw that Turkey Fast. It's the day before Thanksgiving and your turkey's still frozen? Don't panic - all is not lost! Plug the sink and put the turkey in it, still in its unopened wrapper, breast side down. Cover the bird with icy-cold (NOT warm) water, and change it every half hour until the turkey is thawed. Using this method, a frozen-solid turkey will take about 30 minutes per pound (that means a 20-pound bird will take 10 hours. Better start now!).
The Safety Dance. The best way to ensure a safe and delicious turkey is to get an accurate meat thermometer. Perfectly cooked thigh meat should be 180 degrees F (80 degrees C), while the breast meat should be 170 degrees F (77 degrees C), and the stuffing should be 165 degrees F (75 degrees C). To keep the white meat from overcooking while the dark meat catches up, shield the breast with a loose tent of foil. To make sure the stuffing gets hot enough, heat it up in the microwave right before putting it in the bird, and then put the turkey in the preheated oven immediately. As soon as dinner is over, put the turkey in the fridge, uncovered, until it's completely cool, then wrap it up.
Be a Good Guest. If you're bringing a dish or two to someone else's home for Thanksgiving this year, finish all the necessary preparation and cooking before you leave home if possible, and bring along all the serving dishes, utensils and garnishes required to make your food look gorgeous. Your host's kitchen resources are likely to be taxed to the limit: there may not be room in the kitchen for you to do additional preparation or cooking, and there may not be any extra serving equipment left.