My First Thanksgiving

This week, I will have the pleasure of attempt to do something I never actually thought I would…. roast a Thanksgiving Turkey. Up until a couple of years ago, I actually did not eat any poultry or meat. But that topic would be a whole other blog post.

Much to my husband’s delight, all of that changed not long after I became a Texan. I enjoyed my first real Thanksgiving turkey (that I can remember) just last year. But now, it’s my turn to actually cook one {gulp}.

My mother-in-law has always graciously hosted all of our family holiday meals. This year, in the spirit of giving, I offered to host it in my home. So on Thursday, my first attempt at preparing a Thanksgiving meal for twelve will commence.

I must admit I am rather nervous about this project. For someone who just recently learned how to cook a boneless, skinless chicken breast (I kid you not), a whole turkey is a big undertaking! In fact, I don’t even own a roasting pan or a carving knife, and I just purchased a meat thermometer yesterday. Am I forgetting anything?

Thank goodness for the blogosphere! A wealth of turkey and Thanksgiving resources are literally at my fingertips. I thought I would share the links that will save my life help me this week with all of you.

Naturally, I am putting my own frugal spin on this event. I shopped early for supplies, with coupons. I borrowed decor and serving pieces from my mother-in-law. Everything will be made from scratch.

Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about dessert, since my mother-in-law is cooking the pies. :) But if I did, I might just add these adorable turkey rice krispy treats or Thanksgiving cupcakes.

Are you hosting Thanksgiving for the first time this year? Have any last-minute tips or advice for me? Please do share!

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About Alyssa Francis

A thirty-something wife and mother of four! Two daughters by birth, one son by marriage, and a sweet baby boy born in April of 2009. Oldest sister of four girls raised by a single mom. California native. Grew up in Hawaii. Somehow ended up in North Texas. Once a single mom. Former agnostic. A survivor of abuse and addiction. Forgiven by a great big God. Married to my best friend.


  1. A few years ago I claimed Thanksgiving as “my” holiday to host for extended family.
    My biggest trick is to tell guests to arrive about an hour before you’re actually ready to sit down and eat. Have some veggies and dip ready for guests to snack on while you finish last minute preparations. Some people will help you bring food to the table, some might even ask to set the table.
    Nothing gets cold on the waiting for latecomers or simply waiting for people to stow their coats, etc.
    Have a wonderful day.

  2. You’ll do fine! I hosted for the first time {and cooked my first turkey} 7 years ago when I was pregnant with our oldest son. Just stay calm & peaceful!

    Can’t wait to hear how it turns out. Happy Thanksgiving!
    .-= Christi {Jealous Hands}´s last blog ..disjointed =-.

  3. How exciting (and scary :) !!) The first turkey I ever cooked was for a “January” meal and Joe flew the bird, uncooked” around the kitchen! That’s the worst part for me…just handling the bird. I use plastic gloves for all meat – just can’t stand the feel of it uncooked.

    Good luck! You’ll do just fine, I know. :)

    Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.
    .-= Lori @ Shine Like Stars´s last blog ..Unselfish Giving =-.

  4. You’ll do great, Alyssa! Can’t wait to hear all about it. :)
    .-= Amy @ Finer Things´s last blog ..Swagbucks Gift Card Blowout =-.

  5. Good luck!
    .-= Robin´s last blog ..TRY THIS AT HOME… =-.

  6. You’ll do fine. Its not near as intimidating as it may seem. Put your turkey in the oven the night before at 225 degrees, covered with foil and when you wake up the next morning, you will have a moist delicious turkey. Low and slow makes any meat tender and juicy!

  7. I agree with the oven bag…I’ve made a turkey twice before with the oven bag…and it’s really easy (and less mess afterwards). You can do it!

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
    .-= Corrie @ “Cents”able Momma´s last blog ..Amazon Black Friday Deals Today =-.

  8. The bag saved my very first attempt at a turkey. It was a HUGE turkey and could have ended up very dry but the bag , the bag, the bag and good seasoning rub :)
    Hope it goes great and you will have lots to blog about!

  9. I have made one turkey in my lifetime, several years ago. I remember calling my grandmother and asking her how to make one. She told me to use an oven bag because it would make the best turkeys. Have fun and enjoy your day.
    .-= Blakely´s last blog ..Ornaments =-.

  10. LOL> I don’t eat meat , but I suppose moving to Texas might do it for me, too. Good luck with the turkey and Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. Thanks for the link! You won’t be sorry brining that bird! It will be worth it!

  12. Last year I made my very first turkey. I followed the pioneer woman’s brining recipe and turkey cooking technique and it looked and tasted absolutely fabulous. So this year, I’m doing it again.
    .-= dani´s last blog ..I am my child’s first teacher…oh crap! =-.

  13. Alyssa Francis says:

    Ha! I still can’t bring myself to eat red meat or pork. But it was so much easier to be a vegetarian in California. :)

  14. Hope it went well! That would be a challenge. My husband is in charge of the turkey as we do it in the turkey fryer. That frees me up to worry about everything else and is a big stress reducer! Plus everyone just LOVES the turkey and I think he enjoys all the compliments. :) Important to follow manufacturers instructions on those, can be dangerous if not. Peanut oil is EXPENSIVE though so plan to fry more stuff throughout the season to get more use out of it. It seriously is the best tasting turkey I’ve ever had. You should get your husband to take over the job. :)

    If you need more free giving ideas, did you see the feed it forward program is back from That might be good?

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