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It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and I sit amidst ordered chaos. In one day, our house will be a bustle of energy as friends and family of all ages descend upon us for Thanksgiving dinner. Glasses get shined, linens pressed, and tables set. Every year I am amazed at how much work goes into hosting Thanksgiving, but every year I am simply thankful for the opportunity to do so. Even my sweet boys of 4 and 6 are happily involved in preparing for all our guests. But while they sleep in these early morning hours, I prepare.

Friends who have known me for any length of time all know how much I love to cook, but mostly I love to cook for others. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a foodie at heart, so I make it for myself too. But there is nothing better than cooking for my friends or family, then enjoying the fruit of my labor and sitting with them over a meal. There is something magical that happens when we all share a meal together of which I cannot get enough. It makes it worth all the work time and time again, and Thanksgiving is no different. The only difference is the amount of people with which we get to share the meal.

Eating is one of the most basic needs that God has given to us, and so often we eat out of necessity or on the go. Less often do we take the time to savor the flavors and tantalizing tastes that come with a well-cooked meal. We probably do that because we simply don’t have food good enough to savor, right?

That’s what makes Thanksgiving so special, but also taxing at the same time. We all have those tastes of turkey, gravy, and sweet potatoes on the tip of our tongue by this time each year. Our mouths remember the amazing tastes of last year’s Thanksgiving meal, at least most of us. There are the few out there who have given up trying to make a turkey, or are tired of trying to figure out how to get the turkey thawed in time to put it in the oven at 3 a.m. on Thanksgiving day. So for those few, I know that you’re secretly putting a ham in your oven this year. Well, enjoy your Thanksgiving ham, and we’ll enjoy our Thanksgiving turkey.

Five years ago I started hosting Thanksgiving dinner at my home, and I had no idea whatsoever about how to prepare and cook a turkey. Admittedly, I was incredibly intimidated. Those are big birds, and if I recall, my first one was more than 15 pounds. What was I thinking? Well, that year I stumbled upon what I now consider my life-preserver. Spatchcocking. That’s right. It is a word, and even spell-check knows that it is a word. I had never heard of it either, but five years ago, it saved my life!

So if you’re making Thanksgiving turkey this year and are wondering how to get it in the oven and juggle all the other food too, you might want to give spatchcocking a try. I will warn you, it is best done with a friend and possibly a glass of wine.

If you are cooking a turkey this year and are considering giving spatchcocking a try, you won’t regret it. You will save time so you can cook other foods, and your turkey will turn out juicy and tender every time.

Here’s the video I used to get my start five Thanksgivings ago. I hope you have fun and get to enjoy a juicy turkey dinner.

Turkey and the food aren’t everything that make Thanksgiving so special. It is the one time of year that we set aside time to be thankful, and in a society that seems to live day-to-day without much gratitude, this remains ever so important.

What traditions do you share on Thanksgiving to celebrate with gratitude? Besides spatchcocking a turkey, we host an open table for Thanksgiving every year where friends and family gather around food and drinks. My children said it best yesterday when they said,

“Mom, we have people here for Thanksgiving so we can show them how thankful we are for them.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself!

So I pray that your Thanksgiving table is full in every way this year. May you enjoy the fare of the season, but even more so the fellowship of the table. Whether you celebrate with 4 or 40, the day is special because it is Thanksgiving! Here’s to all those final preparations as households across the country gather to share in a meal of thanksgiving. May you be blessed with amazing food and fellowship on Thanksgiving day!

Fun Thanksgiving Fact: The Pilgrims did not wear black and white on the first Thanksgiving. They shared a meal of thanks with the Indians on a weekday and it did not include going to church. Black and white dress would have been reserved for church, so at the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims would have worn colors of browns, greens, and other earth tones worn during that time period.