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You’re right, you’re right.  Thanksgiving is still a whole week away for us Americans.  But one of our favorite little family traditions is to have a Practice Thanksgiving a week before the major Thanksgiving.

I started this tradition several years ago for a few reasons.

One, I have always enjoyed cooking.  (I took every 4-H cooking project I could get my hands on!)

Two, because we always spend our actual Thanksgiving day running around to extended family’s homes.  We love the time with all of the cousins around, but it does make for a less intimate setting.

And three, because sometimes I want to try a new recipe but I want to practice it before the big day.

Also four, making a big bird gives me some leftovers to work with for other meals.

How Our Family Does Practice Thanksgiving

Practice Thanksgiving. This family has a Thanksgiving tradition that they call "Practice Thanksgiving". But there's also a really moist, delicious turkey recipe plus Thanksgiving menu ideas.

The Menu

Turkey (surprise, right??).  I love this recipe for a super moist bird.

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Happy Practice Thanksgiving! (And a Thanksgiving Menu)
Recipe type: turkey
  • turkey
  • ¼ c softened butter
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t pepper
  • 1 t garlic
  • 1 t onion flakes
  • 1 t sage
  • 1 t thyme
  • any other seasoning you like
  • 1 pear or apple, halved
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  1. Mix your butter and seasonings together. Cut and loosen the skin on the breasts and rub the butter/spice mixture under the skin. Sprinkle the skin with additional seasonings.
  2. Place your fruit, onion, and garlic inside the cavity.
  3. Make a tinfoil tent over your bird.
  4. Bake your bird at 325 for 15 minutes per lb. (So a 10 lb turkey will take 2½ hours to bake.) Remove the tinfoil tent when you have about an hour left to bake.

Mashed Potatoes

Sweet Potato Casserole

[Tweet “Does your family have any #Thanksgiving traditions? Learn about Practice Thanksgiving.”]

My Grandma’s Stuffing

Rolls (I like to make these ahead of time.  I bake them for just 5 minutes so they keep their shape.  After that, I flash freeze them on a cookie sheet.  Then I don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen watching dough rise while I have so many other things to do!)



Olives and Sweet Pickles

Cranberry Sauce from the can

Pumpkin Marble Cheesecake

Our family looks forward to these foods one week before Thanksgiving each year.

A Thanksgiving Tradition

We love our small family tradition.  It gives us a chance to share what we are thankful for in a small setting.  I’m a firm believer that you can never have too much gratitude.

Want more ideas?

I still have to bring more food to our family potlucks on Thanksgiving Day.  So I often turn to one of these tasty side dishes.

You will definitely want to check out 10 Amazing Side Dishes for Your Thanksgiving Pot Luck for a lot more tasty recipes.

10 Amazing Side Dishes for Your Thanksgiving Pot Luck

What is a must have for your Thanksgiving meal?