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Not long after getting married, my Hubby and I started celebrating Practice Thanksgiving.

What’s Practice Thanksgiving?

It’s a family tradition that we made up.

But there were good reasons for us to celebrate this tradition.  And I think you might want to adopt a Practice Thanksgiving for your family, too.

Here’s why.

You Should Try The New Tradition of Practice Thanksgiving

thanksgiving turkey

The Best Pans

After lots of practice cooking, I finally realized that the very best pans are these.  Don’t let the low price fool you. These things last for years and years.

Since I started using this type of cookware, my food comes out better than ever!

What Is Practice Thanksgiving?

Each year, on the Thursday before Thanksgiving (or, to be honest, the day we find that we have the fewest sports and activities), we have Practice Thanksgiving at our home.

We spend Thanksgiving Day with our bigger families, and this gives us a way to share a special meal with just our kids.

We have our favorite Thanksgiving foods and share what we’re thankful for.

But there are other reasons we love to have Practice Thanksgiving.

The Price Is Right!

First of all, turkey is cheap this time of year.  When we were first married, stores would literally give you a free turkey if you spent $10 on groceries.

And newlyweds love them some free groceries!

(Oh, let’s be honest.  Everyone loves free groceries!)

You can grab a couple of turkeys at a great price.

And if your family is holding a Thanksgiving Pot Luck dinner, someone else might be making the turkey already.  Which means you can enjoy cheap meat at your meal this week…and free meat a the meal on Thanksgiving!

By the way, this Thanksgiving Pot Luck Signup Sheet will make that meal a lot smoother!

You Get To Practice (Duh)

You might not need practice eating the delicious foods of Thanksgiving.

But a newlywed wife sure needs some practice on her recipes!

Who wants to show up to the family meal with a dish you haven’t tried before…only to learn that the recipe was terrible (because no one would eat it!).

Practice Thanksgiving


Instead, try the new recipe in the comfort of your own home.

You and your family might love it…or it could become a joke you’ll always remember.  😉

The Menu

Turkey (surprise, right??).

Here are a few pics to show you my secret trick to a super juicy bird:

Pinch up the skin near the open cavity.

Using kitchen shears like mine (or a knife, don’t cut yourself), cut slips in the skin only.

Run your finger up under the skin to loosen it away from the meat.  This is where you’ll slide your herb butter.

Thanksgiving Turkey

This juicy, oven roasted turkey recipe is so easy…but they'll never know! Roast the perfect turkey this year with no special materials required!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword entree, Thanksgiving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings 10 people


  • 10 lb turkey (This recipe should work without ingredient adjustments for most birds 8 to 14 pounds. Please note that the cooking time will change depending on size!)
  • 1/4 c butter, softened
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion flakes
  • 1 t sage
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1 t rosemary
  • 1 med pear or apple, halved
  • 1 med onion, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved


  1. Mix your butter with half of each of these seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion flakes, sage, thyme, and rosemary together in a small bowl.

  2. Here's the secret to a juicy bird! Pinch up the skin attached to the breasts near the open cavity. Using a knife or kitchen shears, cut slits in the skin. Slide chunks of the butter beneath the skin in 2-4 different slits.

  3. If you like, you can cut slits on the other side of the turkey breast and add more butter there.

  4. Place your apple or pear halves, onion halves, and garlic cloves inside the turkey cavity.

  5. Sprinkle the rest of the seasonings over the top of the bird.

  6. Make a tinfoil tent over the bird.

  7. Bake your turkey at 325F for 15 minutes per pound. (That's 2 1/2 hours for a 10 lb bird.)

  8. Baste every 20-30 minutes.

  9. When there is just one hour left of bake time, remove the tinfoil for beautifully browned skin.


Mashed Potatoes

Sweet Potato Casserole

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

Practice Thanksgiving has become a tradition our whole family looks forward to each year.

And I love hearing what everyone is thankful for in our small family setting!

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?

This Thanksgiving turkey recipe is so easy! It's the perfect turkey...juicy and oven roasted. No special tools required for this Thanksgiving recipe!