Tip #7: Allow 3 to 4 days for a 20-pound turkey to thoroughly defrost in the refrigerator.
A spectacular meal doesn’t have to be assembled and cooked at the last minute. Some of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes such as Southern Cornbread Dressing, Sweet Potato Casserole, Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake, Pumpkin Pie with Autumn Leaf Border, and homemade cranberry sauce may be made ahead and chilled for a day or two, or frozen. Even most of the vegetables in my Autumn Roasted Vegetable dish may be prepped the day before, stored in plastic zipper bags, and combined just before roasting. These recipes appear on my holiday menu each year not just because my family and guests love them, but because they save me time on Thanksgiving Day and allow me to relax and enjoy the celebration.