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Tim: You can thank me later for these
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Thanksgiving is this week and I hope you’re ready for it. Here are some miscellaneous Thanksgiving tips that I hope will make your holiday better.

Here’s a great game that you can play with your family while you’re sitting around the dinner table. Have the youngest person say something that they’re thankful for that starts with the letter A. The next person at the table then has to say something they’re thankful for that starts with the letter B. Go around the table until you’ve completed the alphabet. The purpose of the game is to remind people of how much they have to be thankful for.

It’s hard to keep all of your side dishes warm at the same time. There are several things you can do to help with this. 1) Keep one of your side dishes, like mash potatoes, warm in your slow cooker — just put it on a low setting. 2) Store your gravy in a thermos. 3) Use your gas barbecue grill on a low heat to store items.

When lifting the cooked turkey to transfer it to a cutting board, consider using two large wooden spoons. Put the large part of the spoons into the turkey, one at each end. Lift gently and transfer. I like this method because it reduces the likelihood of you getting burned.

Make sure that the stuffing inside of your turkey is completely cooked. In addition to making sure that the internal temperature of your bird is 165 F, you should also make sure that the stuffing is at 165 F. By the way, if you accidentally overcook your turkey, simply cut it up and serve the turkey with the gravy already on it.

If you’re having trouble cooking your turkey on Thanksgiving Day, consider calling  800-288-8372. The Butterball folks will have their phone lines open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

And now for the most important Thanksgiving tip of all: DON’T FORGET TO DEFROST YOUR TURKEY. Depending on the size of your bird, you may need to start defrosting it on Tuesday. I personally recommend taping a note to your bathroom mirror reminding you to do it. Trust me on this one.

Tim Thompson lives in Gainesville. E-mail Tim your ideas for tips, tools or tricks.