November 25th, 2013
11:30 PM ET
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Got Thanksgiving questions? There's a good chance that our panel of experts has answers.

Join Eatocracy editors Kat Kinsman and Sarah LeTrent - and their special guests, cookbook author and host of The Farm on Public Television Ian Knauer and vegan cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz - for a Google Hangout at 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday, November 26.

We'll be taking questions and chatting live about Thanksgiving dishes, last-second fixes, thawing times, dietary restrictions, the etiquette of leftovers, obnoxious guests, and whatever else you care to bring to the table. Submit questions in the comments below or on Twitter @eatocracy with the hashtag #CNNhangout.

And you might even learn how to make a Stuffpuppy.

See you at the Google Hangout!

See all our best Thanksgiving recipes and advice

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Filed under: Buzz • It's not Thanksgiving without • Social Media • Thanksgiving • Thanksgiving • Vegan


soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Carlos Danger

    Is it proper to take pictures of my smoked wiener on the dinner table or just blatant chutzpah ?

    November 26, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • ∞ Weeds ∞

      How'd ya get it lit?

      November 26, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      Depends on the filter you use.

      November 27, 2013 at 10:59 am |
  2. Edwin

    I was put in charge of ham this year. I bought a precooked bone in 10.5 lb ham. What's the best way to prepare it? I heard that using glaze is recommended. Anyone have any recipes they're willing to share with this turkey day newbie? Thanks!

    November 26, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • EmraldOnyxx

      Unfortunately, since it's precooked your biggest worry should be not overcooking it or drying it out. Most precooked hams are also cut, meaning that the juices are already wasted on some commercial spiral cutter. When you actually cook a ham, the most important part is to allow the meat a good amount of time to rest before you cut it to retain those juices or flavors.

      I suggest following the directions on the package and try not to be disappointed if the ham is dry. Check the the temperature of the ham often and don't go over the suggested temperature on the package. you can buy pre-made glazes to use or just look up a recipe with google.... it's a trial an error kind of thing based on your own taste.

      November 26, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
      • Edwin

        Thank you for the tips! Unfortunately I wasn't able to find any raw hams; I would have loved the opportunity to try cooking it myself. However I was smart enough to not buy a presliced one.

        November 26, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
        • Truth™@Edwin

          Is the ham kosher? That usually makes a difference?

          November 26, 2013 at 5:36 pm |
        • Edwin

          To be honest Truth™ I haven't the slightest. I'm at work and unfortunately cannot check to see. I'd like to be prepared for either scenario, though, so what kind of difference would it make?

          November 26, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
        • EmraldOnyxx

          Pork cant be Kosher..... Jewish law prescribes how meats are to be prepared separately from other meats and pork, rabbit, eagle, owl, catfish, sturgeon, and any shellfish, insect or reptile are non-kosher

          November 26, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
        • Truth™

          It depends on how they kill the pig, and if it was under a Rabbi's supervision...

          [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VS7HKoRG_c&w=640&h=390]

          November 27, 2013 at 8:31 am |
        • EmraldOnyxx

          General Rules

          Although the details of kashrut are extensive, the laws all derive from a few fairly simple, straightforward rules:

          Certain animals may not be eaten at all. This restriction includes the flesh, organs, eggs and milk of the forbidden animals.
          Of the animals that may be eaten, the birds and mammals must be killed in accordance with Jewish law.
          All blood must be drained from meat and poultry or broiled out of it before it is eaten.
          Certain parts of permitted animals may not be eaten.
          Fruits and vegetables are permitted, but must be inspected for bugs (which cannot be eaten)
          Meat (the flesh of birds and mammals) cannot be eaten with dairy. Fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables and grains can be eaten with either meat or dairy. (According to some views, fish may not be eaten with meat).
          Utensils (including pots and pans and other cooking surfaces) that have come into contact with meat may not be used with dairy, and vice versa. Utensils that have come into contact with non-kosher food may not be used with kosher food. This applies only where the contact occurred while the food was hot.
          Grape products made by non-Jews may not be eaten.
          There are a few other rules that are not universal.

          The Details
          Animals that may not be eaten

          Of the "beasts of the earth" (which basically refers to land mammals with the exception of swarming rodents), you may eat any animal that has cloven hooves and chews its cud. Lev. 11:3; Deut. 14:6. Any land mammal that does not have both of these qualities is forbidden. The Torah specifies that the camel, the rock badger, the hare and the pig are not kosher because each lacks one of these two qualifications. Cattle, sheep, goats, deer and bison are kosher.

          Of the things that are in the waters, you may eat anything that has fins and scales. Lev. 11:9; Deut. 14:9. Thus, shellfish such as lobsters, oysters, shrimp, clams and crabs are all forbidden. Fish like tuna, carp, salmon and herring are all permitted.

          For birds, the criteria is less clear. The Torah provides a list of forbidden birds (Lev. 11:13-19; Deut. 14:11-18), but does not specify why these particular birds are forbidden. All of the birds on the list are birds of prey or scavengers, thus the rabbis inferred that this was the basis for the distinction. Other birds are permitted, such as chicken, geese, ducks and turkeys. However, some people avoid turkey, because it is was unknown at the time of the giving of the Torah, leaving room for doubt.

          Of the "winged swarming things" (winged insects), a few are specifically permitted (Lev. 11:22), but the Sages are no longer certain which ones they are, so all have been forbidden. There are communities that have a tradition about what species are permitted, and in those communities some insects are eaten.

          Rodents, reptiles, amphibians, and insects (except as mentioned above) are all forbidden. Lev. 11:29-30, 42-43.

          Some authorities require a post-mortem examination of the lungs of cattle, to determine whether the lungs are free from adhesions. If the lungs are free from such adhesions, the animal is deemed "glatt" (that is, "smooth"). In certain circumstances, an animal can be kosher without being glatt; however, the stringency of keeping "glatt kosher" has become increasingly common in recent years, and you would be hard-pressed to find any kosher meat that is not labeled as "glatt kosher."

          As mentioned above, any product derived from these forbidden animals, such as their milk, eggs, fat, or organs, also cannot be eaten. Rennet, an enzyme used to harden cheese, is often obtained from non-kosher animals, thus kosher hard cheese can be difficult to find.

          November 27, 2013 at 8:54 am |
        • Dick Longwood

          tl:dr

          November 27, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
        • ∞ Weeds ∞

          Does chewing gum qualify as chewing cud?

          November 27, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
  3. Alexa

    Do you have any thoughts and transporting baked goods (specifically cheesecake and bread pudding) which would usually be kept in the fridge on a 4+ hour drive? I guess my basic question is will they survive the trip? Thanks

    November 26, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Edwin

      My recommendation is to purchase a styrofoam cooler and some dry ice from your local grocer. That should keep it ice cold during the trip.

      November 26, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • anita

      If you have an ice chest, put them in it and either purchase some small re-freeaeable ice blocks or use ziploc bags filled with ice. If you don't have an ice chest see if one of your friends has one you can borrow or you can purchase one of those inexpensive styrofoam ones.

      November 26, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
    • Thinking things through

      I'd bring a cooler with ice packs, unless the weather will be around 30-40 F, in which case store it in the trunk of the car during the trip. Those ice packs are amazing.

      November 27, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
  4. Marci Camenisch

    I have read both yes and no responses to my question, does a Butterball turkey need to be brined. I am using Tom Colicchios recipe for butter herb turkey that uses about 3 cubes butter throughout the cooking process both as an herb rub on and under the skin and butter combined with broth and pan juices for a baste every 45 minutes. I have the brining stuff if this is going to make a difference but brining is a pain, in my opinion.

    November 26, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • EmraldOnyxx

      it's a matter of opinion really. Does my toast need to have butter on it? The answer is the same; it depends on what do you like most. When you brine a turkey, the salt changes the molecular structure of the meat its self. It then draws in water and retains more of the moisture during the cooking process. Meaning a more moist turkey than had you not use a brine.

      November 26, 2013 at 1:16 pm |
    • EmraldOnyxx

      To further the answer for the type of turkey you are using versus a brine..... Most turkeys are already soaked in a sodium based solution prior to freezing (the package should tell you how much), so when you thaw the turkey you are in essence brining the turkey anyways. However, it's typically a base commercialized brine with nothing more than salt and water in most cases to draw in water meant to raise the weight for resale purposes and not taste.

      November 26, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
  5. EmraldOnyxx

    There are many different pecan pie recipes, however it is traditionally cut and served after it sets. Meaning that you will most likely need to allow it to cool for a few hours prior to cutting it. The syrup used to make the filling will come together after a complete cooling and should become firm. (as a tip for recipes, you will want to consider your measuring cups being different from those used when making the original recipe, so your results maybe slightly different when it comes to the amount of dry or wet ingredients – also since pecan pies usually have eggs in the filling; their sizes can effect the outcome of your pie's moisture which can be cured by increasing the cook time for a few minutes with foil over the edges of the crust to prevent over browning.)

    November 26, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  6. Rosie

    Is 50 lbs of turkey per person enough?

    November 26, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • EmraldOnyxx

      doubt it.

      November 26, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Guest

      A good rule of thumb is 50 50 lb turkeys per 50 lbs of person. It may seem excessive, but many households forget to factor in the energy spent in wrangling, slaughtering, butchering, and cooking a large flock of turkeys.

      November 26, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Kat Kinsman

      Don't be stingy. 60lbs minimum.

      November 26, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Thinking things through

      Wow, am I ever short-sighted! I only got a 12 pounder!

      November 27, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
  7. lonah

    i baked my pecan pie and it seems juicy in the middle. the crust is done the eggs have set.......i baked it 50 minutes per the recipe. do i need to worry about it?

    November 26, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • EmraldOnyxx

      There are many different pecan pie recipes, however it is traditionally cut and served after it sets. Meaning that you will most likely need to allow it to cool for a few hours prior to cutting it. The syrup used to make the filling will come together after a complete cooling and should become firm. (as a tip for recipes, you will want to consider your measuring cups being different from those used when making the original recipe, so your results maybe slightly different when it comes to the amount of dry or wet ingredients – also since pecan pies usually have eggs in the filling; their sizes can effect the outcome of your pie's moisture which can be cured by increasing the cook time for a few minutes with foil over the edges of the crust to prevent over browning.)

      November 26, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
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