Let's face it, Thanksgiving is clearly my favorite holiday. It's food-based instead of gift-based and that makes the difference for me. Not that we don't appreciate the opportunity to buy someone a gift and see them smile, but Christmas can get a bit out of control and expensive. More on that later.

For us, we buy two turkeys every year mainly so I can avoid fighting over the legs. We've tried everything except smoking the turkey because I can't bring myself to buy a smoker. It's the kind of purchase that I'll get all excited about and then use it twice. I can already see it sitting in my backyard, covered and cold. The best skin we've had was after deep-frying the bird a few years ago. The best white meat was after my wife spatchcocked a smaller bird so it cooked faster and didn't dry out at all.

This year, we've got a small 12lb turkey and a larger 18-pounder. I really can't wait. We're forgoing the lasagna this year and focusing more on appetizers and sides.

Here are the go-to sides and apps:

  • Fresh cranberry sauce
  • Broccoli rabe
  • Shrimp cocktail
  • Baked sweet potatoes

Charlie the Butcher and my wife Jodi will start the gravy process on Tuesday so it's perfect for Thanksgiving Thursday. Yes, it takes that long. The one thing that doesn't really match the theme of the feast and the quality of the food is my staple for the table every year, canned cranberry sauce. When I see the can rings on the cylinder of pressed cranberries, I know the Holiday has begun.

What's your go-to for the holiday and how are you cooking your turkey? Hit me up on the free New Jersey 101.5 app and let me know. I might share your story on the air!

<em>The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.</em>

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