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Turkey sites cover hunting to stuffing

Web serves up smorgasbord of recipes, activities to feast on

By Brakeeta Bell
CNN

Sites help cooks prepare the perfect turkey.
Sites help cooks prepare the perfect turkey.

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A preservation plan has replenished the U.S. wild turkey population after years of overhunting. CNN's Sean Callebs reports. (November 26)
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In keeping with tradition, President Bush pardoned two turkeys, sparing the birds from becoming Thanksgiving dinner. CNN's Skip Loescher reports. (November 27)
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(CNN) -- Whether it's decorating your house or stuffing your turkey, the Web has answers with the click of a mouse.

So we compiled a few sites that may help you make the most of the holiday.

Butterball.com is a good place to start. The site says its turkey and stuffing calculator will let you measure how much is too much or too little for guests. The Butterball cooks estimate about a pound of meat per adult, but they can't account for that hungry relative who may go back for seconds, thirds or -- gasp! -- even fourths.

Getting to the meat of it

Most cooks will want to buy their bird plucked and frozen at the supermarket. But a few hardy souls may want to hunt their own. For them, sites such as TurkeyHunting.com and TurkeyHuntingSecrets.com not only offer tips on catching fowl but also how to do it safely.

This little nugget of advice comes from TurkeyHunting.com: "Don't wear a red, white or blue T-shirt or socks beneath your camouflage. If one of these colors sticks out during a hunt ... some careless nitwit nearby might mistake it for a gobbler's head."

When the time comes to cook the turkey, everybody wants that special recipe that will make the bird burst with flavor, but at the same time keep it moist and delicious.

Roasting, basting and frying

If you want to roast, deep-fry or smoke your bird, ThanksgivingRecipe.com or Butterball's site can offer tips. At GlobalGourmet.com, you will learn the joys of brining -- immersing the meat in a mild salt and water mixture. That immersion trick, the site says, will make your roaster moist to perfection.

And in case you're tired of the same old roasted turkey, Jennieo.com suggests trying recipes such as Turkey Fried Rice, Turkey Stir Fry and Turkey Pasta Primavera.

Pillsbury.com lets you select what type of meal you want to concoct (traditional, contemporary, healthy, quick or five-star) and for how many people. Then the menu will be laid out -- complete with recipe ratings, nutrition facts and even table presentation ideas.

Veggie lovers, bad cooks delight

For those who aren't much into gobbling up turkey, no need to skip the holiday. Vegweb.com and Vegsource.com offer dozens of vegetarian main courses and side dishes.

If cooking is not your thing, head over to Safeway.com or Publix.com, where you can have your choice of a turkey or ham feast with all the trimmings prepared to pick up in time for dinner. All you have to do is fork over some cash and reheat.

If you still have room for dessert -- and you know you will -- BettyCrocker.com and BenJerry.com offer dozens of ways to satisfy that sweet tooth. Betty Crocker shares the recipe for Turkey Gobbler Cake, a sinful chocolate treat, and melt-in-your-mouth butter Turkey Cookies. Ice-cream gurus Ben and Jerry offer recipes for Apple of Your Eye Sundae and Maple Walnut Brownies.

History buffs rejoice

After dinner, perhaps you'll want to relax in front of the glow of your computer screen with a little Thanksgiving trivia. Pilgrimhall.org, the site for a Puritan museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts, has dozens of Thanksgiving facts -- from the history of the holiday to creation of pumpkin pie. You'll also find biographies and historical documents of pilgrims.

At Plimoth.org, you will find out information about the Wampanoag Native Americans and why the Plimouth Plantation museum opts to use an "i" instead of a "y" in its name.

Games, crafts abound

Todd Koehn, 3, pets
Todd Koehn, 3, pets "Tony," a pet turkey at Mississippi State University.

Want games and crafts instead? Then head over to Holidays.net/thanksgiving, learn how to make decorations for your house and find fun games for kids. Another useful site is Netscape.com/thanksgiving, which is owned by CNN's parent company, AOL Time Warner. This site offers visitors last-minute air deals, holiday TV listings and the Top 10 movie turkeys of all time.

Benjerry.com/thanksgiving will let you print out the models to build a Thanksgiving village and coloring pages. BillyBear4kids.com offers games such as "Tic Tac Toe ... Three Turkeys in a Row" and a holiday word-search puzzle.

Also if you can't make it to see family and friends, let them know they're in your thoughts. Bluemountain.com and Hallmark.com offer e-cards to spread holiday cheer.

To bring the festive day to an end, how about a Thanksgiving cruise? See pictures of the Mayflower boat, learn why the Pilgrims decided to make the voyage and meet the passengers and crew, all at teacher.scholastic.com/thanksgiving.



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