Food & Drink

How to avoid a Thanksgiving dinner disaster in 4 easy steps

In 90 Seconds: Thanksgiving 2017, by the numbers

How much turkey will you eat and money will you spend this Thanksgiving? Here are some predicted stats to reassure you that most Americans enjoy a big feast, Thanksgiving football and Black Friday shopping.
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How much turkey will you eat and money will you spend this Thanksgiving? Here are some predicted stats to reassure you that most Americans enjoy a big feast, Thanksgiving football and Black Friday shopping.

If you’re reading this, something in your Thanksgiving has gone terribly wrong.

A guest canceled and now you’re short a green bean casserole. You woke up the morning of Thanksgiving and realized the turkey’s still frozen. You burned the gravy while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or the Vikings vs. the Lions. (Separate question, why are you watching this awful game?)

Don’t panic.

Here’s a handy Thanksgiving Day Survival Guide for a host of last-minute emergencies: which grocery stores are open (and closed), who to call with a question about cooking the bird, where to pour that extra grease and — catastrophe! — where to dine out if your whole meal goes up in flames.

I forgot an ingredient! What’s open?

Milam’s Market: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Winn-Dixie: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Whole Foods Market: Hours vary by location.

Coral Gables: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Downtown Miami: 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

North Miami: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pinecrest: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

South Beach: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sedano’s Supermakets: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Fresh Market: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Publix: All locations closed on Thanksgiving.

The turkey is frozen!

Fear not. Breathe. You can still cook the turkey in the oven, though it’ll take longer, according to the USDA’s website.

Check Butterball’s website to determine the cooking time for your bird’s size and add about 50 percent to the time. So your 10-18 pound bird, which would normally take 3-31/2 hours, will instead take between 4 1/2 to 5 hours at 325 degrees.

Whatever you do, never deep fry a turkey that is still frozen. The oil will instantly burst into a geyser of flames and start one of the thousands of fires in this country every year when people ignore this warning. Ten people die and 50 are injured on average every year from these frozen turkey fires, according to State Farm Insurance.

Just have a question? There are several toll-free numbers you can call on Thanksgiving day to help you talk through your Turkey tragedy.

Butterball: 800-288-8372

USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline: 888-674-6854

Sara Lee Desserts Pie Hotline: 888-914-1247

Can we just go out?

You tried to deep fry a frozen turkey, burned the house down and now everyone’s hangry and staring at you.

Here are 36 South Florida restaurants where you can eat out instead of cooking on Thanksgiving from Miami.com.

What do I do with all this grease?

Do you want your house to smell like pumpkin spice or raw sewage on Thanksgiving?

If you pour the hot, greasy drippings from your turkey (or roasted Caja China pig) down the toilet or sink drain, you’re asking for an emergency plumbing call, the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department says. Once the grease cools, it will harden inside your pipes and clog them.

Instead, the county suggests pouring the grease into an old can, letting it cool and throwing it away in your regular trash.

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