Getting geared up for Thanksgiving - useful tips and recipes

From choosing your turkey to the ultimate cranberry sauce our Irish chef has you covered.



3 cups Port Wine
1 cup sugar
1 cup apricot preserves
1 cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup honey
2 6-ounce package dried apricots, quartered
2 12-ounce bag cranberries
1  teaspoon grated lemon peel
8 whole green cardamom pods


Coarsely crush cardamom in mortar with pestle or place in re-sealable plastic bag and crush with rolling pin; discard skins.

Bring next 5 ingredients and cardamom to boil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add apricots; cook 2 minutes. Add cranberries and cook until berries pop, stirring occasionally, about 9 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Mix in lemon peel. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

This can be made 1 week ahead. Keep refrigerated. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Makes about 4 ½ cups.

AND FINALLY… A lady goes into a veterinarian’s office holding a limp turkey under her arm. She says to the vet "we've had this turkey for many years. I think he's dead, but we love him and want to make sure."

The veterinarian takes the turkey, puts it on his examining table, examines it and says, "I do believe he's dead, but do you want a further test?" The woman nods her head.

The vet whistles and a large black Labrador retriever comes out, puts his paws on the edge of the table, sniffs the turkey thoroughly up and down, turns to the vet, and sadly shakes his head.

The vet says, "I guess your turkey is really dead." The woman says, "Are you absolutely sure—is there another test?"

The vet whistles again and this time a large cat appears, jumps on the table, sniffs the turkey, and shakes her head. The vet says "the turkey, I'm afraid, is dead." The woman accepts this, and asks about the bill.

The vet says the bill is $500. The woman says "$500 is a lot of money just to find out my turkey died."

The vet says "Well, my own exam is only $100, but it was $200 for the Lab test and $200 for the Cat scan."

* Originally published in 2010.