Thanksgiving Day - are you ready?

Thanksgiving Day - are you ready?

Thanksgiving dinner -- it's the one meal we strive to create with no option of failure.

The impeccably-browned turkey. The heavenly mashed potatoes creamed to perfection. Apple, pecan and pumpkin pies all from scratch with handcrafted crusts of the flakiest proportions.

Okay. Now wake up. Here's my reality: I've burned more than my share of turkeys -- sometimes the meat still frozen on the inside. The mashed potatoes, chunky and kind of flavorless.

And the pies ... may I introduce you to my saviors, Sara Lee and Marie Callender?

This meal. This one meal per year that REALLY counts, doesn't come easy for so many of us.

My computer keyboard is proof. The C key? Its glued to its neighbors X and V.

That's thanks to my greasy, flour-covered hands flying across the keyboard as I desperately try to look up an alternative to the green bean casserole that I've managed to obliterate in my oven.

There's no doubt a meal of these proportions takes time and tedious attention. But, the best laid plans. You know how THAT goes.

Here are a few solutions just in case you need some help. Call 1-800-BUTTERBALL if you are having a turkey emergency. They'll talk you through it.

You can also search step-by-step instructions for just about any dish on websites like about.com or ehow.com . Or if all else fails, leave it all behind. Here's a full of restaurants open on Thanksgiving day to relieve you of your sweet potato misery.