Cooking the Turkey
Take the neck and giblets (do not use the liver - it will make the broth taste too strongly - see Note#1) - and place them in a small pot with some celery stalks, and onion chopped in large bits and some thyme salt and pepper. Simmer on low heat while the turkey cooks - if the water boils away - add a bit more. This broth will be used for the gravy - and it perfumes the air with the smell of Thanksgiving - making sure everyone develops a good appetite.
After stuffing the turkey (see Stuffing the Turkey), place the turkey in a roasting pan. Place slices of bacon across the breast and over the legs - this serves two purposes - it keeps the meat from drying out & it gives all the kibitzers and noshers something to pick at before dinner - otherwise they'll pull out pieces of stuffing or tear off pieces of skin to see if it tastes ok ...
Preheat the oven to 425F. Roast for about 30-40 minutes, then turn down to somewhere between 325F and 350F. Roast for about 4 hours, basting it about every 30 minutes.
When the turkey is done - take it out of the oven and let it rest for about 30 minutes - making sure it is on something that will catch any juices.
Carving - if you want to know how to carve it - you'll have to watch someone do it - I can't give a good description that would help in any way - except to point out that several generations of males in this family have royally messed it up and blamed it on bad knives, bad turkeys, bad cooks and bad weather - bad carving does not make good turkey taste worse and good carving doesn't make a bad turkey taste good.
Hmmm ... I forgot something - After Thanksgiving is over, there is a way to get even for having to do all the cooking - Make Turkey Soup! A large turkey will make enough soup to last until Christmas ...
Note#1: If you don't know which is the liver - get out one of your old anatomy books & figure it out - you should know this by now - don't call me!!