Just Put the F*cking Turkey in the Oven


I adore Mary Risley from San Francisco. I kind of wish she was my own aunt, or at least that she had her own cooking show, so I could at least pretend to hang out in her kitchen more often. “Put some butter, salt and pepper on it and stick it in the oven,” is Mary’s advice for those seeking the very best way to cook their turkey this Thanksgiving. This video is the most approachable, informative turkey walk-through I’ve seen. No surprise, as Mary has been teaching cooking for 40 years.

Mary also shows how easy it is to make cranberry sauce and gravy from scratch, offers up informal wine pairing advice (pinot!) when you’re trying to choose something that goes with turkey, cranberry sauce and gravy all at the same time, and demonstrates useful stuff, like how to get your roasted turkey out of the pan onto the cutting board – something no recipes seem to mention.

Mary knows her stuff. In 1997, she was honored “The Cooking Teacher of the Year” by Bon Appetit magazine. In 1998, she was awarded “Humanitarian of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation for her efforts to help alleviate hunger in San Francisco, through the volunteer organization she directs called Food Runners. In 2008 she received the Jefferson Award in San Francisco for Food Runners. She is the author of The Tante Marie’s Cooking School Cookbook, published by Simon & Schuster in 2003.

For more information about Mary, her cooking school, Tante Marie’s, and to order her cookbook, visit

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