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Bonaire restaurant owner shares tips for first-time Thanksgiving cooks

If you have the cooking responsibility this year, you can be prepared for making your first Thanksgiving dinner

BONAIRE, Ga. — COVID-19 has changed a lot of folks' holiday plans. If you normally go to grandma's house and she cooks the turkey but this year you have the responsibility, we want you to be prepared for making your first Thanksgiving meal.

Joi Raushan normally has a family gathering, but this year is different.

She hosted a small "Friendsgiving" this past weekend and it was her first time cooking foods like a turkey and dressing.

"I've made collard greens by myself, I've made mac and cheese, like on its  own, I've made rice, but not everything put together, so that was... interesting," said Raushan.

Gregory Ford lost his wife from cancer two years ago. Since then, he and his two kids would eat out at restaurants or eat at someone else's house.

"But this year, we're going to be home for Thanksgiving, so we decided that we would try to start a new tradition, so my daughter and I will be cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year," he said.

His daughter Olivia says she can't wait for her first time in the kitchen.

"I'm pretty excited to celebrate. This will definitely be something new, cooking for Thanksgiving, so it will be a new experience!" said Olivia.

The owner of Levi's Grill in Bonaire Barone L. Sibley has 28 years of cooking experience. He has some tips for first-timers.

"Most of the holiday items they have frozen, so you want to buy them a few days in advance and you want to thaw them out in the refrigerator for about two days."

"Set your time as for when you want to eat dinner and then you want to count backwards by the amount of time that it's going to take to prepare that meal," said Sibley.

"And also we want to make sure that you're using a thermometer while cooking because you want to get that food to the right internal temperature." 

 Ford says regardless of how his meal turns out, he'll be happy to share it with his kids.

"Even if we burn something, as long as we enjoy the moment and it burns, it's still worth it because that's an experience we get to share," he said.