Thanksgiving is almost here, and only one thing can save you from your lack of preparation, cooking abilities, and holiday etiquette: apps. Lots of apps.
GOLD MEDAL: Chow
When preparing a meal that exceed three components, I resign myself to at least two of them coming out cold and/or inedible. Preparing a Thanksgiving meal is so far out of reach for my dorm-level cooking style that the mere thought makes my stomach hurt. Chow, I think, is for people like me. It gives you a set of pre-fab Thanksgiving dinners, complete with grocery lists, recipes and cooking instructions—and most importantly, a multi-day timeline for preparing the whole meal. Free, iPhone.
SILVER MEDAL: Better Homes and Gardens Celebrate
Need a quick primer in how to present a home, a meal, and yourself during Thanksgiving? $4 buys you a comprehensive guide to making it seem as if your home is inhabited by a real adult during Thanksgiving, with everything from recipe guides to how-to guides for making decorations to—seriously—iTunes playlists for the season. The only problem? It's iPad only. $4, iPad.
BRONZE MEDAL: Mixologist
Here's something most people don't know about the pilgrims: they loved alcohol. Beer specifically, but this Thanksgiving you might be looking for something a bit stronger. How about hundreds of different drinks, all of which are much stronger?
Don't fall asleep because of all the food and turkey this Thanksgiving. Fall asleep because you're super, super drunk. $1, iPhone.
• Epicurious: For breaking off the beaten path, and trying new recipes
• Amazon Price Check: For the next day, when you're scrambling through the isles of Target on your bloodied hands and knees, trying to figure out is that 22 inch TV is a good deal, or if you're just hallucinating
• Osmos: The ultimate "I'm too full and tired to move anything but one finger, slightly" iPhone/iPad games
• FlightTrack: Because if you're flying this Thanksgiving, things are going to go wrong. You'll be helpless to change anything, but FlightTrack will keep you apprised of the progress of your plane and others.
GOLD MEDAL: Thanksgiving Planner
Even if you're Mrs. Butterball, getting Thanksgiving dinner together can break your spirit. There's invitations, shopping, decorating, seating arrangements, scheduling, etc. to worry about and that's before you even get in the kitchen. It's a flustercluck trying to hammer out all those details on your own. Thankfully, the Thanksgiving Planner app breaks down those necessary tasks for T-day in an easily digestible checklist (163 items that can be customized). However, making Thanksdinner taste good is still all up to you (as it gives you no cooking instructions) and there's no easy way to share tasks (i.e. email items to people to help out). $1, Android.
SILVER MEDAL: Holiday Kitchen - Turkey Time
The app shows the turkey cooker with informative videos that'll obviously instruct you on how to do what you need to do. That way you can just mimic the pro in the video instead of imagining what boning a turkey really means. $3, Android.
BRONZE MEDAL: My Turkey Recipes
Not exactly a pretty app, but it gives you exact step-by-step instruction on how to cook a turkey. The instructions are detailed: Remove giblets, set turkey breast side down on a stable work surface with tail facing you and comes with pictures, so for the first time Thanksgiver cooker, it's a perfect start. $2, Android.
• Epicurious: Our favorite Android cooking app has loads of recipes that can help you with those non-turkey dishes
• Turkey Timer: Set the weight, choose whether it has stuffing or not and it'll spit back an alarm to let you know when the turkey is juiced
• Thanksgiving Wallpapers: Gets you in the mood to eat, watch football and of course, be thankful
• Thanksgiving Idea Book: Really just shows you pictures of Thanksgiving so you can get "ideas" from
• Thanksgiving Turkey Calls: It makes turkey calls that you can use when hunting turkeys (or probably really to annoy friends)