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STILLWATER, Minn. -- For Thanksgiving cooking, and tableside conversation, Twin Cities residents prefer having the experts over, according to a recent survey conducted at four Twin Cities Cub Foods stores. Indeed, respondents named Emeril Lagasse as the celebrity they'd most like to prepare their Thanksgiving meals, and Oprah Winfrey as the celebrity they'd most like to invite to dinner.
When given the choice of several celebrities -- Paris Hilton, Sid Hartman, Brad Johnson, Rachel Ray or Emeril Lagasse -- as possible chefs for their Thanksgiving feasts, survey respondents were torn between Ray and Lagasse. With just a slight margin (45 to 42 percent) Lagasse edged out Ray as the overall preferred celebrity Thanksgiving chef. Male and female respondents were divided on this issue though. Lagasse garnered a fairly even vote between men (48 percent) and women (42 percent), but nearly twice as many women selected Ray as their top Thanksgiving chef (50 percent, women; 26 percent, men).
No matter who prepares or who attends Twin Cities Thanksgiving meals, Cub's survey makes one thing clear: Thanksgiving isn't a favorite day for dieting. Fifty-eight percent of respondents allow themselves to indulge on Thanksgiving Day, while 24 percent watch what they eat. Another 18 percent begin the holiday intending to be careful, but end up celebrating more than they expected by day's end.
Thanksgiving's not just about a turkey in the oven anymore. According to Cub's survey, age has a lot to do with how people celebrate their Thanksgiving holidays. Under-40 respondents were more likely to experiment with other turkey cooking methods, such as deep frying or buying a pre-cooked turkey, or forgoing turkey for a different main dish, such as beef, pizza or vegetarian "turkey," while 81 percent of over-40 respondents proclaimed themselves dedicated turkey roasters.
Under-40 respondents were also more likely to ditch the embattled Thanksgiving tradition of stuffing the turkey before cooking. Only 40 percent of those under 40 stuff their turkeys, while 48 percent of over-40 respondents fill their birds with dressing before roasting.
The survey also revealed a unique twist on customary Thanksgiving activities, such as the annual Turkey Day nap. Women are much less likely to be napping after eating, with 70 percent of female survey respondents forgoing the conventional Thanksgiving catnap. More than half of male respondents claimed to enjoy at least one hour of post-meal shut-eye.
Results of the survey showed that the popular joke about never-ending Thanksgiving leftovers is more like a myth. Forty percent of respondents gobble up their Thanksgiving leftovers in only a few days and 14 percent claim to finish every bite of their Thanksgiving feast before leaving the table.