I just wanted to say "thank you" to all the wonderful, helpful. patient people on this board. I posted a bunch of questions about vegetarian main dishes, turkey buying, turkey preparing, and that is just what I posted in the last few weeks! The reponses I got were always kind, and helpful, and I am definitely becoming more confident and capable regarding my kitchen skills.
So, to update...I did buy a TJ's brined turkey, used the Calphalon rack, adjusted Alton Brown's roasting method so that I started at 450 (not 500) degrees (thank you JoBear) and it was wonderful. The mushroom bourguinon (that I believe goodhealthgourmet brought to my attention,sorry if I am not recalling correctly) was a huge hit with the vegetarians.
I hosted 18 people for a sit-down dinner in my typical, NYC (ie small) apartment, and we all had a fabulous time, with wonderful delicious food.
So thanks, CH, and may we all be around to query, answer, critique, and enjoy, next Thanksgiving.