Do you own an instant-read thermometer? Recipes calling for thermometers used to intimidate us; they seemed more fussy and difficult. Then a friend gave us an instant-read thermometer and we quickly came to rely on it even in recipes that don't call for one. A thermometer can tell you if your bread or cakes are done, check your pot roast, and make sure that your candy will harden. Links after the jump.
If you don't use a thermometer now and yet plan on doing a lot of holiday cooking this year - perhaps even the Thanksgiving turkey? - we suggest buying one now and using it often over the next couple weeks to get used to it.