First home, first adult Thanksgiving. . . and first turkey. "Facing an uncooked turkey for the first time is sort of like being told you have to read "The Sound and The Fury" and contemplating the book in all its complexity," says novelist Dew. Yet her short, simple, and elegant instructions do more to soothe holiday nerves than all "The Joy of Cooking" and Julia Child collections. Only a dozen recipes are included in a menu for 12; some reflect traditional New England fare (e.g., cornbread dressing with sausage and apples, cranberry jelly), while others display a southern heritage--yams mousseline, buttered long-grain white rice. What's most important, however, are her genteel confidence-building narrative and exhaustive preparation directions. Natchez-raised Dew proffers a sense of quiet, assured hospitality unmatched by even the best of holiday culinary ideas.