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3 Tips to Host a Successful Thanksgiving

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3 Tips to Host a Successful Thanksgiving

If you care about food, this time of year is key for scheming, planning, and concocting the ultimate holiday meal, or at least a meal better than last year’s…or maybe if you are not all that ambitious, something just as good. However important it feels to you, Thanksgiving is in the air and men and women, young and old, are deep into prepping for next week’s gluttony throwdown.

I have cooked countless Thanksgiving feasts, both on my own and with some family assistance, and had varying results. Most years things are pretty great, but fall short of perfection. Some years, well some years are a learning experience. No matter how serious and dedicated you may be about the meal at hand, there are some essential guidelines to cooking a worthwhile Thanksgiving meal, and here are a few of them:

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.


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2:22AM PST on Nov 19, 2012

I have a schedule: I make the cornbread for the stuffing 3-4 days before(store in plastic bag in fridge), the pie and rolls the day before I also assemble the stuffing ingredients(dry) the day before and brown the sausage for the stuffing, a week or so before and freeze till ready to use. So the only thing I have to really do on the day is the bird, potatoes and a veggie. Usually some kind of green bean dish.

Also I will never go back to a simply oven roasted bird. I now always brine the bird first. I do that the day before. It is absolutely way more delicious this way by comparison.

2:55AM PST on Nov 17, 2012

common sense reminders. and basics really, just a matter of how elaborate you want to make it and the number of pax.

1:12AM PST on Nov 17, 2012

I do all the background shopping and prep, but on the day(Xmas) (I am a Brit), we are all in the kitchen, with a glass of something DOING IT TOGETHER.
Chatting, catching up, telling stories, teaching the kids how to peel carrots etc, laughing and
best of all REMINISCING.

6:15PM PST on Nov 16, 2012


3:35PM PST on Nov 16, 2012

It would really be something special if every Thanksgiving the chefs planned more and more beautiful table centrepieces that didn't include the corpses of animals.

It is a time to celebrate our good fortune. To do this at the expense of another creature and to clink our glasses and pass kind words to one another over the body of a young, innocent bird kills the feeling of celebration for me.

Please get creative with your main dish this year. Take a look at the link below and I hope you will give it some serious thought. Sadly, there isn't a nice way to die - even if an animal is raised with kindness.


2:58PM PST on Nov 16, 2012

thx for sharing

9:28AM PST on Nov 16, 2012

great common sense suggestions!

6:41AM PST on Nov 16, 2012

Marie that is another great idea! Eat out! Or how about order in? I know several whom are not able to get home for the holidays and they order the turkey dinners from the store deli.

6:27AM PST on Nov 16, 2012

Thanks for the tips =)

4:11AM PST on Nov 16, 2012

thanks -although I'm guessing I'm a bit more stressed now that I realize all I have to do this weekend...

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