We're sharing our time-tested Thanksgiving hosting tips and recipes, as well as plenty from chefs, hospitality experts, celebrities, hosts and home cooks we love. Our goal – sending you into Thanksgiving with a confident smile on your face, and seeing you emerge on the other side with your sanity intact.
Know what? You're going to have an incredible Thanksgiving - even if you haven't given it a single thought until today. None of these dishes are rocket science and if you're clever, you're going to take our advice and accept all offers of help.
Still, our inner Boy Scout would be most cross with us if we didn't do everything in our power to get you prepared to have a calm and blissful day with the people you love (or at least put up with once a year).
Grab our buying guide, consult our killer list of tips and recipes and leave any questions in the comments below. Just because Eatocracy isn't gonna sleep 'til Black Friday doesn't mean you can't.
Got pie crusts to pre-bake, a turkey to brine or vegetables to peel? Enlist your family or invite over a pal and make a date of it. Put on some great music, pour a glass of wine (careful with the chopping!) and enjoy the bonding time.
A few tasks that can be pre-mastered:
– Bake any pastry shells.
It's not too late!
Say, you've read through this and it's put you into a tizzy. We apologize – this is meant to empower, rather than incite panic. Still, if you're legitimately freaked out, consider a few alternatives.
1. Join forces with another friend who's hosting. Either combine gatherings or divide and conquer. One of you may excel at side dishes and the other at housecleaning. Play to your strengths and share resources.
2. Accept any and all offers of help. If there's one message we've tried to convey, it's don't be a martyr; be a host. People want to help and ideally, if they're invited, they're totally on your side. Let 'em assist and just thank them profusely in a heartfelt pre-meal toast.
3. Order pies, sides, even the turkey itself from a grocery store or restaurant. If someone has the bad manners to complain, proclaim loudly and gratefully that you heartily accept that as their offer to host the festivities next year.
4. Pull up stakes and move the party to a restaurant. Plenty offer prix fixe meals for Thanksgiving, and you won't be stuck with the clean-up.
5. If you're confident in your cooking skills, but not these particular dishes – just revamp the menu and go all out on your favorites. Perhaps you're known for a killer lasagna or you're exceptionally skilled at grilling. Go with that. People might be momentarily disappointed not to have sweet potato casserole or a great big drumstick, but if you're cooking with love, that'll shine on through.
After all, isn't it the company that counts?
Got questions? Leave 'em in the comments below and we'll do our best to help you out.
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