Even the most adventurous eaters often give their inner food warrior the day off on Thanksgiving – nothing but the same turkey, stuffing (or dressing!), cranberries, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie they've been eating since childhood. If one of those dishes goes missing, the whole meal just doesn't feel right.
Other families stray away from the standards (some friends of ours have to have collard greens, whiskey sours and banana pudding for the day to feel right, while another family dives into duck) and develop their own must-indulge traditions.
And for some, like our commenter traveldoc, it's less about what's on the table than who's gathered around it.
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.
It might seem like a long way off - and a world away for people reeling from cuts to their food budget - but soon, you're likely going to sitting down to a dinner with loved ones (and a stranger or two), and feeling exceptionally lucky to be doing so.
Gratitude is the watchword, and it's incredibly easy to lose sight of that while you're bogged down in the details of serving a dinner that packs a certain amount of expectation. So how about giving yourself a break?
The big meal is nigh on upon us and ya know what? You'll get through it. No matter what happens, in a few hours it'll all be a memory and ideally, you'll have a few luscious leftovers and warm, fuzzy feelings toward mankind.
We're here to get you through to the other side. Just submit your questions in the comments or hit us on Twitter @eatocracy and we'll get you an answer as soon as you possibly can. Your queries may be culinary - or even just a plea for solidarity and moral support.
Pull up a chair - we'll be serving up support in this here post all the way through T-Day and have a pretty thorough help list right here.
High & Dry
Help. My turkey is already done and it was supposed to take a couple more hours. The thing popped up and I checked it with the meat thermometer and it is ready. I didn't stuff it and I took the legs off so that I can allow them to cook more after the breast is done. I guess that is why it cooked faster. My guests aren't expected for two more hours. What do I do?
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.
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