Hang onto your pants, people.
That’s my dining room table. I made you Thanksgiving already. I am my own Bon Appetit / The Kitchn / Food52 this year, and maybe I can be yours as well, because not only did I make all the Thanksgiving foods this year – twice, because photo shoot – but I also came up with what I think is a pretty handy guide to your entire holiday.
Blame Feast Magazine: November rolls around each year and they always want to hang out with me. It’s become a regular thing: in 2014, I did a thing with some incredible local finds; in 2015, it shifted to Thanksgiving sweets that were decidedly not pie (well, one was kind of a pie, and I’m making it again this year.) This year, they asked me to do the one thing I’ve always wanted to do for them.
They handed over the reins to the actual Thanksgiving meal.
All of it.
That’s a ton of responsibility, and I worked so hard on this to really give them exactly what they wanted: a traditional, very personal Thanksgiving meal. Emphasis personal: each one of these recipes is directly taken or inspired by family recipes on our table as well as some that grace the tables of people I love, and it is dedicated to the people I love, including all of you.
Here’s a guide to the recipes, with all photos by Jennifer Silverberg, who is unspeakably good at what she does, which is making photographs primarily, but also, it’s making me laugh. She’s great at that too.
Apple-Sausage Stuffing (a closely guarded recipe, until now)
Vinegary Root Ribbon Salad (my palate cleanser a.k.a secret weapon for heavy meals)
And because I like my monthly column to coordinate with any features I do or the theme of the magazine, I did a little thing with honeycomb for November: a really beautiful salad with chunks of the comb in it, which would make a lovely composed salad to add to your Thanksgiving meal, if you’re into kicking things off like that.
I would love it if you read this one, especially if you’re the lucky one who gets to prepare Thanksgiving. Not only do you get time-tested family recipes (that stuffing recipe? No one had ever even seen it written down until this feature published), but you get my guide to how to survive the day by planning (and doing) ahead. I’ve hosted Thanksgiving for the better part of a decade: I am still alive, and I’ve learned enough along the way to feel confident giving you some pointers, should you need them.
If you can, grab the print feature (or view it online here.) In that version, you get little idea bubbles (from yours truly) about how to mix things up with each recipe, and you’ll get a little note about why each recipe is special to me. You also get some of our local chefs and food people talking about their own favorite holiday traditions, which I always enjoy, because at the end of the day, the craziest chefs are just like us at Thanksgiving, especially.
I’ve also included some tips on handling things like drinks, appetizers, desserts, and so forth, as well as how to get things done early so you’re not scrambling and sweating it out the day of. There’s a strategy to all of this when you’re working with a gigantic meal, and you want everyone to be relaxed and have a good time. Most importantly, you should be relaxed, and that’s’ really the goal here: for all you hosts out there, this one is for you. Cheers.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! May your holiday be exactly what you want it to be, especially this year, I think.