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Life has reinforced to me over and over again that gamification is one of our stronger playing cards. Case in point: Thanksgiving. There is nothing about this day that can’t be won.
No longer should we think of it as making it through the big day; that implies that we’ll give you the trench to hide in and provide you with the shield, like you will cower in the corner until it is over. Do you want to cower in the corner? Of course you don’t. You want to stand strong and pour wine like a seasoned pro; you want to take guests’ coats and stir the gravy and set the table and do it all while only being a little sweaty. You want to win.
And you can. You will. Eyes on the prize: We’re are going to own this holiday. We’re not just going to eat this holiday for dinner—we’re going to eat it for breakfast. These tips will give you the home-field advantage.
grocery sanity lists and check them twice:
Ready yourself, ready your oven:
Read our essential tips for winning Thanksgiving from last year—we followed them ourselves and lived to tell the tale. And then stock up on Amanda and Merrill’s essential tools for the holiday. More, right this way:
Did you know you could make the whole meal ahead? You can—and you should:
Our girl Ina Garten shares her advice on the former; Leanne Brown schools us on how to stay on a budget while doing it. Neither of these things are cheating.
Never suffer a dry turkey (or a frozen one, or an undercooked one) again:
If your brother is bringing his vegan (or vegetarian, or gluten-free) date:
Here’s how to field that request while staying sane. We also have advice on veganizing the whole meal, turkey alternatives, and more:
- 13 Dishes for Feeding Vegetarians on Thanksgiving
- 12 Recipes for Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Guests
- A Guide to the Ultimate Vegan, Gluten-Free Thanksgiving
- 13 Recipes to Accomodate Any Guest and Any Diet
You just read a lot. Drinks all around:
How to slay your side game:
We’ve been known to care more about the sides than much else at the table. Here’s how to take them just as seriously as we do.
- For stuffing, check out our solutions to slip ups, our team's tips, how to make it without a recipe, and some stale bread wisdom.
- Challenge: Make the lot of your sides without a recipe, or make them ahead.
- Make a mash that's living its best life.
- And don't forget the condiments and the salads.
Have any room left? Good. Let’s address dessert:
It's one day before game time. Get pumped:
- First things first: Read our last-minute Thanksgiving checklist, and Amanda and Merrill's quick tips.
- In case of emergency, you'll want these fixes in your back pocket. But you won't need them—promise.