Holiday Entertaining

Everything You Need to Know to Have the Best Thanksgiving, Ever

November  9, 2015

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.

Make your grocery sanity lists and check them twice:

Your grocery list is longer than most reasonable novels. You’re going to want to organize it—here’s the best way, and make sure to pick up these 5 traditional ingredients. Still planning your menu?

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:

Start with our top turkey tips, start practicing your carving now, and always be brining. The survey course continues:

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:

You just read a lot. Drinks all around:

This is how to never run out of alcohol at a party again. (Big-batching them will help, too.)

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.

Have any room left? Good. Let’s address dessert:

It's one day before game time. Get pumped:

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Kenzi Wilbur

Written by: Kenzi Wilbur

I have a thing for most foods topped with a fried egg, a strange disdain for overly soupy tomato sauce, and I can never make it home without ripping off the end of a newly-bought baguette. I like spoons very much.

1 Comment

Nancy November 9, 2015
Loved your lists and side articles, especially advice from Tom.
Heres another good source, Sam Sifton, sometime NYT restaurant reviewer and now food editor, his great book, based on about 25 yr experience, on how to treat Thanksgiving like a dinner party, so it works and so host enjoys self.