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Not to put a damper on things, but Thanksgiving really isn't that big of a deal. Sure, it's a holiday where the spotlight is pretty steadily focused on the grub, but when it comes down to it, Thanksgiving is really about family, friends, and the joy of overindulgence. Just make sure to keep the wine flowing and avoid certain no-no topics, and it's hard to go too wrong.
That being said, there's no escaping the fact that Turkey Day earned its name for a reason. And many memories attached to this holiday are inextricably bound to food -- and very particular food at that. In the end, the only true rule is to do Thanksgiving your way. Put your own spin on it, start your own traditions, but make sure to keep some of the old going. No matter how seriously you want to do Thanksgiving this year, we've got you covered. Because as long as there's some iteration of bird-mash-cran-stuffing-pie combination (and a 24-hour James Bond marathon), it's the holidays.
Totally overwhelemed? Need a plan, pronto? Want to switch things up? Start here:
Because life is short:
Juicy, tender meat, every time. It's the wet brine way, baby:
Not a fan of the wet brine? Here's an easy, low-maintenance way to get a delicious, crisp-skinned turkey with juicy meat:
Petrified by pie? We'll walk you through. Because homemade is so, so worth it:
How to make the perfect mashed potatoes, just the way everyone likes them:
Running out of time for your turkey? Spatchcocking is here to save the day:
Making gravy? Here's your step one:
And step 2:
You've got the bird. Now carve it the way it deserves to be carved:
Dry turkey? Lumpy mash? Never fear! Our foolproof guide is here:
You've got food covered -- now let's set the table: