I had to stop into my local supermarket yesterday to pick up two bottles of Prosecco — and a pack of new kitchen sponges as that’s the kind of thrilling dichotomy that rules my life. Then I saw it: the huge bin of frozen turkeys. It’s that time of year again.
A select few know about my slightly disturbing fascination with supermarkets. What’s in food stores and what people choose to purchase intrigues me endlessly. So I casually eavesdrop on a conversations and peeked into a few carts. “I got this off a blog,” a woman near the brussel sprouts told her boyfriend. “The photo looks good. I hope it works. You never know.”
While I was walking around the store, a friend called asking for Thanksgiving advice and to ask what I was making — the fourth such call that I’ve fielded in two days. Two of them are Thanksgiving virgins making a full holiday spread for the first time this year. I’m sending both of them the book Thanksgiving 101 by Rick Rodgers. It’s comprehensive and explains everything step-by-step from roasting a turkey to making pan gravy to stock. I think I’ve given this book to about a half-dozen people in two years.
I’ve been coming across a lot of interesting stories and resources online, so here’s a few in no particular order.
Epicurious: Turkey Taste Test
They tested six supermarket turkeys, roasted them and compared them for taste. I planned to do this exact thing this year, but my book deadline slipped so alas, it will have to wait.
The New York Times: Thanksgiving, a User’s Guide
Kind of tough to top the comprehensive nature of this collection which includes Melissa Clark demonstrating perfect pie crust and Mark Bittman on video chatting up side dishes.
Real Simple: 100 Thanksgiving Recipes
Clear, straightforward recipes in the spirit of the magazine that offers at least five different versions of traditional recipes.
Country Living: 10 Thanksgiving menus
A lot of novice cooks find it hard to conceptualize a menu, so I liked the way they organized their content by theme, such as “New England,” to “Southern” to “No stress.”
101 Cookbooks: Vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes
For some people, it isn’t all about the turkey.
The Kitchn: 12 Holiday cocktail recipes
For some people, it isn’t all about the food.
Food 52: Side dishes
I’m contemplating at least half of these lovely updates on classic dishes.
Eating Well: Healthy diabetic Thanksgiving recipes
Given how many people suffer from diabetes, odds are that you’ll have at least one diabetic at the table.
MyRecipes: The Holiday Pantry
Not enough food writers focus on pantries. There’s nothing worse than realizing you’re out of nutmeg or butter at 10 p.m. the night before Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Tips from My Fearless Food Writer Friends
Planning and putting together a big meal can be stressful. I consulted my food writing friends for a good, practical set of tips for cooks of all levels.
The one thing that I know that I’ll be making post holiday? Turkey gumbo. I make it every year after we’ve exhausted our appetite for turkey sandwiches and picked the carcass nearly clean. I agree to a point with a writer who made a case against going too crazy with trying to disguise that leftover meat in Slate.
Have some good Thanksgiving recipes on your blog or a good go-to site? Feel free to leave in the comments.
[Updated November 2018]
Alphonse de Klerk says
I enjoy looking at you work. Nicely presented
Sally Pasley Vargas says
Wow, it’s overwhelming, isn’t it? Thanks for all these links, I’ll be sure to pass them on. I still don’t know my menu for T-day. Turkey? Ya think?