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. The place was packed, a veritable fury of shopping activity. At first, I couldn’t figure out the 20-person deep checkout lines. Then, the dawn. It’s the weekend before Thanksgiving.
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 eavesdropped on a conversations and peeked into a few carts. One thing that I noticed was the number of printouts people had in their hands. “I got this off a blog,” a woman near the brussel sprouts told her boyfriend. “The photo looks good. I hope it works.”
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 Thanksgiving virgins making a full holiday spread for the first time this year. I bought that pair 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 really have no idea what I’m making yet. 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. (I ordered a local pasture-raised turkey from our butcher in Florida.)
- 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.
- Cheap, Healthy and Good: 59 cheap and healthy Thanksgiving recipes
It turns out, they’re also good for you, too.
- AmateurGourmet: Thanksgiving round-up
Adam caved in and put holiday content on his site, and it all looks nummy.
- 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.
- Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef: A Gluten-free Thanksgiving
Everything from gluten-free stuffing to dinner rolls to pie crust.
- The Daily Green: Eco Friendly Holiday Recipes
Regional “local” recipes, information on heritage turkeys and beyond
- 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.
- Cozi.com: Big Dinner Survival Tips
Planning and putting together a big meal can be stressful. Aviva Goldfarb has a list of good, practical tips for more inexperienced cooks.
Should you decide that you’d like to bone and stuff an entire turkey, you can check out my past Thanksgiving exploits. The one thing that I know that I’ll be making next weekend? 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 last year in Slate.
Have some good Thanksgiving recipes on your blog or a good go-to site? Feel free to leave in the comments.