We all know that holiday dinners should be a time to celebrate family, friends and food, but more often than not, it’s a stressful holiday, with anxious hosts more worried about the turkey and pumpkin pie than about the people and good fortune that surround them.
This year, I talked to a handful of novice cooks hosting holiday dinners for the first time. I asked, what do you want to know? Questions poured in, from what turkey to buy to how to make a pie crust. I took those questions to the food experts I trust most — a great group of fearless food writers — to get the answers.
The novice cooks wanted inside baseball-style advice on planning and executing a Thanksgiving meal. I asked my panel of food writers for the strategies that they’ve learned over the years and pulled them together with some of my own. The result? No less than 27 great tips.
A one-page guide to the best resources online for everything from what kind of bird to buy, how to cook a frozen turkey, the brine vs. non-brine debate and the dangers of deep-frying plus much more.
Just assembling all the stuff for a big holiday dinner can be confusing. With great insight from Jennifer Reese, author of Make the Bread, Buy the Butter, see whether its worth it to go the convenience product route.
Sure, it seems obvious. But if you’ve never done it, or you feel like you’re always overdoing it, take these tips from top food writers.
Pie maven Kate McDermott from Art of the Pie on the perfect pie crust, plus why no one should feel guilty using canned pumpkin.
Fluffy, not lumpy, my Le Cordon Bleu-inspired recipe with a video by Chef John of FoodWishes.com
If you can open a can of cranberries, you can make my family’s recipe for this classic from scratch. Promise.
A different take on potatoes from food writer Jess Thompson
Surprisingly simple, strikingly tasty. Another winner from Jess Thompson’s new book, Cooking Up Washington
An inexpensive, easy way to put the flavor of autumn in a bowl.
Questions? Email CookFearless.