Thanksgiving...the High Holy Day for Dedicated Foodies. It's not only a peak travel time when families flock from all ends to be together, but it's probably the one holiday where family tradition is most deeply entrenched. Christmas and Chanukah dinner menus may change from year to year, or Easter and Passover meals may alter, but pity the poor cook that tries to change the family's traditional turkey dinner. Personally, the Global Gourmésters enjoy yearly variations and even non-turkey feasts, and as we've grown older we've scaled down to a more manageable meal. But when we asked our readers if they would do the same, we were told very emphatically that tradition is tradition—don't mess with it! We enjoyed the range of responses in "Readers Comments...Thanksgiving Gluttony?" and think you will too.
It seems the Thanksgiving feast really is one big spread of comfort food, an icon not to be messed with. There are exceptions to this, of course, and side dishes or desserts may change, but the ultimate pursuit of the Thanksgiving cook is serving the family the perfect turkey—however you define it. Some cook the breast down, some brine the bird, some even deep-fat fry it, but whatever your personal technique, we've compiled some of the most frequently asked questions and valuable tips in our Perfect Turkey Handbook. Whether you are starting your own turkey traditions or continuing them, you'll find this section a handy, practical asset.
Finally, our annual Thanksgiving No-Brainer charts out a plan to make the meal in around 4 hours on the day of the feast, with a bit of advance work and pre-cooking beforehand. It's a sane way for the usually harried cook to actually spend time with the family and friends in the true Thanksgiving spirit.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
This page modified November 2006
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