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Your Thanksgiving survival guide

As you've doubtless noticed, it's almost Thanksgiving — the one meal of the year that people invest with the most meaning, spend the most time worrying about, and thus freak out over the most. Calm down. We're here to help.

We're also here to remind you that it'll all work out in the end, and so it's important to take some time to have an actual holiday. Sit down, pour yourself a drink (tea works admirably, too), and put everything into perspective. Because this holiday is about giving thanks for friends and family and all the good things we have — and not about having a nervous breakdown over mashed potatoes. 

Here's some of our comprehensive coverage of this most food-related of holidays, a day when we should be grateful for having a table to set in the first place. 

  • A Thanksgiving table

    A Thanksgiving table

    Soy-brined turkey, center; sausage-cornbread stuffing, left; and pumpkin-Gruyère gratin, bottom.

  • Thanksgiving turkey 101: Trussing, roasting, carving and more tips

    Thanksgiving turkey 101: Trussing, roasting, carving and more tips

    The big day is almost here. We've compiled a last-minute resource of common turkey tips to help you out as you tackle the big bird, covering everything from trussing to carving and presentation this Thanksgiving. We've shot many of the tips on video, such as Food editor Russ Parsons' helpful tips...

  • What to drink with Thanksgiving dinner: How about a growler?

    What to drink with Thanksgiving dinner: How about a growler?

    The pairing possibilities for craft brews at your Thanksgiving feast are nearly limitless. From lively pilsners to awaken the appetite to syrupy barleywines to settle you into your turkey-coma, beer offers the versatility to fit into any menu. One way to include beer at the table this Thanksgiving...

  • Thanksgiving recipe video and tips: Mashed potatoes 101

    Thanksgiving recipe video and tips: Mashed potatoes 101

    Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away, and it's never too soon to start planning your menu. Food editor Russ Parsons and I will be demonstrating videos of classic dishes and sharing holiday-themed tips on the blog every couple of days to get you in the mood. Let's start with mashed potatoes. Properly...

  • Easy dinner recipes: Savory bread pudding and other one-dish ideas

    Easy dinner recipes: Savory bread pudding and other one-dish ideas

    If you're looking for a comforting dish to keep you warm on a chilly night, you can't go wrong with a savory bread pudding or gratin. (Hint: They also make great dishes if you're planning ahead for your Christmas meal!) CHANTERELLE-SAGE BREAD PUDDING: Love bread pudding? In a savory take on the...

  • Easy dinner recipes: Hearty holiday gratins and sides

    Easy dinner recipes: Hearty holiday gratins and sides

    Whether you're looking for possible candidates to round out your Thanksgiving or holiday spread, or simply searching for a comforting dish on a chilly night, you can't go wrong with these ideas. Italian sausage and kale gratin: Aromatic vegetables suspended in a rich sauce, maybe a little melted...

  • Thanksgiving recipe video: Making perfect pumpkin pie

    Thanksgiving recipe video: Making perfect pumpkin pie

    Thanksgiving is simply not complete without pumpkin pie. And while you can find all kinds of variations that take the basic pie in different directions, there is still no beating the original, as created in this recipe by former Times writer Donna Deane. I demonstrate the recipe in the video above....

  • 11 inexpensive wines for holiday parties

    11 inexpensive wines for holiday parties

    For even the most reclusive, the holiday season can involve a fearsome round of dinner parties and festivities. And whenever appropriate, you may want to show up with a bottle of wine in hand. Champagne is easy -- and always welcome. But if you want to bring a moderately priced bottle, say under...

  • Thanksgiving recipe video and tips: Pumpkin seed stuffing with chorizo

    Thanksgiving recipe video and tips: Pumpkin seed stuffing with chorizo

    Pumpkin shows up on the Thanksgiving table in so many guises. But have you ever thought about using the seeds? Try adding the toasted seeds to stuffing, another staple of the Thanksgiving meal. Combine the seeds with toasted cubes of corn bread, sauteed Spanish chorizo and corn. Throw in a few...

  • Test Kitchen video tip: Toasting spices and nuts for added flavor

    Test Kitchen video tip: Toasting spices and nuts for added flavor

    When you want to add a little extra depth to a recipe, consider toasting the nuts or spices before adding them to a dish. Toasting helps to release the flavor and oils in the spices and nuts, lending depth and wonderfully rich flavor to a dish.Toast whole spices on the stovetop using a heavy-bottomed...

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