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Ruth Reichl
Essay: A rookie Thanksgiving Day cook takes over the kitchen
Essay: A rookie Thanksgiving Day cook takes over the kitchen

It is Thanksgiving morning. As you read this, the bird, a fine 16-pounder, is coming to room temperature on the counter. The green beans have been topped and tailed, and my fingertips smart from peeling smoking-hot chestnuts for the stuffing. I've reminded my mother-in-law that she needn't bring the cranberry sauce — my cranberries are chilling in the refrigerator next to the bottles of Alsatian Riesling. I still have to blanch the Brussels sprouts, whip the cream and peel a mountain of potatoes, but I am locked into the rhythm of the day. My knife work is clumsy, and my soufflés may occasionally fall, but I know how to do this meal. I'm not sure which direction...

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