Thanksgiving Prep-guide (& Black Friday links)


If you’re celebrating Thursday, I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday! We’ll be in Lake Tahoe this year—not cooking for the first time in a long while!

If you are hosting this year, I’ve grabbed some links that might help. As Sam Sifton once said, “you are going to need a lot of butter.” If you’re lucky enough to have someone else hosting, be sure to note how much work it is and say thank you.

Here are some more links to guide your prep… 

On Traveling
Tips for flying with kids and ways to keep them entertained in the car.

On establishing a timeline
A complete game plan, from a most-trusted resource. Get started…

On Choosing the Wine
There’s no wrong wine for Thanksgiving, so check out these suggestions from a former French Laundry sommelier.

On On Setting the table
Thankful placemats and mini rosemary wreaths. And more full-size wreaths.
Setting up the Kids’ Table (DIY: enlarge coloring pages from books)
The Emily Post guide.
And a Pinterest board with more inspiration.

On keeping everyone (food )safe
The five most common mistakes

On a new favorite method for cooking the turkey
Jacques Pepin’s Steamed Turkey (sounds odd, but so good—and so much faster)

On Menu inspiration
Many families have their sides set in stone, but if you have some flexibility and are looking for inspiration, Saveur has a wealth of sample menus.
My favorite leek and mushroom tart
A savory galette with eggs (that could be for breakfast)
How to bake root vegetable chips or compose a shaved brussel sprouts salad
Some ideas for dessert.
And just for fun, how the menu has changed at the White House over time.

On Troubleshooting
Last year, I listened to much of the America’s Test Kitchen Thanksgiving Special on NPR, “Turkey Q & A and The Real Story of The First Thanksgiving,” and loved hearing them answer the top ten Thanksgiving day questions they get.

On what to watch besides football and—hello—Gilmore Girls (Hooray!)
AMC’s top ten list, (including my favorite).

And some of my favorite places to start setting up your online cart for post-Thanksgiving shopping. (I’ll update this tomorrow when I learn of more good ones!)
The New York Times advises: ““Come up with a list and ask yourself, What am I interested in and what is the price now?” I’ve started making a list of non-sale items I’d like to get as gifts to see if the prices are reduced on Friday or Monday.

Anthropologie: 30% off with code LETSGO
Banana Republic: They’re giving 50% off any five regular priced items in stores and online, Thursday through Monday. Use code “BRFIVE.”
Boden: 30% off plus free shipping and returns. (Mini Boden is so cute!)
CB2: 15% off and free shipping with SAVE15
Clare V.: Spend $300 on Black Friday and receive a $50 gift card to use on a future purchase, plus free shipping. Valid in stores and online.
GAP: 50% off everything with code TGIF50
JCrew: 40% off everything with the code HOLIDAY
Jenni Kayne: 20% off all purchases online and in-store, plus free ground shipping, Black Friday through Sunday might help me a bit.
Madewell: 25% off your entire purchase with code “THATSALE.”
Mille: 30% off everything except new arrivals. She’s got the best taste, so the selection is always good.
Old Navy: Shop 50% off the entire store, Wednesday through Black Friday.
Steven Alan Optical: Receive 25% all Steven Alan Optical eyeglasses and sunglasses using code “BFWKNDSALE16”, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Minted: 20% off all holiday cards, gifts, and art orders of $150 or more, 15% off all other orders using code BF2016.
Amazon: This year, they’re adding a new deal up to every five minutes from now until Dec. 22, with the best saved for “Turkey Five” the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday—and maybe the worst marketing phrase ever.

Other favorite shops for holiday gifts with various sales throughout the weekend:  Food52Shopbop, West Elm & Nordstrom.


Happy holiday!

As for me, it’s a good time to be mindful of all I have to be thankful for. The community that comes to read and discuss here is among those things. Thank you for reading—some of you for years, now!

Also, I want to say—this year in particular—being thankful will mean not taking any of my privileges for granted and working hard to be a positive voice for change in matters I believe in.

I’ll be signing off for a bit, but back next week with holiday gift guides and more. Happy Thanksgiving!

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