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Thanksgiving: How to Cook It Well Hardcover – October 23, 2012
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No national holiday preserves traditions as rigorously observed as the foods of America’s Thanksgiving Day. In fact, it’s impossible to imagine the fourth Thursday of November without turkey, cranberries, and pumpkin pie. Sifton, former food critic for the New York Times, sets out to find the best rendition of the time-honored Thanksgiving dinner. He’s not interested in introducing some trendy new food into the feast, just in steering readers to carefully crafted versions of customary holiday favorites. Sifton quickly inventories essential kitchen equipment for the dinner. He enumerates the sorts of turkeys currently in markets and gives a handful of recipes with varying cooking techniques. A host of different stuffings and side dishes complements the bird. Traditional American desserts conclude the meal. He even details how to set a table, recognizing it as a nearly lost art in today’s world. This is a good resource for any cook not already bound to fixed and inflexible Thanksgiving menus. --Mark Knoblauch
Advance praise for Thanksgiving
“If you don’t have Thanksgiving, you are not really having Thanksgiving. This book is as essential to the day as the turkey itself. It’s an expert, gently opinionated guide to everything from the cranberry sauce to the table setting to the divvying up of the leftovers, but it’s also a paean to the holiday and an evocation of both its past and its promising future. Sam Sifton’s Thanksgiving world is the one I want to live in.”—Gabrielle Hamilton, bestselling author of Blood, Bones, & Butter
“The charm of Sam Sifton’s Thanksgiving is that he proposes that home cooks treat this culinary Olympics like any other dinner party—don’t panic, deconstruct your tasks into bite-size pieces, and conquer that fear of failure. Sam could talk a fledgling doctor through his first open-heart surgery. It’s all here—from brining to spatchcocking, sides to desserts—and served up with a generous dollop of reassuring advice from one of America’s most notable food writers.”—Christopher Kimball, editor of Cook’s Illustrated and host of America’s Test Kitchen
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This isn't how my house does Thanksgiving at all. But it's an excellent book and everybody who loves the holiday should enjoy it.
Didn't like every ingredient of every recipe, or every recipe, hence the taking one star away, but it is a helpful reference.