The Only Thanksgiving Guide You Need

Last year, we devoted a lot of blog space to Thanksgiving, by Sam Sifton. And since we’re editors and writers, supposedly on the pulse of what the lastest, greatest, trendiest everything is, we should probably be featuring this year’s of-the-moment holiday cookbook. But here’s the thing: “trendy” and “of-the-moment” are not words that should EVER EVER EVER be in the same sentence as “Thanksgiving,” and we stand by our claim that Sam Sifton’s timeless, authoritative, delicious guide to our country’s greatest holiday is The Only Thanksgiving Recipe Collection You Will Ever Need. (Outside of your grandmother’s recipe box, of course — we don’t want to get anyone in trouble here). As such, we launch our “Countdown to Thanksgiving Series” with a bountiful giveaway: In the next 48 hours, five readers are eligible to win a free copy of Sifton’s Thanksgiving, and five more are eligible to have a free copy sent to whoever is cooking/hosting the feast… as a little pre-holiday pump-up and thank-you-in-advance. That’s TEN COPIES WE ARE GIVING AWAY. All you have to do is leave a comment below (we wouldn’t complain if this comment included a Thanksgiving tip) and tell me which one you are: #Host or #Guest.

Update: All winners have been notified. Congrats Josh, Betsy, Candice, Eva, Molly, Susan, Colleen F, L, Divya, Memegirl and to everyone else thanks for playing!

Related: Sam Sifton’s 1o Laws of Thanksgiving.

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814 Comments

Dani C

I’m the host. My tip is to do as much of the prep work (chopping, cleaning, dessert making) in the days before Thanksgiving!

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Lynn BB

I’m the host for our family and one other. Doing as much as possible ahead of time makes things much easier!

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Judi

I’m the host. My tips: as you say, don’t reinvent the wheel – if you have one delicious dessert or appetizer that people ask for year after year, keep making it! Also, more is not better – stick with just a few side dishes rather than trying to re-create a Roman feast. Nobody wants to socialize with exhausted, harried host who can’t enjoy his own party because he’s been up all night. It’s not Top Chef; it’s a holiday!

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Shannon

I’m the host-for the first time. I need to have this book to teach me how to cook the turkey!

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Elina

Guest this year. Make sure to wash dishes as you cook, otherwise you’ll have a mountain of dishes after dinner.

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Sarah

I love hosting Thanksgiving! I live for this every year…. I always have my menu written out, and I have a list that I use to keep me organized. I also do all my desserts and apps the day before πŸ™‚

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June H

Ask each guest…What is the one dish that makes it Thanksgiving for you?…and be sure to include that dish! We already did an early celebration for my son-in-law who will be in Japan for the holiday…included the white soft rolls for him!

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Jane

My Thanksgiving tip is to prepare as much as possible ahead of time. Several weeks in advance, I buy turkey legs and wings and use them to prepare the turkey broth (which I freeze) for the stuffing. I also make a menu with a countdown of what to prepare and when. I would love Sam Sifton’s Thanksgiving! Last year after your post, I placed it on my Christmas wish list…but alas, did not receive a copy. Maybe this year?

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Becky M

For the first time in almost ten years I am not hosting. That said, I make homemade rolls a week in advance and freeze them right before I would do the last rise but after they are shaped. Them they can come out of the freezer day of but require no more work than waiting and baking.

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Heather

I am the host this year. How I got to be 45 years old without ever hosting Thanksgiving is beyond me. I’m not clueless, and I’m a respectable cook, I just really want to do this right and bless my family πŸ™‚

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Marie

I am going to be a #Host for the first time this year and am a little bit nervous! So I have no tips but appreciate all of the help on your blog!

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Kelly Connolly

Not sure yet if I’m the host or guest this year. Either way I’ll be cooking a bunch- the side dishes are the best part of Thanksgiving. I tend to go over board with them, so my tip is to keep it simple. Spend more time with people and less time overwhelmed by cooking a feast!

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sally

I’ll be a guest this year. Last year I hosted a small group (just 5 of us, first time celebrating TG together, sentimental but not super-demanding) and we did a little group menu planning. So good to make sure to have everything important for the guests but not make every single dish.

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potato queen

I am a guest who hopes to host someday. But I have hosted Oktoberfest parties with over 100 guests, and we made real food, so I’ve got some cred. And of course I have the same advice as everyone else: do as much possible ahead of time. Make a Big List. Do the shopping for nonperishables a week or two in advance. List the day you’ll finish each task (mix stuffing day before, lay out all your serving bowls and platters and label what each is for with a postit, gather all ye serving spoons while ye may).

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dominique

always looking for more traditions to add to the td repertoire (which currently includes hickory smoked turkey breast, biscuit and bacon stuffing, sweet potato pecan pie)

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Wendy

Hosting for the first time in over ten years. I’m a huge cook of side dishes, but haven’t cooked a turkey in all these years. Plus, 18 people, Wow!!

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Wendy

Hosting for the first time in over ten years. I’m a huge cook of side dishes, but haven’t cooked a turkey in all this time! Plus, we are a big group – 18!!

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Tori Ryan

Perpetual #guest but one with lots of cooking responsibilities so this would be a great help.

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Kelly J

Every year my (new!) husband and I #host a thanksgiving the Saturday before the holiday for our friends and neighbors. It’s such a great way to celebrate our bonds and reflect on all of the changes of the past year (weddings, babies, new houses and jobs!) my thanksgiving tip is to give up total control and let your guests bring dishes to share – it’s more fun when everyone brings something unique to the table and you share an electric meal! (Probably much like the first thanksgiving!)

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Stephanie

Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE holiday. I’m a guest this year, but since my mom doesn’t like to cook, I do most of the cooking with my dad. Our tip is to wash dishes in stages throughout the day to keep them from piling up.

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Linnea Beckwith

Yay Thanksgiving! My favorite tip: morning after Thanksgiving pull out ALL the leftovers, let everyone go crazy filling an individual-sized baking dish, crack an egg on top of each, bake @ 350 ~ 20 mins. This year I’m going to be a #guest at my in-laws – but will be heavily involved in the food prep!

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Kristen

I am an annual guest and #1 dish washer… every host should make sure to have one of those! Would love this book for my mother who has been hosting for as long as I can remember!

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Jen W.

I’ll be a guest, at not 1, but 2 Thanksgiving feasts. My tip is to assign side dishes and pies to your guests, and focus on the turkey.

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Court

I’m a #host! My tip is to make a schedule for the stove and oven, and make sure you make some sides on the stovetop.

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Kristen

I am a host, who unfortunately gave food poisoning to guests 5 years ago. Miraculously, not only are they willing to risk sitting at my table, they shelled out plane tickets to do it!

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Ellie

I am maybe hosting this year, it hasn’t been decided yet. If so, it will be my first time hosting!

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Audrey Tepe

Yum! I am a guest at my moms. We are having 14 people and we have never had that before! So I am sure I will be recruited.

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Suzannah

We alternate hosting duties. This year I’m the guest. Our best tip is to invest in a turkey fryer! Fried turkey is amazing, and just as importantly, it frees up the oven for all the other things!

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Lynn

Technically I’m a #guest, as Thanksgiving Dinner is at my Mom’s house, but I live nearby and I am very involved in the food prep! Biggest Tip: DO AHEAD! Pie Crust can me made ahead and frozen, turkey can brined the day before, mashed potatoes can be made ahead and rewarmed in a chafing dish or slow cooker. Give yourself as much lead time as possible!

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Christine

Guest bringing half of the food, so does that make me a “ghost” (half guest, half host)? hee hee

My tip is to mark your serving dishes and table with post it notes, so you have the proper size dishes to hold your food and you know where everything will go when you set the table.

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Kelly V.

With my husband on call, we’re hosting my family this year (we hope!). However, I think we may cater the turkey – maybe I’ll be inspired πŸ™‚

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Ginger M.

Host. For our sweet little family of four. Tip: I make the easiest cranberry sauce ever first thing in the morning. I feel overly accomplished after that and can do anything for the rest of the day. Provided there is champagne for the cook. After noon of course πŸ™‚

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Annieb

I am down to only 3 people at our Thanksgiving celebration and I must say I like it. After years of Turkey day extravaganzas, this small holiday is a relief and a joy. I keep it very simple and it is always wonderful.

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Clare

I’m a guest this year, but have hosted for 5 out of the past 7 years.
Tip: make a side (or 2 or 3) that can be served at room temperature. Roasted Brussels sprouts are delicious at room temp, with a little balsamic vinegar drizzled over them. My mother makes a great green bean salad with a dill dressing that tastes better cold or at room temp. It lessens the stress with all that last-minute prep.
Thanks for hosting this giveaway! With everything else that’s been going on this year, I almost forgot to get excited about my very favorite holiday coming up!

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Melissa

Happy to be a guest this year! But when I do host, I make as much as possible the day before so I only have to concentrate on the turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving day.

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Kate

So thankful to be a #GUEST this year, and here’s a universal law to ALL guests out there: Offer to bring something!!! And if the host declines your offer, bring a nice bottle of wine to share. My specialty is the dessert category, so my sister-in-law often hosts, and I do an array of 4 or 5 desserts for us all. πŸ™‚

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Margaret

I’m a #Guest of a wonderful friend who is so dedicated to making sure Thanksgiving happens way out in the countryside in France that she has been known to stash a frozen turkey in her hand luggage when flying back from the States (she’s a flight attendant)! She has an address in the US, so should be eligible and I know she’d love to receive this book.

My tip is to always remember that having friends and family around you is way more important than anything else, so relax, get everyone to bring a dish and enjoy the day.

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Britt

Finally a #guest this year after several hostings. I love to cook, but I hate to get the house clean. Make sure you give yourself ample time to do chores before the big day, and remember delegating to your fiancΓ© or whoever is a-ok!

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Amanda

I’m a #guest. We’re traveling 6hrs to NC, so we’re bringing some make-aheads: Orangette’s Cranberry Sauce and Butternut Squash Puree, The Kitchn’s Sage Stuffing (which can be transported in the cooler pre-baking), and Wine.

Love Thanksgiving!

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Kathryn

#guest and my only tip is PREP IN ADVANCE. You don’t get extra points for doing it all the day of and making yourself miserable.

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Jess

#Host! For the fifth year in a row I’ve got friendsgiving. Also the best thing I ever did was put brown butter in my mashed potatoes. NO REGRETS!

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Claire

Host. We are smoking a turkey on our Weber Grill this year and I am attempting 2 new recipes. Good thing there is only 6 of us. Viva Thanksgiving!

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Cynthia

I am hosting, have for the past 4 years. Last year it was 2 weeks after my baby was born. This year thanksgiving falls on my BIRTHDAY! My tip would be to let people help…have them bring their signature dish, wash dishes, etc.

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Miya

I’m hosting this year, but it’s a group effort. My mom is making the turkey, dressing and gravy. Whew. I am in charge of all the sides. My #1 tip is to set out a few starters for your guests to nosh on while you finish any last minute work. Cheese board? Veggies & Dip? Bourbon…

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Awads

#guest here….the first time in eons i’m not doing every bit of the cooking myself, and i’m a little bit sad. but happy i’ll be with family. …i made those perfect chicken thighs last night from Bon Apetite, by the way, and they were delicious (if a little bit messy, what with all that sizzling going on at the stovetop!). Big hit with my small child, too!!!

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Vicki

#guest, but have hosted before. Involve the guests in bringing sides – they have something they like and one less dish for you to prepare!

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Angie

I am the host and the guest! My husband’s family gathers every year at a cabin in the woods for the long weekend. We take turns preparing meals throughout the weekend and ignore the Black Friday madness that happens after the Thursday turkey.

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Jen Durso

#Guest this year, but I love to host this holiday. Don’t go too heavy on the appetizers.

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Ashley

#Guest, who intends to insert at least one–if not two–truly southern dishes into the frosty, sadly butter-less landscape of my in-laws’ thoroughly northern Thanksgiving dinner. Can anyone say greens and pecan pie?

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dianne

I’m hosting but at a cabin, not my house. I’m worried about not having everything I need so the lists got started last week!

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Suzi

Hosting this year! My tip is to invite non-family members – to make it feel more like a party and to minimize family drama. Everybody seems to be on their best behavior when non-family members are around.

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Luz

#Host I’m hosting my immediate family for a small but yummy get together. We’re skipping the turkey and going straight for the pernil with traditional and Spanish fixings! Can’t wait =)

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Alli

This year will be different, but usually I’m #Host. My tip is to clean the fridge–really clean it. Everything out, scrub, throw away condiments, etc–before you start shopping.

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Beth Berlin

My husband and I are giving thanks this year by actually withdrawing a little bit and spending the holiday alone, together. We’ve had a long few months of packing and moving and unpacking and fixing and we are so looking forward to a long weekend of binge-watching television. We’ll be hosting next year in our new home, but this year we’re hoping to be #Guests of our friends

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Shari

#Host! Thanksgivukah this year. Adding latkes to side dishes and making cranberry applesauce. Make mashed potatoes in the morning and keep them warm in the slow cooker.

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Lisa

I’m sort of the #host in that I am the primary cook but it’s at my in-law’s house.

My biggest tip is to do a lot of the peeling, chopping, and baking as you can beforehand AND to make a rough schedule of what will be going in the oven when along with cooking times.

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Barbara

#Guest, but I’ll be making a cranberry pie and maybe The Smitten Kitchen’s chocolate caramel crack

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Emily

This year I’m the host for 11 college students in my American Literature class. I’m thinking traditional fare for their un-adventurous palates–we won’t be recreating the early American feast.

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Leslie

#Guest this year (my sister & I take turns). don’t be afraid to ask people to bring specific courses/dishes to ease the load. People are always flattered when you ask for their workarounds version of something!

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Leslie

#Guest this year (my sister & I take turns). don’t be afraid to ask people to bring specific courses/dishes to ease the load. People are always flattered when you ask for their wondrous version of something!

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ivey@durangomom.com

i am hosting…our family is far, far away and we have ‘traditionally’ shared thanksgiving with our neighbors down the road. they do the turkey and we do the rest!

i am from the deep south and mired in my grandmother’s ways. we have dressing (not stuffing!), giblet gravy, rolls, greens, sweet potatoes with a pecan crust, and drum roll please….

tomato aspic.

no one even likes it. but it is certainly a conversation starter.

would love to win.

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Sharon

I’ve tried being the host but I am an excellent #guest – I bring the perfect wine and a delicious dessert, always help out with the cooking or setting up as needed, and will happily scour some pots at the end of the meal.

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Shannon

My tip is to plan out the tasks that people can easily help you with ahead of time (stirring the gravy, setting the table, etc.). That way, you can gracefully take advantage of offeres to lend a hand, and you might not be as sweaty when it’s time to serve and eat!

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Liz Stark

I am a #Host to 30 people this year for Thanksgiving. A mix of family and friends. I truly am looking forward to it! Thankfully everyone gets along.

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Maria

I am the #Host for the first time ever!! For both sides of the family. It’s going to be awesome, but I could use all the help I can get πŸ™‚

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Elizabeth

I am both guest and host this year…I will be traveling to my mother in laws in Vermont. She just had her knee replaced so I will be staying in her house but in charge of the turkey!

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sigourney start

I am the guest! Although i have been given the task of producing a yummy pudding, well of course a few as we all love a bit of choice when it comes to desert. I have always wanted to celebrate a traditional thanksgiving holiday in America and since my friend got a job in Chicago i snapped at the chance and booked my flights! i am so excited to see her in a new adventure! so in just over 2 weeks time i would have landed and would love to present my friend with such a fab looking book!

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Amy

Guest this year, and my best trick (as host) is to prepare as much as food as possible a day or two ahead. I’ve learned that even make-ahead mashed potatoes are possible — they involve a lot of cream cheese, and butter, and sour cream — and they are glorious.

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Sarah

I’m a guest. I’ve only been the host once and after I read this book I can make that happen. Ha!

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Jenn

Canadian Thanksgiving has already passed and I was a #guest x2 this year. But Christmas is fast approaching and there’s a good chance I’ll be #host this year.

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Caitlin

#host! For the first time! I’m focusing on keeping the house in order, as well as some make-ahead dishes. My dad can’t wait to take over turkey duty!

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Mary

I’m the host this year, and it has been a while. My tip: Ask someone else to bring desserts. Spend the day before doing everything possible that can be done ahead of time – cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, even chop/trim the veggies. Also triple-check that grocery list so you don’t have to run to the store on Thanksgiving morning (like I always seem to have to!)!

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Jen Byers

I will be a helping guest at a rental house in the outer banks. The advice I always have to remember is to not overdo it. One or two amazing dishes is better than four mediocre.

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Sally

I’m the host for the first time this year, of a very small party. My husband and I love to cook together, so I’m looking forward to it!

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Julie

I am the guest at my sister’s house, but I am providing about half of the food. Everything except the turkey/gravy/potatoes.

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Sarah

I’m a guest, but like several others, will be bringing a lot of food with me – pies, rolls, gluten-free alternatives for my toddler.
Thanks for the giveaway!

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Anne

I’m the guest this year for the first time in about 5 years, which is great. My tip is don’t be afraid to ask for help!

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Elyse G.

Have a “leftovers” party the day after Thanksgiving where everyone brings them to share. *fingers crossed*

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Kelly

I will be a guest, but am in charge of making dessert! It’s a lot of pressure, especially since I’m not in love with traditional pies!!

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Ann

I’m a guest this year! My tip is to make sure any food you’re transporting is SECURELY situated in an upright position, out of direct sunlight, and that the lids are on tightly. Even if your containers have lids (like glass Pyrex containers) it doesn’t hurt to put a layer of plastic wrap underneath. (This tip courtesy of a melted chocolate pudding pie and a leaky bowl of pasta salad.)

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Julianne

I host Thanksgiving for my family and my tip is just to relax and enjoy the day as much as possible!! And a little yoga the night before is good, too!!

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Taryn

This year I’llbe a bit of both. I am expecting a new baby, so we’ll be hosting visiting family but I’ll be trying to relinquish Thanksgiving duties to my husband. Thankfully, he’s wonderful in the kitchen!

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Ari

#Host for both Friendsgiving (with friends) and Thanksgiving (with Family)! Pro tip- don’t be scared of making too much! Thanksgiving leftovers are the best.

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Nisa

I am the host for Thanksgiving! I just try to get as many things prepared ahead of time as possible and have my mom make the gravy!!

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Jennifer I

Since my mom passed away last summer, I host Thanksgiving. I just can’t do Christmas anymore. My mom always made the candied sweet potatoes my dad likes, and even though I watched her make them every year, I can’t seem to replicate them.

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Laura

Hosting this year after many years as a guest! Tip: take a walk between dinner and dessert. It’s invigorating and allows the food (and drink) to settle.

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Meaghan

I’m a guest at my Dad and step-moms house as I have been for years. Now that I have kids and the space to accommodate my family I’ve considered taking over and hosting. I’m to scared – the pressure to be perfect is too much. That and I think my step-Mom would be really mad. Maybe I’ll get the courage next year!

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Amanda

#host this year. tip is invite people who might not have anywhere to go for thanksgiving. share the love.

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Amy B.

I love this! When you printed the 10 Laws of Thanksgiving last year, I printed them off and taped them to the front of my Fridge for all to see, LOL. And while most are there for the Turkey, I’m all about the dressing…that’s MY favorite dish. Not sure yet if I’m hosting or going to be a guest…my family doesn’t decide who’s turn it is until about the week before the holiday πŸ™‚ I’ll be cooking regardless.

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Rebecca

I’m the guest this year, although I prefer hosting. My tip: roast lots and lots of root vegetables, preferably with a riot of colors (beets help a lot with this). Roast them with a little bit of olive oil and generous amounts of salt, then serve them room temperature. You can make them in the morning or the day before, they make the table and your plate colorful, and they help you fill up on something other than too much stuffing.

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Kristan C.

I am usually a #guest, but last year I finally played the #host! And it was so much fun! Thanks a lot in part to your posts last year regarding Sam’s book. I would love to have the entire book to guide us in future Thanksgiving hosting events!

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Maggie

First time #host this year! My tip is to run a turkey trot 5k in the morning– it gets everybody’s “wiggles” out and doesn’t actually take away from too much prep time- plus you’ll feel better about eating too much pie later!

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Becca

For the first time in many years, my husband and I, along with my brother and sister-in-law, are going to my parents for Thanksgiving. To give us more time to give thanks and spend time with one another, my husband and I will do most of the cooking and clean up. But there’s no doubt that we’ll gather in the kitchen during the prep and share our trade secrets for the perfect turkey. I think that makes us guests with gifts.

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Nancy

#host. Set table the night before, and organize serving dishes and serving utensils. Enlist the kids in making place cards.

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Rachel

#Host We are hosting two Thanksgiving dinners this year. A small one on the actual day for family (just 5 people) and a huge one a week before for friends (likely around 30 people). The key to the best turkeys we’ve ever made: 24-hour brine!

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anna

I don’t have a tip, but my dad told me the sweetest story about thanksgiving this year. My little brother has been away at Infantry and Ranger and now Airborne school for the last 10 months and when he called my dad he listed all of the thanksgiving traditions he wanted to celebrate when he comes home this month. he specifically asked to do dishes. because every year he does dishes after dinner. the sweetest. #guest

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Kandyce

I’m always a #Guest b/c it’s always at my mother-in-law’s house, but I always bring the breads and pies and hope to one day be the host for the family’s Thanksgiving

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Maggie

I will be a guest at my boyfriend’s family thanksgiving again this year. His chef uncle cooks the bulk of the meal, but we always try and bring something- I hate to come empty handed to anything!

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Sarah

I’m a #guest but aspiring #host.

My #guest tip is, don’t fast all day before the feast! You need to expand your stomach a little or you won’t be able to stuff yourself silly. πŸ™‚

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Bob

I’m a guest, but responsible for the pie! I’d love to have a copy of this for dessert ideas.

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Jennifer P

I am hosting this year and so excited because this is a meal I love cooking. This year I am on call so I truly am doing almost everything in advance. Made the stock last weekend and will make the soup this week and put it in the freezer. Also I will make the cranberry sauce this weekend. I would love a new book with need ideas and recipes!!

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Sam Sifton

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all. To all you hosts, thanks for these great tips, and to all you guests, look lively with the thanks and praise. It means a lot to those cooking. I’m roasting a fat bird this year and plan on consuming many oysters beforehand. If you get jammed up, you can always reach out to me on Twitter: @samsifton. Enjoy and — here’s hoping! — happy reading.

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wanda

My tip would be to make the busy food items the night before.
Mashed pot’s, green bean casserole, dressing…make it all and cover with foil. The next day just stick it in the oven to warm up! Gives you more time with loved ones.

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Kiersten

I’ll be out of the country for Thanksgiving this year! BUT since it’s my absolute favorite holiday (and meal!) I’m hosting a Thanksgiving part 2 the following weekend to celebrate and be thankful with friends (and turkey!).

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Emma

I’m the host, and my tip isn’t very revolutionary, except for maybe it is. Don’t sweat it. Presumably the people sharing your table like or even love you already, so no need to impress them or try to be something you’re not. Keep it simple, and make sure there’s plenty of booze.

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jen

#guest this year. I love Sam Sifton’s writing. Prep in advance, sure, but also go for a walk in the morning and open wine for the cook at least when the turkey goes in the oven…

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Katherine

I’m the host – for both my and my husband’s family. My tip is to make and freeze in advance the Dinner A Love Story Tuscan Minnestrone soup to serve for dinner, along with warm sourdough bread, to those members of the family who will arrive Wednesday night!

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Laura

It’s mine and my husband’s first thanksgiving together so I’m looking for tips for a first-time #host. But I agree with Emma, can’t go wrong with plenty of booze.

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Barbara

Thanksgiving is my son-in-law’s favorite holiday; he is cooking this year and I know it will be great. I would love to send this to him.

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Carrie S

I am a guest who wishes I could host. That said – our Thanksgiving is a wonderful mix of those of us who want traditional all the way (me, my sister, my dad) and those who want to eat beef (everyone else). We are also in a gluten free / gluten full split…so we could use all the help we can get! My tip is to try to keep people focused on the point of the day – being Thankful – and the history of the day. Last year we created a “Are you smarter than a 1st grader” quiz on Thanksgiving history. The first grader won – but only because she had watched the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving movie about 100 times before the big day. Thanks for your blog – it is how I start my day…Carrie

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jackie

It’s definitely worth sitting down a week or two before Thanksgiving and making a meal plan, shopping list, and cooking schedule. It helps to think about what can be done in advance and what last-minute things should be done when. #host

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Vince Steinman12

I’m definitely the host. My tip in 3 words: mise en place. Make sure you have everything at hand before you begin cooking–and I mean everything: ingredients, equipment and serving bowls. There’s nothing worst than running around at the last minute on Thanksgiving Day trying to pick up an ingredient you forgot.

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Jina

I will be hosting this year, with a 3 month old in tow πŸ™‚ And I will have gone back to work that week, too! Whew.

For me, cocktails and wine play as big a part of the meal as the food. Plus, it will keep people happy while you’re doing last minute preparation.

Also, it doesn’t have to be turkey, people! I like turkey, but I’ve had Thanksgiving in the past with roast chicken, duck and ham. It’s all been delicious.

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Meg Brack

I love Thanksgiving and am hosting for a huge family get together. My side, my husband’s side, new house, and now our one year old twins in the mix. I can use all the help I can get! Would love a copy of this beautiful book and so appreciate all these tips! #host

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Jen W

#Host this year. My tip is to take people up on their offers to help/bring things. And put the kids to work–doing dishes, creating decor, setting the table, etc.

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Erin A

I will be a guest this year, but probably still doing the majority of the cooking, just not in my house. My favorite side dish is a corn casserole with broccoli and cheese covered with bread crumbs! Would love a copy of the book for all those side dishes and for future when I start hosting again.

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Virginia

I’m a #guest. My tip is to thank and compliment the host even more than you think necessary, like salting pasta water, especially if she is your 75 year-old aunt who can’t cook! Oh, and bring wine and pie – along with your love. It’s funny how I leave my food expectations at home this food holiday, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. If I win a Sifton book, I can imagine a delicious meal. πŸ™‚

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Madeline

I’m a #host along with my mom and 3 sisters– it’s a major team effort at our house! Everybody has to be in charge of a few dishes, and we all make it happen together. It’s just the best!

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Emily C.

I’m a #guest…and my tip is to help the host stay on top of the dishes! Every now and then, I ‘sweep’ the rooms and collect discarded dishes and cups, washing by hand what is easy and putting the rest in the dishwasher. Little bits at a time keep things from piling up!

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Lauren Gourley

I’ll be #host-ing this year as I’m far too pregnant to travel to see my family. Sort of looking forward to a really intimate dinner – but not sure how to cook all of our favorites for so few people!

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Janet

Co-host with my 92-year old mother! Thanksgiving is just the best food holiday there is, hands down. It’s generally all about tradition at our house, but I like to throw in one or two new twists. I would LOVE LOVE Sam Sifton’s Thanksgiving book to find some of those new twists to add to our Thanksgiving table.

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Lisa

I’m a guest! Our family has a tradition that everyone brings certain specialty dishes: roasted brussel sprouts, root vegetables, soup, homemade bread, dessert. The host is just responsible for the turkey. That way everyone has a sane amount of cooking to do and it’s easier to make sure vegetarians and people with allergies have things they can eat.

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Bea

I am a guest this year. I love to host but also happy to share the duty. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I am lucky to have my husband’s awesomely fun family wh0 make the holiday so great. My tip: relax and enjoy. No matter what – it’s all good and that’s the essence of the holiday.

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Katy

#host
My tip is to plan ahead and be organized by determining the menu, making the grocery list and figuring out what can be prepped ahead, I make a schedule of what needs to be done and when in the days ahead. Planning like this allows me to enjoy the day, rather than being frantic in the kitchen!!!

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Diane

I’m a #guest, as I am every year since Thanksgiving is held at the old family home which is a plane ride away.

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elizabeth e

quasi host/quasi guest! it’s at my parents’ house, and i’m helping to cook. i think that’d qualify myself as a #guest since i’m not paying for the ingredients?

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Jenny

I’m a guest this year, but will be helping my Mom with all of the cooking. I love Thanksgiving, it’s my favorite holiday!

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Susan

Guest, but Mom will be working later than usual the week of, so will be pitching in a decent amount on the host front. My best tip? Champagne. Lots of it. And starting early.

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Ame

I am making Thanksgiving happen this year for our little family with two picky eaters, my husband, and me (#host). But because we are getting back from Disney two days prior, and because I will be 8 months pregnant and am already flat-out tired, I’ve already ordered a pre-made turkey breast. I’ll be making two side dishes and the recipe on the back of the Libby Pumpkin can for dessert using a pre-made crust. I’ve done better in previous years, but this year I am just tired. So my tip would be to do what you can with what you have. Be elaborate if you have time, money, and energy, or play it down if you are short on resources. Nobody will remember the effort you put into making the food but they will remember the family time that you had together.

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Kirsten

Thank you for the giveaway! My tip, if you have small children, is “don’t get your feelings hurt”. They really don’t see this as anything other than dinner in the 2-5 range. If they eat a green bean, some sweet potato and declare gravy “goopy” and turkey “too stringy” and hop down after 10 minutes, don’t let that color your experience of the the holiday or them. I am so fortunate to have such healthy, bossy, particular little people in my life. πŸ˜‰

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Kathryn H

Host. My tip is a classic. I try to have as much done in advance as possible. Its such a wonderful day and I do not wish to spoil that by running around like a turkey with its head cut off. Also, wine helps everything!

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jmbh

Running the Turkey Trot in my hometown (finishes with a beer) and making the same kindergarten recipe for cranberry relish that I’ve been making for 32 years. I’m a guest this year, but when I host I try to remind myself that this truly is just another dinner where good food is lovely, but the presence of those we love makes the day special.

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Nancy

Hosting a friendsgiving this year with my fiancee. Our best Thanksgiving tip is: lots and lots of wine!

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Nina

Guest this year, but likely in charge of dessert and traditional sides and general toddler management. Consequently, I am appreciating the kid related tips!

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Zaree

I’m the guest…but according to my mother, who is a first time host, I’ll be cooking everything, while she wears a hat and drinks wine and is the “project manager.”

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Sharon

I’ll be hosting this year as usual. My main tip is to plan ahead and and work ahead so the day of is less stressful.

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Meghan

I’m the host…9 years running and I love it. Every year I pick one recipe to try something new on, but everything else that we adore stays the same. Desserts are the one thing I can’t find that I love (and I’m good at…) so sometimes I just let my mom buy the pies and bring them!

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Karen

#host for our family . Keeping my fingers crossed that this year my kids eat more than cranberry sauce.

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May

Co-hosting with some friends! I’m with an earlier poster- clean as you go. Makes for a much more enjoyable night :).

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Stephanie

Host! For cornbread dressing (which is the only one that graces our table), make the cornbread at least a day or two ahead so it’s a bit stale, then use more chicken stock than you think you’ll need to ensure that the dressing is super moist and flavorful!

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JessicaD

I’m the guest. My tip: love the tradition of going around the table to say what we’re thankful/grateful for.

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Lindsay

Usually, I am a guest, but this year, I will be a host! Kind of nervous about the whole thing, but I’m already recipe planning!

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Casey

I’m not the host, but I am the chef. That’s right, I bring all of the ingredients to cook in my parents home in my tiny hometown, praying I don’t forget anything because the closest grocery store is 30 miles away!

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Sasha Pickett

I am the host. My tip is to baste the bird in champagne and baste the chef, as well!

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Carolyn

I’m the host – for the first time! My husband and I just got married in July, and are hosting my parents this year. I’ll be frequently referencing these comments for tips!

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annie

I’ll be a guest with my new in-laws at a cousin’s house. I’d love to bring something wonderful to make a good impression. At my own family thanksgiving we rotate between serving everything Kosher and things like oyster stuffing. Its always a mixed bag!

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Natalie

I am the host to a growing set of guests in a university town. I really recommend you invite someone from another country to see Thanksgiving through new eyes again. I also suggest you make lots of veggies — make one of everyone’s favorites or have each guest bring one — such that you up the greens in your meal and have them available to complement the leftovers.

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Heather R

We recently moved to NY from Chicago and I’m missing our Friendsgiving tradition. In our final year we were up to 50 guests and I feel like this book should be passed on to the couple that took over hosting duties!

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Judith Fitzpatrick

I love thanksgiving! #Host for the first time ever – cooking for my roommates!

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Megan L.

Host – make sure you know every guest’s dietary restrictions/allergies BEFORE you make a menu (based on unfortunate past experience)

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Ally P

#guest this year. Attending my first Thanksgiving with my new boyfriend’s family. Eek! Need something fantastic to bring!

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RK

I’m a first-time host – eeks! My MiL, who has uppity tastes and who, by the way, is from your neck of the woods (Larchmont), will be the primary intimidating guest. I’ll need all the help I can get.

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Amy

My first Thanksgiving with the in-laws, I took my favorite recipe from my mom’s Thanksgiving – her sweet potato casserole. It helped me feel more at home to have one of my favorites at the table and helped endear me to the host. Thanksgiving will be with my family this year, but I think the in-laws are making the casserole anyway. πŸ™‚

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Don

I am a guest. My wife is the chef. My tip is to make sure you are available to help in any way so the cook is happy and can enjoy the day.

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Pat

I’m a GUEST who bakes great pies. Thank you for sticking with tradition….and allowing traditions to develop, too.

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HeidiH

#guest. My husband’s parents are hosting the last Thanksgiving in the house he and his 5 siblings grew up in (he is 40 and the youngest)! I think it will be very special. We all pitch in with sides. My tip for Thanksgiving is use a site like Evite to organize the menu. The email storm is too annoying!

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Brittany

This year, I am a #guest….at three different Thanksgivings. My parents are recently divorced, so I’m splitting time between my dad (who can’t cook – this book would be great for him!), my mom (who already has all her classics ready to go) and my boyfriend’s family (where I’ll be bringing some delicious smitten kitchen apple pie – the best!).

My tip – lots of wine!

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Natalie Britz

When you only have one tiny oven, consider bbq’ing your turkey! It will save you and takes a huge level of stress out of the already bustling kitchen! #Guest

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Ellen @ CheapCooking

#host this year. We have a few dishes that MUST be on the table and then I always play with a few new ones, depending on how many people are coming. My main tip though is to not overdo the appetizers! Make sure there’s plenty of appetite left for dinner.

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Christine

It’s a group effort! Someone takes the bird, and everyone else has their favorite sides, so no one person is overwhelmed πŸ™‚

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bentley

I’m neither! We are only cooking for ourselves this year (just me, husband and the kids) and I can’t WAIT. First year in many where I haven’t hosted. In lieu of guests we are going to see the floats being blown up in NYC on turkey day eve, and then having friends over for the weekend.
My tip: before digging in, don’t forget to go around the table and say what you’re most thankful for this year.

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Brittney

I’m a #guest this year. But next year I’m going to be the host for the first time ever, so for the whole month of November, I’m practicing Thanksgiving classics (did pumpkin pie last night, doing mashed potatoes next).

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Nia

#guest this year…and spending Thanksgiving with my boyfriends family for the first time! I have promised to bring a veg side and a dessert and am stumped on trying to pick the perfect recipes! I dont want to bring a sad, soggy casserole and be remembered forever for it….

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Reynaul

I am the host, and my tip is don’t mess with the traditional dishes, even if they don’t taste all that great and the only reason they show up each year is because they are “tradition”. You will get boycotts from the family members. That said, I always try and add one or two new items to the menu, and the Holiday entertaining book from Gourmet and Bon Appetit that you recommeded last Friday has lots of post it notes already sticking out of it!

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Carrie B

Usually the guest, but wouldn’t mind being the host, if I’m honest. I second all people who said “clean as you go!” In fact, that’s my all-time favorite tip for cooking any meal. Just wish my husband agreed.

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Ariana

Im the host/guest. we are having thanksgiving at my mom’s house, but I help so much and would love a great book to perk up our menu!!!

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Laura Z.

#Host. I would LOVE this book.

My tip is to not tell anyone what creative new dishes you want to add into the mix. It will only create pre-holiday anxiety. It is much better to plan the menu as usual . Then, on the day of, surprise everyone with that one new dish or a new spin on an old reliable that you just “happened to whip up”. This could be mashed turnips or mashed cauliflower instead or in addition to the standard mashed potatoes. I often make vegan desserts (I am vegetarian but no one else in my family is) without telling anyone that they are vegan. If they don’t know, they are more likely to dig in!

Happy Thanksgiving! I cannot wait!

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Jules

I have hosted many Thanksgiving dinners and to me the best tips are to do ahead as much as you can, don’t be afraid to ask for help and relax. OH! And football should always be on the TV! πŸ™‚

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Kristin

Just be with the people you love and it will be the best day ever even if you burn the turkey

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Rose

We’re hosting my parents for the first time ever. The menu includes a cider-brined turkey that was awesome last year and my mom’s delicious dressing. Everything else is still to be determined. In addition to all the wonderful tips above, I’ll add: have a drink!

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Peter

Host Thanksgiving dinner for 15-20, going on 9 years and counting. I love every second of it. My tip is to start drinking early: mimosas are in full flow by 10AM T-Day morning.

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Trish

I am the host. Advice – Be yourself and keep it simple. The food will be great because it was made with love.
Enjoy the company around you and have meaningful conversations.

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Molly

My wise mother’s advice: Don’t have too many appetizers; they will spoil your appetite for the main event. I am a guest this year.

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Terry

I have hosted for 38 years and this year we are going out! Would love the book for next year though.

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Jen P

Don’t feel like you have to have every dish in the rota every year. They can take turns. #host

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Amy

Host – we are doing a building wide (2 family) thanksgiving this year. My tip: don’t forget the other meals that day and the day before. Have plenty of easy meals/food ready for breakfast, snacks, dinner the night before. Otherwise you may have lots of cranky little ones on hand (I learned this the hard way).

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Jess.

My elderly parents are being hosted by my sisters, I wish I were going to be a #guest, but I’d still love to send this to my sisters as a gift (which I may just do anyway).
Here’s my tip:
Just break down and get a fat separator. You may not use it often, but it will make your Thanksgiving so much less stressful at gravy time. This turkey is the only one I ever find worth eating, and the resulting gravy will change your life:
http://www.marthastewart.com/353184/perfect-roast-turkey
XOX

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Elizabeth K

We make the gravy ahead of time (recipe from America’s Test Kitchen Make Ahead Cook Book). It saves us from the last minute panic of is the gravy going to thicken!

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Emily G.

#Guest because I’m traveling across the country, but I plan to help with at least half the cooking and a lot of dishes. Tip: When doing ahead, don’t forget to take your contributions out of the fridge/freezer when packing up the car…

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angela

#host. You can’t go wrong brining a turkey. I know some food writers don’t like it, but it takes the stress out of cooking the turkey for me.

Thanks for the giveaway!

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Sara

Host – i could not agree more with the tip for cranberry sauce and gravy “making” the whole meal. My aunt insisted on making this burnt flour gravy last year and let’s just say, that won’t be happening again πŸ™‚

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Bianca

I’m a #host. Can’t wait to have my toddler “help” make pies for the first time. With no family nearby, we always host an assortment of friends, and ask them to bring a dish that they loved from their own family celebrations, regardless of national origin. It makes for a great ecclectic feast. (and I provide the turkey/cranberry/stuffing/gravy/pie, so we have all the essentials)

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Christine Treece

I’m the #Host this year and my tip is to invest in an electric turkey roaster, especially if you have a small oven like me πŸ™‚
Thanks for the giveaway!

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April

#Host My husband and I host Thanksgiving every year. The best tip I follow … prep and cook ahead as much as you can! Makes the day of much more enjoyable πŸ™‚

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Judy

I’ve learned a lot over the many years I’ve hosted Thanksgiving. But, my favorite tip is this: I order my fresh turkey completely brined, seasoned and buttered. All I have to do is pull off the plastic wrap covering the baking pan and put in it the oven. No nasty necks to pull out, no raw turkey juice dripping on every kitchen surface to contend with – nothing! For this, I am thankful. Happy Thankgiving.

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genelle

#Guest
Always offer to bring anything the host needs, and always take over clean up so the host can rest after cooking all day!

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Carmen

#host. every.damn.year.
I’ve learned that when guests ask “Can I bring something?” the correct answer and is “Sure! What would you like to bring?”.
There isn’t a medal for doing everything yourself.

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Jaclyn

#host. My tip is to buy the pies from the Grand Traverse Pie Company. They can’t be beat, and I don’t have time to do everything πŸ™‚

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Laura B

I’m a #guest and after marrying my vegetarian husband, have converted to a no-turkey thanksgiving. This means I need as much help as I can get finding tons of awesome traditional t-giving recipes and making them veg. It’s creative fun.

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Jacqueline

Last year I hosted and this year I am going to my brothers – we trade off each year. Last year, I loved the rule from Sam: “Start serving drinks the moment your guests arrive, no matter the hour.” Always a good tip! I will add that The Algonquin might be an ideal cocktail to serve when those guests arrive: 1.5 oz Whisky, .75 oz dry Vermouth, .75 oz unsweetened Pineapple juice, stirred vigorously over ice then strained into an up glass, gotten from Food52. Happy Thanksgiving

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Diane

I am a guest who will be contributing to the meal. My husband and I alternate between our families each year and this year we will be at my mom’s and dad’s. I will probably be taking the pies–apple, pumpkin, and mincemeat:)

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leela

Let others lend a hand in the kitchen. It has the added benefit of having company while you cook. #host

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Mona

#host
I make everything ahead that I can. Cornbread and stale bread for stuffing can be made and frozen any time now. On the big day, roast the turkey and heat the sides you mixed up the day before. Light the candles and you are ready to go!

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Diane

#Hosting and my tip is to delegate. There’s no need to be the hero on Thanksgiving. Give your family and friends assignments. This allows you to spend some time on one WOW dish.

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sarah

a #guest and a #host. i usually throw a pot-luck with friends beforehand, and then let my family cook for me the day of!

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Rebecca

Mmm, yum. Thanks for the chance to win! Tip: cornflakes and pecans with brown sugar to top the sweet potato casserole. Yes.
#Guest

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Coralie

I’m a guest, but mom is the host. Seeing as I usually make all three desserts, I think I deserve partial host status.

I usually make two batches of pie crust the week before and freeze ’em, then the day before thanksgiving I’ll make a full pie and two without a top crust!

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Angela

I’m the guest this year, but will be bringing something. When I’ve hosted in the past, I’ve made whatever can be refrigerated ahead of time to save time andoven space on the day of.

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Diane

I think this would be fun to help organize my day (although my husband is the one who makes the turkey, thankfully). My tip? Check out the thanksgiving smoothie on the Hillbilly Housewife blog. It is the best thing to have the morning of or the day after–not too filling or fattening, but just right.

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Colleen

I’m the host and as the oldest sibling, I like to make sure everyone eats yummy food, gets to relax, and tries new things. I like to show my parents that I’m thankful for all of the meals they’ve cooked for us in the past.

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Ani

I am devouring Thanksgiving articles and books prepping for our second year as turkey-day hosts. Last year I worked night shift at the hospital the night before, and my husband and I cooked everything in a very sleep deprived state – which resulted in me crashing out in the bedroom right after pumpkin pie. This year I am determined to make up for that! My advice is have everyone help out a bit by bringing something (a big help if you have limited space), but make it something that doesn’t have to be heated in the oven so your turkey isn’t competing for a spot in the oven!

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Kathryn

In the past I’ve been the host, but this year I’m a #guest at the in-laws’. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and I can’t wait to check out this book!

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Mary H.

This year Thanksgiving happens to fall on my 40th birthday so we’re hosting my entire family…but not at home, at a beachfront rental house in SC! We’ll need all the tips we can get πŸ™‚
#host

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Melissa

I’m the host! My first tip is to make sure you schedule whats going in the oven (when, what temperature) and also on the range. And make sure you have enough pots, pans, and lids.

My second tip is good BUTTER. Lots of it. πŸ˜‰

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Libby

I anxiously await the day when I get to be the host. But for now I’m just the guest.
At our family gatherings, people take their dishes pretty seriously and everyone is looking for what they’re used to! There’s no room for corn pudding when Aunt So-and-So already takes care of the crock-pot creamed corn. All of the basics are always already covered and so I make a point to bring a dessert that is easy, travels well, and the kids will love.
This year I’m bringing rice crispy treats covered with a caramel layer. It’s not exactly traditional but it’s also not snooty and fancy and will step on exactly no one’s toes. πŸ˜€

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Libby

I anxiously await the day when I get to be the host. But for now I’m just the #guest.
At our family gatherings, people take their dishes pretty seriously and everyone is looking for what they’re used to! There’s no room for corn pudding when Aunt So-and-So already takes care of the crock-pot creamed corn. All of the basics are always already covered and so I make a point to bring a dessert that is easy, travels well, and the kids will love.
This year I’m bringing rice crispy treats covered with a caramel layer. It’s not exactly traditional but it’s also not snooty and fancy and will step on exactly no one’s toes. πŸ˜€

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Elsa

Our home is too tiny to host, so I’m always a guest, even when I’m cooking the dinner (often at Mom’s house).

If I bring a dish to someone else’s Thanksgiving dinner, I make sure it’s something that’s either fully prepared or easy to fit into a busy, bustling kitchen – a side dish that is happy in in a wide range of oven temperatures, for example, or that can reheat quickly while the turkey is resting.

My real tip: always bring a little something beyond what the host requests, something special: a box of chocolates, or a bottle of sparkling wine, or muffins for the hosts’ breakfast the next day. Just a little something to say thanks for their hospitality and hard work.

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Michelle

#Guest, although I’d love to host! That’s crazy, though, right? I mean, is that crazy? πŸ˜‰

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Nicole

I love food. I really enjoy your website. I am a perpetual #guest for Thanksgiving and always bring a side dish or two, this year I’ve been assigned potatoes. We have a family favorite cheesy hash brown casserole or traditional mashed potatoes with buttermilk. Haven’t decided yet.

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Elisabeth

I believe we are hosting… any help is greatly appreciated! I’ll be scanning your site daily!

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laura

I’m the host this year — my parents live in town and my brother is too far away to come — so we switch off who is “in charge” each year so my mom and I each get to have it our way every other year.

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Kelly

I will be the guest! However, I’ll be helping prepare appetizers and side dishes to help my sister out πŸ™‚ Last year my husband and I spend our Thanksgiving in Rome for our honeymoon!!

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Carol

I am #host this Thanksgiving for my second year ever. Last year was year one- did ok, but always looking for further DALS-approved insight. The best thing I did last year was write out a time schedule for the day: timing the steps of each dish (when to start which dish, what to start prepping while others were in the oven, noting compatible oven temps, etc). It took about 1/2 an hour to write that up the week beforehand, but I felt anchored in sanity by having it- I’m pretty sure that’s what saved me. Love, love, love the sensibility and yumminess of this blog.

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Marguerite

Heat that turkey serving platter in the oven to keep all if you hard work warm as long as possible. #host

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Elizabeth K.

Our family is always the #guest, and I’d love to win a copy of this to thank my awesome sister-in-law who always hosts and does an AMAZING job! She even sends out an email every year asking what dish is everyone’s favorite to make sure that she includes it in the menu. Then, on top of that, she’ll usually make a brand-new dish just to add a little variation. Needless to say, it is a FEAST!

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Shani

#guest This year we’re eating at my cousin’s house and our current tip is to try to organize what everyone’s bringing in advance. This is doomed for failure, but at least we can make a good shopping list out of it. <3 Sam Sifton.

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Christina

This year I think I’m the #host, but I’m either a #host or #guest depending on the year. my family takes turns hosting Thanksgiving, and it’s always a potluck so even when I’m a guest, I’m always bringing a dish. Making Thanksgiving a potluck event is actually my tip since it takes some pressure off the host and makes it more of a communal event where everyone is taking part and helping out. Plus it gives everyone a chance to show off their signature dishes, but the host always makes the turkey.

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Hilary

Hello! This will be my 2nd hosting of Thanksgiving. This year I will again be taking the day before off to prep. My most helpful prep tip is to make a DETAILED list of each dish, its place in the meal and ingredients. I have a grocery list with ALL ingredients required in the far left column, then the dishes listed in the 1st row with what is needed for each below. Then I can total gthe ingredients across to see how much butter, etc. I need to have. The amounts can be surprising and I hate to buy to much as it does get pricey if errors are made!!

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Vanessa

I’m a guest! But we don’t really have a host! Ha. We’re doing this ‘Thanksgiving vacation’ thing for the second year in a row at a hotel (that loves dogs!) 2 1/2 hours away by the beach. There are pros and cons (no cleaning, no major dish washing) v (that means no homemade turkey leftovers, eek!) but I’m determined to make the most of it from the food side of things! Last year I brought down cinnamon buns and I have an apple crisp thing in the works for this year… Even thinking about slicing up a turkey to take for cold cut slices throughout the weekend in a small cooler!

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Sherrine

This will be our 2nd year to camp on Thanksgiving and we love to prepare a campfire feast!

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Michelle

I am a #guest this year but hope to host next year! My tip for fellow guests: bring some booze & be thankful. And offer to help, but not too many times. Some hosts want you to be relaxed/watch football πŸ™‚

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Lauren

I’m the #host, alongside my mom. We’ve hosted both sides of the family at once for the last ten years, so I’m hoping to be a grateful #guest sometime soon with some friends or family that will appreciate a homemade cranberry sauce!

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Heather

I’ll be a #guest since all of our family lives out of town, but I’d love for them to visit me so I can #host it up!

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phoebe

Im a guest, and I suggest pre-eating. I know, it’s thanksgiving, but when I take into account the hour+ car ride, the before meal hanging out, and the drinks pre-eating leaves me in a much more flexible mood. Plus it helps the kiddos coast past nap and actually make it to the big meal.

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Jen

I’m a #host this year, for the first time ever. I’m following my tip of inviting my mom to stay overnight the night before so she can help me make the turkey. I’ve never cooked a whole animal before so this will be key. She’s even bringing the turkey since she can get a free one with her supermarket points. I think I can handle sides and dessert!

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Mark J

With different for family and friends, I am the host at one party and the guest at another on that Saturday. My tip: even if you have a disaster or two (or all) people are very forgiving. So just relax and enjoy. An try something new, you’ll never know when you want to add a new family favorite to the food traditions.

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Laura

I’m always fundamentally opposed to changing the tried and true Thanksgiving menu, except for one thing, last year we subbed out the usual sweet potatoes for mashed sweet potatoes with chipotles in adobo. So so good. #guest this year.

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Heidi Smith

Loved the coverage of this book last year on your blog, I would love a copy as I prepare for my first ever thanksgiving as #Host Ah!

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Briana

I am co-hosting with my Dad. He’s a traditionalist when it comes to the holidays, and I like to spice it up. Together, we’ll have dinner planned by a 24 year old and a 54 year old. Should be a treat for everyone eating!

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Beth

We moved to Northern Alaska (I know – not in the 48 contiguous states but you should take pity on us) and I’ll probably make a small meal for my daughter and me since my husband and son don’t like turkey.

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Megan

A little of both… that’s what happens when you’re a grown adult guest back at your parents’ place for thanksgiving. I’m guessing I’ll be on the mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce.

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Liz R.

I am #host and #guest (I think?)! My extended family always celebrates Thanksgiving together and we all partake in the cooking and eating. It’s the best time of the year, in my humble opinion. We are always in need of Thanksgiving inspiration. And while we’ve got quite a few talented chefs in the family, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without canned cranberry sauce.

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Delight

Always prepare best-loved items. I made the mistake one year of making a pumpkin chocolate chip cake (NY Times) instead of my mother’s pumpkin pie. Big mistake. While the cake was delicious, I thought my family was going to throw me to the wolves for not having the pumpkin pie.
#guest.

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emma

Guest at my aunt + uncle’s house // I am planning on offering to make dinner one night while we stay to give them a cooking break! Best holiday gift, I think!!

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Tara

We are guests at multiple family dinners and we will likely bring a side vegetable dish or a pumpkin pie to each. Thanks for the chance to win!

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ELLEN F

#Guest. I’m hardly one to give advice since I’ve never hosted–but my mom will appreciate the book! She has been hosting for decades–she does a lot in advance and has the day timed perfectly.

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Jen P.

I have been the host and the guest …. my tip … always bring a hostess gift. It can be the smallest of tokens or the grandest of gestures, the thought and consideration given is always appreciated.

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Beth S

I host, but work on cleaning before and after while my Mum does most of the cooking. I am in my mid 40’s and have never cooked a turkey. Someday I will have to, but it scares me just a little.

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Heather

#host
1. I write my grocery list by store; 2. I purposefully plan a menu that requires me to start cooking Tuesday night. A little on Tuesday, a little more on Wednesday and Thursday is pretty manageable overall.

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Tori E

My husband, daughter, son & I are the host for my husband’s side of the family. It will be the first time in our 23 year marriage that we are hosting Thanksgiving meal. We’d love your book to guide us thru a successful event. With much gratitude,

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Sally

#host. Indian In-laws coming! + friends. My mother in law will spice up the stuffing and probably make a curry too. So my tip is be open to non-traditional dishes!!

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Emily

#Guest! Enjoying my dad’s turkey on the grill after a few years abroad and turkey-less on Thanksgiving. Yay America!

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Tracey

I am a #host. My best tip is take a mini break after getting the turkey and stuffing in the oven and before starting the sides. By break I mean pouring a glass of wine or making a mimosa (for those large birds that go in before 10am) and taking 10 minutes to enjoy the day and what’s to come. Then I can get started on round 2 of cooking!

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Mavi

We’ve no family in the area so my husband and I go out for Thanksgiving…. BUT over the weekend I cook a Thanksgiving menu with some of our family recipes and invite the neighbors over. So I’m a host. πŸ™‚ My tip: set the table a day or two ahead of the big day!

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JackieD

#guest this year at my brand new sister-in-law’s house (brand new as in 2 months at that point). It’s also her birthday (that week) so a b-day/hostess gift like this would be awesome.

Tip: well, my tip is to actually make less food; when I’ve hosted it’s only 1 pre-dinner nibble like nuts or cheese, turkey, mash, green beans with almonds, stuffing (if with family, otherwise I nix it) and dessert. I don’t mess with rolls, extra sides, elaborate pre-dinner snacks, etc. I’ve learned I only really want those main things anyway.

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Sasha

My parents always host Thanksgiving for our family of Russian immigrants – which is no small feat considering some years, like last year, there are over 40 people sitting down to the meal. It’s my favorite holiday, and although there are some Russian standbys on the table, my mother always has some delicious traditional food, with fun twists (wild rice, cranberry and hazelnut stuffing, cheesy mashed potatoes, roasted butternut squash with leaks, hazelnuts and goat cheese). I love sitting down as a #guest at her Thanksgiving table.

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Anna Y

I am very unhappily hosting this year after my turkey was an utter failure two years ago. Cooking a turkey gives me anxiety and makes me dread Thanksgiving. Please, I need all the help I can get!

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Sarah S

#guest this year at a huge family gathering. I’d love to cook my own Thanksgiving dinner over the following weekend though, even if just for the leftovers πŸ™‚

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Blair D

I’m hosting a Pre-Thanksgiving with 20-ish friends (in my small apartment!) in a week and a half. Then off to visit the parents for the real deal. I’d love to add this book to my (or my mom’s) collection! πŸ™‚

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kathryn

We grill our turkey after brining & spatchcocking it. Tastes delicious, the carcass makes a delicious soup, and it frees up the oven.

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Renee

We’re guests, as we live in Illinois and the rest of my family is in Michigan, thus, we travel to them. Still, I love to cook and am always eager to help my mom in the kitchen!

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Kristen

I’m the host. We host just about every year, and I always make 2-3 gallons of turkey stock for gravy and whatnot the weekend before the big day. Thanksgiving always reminds me what a good team my husband and I are!

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kathryn

We grill our turkey after brining & spatchcocking it. Tastes delicious, the carcass makes a delicious soup, and it frees up the oven. #host

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Jenna

I am a guest this year and my tip is to always have a killer dessert.. whether you’ve prepared it or have asked a guest to bring it!

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Sherri

I’m the guest but as my parents age my sisters and I take on a larger role in food preparation. My Mom starts setting the table on the Sunday before Thanksgiving and then preps food day by day until we all arrive for the big feast! We all bring wine because my Dad buys Two Buck Chuck (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) which gives us all a headache! My Mom (a retired art teacher) typically has a craft table for the kids. To round out the day, the garage has a large “Mom” table filled with items she hopes my sisters and I will take with us as she’s perpetually “downsizing”. These are all traditions that carry from year to year-Two Buck Chuck included! Sherri

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Liz

Really enjoyed hosting a couple years ago. Would love to do so again, but have insecurities about inviting people…

The thing I’m trying to teach myself is to find a pause in the preparation to really greet my guests, even if it can’t be the very moment they walk in the door. Funny how we can get so caught up in preparing for a gathering that we forget to enjoy the people who are gathering.

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Michelle

#host for second time! My tip is to make sides ahead of time and have hubby fry the turkey, which frees up oven space and cooks in way less time, so you have less stress and more time to hang with friends & fam πŸ™‚

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M

# host. My tip is to fry the turkey! Frees up oven space, cooks in 45 minutes, always moist and delicious. (Yes, we live in the South.)

And subtip: if you are frying the turkey, first put your turkey in the fryer. Pour water over the turkey until the turkey is just, but fully, submerged. Remove turkey. Mark where your water line is after the turkey has been removed. Now you know exactly how much oil you need. Pour out water, dry everything thoroughly (including turkey), and you’re ready to go.

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Audrey

#guest Although my mom officially hosts, I get to help cook/bake/clean! Not so much a tip as a tradition: in our family, everyone has a favorite (be it a drink, dessert, side, etc) that we try to include for Thanksgiving. It’s a little way to let everyone know how much we love them. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! I love spending time with my family and giving thanks for all of our blessings. Plus, there’s the food πŸ˜‰

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Heather H.

I’m the host and have been for almost every one of my 24 years of married life. Some years I’ve hosted 20, but this year, we’ll just have 4 gathered around the table. But the menu is always basically the same…it’s just the amounts that change and sometimes a veggie or two.

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Allison

I am always a guest at my mom’s but hope to host some day. I ask my mom what she needs me to do or bring and try not to get in her way….

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Brooksley W.

I am the host, and this year will mark our first Thanksgiving without Mom. I am now the matriarch of the family and will try my best to create the loving, delicious and celebratory meal that Mom and I used to make together.

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Catherine

Hosting! I like the control I have but I wish we had a larger space. My tip is do as much as you can ahead of time! And if a guest can’t cook, assign them something foolproof, like wine!

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Randi

I’m a guest this year, and all I have to bring is a blueberry pie. Not traditional, but it’s the favorite dessert of one of the guests, whose birthday happens to fall on Thanksgiving this year.

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Robin

Guest this year. I would sincerely love to have someone cleaning up behind me as I cook. So I am taking it in hand to be the kind of guest I would like to have at my feast.

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Ellen

I am a guest as is tradition for our families Thanksgiving. I would love some ideas for a future attempt πŸ™‚

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Natasha

I’m a Friendsgiving hostess and a Thanksgiving guest.

Most important rule: You can never have too much food or drink. Overprepare!

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Caitlin G

I am the #host for the second time this year.
Cooking for a bunch of work friends (more like family) that also can’t make it home for the holidays like myself.
We’re all relatively new to the kitchen, so fingers crossed we can pull this off!

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Elizabeth

Guest. My tip is try to be the guest you would like to host. Offer ahead of time to make something specific, following the host’s recipe if she/he wants, and be flexible about everything from dishes to the time of the meal.

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Ashleigh

Hosting this year, in our new home, and planning to cook it all from scratch. Gosh, I’ve wanted to read this book sine I heard Sam on NPR last year! I have no tips to offer, but hoping to learn plenty from this book!

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Julie

I’m a host AND a guest. I try to clean as I go and also spend the week before getting things ready. My checklist keeps me from feeling too overwhelmed on the day of (wine helps too!)

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Allysa

Guest this year! Braving the trip from NC to Pittsburgh!
This book looks like a classic! A must for everyone one!

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alinna

host and guest. the best tip i have is the bbq the turkey and free up oven time. or … buy a new stove with a double oven PLUS a broiler drawer.

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A Life From Scratch

Always a #guest which I am OK with. I am obsessed with cooking and entertaining but something about putting together Thanksgiving is totally overwhelming!

I am always happy to bring a pie or two though – baked in a brown bag….perfection.

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charlotte

I am the host and I like to write a tiny card to each guest telling them why I am grateful for their friendship/relationship..I often try to think of a something from this year-just a little something that sticks out in my mind and makes me feel really grateful that we are all together-children love this tradition!

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Lori

I am both the host AND the guest :). We usually do a traditional meal at our house, and then a shrimp boil at my husband’s family’s house. I love cooking a traditional Thanksgiving meal. I have mastered my grandmother’s stuffing and still prepare our “secret recipe” sweet potatoes every year (when I was little and cooked w/ her, that’s what we called it). We also have BOTH pumkin pie and sweet potato pie, and the sweet potato casserole is topped w/ marshmallows on one side of the dish, and brown sugar/nut crunch on the other, to satisfy everyone’s preferences. Would absolultely love to see Sam’s tips and secrets. Fun!

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Rebecca D.

#Host — just to our little family of 4. My tip is to take the day before to make the sides and pie. Then the day is all about the turkey and reheating the sides. I LOVE Thanksgiving!

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Jamie

Hosting for the first time. Thanksnukah for 25+. Tip: read this blog. D’oh — you already know that.

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Milena

Cook the turkey on the weber! It frees up the oven and makes life so much easier. I also think it makes it harder to dry out the turkey… just sayin’.

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Angie

I get to play host this year!!! So excited. My tip: Make sure there is plenty to drink πŸ™‚ Everyone will remember a great time even if the food didn’t come off as well.

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Leigh Anna

#guest / #host – my mom makes Thanksgiving every year for 35-40 family members and I always help… but I’m sure I get to drink more wine and socialize than does my mom who is a WONDERFUL hostess and mother!

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claire

I’m a guest (aspiring host, one day!). I always bring a bottle of wine and help with the dishes.

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Hannah

Cooking this year but not at my own home. Prepping ahead of time is huge. I even make a plan for the week before. Monday-shop, Tuesday-set table and be sure all utensils are ready and you have the right amount of serving platters for your dishes,etc. also if you put the mashed potatoes in a metal bowl covered over some warm water, they’ll stay warm and not dry out so they can be done a little in advance rather than when everything else is coming together at the end.

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Sarah

Last year, I hosted my first Thanksgiving. I cooked for 11 friends, and it was also my first time cooking for that large a crowd! I’m a student, so I don’t have the most fully stocked serving dish collection. While making my list of dishes, I wrote beside it the dish I intended to serve in, just to make sure I was covered for the day. It wouldn’t have even occurred to me to do this had my mom not suggested it, and good thing too because I had to go out and get a couple disposable pans! #host

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Kristi

I’m a guest this year after years of hosting. My tip is to make larger batches of the best dishes instead of many small dishes. It looks better on the table and plate when people don’t have to choose between 10-15 different dishes. You also avoid having people completely over-stuff themselves out of obligation and can do it out of choice πŸ˜‰

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Jenny

I’m hosting for the first time this year. My plan is to serve a cocktail beforehand and have at least five pies afterwards. I figure if nothing else goes well, we’ll be just fine!

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Jenny

#Guest but wish I had a big enough place to #Host. It’s not a tip, per se, but a strong suggestion to include roasted brussel sprouts in the menu. #ThanksgivingHero

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--anu

I have cooked quite a few times for my extended family (odd in a way since I am the only one in the family who is not American) and my main tip is to have some snacks but not too many. It is no good if people come to table half-full.

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Emily

I’m a host and guest (co-hosting with my mom and staying at her house while visiting from out of town!)…we finally convinced grandma to give up the Stouffer’s stuffing and I’ll be manning the sausage/sage homemade stuffing this year πŸ™‚

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Paige Ewell

Im hosting this year! My tip is to remember the colors of the food youll be serving! Aim for that rainbow!

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Danielle

We will be guests at my in-laws this year. I will miss early morning kitchen prep with my own mom!

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Mary

Happily a guest this year, but bringing traditional stuffing and pie. Stuffing with butter/onion/apples/walnuts/sausage and cider replacing water for the liquid. Except for the sausage & cider, just the way my grandmother & mother made it.

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Natalie

Technically, my mom is the #host, but I’ll be right next to her in the kitchen. We’re doing Thanksgiving in Manhattan for the first time and we can’t even all fit in the apartment, so my husband and I are staying in a hotel up the street. Can’t wait!

biggest tip is prep, prep, pre ahead of time! And lay down a rule that the cook does NOT have to clean up.

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Sarah

HOSTing a modest 15 people this year!! We get bogged down by preferences for multiple dressings and desserts. Been planning for a month

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Lindsay

I’m the host this year. In our annual Friendsgiving, the host provides the turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy and something extra of their choice and the guests bring the rest. Just placed the order for our first heritage bird. SO. Excited.

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Kim

#host … Simplify, simplify, simplify. Pare the list from seven sides to five. Think of something fun for kiddos that grow ups will like too (last year I turned a pie crust disaster into fun mini hand pies and the two-year-old present ate four of them and his dad ate three). Work ahead when toucan, clean as you go, accept help, have a cocktail.

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Page

Best T’giving tip from my aunt who often hosts extended family for extended days: let everyone bring something that’s NOT for Thursday dinner: a pot of soup for Friday lunch or a strata for Thursday morning. Smart. #guest

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Gina Bradley

I’m hosting this year, and the best advice I can give is get as much done ahead of time as possible!! I’d rather spend time with the family than rushing around at the last minute trying to pull it all together πŸ™‚

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Rae Lovvorn

I’m the host this year this year, and my tip is to enjoy the day, and don’t stress about the details that don’t matter. It’s just me, my mom and my husband this year, and we decided it was okay to make reservations and eat out, rather than cook a big bird for our little group. Enjoy the people; that’s the priority.

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Carolee

I am the #guest but I do help my Mom out in the kitch. I am also tasked with brining a side dish so pointers of how to do a dish better would be great. I also bring wine, lots of wine:)

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Rachelle

I’m the #Host, but it’s just going to be my husband and I. Plus the dog, who will likely get sick from all the turkey bits we throw his way! I’d love to add a few new recipes to my repertoire as we create new traditions for our new marriage!

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Rita

I have been coveting this book for a year and as the host of Thanksgiving on the Saturday after Thanksgiving I could really use it this year!
Thanks!

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Elizabeth Degenhard

I am the #host. After years of always wanting to try new recipes for special occasions, I’ve learned to go with the old standbys everyone loves (e.g., crockpot corn spoon bread); it makes me happy to think my kids will remember them as “Mom’s.” I usually try one new dish that tempts me from the pages of Saveur, Bon Appetit, or Food and Wine, something that isn’t too complicated. And I never make the pies–my mother-in-law always brings them. Every time I approach a turkey I feel like I’m doing it for the first time, so this book would be helpful.

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Caitlin Amaral

I am still an eater, not a cooker yet, but my mother’s Italian sausage stuffing will go inside any bird I ever make. It’s so good that she’s going to smuggle me some back from her celebration in NJ this year.

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Crystal

This year, I’m a #guest. I’ve hosted the past two years in our tiny apartment though. I’m looking forward to the stuffing, always made with sausage, and apple pie for dessert.xo

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Deb

Host again this year we are having 16 people and I couldn’t be happier! This one is MY holiday, I love love, love! My tips were already mentioned, but I would write out your plan but realize you need to stay flexible.

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Wendy

I’m a guest. My mother always hosts in my parents’ log home in the woods, so perfect especially with the wood burning stove fired up. She focuses on the turkey, stuffing and pies (with homemade crust!) and we all bring the sides & drinks. It’s one of my favorite days of the year.

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Sara M

I’m a #guest. This is my first year as a Thanksgiving orphan (my Mom just moved away) and I’m going to miss doing all the cooking with her!

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Lauren

I guess I am both the #guest and the #host this year! Thanksgiving will be at my in-laws house but they do not like to cook so I will be doing all the cooking! My tip, like many others, prep and plan as best as you can before Thanksgiving day.

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Kristina

I love getting multiple generations involved. Getting my kids to do things like make place cards or stir or assemble. #Guest

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chandra

I am hosting this year for the first time and could definitely use this as a guide. Thank you for the opportunity:)

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Kelly S.

Our family just moved; we are knee-deep in boxes of kitchenware at the moment, so we will thankfully be guests again this year! My advice for Thanksgiving- you can never have too many bottles of wine on hand!

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Jennifer

#guest/host? My mom hosts, but my little sister and I are her sidekicks who do ALL the grunt work

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Katie Popke

I am the hostess with the mostess! My Grandmother pasted last year and I have taken over rounding up the troops and cooking for 30 of us and I love every minute of it. Something about getting everything ready and seating down as one big family just makes my day. I live in Florida but my family is in Ohio and I am counting down the days until I can see all o them around the table sharing a special meal.

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Christine Paupore

I’m the hostess and my tip is to buy your turkey at a turkey farm; super fresh & order in advance! Also, if you are stressed about the sides and cooking, usually those turkey farms have the most amazing sides too! Focus on the decor & your guests and making it special!

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Mindy

#Guest who so so badly wants to be the Host. Must defer to older generations, but I am anxious for my turn! We will bring dessert. And try not to groan at the overcooked vegetables and syrupy sweet potatoes.

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Liz

I’m the #host this year for my biggest feast yet–more than 30 guests! Ack! My favorite tip is to lay out all your serving platters a day or two in advance, and put post-its in each with whatever will go into that platter written on them. That way, no more scrambling for the right platter last minute, and no more forgetting the rolls in the oven.

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Sarah

Hosting! My tip (which I nearly always fail at) is to not apologize for your food. If there’s a major, cannot be passed off, cannot even be eaten, fail then it should be laughed about. Do your best and cook with love, everyone who is worth it will appreciate it.

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Jeanne

BRINE your turkey! Make gravy ahead of time. DO make homemade pies. I’m host this time and would love to win this…

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Kym

I’m hosting in our new house! Can’t wait for our first holiday here. Thanks for the giveaway!
Oh! And my favorite dish is my family’s stuffing recipe. It’s simple and delicious.

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Erinn

I have several recipes that are tradition and must haves. I also like to experiment with a few each year.

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Rachael

#Host! I am hosting Thanksgiving for the first time at my in-laws! I need all the help I can get, haha!

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Mary in NY

Nice! Thanks for the contest. I’m hosting, cooking, cleaning up the mess then taking a long nap!

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Nancy L S

Hosted since 2005! Tip- Set the special dining table at least three days in advance (up to a week in advance if it’s your first time). Also, at this time pull out all the small appliances that you seem to only use at holiday time such as electric knives, your largest roasting pan, baster, and digital thermometer.

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Suzette

How are you going to pick from all these Thanksgiving foodies?! I am the host – always the host — and this year the table will be filled with friends of my kids who can’t be with their families for the holiday. I can’t wait to hear what their family food traditions entail. My tip is to use the freshest and best ingredients you can afford.

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Cay

This is my first Thanksgiving with my family since my mother died last year, so I’m feeling much more like a host than ever before, although my siblings and I will all be in it together. There’s so much I feel like I didn’t ask my mom about Thanksgiving and how she did certain things (that gravy!). I definitely feel like I need some help in the Host department. One thing I DO know: for leftover turkey sandwiches, ONLY Pepperidge Farm thin sliced white bread is acceptable.

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Alanna

I’ll be a #guest twice this Thanksgiving. I’ll give you my foodie mom’s tip to a happy thanksgiving dinner: host one the Sunday before the actual day. That way you won’t be disappointed by a less from-scratch, decidedly NON-foodie experience at your MIL’s house. πŸ˜‰

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Allison (Spontaneous Tomato)

As a guest my tip is to offer to bring a dish, as a host my tip is to decide on the entire menu an entire week in advance– otherwise I’ve been plagued with indecision/changing my mind/ending up with too many trips to the grocery store, too many dishes to prepare, and too many leftovers (…as if such a thing were possible!).

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Rachel

I am a Guest. My favorite Thanksgiving side is from my preschool cookbook! Cranberry Orange Relish. Add one whole naval orange (washed with skin on!), one package raw cranberries, one cup sugar to bowl of Cuisenart, chop with blade. The perfect tart accompaniment to turkey and gravy!

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Karen

Host. My best tip is prepare ahead. I prepare and freeze apple pie ahead. I think the frozen pie bakes up even more flaky than freshly made.

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Nefret Stringham

I am going to be a #guest, but I want to be a super good one and make brussels sprouts with bacon as an appetizer. Nothing makes brussels sprouts better than bacon!

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Nicole

Last year I was the host for the first time and the key was being organized and prepared. This year I’ll be a guest. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Vanessa

#Host
For the past two year’s I’ve hosted my parents in my tiny apartment, and I’d love to have this book to improve my hostessing skills! My tip? Stay calm, give yourself plenty of time. And don’t bite off more than you can chew. Oh, start prepping as far in advance as possible.

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Susan Chan

I’m a guest this year, but I’ve hosted many times.

I have a shortcut for stuffing. If you use bread, don’t cut it the same day because the pieces will have to be toasted dry in the oven. Instead, cut the day before and leave out to dry overnight. Don’t forget to add lots of home-cooked broth when making the stuffing. Good luck!

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Natasha

#host Although I declared I was taking a one-year break from cooking any holiday meals, I somehow will be cooking for double the number of people we usually have.

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Erin

#Guest/#host? We have a family reunion (50+ people) every Thanksgiving in the American Legion Hall — and each family member brings a dish (or two or three). Always fun!

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BeccaV

Host this year and for the past 9 of 10 years! The last few years we have had a small gathering and this year will be the same thing. The thing that helps me the most on thanksgiving is to prepare a head of time and make a timeline of when dishes need to go in the oven so everything is done at the same time. We always have a traditional Thanksgiving, my problem is there are certain side dishes we always want but always have so many leftovers with 5 sides, a turkey and dessert!

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Kim

My favorite holiday. Love to host. With so many modern family factions, lifestyles and locations it is the one time in the year we really get to sit and enjoy being with everyone, even if it is in phases over the course of the day. Standbys and new recipes, everything tastes wonderful heaped together on a plate.

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Eileen

Ten copies?? What a great giveaway–thank you! I’m going to pick #host although I actually still don’t know whether we are hosting or guesting it this year–we’ve hosted vegan T-days 3 years in a row, but there may be a trip to see family and eat actual turkey happening this time. We’ll see!

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Zane

Tip: make a massaged kale salad! It goes with everything and everyone especially loves it on Thanksgiving!

I will be a guest at my Mother’s delicious feast.

Thanks for the give-a-way opportunity!

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Sandra

I’m a host, for the first time, enjoying all the tips from everyone else! Maybe I will have one next year.

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Lollie

Guest—headed to the inlaws…my advice…a bottle of wine (or two) makes a great hostess gift when headed to my inlaws…..

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Lori

Well, I am both guest and host. I will be making a couple dishes to take to my sisters for Thanksgiving day. My 3 children who will be traveling Thanksgiving day to come home (1 son in the Army, 1 son in the AirForce, and my daughter who lives 3 hours a way and is in retail and must work Thanksgiving) and we will have our Thanksgiving feast on Saturday.
The tip is… (for me) I don’t want to ever be that parent that causes trouble for kids and their spouses about what time they “must” be at my house for dinner. Let the other mother- in-law do that πŸ˜‰

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L

#Guest – would love to win this for my mother-in-law who is hosting a whole bunch of us this year.

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Wendy Dykan

I am planning to #HOST for the very first time! I can’t offer many tips since I’ve never hosted before, but as a guest, I can say to never understimate the number of appetizers and snacks you should have available throughout the day. People come early, and though there’s a big feast, I like to munch while watching football and am not thrilled when there aren’t lots of snacks going around. And my husband will be the first to admit that when he gets over-hungry, he doesn’t enjoy the meal anymore! Happy feasting, I hope to have some help with this incredible book!!

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Lori

Well, I am both guest and host. I will be making a couple dishes to take to my sisters for Thanksgiving day. My 3 children who will be traveling Thanksgiving day to come home (1 son in the Army, 1 son in the AirForce, and my daughter who lives 3 hours a way and is in retail must work Thanksgiving) we will have our Thanksgiving feast on Saturday.
The tip is… (for me) I don’t want to ever be that parent that causes trouble for my kids and their spouses about what time they “must” be at my house for dinner. Let the other mother- in-law do that πŸ˜‰

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Megan H.

I’m a guest at my parents, so I’ll be right in the mix cooking. It will be just family. Thanks so much for the giveaway, and I can’t wait to check out this book!

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Kathy

My husband and I are the hosts, and the best thing we do is butterfly the turkey and cook it on the grill. Hubs pops it on the grill and it doesn’t take much time to cook. This also gives me the oven to bake other things. We’ve done this for at least five Thanksgivings and all guests agree that a brined, grilled turkey it tops!

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Andrea

I’m finally a guest! Most years I host, so I’m excited to be a guest this year. This is the best holiday of the year: friends, family, and food.

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Crystal

I am the host and the best tip I can give use is prepare the gravy uses a make ahead recipe about week before the big day. Everyone in my family stresses about the gravy, not me!

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Erika

#guest And very happy to have my SIL to host this year!
My tip is a strong agreement to ask each guest what makes Thanksgiving for them, and even ask them to bring it if possible so that it really is the right recipe, etc.
Love to read this compilation of tips!

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Kathy

My husband and I are the hosts, and the best thing we do is butterfly the turkey and throw it on the grill. Hubs does it and it doesn’t take much time to cook. This also gives me the oven to bake other things. We’ve done this for at least five Thanksgivings and all guests agree that a brined, grilled turkey it tops! Thank you!

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Lisa de.

#guest. My mom is 75 and still the best cook around. Sooner or later I need to make my first turkey.

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Rosie

We’re a combo of guest and host. Guest in that we will all be gathering at my mom’s house down the street but host in that we will be supplying three main dishes: the turkey (hubby smokes it), dressing/stuffing and cranberry relish. Hope I win!

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Allison

I will be a guest this year. My tip, boil down that carcass and make some stock! The best part of that turkey is the turkey soup 24 hrs later.

Here’s to hoping…Winner, winner, turkey dinner!

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Erin I

I am a #guest at my grandparent’s house!

My tip is to make a tree out of a tree branch and have guests hang leaves (made of paper) on the tree where the write what they are thankful for!

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Jessica

Thanks for the giveaway – I’m traveling for Thanksgiving this year and have offered to be the cook in my brother’s kitchen! I could certainly use a hand. πŸ™‚

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Jamie R.

I sure do love a new cookbook! I’m somewhere in between #host and #guest this year. Won’t be taking place at my house, but I make a lot of the dishes!

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Maddie

I’m hosting Thanksgiving dinner for the first time and feeling a bit overwhelmed! Would love to have this book as a reference. #host

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Emmy

Hosting this year. My tip is to keep a nice glass of wine by the stove to calm your cooking jitters!

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Christine N

#Host

This is my third year hosting for a group of friends and I’m looking forward to it… albeit a little nervously. You see, last year, there was a little mishap with the oven (actually, it got turned off for some unknown amount of time) which resulted in a two hour late turkey! I have some redeeming to do this year πŸ™‚

I’m working hard to prep more in advance this year and am reading my notes from last year – very important!

A great tip I was given last year at my local farmer’s market. I was picking out a sugar pumpkin to make pumpkin puree. The gentleman at the market asked if I was making a pie and suggested using a “Long Island Cheese” pumpkin – lovely, sweet, and not at all stringy making for a great puree. This fine tip made for a great pumpkin pie!

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Kat Geitner

I’m the host and my best tip is to plan! A good plan makes the day stress free. I do as much ahead and that way I can enjoy !!! I LOVE THANKSGIVING!!!

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andrea

I usually host, but last year my daughter was born thanksgiving day! My advice would be not to have a baby on thanksgiving, the hospital dinner is much as you would expect, and no one brought me any pie!

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Michie

Very excited to be the #host for 18 people on the big day! Tip: don’t try to do it alone. Know your guests’ strengths and delegate. And drink plenty of water (good tip any day of the year).

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Emily B

We’re hosting this year for both families. 13 adults and 2 children. The control freak in me doesn’t want to let anyone bring anything and my husband says let them bring what they want.
Would love this book for inspiration!

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Molly

Guest. This will be my first Thanksgiving not with my parents (I am 36….), and with my in laws. My MIL goes crazy trying to please everyone at these types of events, so I am getting stressed out already. So my tip, as a guest, is to try and be helpful and remain calm. Also, my MIL makes the Swanson Mashed potatoes recipe with chicken broth (vomit), so I think I will offer to make real mashed potatoes (ie, no broth), and “help her out.”

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Carol

I am the host, much to the shock of my entire family, who for many years only new me as someone who put salt instead of sugar into her own birthday cake as a child. I’m sure I’d love this book!

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Meghan

My husband and I (along with our chubby 4 month old) are hosting this year! Woooo! My tip, have mashed potatoes. Last year, my mom thought that no one (me) would notice if there were no mashed potatoes – uh please. Guess who ended up going to Wegmans on Thanksgiving Day. That’s right. MOM.

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Shauna

I will be hosting this year as usual. My key to a great Thanksgiving is to put more butter than humanly possible in the mashed potatoes! (Diet LATER, it’s Thanksgiving!)

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Brianna Lopez

Well this is my first year hosting so I would be very honored to win this contest in particular!!! I’m 25 years old, in graduate school and have a 2 year old and a 3 month old…. someone please help me!!! haha!!! #Host

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Eva

I’m in between host and guest…my parents are hosting so I’ll be back home helping out. My tip is go easy on the appetizers–people are there to spend time together and eat dinner, so a cheese plate and some nuts and olives are fine!

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Hallie

I am cooking and someone else’s house, I a not sure if this makes me the guest or the host! This year I created a Googledoc so that my mom and I can collaborate on the menu despite living on opposite ends of the country! It also means we can each work on it at times that our convenient for each of us.

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Jenny Jaffe

I so wish I was hosting. my mother in law is and I wish I could plan the entire meal. Maybe next year:)

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Jen

#guest this year, but we all contribute to the meal. We will pick up the fresh turkey from the farm on Sunday. I prepped the squash when I picked it by baking, then mashing, then freezing in a large bag labeled Butternut Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday!

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Kathy McDonald

Host. Keep it simple, do what you do best, and let your guests help! It’s great to experiment on a couple of side dishes, but if all of your guests live for your _______ (fill in the blank), Thanksgiving is NOT the time to replace it with something new and different!

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karen w.

#host. we just moved and this will be our first time hosting the big family thanksgiving dinner!!

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Ellie

#Guest who dreams of hosting. 24, married for a year, gobbling up every post of DALS and have practically memorized the book. Grew up with lots of family dinner, but very little real food. Counting this blog when I count my blessings, for all it’s teaching me about life around the family table!

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Brittany B.

First time spending a big holiday with my boyfriend’s family. I’m very excited but very nervous too. What should I bring? #guest

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Elizabeth

If hosting, especially a new family member, find out what dish means Thanksgiving to them and include it on your own table. Happy to be a guest this year, but at my mom and dad’s house, so I’ll be cooking while they child wrangle. A nice holiday switch!

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Kathryn P

Try to include everyone’s traditions. My husbands family is originally from South America, and so we have an adapted Thanksgiving dinner. That being said even as a guest, I provide the traditional mashed potatoes, can of crannberry sauce, and tons of apps because who can hold out until dinner?

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Ginna

Love it! #guest this year, but will be making about three sides and a dessert, so any help I can get will be appreciated!

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Joselyn Verschelden

I’ll be a guest but will be contributing to the meal and would love some new ideas!

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Julia

#Guest! We are driving from DC down to my brother’s place in SC so by the time we finish battling the traffic on Wednesday, I’ll be more than ready for a relaxing Thanksgiving dinner πŸ™‚ I think this book might make a great hostess gift for my brother and SIL!

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Bette

I’m a host! An annual Thanksgiving tradition here: Bake 6 to 8 loaves of pumpkin bread and give them to people you are thankful for this year ( not family).

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Hannah

I love being a Thanksgiving guest – though, since it’s a family gathering, I don’t feel too “guesty.” Best guest tips – ask “what can I bring?” and stay slightly out of the cook’s way – far enough to not be underfoot, but close enough to jump in and help if needed. Love Thanksgiving!

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Julie Hermann

Thanksgiving tip….. don’t forget to be thankful.
I started a Thanksgiving tree (construction paper on poster board)… I have written each year we write on it (2006, 2008, 2009, 2011.. and this year).. everyone adds something. Love looking back. My 7 year old niece (in 2006) wrote WHIPED CREAM. I plan on having it framed after this year.

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Mandy

First time host–can’t wait! I make lacto-fermented cranberry sauce, and OMG so good. I have to make another batch (or two) before the big day b/c this one will be gone by the end of the week.

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Charlotte Cromwell

I am the host the past few years! Prep as much as you can before and it makes the dinner go so much smoother.

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Neile

I’m new to Thanksgiving hosting, but think/ hope the company is as important as the food! #host

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Bridget

We should know this week whether we are hosting or guests but either way we will be doing lots of cooking. I tend to find a million things I want to make, so my advice? Start planning early so you can narrow down the options and curate a menu. Best to have a handful of great dishes that are memorable than a ton of items that are all good but everyone gets two bites of each and doesn’t remember anything.

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Andrea

I’m a guest! My tip is that anything I bring never needs more than a microwave. The oven is being used for other things! I bring the platter and serveware, too.

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Deb R

My Mom always hosts and the daughters always help cook. Love this holiday! This year I can’t wait to make my new favorite…BRUSSELS SPROUTS!!! Roasted, with shallots and bacon. I am pysched!!

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Jen

Still undertermined whether I will be guest or host this year! Either way, I’ll be making pumpkin, pecan and apple pies.

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Jennifer

#guest at my aunt’s house an hour and a half away. Best advice is to enjoy the process of preparing and welcoming others. Asking for help is good and we always bring pie!

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Kimberly A.

#guest at my parents house- I always try to bring a game to play with the younger family members while we wait for dinner to be ready.

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PamB

#host
My tip – really a request – is for guest to deal with any heat/cooling their dish needs – or clear it with the host first. Refrigerator space can be at a premium, and I had the most grateful moment of last year’s Thansgiving when my lovely friend and guest brought a cooler that accommodated her dessert (and a couple of others as well) happily in the garage when there was nary an inch to spare in the refrigerator

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Cindy

#host on Thanksgiving day and #guest for family dinner that weekend. Best advice is to use bourbon with the turkey and the gravy. And avoid corn starch at all costs, no matter how many times your mother in law tries to add it to the gravy to thicken it.

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Gara

I’m a guest with a 3 month old baby. I’m just hoping someone will hold the baby for a bit and let me help with the cooking for an hour or so!

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Heide

I’m #host this year. We did a massive kitchen renovation this year and it’s finally finished, so the family is coming to my house. I’m looking forward to it, but daunted, too.

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Jo

I am a #Guest this year. My tip is to help with the dishes so you’ll be invited back next year!!

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Stephanie V

I’m hosting for the third year in a row, but the first year for hosting my husband’s family. My tip is to wake up at the crack of dawn to keep the cook (my dad) company and learn his secrets (which were originally his father’s).

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Lillian

SO FUN!! We’ll be guests at my parents, but I’ll still be helping with cooking. My mom is such a traditionalist for Thanksgiving and has DRILLED into our heads that Thanksgiving is not the time to try anything wild, so it’s stuck with me and sound like this book would be right up my (and her!) alley!

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Elise

I’m a host with cherished relatives from out of town coming and staying with me starting several days before Thanksgiving (8 people crashing chez moi!) so I can’t do much delegating and I’ll be needing to supply food for several days! Panicking (I think I need to buy more bath towels) but excited too. Last year was my first time hosting and I forgot to remove the little plastic gizmo holding the turkey legs together. The smell of melted plastic still makes me cringe…
I need your book!

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Julie

#Guest. I’ve never hosted it myself and I’m longing to do so, but my aunt has all 50+ of us at her house (with three turkeys to feed everyone). Maybe next year when we’re craving something less crazy.

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Stephanie

I’m a guest – always a huge crowd of 50 at my uncle’s house – my favorite day of the year!

Also need my own copy of this book b/c I have checked the library’s copy out one too many times – and I can’t write in it!

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Jennifer Atkins

I’m a guest at my Aunt’s house, but we all bring a dish to share. I usually bring my green bean casserole, but I would love to do something a little more this year!

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Sarah

I’m a #guest to best friends of my husband’s mother-in-law, who recently passed away. We’re really grateful and excited that they included us in their celebration. They’re also super into food. Because they’re in Cleveland, I’m thinking I might contribute with a Michael Ruhlman-themed schmaltz-based dish!

I would love a copy of the book to share with my hosts!

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Jen

#Host. Relatives live far away, so the group is small. We get so excited about the food and make way too much! I have no tips that have not already been covered, and I could stand to learn from others.

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Joanna

I could sure use a copy of this! Not only is it Thanksgiving but a family reunion at my house:)

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Caitlin

I am a #host. This is a zero brainier, but at our Thanksgiving we ask only that our guests bring a bottle of their favorite wine to share.

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amy

One of my favorite thanksgiving memories is standing at the stove in the morning, stirring the onions, celery, and mushrooms for the stuffing. That was my ‘job’.

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melissa

i’m hosting this year! my only tip is…make more pie than you think you’ll need. πŸ˜‰

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Jin

Host to my turkey-hating bf and so excited to try roast duck! Also sad I wasn’t able to make it home for the holiday this year.

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Sarah

I am a guest this year, but will be helping with the cooking. The first Thanksgiving I hosted I used my friends as test subjects and did a run through of the whole feast several weeks ahead!

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Heather

New York shoebox apartments have rendered me a #guest for life! At the least, it could help to learn how to make something tasty to bring πŸ™‚

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Patty

Happily, host! Buy a Heritage bird; worth every single penny; and dry brine per Judy Rodgers/Russ Parson. You won’t believe how incredible a turkey can taste.

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Elizabeth F

Thanksgiving is my all time favorite holiday!! I am going to be a #Guest, as it will be at my in-laws, but I will probably also end up being head cook, so I don’t know if that makes me half a host? At any rate, I truly appreciate your blog and your book! They always add happy to my day. One Thanksgiving tip I’m working on this year – make favorite recipes throughout the month of November. On The Day, you really only have room for a tablespoon of everything. If you make your absolute favorites throughout the month you can properly gorge on that favorite stuffing recipe and get a full slice of pecan pie. Thanks!!

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Jessica P

I am usually the official cooker if the thanksgiving meal, but we (thankfully!) host the event at my parents or in-laws homes.

My tip is to take it slow and serve one course at a time. In my opinion eating such a big ans delicious meal as thanksgiving should take all day.

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Theresa

I’m the host. I always buy a fresh, not frozen turkey. No concerns about thawing, etc. – much easier.

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Kate

We’ve had a really rough few weeks – my mom tripped and fell and broke her left kneecap and her right ankle. She’s been in a nursing home for two weeks because she can’t walk on either leg. She is due to come home soon and, honestly, I have almost given up on the idea of doing a traditional Thanksgiving this year. If I win this book, I’ll be a good #host and do my best to incorporate some of Sam’s suggestions and recipes. Maybe I’ll be motivated for Thanksgiving again, instead of wanting to curl up in the fetal position and just suck my thumb. πŸ˜‰

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Emily

I’m a guest-my sister hosts and we all help by bringing dishes. I say let tradition be tradition–I am all about gourmet and from scratch cooking, but man oh man, I just love me some cranberry sauce from a can! So my tip is don’t sweat the small stuff, and take help from store bought ingredients when you can (pun intended!).

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Sara Healy

Hosting for the second time this year! The only tips I’ve learned in my one year of hosting (ha) are to prepare whatever possible in advance and to happily accept helping hands! Oh, and to enjoy the whole thing! If the host is having a nice time, it seems others will follow suit:). #host

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MFree

I’m the #Guest this year but i’ll still inevitably be the #cook. My only tip is to use pumpkin for pie.. not the kind from the can but the sugary one that grows on a vine.

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Renee

Host. Thanksgiving is my favoite holiday to host. Always looking for new ideas, recipes and tips. Would love a copy of this book!

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kim

i am a guest this year & thanksgiving is my most fav of the holidays πŸ™‚ would love this book!

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Caroline

I am a #guest twice! At my in laws on Thanksgiving then at my parents the Saturday following. I can’t wait to live somewhere big enough to be a host!

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Curly mama

#guest at a potluck Thanksgiving and I’m responsible for two sides and a dessert. All while staying in a hotel with a mini kitchen – should be an adventure!

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meg

#host-to-be–need all the help I can get preparing for future combined family thanksgivings! Best thing I can think of is to end well with a great pie.

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Amy

I’m hosting, but it’s a small get together. I try to stay organized, make as much as possible ahead of time and always wash up as I go.

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Jessica B.

At my parents house in Portland, we are all hosts because everyone is in charge of their own dish and pie. My tips is to drink lots of wine!!!

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Sharyn

All the family “hosts” but the home has passed to the cousin’s generation. Each year I introduce something a little greener, without forsaking the years long favorites. Last year it was pickled brussel sprouts; this year a quinoa, mustard greens, pear and pecan salad.

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Maggie

My 9 year old tonight at our dinner table is already planning his Thanksgiving plate – and a piece of pumpkin pie as “big as his head.” The adults will begin with oysters (thank you Mr. Sifton!) and negronis. And we’ll follow it up with our annual “leftover party” the next day.

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Karen

I’m a guest…our family divides up responsibilities, and they are the same for each person each year. Sounds boring, but keeps the train running, and every year we find more ways to perfect the “thing” we are responsible for. Delish!

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marcella

I am unexpectedly hosting this year. My sister needed to swap – she usually does Thanksgiving and I do Christmas. Need to brush up my turkey and stuffing skills!

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Susan

Both #guest and #host, a #ghost if you will. Traveling to Mom’s where brother, SIL, Mom, and I will prepare it all from scratch except pickles/olives/cheese tray and cranberry jelly from a can. Mom is in charge of course! But we contribute equally on cooking and baking. My husband and Dad are in charge of the kiddos.

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Kirsten E

Guest!!!! But also doing a lot of cooking..and my tip as I tell my husband every year is not to take the cooking so SERIOUSLY!!!

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Dana

#host for the second year. Saving grace last year was a good game plan with timed activities that I got from the chew. I cooked a turkey breast though and it turned out too tough. Any tips for turkey for small gatherings?

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Lissa

Host but not for long. I always like to bring the just released Beaujolais Nouveau wine, it is a crowd pleaser.

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Kate

This year I am the host! My first year as that too! My only tip is that every Thanksgiving dinner needs a little spunk – We have the untraditional Key Lime Pie as our dessert πŸ™‚

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Allison

Guest but will bring several dishes. We always have an embarrassment of riches from many gifted cooks.Tip: homemade cranberry sauce. It is simple to make and to vary and it is glorious compared to canned.

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Shana

I’m sure no one reading this would ever have anything but an organic, pastured, bought-from-the-farmer bird, but just in case you do happen to end up with one of those turkeys with the thermometer popper thingy, don’t baste it so that it sticks and can’t pop.

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Maura

I’m the host, for the second year in a row and I’m very glad. I like being in control. I think this year my goal will be to make fewer dishes. I usually go overboard and end up with too much that all needs to be on the stove or in the oven at exactly the same moment and that stresses me out too much. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Lisa

#hosting for the first time– my family, maybe the in laws, and we’ve been married a month. Other the mashed potatoes and green bean casserole, anything goes in my family so I am looking forward to coming up with a new side dish or two and making our own traditions.

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Melissa F

This year (and every year) I am both #Guest and #Host. I love the tradition. The weekend before “real” Thanksgiving, my friends throw a HUGE bash where we all bring dishes and compete for “the best” in multiple categories. Then on turkey day, I host an intimate party of close friends and family.

While I love the traditional menu items, I love changing it up. This year, instead of my award winning apple pie, I’m going with apple upside down cake. It’s easy to make and a total show stopper!

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Rachel Gordon

This is the most inclusive holiday we have…everyone celebrates, every religion, those of every ethnic group, immigrants from all countries. We do not give presents or recite a specific text. We are “just” thankful for our lives, or parts of our lives. We focus on what we have, not what we want.

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Jessica

I’m the host!

This year we’re going to change up the seating and ask our guests to change tables or sit next to someone different during dessert.

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Kimbed

Guest! But I’m all about frying up that turkey. And then throwing Brussels sprouts in the fryer afterwards and tossing with honey/lime/sriracha

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Denise

I’m the host – have been for the last 10 years. I complain and kick myself somewhere along the line every year but in reality I wouldn’t have it any other way. My only other tip is to change up one recipe every year – just to give the day a fresh look.

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Michelle Turner

This year, I am a guest! Looking forward to bringing some tasty dishes! Best tip is to use your slow cooker on warm to keep the potatoes warm- you don’t have to worry about them getting cold or being prepared too early!!

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Marta

I’m a guest – but I get asked to bring the pies. I do two – one traditional and one twist (a pumpkin and a parsnip custard, for example). Keeps everyone happy and delighted.

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Katie Hansen

I’m a heavily involved guest – my big tips are do the Kitchn make ahead gravy and Pioneer woman’s mashed potatoes, and do a fun dessert or appetizer to stay creative. It’s also a fun time to bust out a classic veggie side that screams special occasion – once I did Julia Child’s creamed spinach. It was a hit and I had extra laborers to help me stem it.

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Ariane

Great giveaway! My tip: have Thanksgiving on the day after. Way less stressful and allows plenty of travel time for visiting family.

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Margit Van Schaickmargit

I’ll be a guest. But, on the week-end my daughter and her husband and one-year-old son will come and I will then be hosting them for a turkey pot pie, which they can take plenty of left-overs home, to freeze lunch-size portions for the work week. Also some apple and pumpkin pie.

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Tracy

I love to have my kids make up family trivia to play while they are waiting for dinner to start. The prize is to get to eat the first piece of pie.

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Andi

Two tips: set up a bar/drink and snack station away from the kitchen, and add cream cheese to mashed potatoes.

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Andi

#HOST Two tips: set up a bar/drink and snack station away from the kitchen, and add cream cheese to mashed potatoes.

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Claire H.

Host! Well, my mom’s house is the roof since we’re up to 16 this year (ulp) but I am List Maker, Decider and Maker of almost everything but the turkey. Oh, this lists this year are glorious, glorious, I tell ya! But we’ve never settled on a repeat stuffing recipe so the quest continues…

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Kath the Cook

I’m the cook. Lots of work but I enjoy it. You guys rock! Can’t do without the leftovers! That’s why you can’t go to anybody else’s house. I want (earlier commenter) ‘Marta’ to bring the pies!

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Laura Christine

We always have a big meal with several families combined plus anyone we know who needs a home for Thanksgiving. After many years of this, my Thanksgiving tip would be to remember to share the joy with those who are missing their loved ones. #Guest