Weekend Cook and Tell: Thanksgiving Pregame

Welcome to the Weekend Cook and Tell. Every Wednesday we search high and low through the food sections of various national newspapers to create a weekend cooking project. We hope you will cook along with us and share your experiences, recipes, and photos here.

Thanksgiving is arguably the biggest food holiday of the year. Even if you aren't hosting the whole shebang, chances are you are going to do at least a little cooking. This week we want to help alleviate some of the stress that putting together a large-scale meal entails, whether it's a shortage of burners on the stove, no room in the fridge, or lack of Thanksgiving cooking inspiration.

Mark Bittman wrote a wonderfully helpful piece in The New York Times all about getting a head start on your Thanksgiving meal. He's put together a list of 101 recipes that can be made ahead of time to lessen the workload next Thursday. Bittman covers everything from relishes and jam, to soups, stuffings, sides, and desserts, all with a shelf life long enough to call them great make-ahead dishes too.

For this week's challenge we want to hear all about your Thanksgiving pregame plans. Any advice that will save time and stress is welcome. Are you prebaking your pies? Do you have any ideas for freezer-friendly sides? Perhaps going grocery shopping at midnight to avoid the crowds? Do you have an army of friends coming over on Wednesday night to help you cook? Help us make this holiday as smooth and panic-free by sharing your menu planning secrets.

Show us your photos on Photograzing (make sure to include "Cook and Tell" in your submission title) and tell us about your recipes here! If you'd like to blog the experience, please leave a link in the comments below. We'll post a round-up of your photos and recipes next Wednesday.


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