The secret to doing all the Thanksgiving cooking yourself is in the prep. Smart planning helped me get some dishes nearly finished up to a day in advance, ready to just toss in the oven for baking right before the big meal. Other dishes might be prepared half-way through and held for finishing in the final hour or two. I snapped some photos along the way (see above). And thanks to Clifford Wright, James Villas, Sally Sampson, Justin Wilson, Carol Gelles, and the editors of Bon Appetit for the recipes and inspiration.

Another important secret to staying sane over Thanksgiving is taking a break. Family is nice and all, but I got out to see Little Dragon play at Le Poisson Rouge. Amazing show…

I’d tell you to pick up their album, but they’re about a hundred times better live. Okay, you should still pick up their album. Maybe you can get an idea how good they are from this little clip.

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