You’ve Planned Your Play. Now Play Your Plan.

Credit…Christopher Testani for The New York Times. Food Stylist:Simon Andrews. Prop Stylist: Christina Lane.

Good morning. For those of us who take Thanksgiving seriously, who plan and plan and cook and cook, this last Sunday before the feast marks the real start of the holiday. I’m cleaning out my fridge and freezer to make room for an epic trip to the supermarket, cataloging serving platters and cooking vessels, making sure I have enough mismatched knives and forks to serve (checks notes) 32 people. (Yikes! I’m short two dozen chairs!)

That’s OK. Everything will turn out just fine. I trust the process. So I’ll spend a few hours working my plan and then turn to a simple dinner of chicken thighs cooked under a brick with a cheesy Hasselback potato gratin (above) on the side, a dress rehearsal for a new drop on Thursday.

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Cheesy Hasselback Potato Gratin

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Then, with Sunday sorted, I’ll turn to the rest of the week. …


I worked out this recipe for roasted tofu and green beans with chile crisp as a way to get a flavorful dinner on the table in just about 30 minutes. The marinade’s a wonder: chile crisp cut with black vinegar, sesame oil, a wisp of honey, minced garlic and ginger, along with scallions and cilantro. You could put it on anything!


Here’s a terrific new recipe from Ali Slagle for pork tenderloin with mushrooms. The meat is coated in garlic, fennel seed and rosemary, and then roasted alongside a drift of mushrooms. The pork fat, along with a little butter, seasons and softens the crisp edges of the buttons and shiitakes.


Thanksgiving Eve is about making cranberry sauce and turkey stock, so I’ll keep dinner simple with Eric Kim’s ace recipe for gochujang buttered noodles — carbohydrates before Thursday’s marathon.


You’ve planned your play. Now play your plan. Or if you’re just now realizing that today is Thanksgiving, jump on Claire Saffitz’s new recipe for an easy roast turkey, which cooks in just a few hours. N.B.: Your turkey is (almost) done when its internal temperature, measured at the thickest portion of the breast, is 150 to 155 degrees. The temperature will continue to rise while the bird rests before you carve it. Rest your turkeys, folks!


And then you can head into a weekend of leftovers with Nigella Lawson’s wonderful recipe for bang bang turkey, a feast to follow the feast.

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Now, it’s nothing to do with pumpkin pie or buttered stuffing with celery and leeks, but you should read Lucy Sante’s haunting memoir in The New Yorker about her family’s time with a mysterious Belgian couple.

One of my favorite literary awards is The New York Times and the New York Public Library’s recognition of the best illustrated children’s books of the year. It makes holiday gift buying for the little ones a breeze.

Also in The Times, please read Caleb Crain on Michael Cunningham’s new novel, “Day.” One day soon I’ll read the book itself.

Finally, music for your holiday week: Cab Calloway’s “Everybody Eats When They Come to My House.” I’m thankful you’re here. I’ll check in on Thanksgiving to see how you’re doing.

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