post off: will you be a guest or a host on thanksgiving?

I can hardly believe that Thanksgiving is just a week away! I’ve been working like mad lately, and barely noticed October ended. I’ll be working Thanksgiving weekend as well — but luckily I can get stuff done from home, online. So, instead of traveling to visit family, we’re holing up in Catskill. I’m looking forward to cooking on Thursday — even though I won’t be able to prepare anything before that day. It’s frustrating that most magazines include things to cook a couple of days in advance. Who has that luxury?! I’m thinking of trying the three-and-half hour Thanksgiving plan I saw in Real Simple. This 911 page over at also has some good tips (not to mention, pretty pictures). I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes — I may do a shortcut like buying a pie from a local baker or opting for canned cranberries (which I kinda love). What about you? Are you going to be a guest or a host this Thanksgiving? Which do you prefer? (The best part about hosting? Leftovers.) — Angela M.

P.S. Need a few dessert recipes? Try this prize-winning pumpkin pie, or our neighbor Brendon’s pecan pie. Don’t have three-and-half hours to cook? I gave Domino’s one-hour Thanksgiving a try and it was great!

From our partners

My husband and I host every year, and we prefer it. It means we get to have both sides of the family together (so we don’t have to choose), and it’s one of the most fun holidays to cook for. I’ll be working right up until Wednesday night, too, but I did do a few test runs in the last week or so since I’m making apple pie for the first time. I’ll make the dough this weekend, if possible, and then do the rest the night before when I get home (since the turkey will be hogging the oven in the morning). Here’s the great pie crust recipe I found on the blog Smitten Kitchen:

Try the vodka recipe — it’s great! Happy cooking!


I looove hosting but my family’s too far and the vast majority of my friends spend it with their parents. A couple of years ago I tried hooking up with one of the many many soup kitchens and they all told me to take off, they had way too much help already. Fine to them!

This year, I’ll be hanging with my friends via a Thanksgiving Day movie and turkey dinner at a restaurant downtown. The best part? No cleanup!


Neither. We will be just cooking for ourselves, no extended family. Maybe a neighbor or two, but very low pressure. AND we’re buying at least half of it from a local caterer. I’m looking forward to it.

We will be guests at my parents house very far far away. I wish so much that we coudl stay in our small cozy house but we have to go every yr as it has become tradition. With a family of 5 i hate traveling–planes, yuk! cars, double yuk. home=lovely. I want to be a host!

For the second year in a row, we’re hosting, though this year will be much more mellow than last,with half the people coming than we had last year (seven versus fifteen). Though I should be able to prep ahead of time, I also planned out my menu last month and have begun some of my shopping. I have delegated some tasks out to our guests, and have even put my husband in charge of the turkey roasting. Of course we’re closing escrow on our first home two days before thanksgiving. But once we have keys we can relax and enjoy the holiday fun, right?

We are hosting this year and are currently working on developing our menu… any suggestions?


Hosting Thanksgiving for one side and Easter for the other (too big to combine) has become a tradition. My sister comes over a day in advance and stays the night so it is really an enjoyable family together time– with built in prep help.

good luck with that Megan B!

My husband and I have started a tradition where we get the best of both worlds- hosting a Friends Thanksgiving where we cook the weekend before, and vegging out at our parents house on actual Thanksgiving. This Saturday we’re making a turkey for our friends and they all bring sides. Everyone sits around and watches Big Ten football and gorges on food. (It’s Thanksgiving without all the family drama.)

I’m trying the dry-brine for our turkey that’s in the November issue of Martha, and I’ll be making homemade pumpkin, sweet potato, and pear-cranberry pies. If anyone’s curious about the dry-brine, I can report back with results after this weekend.

I’m a guest: we go to my parents’ house in pjs for pie for breakfast, our neighbors for appetizers and drinks, and dinner at relatives, about an hour away. Lots of driving, but fun! I’m cooking too, desserts and apps for the various visits. And apple pie and custard pie for home!

I love canned whole cranberries too!
I mix them up with a can of manderine oranges drained of the liquid and add the zest of one orange!!
We are guests and I am happy about not having the leftovers. I love eating them so much I just stand at the fridge with a fork in my hand
and that sets a bad example for my kids.
I have been making the same sweet potato pie for years and each year my brother in law ups the number he wants me to bring.
I think i’m up to 4 this year.


I am a guest BUT the big task is…I do all the cooking and bring it up to my family’s about 4 hours away. My grandfather has always done the cooking till about 3 years ago when he’s just no longer up to it, he’s also not up to traveling but because being with them is important to me and I love to cook, I cook it all and bring it to them. It’s a lot of work and the past 2 years we actually had to do it on Friday because I was working but this year I’m unemployed so the timing will be right :) I did give my mom the task of the turkey, but gave her a no-screw-up turkey since she is not a cook.

Mary T

We’re guests, and we’re driving 12 hours to the ocean to do it. And it will be worth it! : )