The best Thanksgiving ever

Professor Brown?

“179 ways to have the best Thanksgiving ever.” I saw this headline on June 2. Made me think.

Apparently, Thanksgiving demands careful preparation. None of this slacker gather-the-family-around-the-table and eat what you ordered from Lunds. If you want the best Thanksgiving ever, or even a relatively good Thanksgiving, you need to be prepared to spend time and trouble (and money.)

True confessions: I didn’t read the article But I thought about it a lot, and started a to-do list:


  1. Order your turkey now. Of course, you are getting a free-range, organically-raised turkey, aren’t you? Go out and meet your turkey, if you are so inclined, but try not to name him.
  2. Remind your farmer (you DO have your own farmer, of course?) that your turkey needs an all-vegetarian diet, albeit one high in protein. (Your farmer will be happy to get advice from a city dweller, since you have time to read about how farming should work.)
  3. Remind your farmer to exercise your turkey daily. This can be accomplished in group exercise, no individual fitness training needed. And a gentle amble around the pasture is fine. Aerobic exercise is good, but not required.
  4. You still have time to plant sage. Also parsley, rosemary and thyme.
  5. And onions.
  6. You could plant potatoes, but it’s really a little late for that. Scout around for an organic gardener with experience in growing white and sweet potatoes.


  1. Cranberries are not a grow-it-yourself project. Post notices on social media asking for recommendations for organic, independent grower-owned cranberry bogs. Plan a visit.
  2. Begin embroidering a special Thanksgiving tablecloth, place mats and napkins.
  3. Collect recipes for roasting, smoking, and deep fat frying turkey. Pass them around to your friends and family.
  4. Make a guest list. Send a save-the-date email to everyone on the list.
  5. Make out your menu for Thanksgiving dinner.


  1. Abandon embroidery project and begin visiting craft fairs and estate sales to acquire a special Thanksgiving tablecloth, place mats and napkins.
  2. Send a second email to your entire guest list, asking who is vegetarian, vegan, lactose intolerant, glucose free, or otherwise dietarily challenged.
  3. Revise your menu.
  4. Call your mother and tell her that you promise not to burn the house down even if you do decide to deep fat fry the turkey.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten with my list. But there’s still a little time — 153 days until Thanksgiving. And only 184 days to Christmas — now there’s a daunting thought.


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