Friends and family contribute desserts. Cousin Leslie makes a pumpkin pie. Cousin Ron (hopefully) will make homemade ice cream. Our friends Clay and Lesli are having dinner with another friend this year so we'll miss her mixed berry fruit salad.
We'll straighten up around the house. I'll finally throw out those stacks of newspapers I wanted to go through.
If we have time, we'd like to find a new tablecloth for the dining room table. But if we can't find one, the old one will do since there will be so many platters of food, plates, glasses and silverware on the table you'll be hard pressed to see the tablecloth anyway.
We'll buy an organic turkey and use the neck, heart and gizzard to make stock for the gravy and the liver to make a mushroom-garlic pate.
The most important part of the meal is the turkey and no turkey is complete without great stuffing.
Over the years my wife has developed a crowd-pleasing stuffing with a contrast of textures: soft (corn bread), spicy (sausage), chewy (dried apricots), and crunchy (pecans).
Everyone has their favorites. Here are ours: Roasted Whole Tomatoes, Arugula Salad with Hazelnuts, Carrots, and Avocadoes, Grilled Vegetable Couscous Salad, Blackened Peppers with Capers, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and, my new favorite, baked sweet potatoes stuffed with a garlic-mushroom sauté.