Times Top 5: The Importance of Gravy

From the NY Times Dining Section 11.19.08

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We once made a frantic trip to Popeye's fried chicken on Thanksgiving morning to buy gravy because ours wasn't up to par. Not this year! The Times has a comprehensive guide to making gravy ahead of time, plus some new side dishes...1. "Gravy is like the salt of the Thanksgiving table." We're bookmarking this one. Why not make gravy ahead of time and freeze it, rather than sweat it out at the last minute?

2. Six new side dishes. How about Sourdough Dressing with Truffle Butter and Candied Chestnuts? That and five other delicious options.

3. Turning leftover mashed potatoes into pan-fried salmon cakes. You may want to set aside some Thanksgiving mashed potatoes just to make this recipe.

4. Sweet potatoes, hold the marshmallows. Bittman is firmly in the no-marshmallow camp, and he offers four recipes, like a savory sweet potato tart and stir-fried sweet potatoes with brown butter and sage. Mmm.

5. A tribute to a heritage turkey pioneer. Brian Anselmo died when he was only 28, but his work training farmers about breeding heritage turkeys is continuing.

Related: More Thanksgiving from The Times: Thanksgiving Staples You Can Make Ahead

(Image: Sabra Krock for The New York Times)

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