I don’t support Christmas propaganda immediately following Halloween but I can get behind some early Thanksgiving dinner planning.

I often think that running two businesses while having two little kids is about is busy a life as one could lead. Occasionally, I come across someone whose accomplishments force me to me knees in honor of their seemingly impossible achievements. Sam Sifton, national editor of the New York Times and also a parent to two girls, found the time to write a book. A very clever, entertaining, good book.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It is such a uniting celebration, not based on religious practices and centered on the gathering of people around food. Right up my alley. I’m drawn to innovation and change and don’t find comfort in routine in my everyday life. Regarding Thanksgiving, I’m somewhat of a traditionalist.

If you aren’t serious about Thanksgiving, this book isn’t for you. If you want to cook a traditional meal and do it well, this is your new bible. Sam’s writing style is direct with a healthy dose of sass. While reading the book’s introduction before going to sleep one night, I repeatedly elbowed my husband and delightedly read him passages aloud:

Thanksgiving is likewise not a book for those interested in cutting corners. Shortcuts are anathema to Thanksgiving, which is a holiday that celebrates not just our bounty but also our slow, careful preparation of it. There is no room in Thanksgiving for the false wisdom of compromise–for ways to celebrate the holiday without cooking, or by cranking open cans of gravy to pour over a store-roasted turkey reheated in the microwave. Thanksgiving is  no place for irony. We are simply going to cook.

Put plainly, we are going to cook Thanksgiving correctly.”

The Thanksgiving purist goes on to instruct the reader on various ways to prepare turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, potatoes, vegetables and desserts. All this with a side dish of wit and pedagogical confidence. One of my favorite chapters was the unexpected bonus at the end – recipes for leftovers.

Whether you are planning one of your first Thanksgiving meals or if you are an old pro, you may find trick or two in this new book. To win a copy, leave a comment sharing your favorite Thanksgiving dish.

On Wednesday, November 7th, I choose a winner and will be sure you have a copy at least a few weeks before Thanksgiving.

Update: The winner is Maureen! Thank you everyone for your interest.