For most of the hostesses I know there’s usually one thing about Thanksgiving that stresses a girl out. For some it’s her mother-in-law, for others it’s piecrust. For me, it’s the gravy. There, I said it. My favorite part of my favorite meal of the year is gravy, and it’s the one thing I don’t make at the Thanksgiving table. For the past few years, I’ve been dry-brining our bird and once you try the technique, you’ll never go back. The one glitch is that the drippings are too salty for pan gravy, and so I order it. There’s no shame in that, especially when the Chardonnay and thyme gravy comes from my friend Kate Paul of foodink catering—former personal chef to the Rolling Stones and a favorite with the likes of Vanity Fair, Vogue, Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld and other A-list clients around town. You can order the entire dinner from foodink, or just fill in the sides as need be.
It turns out I’m not the only of my friends sneaking in a little outside help. Sisters of Los Angeles co-founder Sara Stein is too busy making her dad’s famous Red River BBQ Sauce (I swear one day I’ll get that recipe out of her!) and grilling her turkey to bake the pies, so she turns to Los Feliz favorite House of Pies for dessert.
As for my friend Alison, who recently went gluten-free, she’s ordering a classic stuffing with sage, apples and mushrooms from Clementine in Century City to serve to her 20 guests on Thursday. “If I can’t eat it, I don’t want to make it!” she says. Other childhood friends who are heading home to the Napa Valley this week, plan to order mashed potatoes from Rutherford Grill and cranberry relish with orange and cinnamon from Dean and Deluca to take the pressure off. Sometimes you have to cheat to win.