Chowhounds Talk Thanksgiving

No holiday gets folks talking food more than Thanksgiving, and Chowhound home cooks are no exception. See what Chowhounds are planning for Thanksgiving 2013, and chime in with your own ideas.

1. FIND YOUR SIGNATURE DISH
Whether they stick with the traditional or like to experiment, many Chowhounds cook up feasts that include dishes so good they must be repeated.

2. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy are expected, but 'hounds love to mix it up with nontraditional sides, from boozy cranberry sauces to extra-spicy sweet potatoes.

3. MAKE IT MODEST BUT FESTIVE
If you're only cooking for a few guests and don't want to go all out (or be swamped with leftovers), there are many creative ways to scale down your feast while keeping it special.

4. GET A HEAD START ON FLAVOR
For turkey with meat that's well seasoned throughout and supercrisp skin, try dry-brining.

5. ADD DEPTH TO YOUR GRAVY
There's no reason to settle for insipid gravy; instead, bank on a few key techniques and additions that build layers of flavor.

6. MAKE GREAT VEGETARIAN GRAVY
Meatless Thanksgiving menus also deserve great gravy. Here's how to make it delicious.

7. NAIL THE CLASSIC HERB STUFFING
When you don't want the sides to compete with the turkey and gravy, keep it simple with a perfect bread stuffing flavored with celery and herbs.

8. ...OR DRESS IT UP
If you'd rather serve a stuffing that's a standout, grace it with choice additions like fall fruits, nuts, mushrooms, or oysters.

9. BAKE THE ULTIMATE PUMPKIN PIE
Thanksgiving's iconic dessert doesn't have to be boring: Try these twists to make it special.

10. ...BUT DON'T STOP AT PUMPKIN
Chowhounds love to serve a variety of pies, including creative variations on classics.

Want to share your Thanksgiving plans for this year? Join the fun on Chowhound.

Photos by Chris Rochelle / CHOW.com