Before you start cursing Thanksgiving, let me just calm you down with this easy, delicious, slow-cooked, time-honored recipe for meat sauce. It was my mother's. You'll love it. The houseguests who stay too long will love it. And that's all I have to say about that, to quote Forrest Gump.

Now, to back gently into this huge cooking holiday, I'm offering you the best first: An entirely make-ahead pumpkin tart that has everything going for it: the filling is a luscious cross between pie and cheesecake; it has a crisp, salty, crushed pretzel crust; and there's a (super-stable) white-chocolate whipped cream to go with. You can do it! We're quite sure, because it's an Abby Dodge recipe, with famously detailed instructions, and it's our next Baking Together project. So please chime in with feedback after you make it.

About the rest: Last week we rolled out our Thanksgiving Feast Menu From Chef Michael Brisson, so be sure to check that out if you haven't, especially if you're still deciding on how to cook your turkey and make your gravy.

This week, we're introducing you to our index of Thanksgiving recipes on Cook the Vineyard. You'll find recipes here for everything from appetizers and soups to sides and desserts.

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