I canvased the food editors for ideas on preparing Thanksgiving dinner. Here are a few suggestions:

The hors d'oeuvres If you aren't serving a cheese course, make cheese croûtes: slather goat cheese on slices of baguette, toast them in the oven and top with anything you have on hand--chopped sun-dried tomatoes or olives, diced prosciutto, fresh herbs.

The gravy Prepare the turkey stock well in advance and make more than you think you'll need to add to the pan drippings. You never want to be short on gravy.

The stuffing Give yourself a head start: buy crusty bread a week in advance, cut it into cubes and let the cubes dry out.

The pan Make sure the turkey fits in the roasting pan the day before Thanksgiving.

The presentation Ask your butcher to remove the wishbone from the bird. That way you can carve straight across the breast--and impress your friends and relatives with your skill.