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This Is Ina Garten’s Secret to Perfect Sweet Potatoes

I take a big oven-proof platter and make a puddle of gravy on the bottom and slice the turkey on top, and then I just wrap it and set it aside. When it’s time to serve dinner, I put it into the oven and reheat it. What’s amazing is that because the turkey has been sitting in the puddle of gravy, it stays really moist, and it’s still really hot when I put it on the buffet. I’m not trying to carve a turkey in my party clothes!

Make It Ahead by Ina Garten



What else I’m putting on my Thanksgiving menu

I think that when people are expecting something sweet, like maple or brown sugar, it’s surprising to have a little spice, so I like to make chipotle smashed sweet potatoes. It’s delicious because the potatoes are just sweet enough with the spiciness. When I’m making a menu, I want creamy and crunchy—I want all of the textures. 

I also like anything with butternut squash. This year, I’m going to make the roasted butternut squash with brown butter and sage from my new book. It’s so good.

And for Thanksgiving, I always serve Morgon. It’s a light, red French wine. I’ll also buy some great bread from Carissa’s. I’m sure they’re going to have great rolls and things like that. It will be wonderful.

For dessert, I tend to like apple pie—it’s really traditional for Thanksgiving. Maybe I’ll put cranberries or something else in it, but I’m planning to make an apple pie, an apple crostata, or a French apple tart. 

How I do Thanksgiving leftovers

I love to make a sandwich with turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce all mushed together. I mean, you have to have those sandwiches the next day! Also, when I invite people for Thanksgiving, I always send them home with leftovers.

The shoes I wear when I’m in the kitchen

Allbirds! I think they are just fantastic. For Thanksgiving dinner, I might put on a pair of slides instead, though.

Allbirds Women’s Wool Runners



The music I play in the background

I have a few playlists on Apple Music and Spotify that I end up playing all the time. There’s ‘A Trip to Paris’ and ‘Women Who Rock,’ that includes everything from Dolly Parton to Taylor Swift—all just great women artists. And I have another with all old-fashioned love songs that’s great for parties.

My favorite recipe from my new book, Modern Comfort

That’s a tough decision, but probably the Ultimate Beef Stew. Everybody knows beef stew, but it’s usually boring and the meat can be kind of dry. For this recipe, I borrowed short ribs from a recipe that I had done in the past and switched out the meat. I add red wine and cognac, the way you make beef bourguignon, and it ended up being a classic recipe with so much flavor. For all of my recipes, I like to take a remembered flavor and make it wow.

Modern Comfort Food by Ina Garten



My favorite TV shows

West Wing was my favorite show of all time. We watch a lot of foreign series. There’s a French series called A French Village that was seven seasons and so incredibly well done, and Thicker Than Water, a Swedish series about a family that owns a hotel on an island off of Stockholm. And of course, there’s always Broadchurch, which everybody loves.

The book I loved so much, I had to listen to it too

Mrs. Obama’s book, Becoming, was spectacular. In fact, I read it and then I listened to the audio book, which she narrates. That was even better!

“Becoming” by Michelle Obama



The podcasts I love

I always listen to “The Daily,” but my favorite is “In the Dark.” It’s an investigative journalism series that’s kind of like “Serial.” It’s incredibly well done. One of the cases covered in the podcast actually ended up going all the way to the Supreme Court.

The fragrance I’ve been wearing for 20 years

I’ve been wearing Frederic Malle’s Une Fleur de Cassie since 2000. Somebody gave it to me as a gift, and I’ve been wearing it ever since.

Frédéric Malle Une Fleur De Cassie Perfume


Saks Fifth Avenue

The last thing I bought (besides food!) 

We’ve been spending a lot of time at my barn, which is right next to the house, and I felt like I needed two really comfy chairs to watch TV in. I went to a midcentury modern furniture store in Sag Harbor called MONC XIII and bought the most wonderful 1950s armchairs that are covered in sheepskin. They’re the best chairs I’ve ever bought in my life. 

Next, I want to buy two tickets to Paris! As soon as the pandemic is over, that’s my goal.

Caitlin Brody is the entertainment director at Condé Nast.

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