"Always remember: If you're alone in the kitchen and you drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up. Who's going to know?" – Julia Child In the 70s and 80s, Julia Child was the "commander in chief" of Thanksgiving. Her phone number was listed in the public directory, giving nervous chefs and panicky party hosts unlimited access to her last-minute advice on saving the overcooked turkey or replacing a forgotten ingredient. 

Julia was not just an expert in serving comforting, simple, yet irresistible food. She was also the comforting, reassuring voice that got everyone through the holidays. Go about these recipes with the attitude that Julia had, and you are guaranteed to have the most beautiful and enjoyable Thanksgiving feast of your life.

The Bird

"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking, you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude."

This stuffed, deconstructed Turkey might take a bit more elbow grease than your basic oven-roasted one, but it will be well worth the effort. What's nice about this recipe is that it makes the turkey, the gravy, and the stuffing. Successfully complete this project, and you will have the three most important components of Thanksgiving ready to go.

The Taters

Mashed potato mountain

andrewmalone on Flickr

"The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook."  

Don't think too hard about the ingredients in this mashed potato recipe. Yes, there is a stick of butter and a good pour of cream, but trust me when I say you will not have leftovers. Along with the butter, this recipe includes a whopping 30 cloves of garlic, making it the most flavor-packed, creamy, irresistible mash your guests will have ever experienced.

The Side Staples

jam, sweet, berry, marmalade, gelatin, cranberry sauce, compote
Helena Lin

"Cooking well doesn’t mean cooking fancy."

Cranberry Sauce is the sweet, tangy, warmly spiced, side dish that brings everything on your plate into one ultimately satisfying Thanksgiving bite. This recipe is simple enough to pull together last-minute, yet beautiful enough to wow the whole family.

"It is hard to imagine a civilization without onions."

It's even harder after you have tried Julia's braised onions. They're sweet, simple, and sure to impress. This side dish is a perfect addition to any Holiday table.

“How can a nation be called great if its bread tastes like kleenex?”

If you want to take your baking skills to the next level, and really show off in the kitchen, skip out on those boring frozen dinner rolls and give this Julia-inspired french bread recipe a go. The smell of fresh bread through your kitchen will make you glad you went to the trouble

Something Green

green bean

lotherington on Flickr

"It's so beautifully arranged on the plate — you know someone's fingers have been all over it."

If green bean casserole is a must in your family, this classic recipe belongs on your Thanksgiving table. Julia recommends using fresh, thin green beans, rather than the canned ones, but she also lets you sneak in a can of mushroom soup. (Your guests don't have to know.)

Something Sweet

"Everything in moderation... including moderation."

This pumpkin pie recipe is a reinvented classic published by Julia in the 80s. It includes molasses, extra spices, and bourbon, making it more comforting and perfect for Fall than even the most traditional pumpkin pie recipe, and the perfect way to end your Julia-inspired meal

Don't be intimidated by the 14-pound turkey, the soon-approaching company, or the double-sided shopping list. Approach these Thanksgiving recipes the way Julia would and find fun in the mistakes that will probably happen.

Don't be scared to try putting together a deconstructed turkey, and never underestimate the power of simple recipes. In the words of Julia, "Learn how to cook—try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!"