Emma Wartzman

Photo by Andrea Gomez Romero

It’s that time of year again. You know, the time of year when it’s suddenly dark at 5 p.m., when hats and scarves start making a regular appearance and, most importantly, when Thanksgiving planning begins.

There’s getting ready for family and friends to come into town—or to travel yourself. There’s buying decorations—or perhaps collecting nature’s own decorations from outside. And then, of course, there’s the meal. Stuffing, potatoes, rolls, cranberry sauce, Brussels sprouts, pie… And turkey. Of course, turkey. The centerpiece of every Thanksgiving is the beautiful, giant bird that, for once, takes the place of chicken on your dinner table.

Photo by Yunhee Kim

 

Turns out the first time Sunset ever wrote about the holiday was only a few years into its run, in November of 1901. The focus, though, is a bit different from traditional coverage. The story (yes, there’s only one) is about how to raise turkeys.

 

 

“We write now of those who keep the Thanksgiving ranch—the unfenced, unprized, arid foothills over which the silent, watchful, sharp-eyed and peaceful turkey roves,” writes A.J. Wells in his article.

“There is room here for many a family which, needing a kindly climate, must depend upon some easy but remunerative occupation for support… There will be no obstacle in the way of making a living raising Thanksgiving dinners for other people to eat.”

 

Photo by Yunhee Kim

Photo by Aya Brackett

 

If you don’t feel like giving up your job to start a turkey ranch, don’t worry, we won’t blame you. And what’s more, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to do post buying one at the grocery store. Whether you like your turkey doused in rosemary garlic gravy, smoked with wine, or even glazed with barbeque sauce, we’ve got a recipe for you. And not to mention all the sides, desserts and drinks you could ever need. After all, we’ve had 113 years to fill in the gaps.

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