THE three pillars of the Thanksgiving dinner are turkey, cranberry sauce and pie. Pie baking, happily, allows more room for variation than the other tried, true and perennially required dishes do. Pies and tarts also represent a great contribution to the dinner for a guest who, when asking, "can I bring anything?" receives a resounding "Yes!"
To inspire the Thanksgiving baker, this year there are several new cookbooks that make excellent use of seasonal icons like apples, pears, nuts, pumpkin, dried fruits and spices. Two of them got me into the kitchen.
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