EVERY YEAR I LOOK FORWARD to Thanksgiving, and while the act ual day and meal itself are wonderful, that’s not my favorite part. For nearly an entire week, my family has the rare chance to be together under one roof at my mother’s home in Wisconsin. It’s that time—spent creating menus and shopping list s, cooking and baking, kicking back and laughing, eating and, well, eating—that helps the miles between us and the months apart fall away. It’s always a comforting and familiar sight to find my brother at the kitchen table in the early hours of the mornings. He’s no longer st udying like when we were kids, but analyzing stocks, and the coffee is usually brewing and the newspaper is already there. It tickles both of us to see our little boys wake up and play together for hours, making a maze of train tracks, forts, and new traditions of their own (afternoon scoots along the lake, cracking pistachios with Grammy come snack time). I’m also eager to be in the kitchen, where my husband and sister-in-law always make Thanksgiving prep both wildly fun and rewarding. And nothing makes me happier than the content look on my mom’s face before she heads to bed each night, knowing all her kids and grandkids are home. By the time I act ually sit down to enjoy Thanksgiving supper, which will be a mix of old family recipes and new ones from these pages, my heart is full: I know there’s so much to be grateful for. Here’s wishing you and yours an extra-sp ecial holiday and memorable moments all month long. Enjoy the issue!