At the end of my cooking classes I spend a few minutes asking students what other kind of classes they would like to take. I love vegetables, so I always suggest an I Love Vegetables class, but…. there are never any takers. They politely request Italian cuisine, or maybe banana bread. You know, something good, they seem to be saying. Not vegetables.

Inspiration struck me last spring, and I proposed a Thanksgiving preparation class: everything but the bird. All the best parts about Thanksgiving dinner: dressing chock full chestnuts, celery and onions, butternut-squash soup, potato-sweet potato gratin, fresh cranberry sauce, even the gravy. You see where I’m going with this, right? I am tricking people into taking a cooking class about vegetables.

Now, two weeks before I cook my actual Thanksgiving dinner, I have to shop for, prep, pre-cook and write the recipes for a not-Thanksgiving dinner. In two-and-a-half hours. I am so very clever.