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6 Cooking Shows To Inspire Your Thanksgiving Feast

A production still from the PBS documentary and cooking show

Credit: A Chef's Life

Above: A production still from the PBS documentary and cooking show "A Chef's Life."

Thanksgiving will look a little different this year. Maybe you're having a Zoomsgiving, or a socially distanced outdoor meal, or just staying in and having a cozy feast for the people you live with. Whatever your plans, I hope you're going to eat well!

One way to make Thanksgiving more interesting this year is to get a little more experimental in the kitchen and try out some brand-new dishes or creative twists on old classics. If you're used to cooking for a large group of picky eaters, there's something freeing about knowing that you don't have to worry about literally pleasing everyone and their grandma this year.

Bored of cranberry sauce? Maybe this will be the year that NPR's Susan Stamberg finally succeeds in convincing you to make her (in)famous cranberry relish recipe. Personally, I've been eating mediocre vegetarian faux turkeys for many years, and am looking for a new plant-based Thanksgiving entrée that's hearty and autumnal, but doesn't attempt to replicate meat.

The following is a collection of cooking shows and web series to inspire your holiday feasts.

All of these programs are available to stream on video.kpbs.org or on the PBS Video app, and some require our digital member benefit KPBS Passport.

Photo credit: Kitchen Vignettes

A production still from the Nov. 2017 episode of "Kitchen Vignettes" featuring a butternut bourbon cream pie.

Kitchen Vignettes

"Kitchen Vignettes" is a farm-to-table video blog by Aube Giroux. She is a passionate organic gardener and home cook who likes to share the stories of how food gets to our dinner plates. She won the Saveur Magazine's 2012 Best Food Blog award in the video category. Check out her mouthwatering tutorials on butternut bourbon cream pie, squash cornbread, Thanksgiving crème brûlée and more.

A Few Good Pie Places

There are delicious pies for sale at shops, restaurants, cafes and roadside stands across America. So, this delicious documentary celebrates "A Few Good Pie Places" where people still make flaky crusts and scrumptious fillings.

Farm To Table Family

The "Farm to Table Family" web series focuses on bringing the family together through food. Host Patricia Wong inspires viewers with fresh ingredients from farmers markets, tasty and easy recipes, fun music, and visually appealing short videos. Check out some of the seasonal recipes like harvest pumpkin soup, rustic French apple pie, and Thanksgiving baby food (pictured above).

A Chef's Life

"A Chef's Life" is a half-hour character-driven documentary and cooking series that takes viewers inside the life of Chef Vivian Howard, who, with her husband Ben Knight, left the big city to open a fine dining restaurant in small-town Eastern North Carolina. Each episode follows Vivian out of the kitchen and into cornfields, strawberry patches and hog farms as she hunts down the ingredients that inspire her seasonal menus. Using a chef’s modern sensibilities, Vivian explores Southern cuisine, past and present — one ingredient at a time.

*Available with KPBS Passport.

Photo credit: A Chef's Life

A production still from "A Chef's Life."

The Great British Baking Show

If there's one show that can reliably inspire you to up your baking game, it's "The Great British Baking Show." Bakers compete to be Britain's best while making scrumptious breads, cakes, pastries and pies.

*Available with KPBS Passport.

Julia Child: Cooking With Master Chefs

For traditional favorites made by the greats, check out this classic show. Julia Child visits sixteen nationally acclaimed master chefs in their own kitchens. Each chef demonstrates distinct techniques, regional recipes, and culinary tips which guide home cooks through their favorite recipes.

This is from the latest edition of the KPBS Home Club newsletter. Sign up to get Home Club in your inbox every Friday.

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