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Feast on This: Six Radio Listens to Make Thanksgiving Extra Special

Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova from Pexels

Whether you hold a virtual family gathering this year, or are fortunate to have your loved ones safely nearby for Thanksgiving festivities, NHPR can provide the perfect Thanksgiving holiday soundtrack.

Favorite holiday memories, family stories and traditions, impressive yet simple last-minute recipe ideas, and a mix of folk and contemporary music that reflects current social issues will be highlighted in a series of special programs airing on Thanksgiving Day. Tune in to NHPR on Thursday, November 26 for our festive specials and programs:

9-10 a.m. – Milk Street Radio (Thanksgiving Episode)

Boston-based Milk Street is a media company encompassing a podcast, a print magazine, a cooking school and informative, entertaining public television and radio shows. Host Christopher Kimball and guests will reveal their cooking tips and tricks. Andrea Nguyen of the Viet World Kitchen website shares her family traditions, inspired by the Vietnamese Moon Festival; pie experts, bakers and authors Chris Taylor and Paul Arguin put a new spin on classic desserts; Grant Barrett and Martha Barnette – hosts of the radio show and podcast A Way With Words – give us a language lesson on Thanksgiving Day; Rachael Ray, Maneet Chauhan, Maangchi, David Lebovitz and more chefs, authors and friends recount their Thanksgiving tales of disaster, culinary wisdom and family memories; Plus, creator and host Dan Pashman of The Sporkful podcast breaks down the pros and cons of hosting a virtual Thanksgiving. Milk Street Radio is distributed by PRX.

10-12 p.m. – The Splendid Table’s Turkey Confidential

Who says preparing delicious meals for a family should be stressful? Cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, or other favorites on a family menu should be all about gratitude and appreciation. However, if things in the kitchen do go a bit askew, it’s important to have a Plan B and know where to look for extra help. The Splendid Table’s Turkey Confidential host Francis Lam, the hero of Thanksgiving cooks, takes calls and comes to the rescue of home-chefs, kitchen helpers, and guests during the biggest cooking day of the year. For 2020, due to logistical restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, Turkey Confidential will be a pre-produced two-hour program. The Splendid Table is a program of American Public Media (APM).

2-3 p.m. –  Giving Thanks: A Celebration of Fall, Food, and Gratitude

From APM, host John Birge creates a thoughtful, contemporary reflection on the meaning of the holiday, tapping the magic of music and stories. Classical music is the heart and soul of the original Giving Thanks. The hour-long show is a contemporary celebration of the spirit of Gratitude, perfect for a Thanksgiving afternoon. Whether families and friends are in the kitchen, in front of monitors virtually connecting, or relaxing after the feast, Giving Thanks provides the warmth of great music, and truly memorable words.

3-4 p.m. – Julie’s Library - A Family Feast

Legendary actress and author Julie Andrews invites listeners to join her for storytime in her library. Julie and her daughter, children’s author and educator Emma Walton Hamilton, will share four stories perfect for an early family dinner. Julie’s Library is a program of APM.

7-9 p.m. – World Café (Thanksgiving-themed)

Want to add flavor not only to the feast but to your Thanksgiving playlist as well? Tune in for the Thanksgiving edition of the World Café hour. As NPR's most popular music radio show, World Café features artists and emerging musicians from all over the world, plus long-loved classic songs.

9-11 p.m. – Best of the Best – The 2020 Third Coast Festival Broadcast

From PRX, the Third Coast International Audio Festival is back with its annual Best of the Best broadcast, featuring the winners of the 2020 Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. Each year, honorees reflect the finest, most innovative work in the narrative audio industry. The annual ode to audio storytelling takes listeners on a journey through what’s possible when stories are made through sounds. The two-hour special includes two episodes: PANDEMIC!/The Great Indoors and Letters To A Young Poet. The PANDEMIC! episode showcases three winning pieces that each address the coronavirus and its impact: from the science of the disease to how it has interrupted peoples’ lives. Letters to a Young Poet tells a story of how two young Black men each grapple with their place in the world, weaving poetry and sound design together in very different ways to express their unique relationships to their families, their identities, and themselves.

Visit our schedule page for the full Thanksgiving Day schedule on NHPR.

Aytaj Ismayilova is NHPR’s digital membership associate. She worked as a marketing intern for CatchFire creative agency and as a public relations intern for a local Concord communications agency Louis Karno & Co Communication.
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