So in perusing my blog roll I could immediately tell that Halloween had come and gone and now it was time to get serious about the holidays. No more candy and last-minute “slept-in” costumes, now it was time for turkeys, gourds, pies, and everything that comes with gathering your family around a huge table and filling that table with food memories. So in no particular order, here are some random links and thoughts on Thanksgiving as you and I both figure out where the heck the summer went and how it is 15 days until Thanksgiving…
This Thanksgiving prep article from The Kitchn (derived from Apartment Therapy…which I just love) got me thinking about it all. Read on for thoughts on pie crusts, – you can make batches of dough early – drafting a menu, tools, gravy and table decorations. Thanksgiving Prep – Start Today!
Maybe not doing a full Thanksgiving dinner, need to bring something, or really want to impress your in-laws with creative appetizers? @Peter_Callahan, cook book author, NYC caterer, and miniature food innovator recently said this on twitter: “When it comes to entertaining at home, don’t let it intimidate you. Just stick to simple bites purchased right off the shelves #bitebybite.” Check out his newly-published book for some creative entertaining ideas: Bite by Bite: 100 Stylish Little Plates You Can Make for Any Party
And while you are perusing the virtual book store, don’t forget to buy the latest from home decorating, cookie baking, entertaining maven Martha Stewart: Martha’s Entertaining: A Year of Celebrations
The food – for me, Thanksgiving is a bunch of food memories. We’ve eaten the same meal for almost my entire life. Yes, new things are introduced as we get older and my brother tries his hand at making 17 different kinds of stuffing, or when my husband joined our table and made us have real mashed potatoes instead of just sweet potatoes topped with marshmallow (I guess I can forgive him). For whatever traditional Thanksgiving meal you are planning, don’t forget to stock up on some Jessup…now…to go with it. The 2008 Yolo County Petite Sirah is a perfect pairing with turkey because its deep berry notes are akin to cranberry sauce. You can still order before the holidays!
But maybe you aren’t the cooking type, or again, you are trying to impress some very dapper in-laws? Some delivery to your home (in NYC anyway), no fuss solutions: Daniel Boulud is actually offering a takeout turkey feast for 10 for only $395 (courtesy of Grub Street New York). And there is always the tried and true grocery staple Fresh Direct that will deliver your holiday meal for as little as $17 a person.
Some easy décor ideas for your Thanksgiving table:
- Golden gourds. As simple as picking up tiny pumpkins and gourds at your local farmer’s market or grocery store. Buy some metallic paint and use whatever cake stands, plates or bowls you have on hand to display them on your table or on a side board.
- Use common cooking ingredients (and things you can reuse once Thanksgiving dinner is over) to fill interesting jars around your house. Also, take the time to wrap napkins with something interesting. My aunt creates tiny pins inspired by the fall that everyone can wear for the meal and take home as a keepsake.
- Having kids over? Set a kids table topped with craft paper or make craft paper place mats and give them these adorable turkey crayons to amuse themselves. Plus – have everyone write what they are thankful for right onto the table!
- Think about flowers! If you have a farmers market near you, see what the local growers have on hand. One bunch of flowers can fill tiny bud vases down the center of your table or make a beautiful arrangement near the front door. Try large branches of bittersweet (tiny red or yellow berries) on the buffet (just make sure that your pets stay away from the berries). Or use my favorite, dahlias, to create arrangements in all of your favorite fall colors!
However you celebrate – happy planning! Make sure that you have great family, friends and food around you, and take some time to slow down the moment and enjoy some wine.
Stay tuned for my next blog post where I will share my mom’s amazing apple pie recipe before I head away to a much-needed vacation with my husband in Disney World!