Thanksgiving for four.Posted: November 23, 2011 | |
This year our Thanksgiving will feature an intimate gathering . . . a quiet table for four.
I’ve hosted holiday dinners through the years for as many as 30, but we’re in our new home in Missouri now and our extended family is no longer right down the road. So it will be my husband and me and our two teenagers and more food than four souls can possibly eat. Hello leftovers!
My favorite part of Thanksgiving has never been the food. I call it nursing home food because my kids have always favored any soft casserole that is cheesy, gravy-laden, or butter-filled. Our menu is classic: turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, broccoli cheese casserole, creamed corn, sweet Italian sausage stuffing, cranberry sauce, hot rolls, and pumpkin cheesecake with maple cream sauce. My favorite is the cranberry sauce because I make it from fresh cranberries and spike it with Rum and a medley of fragrant spices (ginger, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon). For years, I used to make sweet potato casserole (topped with pecan streusel topping and marshmellows), but I was the only one who ate it so I’ve abandoned this Thanksgiving staple. Please forgive me. And, yeah, I know there’s not a salad to be found. When I pointed out this oversight in the menu to my children and asked for a suggestion, my son replied “Nobody eats salad at Thanksgiving. Why make it?” He’s right, I think, so I crossed it off my list.
My real pleasure on this holiday comes from dressing the table, and I always do it the day before. This year I kept it simple and a little rustic, but still filled with small touches such as flowers, candles and mix-and-match china that give a table interest. See what you think:
I bought these flowers today at the grocery store for $10 — a bargain I thought for something that adds so much elegance to a holiday meal.
While pulling china and linens from my dish pantry, I discovered that napkins I had purchased a couple of years ago and never used were a lovely compliment to dinner plates I purchased just a few weeks ago. I love serendipitous table settings! By the way, in all matters decorating, I’ve always thought a high-low combination makes for the most interesting decor. I love how the damask tablecloth (high) contrasts with the rustic table runner and chargers (low).
Now I must confine myself to the kitchen if I ever expect for this meal to be served tomorrow. Fortunately, all my duckies are home tonight and there’s nothing that makes my heart sing like puttering in the kitchen when everybody’s around. Later, we plan to head to the den to watch our latest Redbox selection: Horrible Bosses. I’ve had a few in my day, so I’m sure I’ll get a vicarious thrill or two.