thanksgiving place setting

i got up early this morning to set the table–for tomorrow’s dinner. i always leave that task to the very end, when i’ve completely run out of time, and regret it, so this time i’m starting early. as you can see, i succumbed to the lure of overpriced, inedible decorative gourds at the grocery store. but when i saw them i envisioned a place setting that looks kinda like this. what do you think?

and if you’re celebrating thanksgiving this weekend, how are your preparations coming along? are you hosting or bringing a contribution to a meal? i really do love to hear about dinner party menus, so please share yours in the comments if you care to. i think seeing a full menu can be inspiring and give a real sense for how a nice night unfolded, so i’m introducing a new, perhaps bi-monthly post on the blog where i share some menus from taco night, a gin + grey gardens premiere and other parties i’ve had or am having. first up, thanksgiving of course.

this year james and i are hosting my parents, aunt and cousin–a small group–and we’re doing a pretty standard menu incorporating those great fall harvest vegetables in the market right now. because we don’t eat meat, a root vegetable (potato, parsnip, celery root, yam and leek) pie will be at the centre of the meal. the year before, however, we hosted almost 20 of our friends at a sit-down thanksgiving dinner! we took a slightly different twist with that fall menu. i’ve included both below, in case you’re still looking for some last-minute ideas.

wherever you are and however large or small your feast or gathering, i hope it’s one you enjoy very much and one that makes you thankful. happy thanksgiving.

harvest menu

pistachios – saint agur blรฉu with quince jelly – champagne

roasted root vegetable pie – sage & chestnut stuffing – creamed potatoes – garlic butter peas – broiled corn with za’atar browned butter – tamari gravy – apple relish (james’ family’s preserves!) – pinot noir

espresso chocolate cake (courtesy of my mom) – banyuls

friendsgiving menu (2009)

goat milk gouda – comtรฉ – la sauvagine – banana peppers in oil – beet-pickled devilled eggs – cava

mushroom farro piecaramalized corn with mexican chili powder & cayenne – porcini fried rapini – buttermilk mashed potatoes – pinot noir

cakes + pies supplied by gracious guests – port