Donít you love Thanksgiving? For many people itís their favorite meal to cook every year. Everyone has stories of waking on Thanksgiving day and sneak into the kitchen to find their mothers elbow deep in all of the dayís preparations. Personally, Iíd spend the morning on a very tall chair dipping my fingers into the stuffing and doing my favorite of the jobs assigned to me which was to stick the marshmallows on the orange and cinnamon scented sweet potato casserole. There was one for the pan and one for me and so on and so forth.
Thanksgiving is one of the truly beautiful holidays because itís so abundant and lush. Itís also a fabulous opportunity to bring a fresh creativity to your table. Just take a look through your cupboards. Many people have dishes and glasses that have been left to them; why donít you bring them out and use them? It doesnít matter if some are broken and the glasses donít match. Spread everything out onto the table and take a look. Find a couple of unifying colors, in other words colors that can work with all of the bits and pieces that youíve got. Then choose a tablecloth and napkins in those colors. Itís easy to find what I call ďcharger platesĒ in many solid colors and theyíre very inexpensive. Choose a metallic color such as bronze or gold if you want to dress up your setting yet keep it warm. Itís a bit like layering an outfit one piece at a time all the way to the necklace and scarf.
Donít worry if you have glasses that donít match. You can go to any store these days and find wine and water goblets in lovely jewel tone colors. Set your table with every other goblet being a colored one. Alternate colored napkins. Have a great time playing with color and texture on your holiday table. Whatever you do, when someone mentions how beautiful everything looks, donít ever say, ď Oh, thank you but it would have looked so much better if I hadnít broken my glasses and had to replace them this wayĒ. Remember that this is your style and you like it this way because matching everything is simply not as unique or as personal as you like your tables to be.
You can be very creative with napkin rings. Some of the best are the little hard plastic or glass ones that you can put a bit of water into and a little arrangement. Go outside or to the local market and pick whatever is left of the fall herbs and flowers to arrange in them. Then pull the napkins through and set them onto your table. This is a beautiful way to bring some greenery to your place setting. You can also use antique silver ones or go to the craft store and make your own out of ribbon or premade tassels. Donít forget candlesticks as they really add so much ambiance, especially when you mix the shapes and sizes. Why donít you dress those same candlesticks with herbs, fresh greenery or pretty silk ribbons? When it comes to candlesticks you should always use an odd number because it looks so much more balanced.
One of the most overlooked yet oddly one of the oldest symbols of the Thanksgiving celebration is the old fashioned cornucopia or ďHorn of PlentyĒ. I love these wonderful arrangements because they make creating and abundant and gorgeous arrangement absolutely effortless.
You can use a cornucopia in many ways. The traditional use is to fill it with fruit, vegetables and flowers, but I like to use a cornucopia on my sideboard as the centerpiece for a wonderful cheese and fresh bread display. This is easy to do. Fill the cornucopia with kale leaves and slices of French bread and an assortment of crackers so that they are spilling out of the mouth of the horn. Then arrange several wheels of cheese very close to the bread along with several cheese knives. Add small pumpkins and several pitchers of varying sizes filled with autumn flowers to the display and it will look sensational. You can do the same thing with freshly sliced vegetables and dips. One of my favorites this time of the year is a store bought hummus with some pumpkin puree into it and spiked with pumpkin pie spices or chili powder. Donít be afraid to change the traditional meal around just a bit. Maybe you donít like pumpkin pie. Thatís really okay and you can serve a maple or pecan pie instead. There are no rules to be broken here, only a meal to be enjoyed together with family and friends.
This year I hope that youíll have fun with your holiday tables and look at them with fresh eyes. Do something just a little bit differently and youíll have as much fun as your guests. Relax and enjoy being the star of your own party. When it comes to your creativity, the skyís the limit!