Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! Did you have a good holiday? Thanksgiving is seriously my favorite, even better than Christmas. For me, it is the beginning of the Christmas season and, perhaps I am twelve years old at heart, but the anticipation of a whole season of Christmas makes me happy!

The Planning
As  long as she has been hosting Thanksgiving my mom has been planning the menu with the November 1994 issue of Bon Appetite. The first week of November the well worn magazine makes an appearance and it's pretty much the first sign that the holidays are just around the corner. Sometime before Thanksgiving my mom, sisters and I sit down with all the coffee for a major menu planning session. We love tradition (the essentials -gravy, dressing, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce- are set in stone and there will always be stuffed mushrooms, forever and ever amen) but we enjoy getting creative with the appetizers, sides and desserts.

The Prep
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is all hands on deck for serious cooking. It is sun up to sun down Christmas music and good smells and fighting over stove-counter-prep-space with occasional coffee breaks to energize and strategic refrigerator packing and so much dish washing. So. Much. Fun. The day ends feeling exhausted but extraordinarily accomplished.

The Parade
One million and one things to do before guests arrive at two but first! The Macy's parade with so much protein, pajamas, clementines and of course, coffee. I cry every year because the emotions of holiday commercials are real #noshame. Hands down favorite: Christopher Jackson on the Sesame Street float.

The Food
Every year I have noble intentions of photographing the whole menu (because who doesn't love photos of food?) but every year eating wins out over posterity #priorities. For you viewing pleasure: boiled eggs with pickled veggies and mustard, frosted cranberries and brie, stuffed mushroom, caramel pumpkin tart, mocha pecan pie and cranberry lime pie. (All equally amazing.)

The Decor
The final product of the table design! This was SO much fun to put together. Due to technical difficulties we were not able to move the table or use the wood as charges BUT spray painting the pineapples worked out PERFECTLY and I love them to little itty bitty pieces. The greens are cut from established bushes in the yard (love working in a little nature). Overall I am so happy with the result!

The Guests

We were so blessed to be joined by both new friends and friends so dear they are now family. A wonderfully loud dinner conversation with so much laughter it made my heart so very grateful. Our friends came from Cameroon, France, Poland, Jordan...seeing so many cultures represented was just the best (plus makes for really interesting discussions!). I for one am so very thankful for the many nationalities that together have woven the framework of America.

After dinner the guests all pitched in with washing the dishes (apparently they actually look forward to the dish washing part??? Obviously we are just that much fun. :)) before heading downstairs for fishbowl (the BEST party game) and air hockey (the LOUDEST party game) and pie eating (the TASTIEST party game). The last guest did not leave until 11:30 (I love when people have so much fun and feel comfortable enough to stay late) at which point I promptly changed in PJs and ate a turkey sandwich (TURKEY) before falling asleep on the couch.

All in all, a beautiful holiday. The older I get the more grateful I am for every. single. holiday. I spend home with my ten favorite people in the world.

So tell me...what was your favorite part of Thanksgiving 2016?


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