What’s your favorite aspect of the Thanksgiving feast? For some it’s all about the food and for others it’s the flowers or the tablescape. Whether you are preparing for the meal at your home or will be a guest elsewhere, here are three festive ideas for your Turkey Day.
Alison loves to express her creativity through flower arranging. For her formal Thanksgiving table and buffet, she created two exquisite arrangements shown above and below.
Sitting down to a lovely setting sets a peaceful yet cheery tone sure to welcome all around the table.
Casual Table Setting
Sometimes catering to a larger crowd presents a seating challenge; throw in little ones and things get tricky. I drew inspiration from Nate’s Trick Dog Cafe in Irvington, Virginia
when I set a casual table for a Friendsgiving last weekend. I covered my dining room table with craft paper and placed fresh crayons within arms-reach of all. Serving buffet style allowed folks to pull up a chair, and I didn’t have to worry about exact seating assignments or fret that my place settings didn’t match. Having a pre-set table emphasizes that. Many will say NOT having matching place settings is eclectic, even desirable, but my cobbled-together sets of dishes and linens just couldn’t pull it off.
Even if you wanted to pre-arrange the seating, you won’t need placecards. Just write the guests’ names at their places.
To simplify the flowers, I bought two large bouquets from the grocery store and deconstructed them, an idea
that we featured here from our floral expert aMl.
On top of making for flexible seating, the crayons provide a creative outlet and activity for young and old between courses. It’s fun to see what guests scribble when asked What Are You Thankful For?
cCo introduced a dessert that will tempt even the most stubborn who are wedded to the traditional pumpkin and pecan pies. This Ginger Pumpkin Trifle was so remarkable that I went back for seconds, completely throwing caloric caution to the wind.
- 4 cups half-and-half
- 2 cups canned pumpkin puree
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 8 large egg yolks
- 6 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
- 1 (8-ounce) package mascarpone cheese
- 2 (8-ounce) packages frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 4 teaspoons instant coffee
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 2 tablespoons dark rum
- 6 cups coarsely chopped gingersnap cookies, plus 2 tablespoons cookie crumbs for topping (I used Sweetzel's Spiced Wafers, I box = 6 cups)
- 1 tablespoon finely diced candied ginger (I used Reed's crystallized ginger, found in all-natural candy aisle at Martin's)
- 1. Whisk together half-and-half, pumpkin, 1 cup sugar, and next 4 ingredients in a large saucepan until smooth. Place pan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring constantly, 5 to 6 minutes or until mixture is thick and bubbly. Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl. Let mixture cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
- 2. Scrape seeds from vanilla beans; combine seeds and mascarpone in a medium bowl. Beat with a mixer at high speed 2 minutes or until smooth. Gently fold in whipped topping.
- 3. Whisk together coffee, hot water, rum, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl until sugar and coffee dissolve.
- 4. To assemble trifle, spoon half of the pumpkin mixture into the bottom of a trifle dish or glass bowl; smooth top. Arrange 3 cups chopped cookies over pumpkin. Drizzle half of coffee mixture over cookies. Top with half of mascarpone mixture. Repeat with remaining pumpkin mixture, cookies, coffee mixture, and mascarpone mixture. Sprinkle evenly with 2 tablespoons cookie crumbs and candied ginger. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
- Used Sweetzel's Spiced Wafers, I box = 6 cups
- Used Reed's crystallized ginger, found in all-natural candy aisle at local Martin's grocery
We send gracious blessings to you for a Thanksgiving filled with good food, happy and healthy families and lots of love.
November 24, 2015