Hosting a Thanksgiving Feast
Preparing a home to host Thanksgiving is a big deal…it takes lots of work including planning, cleaning, polishing and getting the house together. Due to Covid-19 concerns and other family affairs, my guest list went from 14 guests down to 5, up to 7, and finally landed at 9 guests. I am super happy to have loved ones in town and luckily they are delighted to come to my house. Without a doubt my three twenty-something daughters are the main draw, and I am so grateful to have them home as well.
When I host a party, the tabletop, buffet and bar presentations are my main focus. I like to “spoil” my guests with my favorite food and drink items, and I use a lot of Post It Notes for reminders. For Thanksgiving, I follow tradition and put together a beautiful buffet with roasted turkey, cornbread (half white bread crumbs, half yellow cornbread) dressing, green beans with almonds, mascarpone creamed spinach, sweet potatoes topped with marshmallow (my nephew’s favorite), homemade yeast rolls (none of the Sista’s rolls at my house!), and other yummy Thanksgiving items. This year I am pleased to serve the Fab Fête’s new white corn and truffle soufflé. Several of my guests haven’t tried the concoction yet, and I am excited to see their expressions and hear their comments after they savor the flavors of the black truffle, warm cheese and corn.
For the main dining centerpiece, I created a still life in flowers, fruits, vegetables, and wildlife reflecting the design found on my formal (and interchangeable) chinas, Market Garden and Fruits and Flowers, both by Herend. I love setting a table with lots of layers: my best linens, silver, colored glassware, my collection of salt and pepper vessels, and other table accessories. For a formal holiday dinner, I like to include individual place cards so the guests are guided to their seats, and I can make sure folks have an easy-to-talk-to dining partner. Individual relish or nut bowls are fun if you have room on your table, and you can always serve colorful Jordan almonds to coordinate with your tabletop decor.
Attending to the all of these details together with the amount of time put forth in preparation can’t help but reinforce to your guests that you care deeply for them and want to nurture them on such a special day. Remember to greet them heartily at the entrance, take and share lots of photos, and have plenty of zip-top bags in your pantry for doling out leftovers to your guests. My leftover to-go bags will contain turkey, dressing, parsley sprigs, cranberry relish, a jar of Durkee Famous Sauce (my go -to condiment for leftover turkey), chocolate, and dog biscuits tied with ribbon. Voila!
Wishing you a joyful and healthy holiday with friends and family. Until next time!