Thanksgiving this year was very successful. We had a small group of Navy friends over, and the whole day was low-key, wonderful, and full of delicious food. And best of all? I had on stretchy maternity pants, which made Thanksgiving pretty amazing…I might have to break them out every Thanksgiving from here on out!
I always start out the Thanksgiving ritual by setting the table the night before. I find that by doing this Number 1: I can enjoy the table that much longer and Number 2: It makes the day-of go pretty darn smoothly. I covered our table with a standard canvas drop cloth (you can find these at your local hardware store for $7 or so). We used drop cloths for curtains in the Man Cave last summer, and they were so versatile, we bought three extra to have on hand for tablecloths. After the drop cloth “tablecloths” I used our rustic wooden placemats to give the table some texture.
We only have six china places settings, so I just used our standard dishes. I laid a burnt orange napkin on each plate and topped with a red pear. I just love the way it turned out! The centerpieces were simple vases filled with candles and cranberries. Lastly, I sprinkled some smooth stones around the vases, which not only gave the table more texture, but also brought in a sense of family for me. You see, these stones, when flipped over reveal the names of friends and family members who attended one of my bridal showers! My best friend Leslie had people sign these stones rather than a guest book–I thought Thanksgiving was the perfect time to break them out!
The other thing I do the night before Thanksgiving is label all the serving dishes so I know exactly what I’m going to put in each one. This makes that last-minute crunch time easy peasy, as I already know what’s going where and I’m not pulling serving dishes and utensils out of the cabinets at the last minute.
The morning of Thanksgiving I get up, make breakfast (which I’ll share with you tomorrow), and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade with my hubby. He actually marched as part of the honor band in the parade in college! I love to watch all the Broadway shows perform in Herald Square–especially the Rockettes. I just love them!
About halfway through the parade, I start prepping the food. Our menu this year:
The star of this course was the Bloomin’ Onion Bread. It was so easy and YUMMY! I’m ready to make it again very soon.
Turkey with gravy
Cranberry sauce two ways (the homemade stuff and the weird congealed stuff from a can)
And friends brought over sweet potatoes, stuffing, and green bean casserole
I love all this stuff…but I really loved the turkey the Hubby did. He rubbed it in Italian seasoning and butter, wrapped it in bacon, stuffed it with bacon, and then roasted it breast down in an oven bag with apples, cranberries, onions, rosemary, and parsley. It was moist and flavorful and cooked really quickly! What’s not to love about that?!?
And friends brought cranberry bread pudding and berry pie.
I just LOVED this spice cake recipe. I’m definitely adding it to my fall repertoire. It was deeeeelish.
Here’s a shot of our whole group together:
And here’s the aftermath…