Friday, November 23, 2007


The Art of Dining

Entertaining is an art form for my mother. She has a special talent for menu planning, tablescapes, crowd control, planning meaningful activities, and ,of course, preparing the most delectable food. She has an eye for detail and plans her events meticulously. She is a traditionalist but can be creatively innovative at the same time. For those who have been lucky enough to attend a party or program at her home - you know exactly what I am describing. This year's Thanksgiving dinner was no exception.

First the table - her finest china, silver, and crystal. Elegant and inviting. She creates her centerpieces and sets the table days in advance. The soup spoons and many of the serving utinsels are heirlooms and belonged to grandmothers and great-grandmothers (remember grandma's spoon collection?). This is one of the many ways my mother tries to make us feel connected with our relatives of the past. My mother is passionate about this.

Can you believe that this is the kid's table?

And this is the toddler's table. My daughter was thrilled with her tiny soup dish and jewel-topped spoon. Not to mention the goblets - even for the littlest ones.

And at each place setting, was a scroll tied with an orange ribbon. This contained a Thanksgiving thought that was read aloud before the meal.

The dinner started off with a small bowl of butternut squash soup - topped with two different flavored butters (cinnamon and curry), bacon, and slivered almonds. Then came the salad course. Like I said, my mom is a traditionalist - jello is her specialty. But nicely fancied up.

Wes was the distinguished turkey carver this year.

The rest of the meal was the usual Thanksgiving faire - squash casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green beans, and rolls. But all wonderfully delicious.

Desserts included pumpkin pie, chocolate silk pie, lemon meringue pie, brownies, and homemade butter mints.

Let's not forget how many Thanksgiving dinners have been prepared in this 1967 double oven (that's 40 years old!). It's one of my mom's closest friends.

Unfortunately my mom has the habit of hustling and bustling about in the kitchen and didn't taste one bite of the main course. There's nothing we can do about it. It's always been that way and I guess it's the price to be paid to enjoy one of her dinners. I can't forget to mention my mom's right-hand man. My dad is behind her every step of the way and none of it would take place without his hard work and support. My parents make a great team!

One other activity to be remembered. My brother Kip organized a small food drive where each member of the family brought a can of food that they have purchased with their own money - even the kids. The cans are taken to the local food bank. The kids love telling about the can of food they bought.

Disappointingly, I got so caught up in the food and conversation that I didn't get any pictures of what I am the most thankful for - my family! I love you all!


Anna said...

Your mom is amazing! I love their house. It is so inviting and warm and comfortable and beautiful. Your parents have wonderful taste!
Your Thanksgiving looks like it was perfect!

Diana said...

Wow! Janet did yet another fantastic spread. So beautiful.

Jennette said...

I love catching up on your blog. The kids' Turkey Wall creations are so fun. You're giving me some good ideas for holidays to come! And your mom's do I start. Dare to dream I could ever do anything even a quarter that elegant. It looked beautiful and sounds like it was a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Jennette said...

ps. Your photos are great!! Like a magazine spread.