Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Southern Thanksgiving

Though it's not yet Halloween, I've got Thanksgiving on the brain.  Memories of Thanksgivings past include watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, helping my Grandma with her famous cornbread dressing, and seeing my Dad walk in from the Hunting Club with a beard {which was a rarity}.  It's always been a casual affair at the Phillips home, but the food was good and the memories are precious.

We're still lightyears away from children {hopefully} and though a home of our own is on the horizon, it will be a long, long time before I host my first Thanksgiving.  Thankfully, I won't be a clueless first-timer...I've been cooking Thanksgiving for my family since my freshman year of college!  I've perfected Alton Brown's turkey recipe, but for a Thanksgiving of my own, I'd definitely have to pull out all the stops.  

First, let's set the stage and welcome guests into our home with this darling little wreath:
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And a sweet fall tableau:
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And now for the table:
My great-aunt's vintage lace tablecloth.
Spode Woodland Place Settings {via}
Green stemware {via}

And of course we'll need lots of mismatched vintage silver:
I couldn't locate a source for this picture.
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We'll require something for the center of the table.  Something simple and Southern...
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Monogrammed linens are a must:
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Sweet little place cards:
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Obviously, our dessert bar simply must feature decorative poofs and accents of burlap:
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Onto the most important element...the food!  First things first, let's make some appetizers.  If you're making appetizers to accompany your Thanksgiving spread, make sure they are things that can be made in advance and stored.  
Sweet and creamy pumpkin dip served with ginger snaps and Granny Smith apple slices.  I'm not crazy about the service pictured above, but that's easily mended.  {via}
Spiced pumpkin seeds. {via}
Ranch oyster crackers {via}

Now for the main event!  Meats for the carnivores:
Alton Brown's Turkey Recipe is simply the best.  It delivers a moist, tender, and flavorful bird without fail.  {via}
A Honey-Baked Ham from The Honey-Baked Ham Store.  Why do all the work?  {via}

And don't forget side dishes!  My favorites are always on the side:
Perfect Squash Casserole {via}
Sweet Potato Carrot Casserole {via}
Cornbread Dressing, just like my Grandma's! {via}
Roasted Green Beans {via}
Double Cranberry-Apple Sauce {via}
Creamy Fried Confetti Corn {via}
Wee little deviled eggs {via}
Roasted Root Vegetables with a Horseradish Vinaigrette {via}  
Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta {via}

Mr. C would just die if we forgot some tasty treats to go along with after-dinner coffee:
Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie {via}
Pumpkin Pie Spectacular {via}
Tennessee Jam Bundt Cake {via}

And of course, all good Southern hostesses know that it's rude to send guests home without some leftovers:
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So what about you?  Do you enjoy a paper plate Thanksgiving or are you a Spode kind of gal?  And what are some of your most precious Thanksgiving memories?

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