Friday, October 15, 2010

Prep Day ~ Thanksgiving Dinner

So, tomorrow my in laws are coming over for Thanksgiving. Since I have a great love for entertaining and cooking, I look forward to the holidays when I can plan a special dinner to share. I enjoy the planning the most; the shopping, the prepping, the arranging and ... okay, maybe not so much the cleaning. Yesterday I cleaned out my fridge to make room for all of the prepped food, established my menu (which wasn't hard, I mean it's Thanksgiving - turkey turkey turkey) and started making my lists of things I would be needing to do to get myself organized. As you can see by my message board, my "to do" list is quite full for today. It's only five adults though so it's not a huge crowd, but I like to have as much done ahead of time as possible so as to eliminate a lot of the stress hours before everyone arrives (not.).

One of the things I needed to do today was to arrange my centerpiece. I had gone to the market yesterday (it's in it's last weeks before closing for the winter) and picked up an armful of fresh flowers to arrange on my table. I like centerpieces. I think they make a dinner more fun. My mom, who hates complex entertaining, has probably never made a place setting and who doesn't have a set of linen napkins in her house, still always has a gorgeous bouquet of fresh flowers on her table when guests are over. I say that all in the most loving way because she's mastered the art of simple entertaining - that, and her food and baking speak for themselves.

This year, I wanted to do something different than the typical fall colours. I'm loving the white pumpkins (surprise) and ornamental cabbage, so I decided to work those into my tablescape. I picked out some white pumpkins and tiny mini white pumpkins from the stand down the road from us. I bought the cabbages at the market, along with some cream roses and purple freesias to go with the bouquet. I decided to use a carved out pumpkin as a vase to make it a little bit more whimsical and the tiny white pumpkins will be placed at each setting - that I'll get to later.

I decided, since I don't post as much as I would love to on floral bits, that I would post a simple tutorial on how I did this particular centerpiece. It's super easy and only takes about half and hour from start to finish!

This was the photo that I came across that inspired me to do the purples, greens and creams. Isn't this little area just gorgeous!

You will need: a pumpkin appropriate to the desired size of your centerpiece, co-ordinating flowers about 12 stems or so.

The ornamental cabbages - the center one was only cream and green. I grabbed 4 stems.

Next were cream roses - half a dozen.

And freesias, which have such a lovely scent to them. I picked one package of them and there were about 10 stems in the bunch, but freesias are so dainty and small that they don't take up much room at all in an arrangement.

Next, I hollowed out my pumpkin and composted all of it's seeds and insides. Try not to do too big of an opening in the top, maybe about 3 inches in diameter.

The next step is to strip the stems and cut them using sharp pruning clippers to your desired height. Just remember that it's always easier to make an arrangement a little shorter at the end. Piling your stems together by variety makes for quicker arranging. Always choose colours that compliment each other and remember, odd numbers always look best.

When making a hand tied bouquet, always start in the middle and work your way to the outside, twisting the bouquet and adding as you go. This ensures a nice even bouquet. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get the look right but you'll start to develop an eye for what looks best. In this case, I started with the one cream and green cabbage in the center, then I added three roses and three stems of freesias around that cabbage. Between each pair of freesia and rose I added a purple cabbage. Then I added a rose and two freesia stems between each of the cabbages. I tied the bouquet tightly in twine and trimmed the ends so they were all equal. Once the arrangement was in the pumpkin, I took a couple snippings from the sweet potato vines in my garden and placed them in the water and wrapped the vine around the bouquet. It just gave it a little bit more whimsy and added some contrast.

I think it will look divine in the middle of our table. It's natural looking a beautiful but still a little bit different!
Give one a try! For a super festive piece use a bright orange pumpkin and choose flowers like red, orange and yellow varieties of roses, with maybe some of the many fall coloured mums or bright yellow sunflowers and maybe even a little bit of curly willow in the center for some extra fall flair!
Anyway, I should be getting back to work, but, my sister-in-law just called informing me that our local book depot is having a box sale today - that means fill a cardboard box of books for $30! As if I don't already have enough books... but who could resist? I have the rest of the afternoon to make my pies and finish my prepping.

1 comment:

  1. The cooking is the fun part. I also enjoy it when my friends and family get to try what I made. The cleaning is never fun but part of the process.


Thanks for leaving your comments! I always love reading them. - Maria