Wednesday, November 18, 2020

our thanksgiving

The one brilliant part of having Canadian Thanksgiving a month and a half early, is that by the time I actually get around to posting about ours, all of my American readers are just getting ready to celebrate. We'll just pretend like I plan it that way. Our Thanksgiving this year was, as so many of yours will be, a quiet and intimate one. And while this was our first Thanksgiving away from family, my cousin and her husband recently moved not too far from us, and it meant that we were able to have some family over! I know that so many of our celebrations will look differently, but I've come to find that, for myself at least, keeping things feeling normal helps. I didn't need to set the table, or roast a turkey, or even bake a pumpkin pie, but I did. And in doing so, Thanksgiving felt as it should. I puttered around the days before, working on the table, arranging flowers, planning a menu. Then the day of was slow and lovely. The kitchen filled with all of the scents of onions softening and the turkey roasting and a pie cooling. It really was just a slow, lovely day. There was no rush to do anything. The guys watched football, and at one point, everyone but a couple of the boys had nodded off while I laid cutlery and ironed napkins. At the end of the day, as the sun was setting, we all sat down for a small dinner. We lingered until the last of the wine had been poured, the tapers low and dripping, and afterwards, since we weren't quite ready to be finished, we settled in to watch a movie with our pie. Save being able to enjoy the company of our family, it was the perfect day,

When it comes to decorating our house for Thanksgiving, I keep things quite minimal. I do always love my pair of pheasants, particularly during the fall. I also tend to add a few pumpkins here and there, as well as some potted cabbages and kale, but that's about it.

My parents sent me a beautiful bouquet (they know my tastes so well!), and I used that for my centerpiece. I hollowed out a squash and then rearranged the flowers in it. I added a few extra roses that I had picked up from the store, as well as a few foraged bits from down by the river. 

I stocked the bar in the Butler's pantry - a bottle of wine to sip on in the afternoon while I cooked, a couple ingredients for some simple autumn cocktails... It's just nice to have a couple options on hand.

Because the day was so slow, I really enjoyed being in the kitchen. There wasn't any need to rush. I put some music on, poured my glass of wine and settled in.

A pumpkin pie was a non-negotiable. I really didn't need to make it. It probably would have only been missed by only me, but it would have been sorely missed. I even took a little bit of extra time and did a decorative edge of little acorns.

To keep things easy, lunch was simply butternut squash soup (I kept it warming on the stove) and some cheese to nibble on. Everyone could help themselves as they were hungry, and I could continue doing what I was doing.

Then for the table. We sat at the round table in the family room because we don't often sit in there.

I kept the place settings fairly simple.

 I loved this mustard yellow fish set I had recently found, and I played off it a little with some golden velvet ribbon and matching tapers. I always love a little brown and white transferware this time of year, so I tucked one of my platters under the centerpiece.

As for dinner, a simple roast turkey with herbs from the garden, apple and sausage stuffing, buttery mashed potatoes, sautéed green beans with garlic and cranberry sauce (with cranberries from the bog down the road!). 

The next day, in true day after Thanksgiving fashion, it was pie for breakfast. We slept late and then wandered about the countryside on an afternoon drive. 

We discovered a beautiful new beach.

I still find it so interesting seeing the pine trees on the beach.

We drove through the village of Chester.

We even stopped for a hike to admire the foliage and stretch our legs for a bit. The boys ran wildly down the paths, stepped across stones in the very small waterfall, and climbed trees.

However you will be celebrating Thanksgiving, if you are, I hope you have a lovely weekend. It may be different, but it can still be special, because there's so much to be grateful for.

Wishing you all a Thanksgiving that's rich in gratitude and full of contentment, from our family to yours.


  1. Happy belated Thanksgiving! I am so grateful for your blog post as it gave me great inspiration for my own Thanksgiving here in the USA. Your home is so beautiful. We have a similar sense of style (white & wood, ironstone, old paintings) and I am always looking forward to a post from you- it is relaxing, inspirational, and heartwarming!

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