Growing up, my favorite part of Holidays was the big dinner with family and friends… but isn’t that everyone’s?
My husband and I don’t live near our relatives…. it’s a pretty good driving distance over a mountain pass with unpredictable extreme winter conditions. On top of that, our work schedules have made it near impossible to get away.
So, since we can’t leave and no one comes this way…..we have spent the majority of the holidays alone over the past 13 years. I do kinda get a little down about not being able to chat, prepare food and drink wine in the kitchen with the ladies while the boys chill and visit in the front room…..
but that doesn’t mean we are ordering pizza!
I like to go all out for me and the hubs and cook an amazing dinner that we can really relax and enjoy and that includes setting the table with the finest dinnerware I have on hand. In truth, we don’t dine completely alone…. we are joined by his grandmother and mine.
This table was my sweet Grandma Ruth’s. On her and my Grandpa’s 50 anniversary, the money collected by all the kids went towards this table…. a solid wood, round beauty with extra leaf…. one she had wanted their entire relationship.
She’s passed on now, but I cherish this table and dress it with the prettiest Tule’ fabrics I can find ( even on a regular week day! )
These dishes belonged to Chris’s Grandmother. His father bought these for her when he got back from the war…. both have passed on, but I have the entire set now and in this house, I’ve been known to serve cheese puffs in crystal bowls…
Now this is a fall dinner celebrating the harvest after all…
SO… it’s only fitting that we do a rustic/vintage fusion.
My husband wanted to spend the holiday Sunday playing a round of golf, I wanted to check out a pumpkin patch.
So we did both!
Because that’s how a sports jock and a gardenista comprise.
In between holes, I was filling up the front pocket of my golf bag with fabulous fall leaves from some of natures showiest specimens that one would find at Golf Course. I didn’t care how well I played, as far as I was concerned…
After our round, we headed over to Taves Family Farm and I was blown away by this operation! It’s ALL about the harvest at this gem in the country. U-pick apples, cider, corn mazes, pony rides, pumpkin patch, roasted corn-on-the-cob and ton’s of tourists buying everything up in sight.
They had all sorts of heirloom pumpkins and squashes….
….and I loved everyone of them, warts and all.
In the end, we found a couple of cool robins egg blue pumpkins and we were off to pumpkin man to weigh in. I definitely did much better in this day than I’ll let my husband know.
On the drive back we stopped by the chestnut tree’s outside of my store, Milner Village Garden Centre, and gathered up several handfuls of shiny nuts that had freed themselves from their spiny cases on the ground
On Thanksgiving Monday, I spent the morning harvesting carrots, beets, brussel sprouts, onions, garlic, rosemary and thyme from my garden.
After scrubbing and prepping them for that evenings meal, it was time to pull out my earthy treasures I had gathered the day before and create a beautiful tablescape setting for a Holiday Dinner for two.
I know people like to create their table displays down the middle but when it’s just the two of us, I place it off to the side so we can enjoy it and still have all the food plated at hands reach between us.
Leaves make fabulous coasters!
I piled three after they spent an evening between a big book to flatten them out. In this trio the tree’s represented are an Acer Macrophyllum, a Quercus Rubra and a Liquidambar styraciflua.
The chestnuts looked great tossed in with the green and white pumpkins… but I came up with another use for them.
I hallowed them out and made them into napkin rings… Oh YES I did… how do you like them apples Martha!
But that’s not all folks!
I have these gorgeous Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’ in the front yard and they have they loveliest maroon plumes on them in fall… add this to one tiny perfect red leaf from an Acer Rubrum and you have what I would call a work of art.
As my late father-in-law would say
‘this table looks so pretty I don’t know if I should eat or take a picture’
( we lit a candle for you too papa Joe ).
Everything is set, meal is prepared… time to eat.
Savory Garlic, Rosemary and Thyme Cornish Game Hens
Roasted Beets and Carrots with whole shallots
Fresh Brussel Sprouts with slivered garlic and grated Parmesan
Stuffing with walnuts and cranberry’s
A splash ( or two ) of wine, candles, mood music….
and a wonderful Holiday Dinner for Two.
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