thinking about thanksgiving






Thanks to Stephen Andrew Jones I now have Thanksgiving on my mind.  I want to try his pumpkin pie recipe.  Last year we squeezed over 25 peoples into this small house and it was an engineering feat. Secretly I hope someone else hosts this year although I do love decorating for the day.






One thing I do know is that I plan to make stuffed portobellos again this year.  This time with a roasted butternut squash risotto.  I'll start working on that recipe this weekend.

Is it too soon for you to start thinking about the holidays?  xo




41 comments

  1. Thanksgiving is less than a month from now! Never too soon :) if one enjoys them, that is. I hope you do host this year so I can see what you do!

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    1. time is flying. i've actually been thinking about thanksgiving since summer. lol

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  2. The stuffed portobellos with a roasted butternut squash risotto sounds lovely. Would you please post the recipe once you perfect it?

    I'm thinking of trying a recipe for Sausage, Rice, and Cranberry Stuffed Mini Pumpkins I ran across yesterday at InspiredByCharm.com Of course I'm going to substitute vegetarian "soysage" for the sausage, and probably tweek it a bit so I don't use the Quinoa, Brown and Red Rice from a package mix... I really liked the way it looked, and those baby pumpkins do actually taste good too!

    Cheers,

    Garden Goddess

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    1. those sound great garden goddess. actually it would be cool to have 2 or 3 varieties to choose from. hmmmmmmm x

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  3. I think mental preparation is essential! I always think I have more time than I do.

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    1. oh isn't that the truth stacey! my culinary instructor always said to never ever put anything off (as far as cooking/catering) bc there is always more to do than imagined on the day of. x

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  4. I love to see how you decorate and the stuffed portobellos with risotto sounds like a little bit of heaven.

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  5. Nope. I've been thinking about it a lot. I sorta can't wait to get past Halloween, which isn't one of my most fave holiday events. Just yesterday, I arranged a small vignette in my kitchen with mini pumpkins and gourds; soon I'll add in some dried multi-color corn cobs. I get to where I yearn for harvest colors. I watch for any of the very few trees in my town which change color, so that I feel 'autumn-y' here in SoCalif where we don't get the in-your-face Fall season like other parts of the country (it's so subtle here, blink and you'll miss it, right?!). And, oh, I'm absolutely craving the taste of anything pumpkin right now.

    I miss my family so much at this time of year, like my parents who have passed (at times it's almost been unbearable and I know a lot of people can relate to the feelings ... I had a sibling who died right at Thanksgiving, so in other years, it's been excruciating for me, the holidays in general, to where I just wanted to disappear to somewhere like a desert island from November 1 to January 1), but I've tried hard to not lose the spirit of thankfulness and I'm determined this year to pull out all the stops for some nice gatherings and decorating. One big goal I have for Christmas is to get out ALL of my ornaments from storage and do a huge purge, keeping only what is most beautiful and what I love the most; I'm looking forward to the whole thing! Revisit my little beauties but move them along for someone else to enjoy. Less is more.

    When I was a kid in school, we'd have so much fun celebrating the holidays; I don't know if they do it anymore. One year we had a project where the teacher took an old poem about Thanksgiving (the pilgrims coming over on the ship; the food bounty shared by the native Americans who, in those days, we not-politically-or-otherwise-correct called 'Indians' and we would make colorful paper headdresses with crayoned 'feathers' - it was a respectful thing, actually, and I loved Indians because I knew I had the heritage on both sides of my family, Creek and Cherokee) and each week leading up to Thanksgiving vacation, we'd take a line of the poem and draw a picture around it with paints and chalk. It was in second grade, we were age 7 and I still have that little homemade book of drawings and carefully-penned poem; it's such a treasure to me and I'm so glad Mom kept it.

    You know, Janet, I think I told you this once, but some time back, I went through your blog and copied all of your recipes into a binder just for my own use. I think at the time I'd asked if that was okay with you. I've loved your vegan holiday menus. I come back to the recipes again and again because they're so tasty, look pretty, are healthy, use few ingredients and are real-people tested. You're a genius in the kitchen! (But I think you're a genius on a lot of things, m'dear...)

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    1. thanks vicki. i know the holidays can bring up so many emotions. few people have such perfect lives that their holidays are perfect too. i'm happy if everyone just shows up! i'm flattered that you made a binder of my recipes! i had forgotten about that. i promise you i'm no genius anywhere! but thank you! xo

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  6. Those mushrooms look amazing! We had our Thanksgiving so the pressure is on for Christmas now. At least the weather is colder so it feels appropriate to be thinking about it!

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    1. i wish we had the same time frame as canada. would make it a bit easier and less rushed. xo

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  7. 25 people for dinner... is a LOT of people for dinner, but I don't need to tell you. I had 22 here for Christmas Eve last year and even though it went well I was stressed. Not my turn for Christmas Eve this year so phew. We typically have 8 to 10 people for holidays and dinner parties and those numbers no longer stress me out. No pressure. And American Thanksgiving really doesn't stress me out because not many people around here celebrate it, living in Canada and all. It's a normal Thursday and this year I'm looking forward to cooking the feast and welcoming whoever can attend out of our neighbourhood friends.
    As usual I'll miss my Dad though! If we weren't travelling to Hilton Head as a family to celebrate his birthday this winter I'd be hightailing it down to Georgia next month. Georgia in November, it's very fine!
    So when do you find out if you're hosting? You've got your menu sorted and that's more than half the battle. xx

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    1. i was just talking with M and we both said 8 to 10 is the perfect party, esp in a small house. i prob won't know when i'm hosting for a couple of weeks. everyone is so busy, me too, that it'll all just fall together in the end. xo

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  8. This Thanksgiving will be the first time I won't be hosting a traditional Thanksgiving. We'll be spending a weekend earlier in the month with all the family. For Thanksgiving we'll all be at our own homes. This is a new experience for all of us. I'm kind of excited to just cook a cozy meal and watch movies with my husband. I'm picturing it to be very relaxing with music and wine. Cheers!
    Kathy

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  9. After reading SAJ's blog post I rushed home from work and baked a pumpkin pie. I don't know where I'd find tinned pumpkin because I've never seen it around here, so I cooked a real one and pureed that.

    My Halloween theming is up because my son loves it and my 2 Christmas trees are up because it takes so long to assemble and decorate them both that I'd hate to have them up for a month only. Plus after a stressful day at work I find it really, really calming and relaxing to stare at them. It drives people crazy that I put them up early (not my family they love it) but I think it's pretty in a kind of Liberace way.

    It's never too early to plan because preparation is Key!

    Off topic but all the vegetarians I know loathe mushrooms! xxx

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    1. i love that you do what pleases you and your family. who cares if anyone else doesn't approve?! i adore mushrooms, they are my meat substitute! x

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    2. LOVE THIS FAUX FUCHSIA......as I had a dear friend from SOUTH AFRICA who did the same thing!Tree up in OCTOBER SO she could enjoy it!We all thought she was NUTS.............XX

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    3. I agree, I agree. It's all a recent mind-changer for me. I just LOVE that FF has Christmas up and running! I've often had to tap down the desire to play carols in July and wondered if it would be somehow more meaningful for me to celebrate at some other time than December, which seems to make little sense. Formerly, I'd scoff at the retail stores displaying Halloween & Thanksgiving & Christmas simultaneously but, what the heck, the more the merrier. My parents never put up one Christmas-y thing til about December 10 and I always regretted how fast it all came down, boxed away for another year. My husband puts up the exterior house lights (a BIG job) on Thanksgiving weekend which in other years I thought was 'way too early but now I anticipate and love it.

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    4. Vicki, my husband and I put the net mini lights on our (long) hedges the day after Thanksgiving. (weather permitting) It's a pain but looks so pretty when it's all done. I used to put my tree up 2 weeks before Christmas. A few years back I started getting the tree sooner because I am the only one that decorates it now, and in addition with my gazillion ornaments it can take me a week to finish. At least after Christmas my husband will help me take the ornaments off the tree!

      Linda

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  10. I have been thinking about Thanksgiving for weeks. I gave it up several years ago to my daughter-in-law when mother was very ill. I used to stress out about it because I tried to make it like a Hallmark Moment. The only thing I miss about hosting is doing the table settings. I mentioned this to Stephen Andrew and his suggestion was great; to offer to do the table and involve my granddaughter who loves to decorate. Hopefully, this will relieve my DOL of the duty while keeping grandchild engaged. And I will contribute desserts. Can't go wrong with dessert.

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    1. that is such a great suggestion. you are lucky if you DIL will give up the control - not sure mine would. lol i think it's the perfect solution really. xo

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  11. I selfishly hope you host again, just so I can see you document it all! But if you do not, please share any recipes you may take along to another home.

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    1. thanks emily. i promise to share anything i can. what a surprise! xo

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  12. NOPE, started the CHRISTMAS shopping on SUNDAY with the ITALIAN!
    STEPHEN's GOT THANKS GIVING COVERED!
    I bought a new tablecloth yesterday for the long pine table.............BURNT ORANGE!
    I think his BLOG post did us ALL a FAVOR!He even has another POST OUT ALREADY!!!!!!XX

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    1. bravo for you elizabeth! yes, his posts from last year were fantastic and i can't wait to see what is up his sleeves this year! xo

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  13. Not too soon for me. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and we do host every year, so planning ahead is a good thing.

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    1. i'm a planner too julie. not all my plans come to fruition but some do and that's what is important to me! lol xo

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  14. Hi Janet, I'm not hosting this year and my daughter and son-in-law are working so I haven't been thinking about it too much...Thanksgiving will just be delayed a day or two so they don't miss out!

    25 people is a lot...I think the most I ever had was 22 and that was pushing it. We did eat outside but then the rain came and everyone had to scramble indoors. :)

    Linda
    xo

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    1. hi linda, i think that thanksgiving with grown children is so much harder bc of everyone's schedules and time constraints. i think it best to be able to go with the flow too! xo

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  15. Right now I am thinking about Friday and that Bill Murray will be on PBS for his Mark Twain prize.

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  16. Whenever I think of Thanksgiving I think of your first thanksgiving day post! Your beautiful table set up in the garden with a plaid blanket and a pair of pheasants and jars of fresh herbs. Never too early!

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    1. you are one to talk lady. your thanksgivings have been spectacularly beautiful! xo

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  17. I always look so forward to the Holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas, my favorites. Living here in Southern California it has been a long hot & dry summer, so a wonderful fall/winter cool down would be wonderful. I plan on setting up and decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving because last year I decorated to late. I just love your blog and the beautiful interior and garden pics you post! Char.

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    1. thank you char. it sure was a long hot summer. the weather has been so beautiful lately tho! good idea on the early set up! x0

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  18. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of them all so no, never too soon. I selfishly hope you host again this year because your tables are always achingly beautiful and I would never turn down a chance to see more photos of your home. xo

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    1. wow eleanor, what a lovely comment. can't wait to see what you put together too! xo

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    2. Thank goodness we have SAJ to remind us to get hopping! ;)

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  19. We have been prepping for weeks for Christmas decorating which begins today. We are going out with visiting family for Thanksgiving dinner. When we have decorated for Christmas in November in the past, we have had a most relaxed and enjoyable December so we are motivated. The Christmas boxes come down from the attic today!

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