vintage rustic Thanksgiving table setting, and a story


Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and I wanted to invite you into our home.
Thanksgiving in my family was always a big event.

Usually my grandma hosted it, but I remember a few times when we had it at our house.
Lots of aunts and uncles and cousins would arrive from out of town and extra tables were set up so we were all together at one big table.

Thanksgiving at my grandma's house has tons of great memories.
My grandma and grandpa lived in a 55+ mobile park.
 Everything was pristine, and they had little tiny sidewalks that were a kid size dream.
They must have been 16" wide.

There was always a lady riding through the neighborhood on a grandma-size three wheeler bike.
We creeped along at the appropriate 10 mph in our car, until we reached their carport.

For some reason, we always came through the back door.
And when we did, the smell of roasting turkey was almost as wonderful as grandma's joyful laugh and hug.

We would come in with all our food contributions to the dinner, and grandma would bustle back into the kitchen to make sure everything was running smoothly and direct us where all the casseroles and food should go.
Her kitchen was tiny.  
I really don't know how she /we pulled off a feast to feed 20 people.

The house was warm and cozy, and everyone but the moms stayed out of the kitchen. 
The relish tray, cheese ball, and Chex mix were our pre-dinner appetizers.
By the time we sat down for dinner, the black olives from the relish tray were usually depleted.
And there was always that last minute rush and flurry of finishing pan gravy and pulling dishes out of the oven.
It was a magical and concentrated dance between those ladies in the kitchen.

My grandma always set a beautiful table.
She was such an amazing hostess.  
She always had pretty white lace tablecloths, monogrammed candlewick glasses, and pretty china set out.
I now collect Candlewick stemware because of those wonderful memories.

Most of the food was set out on the table, with a few extra dishes on the counter when there wasn't room.

Our dinner was pretty traditional.
Turkey. Mashed potatoes and gravy.  Stuffing.  Sweet potatoes with the marshmallows on top.  
The cranberry "sauce" which was really just the can shaped jiggly stuff plopped into a crystal dish.
I was deeply disturbed by this, and it also prompted me to make the real deal when we were first married.  I have not, and cannot bring myself to serve can shaped cranberry "sauce".

And there was always one very, very special holiday treat.  
Actually, it wasn't just reserved for holidays, but it was always a staple at holidays.
Butter dips.
No one I knew in all my growing up years had ever heard of them, and so a few years ago I shared them on the blog.  
They were little doughy bits of heaven.  
Not hard to make, but messy!

It was rare if any were ever left after Thanksgiving dinner.
The key is to use salted butter.
I'll try and do a repost on the recipe later this week.

After dinner was done, and the dishes cleaned up, the leftovers put into take away dishes, the dads would all find a spot on the couch or a comfy chair and attempt to stay awake during the football game.
The ladies would all sit at the now cleared dining table and play Scrabble, Yahtzee, Rack-O, or Dutch Blitz.
Catching up on life and chatting about Christmas.
As the kids would run by, the moms would try and get Christmas gift ideas from them.

Depending on my age, I would either sit and listen to the adult conversation or wander back to my grandma's bedroom and try on her jewelry or sift through her buttons in her sewing room.
Sometimes she would let me try on her high heels.

My brother and cousin would be wrestling, laughing, and running through the house getting sweaty.
When it got to be too much, they would head outside to the cul-de-sac and run off more energy or play football in the 30 degree weather.

Soon it would be time to go, and we would gather up everything to take home, slip on our jackets, and give hugs.  
And then stand in the mudroom saying goodbye and telling one last story for another 30 minutes.

What I take away now, looking back on all those memories, is that my grandma made everything beautiful with what she had.  And it wasn't always a lot.
She did her best to make people feel welcome in her home, and to make food with a lot of love and invite others in to share in that love as often as she could.  

So many wonderful memories.
I'll never quite have the same touch at hospitality that she did, but I try!

Thanks for visiting with me today!
I wish for you good memories and happy times with your family this Thanksgiving.

xo Denise

tablecloth- Target
wicker placemats- Ikea
flatware- World Market, Danieli
white dinner plates- World Market
turkey plates- Home Goods
napkin / towel- World Market
stemware- bee glasses, World Market; Candlewick, vintage
table runner- Pink Postcard Etsy
footed wood slice- Home Goods
blue metal pitcher- gift from relative
banner- handmade by me

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  1. Thank you for sharing that beautiful and precious memory. I would not mind living in a 55+ mobile home one day, with a little yard to grow my flowers. And maybe a picket fence around it. I so enjoyed reading this.

  2. Nice memories and lovely table. I always remember watching on TV the Thanksgiving Day parades while the turkey was cooking in the GE Roaster/Broiler oven that was popular in the 50's. And after our big meal, all the guys going outside to throw the football or play basketball. :) Thanks for sharing and Happy Thanksgiving!


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