So I realize it's pretty late to be posting about Thanksgiving, but I'm going to anyway because 2013 was the first year that I hosted Thanksgiving at my place and I was pretty excited about it. My family usually plans these kinds of things at the last minute so I wasn't stepping on anybody's toes by offering to host this year. Also, my family is pretty small (at least those of us who get together for Thanksgiving) so it wasn't a huge ordeal.
It was pretty fun getting together a menu and planning everything! So first of all, the decorations.
Ever since my BFF's wedding shower, I always have some sort of bunting hanging in my dining room. I think it's just cause I having some extra color in there since the only other ways I do that are with the art and various table runners. I created this one with some extra papers I had.
I went shopping with my mom and we found this fabric that features all the traditional Thanksgiving colors (well, to us anyway) and so I got some to create 2 runners out of. I made one for the food table and one for the dining table. I don't have a sewing machine so I just used hem tape and it held up really well.
When I was picking up some of the food at Publix (my favorite grocery store....) I spotted these red-orange flowers and picked some up to arrange on the table. I'm definitely no florist, but I thought they were a nice touch.
For place settings, I just put out my everyday plates and silverware. I don't have china or another set of dishes, so this is it. :)
I made my grandmother's red velvet cake like I enjoy doing for most holidays. There was an incident though where before the meal was served, my diabetic grandfather cut into it and ate a piece. That was an interesting moment. :) Don't worry, he was fine.
Here I am with the finished food table! I was really pleased with how everything turned out. My mom and sisters arrived early and helped me with the cooking so it wasn't too overwhelming. They also brought the meat so my vegetarian self wouldn't have to make it.
We had mashed potatoes, spinach salad, squash/zucchini casserole, roasted broccoli, veggie casserole, my grandma's biscuits, ham and green bean casserole. My mom also brought a cheesecake for us.
I planned my menu out a few weeks early so that gave me time to get stuff on sale for the meal. I am a coupon-er still and so if I can save money on something I was going to get anyway, that just makes my day. I'm really glad I did it that way or I would have spent a lot of money on food at the last minute.
The other thing is, a lot of this was foods that I tend to have on hand anyway so that helped too.
The main thing I learned from this experience was timing. I have a hard time with big meals like these getting everything finished at around the same time. Do any of you have tips for that?