Sunday, November 15, 2009
Yes, yes, the food is the most important part of Thanksgiving--or so we've been told... The classic tastes of turkey and stuffing, the tart purple of cranberry, the orange sweetness of yams, and the crunch and sugar of pecan pie. There's a reason we love this holiday!
But food always tastes better--and guests have a better time--when you pay as much attention to the scene as you do to the stove. Consider setting a beautiful table as important as the temperature of the turkey. Shaping the décor creatively will showcase your food and make the entire dinner seem more special. A few small additions can ensure your Thanksgiving isn't just another dinner, but a lovely and unforgettable event.
It doesn't take much. After all, we have enough to do! And it doesn't have to cost a great deal. Here are some easy tips to add a touch of surprise to your Thanksgiving table.
* Set up your dining room table the weekend before. That way you can take your time creating a beautiful table.
* We've all experienced the Thanksgiving table that was so crowded with bowl and serving trays that we could barely see our plates--those are the meals when you feel like you spend more time passing foodthan eating it. So if you are having a large group over, consider setting up your table formally (as if it were a sitdown) but instead of having the food at the table, set up a buffet in the kitchen. This way everyone can make a plate and still have room to sit down together at one table.
*Whether you have a buffet or a table full of goodies, use fresh flowers to make your table come alive. Choose flowers that contrast in color to your food. Push the stems under the edge of the trays or plates. Although you may feel like this is simply adding more items to your already crowded buffet or table, it actually has the opposite effect: it unifies the scene, while separating the dishes with beautiful blooms.
*If you're into placecards, try something different: maple leaves, miniature pumpkins, or small gourds, each containing a guest's name.
Remember, the food's important, but guest's most often walk away from a meal and remember the visuals just as much as the tastes. As Thanksgiving approaches, consider what you might do to create a memorable scene that will make guests feel welcome, and make you look like a pro.