Thanksgiving Dinner

Tables Livingroom

This year I had the privilege to host Thanksgiving dinner with a group of friends and I loved every minute of it. From the barrage of email chains in planning the menu, figuring out how to seat all the guest, and finishing it off with a touch of formal holiday dining on a shoestring budget. My quirky, creative side took over and frolicked down aisles of silk flowers, serving gizmos and actual table linens.

Table Setting Stacey good

I was grateful to borrow a few important pieces; like two, six foot vinyl tables and coordinating folding chairs to comfortably seat twelve. White tablecloths, white plates, a few serving bowls with spoons and a punch bowl large enough to keep the masses well hydrated were all checked- out from the church house kitchen and the R.S. closet.

The centerpiece was tossed together with clearance floral picks and a low-rising candelabra I snagged at a thrift store a couple of years ago for less than five dollars. Printed, parchment place cards tied with leftover raffia attached to red linen napkins with an open, fall-colored rose and coordinating sprigs.


Red foil chargers, decent silverware (Costco) and ice water goblets personalized with vinyl monograms. Edwardian Script designated the women’s glasses and Copperplate initials for the men. Cost $2.49, something I’d do again if I’m every lucky enough to reprise the role as host.

Table Setting Charity

Table Setting Chris

Stacey Placecard

We had so much delicious food that it was nearly impossible to have seconds… but some how we managed. Turkey from the oil-less fryer was mouth-watering moist, a spiral cut ham, two different types of stuffing, veggie tray, deviled eggs, scratch rolls, whipped sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy, two types of cranberry sauce, spicy Indian cuisine brought by the Patel’s and of course, green bean casserole and a Jello fruit salad. The kitchen island made a perfect buffet table to dish up plates so long as traffic moved in one direction.



Cranberry punch. It was alright. I think I should have omitted the sweetened and condensed milk and served a clear, sparkling red punch.

Pie Buffet

A bar full of pies. From the furthest moving forward; Apple, Apple, Peach, Peach, Mock Pecan, Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Banana Cream, and Chocolate Cream. Our Indian friends brought what I can only describe as spiced donut holes in sauce. They were good and a unique addition to the traditional.

Kids Place setting cooking

The kids table was set with personalized, sugar cookie leaves. Something to keep them happy while moms and dads dished up the real food. Paper and plastic place settings on a red table cloth was all that dressed the dining room. Kid friendly all the way. Devin and Maddy E were more than happy to sit at the “adult” table instead of wrestling with the younger crowd.

Kids table

Between dinner and dessert, we all played the game Imaginiff by couples. It was a lot of fun and questions could be taken at face value or with hidden innuendo. I wonder what they meant by if Dave and I were a vehicle we’d be an ice cream truck? Is one of us cold while the other is sweet? And which one is which? I suppose I should be lucky nobody chose the garbage truck!

When it was down to “the crew”, it was time to shed the last bit of formality I had left, change into pajamas and slid into comfortable conversation about any and everything under the sun. The boys made a drink trip and a run to Redbox. Iron Man closed out the evening with droopy-eyed kids and sufficiently fed, tryptophan-mellowed parents.

Thank you to all my adopted family! It was a wonderful Thanksgiving and I’m truly grateful for your friendships.


  1. Willie E. said...

    The E's enjoyed every minute of it! Thanks for being such a great host and we look forward to many more in the future. The decor was inspirational, company delightful, and food, well, phenomenal! We ate until we nearly burst, literally! We are blessed to have such great friends. Thanksgiving is all about food, fun, and great (ward) families (and the Patel's!)! Thanks for making it one we won't soon forget!