27 November 09 • SCB

Among the many things I share with MAV is a love for the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s my favorite as well—food, friends and family—all I need, really. We hosted the meal this year which was a bit bold considering we’re still finishing up our kitchen remodel. While MAV’s to-do list involved hunting charming secondhand plates and perfecting her sweet potato pie, at the top of our list was wiring the outlets and installing the last countertop (and buying a pie from the bakery). But, with the help of our guests (my parents), we pulled it off. I cooked my first turkey along with several sides (Mark Bittman’s brussels sprouts with figs and bacon was delicious), we played games and laughed, ate homemade pecan pie and store-bought apple, and the basement didn’t start flooding until a good half hour after the guests left.

Even though I was very short on time, I wanted to do something special for the table, and I was determined to use just what I had on hand. Inspired by the indigo blues and natural hues of this lovely display, I started with simple place mats cut from a roll of kraft masking paper left from painting our kitchen. For the napkins, my kids and I cut a remnant of a white cotton/linen blend into squares and tied them with rubber bands before dunking them in an indigo blue fabric dye. After a washing, the edges frayed naturally and needed no hemming. I love that each napkin is unique.

It was part of my son’s homework assignment to make place cards for his Thanksgiving table, so we collected leaves outside (and let them dry a bit—everything was quite soggy) and tied scraps left from my shop tags to each one with some twine. He wrote the family members’ names.

For our centerpiece, I laid out my favorite Elisabeth Bentz tea towel and loaded a vintage teak leaf-shaped tray with tangerines and fresh walnuts. It makes me happy to see this display literally eaten away as the days wear on.

I hope everyone who celebrates had a happy holiday. I have much to be grateful for this year including this peaceful space, my special friendship with MAV and all of you supportive and enthusiastic visitors. Thank you.