Non-Traditional Thanksgiving

I had a great Thanksgiving this year as I not only got to see my whole family, but they also threw me and my hubby a baby shower! More on the shower tomorrow, but first - a brief Thanksgiving recap cause I think all you lovers of things non-traditional might enjoy it. My husband rocked out a non-traditional Thanksgiving feast. As he has for the past several years, he and his brother and father went hunting and came back with goose and duck. He made an amazing goose and duck ramen as our Thanksgiving meal and it was so delicious. I decided to embrace the non-traditional aspects with the decor and do something more modern and minimalistic to match the seemingly simple ramen dish.


As always, I like to go into the detail on decor to show everyone that even party and event planners can be simple and make things easy on themselves! I used a white tablecloth I already had, and reused some black and white striped runners my mother made for our wedding! I decided to drape them in a somewhat non-traditional manner and instead of doing a runner lengthwise down the table, we did them across. I grabbed some cheap chopsticks and spoons, as well as some simple black fabric napkins from World Market. I then used some leftover tags I had from a previous wedding to do simple place cards that we tied to the napkin with string I had around the house. We knew we wanted to serve sparkling wine with the ramen, so to match our new (and cheap - Crate and Barrel Outlet what what) champagne glasses I picked up some mercury glass votives and a silver tray at Michael's to add a touch of shine and some simple centerpieces.



I was really happy with the result. I like keeping centerpieces minimal so that people can focus on the food and the people across from them. And it was fun to veer away from the traditional Thanksgiving decor of pumpkins and gourds and orange and earthy stuff and do something a bit more modern.

And for those who are really put off by non-traditional stuff, fear not - we had pie.


Happy Thanksgiving!

I've finished cleaning and prepping and errand running - so in my first free moment (whew), I wanted to wish you all a very happy thanksgiving! We're hosting my husband's side of the family and some friends who are coming down from NYC. It's a smaller gathering than some holidays, but I'm looking forward to it. The husband was off hunting with his father and brother and I just learned they bagged 7 geese so we're doing goose again this year!

Things have been pretty stressful for me lately, so I tried to keep Thanksgiving simple even thought we're hosting. Easy table decor, easy place cards, easy does it. I think Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday to really take a step back and remember what matters and what doesn't. Direct attention on the blessings and the priorities in life. And although I'm an event planner and I love me some gatherings and decor and festivities… sometimes it's good to keep it simple so you can focus on what really matters: the friends and the family.

So I'm wishing you all a wonderful day filled with thanks and love (and hopefully some tasty food as well). Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving recap

My husband and I alternate holidays - it's our own way of attempting to maintain balance between families and also not stretching ourselves too much when it comes to travel (it can be a tricky part of marriage, that whole holiday thing. Some great discussion about it here if you're interested). This year it was "my" family's Thanksgiving, and my family traveled down from the East Coast to stay with us as we hosted our first Thanksgiving. Let me just say this outright: My husband is an awesome chef and I'm a super-lucky woman (he claims you have to be professional to be a "chef" - so I'll just say he's a kick-ass home chef). He and his father and brother went hunting for geese, forgoing the traditional turkey for another very holiday-esque bird. He also has butchery experience, so it was really great for him to be a part of the process from beginning to end - to hunt, kill, butcher and deliciously prepare the bird.

He did the menu planning...


I did the other planning, including our very rustic tabletop decorations, the pies, and the overall oh-crap-I-have-to-do-a-ton-of-cleaning-and-laundry stuff that always arises when your entire family is coming to town. Lists were made and crossed off (I am a planner, after all) - and with family having arrived, we were ready to feast and celebrate.


The meal eventually consisted of multiple courses, stretched throughout the day and well into the night. It was pretty darned awesome:

An oyster toast (freshly shucked by both my husband and my brother-in-law). Salmon pate. An amuse bouche of roasted black salt oyster with pancetta, fresh horseradish and chorizo oil on a bed of carrot top salad with lemon vinaigrette. Butternut squash soup with blue crab, garlic sage croutons and fried sage. Braised wild goose hash with sweet potato, chorizo, crab, bay oysters and winter herbs. Seared goose breast with rosemary potatoes and brussels sprouts, garlic sage and carrot top carrots. Finally ending with my grandmother's apple pie recipe and pumpkin pie.

This is a wonderful article that inspired my husband to make the meal reflect the eastern shore - a great read.















I was feeling thankful, indeed.