There is one spot in our home we always seem to gravitate to. A warm little corner perfectly suited for morning coffees and late night cribbage and quiet moments alone. For simple evenings spent with good friends, sharing food and stories. Laughing. Being together. They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, but I have a sneaking suspicion it's actually the table.
For years we all crammed around our tiny kitchen table, bumping elbows and balancing toddlers on laps. It was close and cozy, but often left someone standing at the counter or retreating to the couch in search of a seat. So my ever-talented husband built this gorgeous blue spruce coffee / dining table, which has quickly become the centerpiece of our household. He made this in like an afternoon, you guys. He's like a little wood gnome, that one. And I am totally smitten with the result. There is something so grounding about sitting on the floor. Down-to-earth in the most literal sense. And lord knows I love to set a pretty table.
Setting a table can feel like something of a lost art these days. A relic of a bygone era of stuffy place cards and pickle forks. But I think there's something deeply satisfying about creating a lovely space for dear ones to gather. To set the vibe. To make things a little special. So this Thanksgiving, I wanted to create a table that felt simple and balanced and seasonal. Pretty and inviting and unfussy.
I started by foraging through the garden and chilly neighborhood alleys for the heartiest herbs. The ones that have managed to survive early morning frosts and howling November winds. I returned with pink ears and cheeks and a fragrant bouquet of rosemary, sage, thyme, and eucalyptus. I supplemented with aromatic pepper berries and magnolia leaves from Habitat, my favorite little neighborhood flower shop, and mixed them in with this simple candle train I found for pennies at the flea market. The whole display cost less than a bag of coffee and smelled amazing.
I also whipped up this classic pumpkin pie with frost kissed cranberries (because c'mon, what's Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie?) I thought about writing a whole DIY on the sugared cranberries, but they are so embarrassingly easy it seemed like overkill. Simply dissolve 1 cup sugar with 2 cups water on the stovetop. Pour the mixture over a bowl of cranberries and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, drain the cranberries and lay them out on parchment paper. Roll them in fresh sugar and let dry for 2 hours. They taste delicious and look sparkly and festive on the table. Easy. Peasy.
Hope you all have a lovely, restful holiday weekend filled with love and food and gratitude. I am thankful for each and every one of you. Happy Thanksgiving, dear ones!