Thanksgiving 2012

This may go down in history as the very worst post I’ve ever written.

Which actually  makes it kind of exciting. Historic in a way really.

But nonetheless … a terrible post in terms of writing.  Mainly because there isn’t going to be any.  This is going to be a pretty picture post.  You see, it’s Sunday night and I’ve just spent the past 3 days cooking, preparing, serving and cleaning. I said my last entertaining word around 1 hour ago when our last guests left.

Then I fell into a heap on the floor.

Oh … you know what … I think I actually got the timeline wrong.  The heaping happened around 3 hours before the guests left.  It was an unfortunate incident which you will see more of in a moment.

O.K.  Onto the Thanksgiving dinner inspiration photos ’cause I know you like those.

No more writing.

At all.


Start looking at the pictures now.


The meal began early in the day gathering tomatoes from the garden for the Caprese salad.

It already sounds idyllic doesn’t it?  I mean come on.  Gathering tomatoes from the garden for God’s sake?

I   D   Y   L   L   I   C

Heirloom Tomato Platter


The front porch was swept …

Front Porch Broom




… and the planters planted.

Porch Fall Planters



I know!  Totally pretty.  Idyllic if you will.
20 people came for Thanksgiving dinner tonight.
Not a single one of them came in the front door.
Every SINGLE one of them came in the back door.

Fall Planters


Once in the house everyone was greeted by the menu in the kitchen.
For the first time in 15 years I changed our Thanksgiving menu.
In anticipation of this I stocked up on lots of booze to send my guests into an alcohol induced haze.
That plan worked on everyone who was drinking.
Everyone else wanted to know where the hell the White Trash Salad was.



The table.

This is what last years table and outdoor festivities looked like, with mismatched antique plates.

This year I went all white rectangular.  Snazzy.

Table 3



Table 1
Table 2
Table 4


I gathered all of the moss around the table at the cottage last year and this year.

Again with the idyllic.

You know this whole idyllic thing is going to end soon, right?

Because nobody lives their lives this way.

My Thanksgiving is no different than yours.

It’s a shit show.

Table 6
Table 7

The kids table.

Kids Table


Maple Sugar suckers to make ’em happy,

and personalized chalkboards to keep ’em busy.

Shockingly … this little plan actually worked.

The kids stayed and ate at their own table without wandering into the grown up room where the stripper was performing.

Kids Table 2


The meal ended with SEVERAL pies including apple, cherry cheese pie and the star of the show,

Pumpkin Pie made with real pumpkin


Then it was just a matter of the Great Gobble Off and shoving everyone out the door.

(video to follow in the next week or so)  (of the gobble off, not shoving everyone out the door)

Table 8


Everyone left out the back door as well.

Luckily I anticipated this and did planters by the back door as well.

Fall Cabbages In Planters


Seems nice doesn’t it?

A lovely Thanksgiving.

Fall Planter


And it was.

For everyone who managed to squeeze into the dining room.

Seems I underestimated how big 15 people are.

Me, one of my sisters and my niece quietly ate in the kitchen.

We had no cutlery.

Or chairs.

The cutlery was on the dining room table at our place settings which were taken over by my apparently enormous family and we felt stupid going to get it.

I found 3 teaspoons which we all ate our Thanksgiving dinner with.



See?  Even if someone’s life looks idyllic, it probably isn’t.  Which is not to say it isn’t fun.  Or enjoyable.  Or hilarious.  My non idyllic evening was all of those things.

Or so I thought as I sat, in a heap on the floor.



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  1. Barbaea says:

    I would love to have celebrated in such a festive place. Even (especially) on the kitchen floor. Looks like it turn out perfect! Happy memories for all! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Reg says:

    Lovely, lovely pictures. Everything looks perfect. Even you sitting on the floor, because you must have been exhausted. That’s a lot work for a lot of people. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Janet says:

    Simply put, I absolutely love your post.

  4. Karen says:

    You made me laugh out loud. This post is awesome.

  5. Mary says:

    My favorite part was the phrase “shit show”. Nice to know I am not the only one. My ungrateful brother-in-laws show up every year empty handed and then proceed to get drunk. None of them are married (wonder why?) so I get to host every year as my Mother-in-law is elderly. I HATE this holiday! So much work for a meal that they eat in 15 minutes and then they start the annual Thanksgiving poker game. We don’t have a white trash salad, we have a full blown white trash Thanksgiving. So wish I could at least have one “Martha Stewart” thanksgiving….

  6. Pat says:

    Gobble, gobble! Yep, the hostess with the mostess. Sometimes I feel like throwing the meal on the table and going upstairs with a good book and let them all fight over the last piece of pie!

  7. Totally idyllic and adorable. I kept waiting for the gnomes to show up or the other shoe to fall.

    Next year, invite me, my hinny is pretty small. :)

    • Karen says:

      Hah! I’ve decided to just blow out a wall to accommodate a longer table. So feel free to let your hinny grow. ~ karen

  8. Kath Fryia says:

    I made your pumpkin pie with my own homegrown pumpkin. Everyone loved it. Idyllic.

  9. Melissa says:

    Congrats on a job well done. Love your decorating, inside and out. My daughter is getting married next Fall and has choosen white pumpkins, mercury glass and succulents as the base of her decorating. It was nice to see your silver with white pumpkins!
    Thank you. Happy Canadian Thankgiving.

  10. Tigersmom says:

    Awesome! I bet you three in the kitchen had a better time than everyone else.

    Now, on to business:

    1.Even your broom is cool!

    2.Please tell me where you found those fabulously sexy curvaceous salt and pepper shakers.

    And 3. I think Margaret approved of your beautiful table setting.

    Congrats on pulling off another entertaining coup.

  11. Ruth says:

    LOL! The floor situation actually looked more FUN than the dining table. :-)

    Lovely planters… what is the name of the plant/vegetable that has the lavender in the centre?

  12. Deb says:

    Everything looked absolutely gorgeous. Happy Thanksgiving.
    Great post! (As always)

  13. Langela says:

    I would have preferred the kitchen floor over the dining table any day. It’s always more fun when you don’t have to ‘act’ all grown up and such.

  14. marilyn says:

    hahah karen so great! the table looks awesome but where do you put the food. do you serve it or have it buffet style?and there have been many dinners like that at our house..its still always fun. happy thanksgiving.and your pie looks amazing!

    • Karen says:

      Marilyn – We put the food on the kitchen table and everyone served themselves then went and sat down in the dining room. Or the kitchen floor. ~ karen

      • sera says:

        I was going to ask just that. Last year we set all the food out on the table, and things were too big and hot to pass, so we all had to get up and roam around or pass plates. It was actually pretty funny, but I’m definitely doing buffet style this year. Also, you’re right. Thanksgiving should be in October. There isn’t enough time between Thanksgiving and Christmas either.

  15. Mary Werner says:

    for all this and 3 teaspoons, we give thanks, honestly give thanks for you and your wonderful post – helps me put into perspective my own idyllic event that we attempt every year – no one else wants to go thru the **** show trouble but loves to come and watch us do it and we are thankful for that also since we usually laugh and remember all the non idyllic moments the most – go figure

  16. Janie Farmer says:

    Are those flowering cabbages in the planters? Are they easy to grow? I can only grown hardy hibiscus in the yard. Even my tulip & daffodil bulbs are afraid of me, they refuse to come out of the ground.

    Happy Thanksgiving! Get your happy any way you can.

  17. ev says:

    Your table was lovely, as were the seen and unseen outdoor arrangements. Waiting with bated breath to hear how your guests (seated and not), liked the new menu. Through the years I have heard guests gripe that this dish or that dish was missing. Tragedy! Like the white trash salad! Well, I hope you had a great time anyway!

  18. Cassie says:

    Those benches will do that to you. We have one and unless you have little kids sitting on it, you aren’t gonna fit as many as you think :) Better kick a few off your list for next year or just SET UP a table in the kitchen. Thanks for pictures of your “shit show”. stunning.. er. I mean idyllic.

  19. Bonnie says:

    I’m still guffawing (is it too early in the day to “guffaw”?) that everyone came in through other door.

    Karen, it did look “Idyllic”. The table setting, especially blew me away.

    Do you let others bring any of the menu items or other items on their own?

    My family (ok, the Hubby’s) specializes in the the white trash salad. Have had 2 SIL’s bring it along for the same dinner one time. Nice having that take over as the main dish and having the turkey, etc,. end up as the sides…. Yeah….

  20. Kristina says:

    Looks and sounds like an idyllic time was had! Having five silverware stealing dogs, I compleately understand the improper use of a teaspoon. This morning’s oatmeal will be eaten with a fork, unless I decide to wander around the yard looking for a spoon. Oh, hey! Is that my spatula behind that bush?!

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