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.


  1. Brenda J. M says:

    I got a rock! Oops, wrong October holiday. I’ve been all lonesome after a week in bed (at times) with a nasty gastro-bug.

    Your table looks splendid and I’m glad your family was around to fill the spaces for you. The floor looks nice too. Very cute story.

  2. Shauna says:

    Pushing the ‘like’ button now;)

  3. sera says:

    Also, your table is freaking gorgeous! And an inspiration to my table this year. The kitchen is always tons of fun!

  4. Chau says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Karen. Yours is exactly like mine: 18-20 people or more, all squeezed into two mix-match tables and chairs. Talking about chaos, chatter, food, desserts and fun time with family and friends. I totally love Thanksgiving, it’s my most favorite holiday!

  5. estee says:

    Idyllic indeed..

    I’m glad you didn’t make the White Trash Salad.

    Have I told you about the nightmare that White Trash Salad post caused me??

    I shall tell you sometime. It isn’t idyllic at all..

  6. Jackie says:

    I started reading your blog a couple weeks ago after finding it through your garden light globes on Pinterest. I’ve been going back through the archives and I just want to say that I LOVE your blog. It’s a perfect mix of humor, food, and DIY projects. And chickens. Love the chickens.

    Also, I had the day off from work today, so I’m trying your pumpkin pie recipe. The pumpkin is straining in the fridge at this very moment! See what you’ve started?

    Anyhow, just wanted to say hi!

  7. Raymonde says:

    Eating in the kitchen! That’s happened to me few times and nobody ever noticed I wasn’t sitting at the table…
    I chose to take it as a huge compliment to my cooking! 😉
    Did your guests notice you weren’t there, or were they too busy stuffing their faces???
    Well, at least you had company on the kitchen floor!

    P.S: Your decorations are gorgeous!!!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Raymonde. I have no idea if anyone noticed we weren’t there. I did hear everyone at the table give the fella a Hip, Hip, Hurray, 3 cheers for the fella for preparing this delicious meal, LOL. As if. ~ karen!

  8. Laura says:

    A curious mind wants to know…did you pull off this impressive Thanksgiving feast without a full-size refrigerator?

  9. Paul says:

    Karen, where did you find the broom. I want one!

    • Karen says:

      Paul – I got it at a thrift store actually. $2.50! I love it too. One of my better thrift finds. Sorry I can’t head you to an actual store. ~ karen

  10. Melissa says:

    It’s so great to read each of your posts, but it’s just priceless when I think I’m reading about Thanksgiving and discover along the way, a subtext about self-acceptance when things don’t go as planned. You SO rolled with it.

    Oh, and I did a search on your site but could not find out where you got that great dining room table. Did you make it?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Melissa – Thanks very much. I try to throw in a life lesson every once in a while. 🙂 My dining room table was a bit of a splurge. I had it custom made out of antique barn board by Gregory Brand ~ karen!

  11. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    That was beautiful Karen..Please know that you are very lucky to have a “together” family like yours..Those of us who don’t are envious..especially at the holidays..Thank you for sharing them with us..I hope you and the Fella had a relaxing Thanksgiving today..Also the table is amazing..

  12. Michelle Drummond says:

    Karen I only just found your blog recently but have enjoyed your posts, they are so refreshing. Loved this post too and you had me LOL at “shit show”. I thought maybe this was my thanksgiving dinner, except that your presentation is soo much nicer than mine.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Michelle. I forgot to mention there were also balloon animals, several whipped cream explosions (long story) and an unfortunate incident with a very strong martini and a drunk mother. I made up *one* of those things. I’ll let you decide which one. ~ karen

  13. Jan says:

    I coud be wrong but are the plates Homer Laughlin Times Square? Modern and not vintage but they are incredibly durable. I have a bunch of them. Love em!

  14. Sarah {20 State} says:

    Love the term ‘shit show’, the Aussie version would be ‘rough as guts’…just in case you want to go intercontinental (pretty sure I mispelt this…)

  15. Bonnie J. Poirier says:

    L♥VE this story! You are now dubbed my perfect little invisible friend. LOL

  16. Barbie says:

    My FAVORITE post thus far!

  17. Emily says:

    I am absolutely rolling at this as I had my own go ’round with the universe’s alternative plan a few years back. I adore your site. Thanks for the humor mixed in with your fabulous things!

  18. Antonia says:

    Gorgeous! You do everything so beautifully! Loved your planters, your table, the kids’ chalkboards…EVERYTHING! Should be in a magazine!

  19. Sheila says:

    I know this is an old post but I enjoy reading the old ones as much as the new. Love the kids’ table and now that we have a grand baby I’m getting ready for it! Also, many years ago my brother-in-law sent me a pair of beautiful handmade beaded moccasins from a native friend in BC. They smelled of a wood fire. Apparently my dog loved them also…and chewed them up. I was really mad at the time but then realized what good “taste” she has…thanks for another story that’s fun and inspiring as well.

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