Thanksgiving 2014.
The Rustic table.

I understood Canadian Thanksgiving was coming up.  I really did.  There are pumpkins in the stores, turkeys in supermarket coolers and every time I look at a Pinterest board there’s something made out of straw and burlap staring back at me.

Also, it’s right there on the calendar.  The problem is I didn’t check the calendar. I just sort of based my knowledge of “thanksgiving is coming up” on the general idea that I feel stupid wearing shorts and flip flops into the grocery store, so it must be coming up soon.

What I didn’t realize was it was coming up this weekend.  I need to shove some bread crumbs up a turkey’s ass and QUICK.  I’m not really sure why we have turkey for Thanksgiving.  I’ve never met anyone who really loves turkey.  It’s almost always dry, doesn’t have a lot of flavour and takes all day to cook.  It’s like the fruitcake of the meat world.

But surround it with cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes and an embarrassing amount of farting and waddling and there you have it. The annual Thanksgiving dinner.

Since I am the one who hosts my family’s Thanksgiving dinner every year I need to get going on it.  S.T.A.T.!  (Start Thanksgiving Activities Todayish.)

The table is set.  I have that much going for me. Well that and naturally curly hair. Huh. Now that I think of it, that’s actually Frieda, the least popular character from the Charlie Brown cartoons.

This year I went with a rustic,  dark, moody feeling.  Warm and cozy.  Like an autumn Thanksgiving should be.

 

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The table has a rough burlap runner down the centre with a piece of hardwood on top of that.  When dinner is served, the arrangement will get removed and all the dishes of food can go right on the board.

There’s even more layering with cutting boards on top of the wood board.  This one is my favourite from Cattails.

 

 

ground-cherry

 

One of the things I’m most excited about is the fact that all of the food served will have been harvested from my garden.  Everything.  (aside from the poor Turkey) I’m serving a classic Thanksgiving dinner with side dishes that are slightly elevated.  Just a little bit.  For fun.  Elevated as in “churched up”.  Not elevated as in levitating.

Ground cherries will be scattered on the table.

 

home-made-kosher-pickles-final

 

And there will be bowls and jars of my kosher dill pickles which turned out DELICIOUS.  I’ve eaten 3 jars already myself.  Which is all kinds of wrong but all kinds of right.

 

the-menu

 

I’m expecting the black sea salt to be a hit.  Mainly because it looks so good on the table.  Weird little things like using black salt in a black dish are what bring the whole moody table together.

So if you’re wondering about how to do your Thanksgiving table (either this weekend or next month) pick some sort of theme.  It could be something as literal as classic American Thanksgiving, a crisp black and white theme, or something a bit more esoteric like a mood.  If you aren’t feeling all that imaginative, just open a magazine or look at a blog and copy it.  That’ll take all the guess work out and make it way easier.  Which leaves more time for making more stuffing.  You can never have enough stuffing.  Ever.

 

 

black-salt

 

Of course, if there are those out there who are frightened of black salt, there will also be white.

 

white-salt

 

The dishes are round matte black dinner plates that I found at my local thrift store. I got the whole set including lunch plates and bowls for $9.

The salt dishes were on clearance at The Keeping Room, I bought the vintage cutlery (that I’ve been LOOKING FOR for ages) from a local reader!  Thanks Cornelia!

Betty made the napkins, and half of the flowers in the arrangement are from my community garden plot.   I planted the Amaranths in the spring specifically to use in my Thanksgiving arrangement.  Normally I’d *think* about doing that and then promptly forget all about it.  For some reason, I didn’t. I suspect I forgot something much more important.

Well, like when Thanksgiving is, for instance.

 

black-dinner-plate

 

This is one of two tables that will be set. The other one will be one room over, in my front hall, so the 12 or so people   (it’s up to 15 now) can fit comfortably.  Plus the foyer is the perfect spot to sit people I don’t really like.  I’ll tell them they’re in the foyer because it’s away from the mess of the kitchen and because they’re my favourites I wanted to seat them there.

 

Thanksgiving-table-large

 

For your table to have an actual harvest feel, put food on it! Don’t just put out pretty decorations and arrangements. And like I said, once the dinner is served the big arrangement in the centre will be moved away, and the food will make its way in on old, rustic stoneware and enamel platters.

 

bread

 

The total cost of the arrangement was $27 for the ornamental cabbages and miniature red snapdragons.  The lime green trailing flowers and the tall burgundy flowers are from my garden.

 

side-of-rustic-thankgiving-table

 

Every year I do this and every year it’s the same.  I think I can keep it together.  I think that things will go smoothly.  It will be a restful, warm and inviting Thanksgiving with my family close.  We’ll all enjoy the food, the kitchen will not become a disaster and the night will end with us crowding around the fireplace singing Frank Sinatra.

Instead, someone’s fingernails will catch on fire, one of the kids will barf, my mother will forget her camera,  everyone will get a stain on their shirt and the night will end not with song, but with us measuring the size of each others heads.

 

blurry-karen-at-thanksgiving-table

 

Happy Thanksgiving my fellow Canadians.   I have my fingers crossed that your Thanksgiving will NOT be like the pleasant, fancifully perfect, imaginary version of mine.

Because the real thing is way more fun.

 

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112 Comments

  1. ruth says:

    You table is wonderful! I like turkey.

  2. Erika says:

    Absolutely fabulous! Although your Clockwork Orange chairs creep me out a bit.

  3. Susan says:

    What’s that tree thing on the wall?
    Love it…I need one now!

    • Jan In Waterdown says:

      I noticed that funky piece of wall art too! I’m guessing Karen saw this thing growing in her garden, yanked it up, shook off the dirt and plunked it on her wall!? It reminds me of the fab textile work done by local (Greensville) artist Lorraine Roy, whom I recently “discovered” on the Dundas studio tour. You can see her stuff on lroyart.com . . . it’s lots of trees and roots and gorgeous colours . . . would love to own some! Have a yummy Thanksgiving everyone and a restful day afterwards!

  4. Susan says:

    PS…you lost me at the ground cherries, an icky memory from my kidhood, my Dad loved ground cherry/apple pie. Which I would make, and hated. My apple pie on the other hand, is fantastic. Even won a local pie baking contest..won me an apple shaped cutting board! Came in second the next year, lost to a stay at home Dad. I never entered again, couldn’t take the rejection…
    Love the black salt, and dishes.

  5. mia pratt says:

    Your Thanksgiving table is marvelous, an absolutely perfect combination of rustic and contemporary. Wow, I’m taking notes on ideas for setting mine this year (American Thanksgiving in Mexico). I just can’t get in the mood for a Mexican Thanksgiving, so I’m going to stick with one that reminds me of the good old days with family in the US, with a few local substitutions. Thanks for the inspiration<:}

  6. Elizabeth says:

    I timed it right this year. I am in the States fir Canadian Thanksgiving, and with luck, will be in Canada for US Thanksgiving.

  7. Grammy says:

    Happy Thanksgiving. Your family is more entertaining than mine, because I don’t know them. You’d probably think my family is a laugh riot. C’est la vie.

  8. tracy says:

    Love, love it! So unique, so rustic and harvest like! This aesthetic is so you and a refreshing departure from the typical pumpkin and dried leaf table decor we’re all so use to seeing this time of year. Kudos!

  9. tracy says:

    Btw- that painting is a fabulous focal point in the room and takes this look to a whole other level! Heirloom or a fabulous find somewhere?

  10. amanda says:

    the first year after moving out of my parents house, I was so very proud of myself for remembering Thanksgiving, and buying everything necessary to host a proper dinner…and then on Christmas Eve the bf and I realized there was nothing in our fridge but beer and milk. Christmas dinner that year was a grilled cheese sandwich and too many margaritas…but hey, it makes for a fun story now.

  11. amyfaith says:

    Ok, funny amaranth story: tonight (seriously, just a few hours ago), my son gets on my computer and says to close my eyes ’cause he wants to show me something. He tells me that he wants to show me the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen. Now, this is a 14 year old boy, and so his interests and humor tend toward either crude, or very crude. I was, of course, certain that he was trolling me, and fully expected to see something totally rude and/or gross. Instead, I opened my eyes to image upon image of amaranth in full vibrant flower.

    He tells me that he and Nathan (another 14 yo boy!) were discussing today just how lovely amaranth is and perhaps they should try to grow it next spring.

    Wha?? It was as if I got transported to some bizarro land where up is down and left is right.

    And Karen? Your table AND your ability to get things done are, as always, an inspiration. Happy Thanksgiving.

    • Karen says:

      LOL! Well they’re always surprising aren’t they, lol. Amaranth is easy to grow and there are a few different varieties. Tell them to do it! ~ karen

  12. Daphne says:

    Stunning tablescape!! Also ,love the dried brush/bush/weed whatever it is,diy or purchased ?

  13. Penley says:

    Looks wonderful! Particularly love the flower/greenery arrangement in the middle. It’s always strange following internet-land at the change of seasons – we’re going full boar into spring here in Queensland (and up here in the sub tropics spring lasted about three days and it’s now officially summer) so it’s difficult to imagine you northern hemisphere people gearing up for the winter. You’re thinking pumpkins and turkey and we’re thinking BBQ’s and mango salads. Makes for fantastic diversity!

    • Karen says:

      That is funny! I think about that all the time because a lot of my readers for whatever reason are from Australia and New Zealand! So it’s always opposite of what I’m talking about, lol. Except when I’m talking about washing machine motors. It always seems to be washing machine motor season no matter where you live. ~ karen!

  14. tajicat says:

    Beautiful! Love the center piece, wonderful that you can add so much from your garden(s) for the celebration. I hope everyone appreciates the work you put in. Happy Turkey Day! 🙂
    http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/why-do-we-eat-turkey-on-thanksgiving/

  15. Ev Wilcox says:

    Centerpiece is very nice, black tableware (and salt!) is also very nice. Think it is wonderful that you grew your own Thanksgiving! Love the plank on the table idea for hot dishes and am going to propose this to husband! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Karen. Miss the daily posts. Just sayin’….

  16. LeeAnn says:

    Beautiful. I love the black plates and black salt. I’ve just bought a black linen runner for our old wooden table. Think I’m going to get some matching serviettes made. The large painting in your pics is stunning from what I can see. Any chance you could post a picture so I can see the whole painting? I’m an artist and paint portraits in chiaroscuro style. Love to see 🙂 Happy thanksgiving and don’t stress.

    • Karen says:

      Hi LeeAnn. You can read a tiny bit about how I got the painting and see a slightly larger version of it I think, here. ~ karen!

      • Cathy Reeves says:

        1. Gotta mention the (old) kitchen floor–it’s the best example of “truck stop tile ” that lives in virtually every Florida home we have looked at. At least the ones in our modest soon to be retired price range. Pure horror.
        2. What is the history of Thanksgiving in Canada?
        3. Have you used the chicken towels?

  17. Is it not still summer????
    I (0bviously) can’t get my head round autumn at all, but I loooove your sheepskins on the benches, cool!

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Karen!

  18. Melissa says:

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  19. IRS says:

    The centerpiece is gorgeous. I would leave it on the table the whole night, not just because it’s lovely, but because it’s huge, and in my family, anything that blocks our view of each other also serves to cut down on petty arguments. As does lubrication with plenty of wine. Which I don’t recall you mentioning. Will you be serving libations? Or perhaps your family is better behaved than mine.

    • Karen says:

      Wine and beer. Maybe a martini for my uncle. We’re not huge drinkers. Frankly the huge drinkers have died. Hence the rest of us not being huge drinkers, lol. ~ karen

  20. Darlene Cox says:

    First of all YEA!!! It is Thursday so we get a posting!!!!
    Secondly – I adore your dead tree on the wall!!! I have to borrow that idea from you
    How did you attach/hang from the wall?

  21. Suanne says:

    Ahhhh…the days of only 15 people at Thanksgiving! With our kids, their kids and a few boyfriends/girlfriends and spouses…..we have over 45 that we squeeze into the family room. Its loud and rambunctious and nerve wracking….but its family and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Love Thanksgiving, love family……and LOVE your table. Just makes me wanna come sit down on your sheepskins and have a pickle! Thanks for sharing.

  22. IRS says:

    I forgot to add that your lemon salad dressing sounds yummy. Any chance you would share the recipe? Pleeeeeease? *whines annoyingly*

  23. Jody says:

    Happy happy Thanksgiving. I think I prefer Th’giving over Christmas since it is still about family and food but without the self imposed insanity

  24. jainegayer says:

    I love the table, beautiful! Enjoy!!

  25. Tigersmom says:

    Gorgeous. I need to know more about this tree on the wall with its roots, please. And are those new drapes? I don’t remember them from other pics, but they are the perfect juxtaposition to the modern/rustic aesthetic you have going on. They add just the right amount of femininity and softness.

    And I can’t even talk about the fact that all of the feast is coming from things you grew (except the turkey, but we know you could do that, too, if you wanted. You have chickens, after all. Not that you would ever, ever, in a million years….well, you know) because it is so far from anything I could do. Impressive and inspirational, as always.

  26. Su says:

    Happy Thanksgiving – I think that you Canadians have it right! Having Thanksgiving at the actual harvest time is brilliant AND you don’t have the insane frenzy from the end of November to Christmas rush I don’t have enough time to get all this crap done that we down here in America do…. plus you have it on a weekend so working folks can actually prepare for the big day…. that being said me and the guy have opted out for years from Thanksgiving and we go Mexico and eat turkey on the beach. Its one holiday we miss all the family drama….And for that opportunity we are truly thankful….

  27. Karol says:

    Very nice, Karen. Brilliant idea using the wood plank to place the food. Happy Thanksgiving.

  28. marilyn says:

    i love turkey..dark meat and thanksgiving ..my fave holiday! try brining your turkey ..makes a huge difference

    • Karen says:

      I brine it every year. And you’re right it makes a HUGE difference. I actually brine it in my crisper! It’s the only thing big enough to fit the turkey, brine AND still fit in the fridge. 🙂 ~ karen

  29. Kim C. says:

    Gorgeous! The cinnamon carrots sound delicious. Happy Thanksgiving Karen.

  30. Janet says:

    I’m allergic to turkey, but I serve turkey at Thanksgiving anyway, because only one of my kids is also allergic. We’ll roast a chicken for the two of us.

    I LOVE those little “sel” and “salt” dishes. The table looks fantastic. I’m curious about the table in the foyer. Do you make another huge arrangement for that one?

    Happy Thanksgiving, Karen. I love your advice to expect that things will go awry, but to enjoy the day anyway!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Janet! Well, so far the table you’re looking at right now has already had 2 extensions added to it, lol. I keep inviting more people. The table in the front hall you can see in this post. It’s the metal round table. 4 chairs will fit around it. I’ll do a smaller arrangement in the middle and then set the table pretty much the same as the main one. 🙂 ~ karen!

  31. Heather says:

    So this is what you come up with last minute? WOW! I love the idea of the board along the whole table for setting serving dishes on. It looks wonderful.

    We usually do a deep friend capon rather than turkey. The capon is always lovely and moist & don’t knock deep fried turkey til you tried it. The intense heat of the oil totally seals in all the juices. This year we are doing a pork loin roast (Canadian Living recipe – fingers crossed) – the kids will have their turkey when they go to their significant others’ parents the next day.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Karen. It really is the prettiest time of year in Ontario.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Heather. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving! ~ karen (p.s. we did fried turkey one year. Tasted great but it was a bit of a shitshot, lol. If I remember correctly we ran out of oil and there may have been a smallish fire.)

  32. Lori Hall says:

    It is all beautiful Karen! You planned it well. The tree on the wall – LOVE IT! Really catches the eye. How did you hang it??

  33. maggie van sickle says:

    Everything looks great Karen and I do not like turkey much either unless it is sliced thin with brie and cranberry sauce all on a marvelous hot panini or pannini or however you spell it. Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your family cause really that is what is is really all about.

  34. Caroline says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Karen! I am also doing an elevated turkey dinner (my pancetta and hazelnut stuffing is to die for!) new this year – a sage and walnut pesto and goat cheese crumble on roasted squash – because I was soooo tired of the same old meal! I really wanted to do a rabbit stew with herbed dumplings but my family got ugly – I thought I might get shanked 🙂
    I have a new dining room table and I love the idea of a wood plank in the middle (and I have a burlap runner!) so I now have one more thing to do before Sunday – thanks!
    Seriously though, it being the season of thankfulness, I would like to say thank you for entertaining me, inspiring me and sharing your chicken stories with me – even the gross ones!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Caroline. 🙂 Your sage and walnut pesto with goat cheese on roasted squash sounds GREAT! I’d love that! One year I really changed things up and you’re right. People got ornery. ~ karen!

  35. Miriam says:

    Please invite me to your house for Thanksgiving. That’s it.

    • Karen says:

      LOL! I would but I believe at this point every seat is taken, including the little small one with the broken leg and wobbly back. 🙂 I keep inviting people and they keep accepting. ~ karen!

  36. Angela says:

    Your table is gorgeous. Please share your stuffing recipe!

  37. Rebecca says:

    I love those matte black plates! Actually, I love the entire arrangment. I think ending the night measuring each others’ heads is better than you ending up on the floor of your kitchen (crying?)…didn’t that happen one Thanksgiving? (sorry to bring up sour memories)

  38. Traci says:

    God that veggie centerpiece is gorgeous!

    On the turkey front, you need an old-fashioned cast aluminum roaster with lid like this:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Guardian-Service-Heavy-Cast-Aluminum-Pan-Roaster-w-Domed-Lid-Large-Platter-/131311895214?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e92cc82ae

    We had one growing up and the few times we hosted thanksgiving the turkey was amazing. I actually loved it! It cuts the cooking time and the shape of the lid seems to self-baste the turkey. Delicious!

  39. Kat says:

    Everything looks absolutely stunning Karen. Your photography lessons are paying off!!! Now where did you get that little tree on the wall? Did you yank it out of the ground when you found a spot to build your cob oven or landscaping your plot at the community garden? Every photo of the table I kept staring at the tree thinking “brilliant” .

  40. cbblue says:

    Beautiful and creative, but we all expect that. You are not answering any questions about the tree on the wall. I hope that means it will be in a future post. I’d try that here but my husband already thinks I’ve traveled off the deep end. I won’t be celebrating Thanksgiving for another month but Karen I am thankful for you! Thank you for a bright spot in my day.

  41. Rondina says:

    So what do I notice? The pink curtains! At least they look pink. They seem to have horizontal lines in them. n’t Don’t know why I didn’t notice them before. Where did you get them?

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  42. Deana says:

    If any of your guests should happen to cancel for some reason and leave a hole at the table that needs to be filled, just let me know, I only live a few blocks away. I can be there in a few minutes. You might have seen the flames in our driveway last year when our dear son-in-law tried to deep fry a turkey and set our driveway on fire. Really uncomfortable when the fire truck pulled up and they started laughing. Thankfully we were celebrating on Sunday instead of Monday so my daughter scooted down to KFC for a bucket of chicken. Nothing like a good old traditional KFC Thanksgiving dinner. Love your tables setting. Happy Thanksgiving.

  43. Sandy says:

    LOVE your dining room table (the actual table but the whole set-up is lovely too). I look forward to turkey, I think it’s delicious and if it ends up a little dry, well, that’s what gravy is for!
    “Happy Thanksgiving to you my fellow Canadian”!

  44. Melissa says:

    I’m hoping that this year, my Thanksgiving will include everything from the garden as well, including the turkey, which I still have to figure out how to butcher.

    Like everyone else, I love the tablescape!

  45. chris aka monkey says:

    karen you know i love your posts but i also love reading all the comments …this is the only blog i do that on… so what about that dam tree lmao…between now and thanksgiving here in the states we have football sundays to figure out food for and i think i will elevate it and serve deep fired wilbur with ketsup and frass in a white bowl and a milkweed salad with fresh dill sauce… what do you think?

  46. JeannieB says:

    It’s going to be a beautiful Thanksgiving weekend here in southern Ontatio, even if they’re forecasting possible flurries. Crisp apples, fireplaces, warm woollie throws, and tables spread with yummy food to share with family and friends. I usually get the grandkids to go out to the front lawn to gather beautiful red/ orange maple leaves to scatter on the dining room table.
    Happy Thanksgiving Karen!

  47. zoe says:

    if you ever need it, i have a stuffing recipe that goes under the skin of the turkey that stops it from being dry – there’s a lot of sausage meat involved 🙂
    Z

  48. Ella says:

    This is all so beautiful. I like how the painting in the background matches the mood of the table!

  49. Ella says:

    Also–is the dead branchy thing on the wall from your garden? Can’t believe no one has commented on it. i love it!

  50. Susan says:

    I commented on the tree on the wall..last night, wondering what it is also.
    Susan

  51. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Hey Lady..Do You Know There’s A Tree On Your Wall???..lol..I figure if you’re not gonna talk about it we will find out later..you should have know we would all spot it and ask questions..Gorgeous table as always..I still envy your family togetherness..Have a great day as in stuff your tummy until they find you rolling around on the floor in agony..Hugs

  52. AmyKate says:

    I’m a bit late to the party…but for Christmas or your next turkey, use a turkey size Oven bag. Easy. Easy.Easy..moist turkey.No basting..I have been using them for years! I promise a good turkey that is Not dry. I promise. Or you can come to NC next month and have some of our turkey!

  53. Jasmine says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! I am hosting…again! (Somehow the trading that was supposed to go on in my family is out the window. Maybe I should adopt your tradition and just KNOW that I will be cooking.) Anyway, we all love the turkey, I find that if I do the whole brining thing, it tastes a lot better and stays quite moist. You have inspired me to dress up my table though, so thanks for that. I have to use my china, it’s one of the only times it gets used. But it was left to me from a dear friend, so I don’t mind. It makes ‘rustic’ a bit harder though since it is all swirly navy and gold. The plates are tiny too. I will have to put my thinking cap on….or hit Pinterest. Cheers!

  54. Karen says:

    Your table is exquisite….such a great balance with your wacky stories….the best of both worlds really.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  55. Karen says:

    …oh yes, and about the tree…..it’s beautiful. I love the attached root stem. I have killed more than one ficus tree and they look something like this when fully dead. I’ve always thought they were sculptural and like them as much like that as with their leaves…but never thought about mounting one on the wall…….it’s groovy.

  56. Julie says:

    This is perfection! Have a lovely Thanksgiving, Karen!

  57. Happy thanksgiving and I am positive Cuddles and the others are happy they are small versions of the turkey! Your table is beautiful. I always loved white dinner plates so you really see the food, but I might have to look for some black pieces, it really does look “moody” yet very inviting. Perfect offset to flip flops…hey I wear black nail polish too, so at least there is a tie in there. By the way, Christmas is around the corner, go circle the date on your calendar!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Janet. I always thought I liked white plates the best because of that too Janet, but once I went black … well … you get the idea. Food looks extraordinary on a back plate. ~ karen!

  58. Kathy Hartzell says:

    I can never be your BFF from West Marin, California…..I like turkey and I like deep dark gooey fruitcake.

    Man, I was so hoping……

  59. Jasper says:

    Can someone please explain this whole head measuring thing to me? I read the post she linked to and all of the comments. Is it some sort of Canadian tradition? Or a Thanksgiving tradition I’ve never heard of? Why is it done? I’m SO confused.

  60. Janice says:

    I dont want to be rude and try to invite myself for Thanksgiving dinner….also I am going the the Mother-In_Laws to eat boiled chicken breasts….no joke….she boils her chicken. Do you feel even the slightest bit sorry for me?? Enough to maybe invite me over for leftover Thanksgiving pizza in that wonderful oven??? Pizza with cranberries, stuffing and of course turkey…God I am hungry….maybe hangry….boiled chicken…eugh

  61. Dana says:

    The table is gorgeous! Now that I’ve used the pumpkins from my centrepiece to make real pumpkin purée, I need to come up with a new plan!

  62. Sally A says:

    Karen, the table is beautiful! You . Are . Awesome!!! Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

    Also love the salt dishes. So glad you said where to get them!

  63. Laurinda says:

    I hate to disagree, but I really love turkey. The key to moist, enjoyable turkey is to brine it. Honestly, it’s the easiest way to to juicy turkey, & I don’t even baste them anymore. Except for last year’s 45 pounder (20 kg) – I thought I should hedge my bets on that monster!

  64. Hope you have a great family holiday!

  65. Auntiepatch says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian cousins!

  66. Elen Grey says:

    Everything looks gorgeous. I love the dark look and feel. I’m in Thanksgiving denial, so we are foregoing the extravaganza this year and wandering the land. Leaving it for Christmas. Or… I might do it for American Thanksgiving. Mebbe. 😀

  67. Toni says:

    This is warm and colorful and all kinds of fabulous. Well done Karen.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Toni! I plan to take a few pictures during the actual dinner to show the flip side. The debauchery. 🙂 ~ karen!

      • Jasper says:

        Karen, I hate to pester you about this so persistently, but… I think my friends might kill me if I don’t shut up about my theories on why your family (and some of the commentor’s families) measure heads for the holidays! Seriously! Is it a Canadian tradition? Google has been terribly unhelpful in my hours of searching. It’s driving me insane. PLEASE. Pretty please? I’m begging you!

        Hahahahahaha… Ehahaha. Heh. (That’s me, laughing maniacally, because I can’t figure this out and I’m seriously going insane from it.)

        • Karen says:

          Hi Jasper! Sorry for the delayed response. Measuring heads is not a Canadian Thanksgiving thing, lol. It’s just something that happened here one Thanksgiving for some reason. I have NO idea why. 🙂 ~ karen

  68. Leslie says:

    It’s all very beautiful. I love that you grew all the food. I bet the bread & rolls are amazing.

  69. Theresa says:

    Please oh please share more of your recipes! The pumpkin pie from scratch, the sugar cookies, the swiss chard…oh heck, a list with links to all of them would be mighty helpful.Thanks in advance. Your decor is beautiful, btw – happy thanksgiving!

  70. Lis says:

    Love all these! Thanks for the menu, and these moody colors def work for the season. Happy Thanksgiving, Karen and family!

  71. Linda Weber says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to a most entertaining yet kind and thoughtful person who happens to be a blogger! With all the nasty cyber tolls out there you have managed to garner a following of kind and thoughtful people. Not only do I enjoy your postings, but also the unselfish and caring comments of your followers. No one really wants to see you go from posting 5 days a week to 3 yet everyone supports and respects your decision. Stay ‘true’ Karen Bertelsen

    • Tracey says:

      Very well said Linda!! I agree

      Just had the best Turkey dinner …..mmmmm.
      I cannot imagine the time that goes into your dinner and presentation. So lovely!!

  72. Gwen H. says:

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  73. Debbie from Illinois says:

    Karen your home is lovely. Happy thanksgiving!

  74. Connie S. says:

    Absolutely GORGEOUS , absolutely everything!!!
    Your table- your decorating , the black dishes , the photography , the menu …EVERYTHING… and esp. the silverware 😉
    Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving Karen 🙂
    PS would you come decorate my place -please , plz, plzzz?

  75. Edith says:

    Hi Karen,

    You’ve become such a good photographer!!!!!! The lighting and the colors ……..soooo soooothing!

  76. If some one needs to be updated with newest technologies then he must be visit this web site and be up to date everyday.

  77. Stephanie Hobson says:

    When I saw the title of this post I thought OMG, she’s getting ready for Thanksgiving already?!!! Then I remembered where you live. So yes, you’re not over a month early, you’re late.

    Every time I see a picture of your dining room I lust after that painting. And my husband is a painter – I should get him to paint something like that for me! He’s more than capable of it.

    I got my first newsletter today and really enjoyed it. The only problem is that there are no comments, which are (almost) as entertaining as your posts are.

  78. Pam'a says:

    Absolutely gorgeous, no surprise, and I’m sure it’ll be delicious as well. My big, heartfelt wish after it’s all over is for you to have a long, luxurious NAP.

    Happy Thanksgivuing, Karen (That’s the Canadian spelling with that “u” in there)

    • Karen says:

      LOL!! That comment got a genuine laugh out loud from me. Firstly … I went to go to bed and my cat had thrown up ALL over my sheets. In the exact spot that I lay, and right up by my head so I couldn’t pretend I didn’t see it. Plus of course the “u” in Thanksgivuing. 🙂 ~ karen

  79. Anita says:

    Happy Thanksgiving! Your table is beautiful and your menu sounds fantastic. I love that so much of it is homegrown. It seems weird to me that it isn’t still summer. Here in Houston, TX it was already 81 degrees (f) at 7:40 this morning when I sent my son off to school in shorts and a t-shirt. We’ll be heading north for US Thanksgiving in a month, so I’ll get some Autumn then. My 78 year old mother has decided that she is done cooking Thanksgiving, so I’ll drive two days with a bored 7 year-old and an i-pad obsessed husband to have Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant. Oh well, it should be all about family, not food. I just feel bad for all the folks who have to work that day.

  80. Linda J Howes says:

    Particularly LOVE the napkin placement, among other things.

  81. Debbie says:

    I hope no one asked this already, but are you making the ice cream as well?

    For many years I’ve been using a friends turkey recipe and it is never dry. Under the skin stuff a wonderful mixture of fresh basil, onions and garlic. It is a messy job! I put it all through the food processor to a consistency that is easily slid under the skin. I drain it a bit and save that luscious liquid for something else. Stuff the turkey with onions or citrus fruit. Sew or skewer shut. Rub the skin with oil and cover with paprika. Oil and flour a turkey bag and cook according to the bag directions. (Don’t use the directions on the bag box, use the paper directions inside – we use Reynolds turkey bags (it is all we can find and works well). the turkey is always moist and delicious. Here is an idea I actually thought of myself – we make two smaller turkeys, thereby having four drumsticks and no fighting. The turkey also cooks in less time. Last year we had a “duh” moment and cooked the turkey the day before, carved and put it in serving dishes and then slowly heated it up (covered). It was still moist and yummy.

    Happy, happy Canadian Thanksgiving! We still have some time here!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debbie! I do make ice cream the odd time, but this wasn’t one of those times. 🙂 Way too many other things to make. 🙂 In fact now that I think of it we didn’t end up having ice cream at all! Just gobs and gobs of whipped cream. ~ karen!

      • Debbie says:

        Gobs and gobs of whipped cream sound wonderful! Maybe I should try that – it is vegetarian (for those who eat dairy) and gluten-free!

  82. peg says:

    Beautiful table,loved the floral arrangement.But really loved the black salt in the black dish.So of course I had to buy some.arrived today ~~~~lovely and tasty .

  83. Karen where did you get your black salt from? I have been wanting some for a year now.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Erin! The salt came with the dishes. A bag of black and a bag of pink Himalayan. I *think* The Horn of Plenty carries black salt sometimes but I’m not positive. ~ karen!

  84. Enriqueta says:

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  85. Mary W says:

    What have you got against Rutabaga and apple pie? Everything else has elaborate names sounding so fancy and delish except those two – are they well known already so no intro needed? or you don’t like them? or so divine that nothing could do them justice? I do like rutabaga but also love brussel sprouts which I’m sure you wouldn’t honor with a fancy name so that is why I’ve assumed you don’t care for them. Oh, I know, maybe someone else is bringing those and you haven’t a clue. Sweet menu – we just gather in a line by the stove, load up, and find a chair to start shoveling it in. We laugh a lot and talk a lot but we’re all over the house. One year we moved the couch and had 3 folding tables set up for a LONGGGGG table that we all gathered around. All the food was actually in bowls on another table in the dining room. But we never repeated that -for no reason, just habit to line up in the kitchen. That is thanksgiving for us except the yodeling pickle makes it’s annual appearance at this time by the sink and yodels quite a bit. They just can’t keep their fingers off of it! Company – humpf! Happy TG!

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