18 November 2015

Setting The Thanksgiving Table

When I was growing up in Kentucky, we would visit both sets of grandparents for every holiday. Lunch was eaten at Nana's. They put all of the food on the kitchen table and the desserts on the sideboard. Nana would cook the turkey and rolls, while her daughters and daughters in law would bring other side dishes, desserts, and a ham. The last few years family members have done all of the cooking since Nana is 96. The men take their plates and go into the back room/den and watch basketball and football (U of K, obviously). Inevitably, when he was alive, Papaw would fall asleep quite quickly in his leather recliner. Nana and the ladies sit around the kitchen table. Us grandchildren would run around the house or sit in the swings out on the porch. Now, Muzzie's house was very different. She had a very large kitchen table (she had 10 children), dining room table, and "children's" table. The dining room table held transferware or china dishes, antique silverware, pewter candlesticks and accents. Muzzie's home was decorated in the colonial period as she was an antiques dealer. One is not better than the other, just different. I grew up with Southern casual and Southern formal holiday meals. I am going to show you a few tablescape ideas from each and one of their signature recipes.

Nana likes Pfaltzgraff dishes. This is the Winter Berries design so you can pull it out for Thanksgiving and use throughout the winter. This silverware is would coordinate perfectly. It is beautiful simplicity at it's best. The price is excellent as well! Nana's granddaughters all asked for one recipe from her, her Rose Petal Rolls. They are light and airy, sweet, and just the best. Here's the recipe:

Rose Petal Rolls
1 package yeast (make sure it is fresh)
2C warm water (not hot)
.25C sugar
.75C Crisco (non-hydrogenated preferrably)
1 egg
4C all-purpose flour, sifted

Preheat oven to 400. Dissolve yeast in water and let sit for about 2 minutes; stir in sugar. Beat (I say fold) in remaining ingredients. Grease muffin tins (regular 12 size) and spoon in batter to half full. Bake until light brown (around 15 minutes or so). *As you can see the instructions are not exact as that is not how she cooks.

Like I said, Muzzie's house is a tad different. We ate an early dinner that lasted through dinner, dessert with coffee, and ended after Muzzie played the piano while everyone sang. Muzzie loved transferware. These Spode Woodland dishes would have been right up her alley! This silverware  are so pretty. I loved Muzzie's dressing, but NOT the oyster dressing. The most unique Thanksgiving dish she made was her Pineapple Sweet Potatoes:

Pineapple Sweet Potatoes
2C mashed sweet potatoes
.50C brown sugar
3 Tbsp butter
.25 tsp salt
.25 tsp cinnamon
.25 tsp nutmeg
1 20oz. can pineapple slices, drained
10 miniature marshmallows

Preheat oven to 400. In large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, brown sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Place pineapple rings in a greased 13x9x2 casserole dish. Top each slice with .25C of sweet potato mixture and a marshmallow. Bake for 10-15 minutes.

Since being married to Bryan, we always go to his family in Ohio for Thanksgiving, which I prepare the meal. Later this week, after I have finalize the menu, I will share what I will be preparing (with the help of my sister in law). 


  1. I have to admit, with a great deal of granddaughter guilt, I hate those rolls. Always quietly walked past them hoping to be unnoticed. Lol. And, Muzzie's style appeals to me more.

  2. Blasphemy!!! Ha! I'm kidding. I love those dishes for Muzzie.


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