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Giving Thanks

Today I am giving thanks! I am thankful for the wonderful time I had with my family last week over turkey, mashed turnips and some wonderful pumpkin pie! My parents and one of my two sisters traveled from Colorado, my brother and sister-in-law came from Louisville and my husband’s family traveled from Tennessee and Maryland to join us in what I believe was a wonderful day of thanks.
As any holiday goes, my thanksgiving was not without incident. I apparently cut someone off in the Kroger parking lot, unbenownst to me, and was tracked down among the flowers and told I
had been rude. I stood there stunned and on the verge of tears trying to remember how or when I had cut someone off. To her credit, it was the kindest “telling off” I had ever heard or received and she was right when she said to take time and enjoy the holidays, “it’s all about family.”
I came out of the store crying and made my father drive the rest of the way home while I sobbed. I pride myself on being polite, putting others first, saying a kind word or sharing a smile with a stranger, so to be told I was rude was a crushing blow to my spirit. Even so, it was a good time for introspection and focus on what is truly important during the holidays. Family. There was an additional benefit too — all the crying got my dad in the kitchen with me. We baked the pumpkin pie together — a first for us. I will forever remember my father pureeing the fresh baked pumpkin in my tiny food processor one cup at a time, making sure it was as smooth as could be. It was truly a work of art and love. The pumpkin pie was the best I’ve ever made and the best I’ve ever tasted.
Sometimes it’s the troubles and struggles in life that help us come up with the best solutions. A sign on the store shelf stating there are no more cans of pumpkin and an incident at Kroger, can result in quality time spent with loved ones and a truly from-scratch, melt-in-your-mouth, mmm-this-is-so-good, pumpkin pie.
Please enjoy these photos, recipes and the Thanksgiving invitation suite I designed for our dinner this year. I will be offering this invitation suite and more in my Etsy shop this month. It is currently under construction, but I will be having an Etsy open house with plenty of freebies and discounts coming soon to a browser near you.
I hope your holidays were blessed with family, friends and a thankful heart!
“Tall Oaks Little Acorns” Invitation Suite:

This year when it was decided that we would have 15 family members in our home for Thanksgiving I decided to come up with a theme and design a suite of stationary for the occasion including invitations, menu cards, place cards, recipe cards and last but not least … thank you cards. I hope to place these up in my new Etsy shop as freebies during our open house later this month along with other great custom stationary designs that can be printed at home, a print shop or customized for your upcoming event.

My inspiration for this design comes from our own home. We have a large Bur Oak tree that is at least 150 years old, if not older, in our front yard. It provides us with shade in the summer and a home for numerous squirrels in the winter. I’ve taken my love for that oak tree and the squirrels and made it a subtle decorating theme throughout our home with oak leaves, acorns, squirrels and rabbits adorning much of our decor. I decided to carry that theme on into invitations to our family thanksgiving this year, with various quotes about acorns, trees and thanksgiving on each piece.

“From little acorns mighty oaks do grow” — American Proverb


Cheese Ball and Crackers
• Olive Nut Spread
• Relish Tray

Thanksgiving Menu:

Roasted Turkey
• Honey Glazed Ham
• Mashed Potatoes and Turkey Gravy
• Sweet Potato Casserole
• Green Bean Casserole
• Mashed Turnips with Crispy Shallots
• Fresh Buttered Corn
• Cranberry Celebration Salad
• Deviled Eggs
• Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls (fresh from a bakery in Maryland)
Dessert Menu:

• Fresh Pumpkin Pie
• Maple Molasses Pecan Pie

Caramelized Apple Spice Cake:
Another Martha Recipe I had to try! Click here for the recipe. Wonderful cake – great frosting! I did not have the time nor the energy to make the marzipan decorations with the gold luster dust, although I wanted to … badly. I even had to have my mother make the frosting and frost the cake as I had been up all night with a sick child, so I have plans to recreate this cake at a later date and give it, it’s due justice. It’s a delicious recipe — just a word of warning — It takes FOREVER to make and I didn’t even make the marzipan decorations. I love you Martha, but some of your recipes are are back breakers. Now that I’ve said that, I must say I’ve never made one of your cakes that I didn’t like.

Maple Molasses Pecan Pie:
This is a favorite of mine! I make it every Thanksgiving. I basically take Martha Stewart’s Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie and add molasses instead of bourbon. Very delicious!

Fresh Pumpkin Pie:
Due to the fact that there was absolutely NO cans of pumpkin on the store shelves this Thanksgiving, my mother and I purchased a small pie pumpkin and made this pie the old fashioned way. We roasted the pumpkin and my father scooped out the insides and pureed them in a food processor. May I say, it was well worth the effort. I am not a pumpkin pie fan. I make it because my husband is PASSIONATE about it, but I could take it or leave it. Well, I must say that I had two slices of this pie. Fantastic!

You want my recipe? Well, my favorite recipe, and I’ve tried others, is Libby’s Pumpkin Pie recipe. Yes, the one on the back of the can. It always wins. Maybe that’s why it’s on the back of every can? What made this one better, sorry Libby, was the real pie pumpkin. It made this one the best!

Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.” — W.J. Cameron

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