A Thanksgiving table setting laced with Indian corn was what I immediately envisioned when given the opportunity to join another fun bloghop with Chloe from Celebrate and Decorate. All because I spotted this photo of miniature ears of corn in a velvety indigo color. Stunning!
But what I ended up with was a lesson in equality, political correctness, gender neutrality, dietary restrictions, sustainable farming practices, environmental consciousness, and an amazing evening of global enlightenment… with a few ears of corn thrown in.
First, let me mention that I was lucky enough to have a Thanksgiving trial run a few weeks before the actual holiday. Without disclosing all the details – to protect the innocent – let me just say that I was expected to plan a dinner party for a group of 10 guests, many of whom I had not yet met. A perfect opportunity to bring my indigo corn vision to life.
It all started with my table. My beautiful but larger-than-most-people’s-garages table is an antique George III hunting table I inherited from my mother-in-law. Problem is, it’s over 70″ wide and 100″ long, so finding a tablecloth (at a reasonable price) is a difficult task. I did, however, stumble across a company called Saffron Marigold, which sells lovely hand-printed cotton table linens in unique Moroccan designs.
I’m going through my Moroccan phase right now, but I also have a weakness for industrial design. So I built a candelabra made from copper piping for my centerpiece. (I love it, because I can easily take it apart and assemble new configurations for different occasions!)
Next, pumpkins and corn. I lightly spray painted miniature pumpkins and Indian corn white, then placed them around the candelabra. I love mixing organic touches with industrial for a surprising eclectic flavor.
But what about the BLUE stuff? Short of growing my own ornamental maize, my only option for blue corn was to bring out more spray paint. I kept my place settings very informal then adorned each plate with a crisp, linen napkin topped with an ear of deep blue corn.
I could just end this post right here, with a sweet, blue and white tablescape, but the rest of the story deserves to be shared. I decided to buck the turkey tradition and serve lasagna. It’s simple and can be baked ahead. I was told my guests didn’t have any special food preferences, so it seemed a perfect choice.
Until my phone dinged in the middle of the grocery store.
My oldest son and his girlfriend would be joining us. That is, my oldest son THE VEGAN and his VEGAN girlfriend would be joining us. Guess I’ll have to make a second lasagna. (Omit the meat, add veggies, make a cheese sauce from cashews.) I can do this.
My phone dings again.
I’m now in the produce aisle. One of my dinner guests, “Oh, I just found out that my parents are vegetarian now… LOL.” Although I wasn’t laughing out loud, I conceded. I’ll just convert the meat lasagna to a vegetarian one. (One meat-and-dairy-free dish and one meat-free, cheese-laden dish.) I can do this.
In the check-out line, calling my husband. “What? No meat? Well, if I don’t have real meat in my lasagna, I’m going to buy a Stouffer’s just for me.” (Still not laughing out loud.) I’m now filling my basket with ingredients for 3 lasagnas – one meat, one vegetarian, and one vegan.
Before I get to the REALLY GOOD part, let me share a few more shots of my lovely table. An intermission of sorts.
Back to my story (and believe me, there’s more.) I failed to mention that a week before the dinner, we learned that one of the guests likes to be referred to with a gender-neutral pronoun. As in “John Doe changed their profile picture.” Before you start sending me nasty emails, hear me out. I have absolutely no problem with this, and neither does my husband. Except… my husband can’t even remember names. Almost every day, he calls Sheila, our neighbor of 3 years, Shirley. And we’re talking PRONOUNS here, folks. Not names.
Only one solution. Wine. I decided to set up a beverage cart and serve drinks and appetizers on the balcony before the meal.
I had just the serving idea – a DIY ice bucket for an added Fall touch. Not certain if my food dishes would turn out well, I wanted to amp up the decor. So I sculpted this frozen ice bucket embellished with fading hydrangeas and evergreen twigs.
I think I’ve covered all my bases. Vegan lasagna? Check. Vegetarian lasagna? Check. Meat lasagna? Check. Skilled in proper pronoun use? Maybe. All I can hope for now is that a Gluten-free, lactose-intolerant Hare Krishna stops by unannounced.
So, how did my Thanksgiving trial run turn out? With my French-speaking carnivorous husband, a vegan off-spring, a Puerto Rican guest and her Irish hubby, a handful of politically correct Millennials, a few vegetarians, an Italian menu served on a Moroccan tablecloth accompanied with an Argentinian Malbec, along with an ill-mannered pug and 2 uninvited beagles… what could possibly go wrong? In all honesty, my guests were absolutely delightful. LOVED THEM! And I loved the chance to build a beautiful Fall tablescape for such sweet guests I’m thankful to call new friends.
Why not share this on Pinterest?
Looking for table-setting ideas for Thanksgiving? All week, these wonderful blogs will be sharing their creative tablescapes!