thanksgiving dinner outside

Thanksgiving Plans.

What are you doing for Thanksgiving? I’m wondering if COVID will upend a lot of plans, or maybe simplify things in a pleasant way? We are staying put and having my sister and brother-in-law over for the occasion. We’d love my parents-in-law to come up as well, but they are in wait-and-see mode, and I get it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve deferred plans with a vague “maybe in [June/August/October/2021] things will feel different.” I don’t even know what differences I’m expecting…? Infection rates in New York are and have been very low for weeks and weeks now, which is encouraging, but still there is a persistent ~1% of total daily COVID19 tests returning a positive, and mini is back at school, and we are therefore exposed to more people and also out and about more often, so in a sense, I feel like we should be battening down the hatches more than we have in the past, which is almost unimaginable right now, especially with seriously cold weather right around the corner (and therefore even more mandated indoor time). It’s such a confusing time with so little clarity, and so I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, focusing on things that make me happy, and planning ahead for the few excursions we have on our calendar — apple and pumpkin picking, a trip to Storm King Art Center, a Friday night date night (our first proper date night out since the beginning of March — it will be the first time in six months I won’t put the children down to sleep! — and I have no idea what we are going to do but I’m thinking we have to take advantage of outdoor seating while it’s still over 60 degrees at least ONCE), Halloween with the little ones, and likely a trip to finally see my parents for the first time since Christmas. And, of course, Thanksgiving, which isn’t as far away as we think.

Which brings me to today’s post on all things Thanksgiving, and a quick, mildly corny quote to kick it off:

Gratitude takes what you have and makes it enough.

Thanksgiving Outfits.

If you like to dress up for the occasion, a couple of autumnal-leaning picks to consider:

THIS SEA DRESS I’VE FEATURED 44 TIMES (TORN BETWEEN THIS AND THE NEXT DRESS FOR MYSELF)

THIS TOILE STATEMENT FROM NICHOLAS

THIS GORGEOUS PLEATED MIDI

ELEGANT CREPE DRESS IN CRANBERRY

THIS LACE DRESS WITH A BROWN SUEDE BOOT = MAGIC

THIS SMOCKED MINI

THIS PILGRIM CHIC DRESS

THIS TIERED BROWN DRESS ($29!!!) — LOVE LOVE

THIS STUNNING SIR IN THE AUTUMNAL FLORAL

For something in-between dressy and formal…I’m not even a leather kind of person usually but I’m very drawn to this leather mini (or this pleated midi) with a sweater like this or this. I also love this ribbed knit dress with a smart flat like this. Or this wool top with some high-waisted trousers or denim.

For more casual, love a neutral vibe like this sweater with these jeans. A few alternate tops to pair with your favorite jeans: this fall blouse (similar, for less), this ruffled cable-knit, this plaid blouse, or this turtleneck poncho. And a great plaid headband won’t hurt.

Thanksgiving Outfits for Children.

I am buying micro these corduroy dungarees and this top, and mini this dress. I was literally stopped in my tracks by the entire fall collection from Spanish childrenswear label Luca & Luca! (I also love this dress for girls.)

Other options for girls:

WOOL DRESS WITH RUFFLE COLLAR

THIS BLUE PLAID FLANNEL

THIS PETAL FLOAT DRESS

THIS NAVY COLLARED DRESS

THIS STUNNING VELVET (MINI WORE LAST YEAR)

CASUAL: A BOBBLE SWEATER LIKE THIS OR THIS WITH JEANS

Other options for boys:

JON JON

BUBBLE

THIS LA COQUETA SET

CASUAL: CORDUROYS AND A SWEATER

For an itty baby: a knit set like this or this, or this corduroy bubble.

Thanksgiving Tablescape.

I am drawn to forest green at the moment. I’m currently wondering if I can somehow transform this gorgeous green toile fabric into a runner/table throw….and then pair with these napkins in the spruce color and a lot of mercury glass votives/pillars. I also found these vintage (but never used) toile napkins on Etsy which are compelling.

And speaking of toile (can you tell I’m in love with toile?), these Juliska plates are always on my mind come the holiday season. Love! Maybe I’ll just buy the napkins this year as a harbinger of things to come. They would pop against a pretty cranberry red tablecloth/mats!

I also really like the idea of drinking a jammy red Thanksgiving wine in these bee goblets this year.

More generally, some great fall finds here. Music? Ella Fitzgerald!

Thanksgiving Menu.

I’ve had a few questions about our Thanksgiving menu already — we’ll probably be doing exactly what we did last year, and I included almost all of the recipes at the bottom of this post.

P.S. On making it through tough times: it begins with a prayer.

P.P.S. Our Thanksgiving prayer — it touches me that so many of you have adopted this in your own homes.

P.P.P.S. This time of year makes me nostalgic for my hometown of D.C.

12 Comments

  1. Re: the gratitude quote — not corny AT ALL! It is the perfect reminder of the essence of every holiday, I think.

    Co-signing Ella Fitzgerald for holiday music! One of my favorites of hers is “Cheek to Cheek” — and I have always loved singing this to my daughter while dancing with her, since she was a baby, with her squishy cheek to mine. And I’ll keep doing it for as long as she tolerates, haha!

    I was just talking to my husband about how the holidays will look so different this year… we’ll just make the most of it.

    I didn’t grow up celebrating Thanksgiving in my home country, and I am definitely not experienced in cooking turkey. We might just drive to Zuni Cafe in San Francisco and pick up their roast chicken to-go and crisp it up in the oven at home, and enjoy it with homemade sides. I do love Ina Garten’s goat cheese mashed potatoes, and I might make a roasted brussels sprouts and apple side which I finish off with a splash of this delicious fig balsamic vinegar. And every year I make a bourbon pumpkin pie with a gingersnap crust and pecan streusel. I went into labor on Thanksgiving Day 3 years ago, and I still remember how I made this pumpkin pie the day before standing sideways against my kitchen counter due to my very large belly!

    1. OMG β€” as someone who is not a fan of traditional turkey, Zuni roast chicken would be my absolute Platonic ideal of a holiday meal! Major thumbs-up to that idea! πŸ™‚

    2. Mia — another comment on this comment (on the back-end, I see these comments out of order!), but your menu sounds outrageously good and would you share the pumpkin pie recipe?! Sounds out of this world. Also love your memory of having to stand sideways to prep the pie thanks to your belly. We can look back with fondness now but I remember those moments being so other-worldly when in the actual midst of pregnancy. I specifically remember applauding myself every time I’d successfully give mini a bath from about month 7 on. I was like “can I do this? Am I doing this? I did it!” Just because it is SO uncomfortable to bend that way and stoop over that much when you have a bowling ball in front of you…

      xx

    3. Jen, I cannot even imagine bathing a toddler while in the third trimester! Wow. We can do hard things, right? πŸ˜‰

      I can email you the pumpkin pie recipe! To be honest, I was never a fan of pumpkin pie (it’s just not something I grew up with, so I had no attachment to it). This recipe changed my mind! It’s a combination of 2 sources. I used this one from Food & Wine for the filling and streusel (https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/bourbon-pumpkin-pie-pecan-streusel), but their recipe calls for a classic pie crust, for which I swapped a gingersnap crust, inspired by this recipe: https://camillestyles.com/entertaining/parties/tuesday-tastings-pumpkin-gingersnap-pie/
      I prefer a somewhat thicker crust so I adjusted her original quantities to my liking.

      — Crushed/ground gingersnap cookies (about 1 ΒΌ cup crumbs, ground in a food processor)
      — 10-12 graham crackers, ground in a food processor: you could also use more gingersnap cookies in place of the graham crackers, but I found that the cookies I had were already very sweet and I didn’t want an overly sweet crust. I would suggest tasting your ginger cookies first. You’ll want to end up with about 2 cups of crumbs total (gingersnaps and graham crackers combined, if using both)
      — 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
      — ΒΌ teaspoon salt (I used fine sea salt)

      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine gingersnaps (and graham crackers, if using), sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in melted butter. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie dish (use a deep pie dish). Refrigerate for 15 minutes, then bake until the crust is golden brown, about 15 minutes.

      Then I make the rest of the pie according to the F&W recipe.

      I hope you try it this year! It is SO good. I never want pumpkin pie any other way now. πŸ˜‰

  2. You’ve captured my thoughts on this perfectly – definitely a wait-and-see, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other time. Making decisions and planning ahead are so much more difficult! I will likely just see my parents and skip dinner with the extended family. While I am disappointed to miss certain things over the past summer and upcoming holidays, I remember that there will be more summers and more Thanksgivings. Doing what’s best given the circumstances, to me, takes precedence. That said, outfit choices are much easier, and I’ll likely try to stay comfy! xo

    1. Exactly — definitely in a wait and see holding pattern. It’s tough to plan for all possibilities, but we just gotta make do. xx

  3. Feeling very much the same here. Always “waiting to see” and hoping things look better. Now that my kids are back to school in-person, my number one priority is to keep them there as long as possible, so we’ve had to forego other celebrations and get-togethers. We are brainstorming Thanksgiving ideas (which will probably include an extended family hike and then dinner with immediate family only).

    I would love one of each of your picks here — so many great things for fall! And not that you asked, but I definitely think you should go for the Sea dress.

    I also LOVE those bee goblets, but after my first grader had an extensive virtual learning lesson on bees that spanned March to June, I just can’t look at a bee the same way again.

    1. HAHA on the bees πŸ™‚

      I admire your clarity of thought around forgoing celebrations/get-togethers in favor of keeping your kids in school on a routine (and safe) as long as possible.

      xx

  4. Ahh, holidays in the time of COVID. We’re waiting and will play it by ear, depending on how case counts go over the coming weeks. Typically we spend it at my parents’ house, since my partner’s family is a 4-hour flight away from where we live and we tend to spend Christmas with them. That said, cases in my parents’ state are ticking up, as they are in my state. I fear that back-to-school will have a huge negative effect, so we’re in a holding pattern β€” and I’m already mentally preparing myself for Thanksgiving at home with my partner, his kids, and their mom. We shall see!

    I love both of your leading dress contenders, though I am slightly partial to the Sea as it feels a bit more autumnal to me. I typically get dressed up on Thanksgiving (last year I wore a batik Ulla dress) but this year, I may go slightly more casual. I did recently snag a pair of Italian velvet flats from Alex Mill in cardinal red that feel festive & autumnal β€” maybe I’ll build an outfit around that!

    xx

    P.S. That Juliska china is verrrrry reminiscent of the china my parents use for Thanksgiving each year! Love it.

    1. Oo those velvet flats sound PERFECT. Love — great pick.

      I think it’s smart to prepare for every possible configuration for the holidays…sigh.

      xx

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