This was an epic Thanksgiving for me. Every year, since the beginning of time (or since the 1960s, when my mom moved to NYC), she has celebrated Thanksgiving with a long-time friend (and later, her family, which has always felt like an extension of my family). This year, our family friends had the opportunity to travel abroad over the holiday, so the tradition was put on hold. With that, my parents flew down to Austin for the long weekend. At first, I was planning to make reservations to go out. Oliver's and my jobs have been uber busy and the thought of spending hours in the kitchen over what was sure to be a lovely weekend didn't sound appealing. Then I remembered that I actually like cooking, and I especially love baking. It dawned on me that Thanksgiving for a small group could be less "maniacal party planning" and more "dinner for four;" simple, casual, relaxed and, most importantly, FUN. Let the planning begin!
Some favorite dishes came from Smitten Kitchen:
• Appetizer: Creamed Mushrooms with Chive Butter Toast
• Side: Sweet Potatoes with Pecans and Goat Cheese
After spending the morning and afternoon with Oliver and my parents, hanging out and strolling around our neighborhood (it was 75º and sunny!), I got to cooking. Can you believe I was too wrapped up in cooking and enjoying myself to remember to take pictures of each dish? Thankfully, I'm not a food blogger because I would have failed, friends. I didn't even get a good shot of the Thanksgiving table, even though I wrote a Houzz article on eclectic holiday table settings earlier that week, and took some of my own advice! Here are a couple of detail shots:
I am pretty proud of this bouquet. It was fresh and bright, just like the day!
I just wanted to show off the cute little owl napkin rings I snagged in Mineola a while back.
I did, however, snap some shots of dessert (you know, the most important food group): Mini pumpkin pies with fresh whipped cream!
They tasted delish after brunch and leftovers over the next few days, too!
You like those green rope-themed napkins? My mom made them years ago – aren't they great?
The rest of the weekend was spent exploring Austin. We hit the Blanton Museum of Art, roamed around the UT campus, checked out the first-ever Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Market in Austin as well as the City-Wide Garage Sale, drove to Wimberley for wine tasting, where we picked up a cute bar cart for pennies (post forthcoming), had happy hour at Hotel San Jose and popped into the shops along South Congress, and ingested way too many good dinners and brunches. I hope you all had wonderful dinners with friends and/or family – whomever makes you feel loved and thankful!