Giving You the Bird

November 24, 2011 by


Artist, Teresa Fasolino’s Vegetarian Turkey.

I love Thanksgiving. It’s one of my favorite holidays. No gifts, just great food in celebration of gratitude and abundance shared with family and friends. Vegetarians notwithstanding, I know the turkey is pretty central, not just to the original Pilgrim story, but to the Thanksgiving table. But I could do without the turkey. Personally, I prefer all the fixings–the brussel sprouts, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing and of course, the pies. But most of all, I savor the table.


This year’s Thanksgiving centerpiece.

It’s at the table where we gather together, where the stories are told, where perhaps one individual drinks too much and utters something all too honest at which everyone is initially shocked but for which they are later secretly thankful.

For me, setting the table prepares me for the event. Almost a tradition, I have for years used the same gold-rubbed wicker basket for my centerpiece. I always use some edible greens and fruits, last year it was artichokes and this year it’s purple cabbage flowers and pears. I always include some Eucalyptus, the scent of which transports me back to my native California. No place cards this year: I decided to let everyone pick a spot and see what stories emerge.

The table is set. We’re listening to jazz and the cooking has started. Soon we’ll open a bottle of wine. Then take an afternoon walk. Then we’ll sit down for dinner and I’ll be reminded how grateful I am for…well, everything.


Flowers in the kitchen, where we set out the bountiful buffet.

Happy Thanksgiving. Please share your stories!

Photos: Robin Plaskoff Horton

  • Liz

    splendid, the turkey inspired/made by Arcimboldo!

  • http://botanicallyhip.wordpress.com Jeanne

    I love the purple cabbage! I too, love the table preparation. It really is a ritual in itself!
    I found some lovely rosemary that had blooms on it and attached to birdcages for napkins. You can see some pics at my blog if you have a chance!
    Thanks for your great post, I enjoyed it!

  • Robin Plaskoff Horton

    Thanks Jeanne, this was so much fun to do! Your birdcage set up sounds great, send us photos!!

  • Robin Plaskoff Horton

    Yes, I know it reminded me of something from my old art history days! Thanks for refreshing my memory!

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