Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

This post is a day late, but Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians.  This weekend was jam-packed with seasonal fun and visiting with friends and family. We decided to have our feast on Saturday because K's parents were still in town and we wanted to celebrate with them before their flight back to Alberta on Saturday evening. So ten of us gathered at our comparatively small apartment on Saturday afternoon to indulge in the season's finest and freshest foods. I made the traditional turkey, something I have done multiple holidays before, but this was the first time I did it from start to completion without my mom's help and was definitely the largest bird I have ever cooked. At 19 pounds it barely fit in my apartment sized oven!

For decorations, I had my Pom Pom Tom's stashed away, but I also wanted to do something with flowers. I went to the nearby florist and got flowers in seasonal red, orange and white. For the vases, I decided to take my inspiration from this picture on the Martha Stewart website and carve out various gourds. I picked out a selection last week in Kensington Market and set to work. If you are trying this yourself, make sure you pick gourds that sit sturdily on a flat surface or you will have problems with tippage.

My gourds waiting to be turned into vases. 
They were fun and easy to make, although I carved them on Friday night when my guy had some friends over for a game night. I think the three of them thought I was surely going to cut some fingers off, because gourds are really hard! Who knew? Anyway, I managed the carving with no injury and they are still water tight and displayed on the dining room table.

Gourds in the middle of carving. I used the giant knife to cut off the top (much harder than it sounds!), the smaller knife to carve out the flesh at the top, and the mellon baller to scoop out the goo and seeds. 
With my gourds, PPT's (which I used for place cards and a take-away for guests), and owl candles the table looked very autumnal.

Pom Pom Tom's used as name cards. Everyone got to take home their Thanksgiving friend. 
One of my favourite bumpy gourd vases. 

A view of the table. 
Lola wanted in on the action and decided that if we couldn't see her then no one would dismiss her from the dinner table.


For the meal, I regrettably forgot to take pictures. Frankly, by the time it went on the table I was ready for a nap, but this is what we prepared.
All of the veggies were local, either from my mom and K's garden or the Aurora Farmer's Market. My mom, the baker, made not one, but 2 pies for dessert. Pumpkin Pie Delight (a cross between Pumpkin Pie and Cheesecake), and her famous Apple Pie with apples she picked herself from a local orchard. With the addition of whipped cream and a sprinkle of peanut brittle, it was heavenly.

My Mom's famous pumpkin and apple pies. Yummy!!

After dinner K's parents headed to the airport for their flight home and the rest of us engaged in a lively game of Apples to Apples. My cousin, Shannon, was also able to join us from Montreal. It was great to catch up with her as well!

Lola was very thankful for a snack of turkey and a nice nap on Matt's blanket. 

Dishes done and apartment cleaned up, my guy and I had a wonderful date day on Sunday. We went out for brunch and then meandered through the St. Lawrence Antique Market for a couple of hours, where I got some awesome vintage buttons for my collection. Afterwards we headed to Queen West to pick up some supplies from my favourite beading store, Chaton Beads, as they were having one of their famous 50% off days. I used these supplies to make Beaded Stars on the holiday Monday. I have decided that this year I want to get a full sized Christmas tree and I want to decorate it completely with handmade ornaments. So I figure I better get started ASAP. Between now and Christmas I will be making a new ornament every weekend and either posting a tutorial or the link to a tutorial here. I will post pictures and instructions for the beaded stars soon. They are gorgeous and very simple to make.

I hope you all have a tummy full of turkey and have had time this lovely weekend to contemplate the things you are thankful for. I for one am thankful for my amazing guy, family and friends who made the weekend memorable.


1 comment:

  1. You never cease to amaze me. Dinner sounds absolutely perfect and the vases look beautiful. Cape Breton was fab, but I was sorry to miss out on the Montreal complement...next time. Take care.