Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving in my home, from many hands...

 I make my pots for good food to be shared with good people, so it's easy to understand why Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. This year did not disappoint, with many hands (and chairs, and ovens) coming together to create a delicious meal, and many people coming together as new and old friends to create a beautiful day. I admit I had a few fleeting doubts, as I was also spending Thanksgiving week glazing for a kiln that I fired on Wednesday. But thanks to some great make-ahead tips I found on, and the many good hands and good hearts of all who came to sit at the table, it was just all good!

Special props go to Michael & Jan, for all the last minute borrowed ingredients, plastic wrap, chairs, napkins, and oven space - not to mention the squash dish, the pie, the cranberries, and the appetizer (the very model of good neighbors)! And to house-mate Eric for jumping in to help with the prep all week: making his first pie, brining the turkey, making the gravy, cutting, chopping,stirring, and cleaning and more, which made Thanksgiving Day itself so very relaxing. And to Patricia for the incredible Apple Pie (her grandmother's recipe), and Michael & Julie for the Green Beans, the Salad, and an incredible Chocolate-Garbanzo (gluten free) cake. And to Kristin for fabulous Brussel Sprouts, for bringing her wonderful son, and their own chairs, and for taking gorgeous pictures! Recipes will follow, but here are some images from the day. The first is from my phone, and the rest (that look so very good!) are from the skilled eye of Kristin Fellows (who also makes a mean Brussel Sprout dish!).

Early afternoon Apps, clockwise from bottom left corner:
Coconut Shrimp on Wonton with Roots' Lima Bean Hummus,
Turkey Liver Pate, Challah Toasts (and olives, carrots, & cornichons).  
Lace-imprinted porcelain ornaments for each guest. 
It was a visual feast as well, with the colors of the food and the pottery dancing
around the beautiful table runner by artist Susan Webb Lee.
Eric did a masterful job on the carving. 
I knew this platter would be perfect for serving our Hickory Nut Gap Farm turkey. 
Two of my own offerings in the back in pieces from my 'signature servers' series:
 mashed sweet potatoes and the Chestnut/Apple/Leek dressing, done with Challah to celebrate
Hannukah. Green Beans in the foreground from Michael & Julie.

I love mixing up plates and bowls and cups, which somehow all seem to come
together as one design when the table is set. 

Thank goodness the sweet potato rolls match the table runner! Julie & Michael
brought their vibrant salad in a beautiful bowl by Angelique Tassistro, which seems to
find a complimentary pattern in the table runner as well.

From the bottom up: my Pomegranite-Citrus-Walnut salad, Kristin's Brussel Sprouts
 (in a bowl of mine that she bought several years ago), and an improvised gravy teapot (by Steve Prieto) 

Michael, who really IS Santa Claus, brings over the sides that he and Jan
graciously warmed up in their oven across the street.
By the time the candles burned down for the second night of Hannukah, we were ready for pie.
Patricia's incredible Apple Pie, and Pumpkin Pie by Eric - his first pie and a winner!
Jan's Mincemeat Pie - no doubt this is hand-made!  
Many times, when I'm at the wheel making pottery, I'm thinking of moments just
like this when my pots are filled with exquisite food at a table filled with good friends.
tucking into a true bounty of nourishment and friendship.