Thanksgiving Prep


This year we’ve got 26 coming for Thanksgiving dinner.  My turkey salt and peppers are quite excited for such a large crowd – it’s a new high in terms of number of dinner guests for Hillside Cottage.  Mom gave me her turkey collection last year — after many years of doing all the cooking for Thanksgiving she’s decided to sleep in and let other family members get up early to put the turkey in!  With traditions evolving and changing in our family, I’ve been reminiscing this past week as I pull together the house during this season of gratitude.


Prep started several days ago.  The flowers were all lined up to be “potted”…. Tulips, roses, and amaryllis agreed to stand guard on the tables. (you never know how rowdy those turkey s&p’s might get!) When I was young, my grandmother gave me a gorgeous orange amaryllis …. I was fascinated with how quickly it grew and look forward each year to enjoying their beauty. As I remember her, I’m grateful to have a loving, thoughtful family.


Sunday best. Polishing silver can be very therapeutic. It’s instant gratification to see an item that was dark and dreary suddenly transformed to a shiny, gleaming gem. I’m thankful to have a mother in law who feels that way too. If it weren’t for her, these pieces would still be needing a good scrub.

DSC08374 Bittersweet. Growing up in our family, we needed a bumper sticker on our car that read, “I brake for foliage”.  Mom kept pruning shears in the trunk and cat tails, bittersweet, and pine cones weren’t safe. Obtaining these items usually involved traipsing through marshes, climbing trees, or some other uncomfortable feat. This week I found myself standing on the road that runs along my house, with a large pair of pruning shears pulling bittersweet out of the tree while cars whipped by.  I’m grateful to have a mother who taught me to stop at nothing to create beauty.






The dessert table eagerly awaits its best friend, pie.  In our house, when my father came home from work, he didn’t ask what’s for dinner, he asked, “is there cherry pie for dessert?” Of course it helped that my mom makes some of the best pie around…. this year I’m attempting to hone my pie crust skills and so pumpkin pie will be visiting this table. (along with guests bourbon walnut, apple, and pecan).  I’m blessed  to have wonderful friends who will be giving them a ride here.


The turkey salt and peppers and bittersweet have found their place at dinner. May you find yours amongst family friends this Thanksgiving!


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