Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Tutorial

On your mark, get set, GO!  Today I start the Thanksgiving Prep, and thought it might be handy to create a tutorial so that next year I can refer to it, and as the years progress and I've lost my mind, others can refer to it, and recreate the sagelicious dinner for me!

First the metamorphosis of my table.  While I am only hosting 10 people, I want more room, so I will need the inserts that my husband and sons made for me years ago.  I just love the idea of everyone around one table. I moved the couch out of the family room (never moved it back-the family room is all about food and gathering around the table) to make for one big dining room that we could use to host big family gatherings like I remember at Grannie Annie's house.  My amazing men came up with an ingenious way to add extensions to the table by making sections to lay on top of the table with underneath inserts that fit where one of the old table inserts used to be.  Confusing?  Perhaps some old pictures will help.

They cut, then mitered the edges using masonite wood.

Then they fit the pieces over the table, securing them underneath.  We added a six foot folding table as supports for the extension.
Room for 20 that year! Christmas Tablescape

This year I start with my basic Arts & Crafts oak table with four inserts, then remove two inserts.

I won't be using the large insert this year, but this picture gives you an idea of what they look like underneath.
We insert a smaller piece for the extension needed.
Top with undercloth, then Irish linen purchased years ago at Rose Bowl Flea Market. Iron right on the table (go masonite).

 Finished table.  Will share details on Thursday!

Next make the LISTS.
Recipes found
Shopping list made
Table extended
Tablecloth ironed
Ebay and Goodwill items purchased, as needed
Purchase Fall wreath items

Frozen turkey in cooler with ice
Craft wreath
Make apple pies to freeze

Make vegetable broth
Clean oven (500 degrees causes smoking if there is anything in the oven)

Baby-sit granddaughter

Brine turkey in cooler bag
Make cranberry sauce
Shop for fresh veggies
Chop veggies
Make stuffing
Prep salad

Peel and cut potatoes, put in cold water and refridgerate
Chill wine/champagne
Prep side dishes
Appetizers set out in silver dishes (Ina says, "good potato chips, savory caperberries, cashews)
Turkey in at 1:00 pm Alton Brine Good Eats (magically delicious)
Potatoes boiled at 2 pm
2:30, turkey done to perfection
2:30, Yam casserole in oven
2:45, mash potatoes
2:45, make gravy
3:00 Sit down to give thanks for all our blessings

BTW,  the aforementioned "Purchase items on Ebay or Goodwill, as needed" calls for some explanation.  The "as needed" is used to mean "as wanted."  We do not "need" anything more, BUT look at what I found!

Then on


Thanksgiving is well on it's way!  I'm so thankful to have this week off work to enjoy the preparation, shopping, family, and time to meditate and give thanks.   But the truth is, we have all we need, and so much more.  Again, I am reminded of how blessed I am, and humbled to be able to share with others throughout the year.

Dear Lord, help me to serve, to be your servant on earth. 

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
~Hebrews 13:16

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 
~Philippians 2:4

 I'm linking to 

Mad Skills Monday

Metamorphsis Monday 



  1. You are an amazing list maker!! I make lists too...couldn't have a holiday meal without one. Your table settings are inspiring!

  2. Hi CJ! Oh, what a wonderful creative way to enlarge your dining table! I love how you've set the table too! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  3. CJ,
    I, too, am on a Time Table toThanksgiving this week...
    however, I adore your plans for Tuesday!!!
    Thank you for your sweet comment and visit today. Hope to be seeing more of each other in the near future!
    P.S. I'm a retired Para Educator and Title 1 Teacher! Thank YOU for YOUR service and dedication to Americas future!!!

  4. How clever! And I'm like you -- Thanksgiving should be around ONE table! No children's table here either!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Your table is beautiful! It looks so festive...Christine

  6. Your tables look gorgeous! Very clever way to extend them, too! Your list looks very familiar. Thanksgiving dinner is like a well-rehearsed dance, isn't it? Have a happy one!

    Creating Wonderful Spaces

  7. Your table looks beautiful! DH made a n extension for my breakfast nook table took, looks like it came with the table. Helps as the gkid number increased!

    Have wonderful day with your family, many blessings.
    I am not hosting, but I have 4 things assigned to me to make and pack up for the trip!

  8. Forgot to say, my neighbor was at the movies last week here in the Hamptons and Ina and Jeffrey were there too! I wish I had gone, I could have snapped her on my phone! ;)

  9. She's such an inspiration. Longtime marriages always inspire! Happy Thanksgiving, CJ


Thanks for your encouraging messages! No anonymous messages. Thanks!~CJ