This challenge came from my youngest sister, who brought over a copy of the latest Martha Stewart magazine and said “Isn’t this pretty? I want to do this for Thanksgiving.”
O K : )
If you turn to page 136 of the latest issue, ladies and gentlemen, you’ll see what she’s talking about… Cabbages used as bowls, wrapped around glasses and generally just showing off their gorgeous leaves. I don’t know about you but I’ve had a rather intermittent relationship with the cabbage family. Loved it with corned beef and carrots, couldn’t stand brussel sprouts. Like it in salads, can’t stand cole slaw. Always loved the ornamentals, never able to grow the edible.
I was excited about this newest challenge, I’ve been looking for inspiration for a Thanksgiving table that would be both seasonally fitting and organic as well and this is PERFECT.
Now turn to page 138 in your magazine and you will see the second set of inspirational pictures. This is a combination of the hors d’ouevres buffet and dinner table. For the most part we were able to find the same items they used, I actually think our ornamentals are much prettier : )
The other added bonus is this is in my favorite color combo, purple and green!
I started with a basic linen/cotton cloth and matching napkins. I want the veggies to stand out, not fight with a print, and it keeps the whole ‘organic’ thing going.
Since I don’t eat meat the only turkey on this table is my molded glass friend. I’m pretty sure he was a Martha-by-mail item many years ago. Filled with soup, we are more than happy to put him front and center today : )
To keep the theme going I started out with my big purple glass plates, added a glass dinner plate and topped it with the green Fiesta salad plate. I ended up using my Gorham sterling silverware although I had started out with the french ivory until I realized my daughter took it to set HER table – she’s hosting all her ‘orphan’ friends at school, those who don’t have families out here and can’t afford to go home. Ah well…
The salt and pepper ‘holders’ are actually brussel sprout leaves, carefully peeled off the sprout and filled with salt and pepper. One thing they don’t tell you about in the magazine is they wilt quickly, so don’t do this until just before you eat.
The cabbage bowls look fabulous, and they were EASY to make. Each one took less than 5 minutes and are filled with hummus and dip. I think the intention is to cut out the center and then place a small bowl in the cabbage before you add food. I guess the staff at Martha’s studio gets larger cabbage than I can find here, even my small ramekins would have a hard time fitting into these guys. I just put the dips into the cabbage straight, if there are any issues I’ll let you know : )
The turnip candle holders were just as easy, took a little more force with the knife so be careful. Thanksgiving spent in the ER is, I can tell you from personal experience, not the place to be : ( I cut the outline shape of the candle and then used a small ice cream scoop to scoop out the bits. You could use a melon baller just as easily if your daughter doesn’t have it : )
Of course there are candles on the table and of course they have to get lit : ) Martha has some very nice stone candlesticks on her table that are very similar in shape to my wooden spools so the spools made a return visit.
I didn’t go with brussel sprout ties on my napkins, instead I found these interesting purple and green flowers on my walk this morning. We ended up having to take a different route since several thousand people turned out for the local Turkey Trot this morning! Good things come when you have to go an alternate route : )
My second favorite element on the table are the leaf-wrapped glasses. Holding carrot sticks and endive they were supremely easy and really do look like something Peter Rabbit would love. A couple of leaves, some cotton twine, there you go.
The last cabbage-y dish is Brussel sprout salad made with raw sprouts. I know, I know, sounds kinda gross. I thought so too until I tried it. They made this at our Farmers Market a few years ago and it shocked me how good it was. I have NEVER liked Brussel sprouts, NEVER. I tried them every imaginable way you could come up with. I even made an Emeril recipe where he pan fried them with BACON GREASE. When I still ate meat you could cook *almost* anything in bacon grease and I’d eat it. I thought we were onto something with Emeril’s recipe, how could we not be? Nope, gave me a headache and made me nauseous.
Never tried them raw until that day at the Farmers Market. Never eaten them cooked since : ) I can’t find the original recipe (I have a stack of printouts about 9″ high, sound familiar?) but the gist of it is this – cut up the sprouts, add a vinaigrette of good olive oil and a fun vinegar. Cut up a couple of persimmons like you would an apple, throw in some goat cheese feta and whatever else sounds good. Today I’ve got some sunflower seeds in there. Toss and eat.
I tried making the bowl look like the one on page 137 that I think has a dip in it but our napa cabbage is small and very not green. Ah well, the rest of the table makes up for it : )
Ashton kitty hopped up on the table, tried to crawl into the middle of the kale, bit one of the fake birds, took a swipe at me and when I picked him up he bit my neck! He was eyeing the salt and pepper ‘cellars’ as I escorted him out. Shades of the red pepper flake fiasco…
Have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving dinner!!
Tomorrow – Pig Out
209 days to go!!