Thursday, December 5

A White Space Thanksgiving

We hosted a big family Thanksgiving this year.  It was super fun and even with all the cooking, I found myself more than ever simply enjoying the moment.  So I wanted to share my White Space tips that worked for me in case you host a large party over the holidays. 

If you like the vintage items in these photo, scroll down after this story to our French Flea Market Holiday Gift post for many more items!
Simple centerpieces are best. I put herbs in recycled Strauss Family Creamery bottles and candles in mason jars down the table.  Then threw fresh cut cherry branches from our garden in galvanized pitchers.  Voila!

Let your children create simple and unique place settings.  Mine used vintage print letters we had at the house for the first letter of each person's name.  If we didn't have a letter, Finnegan just cut one out of paper.  Have your children be in charge of the kids table centerpiece.  My kids made it out of Lego and included Delphine's teepee she made at school that week.  

If you ever need French school house chairs and farm tables, visit our online shop.  It worked out great for me because I could put several tables together to make a long one. Super easy, no stress.
Get new books from the library that cousins or an adult can read to young kids.  My Delphine and Finnegan adore their teenage cousins Brooke and Olivia!

Create a local cheese platter and make sure it's sampled and approved by les enfants!
While we usually have guests hang out in the kitchen at dinner parties, for large gatherings (e.g. over 10 people), I like to create a place with bar stools or chairs for guests to enjoy cocktails so I can finish the food.  For us, its the front porch.  A bench or relaxing area inside is a nice retreat for people to find their own White Space.  Olivia is enjoying some on our farm bench watching sailboats go by on the San Francisco Bay.

Use a long table (or create one with a recycled door and sawhorses) for a side dish buffet.  Use unique vintage platters for serving -- I was too busy talking and drinking to put everything on platters but check out our selection online.

Always have home-made dinner rolls!  My brother's mother-in-law, Mary Lou (former Miss West Virginia!) made them from scratch and is modeling them here with my dashing husband David. We had her rolls sitting by all our window sills an hour before we baked them so they could stay warm and rise. It was hysterical.  As usual, they were the hit of the party, just like Mary Lou.  Serve them on French platters with linen dishtowels and you will dream you were living in a French farmhouse.

Vintage mixing bowls from the flea market are great for large salads.  I am a mason jar girl and always do mason jars to hold beverages.

Have your children be part of the party.  Mine helped make the food (including mashing 10 lbs of potatoes), decorated the table and helped serve the food as beautifully demonstrated by Delphine on my favorite vintage serving dish. 

Always serve my friend Eve Weinsheimer's sloooooow roasted tomatoes!  My brother is loving them.  Cherry tomatoes tosses with olive oil, salt, pepper, diced onion, garlic and fresh herbs of choice.  Cooked at 225 degrees for 4 hours or more.  To die for.

Let a helpful and handsome person (like your husband) be in charge of serving the main dish.  Gives you time to take the apron off, grab your wine and get back into a White Space mindset!
Always save the drumstick for your son.  Its a caveman thing.
Plan a nice walk after the main dish so you can enjoy dessert.  There are no pictures of the countless pumpkin, pecan and cheesecake pies my brother's wife Alison made from scratch because I was too busy enjoying them to take photos!  But they were wonderful paired with coffee from my favorite local coffee shop Cibo who now roasts their own coffee 2 Girl (we love Mary). A perfect holiday gift. 

If you start feeling stressed at any point, stop whatever you are doing immediately and focus your attention on the present moment.  That is my best tip to enjoying your party.  Email me if you want to receive the menu.  Bon Appétit!

Don't forget to give vintage gifts this holiday season.  See ideas in French Flea Market Holiday Gift post below. 

1 comment:

kimberly wheat said...

I love this! Thank you! Except for your favorite platter precariously placed on the table in the last photo! ;-) Happy Holidays!