I have antique red dinner plates for twelve and a set of gorgeous green and gold plates with flowery centers, also for twelve. I have two different kinds of contemporary white dinnerware in the kitchen cupboard. And stacks of wood-fired stoneware plates in the so-called pantry. Of course, there are also piles of placemats and napkins to mix and match with all the dishes. I am a dish junkie from all those years of holiday dinners around beautifully set tables. Having items to create your own beautiful table was a sign that you were a grown-up — at least to me.
Earlier this week I thought about all those possible options for the Thanksgiving table. When it came right down to it, however, there was really only one choice: my grandmother's china. She and my grandfather were married in 1906 so these dishes have seen a lot of family dinners. I am the third generation to enjoy this heirloom china and the stemware that goes with it.
Though it looks pretty fancy, I put a plastic cloth underneath the black linen one and a decorative runner down the center of the table. That means I can set down warm dishes and we can drip and spill to our heart's content without destroying the wood underneath. If you look closely you can see little slips of yellow paper in all the serving dishes. They're to remind me of what I planned to put where and also so I can give guests a task in the the kitchen if they want to help.
I wrote out the menu on this lovely menu card, the last one of a package I bought so many years ago I can no longer remember when or where I got them. But they are fun to use when I feel very la de da. Now I just have to make salad and get the turkey and dressing in the oven and then I can sit by the fire until the guests arrive.
Hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving filled with your favorite people and favorite food!