FROM THE EDITOR
I LOOK AT MY TABLE AND SMILE CONTENTEDLY AT MY IRONSTONE SERVING PIECES. Last month I found a gorgeous footed bowl at the flea market and was giddy knowing it completed the collection I’d been amassing over the years intended to become my ultimate Thanksgiving tool kit. Designing the table is a ceremony I take seriously. I’m guilty of fussing and fawning over linens, serving pieces and flower arrangement ideas. I’ve been caught turning to-do lists into diagrams, then into small thumbnails to ensure I’ve thought of everything I’ll need. It’s preparation befitting a grand stage production rather than a family meal.
Maybe it’s because for an American holiday, our family Thanksgivings growing up were hardly Norman Rockwell affairs. We had the turkey and stuffing of course, mashed potatoes, and my Filipino grandmother had come to make a mean gravy over the years. But there was always an eclectic mix of contributions on the table: my uncle’s bone marrow soup, my husband’s famous green chili enchiladas, cheese rolls from our favorite Cuban bakery. The table was scattered with aluminum trays and clamshell containers atop the same oil-stained tablecloth we’d used for decades.
So my first time hosting Thanksgiving it was if I was finally scratching an indescribable itch to make Thanksgiving look like it did in the movies. And it sort of does, now. But maybe better. Gone are the aluminum tins and clamshells. The bone marrow soup and enchiladas fill those ironstone pieces in a very satisfying way. Old habits, new ideas, family recipes, reinventing the classics—it’s all good. It’s all part of the joy of hosting and being present in the season.
I’ve always said that fall is when cottage living really blossoms. Maybe it’s because it’s when family traditions feel most preserved. And while we’re always in the business of making things look beautiful, fall is a time we make sure they feel beautiful too.