Part 2 – A “Welcome Home” for Thanksgiving 

by Trenda

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Anticipating and looking forward to our family coming home next week, I love decorating and creating a “welcome home” for each dear person that will be here for Thanksgiving. Last week our “welcome home” to Thanksgiving began with decorating the front door.  Today, we’re going to take a peek behind the front door.

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As you walk in our front door the first thing you see is our antique buffet.  It’s a beautiful piece of furniture; I was giddy when I found it hidden away in a dark corner in an antique store in Tyler. (:  The interior cabinets and drawers are as beautiful as the outside and sometimes I imagine the buffet’s “past life” … and different hands than mine putting away carefully stitched napkins and tablecloths, or special Christmas dishes, into it’s confines.

Come on in!  I’m so glad you’re here! (:  On Thanksgiving, all desserts and pies are displayed out on the buffet; it’s a tantalizing spread for everyone who enters!

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The buffet is filled with autumn’s bounty and has a woodland feel with birch pillar candles, squirrels posing on oak leaves or peering into logs, little nests filled with acorns, and perching birds near their feeders!  A beautiful Fitz and Floyd harvest platter and charming squirrel dish.

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The Friendly Village dishes by Johnson Brothers are ready on chargers for the Thanksgiving tablescape and another stack of dessert plates are stacked on a plate server ready to be loaded with everything delicious!

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Woodland friends … 

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A favorite “souvenir” from a vacation spent in Italy … an inlaid wooden tea cart is stacked and ready to stand-in as a portable side table.  The tea cart is filled with necessary items for the feast … plus a few additional items for a little “glitz and glow!”(:

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Below … more Johnson Brothers Friendly Village dishes, a turkey platter, a stack of antique silver “nut” trays, a crystal biscuit barrel and a silver coffee service.

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Our fireplace is questionably (since it has to compete with the view outside!) the focal point of our living room … and is all “decked out” for Thanksgiving. 

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 Harvest has “spilled out” onto the mantle with pumpkins, clusters of grapes, bittersweet, and walnuts all accenting an autumn swag.

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clock3Our “Beau” Pilgrim (I told you we like to name things around here!) made by Fitz and Floyd resides over the Mantle Harvest and has his own thanksgiving offerings … some maize and a pumpkin, in his hands.

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A Thanksgiving wreath (DIY instructions in a subsequent post!) trimmed with a bow and ribbon that says … Count Your Blessings, Fall Harvest, Thanksgiving Tradition, and Give Thanks.

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Before I have the fun of setting our table for Thanksgiving, I keep a simple setting on the table with all the essentials needed for an cozy autumn meal enjoyed with any friends and family that arrive before “the day.”  A part of the tablescape and ready to disperse are  … a stack of Villeroy & Boch (design Naif) dinnerware, napkins encircled with mini grapevine wreaths (click here for instructions for DIY Autumn napkin rings) silverware in a ginger jar, etched glasses, and a creamer and sugar bowl for after-dinner coffee. 

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Gorgeous view beyond the window … twilight on the lake.

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An autumn ginger jar holds silverware …

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I love these etched glasses from Germany and they are particularly enchanting when filled with ambrosia or holding a miniature compote  …

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Little pumpkin showcased under a cloche …

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Looking around, I love how our “Cottage Green” looks festive and says “welcome home” to all for Thanksgiving.  Now, I have to get to the shopping, cleaning, and cooking done!!!  But, like the ribbon on the wreath says … during this “Thanksgiving Tradition” and the blessing of our “Fall Harvest”  …Count Your Blessings” and “Give Thanks.”

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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 Thank you so much for spending some time with me today!  I’d love to hear from you and I am truly delighted reading what you have to say.  Please leave any questions you may have or comments, below.  Don’t be dismayed if you don’t see your comment “appear” right away.  Word Press checks everything I receive for SPAM and all have to be approved, before posting.  

Autumn Dinner … Smoked Sausage, Spinach and Orzo topped with grated parmesan cheese/ PLUS .. DIY Autumn Napkin Rings

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As the day unfolded, the lyrics to “Monday, Monday” by the Mamas & the Papas came unbidden to my mind.  “Oh Monday mornin’ you gave me no warnin’ of what was to be ……” not that I “can’t trust that day” as the song says, but our long Monday had already blended into evening, the evening quickly turned into night, and it became obvious that whatever I made for dinner needed to be easy, nutritional, and definitely, after the day we’d had, needed to be comforting.

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I went to the kitchen and after perusing the contents of my pantry and refrigerator, I think I created the perfect Monday Autumn Dinner that met all those criteria: it was easy, nutritional, and it was a delicious, steaming bowl of comfort food and … “It was all I hoped it would be.” (;

Autumn Dinner of Smoked Sausage, Spinach and Orzo topped with grated Parmesan Cheese

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Note: For those of you wondering what orzo is … it is a fine and creamy pasta, similar in shape and size to long-grained rice.  In fact, it is the small pasta in “Rice a Roni” that makes that rice mixture so creamy.)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 1- 13 oz. pkg Smoked Sausage (I used Butterball’s Hardwood Smoked Turkey Sausage)
  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons Knorr’s chicken bouillon flavor
  • grated parmesan cheese to taste

Recipe:

Add 2 tablespoons of butter to a skillet and turn on medium heat to melt.  Add 1/2 cup of chopped red onion and cook until onion is  translucent.  Add 1 cup orzo and continue cooking until orzo is golden, and slightly browned. Cut up smoked sausage in bite-sized pieces and add to skillet.  Then add 1 cup of frozen chopped spinach and 2 cups of water  mixed with 2 teaspoons of Knorr’s Chicken Flavor Bouillon.

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Cover and turn heat to a little less than medium heat (watch mixture to make sure orzo doesn’t start sticking!) and cook for 20 minutes.  Uncover and stir.  Dish into bowls and top with grated parmesan cheese.

I think our “comfort meal” dished into my Johnson Brothers “The Friendly Village” is befitting for our cozy Autumn Meal.

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Then … look at these darling little napkin rings, that just took minutes to make!  I love the rough texture of the grapevine, in contrast to the silky leaf and shiny bittersweet!

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I just took a mini-grapevine wreath (usually sold in sets of 4 or 6 at any craft store.  I bought mine at Hobby Lobby) and hot glued an autumn silk leaf on it … then I wrapped one strand of bittersweet, bending the wire so the bittersweet arched over the top of the wreath, to highlight and frame the leaf.

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As I carried our tray of food over to our favorite chairs, put my feet up, said our prayer, unfolded our napkins, and ate our first bite … I heaved a sigh; thankful the day was over, thankful the Lord had gotten us through each worry, care, and task that had to be done, thankful I had a home to share with my dear husband, and “in everything” I did “give thanks” as the last words of the song wafted through my mind …”Monday, Monday, so good to me.”

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Here’s hoping for you that …”Every other day, every other day, every other day of the week is fine, yeah” ! (:

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

Thank you so much for spending some time with me today!  I’d love to hear from you and I am truly delighted reading what you have to say.  Please post your comments or questions below.  Don’t be dismayed if you don’t see your comment “post” right away.  Word Press checks all posts I send or receive for SPAM and all have to be approved, before posting … “it’s a good thing.” (: