We’re happily up to our eyeballs in all things Thanksgiving at Huff Harrington. The big upcoming turkey day holiday is keeping us super busy helping clients fluff, prep and pretty up their homes for this Super Bowl of entertaining. Linens, serving pieces, centerpieces, placemats, candles and hostess gifts are flying off the shelves as the frenzy builds. We’re loving every minute of it.
The Huffingtons are brimming with their usual good ideas at the store – and Ann and I love the festive, fun and chic turkey-inspired tablescapes and vignettes the girls have set up. As usual, it’s all about the mix and it’s wonderful to see the goodies we bought months ago all unpacked and merchandised so beautifully.
This is such a great time of year to set a table for an al fresco lunch, dinner or holiday celebration. Lucky for us here in Atlanta, the days are usually mild and the evenings chilly – perfect for entertaining outdoors on the porch or patio and in front of a roaring fire.
And when it comes to setting the perfect Thanksgiving table, we’re all about our HHH mantra: elegant, organic and comfortable:
We feel strongly that a little touch of glitz and gold never hurt the table, either:
We’ll be closed Thanksgiving Day, of course, for a little respite and downtime before the big Christmas rush hits us. We’ll be cooking up a storm with friends and family and probably popping the cork on a bottle of bubbly or two. We’re big on Huffington traditions, so we thought it would be fun to quiz the girls about some of their holiday favorites:
Alva: our traditions seem to revolve around food. Always turkey and cornbread dressing made by my mother (from my grandmother’s recipe). We have pan gravy and mashed potatoes. The green veggies change from year to year but the desserts are always pecan pie and pumpkin pie. The best tradition is that family is together!
Allison: I will take a Louisiana chocolate pecan pie over cake every birthday! My mom always found the best pecan pie recipes in the Junior League Cookbooks – River Roads, Cotton Country, and Stop and Smell the Rosemary; and all of my recipes for turkey dinner are from these amazing cookbooks!
There’s a new cookbook at Huff Harrington Home that has caught my eye: Gena Knox’s Southern My Way. I am very tempted to change things up a bit and try the Maple Brined Turkey with Pomegranate Roasting Glaze. Sounds so Southern and yummy!
Barbara: One of my and my husband Bill’s favorite and fun Thanksgiving traditions is making Old Fashioned cocktails to have before our dinner. Thanksgiving is the only time we have them all year – they just seem the perfect way to start our celebration. The Bourbon Old Fashioned was supposedly first made at the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Ky (my home town), in the late 1800’s. I would love to share our recipe:
Emily: It all starts with us waking up to the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade while my mom begins her magic in the kitchen. Seeing the mittened spectators in New York City is about as close as we get to a gust of cold air in Boca Raton, Florida. We always have family in town so our dinners tend to be quite boisterous & fun. Never missing are mashed potatoes, gravy, baguettes & pies to accompany the turkey.
The piece de resistance? My mom’s famous fresh cranberry sauce with orange zest. The feast is served buffet style on the dining room table & the adults eat in the living room. My cousins and I (the youngest is now 17) still eat at the “childrens’ table”; the best seat in the house! We finish the evening by watching ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and retire to bed stuffed & thankful!
Babs: All our kids and kids-in-law do a drawing for their Secret Santa on Thanksgiving and then the 9 of them really go all out to get the perfect – or perfectly funny – gift for their Secret Santa receipient. (we bet that makes for a lot of laughs, Babs!)
Mackenzie: We always cook this delish pumpkin cheesecake recipe that was passed down from my grandmother. My grandparents owned this little restaurant that became a landmark in Bloomington, Il for 20 years and would cook the same recipe for customers every Thanksgiving.
Linda: we love to go to our lakehouse at Lake Keowee in S.C. for Thanksgiving. We invite all of our family on both sides, so the make up is different every year.
My favorite thing to do is to get up and start cooking! My favorite recipes include a sweet potato and Grand Marnier soufflé, full on bread stuffing with oysters, and a green bean casserole that we have been making for more years than I can count!
When the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade comes on I love to open up a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, and continue cooking as I wait for my beloved Rockettes to perform. I had always wanted to be one, but alas I was too short! Imagine that! After our meal (consisting of two turkeys – one roasted and one deep fried) we settle in for our annual viewing of Chevy Chase’s “Christmas Vacation”. Somehow it seems to get funnier every year. Although Thanksgiving will never be the same after the loss of my mother in 2012, we give thanks for each other and for our many blessings and the time we spend together.
Sam: I don’t have any…..really! (note from Meg and Ann: Sam is the busiest little Huffington bee and never sits for one minute, so her answer didn’t completely surprise us. We’re pretty sure she’ll be up on every new movie release by the end of the weekend, though, and will surprise us with the fifty million things she’s accomplished while we’re working our way through six courses.)
Colleen: Only married for a year, Colleen (and daughter of Babs, above) will obviously be running around after the Thanksgiving feast looking for the perfect Secret Santa gift.
Ann: For years, we have gone to our family’s summer house in Maine, where there have been as many as 28 relatives gathered for the Thanksgiving holiday. Year after year, the traditions are plentiful, but my favorite is when we all write down on a little piece of paper something that we’re thankful for, then fold it up and put it into a bowl. Between courses, we pass the bowl and take turns reading the little words of thanks — and of course trying to guess who wrote each one. Some are serious and some are funny, but the point is well made that we all have so much to be thankful for!
Meg: first of all, I’m making a new rule that Barbara’s Old Fashioneds become a new family tradition. My family is from New York and Scott’s is from Texas…and we live in the South, so it’s a little battle of the Mason Dixon line. We’ve got cornbread dressing sitting next to creamed onions and a deep-fried turkey sitting next to roasted parsnips. We get a big fire going on the porch, put the footballs games on mute (but visible) and the family teenagers squish on the porch sofa for a good gossip-fest. There’s bubbly, lots of laughs and movie-watching when the feast is finished.
Wherever the holiday weekend takes you, we wish you a safe and happy time with plenty of friends, family and loved ones. We’ll be right here, feeling full and as always, ever so thankful.