To Gather: Thanksgiving at FFAF's house

1-P2900479 We had a really, really wonderful Thanksgiving Day. I hope you did, too! I know it wasn't an easy one for everyone, and that's okay. We've been there, too! Plus, it wasn't all sunshine and roses - my tried-and-true pumpkin cheesecake recipe went awry somehow. It was so sad! Even though I've always ignored the unsalted butter thing and it's turned out delicious, this year I was true to the recipe and it came out...weirdly salty. Inedible! Our pal KA brought over a painstakingly made pumpkin pie, and that was off as well. No one could quite put a finger on it, but it was a disaster. So it's a good thing dinner was aces and left us totally stuffed, because both desserts were losers with a capital L.

Speaking of dinner, the photo above captures the magic turkey butter that gets shoved under the skin, rubbed on the inside of the bird, and then last but not least over the top of the skin, after our Ninja blender pulverizes it altogether. It's a cup or so of melted (salted) butter, a handful of fresh garlic, dollop of olive oil, lots of sea salt, and fistfuls of fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, marjoram and sage. So good.

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More fresh herbs, celery, onion, carrots, apples, oranges, lemon all get tossed in some olive oil, salt and pepper before getting stuffed into the bird. Then it goes breast-down in the roasting pan and given an ale bath like I mentioned in the last post. Ours came out wonderful and we still haven't made a dent in the leftovers. We're having Thanksgiving poutine tonight, and maybe you should, too! Anything left is getting tossed into the pot of turkey stock I set to simmer last night and made into spicy turkey gumbo.

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The vulgar and obligatory raw turkey shot. We named it Roger.

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The booze cart, topped with a single but stunning stem of rust amaryllis. We thrifted it in Jamaica Plain earlier this year, and I found these gold trays at Target that were a perfect match and solved the teeth-rattling problem of setting glass down on glass (we can't be the only ones who really hate that sound, can we?). The vintage beer bowl on the bottom there, in glass, is a great vessel for holding tiny tinctures and bitters bottles.

Also, I'm in love with these skinny exposed pipes in our dining room. I should wrap tiny white Christmas lights around them for some festive ambient light!

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Putting the finishing touches on the centerpiece and making the best of the goth chandelier we inherited when we bought the house! I still have to finish rubbing it with the antique gold Rub 'n Buff I bought months ago - I think it could save the thing and keep us from having to replace it. The acorns and little bird nests I made brought in just enough whimsy, and the centerpiece was customized with flowers that complemented our vintage English china, and surrounded with evergreen boughs. I think it all turned out perfect and very "us" - a lot of vintage, some shiny new bits from West Elm (like the stemless flutes), all grounded with pretty and budget-friendly steals from Target.

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Tick-tock...before the turkey was done. Dark outside and ready to eat but the waiting, and waiting, and waiting! Takes awhile to finish a 15-lb. bird. When I talked to my mama, even with the time change she had hers in before we put ours in. Rookie mistakes!

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I have another post on the way for my outfit, but some of you might recognize my Winter Kate dress. It's such an easy and comfortable thing to throw on, but it always feels special and pretty. The painterly pattern isn't quite paisley or peacock, but I adore the colors.

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I also adore the moody light in this one, and of course Bird's floppy face hiding out on the bottom right. Our friends slept the night in the guest room and we've been hanging out lazily all day, snacking on leftovers and drinking "ciderosas" (a genius mix of apple cider and cava). It's freezing out and our fireplace is beckoning, so I'm enjoying it while I can because I miss the horses and plan to brave the cold tomorrow for a nice long hack through the woods!

XOXO, FFAF