Monday, November 9, 2015

The 5 Hosting Golden Rules & Thanksgiving Salt Cellars

As I sit down to write this latest blog post... 
some of you may be thinking...
Hey...what about that October, ...
Er...Um... rather that "Fall Home Tour" she was promising??

Well, I have taken yet another slight detour...
and it shall be known as a Thanksgiving "cozy home" Tour...
...and seriously...I am working on it.

We have had our share of a sniffle-coughing bug in the house lately 
and that has put me further behind...
Doesn't a Thanksgiving Home Tour sound nice too??

Soon friends...soon. 

This special post is for all of us...
the chipper goers and doers
of the Thanksgiving season
the revered
 hostesses with the mostess-es... 

Cheers to you for cleaning the to bottom...
ironing the tablecloth, polishing the silver 
and doing all the shopping, cooking and baking that 
goes into holiday festivities!!

Repeat after me:
"I cannot do everything."

Deep breath...

From my experience...
As hard as I try... 
to sometimes do "everything"
I just can't...
especially for a holiday.
I must remind myself to stick to 
these hostessing principles:

Not everything has to be homemade.  
Cut a few corners...but not all.
...give yourself a break, and you deserve a break after all...
you are hosting a big, big, day!

No. 2
Work ahead if possible...
Planning ahead and buying ahead can be a HUGE 
time saver as the big day 
draws near.
Do everything you advance of the event...
which includes:
menu planning, food prepping, polishing, cleaning, 
printing name cards, menus,
table setting. 

Let guests help you and themselves...
A drink station for guests to serve themselves
 is fabulous...makes them feel at home...
So too, is a signature cocktail...made in advance.
Need a drink for a crowd??: Try Cinnamon Bourbon Apple Cider

Also...put guests to work... need water glasses filled ?? or someone to
look after the littlest guests??
...Don't hesitate to give good-natured guests a job.

No. 4
Remember to live in the moment and capture a few moments too.
 I often get so wrapped up in getting the feast 
on the table, sometimes, in spite of all
my planning and prepping 
I must remind myself to stop and enjoy
the day right along with my guests.

As the busy holiday duties fill our homes, 
the camera can sit idly by...
Try to remember to capture the special moments
 and loved ones that
make the holiday so cherished... 
If you're too busy to snap photos...
like I often am...hand the camera duty to a guest... 
You'll be so happy you did.

Finally... Throw in a well executed detail or two... but not fifty.
Pinterest can make me feel like I have to add a special 
detail to every inch of the house...including a monogrammed turkey... 
but relax and know that a few small touches added 
here and there can go a long way 
to making the holiday feel extra special.

A sweet detail like using a place card or a menu is 
a wonderful way to make guests feel really welcomed.  Truly.

I'm sharing with you a
cute...rustic and very Thanksgiving-ish
addition to your holiday table... 
...a make-ahead detail to delight guests of all ages...

An old fashioned salt cellar... made from a walnut shell!

This whole salt cellar thing, came about from a trip to the 
Henry Ford's Greenfield Village last year.
We had lunch in the Eagle Tavern...where the kiddos were 
introduced to salt cellars.

They got the hang of this "new" and revolutionary way to season their food...

So, for Turkey day of 2014...we made a few...and the results were charming.

 Will made a beeline to the salt cellar at dinnertime...
And like an old soul from a historic turn of the century tavern...
he dipped his butter knife into the cellar 
just as he had been instructed to do at the Greenfield Village.  

A pro... a salt cellar aficionado!

Start with walnuts in the shell...

Use a nutcracker to break the shell along the seam.

This can be tricky, so go slowly and don't be discouraged if it takes a couple of tries.
Tip:Try using gentle pressure to create an opening 
along the seam and then pull the shell apart.  
Too much pressure crushes the nut shell into bits.

Once you have a nicely opened walnut shell,
remove the insides or the meat of the nut, 
including the membranes, so that you are left with a hollow shell.

Fill with salt and pepper.

It goes without saying that it would be a good idea to make sure your guests do
not have any nut allergies... 
That's a nutshell...  ha, I couldn't resist.

Happy Thanksgiving prepping!!

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