King Street shops are already becoming adorned with holiday decor and red cup season has officially arrived at Starbucks (the true mark of an imminent holiday season, of course.) But before we jump the gun on Christmas too quickly, I am completely and utterly embracing November and the rest of the fall season because hello... Thanksgiving (and my birthday)!
I'm sharing what to serve, how to decorate, and how to make your home brim with heart-warming, nostalgia-evoking aromas with homemade simmering stovetop potpourri. It's the coziest time of the year!
What to serve:
The fall and winter months are all about making dishes that don't require too much work or room for oversight. Braising and roasting are staple cooking methods this time of the year. Braising tenderizes meat and vegetables while infusing the broth with their flavors. Not only are these dishes forgiving, they can be made ahead of time, can be served in one pot, look visually appealing, and will make your home smell delicious! Soups are another warming seasonal staple—an elegant and nutritious way to showcase the earthy flavors of fall.
When it comes to the Thanksgiving menu, it's best to choose seasonal ingredients. Root vegetables are abundantly available this time of the year and take longer to cook, thus making these cooking methods preferred. Seasonal ingredients not only boast more flavor and nutrition, they are more affordable and easy to find in the grocery stores. Make them the shining star when it comes to your Thanksgiving menu.
When it comes to drinks—get festive! Put your Moscow Mule mugs to good use and serve up some seasonal spirits. Apple cider sangria, hot mulled cider, apple cider hot toddies... in other words, pass the apple cider, please!
This time of the year is about warm and cozy. When it comes to fall decor, no need to go crazy on elaborate floral arrangements. Embrace natural elements like dried wildflowers and wheat, colorful autumn leaves, pinecones, sage, and sprigs of rosemary. Squash, gourds, pears, persimmons, and pumpkins can help make an effortless and festive centerpiece.
A little bit of gold and bronze accents can also go a long way, especially during the holiday season. I've rounded up some of my favorite pieces to add a little bit more festiveness to your spread.
Homemade stovetop potpourri:
Nothing evokes holiday cheer like the aromas of the season. Forgo your traditional scented candles and opt for homemade stovetop potpourri. When your guests arrive to your home on Thanksgiving, they will be welcomed with the wonderful scents of fall.
3 cups of water
1 orange, peeled
1 apple, sliced in half
4 cinnamon sticks
5 cardamom pods, whole
3 star anise
1 tbsp cloves, whole
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch ground allspice
1. Combine all ingredients in a medium pot and bring to a gentle boil.
2. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add water as needed. I let mine simmer for 3-4 hours each day for about a week.
3. Store covered in your fridge overnight.