How to serve Thanksgiving with style

Serve a new kind of cheese tray, pour a dramatic after-dinner drink, and more ideas for entertaining

A slab of slate works as a cheese platter with chalk labels for each of the varieties.

Photography by Thomas J. Story

Try a new kind of cheese plate

Serve three or four cheeses on a large piece of slate, labeling each with chalk so everyone knows what they’re eating. Add some truffle honey, fig cake, and good crackers.

A platter of carved turkey for Thanksgiving.

Photography by Thomas J. Story

Carve before roasting

Skip the tedious sawing at the table―and speed up the roasting―by having the butcher cut your turkey into parts beforehand.

Then you can add the white meat to the oven after the dark, which means all of the meat will be juicy. Decorate the platter with graceful and very Western olive sprigs (order from your local florist).

Recipe:  Roast Turkey with Wine and Herbs

A tiny gravy pitcher is added to each table setting.

Photography by Thomas J. Story

Give guests their own gravy

Tiny individual pitchers are so considerate: No more waiting for a big sloshing gravy boat to be passed. Creamer, $1.95; crateandbarrel.com or 800/967-6696.

Squash soup presented in a squash shell.

Photography by Thomas J. Story

Cook a colorful soup that serves itself

Present squash soup right in the squash shell. It’s seasonal, delicious, and you don’t have to wash bowls.

Recipe:  Roasted Squash Soup with Sage

A colorful dish holding roasted root vegetables.

Photography by Thomas J. Story

Pair pretty dishes with pretty sides

Roasted beets and parsnips with herbs look great on these richly hued autumnal pieces. A few of them will liven up the entire table. Jonathan Adler Ojai Dinnerware, from $20; jonathanadler.com

Recipe:  Roasted Beets and Parsnips

A decanter with a kumquat after-dinner drink.

Photography by Thomas J. Story

Pour a dramatic after-dinner drink

Good over ice cream too. Kai Decanter, $40; crateandbarrel.com or 800/967-6696.

Recipe:  Kumquat Digestif

A simple pear placecard doubles as a gift for Thanksgiving guests.

Photography by Thomas J. Story

Make memorable placecards

They’re easy to create (just tie tags around the stems of rosy pears), and guests can take them home.

More table setting ideas

A bottle of La Tourangelle hazelnut oil.

Photography by Thomas J. Story

Give tasteful gifts

La Tourangelle roasted hazelnut oil makes a great addition to anyone's pantry. Made with nuts harvested in the Northwest, it is extremely flavorful and great in salad dressings. $13 for 500-ml. tin; latourangelle.com or 866/688-6457 for stores.

A jar of red bell pepper and ancho chile jam.

Photography by Thomas J. Story

Give tasteful gifts

Earth & Vine Provisions red bell pepper and ancho chile jam, from Loomis, Cali­­­­fornia is unusual enough to not be in your host's pantry already, but makes a fabulous addition to turkey sandwiches. $7.50 for 9-oz. jar; earthnvine.com or 888/723-8463.

A jar of sage honey.

Photography by Thomas J. Story

Give tasteful gifts

Sage blossom-grazing bees are responsible for this unfiltered, delicate sage honey from Bouquet Canyon in Santa Clarita, California. $7 for 11/2-lb. jar; honeypacifica.com or 562/938-9706.

Printed from:
http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/holidays-occasions/thanksgiving-serving-tips-00400000057506/