How to serve Thanksgiving with style Serve a new kind of cheese tray, pour a dramatic after-dinner drink, and more ideas for entertaining 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. Pinterest 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 Give guests their own gravy Creamer, $1.95; crateandbarrel.com or 800/967-6696. Tiny individual pitchers are so considerate: No more waiting for a big sloshing gravy boat to be passed. 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 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 Pour a dramatic after-dinner drink Good over ice cream too. Kai Decanter, $40; crateandbarrel.com or 800/967-6696. Recipe: Kumquat Digestif 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 Give tasteful gifts: Hazelnut oil 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. Give tasteful gifts: Savory jam 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. Give tasteful gifts: Honey Sage blossom-grazing bees are responsible for this unfiltered, delicate sage honey by Honey Pacifica, from Bouquet Canyon in Santa Clarita, California. $10 for 11/2-lb. jar; 562/938-9706.