November 9 was a beautiful day for our 24 guests to meet the friendly farm animals, feed the chickens, hear about flower and vegetable gardening, and enjoy a delicious lunch in the Garden House while learning new and easy ideas for Thanksgiving entertaining. Our guest host, LeeLee Wiginton of Lyn’s Gracious Goodness, greeted us with wine and mint tea and amazed all with her delicious “Thanksgiving Leftovers Shepherds Pie.” Not her own leftovers, of course, but a dish made with the ingredients you would have leftover after your Thanksgiving meal: turkey, dressing, cranberries, mashed potatoes and various vegetables. Served with the Shepherds Pie was a salad of lettuce, cherry tomatoes and goat cheese with vinaigrette dressing, and, for dessert, pecan and chess tarts. Our names were written on fruits and vegetables for place cards, and LeeLee showed us how to make a votive candleholder out of an artichoke.
The tables were decorated with the materials we used for our individual take-home decorations, “Thankful Trees.” Creative LeeLee showed us how to stick small branches into the rice in the bottom of Mason jars and use colored raffia to tie the pre-cut paper leaves and acorns onto the branches. We wrote on each leaf something we were thankful for, and everyone plans to use this centerpiece as a family project.
I sent each guest home with a favor of burlap-wrapped flower bulbs to plant in January and, when they bloom, serve as a reminder of the things she was thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday.