As a young aspiring child hostess, the Thanksgiving bar was set quite high by my precious Grandmother, Caroline Adams.
She taught my mother everything she knew, and then, lucky for me, I had two generations of fabulous to teach me the ways of traditions and the tablesetting world.
When you arrived, usually the day before Thanksgiving, she had already carefully set her table to perfection.
The first memory that I have of these beautiful family holidays is laughter. My grandparents had five children, and the large, merry extended family with spouses and children has an energy that I have always longed to emulate – now in my very own family.
But the second memory I have of Thanksgivings past is how much care Gigi spent setting her table with precious, sentimental family herilooms. The oval table looked like a collection of sparkling royal jewels – with Fostoria colored glassware, Depression Glass, Milk Glass, Carnvial Glass, Anchor Hocking Glass, Lenox China, McCoy Pottery…and so, so, so much more.
My absolute, hands down favorite tradition was her candy corn filled mini cornucopia at each placesetting. I am pretty sure I walked carefully, calculatingly around the dining table for 24 hours prior to the family holiday meal, "tasting" one tiny candy corn at a time so all guests still had equitable quantities spilling out onto the table next to their stemware. I have been looking for those for years…if you see some…do share and pass the source along.
My favorite menu tradition was her Succotash. I will still – decades later – order anything on a menu with succotash in the entree. It is such a happy, joyful correlation in my mind’s menu.
She is also the queen of molded butters and cakes. My eyes filled with tears when I spied these Turkey shaped Butters at the grocery tonight…holidays just aren’t the same with Gigi and GG in one state and me in another.
So…I bought three for my own holiday table. And so, now her tradition lives on with another new generation, my own children.
Last, but not least, was dessert. My iconic Great Grandmother, Ruth Lucas, is legendary for her blueberry pie and chocolate cake. As clearly as I remember them – a la mode with vanilla ice cream – I can picture her walking in the front door carrying her vintage portable wooden pie safes – and a huge, warm smile.
Gigi’s dining table is perfectly centered underneath a gorgeous crystal chandelier, and as a young girl I would stare up at it, reveling in the beauty of the holidays.
Here’s to your own family traditions, and happy generations at gleaming holiday tables.
Debi Lilly, aperfectevent.com