The spontaneous invitation my husband made to friends to stop by for a Thanksgiving snack and beverage before the “real” meal started sent me scrambling. What was he thinking? We were celebrating with all the relatives at my daughter’s home, not ours, so how could I host a pre-party gathering? He assured me we could make it work if we kept it simple.



The weather cooperated, so we gathered for snacks in the garden

The weather cooperated, so we gathered for a pre-Thanksgiving social in the garden



Our friends were scheduled to dine at a neighbor’s house in the late afternoon but decided they would come by our place first. I figured such a short visit of an hour or two wouldn’t require an elaborate meal . . .  we would snack on crackers and goat cheese, drizzled in a sweet cranberry sauce; pumpkin cream cheese rolled in nuts; and a torte of goat cheese with a layer of pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, and finely chopped pieces of olive. We would offer bottled water, sparkling cider, and a wine to wash it down.



I gathered what was growing on the trees and in the garden for the table

I gathered what was growing on the trees and in the garden to decorate an autumn harvest-looking table



Our Northern California weather could not have been lovelier, so I decided we would sit outside in our garden. I combined red pyracantha berries with blooming red-gold roses and some spikes of purple French lavender in jam jars for a harvest festival look on our patio table.



A few pomegranites, persimmons, chilies, and onions are the right colors for fall

Decorations for the table began with a few pomegranates, persimmons, chilies, and onions–all readily available on the farmette



Our friends arrived and, after a short time in our tiny farmhouse, followed me to the garden. We had a lovely visit while the blue jays, crown sparrows, morning doves, and black phoebes entertained us with their antics. I think I enjoyed the day all the more for having a chance to socialize a bit in the garden before sitting down to the big feast with all the relatives. Next year, I might actually plan to do a roving Thanksgiving with several parties. It was so much fun!

Tags: , , , , , ,


Leave a Reply