As one of my friends emailed the night before Thanksgiving, “Setting a nice table is so satisfying, like creating art!” It is satisfying unfolding the tablecloth, folding the napkins, polishing glasses, flatware and candlesticks, setting out plates and, most pleasing task of all, making a centerpiece. For the past few years, I’ve spread some combination of fruits and vegetables down the center of the table, anchoring the arrangement with candles. As I do, I think back to childhood Thanksgiving dinners at my grandparents and one particular shallow glass bowl piled with oranges and apples, purple grapes spilling out over the edges, walnuts scattered around the base, candles to either side. On our table this year our Melrose and crab apples, Comice pears and Delicata squash and my grandmother’s brass candlesticks carry on this tradition of a harvest centerpiece to welcome the friends and family.
Thanksgiving is the first of many dinners of the holiday season. I’m looking forward to creating more pretty tables but even more to sharing food and celebrating the season with people we love.