Monday, November 30, 2015



It's a good thing I'm not a wagering woman.
If you had leaned over the table last Thanksgiving and casually mentioned to me that the following year I would be ordering our entire meal pre cooked from a gourmet grocer my fork would have dropped from my hand as fast as my jaw would have hit the table. I would have been aghast at the idea of it, shook my head and vehemently insisted that there wouldn't be the slightest chance that that could happen. I love Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday. And cooking the entire meal from scratch is my favorite part!
Then again if you had also told me that we would be celebrating Thanksgiving 2015 in Nashville I probably wouldn't have believed that either.
But here we are, life is crazy, and after being ready to take all the shortcuts this year I decided I didn't even want to bother taking shortcuts at all. I hadn't seen my husband or daughter in a month and frankly, the last thing I wanted to do was cook. So on the Saturday before the big day I ordered our entire meal pre cooked from The Fresh Market.
My mother has ordered from them before and raved about the quality and amount of food in their holiday packages. I ordered a meal to feed 9-10 people (leftovers, naturally) online and set it up for pick up on Wednesday night. I was doing a pre-Black Friday whirlwind tour of Alabama starting Tuesday and would not be back in Tennessee until Wednesday evening anyway.
I went to Goodwill after work Monday night and thrifted a pretty glass vase for .99 then headed to Whole Foods where I bought creamy blue hydrangeas, hypericum berries and thistles because let's face it, this journey here hasn't been entirely smooth. I felt they were quite apropos. I popped into The Bottle Shop and tried not act like a small child in a toy store and spend every cent in our checking account as I selected a few bottles of wine. Aside from the journey not being smooth, I hadn't even had a sip of alcohol since I last saw my husband. Talk about needing a drink! As soon as I got home I put my arrangement together and those bottles in the fridge to chill.
Thanksgiving prep complete?
The only conundrum was my linen situation. I didn't have my husband go through my linens at home. After I texted a picture of the list I made of items that I wanted brought to TN. His text back read "Should I just pack up the whole fucking house and bring that too?"  I decided not to press my luck.
I had a black and red buffalo check Ralph Lauren throw I had picked up at Homegoods that I knew would look great with my turkey transferware that the hubby was lugging out here. But what about napkins? What would go with black and red and brown ~ the world's weirdest but oddly working color palette? Fortunately, one of my stores in Alabama sits directly across from an Anthropologie where I found pretty, white linen napkins with a charcoal trim. Perfection!
If only finding a house was that easy....

I literally got off the interstate Wednesday evening 5 minutes ahead of my husband and daughter exiting the same road. I waited in a gas station parking lot to lead them to our apartment complex because it is gated and they don't have a key card to enter. However, that gate rolls so slow that 3-4 cars can scoot through with one swipe of that card. Talk about security.
After lots of hugs, happy tears and a massive unloading of the car, I was off to pick up our meal. While I waited in line for it (Yes, there was a line! I'm not the only genius out there) I struck up a conversation with the woman in front of me who was waiting for a Turducken. When I told her it was my first time ordering from Fresh Market she gave me a little insider tip that the Turducken is to die for and that I wouldn't be sorry ordering it next time.
Since tomorrow is December 1st and we still don't have a house turducken may very well grace our Christmas table.

Thursday morning Charlie and I jumped in the car and drove out to Leiper's Fork, the most adorable little historic village nestled in bucolic countryside. I am patiently waiting for a house to come on the market in Leiper's that I can actually afford and I needed Charlie to understand my love for this place so he will not shoot me down if we end up needing to stretch the budget just a wee bit. One drive through and he is now on the same page with me. I may have wept a little when he said "Finding a house in Leiper's would be perfect." because I think he thought I was being unreasonable about limiting our search to only 1 or 2 towns. I clearly know what I am doing. ;)
We rolled back to the apartment around noon where I casually popped the turkey into the oven (on a cookie sheet - don't judge - my resources are extremely limited) and dumped all the sides into my white ceramic baking dishes that he also lugged out to Tennessee. Within 2 1/2 hours everything was heated up and we sat down to a ridiculously delicious feast. My daughter actually declared the corn soufflé the best corn soufflé she has ever had. My husband loved the smoked green beans with bacon and the cranberry relish. My son loved it all because he has a thing for institutionalized food (I know. I found him in the woods, I swear. Whose kid is he?) and I gave them all the stink eye because while it was tasty, it is still not my homemade Thanksgiving meal. I told them to relish it because next year Thanksgiving will be served in our barn in Leiper's Fork.
And I will make every bit of it from scratch.

We took the dogs for a long walk since it was such a gorgeous, balmy day and we needed to make room for pie anyway. It was hard to pull myself away and leave them to go to work that evening. Even though some of them probably didn't mind. ;)

So many electronics, such little time.
Holy smokes I missed that kid.

I hope your Thanksgiving was full of thanksgiving too!


  1. Sounds and looks lovely. I've never celebrated Thanksgiving, but it looks like my kind of day!
    I have everything crossed that you find the perfect place in Leiper's really soon. xx

    1. Thanks Lady!
      Maybe some November you can come visit and celebrate Thanksgiving with us. xoxo

  2. I love your palette!!! The floral arrangement is gorgeous! So fabulous on the table with that check. Happy Thanksgiving! I'm so happy it worked out like this! Even if it was a mad journey getting there. Now find a house so next year you can cook! :)

    1. Thanks Stephen!
      I found a house freshly listed Wednesday morning, made an appointment to go see it at 5pm that same day and it was already under contract! I cannot even....this real estate hunt may be the death of me.
      On the up side, wait until you see how I improvised the tree :)

  3. eleanor, wow, it's all so pretty! good job and with such limited resources! i hope and pray you find a home soon b/c i know you are dying to get settled. x

    1. Thank you Janet! All the prayers are more than welcomed. We need prayers that the house in NJ sells soon because that is the biggest tie up. Too bad the real estate market in NJ is not like the one in Nashville!
      I adored your Thanksgiving pics. You do gatherings so well. xoxo

  4. You still managed to pull off a beautiful holiday meal. You are awesome! I am glad you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving. Justin Timberlake just bought some property in Leipers say hi for me! Ha!

    1. Thank you! I hope yours was amazing as well.
      I told the kids about Justin and they were more interested in the thought that Jimmy Fallon might go visit him in Leiper's and then they might have a chance to meet him. Lol!

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