Thanksgiving Ideas

Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving on My Humble Home and Garden

     Need some Thanksgiving ideas?   This is the Thanksgiving menu, which my family has requested this year.  We always have a vegetable tray and ranch dip for every occasion.  This year I found a new recipe for a cheese ball and it is shaped like a pumpkin.  Yes, I do try recipes out on my guests!  I know Ina or Martha would not do that, but what better way to get feedback and it’s always a surprise for them, too. (Usually, a good one!  Can’t you usually tell by the ingredients, if it will be good or not?)

   We alway have sour cream potatoes for Thanksgiving.  You may know these as funeral potatoes or cheesy potato casserole.  Almost all of the recipes for this on the internet call for frozen potatoes.   Frozen potatoes have a mealy, different kind of texture.  We always use potatoes and cook them in water with the skins intact.  The casserole has a richer, more velvety texture.

    My girls take these for any events, which require taking a side dish.  There are never leftovers.  I know this because invariably, they call me for the recipe or a list of ingredients.  Click here for the Sour Cream Potatoes recipe.

   The wine we will be serving this year is William Hill Chardonnay, my new favorite from William Hill Winery in Napa Valley, California.  It is rich and creamy, delicious!






Painted Pumpkins for Thanksgiving Tablescape

Thanksgiving on My Humble Home and Garden

  Shopping the sales after Halloween, I picked up these artificial pumpkins and gourds for 80% off the regular price.  You may notice the orange colored one had a glittered stem, which I didn’t want, but I figured that could be removed.


   The stem was easily removed, by loosening the glue around the base, then gently and slowly pulling it out of the styrofoam.  After soaking it in warm water for awhile, some of the glitter came off easily, but not enough.

    Isopropyl alcohol will take acrylic paint off of most surfaces.  It’s what I use to easily take the paint off of my fingernails, which hardly ever happens!   So I soaked the stem in alcohol and using a small stiff brush removed almost all of the glitter.  You know how glitter is, impossible to remove all of it!

   I chose two colors to base coat the gourds,  a Skyline blue Folkart acrylic paint and Ceramcoat Wedgewood green.   The top coat is a Ceramcoat light ivory.

   The base coat was just brushed on and it wasn’t necessary to make a completely opaque coat since a little of the original colors showing through makes them a little more interesting.

    My idea is to have a uniform color and an understated Thanksgiving tablescape.

    Next, with a little foam sponge, the ivory color was dabbed on, allowed to dry and touched up as needed.  Sometimes the ridges in the pumpkin were a little more glaring than I wanted them to be, so I took a damp paint brush and softened them while the paint was still damp.

   The gourd to the left was the same hue, but a paler shade of the Wedgewood green,  which I used on two other pumpkins, so it seemed unnecessary to base coat it.  Just dabbing the ivory on it seemed perfectly fine.

   Accidentally, some paint was dabbed onto one of the stems.  I had planned to leave them the original color, but the definition was very pleasing.  More of the detail was visible, so they all were touched up with the ivory paint, too.

   Above and to the right, you see the finished pumpkins and gourds.  Aren’t they pretty?  They are all ready for my Thanksgiving tablescape…  Now the burlap runner I bought at Michael’s  the other day, using the 50% off coupon, for a total of  $6.50, is the next project on my list.  Will keep you updated…

  P.S. I love these!  Can’t wait to place them down the center of the burlap runner!

Velvet Pumpkins with a Felt Stem


Free Pattern Downloads

   After making the velvet pumpkins and using the dried pumpkin stems, I decided I wanted some small pumpkins.  The next thing was coming up with a stem.  I knew what I wanted the end product to look like and after a while, I came up with this handstitched stem.

   The seams are supposed to mimic the lines and indentations in the real stems.

   Feel free to download the patterns – #pumpkin pattern download and pumpkin stem download to make your own pumpkins!


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