Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Harvest Pheasant, The Progress of a Dinner I

First Course
Feast or Pheasant?
(Making The Plan)

Andrew Carmellini’s Thanksgiving Feast featured in New York Magazine
Find the bird.
I DO love a bird on the table!

Have you made the plan for your Thanksgiving feast?

What an inspiring fall setting. 
Don't you love her jaunty cape and pheasant feather fascinator?

I am thinking foul, pheasant specifically, and well, of course turkey,
 for Thanksgiving. 

I think I will pass on this
"Galantine of Pheasants" and
 the "Roasted Pheasant with Apples",
 but I will use the galantine drawing for
my menu card and placecards.

I do love the colors in this roasted pheasant with apples though!

All fall I have been thinking
 of my table scheme for Thanksgiving, and I have been stuck on
"The Harvest Pheasant."

Have a lovely glass of Autumn Punch with me, and let's chat about how I plan my table decor for Thanksgiving.

And the same glorious colors are here in my Autumn Punch. 
The recipe for the gloriously colored punch is at the end of the blog.

For Thanksgiving or any holiday or celebration, I usually start with a single idea.  It can really be anything that is appealing.  Somehow this time I am fixated on pheasants.  

 As you may know, I LOVE birds, and the colors in the pheasant feathers are to me the perfect backdrop for the panoply
of fall colors that I love, like the ones in the roasted pheasant and the
 autumn punch above and
these lovely fall colors below. 

And that is kind of the point, inspiration is everywhere, even in a photo of a recipe I have no intention of making for Thanksgiving.
If something really appeals to you, file it away and refer to it later when you are looking for ideas.  You don't even have to know why you like it, just that you do.

Don't limit or categorize your imagination.
kind of like a freerange Thanksgiving foul.

So now, I have my idea, pheasants, and my glorious fall color scheme leaning toward the reds and burgundies with a pop of orange.

Benjamin Moore color chips for my Thanksgiving color scheme

And, I happen to have a stuffed pheasant,
that is my father's.  

It is that one over-the-top
antique/vintage "thing"  or inspiration piece
that will make my table really special.

And I keep roaming.

 I search for inspiration everywhere.

Holland and Sherry English Pheasant

Pheasant Chair from Horchow

Kravet Fabric

Pair of Antique Pheasant Prints, Nozeman, ca 1800
Nozeman's skill with wildlife prints is ranked with Audubon

Twigs Pheasant Wallpaper from John Rosselli, here and below.
I am dying to put this behind shelves.

Royal Crown Derby Red Aves is one of my china patterns and
 will be perfect for Thanksgiving this year.
 Instead of immediately making a to do list or starting to gather decorative items,
 I let my idea  "lie fallow" as my fabulous and inspiring eighth grade English teacher
 Suzanne Henley taught us to do
 when we were writing papers. 

Ideas will turn out ever so much better when they have a chance to mature and ripen
like a delicious cheese or the perfect wine. 

Both things I WILL plan to include in my
Thanksgiving Harvest Pheasant Feast.

Bries and Blues!  My favorites.  What are yours?

Always released exactly one week before Thanksgiving (yesterday) and sometimes panned by wine connoisseurs because it is NOT aged, Beaujolais Nouveau is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. 
I can never resist trying a few bottles for my Thanksgiving bar. 
This year is supposed to be fairly good, and the labels are always interesting.

So, for now, all that I am cooking is an idea . . . 

These kaleidoscope photos reminded me of pheasant feathers and provide further inspiration!


What is inspiring your Thanksgiving celebration?

Do you have every detail planned?

Autumn Punch

2 teaspoons whole cloves
1/2 of a vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 64 ounce bottle apple-cranberry juice
4 medium purple and/or green plums, pitted and sliced
1 750 milliliter bottle Gewurztraminer, or other fruity white wine*
   Ice cubes

1. Place cloves and vanilla bean in center of a double-thick 6-inch square of 100-percent-cotton cheesecloth. Bring corners of cloth together; tie closed with clean string. Pour apple-cranberry juice into a large container or pitcher. Add plums and spice bag. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.
2. Remove and discard cheesecloth bag. Stir in Gewurztraminer. Serve beverage and plum slices over ice. (Or omit the ice and heat the juice mixture and wine in a 4-quart Dutch oven until hot. Serve in heatproof mugs.)

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Variation *Nonalcoholic Option:Substitute two 12-ounce cans chilled ginger ale for the Gewurztraminer, and serve over icee

photo credits: New York Magazine, Marilyn Storey, Holland and Sherry, Horchow, Kravet, House Beautiful, Twigs at John Rosselli

1 comment :

  1. marilyn it looks like you are going in a lovely direction. I too had a plan in mind since last year and it involved a wooden box!! I did a post on my inspirations and also today a post on some new additions to my Holiday meal. I love your beautiful pheasant and the colors are so beautiful. You will surely have an elegant and interesting table.


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