The holidays are quickly approaching and all around people are beginning to prepare for the upcoming festivities. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and despite this nearly four centuries old tradition, we often find ourselves asking each year what am I going to make and serve and how will I decorate my home. Whether you are still planning your holiday menu or are preparing your home for family and guests, consider hosting this year’s Thanksgiving hill country style.
What is hill country style? Hill country style can be rustic, traditional, traditional with a colonial twist, French and Spanish inspired, and natural bringing the outdoors in. Imagine a Thanksgiving outdoors with your hill country property being the picturesque background for your family gathering. Can you imagine anything more beautiful than the golden grasses, rolling hills, red and orange colored leaves and the splashes of green that are still lingering. Gather your friends and family outside where you have laid a long table with bench seating which allows for a less formal seating arrangement and more of a friendlier, relaxed feel. Whether you share your family meal in the afternoon or for dinner, light a fire in a fire safe fire pit and place additional seating around the fire with small side tables decorate with candles, pumpkins, or flowers. In the evening for additional lighting, string lights around the trees or your home which add a twinkling glow to your thanksgiving scene.
For decorations, you can create a corn husk garland and a dried corn wreath; this might be something reminiscent of what the colonials would have done during their festivities. Tea lights placed in small ornamental pumpkins provide a romantic and natural feel and these can be placed on a table or around your home. Fresh fall flowers are always a great way to add color to any table-scape you create. For a unique hill country touch, go to your local lavender farm and collect lavender which can be placed around your home or added to a special drink such as lavender lemonade.
Thanksgiving meals can generally be the same year to year. To spice things up and give old a new twist, try adding some more Spanish touches to your meals. Whether you do a grilled turkey in the smoker, a Texas fried turkey, or a traditional oven roasted turkey adding sweet and smoky spices to your turkey will surely make any boring bird taste great. Green beans can be given a new flavor by adding poblano peppers. Fall vegetables such as roasted squash are not only tasty, but make for a great color choice in your menu. The hill country is known for their peaches so why not this year make a tasty peach-cranberry sauce which will please not only adults, but children too. For that down home Texas feel, serve pecan tartlets and pralines.
Last but not least, games. Pumpkin races, dominoes, and corn hole are great games to keep everyone entertained and create wonderful thanksgiving memories. Whether you live in the hill country or want that hill country feel these ideas will surely get you started and be helpful in creating a memorable and beautiful Thanksgiving for your family and friends.