Hymn to the Harvest

The atmosphere of your evening is as important as the food that you serve.

Thanksgiving is a celebration that has existed since the dawn of time. In almost all traditions, it was believed that a goddess was the staple food to humans. Each fall, as a recognition, men organized a feast to thank mother earth for its fertility and abundance. This link of dependency with mother earth, we feel it less strongly than our ancestors. However, it is nice, once a year, to stop and appreciate his generosity.

In October, the nature spreads its benefits galore and public markets are filled with fruits and colorful vegetables. As Thanksgiving is a holiday, opportunity to organize a party receiving our loved ones!

An original table

Here are a few suggestions for this meal to be a truly memorable for your guests. These are ideas simple, easy and inexpensive to create an original and colorful table.

  • To give your interior an air of garden party, the warmth and the comfort will be your major assets. For the colors and textures, take inspiration from nature. Yellow, orange and green heat immediately warms the atmosphere.
  • The source and intensity of light in part condition the atmosphere of an Interior. Adjust the lighting. Too bright, he is attacking; too low, he would leave you in a dark unpleasant. Why not add a few candles to light sifted? Dig an apple or a small squash and place a candle in the centre!
  • To create an original tablecloth, use jute recalling the kind used to make the bags at harvest. Draw here and there forms of different leaves in fall colors.
  • Cut out a rectangle of brown paper and drop it on the tablecloth. Fold a small section to the left to create a border and enter the name of the guest who will be seated at this place.
  • To give your table a more rural air, make a centerpiece made of Ivy, twigs, moss and some pine cones.
  • A large glass bowl of filled with miniature pumpkins, apples, squash and walnuts will make the most beautiful effect and will give your table an air of opulence.
  • Make a bouquet of dried flowers and fold in pine or spruce branches to add a bit of greenery.

For colors and textures inspired by nature!

A traditional meal

Deeply rooted in tradition, Turkey is unavoidable in Thanksgiving. Now that her perfume wafts the house, it’s time to switch to table!

  • For the service, you can file your casserole with Turkey on a bed of straw in the middle of the table to evoke the gatherer side of this feast.
  • You can also serve it directly on oversized dishes which will give you space for trim.
  • As is the custom, the stuffed Turkey will be accompanied by plain Cranberry or in sauce. Mashed sweet potatoes or rice can be served with green beans.
  • Are you a vegetarian? No problem! You can use the tofurkey, made from tofu and imitating the Turkey, which you will find the recipe to: http://yak.net/fqa/296.html
  • For dessert, the meal wouldn’t be complete without the famous pumpkin pie. Pumpkin also lends itself to other uses such as jam, compote and soup. The seeds are also delicious when roasted in the oven or in a pan.
  • Figs and walnuts are also very appreciated as b-sides.

 Why Turkey?

  1. It was contended that Christophe Colomb, believing arriving in India, cried out: “This is a Turkey” when he saw this strange bird. In fact, as he spoke not French, that he delivered the word tuka – which is the Indian word for Peacock-, because he believed to be dealing with a kind of Peacock of the India.
  2. Another version is that when Christophe Colomb landed at Mexico, by believing arrive in India, he discovered the Turkey that he designated by the term of ” India hen “.
  3. Anyway, Turkey has been fattened throughout the summer, and in October it is ready to be enjoyed…


A little history…

Thanksgiving was originally a party to celebrate Mother Earth and what she has sent us during the harvest. The feast is often represented by a corn on the cob, since this cob is also attributed to the goddess of abundance. This is really celebrated only in six countries around the world.

Before even the arrival of Champlain, Columbus and Cortez, the peoples of the North American continent honored the crops with great reverence. Cherokees interpreted the “green corn dance” at the beginning and at the end of the harvest. Pawnee and Aztecs were also sacred rituals to ensure that the fruits of their labors were abundant.

When Europeans emigrated to North America, they took with them several traditions, including that of “give thanks”. Like their ancestors, these pioneers filled a horn of goat with fruit and vegetables to celebrate the harvest – today, this curved horn is represented by the Horn of abundance.

Thanksgiving is celebrated in Canada since 1872. After several changes of date, it is fixed to the second Monday in October since 1957.

Unlike the Americans, the Canadians celebrate the crop rather than the arrival of the pioneers. Because crops are made in the month of October in Canada (and end of November to the United States), this date falls to each year.

Source : Magazine Mieux-ëtre, Numéro 3, translated by Anick Giroux.

Originally published on Coeur en Fête Facebook : November 05 2012.


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