Designer Kaela Butts’: My favorite Thanksgiving memory is the preparation that goes into the meal. In recent years, my mom, my sisters, and I get together to plan Thanksgiving, which is typically hosted at my parent’s home. Each year we like to sit down and come up with how we will set the table, who is sitting where, and come up with a special cocktail and appetizer. One of my favorite appetizers and cocktails that we have made are my grandmother’s olive cheese balls and a cosmopolitan with elderflower.
Designer Patrice Mendelson’s: I come from a very large family with many aunts, uncles and cousins. On Thanksgiving my grandmother would line up every table she had, end-to-end, to make one long table from the living room through to the dining room. The littlest of us would sit in the tight space in the opening between the rooms. She had little etched glasses that we only used to drink grape juice out of on Thanksgiving. She made so many pies that they took up any surface she could find, especially in the small laundry room on top of the washer and dryer. And still to this day, I have never had stuffing as amazing as hers.
Designer Carmen Thomas’: It was my first time taking on the responsibility of baking the turkey for my families Thanksgiving celebration and IT WAS THE ULTIMATE COOKING FAILURE. The 17lb turkey arrived frozen and I was short on time to fully thaw it out. I had no choice but to start brining this brick solid bird. Flash forward to the following morning and it’s time to start baking. I set the oven to the recommended temp and time and during the cooking process made sure to check the thermometer in the thickest parts of the bird. The timer buzzed. I checked the thermometers temp and it was right where it needed to be – perfect – the bird was a beautiful golden brown – perfect. I was feeling quite confident that I had a tasty, juicy bird to serve my loved ones. I packed up the whole turkey and made the trip to my brothers house. All of the usual side fixings were prepared to perfection and just waiting to be gobbled up! There was one thing left to do, carve the turkey. The “oh so important” job had gone to my brother since my fathers passing. He pulled out his trusty knife and started carving with the utmost of care. It didn’t take long for all of us onlookers to experience the horror before us…my perfect “precious” turkey was far from done…it was completely undercooked and frankly inedible. I was devastated and heartbroken! All because I didn’t want an overcooked “I told you we put it in to early”, bird like the one from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. This Thanksgiving memory comes to mind this year because this will be the second year I have ever taken a stab at the turkey. I can’t keep my family from having turkey just because we aren’t spending it with our extended family. Wish me luck! Tips are welcomed!!!
Designer Jill Tran’s: Walking in the front door of my grandparent’s home and getting tackled by the warm fragrances of turkey, green beans and butterhorn rolls was always the greatest teller that Thanksgiving was finally here again! It makes me tear up just to think about it. Those memories of complete and total love from my grandparents wrapped up in their hugs and mashed potatoes. From as far back as I can remember, the table was always adorned so beautifully… the same milk chocolate brown tablecloth adorned with their famous (in-our-family-famous) yellow dishes with the little people on them. The rest of us would giggle at the yearly serving of Ambrosia salad on the iceburg lettuce leaf. I miss my grandparents so!!!
About Tran + Thomas
Built on the foundation of a 30-year, family-owned Interior Design business, Jill Tran and Carmen Thomas opened Tran + Thomas Design Studio in 2011 bringing a combined 36 years of experience to their projects. They work on both residential and commercial projects across several styles. Interested in their services? Call (913) 268-9595 or schedule a consultation below.
Personal Thanksgiving Table Tips – Our Designers Set Their Own Uniquely Special Tables For Thanksgiving!