As with so many other aspects of our lives, we at MDG are of the party where there are no rules for Thanksgiving. Well, there's gotta be turkey. And wine. And tons of laughing. And stuffing. But who says Thanksgiving dinner has to be in a stuffy dining room with only the best china? Why don't we switch it up and head outdoors?
We could spend a late Thanksgiving lunch spent under the autumn afternoon sun, wrapping plaid blankets around our shoulders and eating sweet potato casserole off of mismatched plates. The leaves on the ground will crunch under our boots as we pass the gravy and take turns saying what we're thankful for. Someone will inevitably quote Joey from Friends. ("I"m also thankful for thongs.") As it gets darker and we light the lanterns on the table, someone will break out Cards Against Humanity and cold fingers will clutch tumblers of hot toddies.
While an outdoor dinner party is obviously weather dependent, we've assembled some of our favorite tips to keep guests comfy.
Keep guests warm by draping plenty of flannel blankets over the backs of chairs and set out a couple of these affordable fire pits full of crackling logs around the table.
Conversations and appetizers call for a yummy spiced cocktail that's easy to mix up and simmer. Pour a warm glass and keep apple slices, lemon peels, and cinnamon sticks on hand for stir ins.
Keep each others faces illuminated as the sun begins to set with plenty of lanterns and candles. Don't worry about matching metals and you can even throw in other accessories like place card holders or chargers in natural materials for added textures.
Every Thanksgiving plate needs its bit of green among the piles of potatoes and towers of turkey. One of our favorites is Brussels sprouts. They're delicious with a bit of savory and a hint of sweet, like in the recipe below.
Finally, nobody leaves the table until they're hungry again for a slice of pumpkin pie. We dig this recipe's genius addition of a gingersnap crust. It is only when the final crumbs are swept up with the rest of the whipped cream and coffee cups are drained that happy guests slowly get to their feet for the trip home.