Modern Nostalgia | A Thanksgiving Table + Rose Apple Tart Recipe

Tis the season for holiday table inspiration! Thanksgiving is about three things: sustenance, mindful gratitude, and family. It’s stories and flavors and all the ways in which they overlap. When Anthropologie invited me to share my take on a Thanksgiving table and menu that was equal parts nostalgia and novelty, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I had a fridge full of amazing mushrooms & the pinkest Mountain Rose Apples, so I knew they’d feature prominently. And I knew that instead of turkey, I wanted to roast a beautiful spice brined duck. Read on for our menu & to see more of the table I put together in my favorite tones of copper & grey, my favorite tableware from Anthro, and the best version of an ikebana inspired centerpiece I could manage. A professional florist, I am not. But most of us hostesses aren’t. Duct tape goes a long way. Just sayin…

Food memories are more inextricably intertwined with this holiday than any other. Emotional attachments that defy culinary justification persist, like a love of canned cranberry sauce (or in my case my mom’s off the back of a can pumpkin pie in a pre-made crust…it’s my favorite!) It’s about remembering, about making the dishes of people who have passed on and making the dishes that the people still with us love. Not dishes we love because of any finesse or genius, but because we love the memory. Food’s relationship to emotion and memory is integral; to divorce it from that ephemera is to do it violence, and that’s why I created this menu to be equal parts novelty and nostalgia, complete with a bird, greens, and a vegetable that’s so rich it defeats the point of being a vegetable:

First Course
Wild Mushroom Sourdough Tartines + Fresh Farm Cheese & Herbs
Something Rich
Fennel Gratin
Something Green
Crispy Roasted Brussel Leaves + Mint Pepita Pesto
The Bird
Spice Brined Duck with Moonshine Tamari Glaze
The Pie

You can find, along with the Apple Rose Tart recipe, sources for the items we used to lay our table on Anthropologie’s blog along with an interview where I talk everything from favorite Thanksgiving traditions, to planning, to color palette. And pro (haha) tip: to do the floral arrangement in the gorgeous copper & wood bowl we filled it with water and taped off a grid on one side. It would have been much easier with a flower frog or foam on hand. : )

A big thanks to Anthro for teaming up with us for this project & providing such gorgeous tableware for this photoshoot!

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