Hunter: The Centerpiece

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(Host) Decorating the table for Thanksgiving dinner is an activity that
commentator Edith Hunter likes to do a few days ahead of time.

(Hunter) Give thanks for the corn and the wheat that are reaped,
For labor well done and for barns that are heaped.
For frost and the dew and the sweet honeycomb,
For roses and song and the harvest brought home.

When Aunt Mary was alive she was in charge of the centerpiece for the Thanksgiving
table. It was always made up of fruit – grapefruits, oranges, apples,
and grapes – that she had bought at the market. Now I’m in charge, and
it’s all going to come out of my vegetable garden.

I can’t make it too large since there has to be space around it for the small Thanksgiving
candles that have accumulated over the years. Armstrong began buying
them when the children were little, and Graham carried on that
tradition. There is quite a crowd of them now since none has ever been
lighted and burned. Some are a little faded from their years on the Thanksgiving table. There are small turkeys – a lot of those, Pilgrims, men and women, and some Indians who joined them at that first Thanksgiving feasts. These figures will surround my centerpiece.

will also need room for individual nut dishes, dishes of olives and
celery, the turkey, creamed onions, peas, mashed potatoes, squash, two
kinds of cranberry sauce, and two kinds of gravy – regular, and
vegetarian, for the growing number of vegetarians in the family.

my center piece, I’ll start with several large carrots. The color
always amazes me when I pull one up out of the ground. How can something
such a bright orange come out of that dark garden soil?  Next to the
carrots I’ll put two red onions. They did wonderfully well this year.
And, for contrast, I’ll put in a couple of yellow onions beside them. I’ll
put a dark green acorn squash in next, and beside it, a cream colored
delicata squash with its pretty green seams. What a winter treat lies
ahead when those squash are cut in half, filled with maple syrup and
butter; and put in the oven!  Now for a small head of cabbage.  I’ll
need to scrub the Pontiac potatoes to show off their rosy redness, and
put beside them a Kennebec and Green Mountain potato. And I mustn’t
forget to include some of the garlic which we harvested early in July.

arrangement is large enough now. It is time to add a few decorations.
First some of the deep green parsley growing in the kitchen. Charlie dug
it up and put it in a pot to be available during the winter months. And
a few sprigs of Rosemary.  I wish I still had some of my lovely
nasturtiums to scatter around the edges. What a year it was for

There it is! A sight for the eye, food for the stomach, and a feast for the soul!

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