Thanksgiving Italian Style & How It was Done

We all have memories from when we were young. Our first memories of Christmas and of Thanksgiving are most likely from or relating to Santa Claus, school plays or parties, or turkey drumsticks! Most of my memories, at least regarding holiday dinners, revolve around memories of food, Thanksgiving Italian Style & How it was done!

Thanksgiving Italian Style

If you are looking for answers, I’m not sure I have them! At least when I’m talking about the ‘how it was done’ part! Frankly, I don’t have a clue. All I remember is that 40 family members would arrive at my parents’ home, and it was a total blast.

How my mother and father, and all the aunts pulled this off is nothing short of a holiday miracle in my mind!

From my young years and perspective, I thought it all just sort of happened.  

Having a Thanksgiving Italian Style means, …..are you ready! Eight or ten courses!

There was:

  1. Antipasto ( made by my dad and it was always fabulous)
  2. Italian Wedding soup with baby meatballs
  3. Stuffed Artichokes
  4. Green Beans with mashed potatoes
  5. Sweet Potatoe casseroles
  6. Turkey and gravy
  7. Then the Pasta arrived. I’m talking about what we called ‘homemades’ 
  8. Meatballs, Sausage, braciole
  9. Fruit, Nuts
  10. Pies
  11. Cakes
  12. Cookies,
  13. Coffee and then …..more food! 

Let’s go back a bit to the beginning! 

In my parents’ home, they had a small kitchen in the basement. When I say small, it was tiny. The stove was one of those 26″ apartment size ovens. They had a sink and a refrigerator downstairs.

On the main level of the home, they had a lovely kitchen that pretty much had a revolving door for meals there.  Thousands of dinners came out of that kitchen! 

In the instance we were having 40 people, we/they used both kitchens.

The long tables were set up in the basement. Everyone had to sit at the same table! 

It was nothing short of Grand! 

It Begins with Setting the Table

My mother would start out by setting the table! This would happen about a week before all of the festivities.  Yes, you’ve heard that correctly. One week prior!

This I did not understand at all at the time! But hey, it’s a Thanksgiving Italian style, so what did I know at the age of seven! 

I must say, I totally get it now! 

My love of setting the table definitely comes from my mother! 

Guess what! I set my table a week early too! Here is everything you’ll need

Let Me Show You How

vintage berry bowl on top of dish stack
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The first thing I would recommend is to purchase a beautiful set of dishes. They can be inexpensive or costly, but treat yourself and your family. These treasures will not just serve many meals, but certainly, create long-lasting memories for years to come! 

For this particular tablescape, I’ve used two different chargers. Both chargers are clear, one with a gold rim like these, the other with gold beading surrounding the outer rim like this. I’ve placed the gold rim charger on the bottom, and the gold beaded charger on top of that.

plate charger
plate charger with gold rim

Stacking plates and patterns are totally up to you. I love adding interest with various patterns and textures. Think outside of the box and as long as you love it, it will work perfectly! You are the artist here! 

A table topped with different types of food on a plate, with Thanksgiving and Fruit

When I went looking for a ceramic turkey for my centerpiece, none were to be found! A sign of the times this season in the year 2021!

I opted to use my cornucopia which I made in ceramics class some thirty years ago.

Decorating the center of the table is another way in which to be creative. I love adding color by using grapes, fruit, pears, leaves, and vines. Thanksgiving Italian Style is about ‘bounty’, ‘plenty’, and ‘harvesting! Feel free to add your ‘bounty’ to the center of your table. 

These large pinecones came from a vintage shop. These are similar

I’ve layered all of this on a stunning green velvet table runner similar to this one

A bunch of food on a table, with Thanksgiving and Fruit

I often wondered growing up if all families celebrated in the manner that we did! I’m pretty sure they did! Each culture has its own lovely and family-centered traditions! I’d love to hear about your family traditions and holidays! Feel free to leave a comment below! 

I hope you have a beautiful, safe, and happy Thanksgiving shared with your family!

Thank you so much for following along and supporting my Blog!

I am truly grateful to You!

Happy Thanksgiving!! 

XO Susan 

A table topped with plates of food on a plate, with Thanksgiving and Fruit

If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy Farmhouse Tablesetting Ideas 

or my Easy Baked Pear Recipe! 


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