Let me qualify that. I lurv any holiday on which I get to plan and cook a massive meal.
Style, in these cases, takes a back seat for me, big time. Because I'm happily cooking and setting a pretty table, I rarely have time to shower before guests arrive, let alone plan a fancy-pants ensemble. My hair? Usually pulled back, and highly dependent on it's state of cleanliness. My makeup? It's a well-timed plan (that I was able to execute on time) that lets me put on mascara, instead of relying on my "concealer, powder, and (now staple) red lipstick."
Seriously, that red lipstick is a lifesaver. Lets me pretend I cared about my face.
Back to the ensemble. This year, I can easily rely on my casual uniform, as it's polished and cozy all at the same time. Skinnies + layered tops + moccasins = done.
Crewneck sweater - in my case, it's a Gap version (in navy, rather than the grey pictured here), bought (at Stacy London's recommendation) small for the fitted, rather than slouchy look. I also love my black Target version.
Plaid button down in fun colors - here, I've got a blue and purple Target one, of which I have a red/navy and a navy/red version that's not visible on the website. But any lightweight plaid will do. Unless you're planning on a post-meal hike, stick to light fabrics, rather than rely on flannel. Or, skip the sweater and go flannel, perhaps belted.
Skinnies - I'm in love with my Gap Always Skinny Cords. They're softer than soft, comfy, and I have a tan version that's very Potomac Housewife with my navy sweater. Here, I've got a greyish pair that would be lovely in a monochromatic ensemble
Moccasins - sure, you could go predictable (and I do love the look) with riding boots, but as we're hosting (and I'm cooking), my Minnetonka Kitlies are it. They might as well be slippers.
And for those of you who might care, here's how I tackle Thanksgiving, along with a peek at our menu. I'm a plantastic girl.
1) Confirm a menu. I do consult H, particularly as a "check" that I'm not planning too much. We've settled on:
- Turkey + gravy (using Sassy Radish's Alton-adjusted method)
- Sausage and Cornbread Stuffing (using Baking Illustrated's cornbread recipe to make my own)
- Butternut Squash and Yukon Gold Potatoes
- Brussel Sprouts and Carrots (an epicurious find, and so. darned. good.)
- Romanian Sauerkraut (MIL's "recipe," and an if-you-have-turkey-you-have-to-have item in our house)
- Cornichons (also necessary with turkey in our Romanian-ish household)
- Pumpkin Pie (from Baking Illustrated, complete with homemade crust. If you're gonna go, go big. Also, I will send pie home with people. And go work out!)
- Maybe some chocolate chip cookies, for The Beans, as they don't do pie yet.
- H will put out some salamis & such (Romanian, again) before hand.
3) Shop. Did this yesterday after taking The Bean to the doctor.
4) Make the Plan. To do this, I work in two directions. First, I list out (on paper, mind you, none of this e-stuff) all of the dishes I'm making. Then I list out all of the non-food-related tasks (like setting the table and ironing the tablecloth). Then, working backward from "eat time," I start with the Big Main Dish, in this case the turkey, and time out the dishes to work with oven temps and resting times, etc.
For example, the bird's supposed to take 2-2.5 hours + 30m resting time. We want to eat at 3. So the bird has to go in around noon, to be safe. Back that up 3+ hours for it to come to room temp before it goes in, and it's out of the fridge NLT 8am.
5) Check off dishes and tasks as I add them to the plan.
6) Check off items as I proceed through the schedule. This may very well be my favorite part. My plans tend to stay on the fridge long after they're executed.
7) New for this year, the #healthyme Thanksgiving plan: load up my plate with the brussel sprouts and a little bit of turkey, with tastes of everything else. I will load up on fruits, veggies, and H20 as I cook. And coffee.
Here's wishing you and yours the holiday you want and need. May the travel, food, and family gods be kind and generous to you all.