Around this time last month, I hosted the last A Daily Gathering event of 2014… We all had a wonderful time creating natural holiday decor and gifts – wreaths, garlands, wooden bead necklaces, and beeswax lip balm – and then we came together around the supper table for a simple seasonal feast. We gathered at the Petals and Hedges greenhouse in Round Hill, Virginia… I was blown away by the beauty of Morgan’s greenhouse when I first visited almost a year ago, and was so so excited when she agreed to host us (and teach the natural decor workshop)!
Because we were in a greenhouse, with no kitchen, I had to keep the menu simple (but I usually do that anyway). My two dear friends, Tamara and Lauren, stepped in and took care of all our food prep on the day-of. What a blessing these two are! I served a variety of soups and stews (with root vegetables donated by Quarter Branch Farm), a winter salad (Beth’s recipe…you can literally drink the dressing it’s so good), roasted acorn squash with caramelized shallots (recipe below), and farmer’s market bread. While folks were creating their natural decor, I set out a colorful charcuterie platter and some caramelized onion, mushroom and goat cheese galettes. For dessert, Dough Uprising baked us three of the most decadent pies – whiskey-soaked pumpkin, chocolate pecan, and a salted caramel apple – and Lo Co Joe (my favorite Purcellville coffee shop) made fresh coffee.
Today I’m sharing some of my favorite photos from that dinner table. Perhaps these photos will provide you a little last minute inspiration for your holiday tables this week (or next week for New Years)! Adding citrus (in this case, clementines) to the tabletop provides such a wonderful pop of colors to an otherwise neutral place setting. For this table top, I decided to pair the citrus with a hand tied cluster of wintry greens and berries, each a little bit different, and a larger-than-normal calligraphed place card. Eucalyptus makes a great table runner – it lays flat enough that you can place serving dishes directly on top – together with some wintry greens, loose pinecones, white ranunculus, and a few succulents.
And if you’re still looking for a side dish to make for the holidays, try this Roasted Acorn Squash and Caramelized Shallots with Parsley Oil (not my own recipe…it’s from With Food and Love).
2 large acorn squash
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Quarter each squash and scoop out seeds (save if you want to roast them later!). Trim ends off shallots and peel away outer layer. Arrange squash (with one cut side down) and shallots on baking tray, rub lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt.
Roast for about 15 minutes or until the edges that are down are nicely golden. Flip squash so the other cut side is down. Then, return it to oven for 15-20 minutes or until that side is also golden, shallots are caramelized, and squash centers are soft.
As the squash and shallots are cooking, prepare the glaze. In a small mixing bowl combine the chopped parsley, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and black pepper. When the squash is done cooking, immediately rub the mixture all over each piece and serve warm.
Hoping you and yours have a blessed Christmas!
Photos by Anna Clair Photography for A Daily Something.
P.S. The rest of the holiday decor workshop photos coming next week!
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