When I was in first or second grade, we learned about cornucopias. Somewhere between coloring the ditto sheet and learning about this so-called horn-of-plenty, I decided that my family was totally missing the boat on this incredibly important holiday tradition. I went home and all but demanded that our Thanksgiving table feature one. And it needed to be made of bread (sort of like this).
What? Me? Demanding? Nah. Never.
I thought of that today when the kids and I went to Michael’s today for Thanksgiving centerpiece supplies. There on the shelf was a beautiful, dark, woven cornucopia basket. I yelped – yes, outloud – when I saw it. And, of course it came home with me.
The basket was about $15, and you fill it as much as you can with fruits, veggies, flowers and leaves. It’s meant to symbolize a bounty. Bonus: if you use fruits and veggies, you can eat them post-Thanksgiving.
If a once-a-year basket isn’t in your budget, and you aren’t mildly obsessed with cornucopias like me, I have a few more centerpiece ideas for you.
Capitalize on the plentiful bounty idea with this cute apple barrel, also from Michael’s. At $5, it’s very affordable and can easily be reused. It’s perfect for collecting veggies from the garden, shopping at the farmers’ market or even collecting Christmas cards.
For a centerpiece, fill it up high with apples, oranges, pears and lemons. If you want to take it a step further, put a few fall leaves on the table and set the barrel on top. Then, flank it with a small pumpkin or two
Looking for a more minimalistic take on the centerpiece? Yes, big centerpieces are nice, but they can inhibit discussion. Seriously, do you want to talk to Aunt Milly through the giganto floral arrangement? So a simpler take can be absolutely fabulous.
This simpler centerpiece can be made for just a few dollars, particularly if you repurpose a candle you already have. Just wrap two sugar pumpkins with a metallic ribbon, using tape to secure (you want it to be completely removable if you are going to cook them). Then place a candle between them. Here, I’ve used a small pumpkin-scented pillar candle in a metallic candle holder. Want something a little bigger? Add two more candles to the mix on the other side of each pumpkin.
See? Simple and easy.
Now, which centerpiece do you think I should use this year?
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.