A Classic Thanksgiving in Woodstock, VT.

  1. "We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
    He chastens and hastens His will to make known;
    The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing;
    Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own."

    Remember singing this song in your school days?  Heading home for Thanksgiving break?!  It sure is a classic and whether you are religious or not, the song strikes a cord in most that the holiday season is upon us!

    Straight out of a Currier & Ives print!

    Woodstock is a bucolic little town in east central Vermont. Chartered in 1761 the town endured through the American Revolution and swiftly prospered shortly after its end.  Sawmills, furniture manufacturers, and leather goods largely dominated the industry of the town as well as many other factories and services. Although those days are largely over, Woodstock still provides many amentities and long-time family-owned farms make up a vast amount of the area.  Today the town relies largely on tourism and offers many quaint stores and restaurants for those seeking to support local business.

    Morning snowfall.

    This year my family decided to spend Thanksgiving holiday in this wonderful town - it is the perfect place to get away from it all and enjoy some much needed respite.  As we headed up we were delighted to hear nothing but Christmas music playing on the car radio!  By the time we arrived, darkness had already fallen and we could see the faintest bit of snow on the ground.  After a night of good sleep we all awoke to a freshly fallen snow that continued throughout our morning!!  Heading downstairs we were all greeted by a roaring fire that my cousin Heidi's husband Steve had built when he woke up at dawn.

    Fresh baked muffins sit atop a old wooden cutting board with a tartan throw beneath.

    A Large board of fresh baked muffins of bran, lemon-blueberry, and pumpkin sat on the coffee table with a fresh pot of coffee - what a perfect way to start what is now one of our most memorable of holidays!  We decided as a family that we would take the day to talk, play games, and enjoy each others company without influence from the outside world.  Dinner would be had in the early evening leaving us plenty of time to cook and set up all of the great decorations we had collected.  Until then it was nothing but sitting around the fire and having lots of laughs!

    Once it was time to decorate and cook we hopped-to-it and couldn't have been happier with the outcome of it all!

    Keeping it crisp, clean, and warm!

    Beautiful autumnal flowers.

    Turkey salt and pepper shakers.

    Loving the rustic elegance!

    Before sitting down to enjoy our feast, it was time to start restocking the firewood from the old barn….

    While Daniel braved the cold while gathering wood, inside I was busy at work putting together an elegant but simple table-scape.  This year old family napkins would be used against simple white plates and silver flatware.  The table - made of large reclaimed wood planks is too beautiful to cover, so we left it exposed. Instead, I decided to run pieces of cut burlap down the center, topped with birch stumps and birch stick tea light holders.  In addition I placed three centerpieces spread down the middle of the burlap using roses, berries, hydrangeas, and leaves - all in seasonal colors of red, orange, white, and green.

    Scattering raw-inshell chestnuts, almonds, and walnuts around the centerpieces gives the table a whimsical feel of carelessness!

    Hot apple cider is the perfect addition to this holiday meal, add cinnamon sticks for those who like theirs with a kick!  Don't you just love the old metal and wood carrier?

    Using birch bark for place cards is a great way to add interest, write names in gold for that holiday feel!

    Always offer your guests a choice of two waters, sparkling and spring - Pellegrino and Saratoga are our favorites.  We love the simplicity of the bottles, however, using glass or pewter pitchers would look great as well.

    A bottle-opener made from a real antler.

    Creamy milk chocolate lollipops in the shape of a turkey grace each place setting.

    Tartan!  Who doesn't love tartan, especially during this time of year?  Adding classic tartans of Scotch and Stewart add the perfect amount of warmth!

    Once the food was done it was time to show it off - look at that turkey, props to Steve who did an incredible job!  My cousin Heidi, Steve's wife made wonderful sides of mashed potatoes, mashed butternut squash, and two stuffings!  In addition to their food, we also made a hamburg and chestnut stuffing, stuffin-muffins, and candied yams - we had enough leftovers to feed an army!  Because two families are joined together for Thanksgiving, it is wonderful to be able to sample the traditional foods of each other's holidays.

    A Thanksgiving family favorite, Stuffin-Muffins look great set atop an old treated medallion of wood.

    Bread-rolls in a recycled soft cork bowl…this can be shaped to be smaller or larger depending on your needs.  How cool is that?

    Believe it or not, after all of this came dessert!  Granted, a few hours later.  We decided to keep is simple and go with all of the traditional pies; pumpkin, apple, pecan, and blueberry.  An old pewter bowl filled with delicious honey-crisp apples and homemade whipped cream topped with cinnamon sticks make great additions to this dessert table!  And again, adding the tartan throw gives the table warmth.  We dug in, snuggled together, and enjoyed the movie Elf as we sat around a roaring fire that had been kept going since dawn.  What a perfect way to end the most perfect of days!

    Homemade pumpkin pie:

    Add interest to your pie crust by cutting small leaves and riming the pie with them to create the look of a garland.  Make sure to cut out a piece of dough in the shape of a maple leaf for the center - it really looks terrific!

    So simple!

    The rest of our days were spent relaxing at the farm, strolling around Woodstock Village, drives in the countryside, and a trip to a Christmas tree farm!

    A lovely wood pergola at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller property.

    We just had to stop for some amazing pure Vermont maple syrup!  Elm Grove Farm, owned for four generations by the same family is now run by Fred and Nancy, husband and wife of 62 years….two of the kindest people one could meet.

    Some architecture in and around the village:

    The famous Woodstock Inn.

    A very busy village center!

    Suicide Six that-a way!

    A simply elegant house in the heart of the village.

    How quaint!

    We LOVE this street.

    Look at that stunning pediment over the front door!

    A lovely village church.

    A trip to The Daily Grind….

    Very cool vintage skis in the foyer!

    One MUST head to The Daily Grind - terrific, friendly service and treats to die for; fresh croissant, muffins, cookies, and gelato!  Not to mention their out-of-this-world homemade marshmallows and oh-so-good hot chocolate!

    The Christmas tree farm.

    Our wonderful family!  
    (top left to right) Steve, son Daniel, and myself.  
    (bottom left to right) My niece Kathryn, daughter Amanda, Heidi, and niece Ellie.

    On our last night of this wonderful holiday vacation, the girls decide to play some games and chat about who knows what - but it seems they were having a great time together!

    I've been spotted!!

    We then gathered around the large stone hearth and roasted marshmallows for s'mores!!

    The most important aspect of one's holiday should be love.  Whether you spent it with family, friends, or both, love is what really makes everything so meaningful.  Happy Holidays to all of you and your loved ones.  I am truly grateful for the support throughout all my many years in business.  Here's to health, wealth, and happiness in all our lives!

Dana Markos Events had the pleasure of being featured in a photo shoot for Southern New England Weddings at the Ledgemont Country Club. To reintroduce vendors to Ledgemont Country Club a cocktail party was held to show what the venue has to offer. We set up two mock table settings, a welcome arrangement, cocktail tables, and ceremony arrangements, so that the guests can get a taste of what DME can do!

To show off the work that DME creates, two different tablescapes were designed. One was a very tall, elegant arrangement that brought the room to life and definitely commanded attention. The soft color pallet made the table feel romantic and small candles gave the table warmth. To give the table some greenery small sprigs of rosemary were placed on top of the napkins, and small lemon leaf leaves held little butter balls, the perfect way to add a simple but affective detail to the table.  The final touch was a simple organza bow tied around every chair finished in a bow.

The second table arrangement incorporated the beautiful colors of fall. The warm reds, oranges, and greens made the table feel cozy and welcoming. Small sprigs of red berries were placed along side the menu which pulled red from the centerpiece making the entire tablescape cohesive.

Sunflowers and red berries were used for the cocktail tables, these warm fall colors gave the room the perfect touch of color and made the room more inviting.

Two gorgeous ceremony arrangements incorporated beautiful blues, yellows, and greens to give the ceremony space life. These colored popped against the bright green background of the golf course making these arrangements a show stopper.

The welcome arrangements commanded attention when you entered the Country Club mezzanine. Three tall arrangements complimented the color scheme of the country club and created an interesting focal point for the room. Sunflowers, red roses, and berries gave the guests a small preview of what they would be seeing throughout the rest of the event.  Candlelight created a glow of warmth illuminating the water in the larger vases.