This post is NOT political but if you live in the US then man, what a week. No matter which side you’re on, chances are you’re exhausted from the stress and uncertainty. That’s why I thought I would share something fun to take your mind of politics for awhile. Here is an easy Thanksgiving centerpiece that will wow your guests yet is so easy to create. I also want to share a delicious gluten and dairy free pumpkin bread recipe for those of you or your guests that have issues with gluten or dairy.
Easy Thanksgiving centerpiece
Even if you can’t celebrate in person this year with your large extended family, this easy flower covered pumpkin will still look amazing on your virtual Thanksgiving table.
Several years back (ten actually) I copied this easy Thanksgiving centerpiece from Better Homes and Gardens. I used it for a Fall themed table setting that I was setting up in a local showhouse. It was such an easy project yet made such a big impact. Any size pumpkin will do and you can choose to cover the whole pumpkin with flowers, just the top or even make a ring around the center.
The directions are simple. Using a nail, puncture approximately a one inch deep hole in the pumpkin. Then insert a flower head. Mums are easy because they are relatively hardy and the moisture of the pumpkin will keep the flower heads alive for at least a week. My initial mistake was using too fat of a nail and the flower heads fell out. You might have to try a few different sized nails to see which one is best for the size of your flower stems.
Once you get going the flowers themselves will help secure one another. The bigger the flower heads, the less work. Here is a photo of my table from the event. I used pink and white mums to go with my unconventional color scheme of blue, lavender and orange.
I displayed my flower pumpkins on fat crystal candlesticks. I didn’t want to place them directly on the table squishing the bottom flowers. Plus, I felt they had more impact raised up off the table.
You can also use faux flowers, especially if your Thanksgiving will be virtual because no one will know they are not real. If you do decide to use faux flowers then a glue gun is the way to go.
Here are a few more examples I found on Pinterest. I love these mini pumpkins that Pencil Shaving Studio created. These would be so cute placed on each plate or running down the center of the table.
This partially covered pumpkin below from Better Homes and Garden is less work but still makes an impact.
Moving on, I have a family member who has recently been diagnosed with both gluten and dairy intolerance. I wasn’t sure how I would deal with this on Thanksgiving. After doing some digging online, I found this fabulous gluten and dairy free recipe for pumpkin bread.
I tried it out last weekend and it was delicious! It tasted so healthy and I had to stop myself from eating the whole loaf.
Gluten and dairy free pumpkin bread
Preheat oven to 350F/180C
Measure out one cup pumpkin and use any leftover for another recipe. Grease an 8″ or 9″ loaf pan or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium sized bowl, add the pumpkin, maple syrup, coconut milk, and vanilla. Whisk until uniform.
In another bowl, whish together oat flour, brown rice flour, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice. Whish until uniform and lump free.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry.Stir until evenly mixed. Batter should be thick but pourable.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and top with pumpkin seeds. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until toi is browned and an inserted knife comes out clean.
Cool for five minutes then remove from pan and place on wire rack. Let cool completely before serving.
None of us know exactly what Thanksgiving will look like this year. Covid cases are rising in Boston where I live, and it is not looking good. No matter what the case may be, I have decided at the very least to set a beautiful table. I will make a few special dishes and pray that 2021 treats us all better than 2020.
This year I’ll give thanks to the most basic of things and pray for a coming together of Americans.
Let me know if you make the bread or the pumpkin flower and tag me on Instagram @lindaholtcreative. I’d love to see or hear how it turned out.