Try a new approach to the traditional holiday meal--take it outside.

Thanksgiving With Family and Friends

A Harvest Menu
(serves 8)

If it's still warm at your house in November, consider having the whole Thanksgiving meal outdoors. The crackle of crisp fall leaves beneath your feet, the warm glow of an autumn sun, and the earthy smell of the air give your celebration a closer connection to the land. Here we offer you a twist on the traditional menu and easy decorating ideas that will let you move your casual feast outside. We used bright-eyed pansies, Indian corn, colorful gourds, and pumpkins in rustic colors to tie together the harvest theme of our meal. If you can't bear to be more than an arm's length from the big game, know that this menu is equally tantalizing in a cozy dining room.

One day ahead:

The morning of the gathering:

3 1/2 hours ahead:

One hour ahead:

45 minutes ahead:

30 minutes ahead:

20 minutes ahead:

10 minutes ahead:

  • Reheat pan gravy for turkey.

"Thanksgiving With Family and Friends" is from the November 2002 issue of Southern Living.