Home Tips Setting the Table with Carole Murko—and a Giveaway!

Setting the Table with Carole Murko—and a Giveaway!

Carole Murko pays tribute to Thankgivings past, like the one pictured above, by setting the table with treasured family heirlooms.

Carole Murko of Heirloom Meals is back for another great guest post on holiday meal traditions. Check out her two previous posts here and here, and don’t forget to enter the Pine Cone Hill table linens giveaway!

For me, traditions are sacred. Especially when it comes to Thanksgiving. While the recipes and stories are important, so are the objects that are part of our heritage and memories. My grandmother’s meticulous Italian linen tablecloths, her cut-glass serving dishes, her aperitif glasses, her flow blue dishes—these were always part of her tablescape. They were her treasures, and now they are mine.

Carole incorporates her grandmother’s flow blue dishes and aperitif glasses, below, into her Thanksgiving tablescape.

When I set my Thanksgiving table, I think about how important the setting is to the entire dining experience. After all, we eat with all our senses, including our eyes. It’s lovely to incorporate the old with the new. Oftentimes family heirlooms get split up within families, so you might only have a gravy boat or a serving platter. Use whatever you have! I think pulling out the heirlooms for Thanksgiving is a great tribute to our past and brings our ancestors to the table with us.

Family photos courtesy of Carole Murko of Heirloom Meals.

I also know that sometimes there are no heirlooms. Have no fear—you can start your own traditions and collections. One of the things I have always loved about Annie Selke is she creates classically derived tabletop with a new twist. So why not think about your own palette, and start collecting? I recommend frequenting yard sales, antique auctions, and, if you’re from Massachusetts, the Brimfield Antique Show. I bet you can create your own unique table setting and heirlooms for tomorrow.


I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on your Thanksgiving tabletop. Do you have treasured family heirlooms? Have you started your own traditions? Do you mix and match? Tell us your tabletop tips in the comments below, and be entered to win a set of Pine Cone Hill Chambray Linen Flax and Terracotta napkins–a $96 value! Contest runs from now until 11:59 p.m. EST on November 23rd, 2012. View the full details.

Congratulations to our winner, Rachel from New York!


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Garth Potter November 21, 2012 at 4:16 pm

happy thanksgiving!

Betsy November 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm

I had a potter bowl that alway’s used for our cranberry sauce. The bowl was made by a potter in Alaska and had cranberries and fish on it. I grew up in Alaska and my familiy sends us hand picked cranberries for Thanksgiving. The bowl is special and so is the cranberries inside of it.

Rachel November 21, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Rachel McMinn } sincerelyrachel @ gmail . com

I am starting my own traditions, taking cues from my childhood. I have candlestick holders from my Bat Mitzvah that I use, but I choose gold-dipped candles to spruce it up a bit. I like to use some doilies that I’ve sown together that my Grandmother made as the table cloth (we have a rather small table for just the two of us). It’s been so much fun to repurpose things and turn them into something really special.

Meghan Finley November 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm

We mix and match dishes as everyone seems to bring something

Sandra November 23, 2012 at 7:57 am

I have my grandmother’s yellow ware bowl that she made biscuits i. It holds fresh fruit on my table. The long crack just adds character and makes me appreciate the many pans of biscuits it helped her produce.

Debra Lee November 24, 2012 at 1:32 pm

I have a little teapot from my Grandma that I keep in the china cabinet. It has a crack and I want to keep it protected.


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