Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.
Henry Van Dyke
Thanksgiving Day is mainly celebrated as a national holiday in Canada and the United States as an expression of thanks for the bountiful harvest and blessings of the year gone by. It’s celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and the fourth Thursday of November in the United States.
Similar celebrations are also held in other parts of the world at different times of the year.
The whole tradition of thanking and honouring the gods and deities for a plentiful harvest and abundance of blessings goes back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. For example, one of the most prominent Thanksgiving symbols – the cornucopia – dates back to their era. The term describes a horn-shaped basket filled with fruit, flowers and other goodies…it comes from the Latin cornu copiae, which literally means “horn of plenty”.
The concept behind Thanksgiving celebrations held in U.S.A. is similar to the festival of Pongal in the Punjab area of India and Pakistan, the August Moon Festival or Tet Trung Thu in China and Vietnam, Sukkot in Jewish culture, Kwanzaa in Africa and Chusok in Korea. All through centuries, the people world over have expressed their gratitude in a variety of ways…since the real spirit of thanksgiving is in sharing so why not consider adding a multicultural touch to your Thanksgiving activities this year!
Frosty Fruit Centrepiece :
For me, nothing reflects the plentiful spirit of thanksgiving better than a big and beautiful frosty fruit centrepiece displaying the colours of autumn in full galore. The touch of frost lasts for more than 24 hours and its completely edible. You can use your favourite fruits and whatever props you have at home to build this easy to do centrepiece. Usually fruits are brushed with egg whites but if you want an egg free base, as I did, then this is an easy solution.
For Frosty Fruit Centrepiece :
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons gelatine powder
1 cup icing sugar
Assorted seasonal fruits
I used apples, oranges, grapefruits, grapes, persimmons and kiwis.
This Is What You Do :
Take water in a microwave safe bowl, sprinkle gelatine over it. Microwave for 1 minute and stir till the gelatine dissolves completely.
Wash and pat dry all the fruits, brush gelatine liquid over the fruits…I brushed only over those parts that I wanted to look frosty because I like the original colours of autumn fruits also shining through. Spread fruit in a tray, sprinkle sugar through a sieve over the fruits individually. Leave to dry at room temperature for 2-3 hours. When the sugar layer is dry it will give the effect of a thin layer if frost over the fruit, adding to the dramatic look of the centrepiece.
Use whatever cake stands or fruit bowls are available to pile over each other to give height to your centrepiece. Carefully decorate the fruit over cake stands and into bowls…don’t over handle the fruit or the heat from your hands will melt the sugar. Don’t put the fruit in the refrigerator to set because the moisture will also melt the sugar.
For that special autumnal look scatter some pine cones , acorns or whole walnuts around.