Make it a kitchen witch Thanksgiving with these autumn abundance boards.
As the harvest season rolls to a close, take a final moment to share the fruits of summer labor with your friends and family during the holiday season.
Give everyone a break from standing in front of the stove all day. These no-cook cheese boards use up leftovers and encourage everyone to savor fall.
Bonus? If you’re in the broom closet, it’s a nice way to honor the harvest season without ruffling anyone’s turkey feathers.
What are abundance boards?
On the Wheel of the Year, the weeks of late autumn leading to Yule encourage us to spend time in communion with our loved ones.
Abundance boards are any collection of in-season foods styled to share among friends, family or community in celebration of the fruits of the harvest.
Best served on a low table (like a coffee table) with comfortable seating, they encourage groups to gather around them.
If you’re in the United States, and you want to “kitchen witch” your Thanksgiving, abundance boards make your celebration a touch more magical.
And if you reside outside the States, you don’t need an excuse to indulge in your own version.
Bread bread, eat with your hands, and open a bottle of wine.
It’s time to rejoice in the warmth of the season.
When putting together an abundance spread, take a quick look through your cabinets and pantries.
Look for natural pieces if you have them. Shallow wood bowls, small ceramic plates or bamboo flatware all work really well.
Got nothing? Just use what you have.
Consider dressing it up with adornments from an autumn nature walk. Look for pine cones, acorns or sprigs of evergreen to toss on the table.
Or, if you’re so inclined, go on a witchy trip to the thrift store to look for kitchen witch friendly items, where they are cheap and easy to find.
Gathering the Harvest
Choose one or two items from each of the following lists of autumn abundance foods for a well-rounded spread fit for a elf king.
All nuts and seeds symbolize abundance in kitchen witchery.
In particular, for fall:
–Roasted almonds. In kitchen magic, almonds symbolize prosperity and wealth. Folk practitioners sometimes include them in spell bags to draw luck. Include them on your harvest spread to bless your guests for prosperity in the coming new year.
=Candied walnuts. Some traditions use the wood from walnut trees to make ceremonial staffs and wands. Use the nuts of a walnut tree on an abundance board to bring a sense of sacredness to your family gathering.
–Pumpkin seeds. The fine jewels of fall, pumpkin seeds remind us to look behind flashing orange, bright facades and search for deeper meaning.
–Harvest bread. Pick up a loaf of harvest bread from a local baker and cut it into thick, rustic slices. “Breaking bread” at a home gathering is an ancient ritual that promotes unity and togetherness.
–Wheat crackers. Cultivation of wheat began in the Fertile Crescent around 8,000 BC. This ancient grain continues to nourish the world’s population and is a staple in many Western diets. Adorn your abundance board with a variety of wheat crackers as a symbol of the abundance of the harvest.
–Smoked cheddar. Originally made in the cave structures of Somerset, England, the production of cheddar began in the 12th century. Add it to your board for its smokey autumn flavor.
–Brie. Creamy, mild and decadent, brie is a legendary creation of French monks of the Priory of Rueil en Brie. Include brie for its soothing, meditative quality to quiet frayed nerves and slow down the chaos of togetherness.
Meat & Protein
–Smoked ham. If smokehouse ham ends up on your Thanksgiving table, be sure to include some thick-cut slices of the leftovers on your abundance board. Choose fresh ham from a local butcher if possible.
–Turkey. The obvious choice, turkey symbolizes generosity and sharing among friends.
–Hard-boiled eggs. Planning to whip up a batch deviled eggs for Thanksgiving? Set aside a few boiled ones for tomorrow Among its many other magical uses, eggs represent hidden knowledge and disguised blessings. The retreat of the colder months encourage the pursuit of deeper knowledge that requires concentration and searching. Include eggs on your abundance board as a subtle nod to this journey.
With all the nutty, savory goodness, you need a strong acid to balance the flavor. Consider the following.
–Cranberry sauce. No autumn harvest feast would be complete without a splash of cranberry. Cranberries symbolize healing and love–something we all need a dose of when dealing with family! Cranberry sauce also works as a symbolic substitute for ritual wine.
–Tart apples. A classic symbol of autumn magic, apples appear in rituals for abundance, enchanted love and beauty. Add them to your spread to encourage warmth and bliss.
–Dijon mustard. Leave Dijon mustard out to top a cracker with ham and cheese. From biblical scripture to German folktales and Buddhist parables, the humble mustard seed is a symbol of hope, humility and grace.
Serve with a spicy red wine, add a sprinkling of candlelight and if you get lucky with the weather, sit outside!
The joy of abundance is sharing it with those you love.