This Sunday a friend and I hosted our first annual Friends Thanksgiving. It was beautiful! I was so proud of our efforts and think it is a really nice tradition to start. Since most people are going to have the traditional Thanksgiving meal again this week, we didn't want to do everything standard for fear that people would find it redundant. Since my friend had married into an Italian name and I have recently married out of mine, we decided to host an Italian-style Thanksgiving feast. We started with a pumpkin soup that I decided to make on a whim. Sunday morning it was a pumpkin and Sunday evening it was soup! It was a success and I felt very "Martha" We also made lemon garlic asparagus instead of green beans and roasted sweet and new potatoes with olive oil and fresh herbs for a fresh twist on the standard mashed version. We had two types of stuffed shells- my family recipe with meat, and a new artichoke and cheese version for the vegetarians. We also made a citrus, white wine, apple, butter and herb seasoned turkey and it was fantastic. My husband said that the white wine and apples really added something special to the gravy. The best part was the table decor-- we filled 3 low round vases of different sizes with cranberries and wide candles and in the center was a fishbowl shaped vase full of pine cones. My friend made lovely runners that criss-crossed the table and napkins to match. We ended the evening with pumpkin cookie sandwiches and apple pie and pumpkin ice cream. It was truly a night to remember and to see the smiles on our friends faces made us feel as if it was the start of something special.