A Marimekko Thanksgiving

By Kristiina Vänni

A Marimekko Thanksgiving table

This year, build an exquisite Thanksgiving table setting inspired by the Marimekko "Jaspi" collection. Named after a Finnish apple variety, the pattern depicts a plentiful crop of these large, bountiful apples. The red and white colorway represents apple tree branches in the afternoon sun, while the navy and yellow shown here represents this same lush tree in the moonlight.

I was moved by the idea of a Thanksgiving dinner lasting long into the evening, hours after the sun had set, yet with everyone still gathered around the table talking, laughing and enjoying every last morsel of the meal. 

Using the Jaspi yellow apples as inspiration, I decided to create easy, all-natural place cards for the table. Before your guests arrive, simply place an apple at each place setting and tie a name tag around the stem. It is an added touch to start bringing the theme of your table setting into the Thanksgiving meal.  

From an apron to oven mitts and pot holders, the Jaspi pattern can be incorporated into every aspect of the Thanksgiving celebration. The moment the turkey is brought to the table and ready to be carved is the instant your Thanksgiving meal reaches a crescendo. Garnish the platter with lush greens and more fresh apples to really showcase the star of the show.


One of the best parts of the Thanksgiving holiday is the way your entire home becomes filled with the aroma of the season. I like to kick off the festivities by offering something warm and welcoming to my guests. There is nothing better than greeting your friends and family with the scents of cinnamon, cloves and ginger the moment they walk into your home.

I like to make this Festive Mulled Apple Cider in the slow cooker earlier in the day. Simply fill a sachet with your favorite holiday spices and then allow it to simmer for hours with fresh apple cider. The best part is, using the slow cooker frees up valuable stovetop space while you are preparing the rest of the meal.

Your guests can sip the hot cider while you put the finishing touches on the turkey and all the trimmings. Plus, you can easily keep it warm throughout the evening. This festive drink is something everyone can enjoy, but, of course, feel free to really get the party started by adding a splash of bourbon for the adult guests!

Festive Mulled Apple Cider

½ gallon (8 cups) fresh apple cider

¼ cup packed light brown sugar

4 cinnamon sticks

3 star anise pods

2 teaspoons whole cloves

1 piece (1-inch) fresh ginger, peeled

1 cup bourbon (optional)


Apple slices

Cinnamon sticks

In the slow cooker, combine apple cider and light brown sugar. Place cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, and ginger in a sachet or cheesecloth tied with kitchen twine. Add to slow cooker. (Alternately, spices and ginger can be added directly into the slow cooker and strained before serving.)

Cover the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 4 hours. If desired, add bourbon and stir to combine before serving. Keep warm throughout the evening. Serve in mugs garnished with apple slices and a cinnamon stick.

Serves 8

Internationally recognized culinary authority Kristina Vänni is a food writer, TV host, recipe developer, and food photographer who is currently writing her first cookbook, an exploration of the traditional and seasonal cuisine from her family's dairy farm in Finland (www.homefarmlife.com). You can find her on social media @KristinaVanni and follow the creation of her cookbook @HomefarmLife