Entertaining, Holiday

A Nantucket Thanksgiving, Vintage Bon Appetit

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Nantucket, MA
Photo Credit: ELBROCH.COM

When I joined Bon Appétit many years ago as a contributing editor, my first “Entertaining with Style” Thanksgiving feature was a friend of a friend’s family on Nantucket. It is still one of my favorite stories, not just because living on an island I feel a kinship with another popular island so close to us. This particular menu says New England so well — the curried squash soup, sausage and herb stuffing and minted sugar snap peas and pearl onions — served in a home that was built in 1695 (see drawing above.)

Thanksgiving Entertaining

Thanksgiving gives us all the opportunity to share and appreciate the regional cultures of our great country. Here’s hoping these Nantucket dishes might inspire an addition to your traditional menu.



Thanksgiving Entertaining
Charles Kilvert at work: “Charles has made the Thanksgiving pies for years,” says his wife, Jacqueline. “He covers the sideboard with all different kinds — mince, lemon meringue, apple.” Says Charles with classic Yankee self-reliance: “I like good pies, and baking them yourself is the best way to get them.”
Thanksgiving Entertaining
Jacqueline pauses in front of the dining room cabinet. Setting the table is Jacqueline’s domain. “Come Thanksgiving Day, the house is absolutely full,” she says. “It’s a miracle, but we all sit down to dinner.”
Thanksgiving Entertaining
The Thanksgiving feast stars herb-roasted turkey with sausage stuffing and features such Kilvert specialties as cranberry-tangerine relish with walnuts, minted sugar snap peas with pearl onions, and sweet-potato casserole. Casting a glow over the meal are two hurricane lamps in a design that dates to the eighteenth century, a time “when people on Nantucket began to get fancy and stay up after dark,” says Charles.



Wishing you and your family a tasty and memorable Thanksgiving!

All images are property of Bon Appétit Magazine, unless otherwise noted.

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About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

10 thoughts on “A Nantucket Thanksgiving, Vintage Bon Appetit

  1. Blessings to you Bettie on Thanksgiving, a special and favorite holiday of mine, truly heartwarming … Cherry

  2. What a wonderful menu. I know the house well because I spend the summers on Nantucket. I have watched the “renovation” of this historic house on the corner of Main and N. Liberty and it doesn’t look the same. The beautiful sunken garden is gone-given way to another house. Hmm, when will they stop this?

    1. Thanks for the update, Vicki. So sorry to hear the old garden is gone…aaah, “progress.”B.

  3. Dear Bettie,
    What a lovely roundup of Thanksgiving delights. I subscribed to Bon Appetit for years and years! Thank you for the memories!

    The Arts by Karena

    1. Those were great years when I was there; I love reliving them by posting old issues. The recipes are truly the best!
      Happy Thanksgiving, Karena.

  4. I saved this issue of Bon Appetit and have made the cover pie several times. We also visited Nantucket in June 1994 and saw the home covered in pink roses. Jacqueline was grooming planted beds near the front door. Lovely and picture perfect.

  5. I have been making this stuffing since the recipe appeared in the Bon Appetit magazine. It’s been a big hit with my family and friends!

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