Begin by gathering items you already have....containers, candleholders, scarves or fabric swatches. Decide on your focal point, such as a mirror placed in the center of your mantle and then place a wreath against the mirror. Tuck richly colored leaves and berries into the arrangement along the mantle allowing naturals to drape softly over the edges of the mantle.
Fill your containers with branches of persimmon and bittersweet to add height and balance. Even the most simplistic of design will draw focus to a specific corner and add beauty to your room. We love using our vintage plates from Estelle's, or her toile pitchers as containers for berry branches in our displays.
I have made this pie for quite a few holidays. I found this recipe while living in Florida. This was originally published in The St. Petersburg Times on September 9, 1980. It has always been requested and the pumpkin custard filling is perfect in this pecan spiced crust.
Estelle's Festive Pumpkin Pie
1 spiced nut crust
1 16- ounce can pumpkin
1 14- ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heavy whipping cream
Prepare crust ahead of time. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except heavy whipping cream. Mix well and turn into prepared crust. Bake 35-40 minutes or until kife inserted 1 inch from the edge comes out clean. Cool before serving. Garnish with whipped sweetened cream.
Spiced Nut Crust
1/2 cup butter
1 cup unsifted flour
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans of walnuts
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
10-12 pecan halves
In a small saucepan. melt butter. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients except pecan halves. Mix well. Pat on bottom and up sided of 9-inch pie pate. If desired, press nut halves onto rim of crust. Fill with pumpkin filling and bake at 325 degrees F. for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool before filling the crust.