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Into the Wild: A Canadian Thanksgiving

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Into the Wild: A Canadian Thanksgiving

November 18, 2013

Every October, our friends at Vancouver’s Le Marché St. George café and grocery celebrate Le Jour de l’Action de Grí¢ce, the French-Canadian Thanksgiving, with verve. And, in anticipation of our own Thanksgiving, we take inspiration. Last year, they feasted in their Vancouver shop–see Thanksgiving Dinner at Le Marché St. George. This year, owners Pascal Roy and Janaki Larsen, and her sister Klee Larsen, set up camp on the Larsens’ land in Eastern Washington State and spent three days in the wild, building fires, gathering foliage for the table, making things (including the dining table), and celebrating with friends and family.

Photography by Janaki & Klee Larsen for Le Marché St. George

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Above: The table was set with plates and tumblers by Janaki Larsen (she’s also a ceramic artist), along with wild posies gathered on the spot and burned paper booklets created by the Le Marché crew as Thanksgiving offerings. The knotted napkins are muslin painter’s rags bought at the local hardware store.

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Above: Positioned to provide wide open views, the Thanksgiving table was built from construction lumber wrapped in a giant painter’s canvas drop cloth and paired with Ikea folding chairs. The hurricane lanterns came from a local thrift shop.

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Above: Autumn flowers in a posy. The hand-drawn leaf place markers are the work of Le Marché staff member Mark Hall-Patch.

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Above: On the menu: mashed potatoes with dill, campfire roasted vegetables (including artichokes), grilled asparagus, and barbecued chicken.

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Above: Fresh cranberries for a sauce made with plums. 

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Above: Bread baked by Nelson the Seagull in Vancouver paired with raw sheep cheese from Clare Paris’s Larkhaven Farmstead in Washington, a favorite of the Le Marché party.

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Above: Campfire-roasted apples, along with yogurt, granola, and salted caramel sauce, were served for breakfast. 

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Above: Janaki and Klee’s mother, painter Patricia Larsen prepares Thanksgiving dinner: roasted parsnips, sweet potatoes, carrots, peppers, asparagus, accompanied by barbecued chicken. 

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Above: A bouquet of sage grass on a striped wool Djellaba, a Moroccan robe, was brought back from Morocco as a gift to Janaki by her friends Richelle and Shawn Greibel. In this setting, hurricane lamps are essential.

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Above: “The sun is so strong on the property that it’s perfect for bleaching woods,” says Janaki. “Every time we visit, I bring something that I want to gray out–this is an old wooden bowl I’ve been graying for a while.” The bowl is filled with artichokes and eucalyptus. 

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Above: Along with wild greenery, the key accompaniment to the feast: unpasteurized Oktoberfest beer made by Alpine Brewing in Oroville, WA; owner and brewmaster Bart Traubeck has become a friend of the Larsens.

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Above: Patricia heads out on a hunt for natural art supplies. The canvas prospector tent in the  background served as guest quarters for friends who made the trek from Canada to celebrate Thanksgiving.

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Above: A 1969 Airstream Land Yacht stays parked on the property and provides family lodging. 

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Above: Le Marché staff member Mandy creates a burnt booklet (from old paper and campfire embers) at a table set up for art activities.           

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Above: A ceramic plate made by Janaki Larsen.

Heading to Vancouver, BC? Don’t miss Le Marché St. George.

Looking for more tabletop inspiration using things you have on hand? See Seasonal Potager Centerpiece and Ben Pentreath’s Cabinet of Curiosities.

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