Joanna Gaines is “extra grateful” for family this Thanksgiving after learning a series of nostalgic recipes from her mom.
On Wednesday, Joanna, 41, shared that she had the opportunity to watch her mom Nan Stevens cook her “favorite” holiday meals and was able to write all of the recipes down — something she’s longed to do for years.
“For years I’ve wanted to write down my mom’s full holiday meal that she has made since I was little,” Joanna wrote alongside a slideshow of her mom flashing a wide smile as she cooked. Also in the photo series was an array of paper, presumably filled with Nan’s recipes.
Joanna explained: “It has always been hard for her to just give me the recipe because she cooks ‘to taste’ so nothing is ever written down or measured.”
She shared that her mom simply “wings” each meal “and every time it’s my favorite.”
“So I cleared my schedule and sat and watched her every move and wrote it all down. It feels like such a gift to finally have these recipes of my mom’s on paper, all written out,” Joanna continued.
While Joanna enjoyed learning from her mom, she shared that “the even greater gift was the time we got to spend together in the kitchen.”
“This thanksgiving, I’m extra grateful for family, tradition, and good food,” Joanna concluded, adding “#HappyThanksgiving.”
Before getting ready to feast, the Fixer Upper star, her husband Chip Gaines and their five children — daughters Emmie Kay, 9, and Ella Rose, 12, plus their brothers Duke, 10, Drake, 14, and Crew, 16 months — picked out a massive evergreen to bring home for the holidays.
Joanna shared on Instagram that her husband had chosen a tree so large that it required assistance from some heavy-duty equipment to get it on top of their car to take home.
“Chip picked this 12ft beauty that required a little help from ol’ John Deere … ” Joanna wrote alongside a video of Chip and a few other men working together at The Robinson Family Farm in Temple, Texas, to get the tree secured atop their vehicle with the tractor.
A snapshot posted immediately afterward by Joanna showed Chip, 45, standing proudly in front of their car, his arms stretched out wide and a smile on his face after successfully securing the massive Fraser Fir.
“I guess I can do without a dining table for a month,” Joanna joked in her text on the photo, adding an emoji of a monkey covering its eyes. The tree needed to be secured to the wall in three places to stay upright in the family’s farmhouse.
On Thursday, the family was focussed on the holiday at hand, however — one that Joanna has said she enjoys flexing her design prowess for.
In a post on her Magnolia blog At Home last year, she wrote, “There are two things that I think truly welcome the season of entertaining: good food and a set dining table.”
She starts with a simple base and layers in items in different materials: wood for the chargers, ceramic for the plates, and glass for the “vintage-inspired” drinkware.
But the showstopper of Joanna’s spread is the elegant yet low-key centerpiece. After setting out a row of copper candlesticks of varying heights, she laid down a faux olive garland, which she notes will “add movement and color across the table.”
Regardless of the exact ingredients, she noted that a cozy lived-in look for the table “will make everyone who gathers around it feel right at home.”