How to make the perfect Thanksgiving cornucopia


Submitted Photo

One of many stuffed cornucopias made for the Thanksgiving season.

Jayden Burnside, Editor

One of the many staples of Thanksgiving tradition is the cornucopia. This basket of goodies has been around for ages and represents Thanksgiving as a whole, but how did it come to be?

The word “cornucopia” is actually Latin, meaning “horn of plenty.” It was originally made by many Roman and Greek civilizations as far back as the 8th Century BC. The people of this time associated the cornucopia with different gods and goddesses. Some of these included Fortuna, Demeter, Amalthea and even the all popular Hercules.

Most people nowadays know the cornucopia from the voyage of the Pilgrims. In 1621, the year of the first Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims and Native Americans stuffed many cornucopias in celebration of friendship and new lands.

“Cornucopias are a symbol of an abundant harvest for which the Pilgrims were giving thanks during the first Thanksgiving,” said Caren White, an instructor at Home Gardeners School.

The cornucopia makes for a perfect decoration or even a part of the meal on Thanksgiving day. Creating your very own cornucopia is not hard, and it is the perfect activity for adults and children who love arts and crafts. 

To make one, be sure to take inventory of a wicker basket, serving tray, some soft straw and some burlap fabric. You first want to line the serving tray with the fabric. This will create a nice and cozy base for the wicker basket. Then, place the wicker basket on top of the base and fill it partially with the soft straw. Doing this will provide soft padding for the many fruits and vegetables that will be added later. To add some flair, add some fall leaves to the base or maybe even tie a ribbon around the ends of the wicker basket.

After the main preparations have been made, the next step is to add some treats to your basket. In terms of the types of food, fruits and vegetables work perfectly, as they are the most common things found in cornucopias. Other foods like bread or nuts also work well. The largest items should go in the basket first. Things like gourds or grain stems. Smaller fruits and vegetables should be used next, lining the rim and outside of the basket. Once the basket is full, use your nuts and other small items to fill up the remaining holes and violà! You now have a festive cornucopia ready for display.

With Thanksgiving soon approaching, many families work to set up their own cornucopias. It is a great bonding experience to get people together and excited for the upcoming holiday season!

“Cornucopias and Thanksgiving go together like pie and pumpkin spice, roasted turkey and homemade gravy, and cranberry sauce and leftover sandwiches. It’s just expected,” said Rebekah Lowin, senior editor of the Pioneer Woman Magazine.