Harvest Glory

Among the rolling hills of Madison County sits a tiny cabin, lovingly handcrafted by a meticulous woodworker. Each year the cabin comes alive when he and his wife host a harvest party—a gathering of family, friends and coworkers—to give praise and thanksgiving to the Lord.

Deep in the Heartland, when the seasons of spring rains and sweltering summer days come to an end, the weather turns crisp and the lush prairie bursts with grain. Huge combines, trailed by wagons, comb the fields gathering the harvest, a noisy and dusty process that runs day and night. When storehouses are full the countryside quiets. The long hours of work are over and a time for resting in God’s provision is at hand.

Here, beneath a vast October sky, believers joyfully offer thanks to God for His magnificent supply. The harvest party held at the little cabin is relaxed and easygoing. Planning is simple and so is the day. The hosts set the date and provide tables and chairs, decorations and main dishes. Guests pitch in with setting and cleaning up, providing music and games, and bringing side dishes, desserts and drinks.

Friends arrive throughout the afternoon and are greeted with appetizers and refreshing beverages. As the day wanes, fire pits offer up delicious meats and vegetables. Beef, pork and chicken skewered on long rods, cooked juicy on the inside and crusty on the outside, and fork-tender root vegetables brushed with garlic-infused olive oil and herbs. The mouthwatering fragrance of grilled foods invites guests to the make-shift buffet to watch as tender meat is sliced directly from skewers. Before plates are filled and the leisurely evening begins, everyone joins together to say a prayer of thanksgiving—a fitting tribute to our generous and loving God.

A photo of guests gathering around a fire pit at a casual outdoor fall party with the Bible verse Psalm 92:1-2.
1 of 16
Close
Musician friends get the casual outdoor fall part started midafternoon.
2 of 16

Special Details

Musician friends get the party started midafternoon, about the time larger cuts of meat go on the fire pit and tables are prepped.

Close
During the afternoon, a small table near a cabin offers self-serve cold drinks such as juice, punch and individual canning jars filled with iced coffee.
3 of 16

Special Details

During the afternoon a small table near the cabin offers self-serve cold drinks—canning jars filled with plain and flavored coffees and punches. Later, hot cocoa, coffee and cider warm in pots placed over the open fire.

Close
Canning jars with labels identify cold drinks at a casual outdoor fall party.
4 of 16

Special Details

Canning jars with labels identify cold drinks. 

Download: Iced Coffee Labels template

Close
An eclectic mix of chairs gathered over the years gives seats to every guest at a casual outdoor fall party.
5 of 16

Special Details

An eclectic mix of chairs are gathered over the years to give a seat to every guest.

Close
Slabs from tree trunks make rustic chargers, while dish towel napkins and mismatched dinnerware keep a fall party simple and inexpensive.
6 of 16

Special Details

The table is set for the meal. Slabs from tree trunks, cut and sanded smooth, make rustic chargers. Dish towel napkins and mismatched dinnerware keep the event simple and inexpensive.

Close
Whole pork loins, beef briskets and individual cuts of meat are threaded onto long steel rods and cooked Brazilian-style over an open flame for a casual outdoor fall party.
7 of 16

Sharing the Harvest

Whole pork loins, beef briskets and individual cuts such as filets, pork chops, chicken legs and sausages are threaded onto long steel rods and cooked Brazilian-style over an open flame. It’s the chef’s choice as to how the meat is seasoned—marinated or with “secret” rubs. Cook time depends on the size and density of the meat. Large cuts go on for about four hours and are carefully monitored. Dinner is served when the meat is done.

Close
Whole pork loins beef briskets are threaded onto long steel rods and cooked Brazilian-style over an open flame. Meat is sliced or pulled from the cooking rods when ready to serve for a casual outdoor fall party.
8 of 16

Sharing the Harvest

With prayers of thanksgiving said, everyone heads for the buffet table. Meat is sliced or pulled from the cooking rods. The harvest meal includes easy make-ahead recipes such as Broccoli Salad, Cream Corn, Baked Beans and Pasta Salad. Crusty, whole grain bakery bread rounds out the meal.

Recipe: Bacon-Broccoli Salad
Recipe: Cream Corn
Recipe: Baked Beans
Recipe: Tricolor Pasta Salad

Close
Whole and chunked root vegetables were cooked on grates over a fire for a casual outdoor fall party.
9 of 16

Sharing the Harvest

Whole and chunked root vegetables are cooked on grates over the fire until they're tender, about 15 to 40 minutes, depending on distance from fire. Throughout the cooking process they are swabbed with garlic olive oil and brushed with a small bundle of tied herbs. Fresh salt and pepper go on just before serving.

Close
There is no seating chart at this relaxed outdoor fall party. The idea is to let everyone land where they please.
10 of 16

Sharing the Harvest

There is no seating chart at this relaxed gathering. The idea is to let everyone land where they please. Roaming to enjoy a quick chat with someone at the other end of the table is perfectly acceptable.

Close
A weathered old table is set up under a festive banner for a treat table at a casual outdoor fall party.
11 of 16

Table of Treats

This much-loved old table set up under a festive banner invites friends to enjoy a wonderful evening. Rounding out the offerings are pretzels dipped in melted almond bark and Caramel Apples made from a kit, then drizzled with chocolate.

Download: Caramel Apple Labels template

Close
Tiny loaves of homemade Banana Walnut Bread were baked in mini oven-safe loaf pans for a casual outdoor fall party.
12 of 16

Table of Treats

Tiny loaves of homemade Banana Walnut Bread were baked in mini oven-safe loaf pans.

Close
A delicious purchased carrote cake and homemade Chewy Oatmeal Bars share a place of honor on a treat table at a casual outdoor fall party.
13 of 16

Table of Treats

A delicious purchased carrot cake and homemade Chewy Oatmeal Bars share a place of honor.

Download: Give Thanks Bunting template

Close
A favorite homemade pumpkin pie recipe edged with leaves made out of pie crust and a purchased chocolate pecan tart promise sweet delight at a casual outdoor fall party.
14 of 16

Table of Treats

A favorite homemade pumpkin pie recipe edged with leaves made out of pie crust and a purchased chocolate pecan tart promise sweet delight.

Close
Peanut Butter Cup Popcorn is served in decorated bags on a treat table at a casual outdoor fall party.
15 of 16

Table of Treats

Peanut Butter Cup Popcorn is served in decorated bags lined with plastic zip-close bags.

Download: Popcorn Labels template

Close
Ingredients for s'mores are divided into individually portioned boxes for guests at a casual outdoor fall party.
16 of 16

Fireside

The evening closes with quiet talks around the fire while making s’mores and drinking steaming cups of coffee.

Download: S'mores Box template 
Download: S'mores Tags template

Close