Tuesday, November 19, 2013

How to Throw a Friendsgiving - Part Two

This post is a follow-up to last year's How to Throw a Friendsgiving, Part One. See that post for more on where to have it, how to invite everyone, how to end up with a comprehensive menu and avoid duplicates, and more.

We covered the basics of Friendsgiving last year, but now that I've done this a few times, there are a few more points to hit. Last year's Friendsgiving was a casual, low-key affair where we sat on couches and floors. Super relaxed, super great. This year, we had flower arrangements, linen tablecloths, a seating chart. Both are fun, its just cool to switch it up once in a while.

I wanted to wear something that allowed me to eat, but still look festive, so I used some leftover flowers from my flower wall to make into a crown (aka E600ing them to a headband).

A few notes from this year:

A party so good, The King came back for it. 

I mentioned last year letting the hosts have dibs at the leftovers as a reward for hosting. However, last year there were probably two days worth of leftovers. This year, if we had left everything with the host, he could eat for days and days and days and never finish it, so really we would have just been burdening him with too much food and a crammed fridge. Put someone in charge of bringing ziplocks and tupperware! Or, bring your own from home to tote leftovers in. 

It's okay if you're a shitty cook. There are a lot of things you can bring that are essential to a good Friendsgiving:
  • Plates, forks, napkins, paper towels, garbage bags
  • A pitcher of a signature cocktail, a bottle of liquor (other people will cover the wine, trust me), a seasonal beer
  • Grands biscuits! Don't mock frozen biscuits man, they take ten minutes and every last one always gets eaten
  • Floral arrangements, because everyone loves ambiance, man. Or do the place settings / decorations!
  • A gift for the host (this year, we went with a Groupon for a house cleaning!)

Don't forget vegetarians / vegans. A lot of Thanksgiving staples, like green beans, rolls, sweet potatoes, are already vegan (or can very easily be made so). Don't just think of vegan dishes as one gross tofurky that gets its own table, only to be touched by herbivores. Every single one of these recipes looks delicious, even for the Ron Swansons among us. 

Controversial opinion: I don't think hors d'oeurves should be served at Friendsgiving. Often people fill up too much on them and don't have room for all the dishes all of their friends spent the day making. 

Make everything beforehand. You absolutely cannot use the host kitchen to cook. Though, it is good to plan for a warm-up cycle, where all the dishes get heated through if they've been out long enough to get cold.

Decorate a little. It doesn't need to be fancy, or over the top. But having candles on the table just felt...like a holiday, instead of just a dinner. I don't know man, I just love festive shit. If you aren't doing nametags or anything, consider this "I'm Thankful For" printable from Almost Makes Perfect, to help all those cheesy warm-fuzzies start flowing.

Don't forget the music! There's almost always that one friend that will gladly play DJ, whether invited to or not. If you don't have That Guy, or want to plan in advance just because you're a planner, I made a Spotify Playlist of Thanksgiving Songs for you. Want a quick sampling?
Turkey Chase- Bob Dylan
Roll Plymouth Rock - Brian Wilson
Thankful - Bone Thugz-N-Harmony
Styrofoam Plates- Death Cab for Cutie
Gone til November- Wyclef Jean

And don't forget..
Cocktail Recipes - Sazerac, Bourbon Palmer, Bees Knees

Any favorite Friendsgiving traditions, recipes or tips to share?


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  1. I can't believe this post didn't involve babies or that ugly dog I always see on here.

  2. That's the first post I've seen with out babies or your ugly dog.

  3. Said the guy who didn't realize his name would be on his comment.

  4. Yep, I am that DJ friend. I'm always like, do you have a little Iron & Wine, or Sea Wolf?

  5. Friendsgiving?! I thought I was the only one calling it that!! Great minds think alike. We are having our 2nd annual this year as well. Ours has turned into the event of the year. Everyone had so much fun last year that we are hoping for even more fun this year if that's even possible. I think you had done the photo booth at one of your parties so I'm looking to do that this year at ours, then I want to print out a picture for everyone to have as a "souvenir" but that will come after the party. :-) Love your blog...hoping my lil' blog becomes awesome like yours someday. Keep up the greatness....ok am I sucking up a little too much here? :-)

  6. i really love this and want to be one of your friends-giving attendees :)
    thanks for the fun ideas!!

  7. So good of you to mention vegans! I'm vegan and always end up bringing the stuffing because I can make it vegan (using vegan butter, veggie stock, and vegan chicken flavored bouillon) and no one notices the difference. That's usually all I can eat because even green beans are often tossed in a butter sauce. Recipes usually only take minor tweaks to make them vegan and then everyone has options!


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