It's that time of year again, and you can't go home to be with family for a whole slew of reasons. You look through your Facebook news feed and check your text messages to find out that you're not the only one without family nearby. In fact, you have three friends who each know three other people that have nowhere to go for Thanksgiving. What could you possibly do for these 12 lonely souls this Thanksgiving? Throw a Friendsgiving, of course!
If you're unfamiliar with the likings of Friendsgiving, let us break it down for you. Friendsgiving is the celebration of Thanksgiving, but solely with friends. Whether it's the day before, of, or after Thanksgiving that you celebrate, a few of the writers at Wide Open Eats want to ensure your Friendsgiving goes off without a hitch.
Without further adieu, here are our seven ways to ensure you have a successful, boozy and decadent Friendsgiving.
1. "Serve The Perfect Appetizers" - J. Marie Martin
When I host a dinner party, it is important that the appetizers are elegant and effortless. The two recipes I keep in my arsenal for just this type of occasion are an antipasto platter and a crudité platter.
Made of mostly store-bought items, these platters are easy to put together and leave for your guests to munch on while you deal with more important things.
Antipasto Platter Basics
Arrange a large platter of store bought finger foods for your Friendsgiving. With this recipe, you can mix and match according to your budget and the palettes of your guests.
Various cured meats, cheeses, olives, and pickled vegetables allow your guests to nosh on a variety of sumptuous flavors while they mingle.
Crudité Platter Basics
Crudité platters are so much more than that bland packaged thing you buy at the store. Combine a variety of seasonal vegetables of your liking in this recipe, and mix up an easy garlic aioli recipe or buy your favorite ranch.
My tip, vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower taste better when blanched.
To read more of J. Marie Martin's work, find it here.
2. "Bring A Gift For The Host" - Jessi Devenyns
Specifically, something you know the host doesn't have. As a rule, you must always bring something to a Friendsgiving. Otherwise that defeats the purpose of the whole event. However, this year, think outside the box when you plan your contribution to the feast.
Remember, the host will have already put so much work into the planning and décor that the effort you put into whipping up your dish will be paltry in comparison. So don't let that effort go unnoticed. Instead, be polite and thank them for all the little extras that they took care of to make sure that your Friendsgiving went off without a hitch.
I think that this is such an important requirement that I always try to bring a little extra something for the host of a Friendsgiving celebration (and I don't mean a bottle of wine).
Be thoughtful with what you gift. Whether it be a succulent in an artisanal clay pot, or a $20 maid service to help them clean up for their next party, give them something that will bring them joy and happiness during the often stressful holiday season.
After all, you want to make sure you're invited back next year!
3. "Ensure There is a Nice Centerpiece" - Jessi Devenyns
Everyone has the crafty friend, you know who they are. And if that happens to be you, consider donating your enviable skills to the host this year by making the centerpiece for the feast.
I know, centerpieces aren't necessarily considered essential, but trust me, they're a game changer. A beautiful table setting sets the ambiance and helps to create a festive atmosphere will not only help get everyone in the mood, but the presentation will somehow make the feast taste that much more delicious.
To read more of Jessi Devenyn's work, find it here.
4. "Make It Boozy" - Taylor Kamnetz
Assuming that you're of age, that is. Holidays in my neck of the woods scream one word and one word only: alcohol. This is the time to experiment with those craft cocktails you've been pinning every day for the last month in preparation for this exact moment. Or as Jessi said, bring something they don't have. In this case, it could (or should. . .) be alcohol in some way, shape or form.
This could be a pitcher of the killer sangria your mom (I mean, my mom) always makes, or some boozed-up hot chocolate that's to die for. Better yet, bring a bottle of Rumchata, one of Fireball, and a double jigger to make the infamous cinnamon toast crunch, better known as the now forbidden drink of my mothers at any and every gathering, ever.
5. "Spread Thanks With Good Music" - Taylor Kamnetz
Music can be a save-all to any party or gathering, and Friendsgiving is no different. I personally can't stomach the lulls of silence -- whether they're awkward or not -- and that's where music comes into play.
Whether you're hosting Friendsgiving or attending one, be the bearer of all that is good, and save others from unbearable silence. Make a dope playlist. Play dope playlist. Save Friendsgiving.
6. "Have Games for the Downtime" - Taylor Kamnetz
Do I usually play games on Thanksgiving? Nope! But this is Friendsgiving, and on Friendsgiving, we do things differently. Instead of suffering the awkward silences mentioned above, give your guests some games to play to break the ice.
The music will be a nice background to the tapas you'll be serving before the main course, the turkey. Games like Cards Against Humanity and Catch Phrase are perfect for this type of setting, and they allow your friends to mingle with others they may not know in a non-threatening or awkward way. And for that, you are welcome.
To read more of Taylor Kamnetz's work, find it here.
7. "Sit by The Dog, Wherever The Dog Is" - Christian Kogler
Does it matter that the dog may be in the back by the bedrooms while everyone's cleaning up the table after dinner? Nope!
Follow that pup wherever it may go, and you'll be sure to have the best Friendsgiving of them all.
To read more of Christian Kogler's work, find it here.