What to Bring to Friendsgiving - Tips for Hosts and Guests
What is Friendsgiving? It's a way to show how thankful you are for your friends, meeting and eating together in an informal setting and with less expectations and stress.
There are many reasons to celebrate Friendsgiving; you may live away from your family, or find traditional Thanksgiving way too stressful, or want to avoid a certain relative, or maybe you just want to spend two great holidays instead of one.
Hosting a great Friendsgiving only requires some planning, some friends - or just one! - and lots of comfort food. Stay with us at OneHowTo to find out our best tips for hosts and guests on what to bring to Friendsgiving.
What food to bring for Friendsgiving
To save stress and time, it's best if whoever hosts the Friendsgiving party makes the turkey and gravy - but if you're vegan you may want to read our article on how to have a vegan Thanksgiving.
As a guest, you may be asked to bring a side dish to Friendsgiving, or perhaps drink or dessert; even if you aren't, it's the polite thing to do. Since Friendsgiving is more informal than Thanksgiving and you don't have to impress any faraway relative with your very grown-up kitchen skills, you can go for something simple. Choose a side dish that you know how to make and make it fancy by making a more elaborate stuffing, dressing or sauce.
Some good Friendsgiving side dishes (most of which can be made ahead) include:
- Mashed potato casserole.
- Mashed sweet potato.
- Mashed cauliflower.
- Potato and cheese gratin.
- Sautéed Brussel sprouts.
- Sautéed green beans.
- Squash purée.
- Homemade pizza.
- Veggie frittata.
- Pumpkin pie or pumpkin cheesecake.
For a more informal, standing-up Friendsgiving lunch you can bring bite-sized food:
- Cheese platter.
- Filo or pastry puffs.
- Mashed potato puffs.
- Savory biscuits with herbs.
- Pears or figs, sliced and wrapped in blue cheese.
As for sauces and dressings, you can spice up a traditional cranberry sauce by adding something sweet like fig or something tangy like ginger. Whatever dressing you choose, make it autumnal. The side dishes above go well with:
- Fig confiture.
- Orange sauce.
- Honey mustard.
- Balsamic dressing.
- Herbal sour cream.
- Cider glazing.
- Goat cheese cream.
Drinks are a key element in any party! If you can make cocktails, get some autumnal recipes ready and bring the ingredients and a shaker. The best cocktails for Friendsgiving are citrus-flavored or herbal, to go with the food. What about a sidecar, herbal gin, something with ginger syrup or a classic apple cider?
Another good choice of drinks for a Friendsgiving party is sparkling wine; white or rosé are often a safe choice, but you must make sure they're served chilled.
What to bring to a Friendsgiving party
If you've been told not to bring food, don't worry. As a guest, there are still many things you can bring to Friendsgiving. However, do ask the host if it's okay to bring them, as you don't want to take up all their space or disorganize their plans.
- Spare folding chairs: There's never enough room to sit down, especially in a student flat.
- Blankets and pillows: Create a play or chill zone so that you don't have to stand up in the kitchen.
- Food containers: You'll need takeout boxes or tupperware to store all those side dishes!
- Music: Good speakers and a cheerful playlist for Friendsgiving.
- Games to play after lunch: Let your stomach do its work while you play cards or board games.
- Supplies for the day after: If you're staying over for the night, your host will be thankful to get breakfast out of the way.
- A camera: To immortalize the Friendsgiving event.
- Flowers for the host.
Tips to host a Friendsgiving lunch
Many young adults - and standard adults, really - feel that hosting Thanksgiving is too much responsibility. It requires a lot of time, and you'll always be comparing your turkey to your aunt's legendary recipe.
Enter Friendsgiving: A more informal and affordable version. The best advice to host a great Friendsgiving lunch is that you talk to your guests and ask them to help and bring things. Good organization is the key to success; don't just say "bring something", tell them what you need and how much.
It's very important to plan ahead, especially if you want to cook different dishes and you have a single oven and a small kitchen, like most of us mortals. It's always better to make the turkey beforehand, as it becomes progressively easier to carve. However, you can skip the turkey altogether and make a lunch out of different delicious side dishes.
As a final tip, remember to make sure you always have enough water and ice, and to serve something fresh - veggies and fruit, or sherbet - to take a break from all the rich creaminess.
What to wear to Friendsgiving: Outfit tips
Every group of friends has its own vibe, style and dynamics; if you go to a Friendsgiving party dressed as you always do, nobody will think it strange or rude. However, it's the host who chooses the level of formality and dress code of the event - they may even want to make it a themed party.
Whatever you wear, make sure it's comfortable to sit down for a long time and that it has enough room so that you can eat as much as you want. Flouncy and sweater-weather clothes will be perfect, as are fall shades of red and gold. It's a holiday, so you can safely wear something sparkly.
However, remember that dark colors don't show cranberry sauce stains, so they may be your wisest choice.
These have been our best tips for hosts and guests on what to bring to Friendsgiving! Are you going to a Friendsgiving party this year? Tell us all about it in the comments section!
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