Fall and Thanksgiving

Interesting Ideas From a Fabulous 'Friendsgiving'

January 19, 2019

A brand new fall tradition appears to have taken hold among the twentysomethings: “Friendsgiving.” A week or so prior to the actual holiday, groups of friends across the United States are hosting a Thanksgiving meal to celebrate those who are like another family. My second family has done this for 2 decades now; it is an extra-special event for all those friends that aren’t able to go home for Thanksgiving.

At their stunning 1913 apartment in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood, four of my buddies fearlessly hosted a dinner for at least 20 this season. With each host spending about $80 for food, wine and decor, they pulled together a flawless and delicious feast.

Watch how they did it and receive ideas for hosting your feast with friends.

Alex Amend Photography

The Decorations

Working with a budget, the buddies planned their dining table decorations around one splurge component, with more affordable or borrowed things as accents. Planters stuffed with succulents, ferns, rosemary, chamomile, mint and lavender became easy centerpieces they could keep yearlong. Flowers and additional greens from a nearby gentleman additional color.

Hand-me-down chairs from a great-grandmother supplied some seating, while seats sat on the other side of the desk.

Hint: Benches can chair lots of people in small space. Following dinner, the chairs could be pushed into a living area for lounging.

Alex Amend Photography

Layered tablecloths made from parents gave the combined tables a sleek, plush appearance. A table runner and candles were found available in Crate & Barrel. Position cards made from card stock obtained a custom made treatment using a paper and postage leaves from PaperSource.

Hint: Do not throw all of your plant scraps off when creating flower arrangements. Extra bits and pieces can garnish plates or brighten unused corners of your residence.

Alex Amend Photography

The Bar

The apartment has a beautiful wood-paneled built-in pub that is ideal for entertaining. Each of the glasses sat out to the pub for the evening, ready for champagne or wine.

Alex Amend Photography

Hint: Have bottles of red and white available when guests arrive so no one’s shy about pouring a glass.

Alex Amend Photography

This summer among the host sisters got married — the equivalent of hitting the home decor jackpot to get a twentysomething, as she inherited her sister’s old dishware. A brand new set of wineglasses arrived only in time for Friendsgiving, replacing the usual red cups allowed for get-togethers.

Alex Amend Photography

The (Two-Part) Dress Code

For the most part, parties among this group are informal, however a formal dress code was created for this Friendsgiving: dresses or skirts for the women, nice button-downs and pants to the boys. Obviously, there were a few complaints, since nice garments discourage reckless gorging, so the buddies came up with a compromise: Nice clothing for supper, but everybody brings sweats to transform into immediately after. This group of friends is mostly University of Oregon alumni, so that they packed their yellow and green sweats for postdinner football viewing.

Appetizers — including baked brie, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus and bacon-wrapped dates — were put out in the living area beforehand while the hosts put the finishing touches onto the turkey along with the tables.

Alex Amend Photography

Cooking Contributions

A potluck was the best solution for this Friendsgiving. Every person brought at least one side dish and also at least one bottle of wine. Tupperware for leftovers was supported but not required.

Alex Amend Photography

The hosts provided a 24-pound turkey to feed the team. They set up a huge spreadsheet on Google a week or so beforehand, so everybody could subscribe to dishes and fill gaps in the menu. A few days prior to the dinner, the hosts sent out a request for toaster needs and times in order that they could make up an oven schedule. The food was brought precooked, but some of it had to be warmed before serving. Appetizers went in first, and then the main dishes, then the dessert things. The amount of dishes intended that the neighbors’ oven had to be on standby.

Make sure your freezer and refrigerator are almost completely cleared out prior to a big dinner party, so there is room to store prep things and leftovers.

The Meal

Compostable bamboo plates seemed great and created postdinner cleanup a lot easier. Nice silverware sat out in the kitchen with all the food, buffet style, and everybody served themselves. Notecards about the counter tops and dining table indicated where dishes ought to go — from salads to stuffing to mashed potatoes.

Hint: Do a list of your kitchen things prior to the party, so if you need to buy or borrow whatever, you can do so beforehand. Get creative with your serving things! These hosts found that a cute mug can work as well as a gravy boat.

Once seated, everybody felt really grown-up in the candelit dining table. As individuals dug into their towering plates, a minimum of five guests felt the need to provide a toast — everybody wanted to share how special this felt.

Alex Amend Photography

Cleanup Time

Because the majority of the women took over cooking, cleanup was delegated to the men. After a while to digest and postdinner wine, music began blasting in the kitchen and the boys must do the job. One host stuck around to make sure everything went smoothly, however, the high number of “volunteers” made cleanup move fast.

Too many people helping clean up may actually slow things down. If you have this issue, encourage helpers to simply clear the dining table, or simply pour them into coffee or glass of wine and also lead them into the couch.

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