With Thanksgiving swiftly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about your holiday plans. Whether you can’t travel home or you just want two Thanksgiving dinners, hosting a “Friendsgiving” is a great way to bring your friends together for a delicious meal. But there are a few things to consider first. Here are 5 tips for hosting your own Friendsgiving:
1. Compile the guest list
For whatever reason you’re not spending Thanksgiving with immediate family, you’re bound to have friends in the same boat. The best part of Friendsgiving is creating your own guest list from the family you get to choose. Invite a fun group of friends that get along, and don’t feel pressured into inviting the friends that maybe don’t mix well together or aren’t reliable.
2. Cook the turkey
As host, it’s expected that you cook the turkey. After all, trying to transport a 15-pound bird from one house to the other is pretty much impossible. So, be prepared to tackle the task yourself. Remember that cooking a Thanksgiving turkey takes about 4 days of prep between buying, thawing, and brining, so start early!
3. Coordinate your potluck
One of the advantages of hosting a Friendsgiving is the “friends-giving” part. After all, since you’re taking on the task of turkey, it’s reasonable to ask your guests each bring a side dish. However, you don’t want to end up with five pumpkin pies and no stuffing, so take charge and organize who will bring what. This ensures your Friendsgiving meal has all the dishes people anticipate for Thanksgiving. Just make sure your guests know how much to provide for the group, or you might end up with a mountain of stuffing and only 1 measly can of cranberry sauce.
4. Consider dietary restrictions
These days, it’s likely that at least one of you friends has a special diet. Whether it’s vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free, you’ll want to make sure they have something to eat. This is not to say you have to have a tofurky, but do ask your guests to bring at least a few dishes that are food restriction-friendly. It can help to encourage your food-picky friend(s) to bring something of their liking. That way, you can guarantee that everyone gets to eat for Friendsgiving.
5. Create a plan
The key to hosting any soirée is organization. Trying to play host or hostess while also handling kitchen responsibilities is the quickest way to stress yourself out. So, set a timeline about a week in advanced for cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking times, and party set-up. A timeline or checklist will help you stay on top of things and prevent you from serving an undercooked or burnt turkey.