I've always heard of friends having Thanksgiving with their friends because they did not have anywhere else to go for the holiday. Great! Everyone should have someone to spend Thanksgiving with. Then I learned about friends throwing a Thanksgiving dinner for each other even if they did have family plans on the actual day. This phenomenon is called "Friendsgiving." Basically it's friends + Thanksgiving and I wanted in on it. Last year I declared I would host one and this year... well I forgot until late October. Whoops.
Thankfully 5 of my closest friends were able to join me this past weekend and indulge me in hosting my first dinner party. For some reason I felt like I couldn't have people over anymore because my condo is small and my dog likes to eagerly greet people. Now that he's mellowed out a lot and I missed having people over for more than just a casual night, my heart was set on hosting Friendsgiving. I still had to keep my guest list very small but I was determined to make it happen.
And I'm so glad I did.
I looooooove my table!
I knew that I wanted to make this different than the usual girls' nights in where we sit around the couch and floor snacking and dodging my dog's prying face. For those of you who are unfamiliar with my home, I don't have a dining room. Nor do I have any tables. So I invested in a table that easily folds up in half and it's already proved itself useful for crafts. Since I don't have anything that goes with having a table I picked up some chairs from Craigslist (details in a future post!), a slightly sparkly tablecloth from HomeGoods, beautiful napkins from World Market, and I completed my dining set at Target. I also made a table runner with kraft paper (future post coming as well!).
That, my friends, was as fancy as it got. I loved being able to DIY so much and feel like I had a real table for once. It was amazing to see how much I transformed my living room into a dining room.
Friendsgiving was a major success. My friends had a great time, we opened many bottles of wine, we laughed, we chatted, I laughed so hard that I was literally crying, and everyone enjoyed all the food. I'd love to tell you that I took a ton of pictures of all that transpired, but I don't have any. Nothing except this:
I may or may not have stood on a stool to capture this shot. With my friends watching. "No judging!" And yes. That is cratfy turquioise twine. Thank goodness my chicken didn't turn blue!
I'd like to think that very few photos, tweets, Facebook posts, etc, is a very good sign that everyone was having a great time. I didn't even pick up my phone until we joked "Let's tweet that!" and I did. It was great to just catch up with my girlfriends and just enjoy their company. I love these ladies!
So, what did we make? I took care of the chicken (sorry, not a turkey fan and I was only feeding 6) and a few of the sides while my friends pitched in with other sides, dessert, and of course, wine!
Here are the menu and links, if applicable. Hopefully these will give you ideas for Thanksgiving if you're still stumped.
- Turkey and Cranberry Meatballs
- Meat and cheese platter with French bread
- Misc finger foods: salt and lime cashews, craisins, chocolate covered blueberries
- Keller's roast chicken with Brussels sprouts
- Maple and sage roasted carrots (creation by Krista!)
- Paleo herb gravy
- Apple, cranberry, blue cheese, and spinach salad with Tessemae's lemon garlic and cracked pepper dressings
- Cauliflower mash
- Pumpkin butterscotch "bread" pudding (another creation by Krista!)
- Pumpkin, cranberry, and pecan pie
- Blondies (created by AJ!)
I think cooking was the tricky part, as I slacked on prepping (I was going to chop everything up in advance) and I was running behind on schedule. Thankfully my friends all pitched in and the appetizers helped subside any hanger while also waiting for the rest of the guests to arrive.
I can't wait to host this again. I hope to do this every year. It's fun to just give back to the ladies who have done so much for me and to just celebrate being friends. One day when I have a larger home, I will open it up to more friends and significant others.
After the holiday I'll share with you how I made over some folding chairs and made the table runner. Whee!
Psst, will you be joining me in the first monthly Pinterest project challenge? The link up starts December 1!