Every year, on the fourth Thursday of November, friends and family gather around a table overflowing with glistening turkey, crispy pies and creamy mashed potatoes friends and family spent hours toiling over. As the night goes on, the room fills with the aroma of the scrumptious meal, boisterous conversation and the warmth of a crackling fire.

With family, laughter and tables overflowing with food for as far as the eye can see, Thanksgiving is a popular holiday that encourages a positive and grateful outlook on life. But how could such a beloved holiday get any better? By adding another one. Host a Friendsgiving potluck the weekend before Thanksgiving. Twice the food, twice the fun.

Dishes & Recipes

Avoid confusion and chaos in the kitchen by splitting up the work. Make Friendsgiving a potluck style event and have friends sign up to bring dishes on a Google spreadsheet. Have guests list all allergies, dietary restrictions and food requests on the sheet  to ensure a successful event. To feed 10 people, try including one main dish, three sides and two dessert dishes. For the main dish, go with a classic turkey or try something new and serve roasted duck.

For side dishes, try delicious and easy-to-make options like cranberry stuffing, mashed potatoes, green-bean casserole, macaroni and cheese and salad. Make sure everyone’s sweet tooth is satisfied by making a classic pumpkin or apple pie. Provide a healthy alternative by serving fruit salad and rice pudding.

Turkey
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Rinse turkey with cold water, then dry well.
  3. Season inside the cavity with 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper.
  4. Stuff cavity with 2 cups of chopped carrots and onions, and tie legs together using butcher’s twine.
  5. Rub butter, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper all over turkey skin.
  6. Place turkey in oven breast side up and loosely tent turkey with aluminum foil.
  7. Roast turkey for four hours, remove foil after the first two hours of roasting.
  8. Let turkey rest for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove butcher’s twine, and remove carrots and onions from cavity.
  10. Transfer onto serving platter and enjoy!

Mashed Potatoes
  1. Cook 5 potatoes in a pot of salted boiling water for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 cup of milk in a small saucepan over low heat until butter is melted.
  3. Use an electric beater to slowly blend milk mixture into potatoes until smooth and creamy.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Fruit Salad

In a large bowl, combine: 1 cup of blackberries, 1 cup of blueberries, 1 cup of strawberries, 1 cup of kiwis, ½ a cup of orange juice, 1 tablespoons of honey, 1 tablespoons of fresh mint.

Setting & Decor

As beautiful as a table full of food may look, don’t let the decorations stop there. Scatter pumpkins and cinnamon scented candles to create a fall aesthetic.

Finally, add a fall-themed centerpiece to tie the theme together. Creating your own centerpiece is easy and cost-effective. Try a sunflower arrangement with wildflowers and other seasonal vegetation. If you want to go the extra mile, decorate your Friendsgiving with a cornucopia, the epitome of Thanksgiving.

Activities

Now that everyone is stuffed and the plates have been licked clean, the real fun can begin. Pull out a classic holiday movie like “Home Alone” or “Elf” to watch while everyone digests.

Then, take out a deck of cards or board games for some good-ol’-fashioned fun.

If you’re feeling especially active, you could start your new year’s resolution early with a game of tag or flag football.

Friendsgiving incorporates the delicious food, traditions and holiday spirit of Thanksgiving, without the hassle or judgment.

About The Author

Khadija Abid

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