friends giving at friendsgiving

I love fall and all of the opportunities it provides to have theme parties.  Usually I throw an annual pumpkin carving party, but this year my kitchen renovation stood in the way of planning that event, so I opted to have a Sunday Friendsgiving/Football potluck instead.  It was a ton of fun, and a nice chance to get together before everyone had family obligations.

Prior to the party, I created a Sign Up Genius form for all of the sides and asked my guests to provide a side dish.  

The guest list ended up having about 25 people, so I requested that everyone double the recipe, or asked people who weren’t sure what to bring make a second version of the most popular sides.  I put myself in charge of the appetizers, turkey and drinks, and having everyone else make the majority of the food saved my sanity.  The night before, I made all of my dishes and cooked the turkeys.  

Two turkeys might sound like going overboard, but my friends eat a lot.  I turned my back for five minutes and when I turned around Aimee and Steve were gnawing on the drumstick. 

 So, if you’re having more than ten people, make a second turkey.  It seems overwhelming, but you just remove the neck and giblets (save for gravy!), season liberally, use my secret method of putting garlic and herb butter all up in the skin, and cook according to the guidelines.  I carved one the night before the party, and kept the other whole as a blog prop turkey for photographs.

For appetizers, we created a cheese plate of Brie, gruyere, salami, prosciutto and spreads, a conceptual turkey veggie tray, turkey cranberry meatballs and bacon wrapped stuffing bites.

I used my cricut and some frames from the dollar store to create personalized menus for each course.  It was a great way to thank my guests for their contribution, and freed me from explaining what everything was.

For the main event, we had my turkey with gravy (which was voted first place of deliciousness), sausage and herb stuffing, 3 batches of mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, 2 corn casseroles, green bean casserole, broccoli casserole, roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon, a plethora of rolls and Jen brought an ugly ass sweet potato casserole while wearing an ugly ass shirt I told her I hated and forbid her to ever wear.

Even with 25 people, there was plenty of food to go around and everything was awesome.  Most people brought hot dishes, so I just heated the turkey, threw any dishes that needed a warm up in the oven and put everything on my island with serving spoons.

For dessert, we had a plethora of pies, diy caramel apples, Kate’s amazing pumpkin pie pecan stuffed cupcakes, some less delicious store bought mini cupcakes and leftover Halloween candy 

At the bar, I provided liquor for mixed drinks, red and white wine, and non alcoholic cider that we turned into mimosas with champagne and sugared. Cranberries.  I also kept a cooler with regular beer, fall beer and waters outside.

 The boys ran to the couch to watch football while the girls took care of babies and played in front of the photo booth I made out of PVC pipe and a sheet:

I hung up a big piece of brown craft paper for everyone to write what they were thankful for (the consensus was me and my gracious hospitality)

My major success of this party was including a to go station, which regrettably I did not photograph before the party.  I bought a ton of cheap plastic to go containers from my local party store and set them up near the food with bags.  This allowed my guests to take most of the extra food so everyone had a clean dish to take home, and bring doggie bags to spouses who couldn’t attend.  People literally started making to go boxes as soon as they got there.

Overall, it was a huge success and so much fun to have a thanksgiving with good friends and food.  We were all full AF and everyone texted me pictures of their leftovers the next day.  Happy Friendsgiving to all and to all a good month! 

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