Friends’givi’ng, noun: An annual holiday celebrated among friends; marked by feasting, wine consumption and uncontrollable laughter.
Maybe you’ve never thrown a Friendsgiving — or even heard of it. Or, maybe you just want to make sure that this year’s celebration is the best one ever. On the surface, there is little difference between Friendsgiving and Thanksgiving. At Friendsgiving, however, you get to call the shots and mix a little tradition with your own style! Here’s a few tips for putting together a dinner party that is sure to become a new Thanksgiving tradition for you and your closest friends.
The best part about Friendsgiving is culling your guest list not from the family you were born into but from your day-to-day family: your friends. The best thing about Thanksgiving (and Friendsgiving) is that everyone feels like family on this day!
The holiday season is busy and of course you want everyone to attend, but choose a date that works for you and stick to it. No matter what day you pick, it’s bound to fall on someone’s annual trip or company holiday party. Try to pick a date early, and send out your invitations at least three or four weeks ahead of time since social calendars get crowded this time of year.
No Activities Needed
Friendsgiving is about connecting over a great meal, so don’t feel the need to organize too many activities for your guests. Just let people mingle. Make sure there is plenty of wine or a fall cocktail ready for sipping, and they’ll take care of entertaining each other. Anddon’t forget the mood music!
Stock Your Bar With Sparkle…It’s The Holidays
Ah, the alcohol. It’s almost as important as the food when it comes to toasting the seasons. Sparkling wines are perfect for serving with appetizers on Thanksgiving. They’re crisp, light and feel festive to drink — the perfect way to kick off the holiday season!
The highest form of conversation is when, for a time, the entire table discusses one topic. Hosts should gently encourage and orchestrate general conversation; guests should participate, resisting the urge just to turn and gossip with their neighbor. If you notice someone stranded outside the conversation, invite him into your circle: “We were just talking about…”
If you’re seated next to a conversational void, try one of the following gambits:
How has the last year been for you?
How did you celebrate Thanksgiving when you were a child?
In the end, it’s most important to remember that a successful Thanksgiving dinner party with your guests all depends on your attitude. Instead of setting impossible standards for this event, realize that the opportunity to get together and enjoy each other’s company is the whole reason for the holiday.
As for decorating, this is where you get to add a few special touches for your friends! We chose fruits like figs, plums and grapes as inspiration. The beautiful deep plum and burgundy tones were perfect to accent with greens and corals for a sophisticated spin on the traditional fall colors. To accessorize the table, we went with deep plum-colored chargers, willow green Dupioni silk napkins accented with seeded eucalyptus and a customized tag that read “grateful.” The gold flatware set and ruby goblets added a little glamorous element to the place setting. We created a multi-level display with the lush floral centerpiece and fruit using assorted gold mercury glass pedestal vases. We love the vintage yet luxurious twist on the traditional Thanksgiving table. The jewel tones and cascading abundance of these arrangements are an ode to the season. Visit our blog (www.keithwatsonevents.com/blog) for a special tutorial on creating your own fabulous fall florals.
Fall in Gainesville is like a conflict of interest. When it seems the rest of the world is crunching leaves, layering scarves and fully claimed by pumpkin obsession, we have some of the hottest days of the year. This recipe for Bourbon & Brandy Sangria is a perfect way to transition your cocktail habit into the spirit of the season.
1 bottle of your favorite brandy
1/2 cup bourbon whisky
1/2 cup pure apple juice
1/2 apple, sliced
1/2 orange, sliced
1 plum, sliced (look for a juicy ripe one)
1/2 pear, sliced (look for a juicy ripe one)
1 cinnamon stick (more for optional garnish)
Cut all your fruit in equal-sized slices and drop into the bottom of a pitcher or glass jug. Add a cinnamon stick. Pour the whole bottle of brandy, bourbon and apple juice over the fruit and gently stir to combine. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours and up to 2 days. It’s best if it soaks overnight before drinking, but if you’re in more of a hurry, you might want to add a bit more apple juice to take the edge off. Serve cold or room temperature, garnished with a few slices of the fruit and a cinnamon stick.
1 fresh baguette
1/8 cup olive oil
Sea salt or kosher salt
4 ounces goat cheese, plain, at room temperature
6 tablespoons fig jam
Honey (to drizzle)
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Slice six 1/2-inch slices of bread from the baguette. Place on a baking sheet and brush generously with the olive oil. Sprinkle a little salt on each slice. Bake for about 10 minutes or until crisp and slightly golden. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
Spread about a tablespoon of fig jam on the crostini. Sprinkle some goat cheese crumbles and top off with a drizzle of honey.
*Add prosciutto for a salty bite!