Last night, the UPenn Spoon staff teamed up with Penn’s other delicious food publication Penn Appetit for a Friendsgiving potluck dinner. If you’ve never had a friendsgiving, then we’re about to change your life. Friendsgiving is a chance to have Thanksgiving with all the friends you love and are thankful for. Basically it’s an excuse to eat Thanksgiving food with your friends (because honestly one Thanksgiving day a year is just not enough), and it’s awesome.
Our potluck was absolutely loaded. The table was brimming —there were two kinds of Brussels sprouts, butternut squash salads and roasts, wild rice and potatoes, pumpkin mac and cheese, pies, cookies, macaroons and because turkey had yet to arrive in the stores, chickens took center stage.
So here’s our guide for throwing the ultimate Friendsgiving. We know you’re thankful for us.
1. Make it a potluck. It takes the pressure off of one person and this way everyone gets to contribute. Make a spreadsheet of what everyone’s bringing so you don’t end up with twelve mashed potatoes and nothing else.
2. Add your own twist to a traditional dish. This could mean adding bananas to your mashed sweet potatoes (highly recommended) tossing your butternut squash with feta, or throwing pumpkin puree into your mac and cheese.
3. Don’t be daunted by the turkey. Honestly, the turkey is a component, not the shining star. At school we’re limited by our ovens and equipment, so make two chickens instead and call it a day. Not only are chickens quick-cooking and dependable, but you can mess around with different rubs and flavors to spice things up —think harissa chile or herb-crusted.
4. Go heavy on dessert. At the end of the night, no matter how stuffed you are, everyone wants to end on a sweet note. If you’re ever in doubt of what to bring to a friendsgiving, just make more dessert. Need inspiration?
- Pumpkin Pie with Sugar Cookie Crust
- Funfetti Cookies
- Apple Crumble Bars
- Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
5. Do yourself a favor and use paper plates and plastic utensils. Put garbage bags everywhere so people won’t possibly mistake the floor for the trash.
6. Don’t forget the draaanks! Whether you’re keeping it booze-free and decide to serve warm cider and hot cocoa, or you’re spicing things up with some kooky cocktails or good beer, nobody likes to wash down their meal without a drink. Oh, and you’ll need cups.
7. Serving utensils. Bring them —bring lots of them. The last thing you’ll want to see is someone digging into your apple pie with their hands.
8. Keep the oven at 350°F when guests arrive in case someone needs to pop something in the oven. Nothing’s worse than cold mashed potatoes. Ew.
9. Tell your guests to be timely. You don’t want the marshmallows on your sweet potatoes to awkwardly harden or the arugula in your mom’s famous fall salad to wilt.