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Friendsgiving: Good Harvest, Great Pals

You may have heard there’s a new holiday in town—Friendsgiving. This newly-popularized take on Thanksgiving is when friends, rather than family, get together to celebrate the nation’s favorite food holiday. Generally taking place on the Wednesday, Thursday or Friday of the holiday week, Friendsgiving is a little different than a traditional Thanksgiving. Since Friendsgiving has no established rules, it is the perfect venue to get crafty and creative.

So if distance or schedule is keeping you from celebrating with family this year, consider hosting your own Friendsgiving feast. We have some tips that are sure make your celebration is the envy of hosts across the country.

Friendsgiving Tips

1. Buy Local, Cook Beyond!

At a Friendsgiving celebration, going local is always a win. After all, this holiday is a tribute to our nation’s bountiful harvest. If you’re looking for the best local ingredients, try stopping by your co-op because there’s no telling what local treasures you might find. You can also try infusing new flavors into a traditional feast by using non-traditional ingredients in traditional ways (or vice versa), such as this cranberry relish that includes pineapple and ginger, or this spice-infused red kuri pie in place of pumpkin.

2.Cooperate and collaborate

While Friendsgiving can be casual or formal, it’s still a huge undertaking and begs for a combined effort. For Friendsgiving, the host typically cooks the turkey (or tofu turkey), and guests each contribute something to the meal. Send guests a list of suggested items to patch together the perfect Friendsgiving dinner. You’ll want to be mindful of stovetop and oven space, so encourage guests to cook at home as much as possible. For dividing and conquering, consider this Thanksgiving entertainment collection as a resource.

3. The perfect bird

Friendsgiving has few set traditions, but let’s not ignore the main course. ‘Tis still the season for turkey. New to roasting this bird? For all you hosts out there, find some fabulous turkey roasting tips here. For tidbits and guidelines on what the terms mean, where and when to buy turkey, check out this handy poultry primer.

4. Consider the dietarily restricted

Stuffing is the stuff of dreams and everyone deserves to enjoy it. The same principle goes for dessert. Are you cooking for vegetarians? Try this delicious acorn squash stuffed with chard and white beans. For the gluten-free guests, try an alternative wild rice-based stuffing. For a vegan option, this cranberry pecan stuffing is sure to be a crowd pleaser. A good rule of thumb is that everyone should have at least 3-4 dishes from which to choose. We guarantee the party will be a lot more joyful if everyone feels included (and full).

5. Leftovers

We all know one of the best things about a feast is that it survives us after we’ve all thrown our forks up and surrendered to an inevitable food coma. So spread the leftover love. Plan ahead and have guests bring their own jars and containers for the overages. The gobble lives on and nothing is wasted.

Finally, don’t forget to set the mood with a fun playlist and festive decorations. Above all, Friendsgiving is about coming together over a meal and cherishing some of the best things in life: great friends and great food.