If you’re not going home for Thanksgiving this year, then now is the perfect time to host an outstanding Friendsgiving dinner at your Gowanus apartment. Have your guests bring their holiday favorites for an eclectic potluck or go ambitious and cook the whole thing yourself. No matter what way you choose to do it, here are a few simple tips to get you through your night of hosting.
- Cook for an army (or at least enough for your guests)
From turkey to wine, a successful dinner party thrives on an abundance of food and drinks. Check out this informational chart for an easy overview of menu planning to remove some of that stressful guesswork. If you do decide on a potluck feast, be sure to assign specific menu items to each of your attendees so that you’ll end up with a cohesive menu and keep redundancies at bay. After all, you can’t really have Thanksgiving with just four sweet potato casseroles. For your 21+ party, visit Wine 365 or Evergreen Liquor Store, both less than a 20-minute walk from your Gowanus apartment.
(Pro tip: Keep enough containers for leftovers to send with your guests as a parting reminder of the evening’s delicious fun.)
- Keep snacks on hand for grazing
When people get together, a common equalizer is the food around them. That’s what makes dinner parties so much fun. Before the food is ready, however, you want to make sure your guests’ stomachs are sated (but not stuffed) to keep them happy until dinner is served. For the sweet tooth crowd, lay out some crackers and cheese, grapes, and chocolate candies, or for the savory, pour out the chips and dip. The choices can be as simple or decorative as you like and the list is endless.
- Make the evening a time for you and your friends to reflect
Embrace the spirit of Thanksgiving and give your guests time express gratitude, thanks, and blessings that they want to focus on from the past year to the year ahead. One idea is to create table cards or a packing paper tablecloth that prompts each person to write down why they feel grateful this holiday season. Have everyone share as a great conversation starter once seats are taken.
- Go easy on yourself
Despite what you might see online or on tv, dinner parties are rarely ever “perfect.” Something might get overcooked, a side dish might not be served, your place settings might not lay out exactly the way that you had envisioned. All of that is okay. Create easy decorations, repurpose Halloween pumpkins, and find inexpensive mixed bouquets of flowers and don’t sweat the small stuff. The company will make it all worthwhile.
- Create a signature cocktail for the evening
Tie your menu together with a simple seasonal cocktail that is easy to make and serve. One example includes mixing 8 parts apple cider and 1 part dark rum or bourbon in a large punch bowl and adding apple slices and cinnamon sticks for added flavor and visual appeal.
- Organization before means less stress after
Whether you’re a multi-list planner or last-minute host, finding some organizational balance will make your Friendsgiving that much easier. Create a list of things you will need to do or get for the actual evening to make sure you don’t forget anything. Send out invitations at least two weeks in advance and get RSVPs a week before. Cleaning, rearranging, and advanced cooking should be done a few days before, while the final touches should be handled the day before or even the day of, if you’re feeling adventurous.
It’s easy to be the host with the most with these simple steps for the upcoming Friendsgiving party at your Gowanus apartment.