Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We celebrated the holiday twice this week, first with our closest friends and today with our family. Hosting Friendsgiving can be a daunting task for anyone, but it can be especially overwhelming in the average Manhattan apartment. With some TWINSPIRATION, you can host a fabulous Friendsgiving even if you have zero Martha Stewart skills. We are excited to share our third annual Friendsgiving with you.
First, discuss amongst your friends on who has the largest dining room area. We love hosting dinner parties at Archana’s apartment because she has an open kitchen and a six-person dining table. By adding a folding table and borrowing six chairs, we were able to double the guest list.
We have so many close friends to invite to Friendsgiving. It can be hard to choose the guest list since we only have seating for 12. Special thanks to our friends Stacey and Chris for joining every year. We highly recommend a potluck Friendsgiving. Cooking for six can be overwhelming, let alone twelve. We asked half the guests to cook, and the other half to contribute to the wine fund. We then took our menu to a wine store and asked for wine pairing recommendations. We try to allocate effort and cost across the group.
how to decorate?
We selected a color-fall color palette on our table- burnt orange, golden yellow and vibrant greens. We used Williams Sonoma’s Botanical Pumpkin linens and napkins. Kanchana created custom Fall place cards at each table setting. Inga of International Garden created the beautiful floral arrangements with mums, magnolia leaves and oak leaves. We placed adorable succulents by Shop Succulents in between each floral arrangement.
what to serve?
Since no one was able to make a turkey and we have a traditional Thanksgiving with our family on Thursday, we opted for a modern Friendsgiving menu with wine pairings. Some courses had full pours, while others had half – remember it’s about quality, not quantity! We were also able to vary the price point of the wines, with the best (and most expensive) paired with the hors d’oeuvres and main course.
Cranberry Sauce >>> Cranberry Tartlet
Butternut Squash >>> Butternut Squash Soup
Pumpkin Pie >>> Pumpkin Risotto
Green Beans >>> Green Been Salad
Turkey Whole Bird >>> Turkey Sliders with Cranberry Relish
Sweet Potatoes >>> Sweet Potato Fries
Apple Pie >>> Apple Pie Mousse
We served Chandon as a welcome drink. Once all the guests arrived we served the mini cranberry tartlets as passed hors d’oeuvres paired with a sparkling red Brachetto by Marenco.
Since this was a six course menu, we wanted tasting portions of each course. We used ramekins and small dishes to plate each course. Remember that garnishes are important when displaying your food. With any food and wine pairing, think about the relative weight and body of each half of the partnership.
We paired the Butternut Squash Soup with a White Burgundy. This soup topped with pancetta and chives has bold flavors and needs a wine with equally bold flavors and some oak. Pumpkin is traditionally reserved for dessert, but Noah prepared a savory pumpkin risotto. We paired this rich course with a Chardonnay. You want to pick a wine that does not have too much fruit or tannins, and allow the creaminess of the dish to shine. The green bean salad was paired with Vermentino, a delicious wine that pairs with medium-weight dishes with rich herbs and spices. Turkey and Cranberry Sauce are major parts of Thanksgiving dinner. The Turkey was served in Slider form with Asiago Cheese, Cranberry Relish and a side of Sweet Potato Fries. We paired this course with two Pinot Noir, one from New Zealand and and one from France. These light bodied wines with earthy and red/black fruit flavors complimented the turkey, sweet potatoes and cranberry relish. The meal concluded with Apple Pie, Dark Chocolate and Pecan Mousse (from Mia’s Desserts) paired with a Riesling. The fruity, light texture of Riesling highlighted the flavors of the Mousse.
remember to be thankful
Our friend, Jeff brought a family tradition to our Friendsgiving. He made paper turkeys and brought candy corn, and asked everyone to share what they were thankful for.
What a fantastic Friendsgiving! Thanks to our amazing friends for joining us. Now we are off to eat more turkey at Thanksgiving with our family.
“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” ––Elbert Hubbard