How lucky am I to have so many amazing friends who still, many years after we were no longer thrown together by school or jobs or other people, remain friends? Believe me, I know how lucky I am! That’s why I didn’t want November to come and go without at least trying to coordinate a Friendsgiving. Usually I am too busy planning a Thanksgiving for 20+ people to also plan a Friendsgiving, but this year I’m off the hook. So I decided to make this the BEST Friendsgiving that I could. But really I just wanted to focus my “love language” (which, if you haven’t guessed by now is food and parties) on my besties.
I’m sure it will shock you that I, a type A party planner, always make a printed plan for every party that I host. They vary in specificity and length depending on how much time I have to spend planning, but usually they consist of a Menu, Crafts, Prep Schedule, Grocery List, and Recipes or recipe templates that I need to have on hand. The important thing is that I print it out even though I have a million devices with which I could view it electronically because, buckle up other type-As, plans change. I like to be able to amend and delete things as I go because rarely does a party turn out exactly the way I planned it in my head two weeks ago. For example, I had ambitiously planned to make four different mini-desserts, but realized after my umpteenth visit to the grocery store that I ran out sugar the morning of our dinner, so I axed the fourth dessert. I changed my mind about the “treat” for the treat bags. I couldn’t find canned cranberry sauce anywhere, so I made my own. You get the picture. If you get a kick out of reading through other’s party plans, here’s the link to my original (not amended) plan.
I know logically that it is entirely possible to throw a party without making a single craft, but, for me, it doesn’t feel like a party unless I have at least one craft project. This began when my friend Becca lived with me after college, and we had awesome, packed parties in our tiny condo. We were on pretty tight budgets, so I’d supplement the party with a homemade banner over the dessert table or tags for the treat bags. I often turn to Pinterest, and sometimes even make a new board for a party, but let me just say that these boards are Inspiration Only. I have no interest in making a Pinterest-perfect party or trying to replicate every craft that I pin. The goal isn’t to make a party that looks like it was staged in a photography studio. The goal is to make your guests feel special and to have a little fun while letting your creativity run wild. This time, I made a pumpkin pie banner with craft paper and cotton balls, I wrote “Thankful as Fuck” on the punch cups, I made wine cork turkey place cards with leftover wine corks and a kids craft printable I found online, and I set up a little station where my friends could make hand turkeys to hang on my Friendsgiving Turkey Banner 🙂 The hand turkey craft is my favorite. I’m planning on hanging it up every year from now on!
I scoured big batch cocktail recipes to finally settle on this Red Nose Punch for our pre-dinner beverage. I think I’m in good company when I say that it was delicious. I LOVE a good punch, but so many of them are too tart or too sweet. This one has bourbon and beer among other things, so it is neither too tart or too sweet. Highly recommend. I also made some nibbles to go with the punch – cranberry brie bites and roasted garlic-and-walnut crostini. It was a weeknight, so we didn’t go crazy with pre-dinner frivolity, but what is a Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving without some apps?
You know you’re having a good time at your own party when you forget to take any pictures of a) the guests and b) the food. This is a frequent stumbling block for this food-and-party-loving blogger. But it’s okay! You’ve all seen turkey, potatoes, stuffing, and green bean casserole before. At least I got one, horrible, no good, very bad photo of the dessert platter with my three mini pies: pumpkin, apple with cheddar, and pecan. They were a hit…or so my nice friends tell me 🙂
I sent them home with a LOT of pies, of course, but also these cute little pumpkin donuts (baked) and these cute little pumpkin pie treat tags I found at Target. Who doesn’t love a baked donut? It’s one of the first things my grandma taught me to make. Oh, and piping the donut batter into the pan is a total. game. changer. Don’t spoon it or pour it. Pipe it, man.
No recipes in this post, but you can get a few of them by clicking on my plan link above. I will, however, be posting next week on what we did with the leftovers (besides continuing to stuff our faces with them for the next three days). AND come hell or high water, I am going to make that fourth pie mini pie to share with you. So stay tuned…