Friendsgiving: A Guide

It’s almost Thanksgiving, the time when we all — in the United States, at least — take a quick sojourn from the everyday to feast with family and celebrate what we are thankful for in our lives. But before the family celebrations, there is Friendsgiving, the holiday sensation that’s sweeping the nation (Seth Cohen is green with envy, as he waits for Chrismukkah to permeate the zeitgeist the way that Friendsgiving has). What better time than this season of gratitude to gather our found families together and celebrate the friendships that bring us joy and solace, inside jokes and TV recs, advice and shoulders to cry on and cat gifs all year round? Plus, we millennials love an excuse to plan a dinner party.

Ideally, Friendsgiving should be a potluck — in the spirit of friends and sharing and community. But if you’re the Monica of your friend group (cough Zelda cough), or if your guests need marching orders in the culinary department, you may find yourself in need of some guidance, these are our picks (see links to recipes in the captions). We’ve got you, friend.

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Zelda and friend-of-the-blog Katie getting intimate with a 12 pound bird.

We’ve gathered some of our favorite recipes from here on the blog and across the internet to help you lay the perfect table, cater to most dietary restrictions, and generally show your friends a good time. First, we set the mood with songs of friendship — female and otherwise. And then, we start as parties usually do in the world of Zelda and Scout: with booze.

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Bourbon Cider Punch (Zelda and Scout)

If you’re the one in possession of the largest table (or, let’s be real, general square footage on which to place people’s butts), you’re probably going to be responsible for the main event.

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Citrus and Herb Butter Roast Turkey (The Suburban Soapbox)

And with the bird in place, it’s time to get stuffed.

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Rich Cornbread Dressing (The New York Times)

And don’t forget the toppings. After all, in Zelda’s world at least, turkey is merely a means to convey the maximum amount of cranberry sauce into one’s mouth.

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Cranberry Sauce (The Pioneer Women)
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Turkey Gravy (The Kitchn)

Next, you’ll want your starchy sides: a beautiful rainbow of beige.

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Best Mashed Potatoes (A Spicy Perspective)
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Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese (Southern Living)
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Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole (Cooking Light)

(If, like us, you find yourself with friends who are fatally incompatible with nuts, you can eliminate the pecans. Murder is against the Friendsgiving rules.)

You should probably throw in something green, to quell the nagging voice in the back of your head.

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Classic Green Bean Casserole (The Kitchn)
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Braised Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta (Smitten Kitchen)
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Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan (All Recipes)

Add a bread, to soak up all the gooey bits. Not a mote of deliciousness shall go to waste!

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Mama Harlan’s Cornbread (Zelda and Scout)

And finally, it’s time for dessert, featuring all of the staples of the season.

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Mama Harlan’s Pumpkin Chiffon (Zelda and Scout)
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Sweet Potato Sonker (Zelda and Scout)
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Derby Pie (Zelda and Scout)
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Cranberry Curd Tart (The New York Times)

With clear eyes and full bellies, you and your cohort can rejoice in friendships well-fêted. Retire to the couch, or the floor, to while away the rest of your evening in contented company. We recommend some games and a healthy dose of Chance the Rapper.

And finally, for extra credit, you could pick the meat off the turkey carcass and set the bones to boil on the stove, in preparation for Zelda’s other favorite November holiday: Gumbo Day.

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Happy Friendsgiving, from our ragtag bunch to yours.

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