One of the joys of having your own space during the holidays is having the chance to share meals with friends. Once your friends have decided to host a Friendsgiving, after choosing a date, the next step is to decide what everyone will bring. When thinking about what to bring to Friendsgiving, consider the following:
If you’ve been invited to a friend’s place:
Do you know how to make this dish?
This seems obvious, but if you’ve never roasted a turkey before, this might not be the time to try it out. Remember, your friends are counting on you to bring something delicious! Plan to bake something that you’ve make before, or make a practice dish a few days before Friendsgiving.
How susceptible to temperature changes is this?
No one wants to be responsible for giving their friends food poisoning, so make sure to think about your host’s kitchen setup and the size of your dish. Will this fit in to their refrigerator if it needs to be kept cold? How many other people will need to use the fridge? Does it need to be served piping hot, or can it sit out for a while? Will you need to oven to reheat it, or can it be dropped in the microwave?
How easy will this be to transport?
One of my most stressful party experiences was agreeing to bring a frosted cake, then realizing that I don’t own a cake carrier, and I had no way to bring it to my friend’s house without covering myself and my car in icing. Do you have what you need to carry your chosen dish to your friend’s house?
What is everyone else bringing?
One of the best parts about Friendsgiving, other than the great food and the company, is planning the party. It’s important to discuss who will bring what together, otherwise you’ll end up with seven pumpkin pies and no main dishes.
If you’re hosting:
Now that you have your own apartment, are you thinking of hosting Friendsgiving? Here are some things to consider:
How much counter space do you have?
You might have enough room to prepare your favorite dishes now, when you’re the only one in your kitchen. When all your friends are over, either hanging out and talking while you reheat their various dishes, or helping you to cook, will you still have enough space? Do you have a place where you can set all the dishes out once everything is ready? If the answer is no, do you have space to set up a borrowed table?
Can you keep everything cold when it needs to be cold and warm when it needs to be warm?
As mentioned before, no one wants to give their friends food poisoning. Take some time to minimize your own fridge items so that there is plenty of space for Friendsgiving dishes, and make sure all of your guests know what your storage situation is.
How many dishes will need to be reheated in the oven? In the microwave?
Make sure to have not only a plan to prepare your own dish, but also a plan to reheat your guest’s dishes in a logical order.
Do you have enough dishes and silverware?
If you’ve just moved out, you may only have enough dishes and utensils for yourself and your roommates. Plan to buy paper plates and plastic forks, knives and spoons beforehand, or borrow dishes and utensils from a friend if you want to set an extra festive table.
Do you have enough seating?
House parties where food is being served are completely different than house parties without a main course. Can you reasonably see your guests eating comfortably? If your plan involves your guests balancing plates on their knees while all crammed on the couch, you may need to consider borrowing tables and chairs.