After moving to New York, you may not have time to visit family for Thanksgiving, especially if you want to make the trip home for other holidays. Instead of eating alone, you can celebrate Friendsgiving in your apartment.
Follow these five tips to make your first Friendsgiving a success!
Make an Appropriately Sized Guest List
Take a close look at your apartment so you can decide how many people you can fit comfortably into the space. If you have a fairly large home, then you may want to invite a few coworkers, fellow students and people who live in your building. If you have a small apartment, keep your list as short as possible.
When you invite guests, ask them to RSVP for the event. Some of them probably won’t have a chance to attend, so you can select replacements from names lower on your list.
Related: Thanksgiving in NYC
Shop for Ingredients a Few Days in Advance
Grocery stores can run out of popular ingredients during the week leading up to Thanksgiving. Getting an early start will help ensure that you can find the ingredients that you need for your dinner.
A traditional Thanksgiving meal requires a turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes. If you want to serve these dishes, then you should go shopping several days before your event.
Of course, you don’t need to take the traditional route for Friendsgiving. Feel free to get creative with trendy foods you and your friends enjoy. Remember to offer vegetarian and vegan options for people with restricted diets.
Cook and Store Food Before Your Celebration
As the Friendsgiving host, you will probably prepare the turkey or other protein that serves as the meal’s centerpiece. Turkey takes a long time to cook, so you should get started early. Even an eight-pound bird will need at least two hours and 45 minutes in the oven.
If you have a frozen turkey, let it thaw in the refrigerator the day before Friendsgiving. Thawing will save you at least two hours of cooking time.
You can also prepare several dishes ahead of time and store them in your fridge. Some good options include cranberry sauce, pecan pie and most casseroles. Just put them in the oven to warm them up before serving. If you have limited space in your refridgerator, ask a neighbor if he or she might be able to lend a shelf for a day or two.
Host a Potluck to Save Time and Money
Your guests probably won’t expect you to cook everything for the Friendsgiving meal. Everyone understands that you have limited space, time and money. A potluck gives you an easier way to have the dinner out your apartment.
As the host, you will have to manage the potluck, though. Make a master list of your guests and what they will bring to the event. You don’t have to assign people specific dishes. Instead, you can ask one person to bring dessert, one person to bring a vegetable side and another person to bring drinks.
Stay in communication with everyone to make sure they bring their assigned dishes.
Maximize Your Kitchen and Dining Spaces
If you have a small apartment, then you will have to get creative to maximize the space in your kitchen and dining area.
Start by rethinking your furniture placement. You can move couches, small tables, and televisions into your bedroom to create more space. Of course, you can also consider your couch a part of your dining area. It just depends on how casual you want to keep your Friendsgiving.
In the kitchen, make sure you clean as you cook. It will prevent frustration and clutter. You can also create more space in the kitchen by setting the table before you begin cooking. Suddenly, you’ll have a couple of cabinet shelves where you can store ingredients and let items cool before serving.
You don’t have to travel home to have a memorable Thanksgiving. This year, you can start a new tradition by hosting your first Friendsgiving.