Thomas and I hosted our first Friendsgiving last Saturday! I had all of these big plans to set-up a photo shoot and take a ton of pictures for the blog, but I definitely underestimated how much work goes into preparing for a Thanksgiving feast! I was talking big game the night before that I can do it all by myself, “it’s going to be easy”, and “I can just make a plan in the morning”. Thomas was going to be working all day, so I started feeling the panic when my eyes popped open at 6am thinking “shit! I better get a move on!”. It was such a fun first experience and we had an absolute blast.
Here’s a little timeline of our day!
The night before: brined the turkey! I used bon appetite’s dry rubbed turkey recipe! It was some of the juiciest turkey i’ve ever had!
6am - eyes pop open in full-panic mode. The apartment is a mess and I don’t have a plan finalized for the day! I break out my bookmarked websites and bon appetite’s Thankgiving edition mag for some inspiration! After an hour of deliberating, I decided on creamy potato gratin, sausage fennel stuffing, roasted brussel sprouts, glazed kabocha squash, cranberry sauce, carrot cake for dessert, lots of gravy and the big fat turkey of course. Praying that Thomas’ flights get cancelled at this point so he can come save me.
7am-10am - Deep cleaned the house, had the Friends Thanksgiving episodes playing in the background, and stuffed everything possible that looked cluttered in the apartment behind our door in our bedroom. Our apartment has NO storage space, so anything that doesn’t have a place gets shoved under the bed or behind the door…I’m learning to be more of a minimalist ok?!
10am- Thomas walks through the door and says his flight was cancelled and he’s home for the day to help me! I cry tears of joy on the inside, but pretend like I had everything handled on the outside.
10:15 - head to Fred Meyer to pick-up all of our groceries! In our neighborhood we live walking distance to three grocery stores, which is such a luxury! We can see trader joe’s from our living room window, so we are definitely spoiled in that sense. If we ever forget a major ingredient I never sweat it since I know I can run right across the street!
11:15 - Got home and started making the homemade carrot cake! I used this recipe by Inspired Taste, but just used two of my 6 inch cake pans and made 4 layers! More frosting right?!
11:45 - While the cake is baking, Thomas starts making the turkey stock with all of the giblets from the turkey (sounds gross but is delicious), and I ran out to buy a couple more white plates from a thrift store down our street that has the best dishes! I also stopped by Kitchen Kaboodle to get cloth napkins candles, and then trader joe’s for all of the greenery/flowers for the table.
12:30 - Took the cake out and put the turkey in! You always want to use a meat thermometer to make sure it’s perfect, but a turkey takes roughly 15 minutes to cook per pound, so we were shooting for 3:30 for it to be coming out of the oven and rest for an hour.
12:30 - 3:30- This was a blur of cutting veggies, washing 1,000 dishes, frosting the cake, basting the turkey every 30 minutes, going nuts on potatoes with a mandolin, peeling god forsaken kambocha squash that has merciless thick skin, singing along to the happy hits playlist on Spotify, yelling at Alexa to turn it down when there was too much going on, sneaking kisses with my hot chef who was frankly saving my ass from having a meltdown had he not been there, setting up the table, lighting all the candles, and then answering the doorbell at 3:30 to a florist delivering flowers from my sweet Nana who knew I was hosting a party!
Pheww, I’m tired just re-living this!
3:50 - Our friends Maureen and Eric were supposed to be coming at 4, so I quickly texted her saying we are a little behind sched and to come at like 4:30. I scrambled and took the fastest 2 minute shower ever to wash off all the powdered sugar and turkey drippings, threw dry shampoo in my hair, did a quick little makeup, and was back in the kitchen by 4!
4:00 - Poured ourselves our first glass of rosé which tasted like sweet nectar of the gods at this point in the day. That’s all the really matters here.
4:00 - 4:30 - Did last minute preparations and put everything in the oven that hadn’t been in yet. Here’s everything we made for the night! Dry-rubbed roast turkey, classic potato gratin, sausage & fennel stuffing (swapped out cornbread for sourdough), cranberry sauce out of a can because that’s how I like it, Thomas’s turkey gravy, simple roasted brussels, and kamocha squash with a spicy red wine glaze on top!
The rest of the night: Our friends arrived around 4:30ish and we had drinks and snacks before everything was ready to come out of the oven. We put broil on to crisp the potatoes, but forgot the turkey was in there, mind you this was about 3 glasses deep, and we burnt the top of the turkey! Thankfully enough that was the only mishap of the day and it was still delicious but maybe not as pretty.
We sat around candlelight until late into the night drinking 8 bottles of wine between the 6 of us, breaking out aquavit and rod stewart on the record player, and having one of the best nights ever. I love how a tradition forms when you don’t really plan on that happening, but I know Thomas and I will be hosting a friendsgiving like this one many more years to come.