How to

Friendsgiving 2020: The Game Plan

Planning, cooking and hosting Friendsgiving is a Barnum & Bailey-level balancing act as it is – and that’s before you toss a global pandemic and government-mandated lockdowns into the mix. Though things will definitely look a bit different this year, you can still have the joyous, eat-until-your-buttons-pop Thanksgiving you’ve always dreamed of. Armed with a game plan (and a glass of fizz in hand), you’ll ensure no potato goes unmashed. So, grab your aprons, and let’s get started. It’s turkey time!

Two weeks until…

November 26th may feel far away, but ample preparation will allow you to let loose and actually enjoy the celebration when T-day rolls around. Head to your butcher and pre-order your turkey. If you don’t live in the States, it’s less likely your butcher will have them at the ready, so planning ahead is key. This is also a great time to really nail down your menu. You can go totally traditional or really rogue. The world is your oyster stuffing. While you’re at it, become a master delegator. Dish out dish assignments to your guests. Whether it’s an autumnal kale salad or your grandmother’s candied pecan torte, it will be one less thing for you to worry about.

One week until…

Things are starting to kick off, but you’ve still got some time to get all your ducks in a row. Take store of your booze provisions and decide if you need to buy more. We usually plan for one bottle of wine per person, but a seasonal punch is never remiss. With just a week to go, we also like to start thinking about the table, as we think it’s just as important as the food. Dishes in brilliant jewel tones are a perfect backdrop for tender slivers of turkey and a swipe of cranberry sauce, while a patterned linen tablecloth pays homage to fall’s greatest treasure.

Four days until…

The time draws nigh. Head to the supermarket and fill your tote with all of your fresh groceries. Think produce, dairy and anything from the bakery that will stay fresh for a few days. Bring home your spoils and get to work washing and drying any fruit or vegetables. Shred any leafy greens you’ll be using and peel and chop sturdier veg like sweet potatoes or squash. You’ll be glad you did come Thursday. If you’re making your own gravy, do it today. It’ll keep in an airtight container in the fridge until go-time.

Two days until…

Though you’re definitely going to make a bit of a mess in the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day, you’ll probably want the rest of your house to sparkle. When guests marvel at your hosting skills, you can casually respond, “Oh, but the house is such a disaster!” knowing full well there isn’t a dust bunny in sight. Polish the good glasses and don’t forget to iron the napkins. Dry brine your turkey and make any salad dressings you’ll need on Thursday.

One day until…

It’s the final countdown. Bake any desserts you’ll be serving today. Wrapped tightly, they’ll be fresher than fresh tomorrow. Make croutons for any stuffing you’ll be serving and store them in an airtight container. Cobble together a groovy playlist to see you through to the wee hours of Friday morning. Double-check RSVPs with your guests. It is still the height of Corona craziness, after all.

THE BIG DAY.

It’s here! Finally! It’s time to get down to business. Wake up a little early, squeeze in a quick meditation if you can (you’ll almost definitely need a moment of calm when things start to go awry) and head to the kitchen. Pull your turkey out of the fridge, wash off any brine and let it rest at room temperature for a couple hours before popping it in the oven. Get started on your sides, pre-dinner nibbles and punch. Once everything is more or less under control, set the table and pour yourself a drink. You deserve it! Slip into something festive and do the final rounds in the kitchen. Pull the turkey from the oven 30 minutes before carving and plating so that it will be at its juiciest and most delicious. Grab a friend to help you shuttle everything to the table. Sit down, refill your glass and enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving!

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