Friendsgiving: How to Host a Thanksgiving Dinner Potluck

If you haven’t before, you should consider hosting a Thanksgiving dinner potluck, also known as friendsgiving. Not only is it pretty expensive to buy all of the trimmings for your Thanksgiving dinner, it’s an extremely long and and exhaustive process to cook and bake everything by yourself (unless you’re Martha Stewart). Consider hosting a Thanksgiving potluck with your friends instead. It divides up all of the work, helps you save money and you can still enjoy all of the delicious turkey day favorites in good company. Follow these tips for a flawless holiday potluck with friends and family:

Invite your squad to Thanksgiving Dinner.

You may wish to invite a lot of people to your apartment, but keep in mind you don’t want it to get too crowded. Determine how many of your friends and family can realistically fit in your space. How much seating space do you have? How many people fit around your table? Will you need to rent chairs or ask to borrow a folding table from a friend? Once you establish the number of people that can join you for dinner, set up the guest list and send out invites.

Decide who brings (or buys) what.

Let’s be honest, everyone is going to try to bring cups or liquor. If you plan to eat at your friendsgiving, make sure you assign the dishes accordingly. Even though mashed potatoes are delicious, you don’t want six people bringing that dish. To prevent this from happening, when you send out the invitations, include what you would like that guest to bring.  Keep in mind where your guests are coming from and how they are getting to your place. Be considerate of these struggles. Have guests who have to travel the farthest contribute foods that are easy to transport and don’t need to stay hot for a long period of time. Who wants to eat ice cold lasagna?

You’re on turkey duty!

Because you’re the host of Thanksgiving dinner, you should be the one to prepare the turkey. After all, transporting a bird isn’t the easiest of feats. You can prepare the gravy at home from its drippings for a mouth-watering scent to treat guests as they come through the front door. The fastest way to make a turkey is to fry it. However, if you don’t have the right turkey fryer, that can be impossible. If you’re going to roast a turkey, here’s the worlds easiest recipe:

How to Roast a 10 Pound Turkey

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Pull the neck and giblets out of the cavity; ditch the liver and save the rest of the giblets for gravy. Dry the turkey with paper towels, then season inside and out with salt and pepper. Fill the turkey with aromatics like chopped onions, carrots, apples and herbs, then place breast-side up in a roasting pan and brush with melted butter. Tent with foil and roast for 2 hours  (add an extra 15 minutes per pound for larger birds). Remove the foil, baste with more melted butter and crank the oven to 425 degrees F. Roast for another hour or until the meat at the thigh registers 165 degrees F. Let the bird rest while you make the gravy. (Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine)

Stock Up on serving gear and disposables.

Nobody has time or electricity for a ton of dishes. Get all the necessary disposables. Make sure you have a selection of platters, serving spoons and casserole dishes, as well as warming trays to protect the table if you are doing family style or buffet style dining. You could also ask your guests to either bring their dish in the container they’d like to have it served in or to let you know if it needs to be placed in one of your dishes. Nothing looks worse than a table of beautiful dishes with one lonely side of mashed potatoes in tupperware.

Label the placement and seating.

Provide labels for your guests. Less questions, more eating. When you set up your buffet table or the dinner table, plan the placement of the food and your people before guests arrive. Use sticky notes to designate where certain dishes should go and where certain people will sit so that your loved ones can add their contributions easily and quickly. Arrange the flow of plates, bowls and serving trays so the cold ones are first, followed by the hot items.

Plan the entertainment.

Plan how you will entertain your guests after dinner. Karaoke? Cards? A movie screening? While sitting around was an acceptable form of entertainment in college, being prepared with activities for your guests will keep the night from being dull. Kings and Beer Pong aren’t the go-to this time, guys. 

What are your friendsgiving tips? Share them with us below and get featured on our social media!

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Emmelie De La CruzEmmelie is the Social Media Strategist at RentPath, home to and In true millennial fashion, she is taking over the world, one post at a time.

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