Friendsgiving 2015

Last Sunday we celebrated Friendsgiving with a fantastic group of Burlington friends. By the numbers we had 12 people, 17 plus pounds of turkey, 8 sides and 3 desserts. It was the largest dinner I’ve ever hosted but totally worth the squeeze in our tiny little house.
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In our next house, we’ll have more room for entertaining. But for now we made due, adding an outdoor table to the end the dining room table and collecting chairs from every corner of the house.
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Setting the table is my absolute favorite part of prepping for a meal. I found these red napkins a few weeks ago and loved them for the holidays. I knew they could work for both Thanksgiving and Christmas depending on their surroundings. For Thanksgiving I created a fall feel by scattering gourds (grown out of my mom’s compost pile) and cute, white pumpkins. Then I mixed metals with silver and brass candlesticks and (fake) rose gold napkin rings. For placecards I stuck little sprigs of rosemary into gift tags that I found at Michael’s, practical and fragrant.
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The plan for the evening was for Tommy and I to cook the turkey, a side and a dessert and each couple would bring their favorite Thanksgiving dish to round out the feast. To drink we made old fashioneds and mulled cider.
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Tommy was our bartender and Korinne was his guinea pig.
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Cocktails in hand, we cooked and prepped and prayed. Well, I prayed that our turkey wouldn’t be a disaster. I was so nervous about cooking the turkey. I’ve never done it before, and for some reason I was really overwhelmed by the task. Luckily, I had a great team around me. Tommy helped prep our bird (I wasn’t brave enough to stick my hand in to retrieve the neck and giblets) and my friend, Dave, shared his trusted recipe from Bon Appetit. The result was this browned beauty.
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Gorgeous though she was, the sides were the real star of the show. We had cornbread with honey butter (so good!), brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes (with a spicy kick), mashed potatoes, veggie stuffing, sausage stuffing, broccoli casserole and beets with goat cheese. So much goodness to go around. Here’s an action shot of the plate passing.
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Dessert was equally epic. There was apple-maple cake, the cutest ramekins of pumpkin maple coconut custard topped with toasted coconut flakes and raspberry oat bars. I ate way too much and loved every bite.
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I’m thankful for these smiling faces. I hope we can do it again next year.

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