Spending time with family is Thanksgiving, but let's not forget about our friends.
In recent years, “Friendsgiving” has become something of a social media fad. This refers to a get-together with a small number of special friends (maybe even just one) during the Thanksgiving season.
This get-together, typically only lasting a couple of hours instead of the greater portion of the day, is separate from the typical larger, family-oriented Thanksgiving meal. Friendsgiving allows friends who don’t get to see each other often to spend time with each other before going off to their individual families for the so-called main event.
This is a great way to reaffirm friendships, but since it’s especially common among younger adults, it’s not an event that everybody is trying to put unnecessary energy into. In fact, the Friendsgiving trend embraces a casual, laid-back, low-effort get together among friends were social conventions of perfect meal etiquette are completely out the window.
Even if you’re not having a Friendsgiving of your own, and you’re just not that great of a cook and need to find an easy way to throw together that dish you were coerced into bringing to your family, here is a list of some of the easiest Thanksgiving-appropriate meals you can make.
Forget apple pie! Who has time to chop up apples and lay those pie crust strips in that beautiful pattern? Pumpkin pie involves a little work in terms of hunting down the ingredients you need, but once you have them, virtually the only thing you need to do is mix. Some flour, some shortening, a crust (nobody will notice if it’s store bought!), pumpkin filling, water, and evaporated milk are the main contenders. For spices, you’ll need salt, nutmeg, ground ginger, and a few other things you’re bound to find at your local grocery store. You can find plenty of easy recipes online!
These are a great side dish, and pretty much everybody likes mashed potatoes. The best mashed potatoes are fluffy and light without being too dry. Everyone has their own preference of how creamy or buttery they like their mashed potatoes, so maybe check with your friends if they have any special requests. All it takes is boiling some chopped potatoes until the skins peel off, draining off the water, mashing with a masher, and adding some salt, milk, and butter. It also takes about five seconds to sprinkle on some parsley or chives for a super-classy garnish.
If your grandmother or auntie always produced those terrible cans of “sauce” at the table, you might find it hard to believe that the recipe for good cranberry spread is pretty simple. Start by dumping a cup of orange juice into a saucepan over medium hit. Stir in the sugar and stir until dissolved. Slowly add up to 12 ounces of cranberries, cooking until they burst. Transfer to a cool bowl and let it thicken, and that’s all there is to it! Check out a more detailed recipe here.
For the vegetarians in the house, or just anyone hungry enough for a hearty side dish, butternut squash is something of a Thanksgiving staple. The festive fall color probably helps. There are a ton of different ways to prepare squash, but one of the most common (and least time-consuming) involves chopping into 1-inch cubes, adding olive oil, cloves, garlic, salt, and pepper, and roasting in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.
You’ll notice that turkey, homemade stuffing, and gravy from scratch haven’t made this list.
Well, we can’t expect everyone to be a gourmet turkey chef. Those things might even require a team effort, so why not have some fun with it?
All that matters is that you’re enjoying each others’ company and reflecting on the things that you’re thankful for this holiday season.
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