Monthly Archives: November 2011

On Saturday my friends and I hosted our third annual ‘friendsgiving’. It really is one of my favorite days of the year. There’s nothing better than getting all your friends together to stuff your faces, especially when all your friends are phenomenal cooks.

This year we hosted Thanksgiving for a group of 14. It was certainly an interesting exercise in hosting. It was really important to me to be able to seat all 14 people around a table because I think sitting down together, passing around the dishes, and enjoying the meal around one big table is a really fundamental part of the Thanksgiving ritual. That said, I wasn’t about to pass off a regular ol’ potluck Thanksgiving and make it a free for all when it came to seating. Luckily, Caroline was nice enough to lug her dining table over to my place in the pouring rain to create one long dining table, successfully turning our double parlor room into one big dining room.

the set upset up, close up

For the table setting, I went with Wasara plates, which I used last year too. The visual impact is great, and at the end of it all, you can throw them in the compost bin. I ordered mine from Branch Home and they showed up overnight. I also picked up a roll of Mydrap cloth napkins from Amazon. They’re great because they come in perforated rolls, so you can just fold and throw them on the table without having to think about ironing them. I also really love how clean and simple they look.

name tags

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I’m running around cooking, hosting, socializing etc. I always forget where I put my glass. I find that I’m not the only one with this problem, so I decided to tie little personalized name tags on everyones glasses. I used half-pint mason jars for glasses, and I tied Avery key tags with twine around each glass. This definitely helped minimize the number dirty glasses at the end of the night.

enjoying ‘kozaks’ – alex’s proprietary blend of yumminess

all seated and ready to eat!

Onto the food…

michelle’s butternut squash and sage galette to start

I wish I had a photo of a spread, but there wasn’t enough room for everything on the table so we brought dishes out in rounds. We started with the usual suspects – Caroline’s persimmon salad, Mike’s mashed potatoes (mike brought 15 lbs of it!), my brussel sprouts with pancetta, Matt’s chestnut and wild mushroom stuffing, and Michelle’s cornbread chorizo stuffing.

The turkey came out in the second round. I have to say, I don’t really like turkey and every Thanksgiving I just take an obligatory bite or two, but this year, Matt’s apple cider glazed turkey was the most delicious, moist turkey I’ve ever had in my life.  It was perfectly moist and had the most beautifully crisped layer of skin.

Then came Nina’s potato fennel gratin and roasted yams with mustard vinaigrette. Oh, and my cranberry persimmon sauce, which I didn’t get to take a picture of because I was too busy stuffing my face.Then, we finished off with Ryan’s persimmon cake and Ken’s pumpkin pie. No picture of Ryan’s persimmon cake :( Again, too busy stuffing my face.

tamale creepin for some scraps

Excuse the blurry photos.

Until next year!


The last time I posted here I was celebrating the highly-anticipated arrival of our indian summer here in San Francisco so it will be glaringly clear how little I update my blog as this here post is about the arrival of fall and a favorite fall tradition, friendsgiving.

Every year, when I host friendsgiving, I go a little crazy. A little suburban-pta-mom-crazy. To keep things simple, I’ve been reverting to some tried and true place settings and centerpieces. But then, Matt and Michelle noted that I probably wouldn’t be happy about having the same centerpiece show up in the background of pictures year after year. Ugh. So true. But decorative gourds? Nuts? So played out, right?

I was pretty happy with last year’s centerpiece, besides the fact that it was too tall and if you were sitting on either side of it you couldn’t see across the table…

photo courtesy of caroline

So, I decided to see what I could do with some flowers. I live just a couple blocks away from an AMAZING florist, Studio Choo, so I knew I could swing by there for something creative, festive, and unique. Let’s just say their prices don’t really fit into a 24 year-old’s friendsgiving budget.  : (

I love having fresh flowers at home, so I do a fair amount of inventorying of good florists around the city. That said, after perusing Studio Choo, I knew right off the top of my head a handful of florists that carried at least a similar selection of flowers, even if they don’t arrange them as artfully as Studio Choo. I mean, why not take a hand at arranging them myself?

After cataloguing my favorite Studio Choo arrangements, I hit up a great florist near my office and picked up a few bunches of flowers to take home and arrange myself. I’m pretty happy with what I got from about $60 worth of flowers, some good clippers, and an hour or so of careful clipping and arranging.

The turkey’s brining, now, how to seat 15 people in a one bedroom apartment…