We’re used to indulging in traditional dishes on Thanksgiving, like grandma’s pumpkin pie and Aunt Susan’s green bean casserole, but at Friendsgiving, anything goes. A low-key get together with your favorite buds is a great way to celebrate friendship and test drive new recipes.
Like you, South Dakota farm families will be celebrating friendship and family this season too, but Thanksgiving carries an extra special meaning for them because it also marks the close of soybean harvest. As they look back on another successful growing season and the careful planning it took to raise their crops sustainably, soybean farmers have much to be thankful for when they take their seat at the dinner table.
Whether you’re reflecting on an important season in your life, or are simply ready to celebrate, here are a few Friendsgiving tips to impress your host.
Decide on the Dish
While the host typically covers the turkey, it’s up to the guests to add some flare with side dishes. Talk with your host ahead of time to coordinate the menu. They’ll appreciate a balanced spread rather than 10 different types of potatoes. If they say it’s simply up to you, feel free to let your creativity soar with something unique. Whatever you decide, bring your own serving dish and leftover containers to keep the meal hassle-free.
Choose Shareable Sides
Appetizers and sharables make it easy to get a little taste of everything. If your dish is easy to grab, it’ll be hard to resist. Try bringing something bite-sized or splitting the dish into individual portions. Some of our favorites are deviled eggs, sweet potato bites and prosciutto cheese bites.
Consider Easy Alternatives
Maybe you’re a little challenged in the kitchen or just don’t have much time to spare before the party. That’s okay! A meat and cheese plate or specialty bread will always win over a hungry crew. Fresh veggies and fruit are also appreciated. When choosing produce, know that it was grown with your safety as the top priority. Buying organic may be your jam, but know that you don’t have to spend the extra money to provide nutritious snacks for your friends. Organic and conventional farming are more similar than you think, especially when it comes to nutrition and safety.
Bake With Fall Flavors
Bring the Party
Cooking not your thing? Be the friend who brings the good times with decks of cards or a fun party game to ignite conversation. Or consider supplying necessities like folding chairs, tables or decorations.
No matter what, be sure to thank your host for the hospitality. Toast your host during dinner with a few heartfelt words. If speaking isn’t your strong suit, bring a nice bottle of wine or write a thoughtful note. After all, giving thanks is what it’s all about.
If you’re hosting Friendsgiving for your crew, be sure to browse these holiday hosting tips from The Event Company’s Addie Graham-Kramer. We also have a recipe for maple glazed turkey that will have your guests cheering.
Hungry for Truth is an initiative about food and farming funded by the South Dakota soybean checkoff. The goal is to connect South Dakotans with the farmers who grow and raise their food.