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The Sweet Life of Matt and Cody: How to host a Friendsgiving

Friends: an integral part of any Friendsgiving. (Photo by Cody Moore)

Thanksgiving is a time for friends and family to get together and enjoy a fall feast. Over break we will dine with our family, but what about our friends? Last weekend we hosted a Friendsgiving. It turned into a hall-wide event. Everyone brought their own food and drink for a potluck. Some people showcased new recipes, others made a quick run to Costco. At the end of day, it didn’t matter where the food came from: everything was delicious! Our night was spent with a room of fine people and food. Here is how to raise a glass with friends and start the holiday season right:



  • The most important thing is getting everyone together, which can be hard. See if everyone has the time talk about potential times over a dinner in the dining hall or send out a group text. Send out invitations well in advance.
  • While you have everyone’s attention, find a nice location to have the Friendsgiving. Will it be in a lounge at your residence hall or someone’s house? It is important to know so you can reserve the location and get appropriate seating setup.
  • Providing food is not a one person job. A simple solution to this is to make a sign-up sheet. Each attending person can sign-up to bring a specific dish. Getting the Thanksgiving staples down is necessary but make sure you leave plenty of empty space for people to write in their own special recipes they want to bring!
Specialty fruit cookies. (Photo by Cody Moore)

The Food

These are what make every Thanksgiving a Thanksgiving. The holiday is designed around the dinner table. We understand everyone might be too busy to cook a whole turkey, so we included recipes for more adventurous alongside quick and hassle-free alternatives:


Roasting a whole turkey can be challenging and stressful. Instead, we opted for the convenience of a store-bought rotisserie chicken. Some also offer turkey if it’s in season. Going down and buying a few is way easier than making one from scratch.

(Photo by Cody Moore)


Boxed stuffing often turns out mushy and less-than-noteworthy. Make your own from scratch, or add craisins, pecans, and fresh rosemary to a pre-made stuffing. Finish your dish uncovered under the broiler to create the perfectly toasted top layer.

Mashed Potatoes

While homemade mashed potatoes are worth the effort and time they take, we found a surprising substitute for those pressed for time (or cooking know-how). Costco also has pre-made mashed sweet potato and butter. You can also grab a jar or two of gravy while you’re there.

Cranberry Sauce


Homemade Cranberry Sauce. (Photo by Cody Moore)

This tart side balances out the sea of butter and carbs that make up the majority of Thanksgiving. Boil whole, fresh cranberries, a splash of orange juice, maple syrup, and cinnamon for a quick and easy side that can be prepared days in advance.


Unless you can outsource the pie-making to a friend or enlist the help of your baking-enthusiast neighbor, we recommend picking up your dessert from the store. Most grocery stores bake pies daily, so they are fresh for your party. Pick up at least one apple and one pumpkin (bonus points for a pecan pie).

Collegian Foodies Matt Lawrence and Cody Moore write about food every week. They can be reached at or on Twitter at @LawrenceFoods and @codymoorecsu


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