11.17.2014

2nd Annual Friendsgiving


Another year, another successful Friendsgiving in the books! On Saturday we hosted our 2nd Annual Friendsgiving, and it went off without a hitch! I'm going to go ahead and say that Andrew and I have mastered the art of making turkey. This is by far my favorite tradition that we've started together, and I'm hoping there are many more years to come celebrating this holiday with our friends. 

It works out great because Andrew and I focus on the turkey and provide a couple pies, and all our amazing friends each bring a dish to contribute. It makes it relatively stress free to host, and we eat like Kings! This year on the menu we had bacon wrapped turkey, 2 varieties of stuffing, mashed potatoes, a stout beer gravy & traditional gravy, green bean casserole, salad, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce, biscuits with honey butter and dinner rolls. That doesn't even include our appetizers! For dessert, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, mini tarts, and apple pie cookies! 

Andrew and I start prepping for the turkey a few days in advance. If I've learned one thing, it's that brining the turkey is key!  It makes for the most juicy and flavorful bird, I promise it's worth the extra effort. This year, we were feeding a crowd, so we needed an extra large turkey, luckily we found the only 25 pounder Safeway had in stock. We followed the Pioneer Woman's recipe for the brine again this year and let our bird soak for a solid 24 hours, flipping once halfway through. You'll need one of these nifty brining bags too. 

After the brine, we followed Alton Brown's steps for cooking the turkey. We rinsed the turkey thoroughly to remove the excess salt from the brine, then massaged the skin with butter and stuffed the cavity with roughly chopped apples, carrots, garlic, celery, onion, thyme, rosemary and sage (don't stuff it too full or it will affect cooking times). With about an hour left before the turkey is finished cooking, it's time to add the bacon weave! On a piece of wax paper create the bacon weave and set aside. Take the bird out of the oven and place the weave over the top, secure with tooth picks if necessary. Then sprinkle brown sugar and cracked pepper on top, and return to the oven for about an hour. Keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn. When the turkey was finished, we had about 25 people trying to squeeze into our kitchen to take a look at our Andrew's masterpiece! 

Dinner was a huge success! Everyone loved the turkey and all the side dishes were amazing, too. Before people started leaving, we even managed to get a group shot, (one serious and one goofy, of course). As the evening went on, we ended up down in the garage to play a few rounds of beer pong/flip cup/etc. It was quite the party and so much fun spending the day with our closest friends!

I wish I had taken more photos, I always get so preoccupied talking to people and playing hostess. Oh well, at least we have the group shot and some after party pictures! I am so thankful for all of our friends and that we have this group get together every year for a fun event. Andrew and I love hosting and are already planning our next dinner party! 

sorry it's blurry! 
If only I knew what they were looking at! 

This year I've seen more and more people celebrating Friendsgiving on social media. Did/do you have one with your friends this year?  I think it's such a fun tradition!

7 comments:

  1. This looks so fun! I would love to host a Friendsgiving but we don't have seating for all of them in our tiny condo. haha.

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  2. Aw, I would love to start a tradition like this and have thought about it many times. Love the pictures and everything looks so festive. You can't go wrong with a Pioneer Woman recipe ever and your turkey looked amazing!

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  3. Oh. my. god. That turkey is a work of art!

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  4. Our 3rd Annual Friendsgiving is next Wednesday! You did such a great job decorating and the turkey looks amazing!

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  5. Our 2nd Friendsgiving is this coming Saturday! I'm so nervous because our guest list has tripled! Much more pressure on us now to cook a great turkey haha. Yours look awesome!

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  6. How fun!! I love this tradition. Andrew's turkey looks amazing!

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  7. How fun! It looks like you guys had such a fun time! Sam and I actually held our 1st Friendsgiving at our house, but I was lame and didn't take any photos. But that bacon wrapped turkey though?? STOP IT.

    And this is so random, but your friend who's in the picture with the guy who has a thin mustache, it looks like she's wearing a Stitch Fix cardigan! hahaha

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