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“Friendsgiving” Etiquette 101: Turkey Day Potluck Strategies

Posted by

Nov 21, 2015

For many of us, prohibitively expensive plane tickets and other circumstances mean Thanksgiving is a day to share a potluck feast with friends or local families. It's not easy being the host of a collaborative holiday meal, but deciding what to bring as a guest can be just as nerve-wracking. These tips will help you make the most of your "Friendsgiving" feast.

Don’t bring wine. If you’re going to a Thanksgiving potluck, don’t be the person who arrives with a bottle of wine or store-bought pumpkin pie. Inevitably, many others who haven’t planned ahead will be thinking the same thing, and that leads to too much wine and not enough food. Instead, trust that your friends have you covered with drinks and look for simple, portable recipes that can be reheated easily.

Thanksgiving Veggies

There can never be too many vegetables on the table. Vegetable dishes can be very easy to make, transport and serve. Hearty vegetables like potatoes, carrots, cauliflower and turnips can be chopped roughly, thrown in some olive oil, roasted in the oven and sprinkled with salt and herbs (or fancier flourishes).

Ambitious dishes are overrated. Is this really the year to break out the rack of lamb or bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin? If you aren’t hosting the dinner, high-maintenance dishes can be stressful to prepare at home and unpredictable to reheat at your final destination. (Keep in mind that many people need to reheat their dishes at the meal, so oven space may be in short supply.) If your Friendsgiving goal is to spend time with your friends and family, you don't want to be stuck babysitting your dish.

BYO take-home containers. At the end of the night, there will be a lot of leftover food. If you plan ahead, you can load everything into bags, tupperware, or glass jars and reap the benefits of everyone’s cooking (with no food waste). Your host will love you for taking some of the excess food out of their house. And if you bring extra containers for others, your friends will love you more.

Check out some of our favorite Sporkful-approved recipes to bring to the table:

L.V. Anderson's Vegetarian Cornbread

Sam Sifton's Roasted Cauliflower with Anchovy Bread Crumbs

Kenji Lopez-Alt's Roast Butterflied Turkey with Gravy

Elite Truong is a snack maker and support manager at Eater.com. She spends her time collecting uni-tasking kitchen appliances and learning to code. Follow her on Twitter @EliteTruong.

Featured Image: Flickr CC / Satya Murthy

Vegetable Photo: Flickr CC / Francis Mariani

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