Thanksgiving season is upon us, and many of us here are going to be swamped with homework which means we won’t have a chance to spend the holiday with our families. Regardless, it’s never a bad idea to spend it with the friends you are grateful for and wish to show appreciation to with a little party! With that being said, let’s get into a few easy tips and recipes that’ll make throwing your own Friendsgiving unforgettable.
The most important thing here is to establish a budget. In order to figure this out, you obviously need to figure out how many guests you’re inviting. The more the merrier! With friends, a go-to strategy is conducting a potluck; have every guest bring in a dish or give you their share of the costs beforehand (ATH móvil is a lifesaver for this!). A great tip is to buy in bulk at a stores like Whole Foods, where you can save on unpackaged goods like rice and quinoa (buy by the pound!) and even occasionally catch them on sale. This way, you also buy the exact quantity you need for the party.
Now the most challenging part: THE FOOD. Us Puerto Ricans go for the classics, but I like to spice things up a bit and try something different (within reason, of course). My favorite dish of the season is a twist on the old-fashioned arroz con gandules. I change it up by replacing the white rice with quinoa (recipe here). Gives it a great flavor, with a hint of nuttiness that complements the spices in the classic arroz con gandules. And the best part? It’s a light and healthy choice that helps balance out the indulgent pernil asado and ensalada de papa that we slap on the paper plate by the heaps.
Of course, it wouldn’t be the holidays (much less a get together with friends) without a seasonal drink for everyone! My go-to is to make a big punch bowl (or bucket, quite honestly it doesn’t matter as long as it has liquid containing capabilities) of a fizzy mixed drink. I personally always go with an apple cider drink of sorts, either a “mocktail” or cocktail version. Both are acceptable, but usually, most have a preference. For larger quantities, take those Martinelli’s apple cider drinks that are pretty strong in flavor, add sparkling water, and ginger ale, and it’s a lovely spicy beverage. It can be taken up a level by adding cinnamon sticks, sliced apple, and of course: white wine or fireball.
Last but certainly not least: party games! It’s a Friendsgiving so all bets are off. You can play a multitude of card games, the most popular being the classic “Cards Against Humanity”. Another fabulous way to level up your party games is making even the most basic games a drinking game. Drunk Jenga, drinking board games (a game of “Clue” or “Monopoly” could get very interesting), or even watch your favorite holiday film with a built-in drinking game easily downloaded from the internet! The possibilities are endless, so feel free to get creative.
So, those were the basics of throwing a Friendsgiving! Of course, you can add more or less to your party, whatever is within reach this season. Remember to party responsibly!