Being in college means busy lives encompassed by studying, more studying, going out, recovering from hangovers and more studying. The weeks go by too fast and it’s hard to remember we won’t always be able to spend this kind of time with our friends. What better way to appreciate each others’ company than by celebrating Friendsgiving? This year, take the time to turn off your laptops, put your cell phones far away and sit down with some good wine and semi-homemade food. Whether as a Thanksgiving substitute, holiday meal, or just a special Sunday, the face-to-face quality time with your friends will be worth it.
Poor student with no idea what to cook? No problem — here’s my guide to the perfect Friendsgiving; easy on you and your budget:
1. Buy pre-made turkey. Obviously you’re not going to have the time to cook an entire bird for you and your friends, but don’t let that stop you from having a traditional-style Friendsgiving. Some grocery stores, including Whole Foods, will have pre-cooked Turkey, and if you can’t find one in your price range, just get a rotisserie chicken (sold pretty much everywhere for under $10).
2. Buy boxed stuffing and make it better. Mixing in added ingredients like fresh vegetables (chopped celery), cooked vegetables (sauteed onions and mushrooms), fresh herbs (chopped parsley and sage), nuts (pecans or walnuts) and/or dried fruits (cranberries, raisins, etc.) will take boxed stuffing to the next level. It may almost taste homemade.
3. Roasted vegetable medleys like beets, carrots, broccoli, brussel sprouts and celery are super easy to make, healthy and perfect for Friendsgiving. All you have to do is cut up your favorite vegetables in a baking dish, add cloves of garlic and toss everything in olive oil, salt and pepper and bake at 400°F in the oven for about 35-40 minutes or until tender. Follow this recipe if you’re still unsure which combinations will taste best.
4. Cranberry sauce is always necessary and all you have to do is scoop it out of a can and mush it into a bowl.
5. Marshmallow sweet potatoes are a personal favorite and only require a couple simple, store-bought ingredients. Follow this easy recipe.
6. Pillsbury dinner rolls or crescents that come from a tube are inexpensive, easy to bake and come out fluffy, warm and flavorful.
7. A good glass of wine makes food all the more delicious and conversation that much better (and it’s a nice break from taking shots). My personal favorite is Yellow Tail Shiraz — it’s an inexpensive, semi (but not too) sweet red wine (about $8-12 per bottle depending on where you go).
8. Store-bought pumpkin, apple or pecan pie is inexpensive and will taste great after a couple glasses of wine (especially if you top it with some whipped cream).