Friendsgiving is a roaring trend. People all over the country reserve a day for a second or maybe third, Thanksgiving celebration.
Janet Smith, Chi Omega House Cook, helps the 160 sorority sisters celebrate their Friendsgiving accordingly by preparing and cooking a full blown Thanksgiving meal a few days before the women leave to return home for their family Thanksgivings.
Cooking on such a large scale can be overwhelming and time consuming. But, Smith is here to give us a few tips on how to make our very own Thanksgiving meal.
- Make sure to take the packet out of the neck cavity that has the giblets in it. Don’t bake it in the turkey… It will ruin it.
- Bake your turkey in a cooking bag. It will brown nicely and will not dry out.
- When the turkey is done, take it out, set it on the counter, cover it with kitchen towels and let it sit and it will carve nicely.
- Bake the pies the night before. Makes it easier so you don’t have to wake up as early.
- Enjoy your time cooking!
Not able to go home for Thanksgiving, low on cash, or simply wanting to host a quick “friends-giving” before trekking home for the week? No worries, because a delicious, easy and cheap Thanksgiving dinner is well within reach. Between personal experience and the wealth of crafty cooking that is Pinterest, here is a quick guide to a successful college thanksgiving.
- The potatoes – Arguably the tastiest part of Thanksgiving dinner, mashed potatoes are also going to be the easiest for a college student. Potatoes are extremely cheap and likely something already in the pantry. In addition, mashed potatoes are a very wing-able recipe, as in one is not really needed. For the perfect mashed potatoes chop the desired amount of potatoes into small cubes (the number will vary depending on how many people need to be served), boil them until they can be pierced with a fork. drain the potatoes, and add them back to the pot. Once they are back in the pot mash them with whatever you have on hand, often a large ladle will do. While mashing add in a few splashes of milk, a tablespoon or two of butter, and a dollop of sour cream for extra creaminess. Mash till their smooth or leave a few chunks in, again, the recipe is completely adaptable to personal tastes.
- The turkey – Depending on the group and budget, a full sized turkey is probably unmanageable and unrealistic. Instead, try a thick cut turkey sandwich. For a fancier feel, get it cut fresh from the deli, or get something like Oscar Meyer Carving Board turkey. It will give the feel of sliced-from-the-bird meat without the hours of cooking. Buy a nice crusty bread and layer it up with all the fixings.
- Rolls – Nobody has time to make homemade rolls. Take a break and pop your preferred store bought brand into the oven.
- Gravy – Again, this will be better done store bought, because without a turkey being cooked in the oven, there will not be any drippings for the base. Luckily, gravy can be bought for about $2.50 a jar and local grocery stores.
- Cranberry Sauce – Let’s be real, canned cranberry sauce is a classic and the way it jiggles on the plate is tons of fun, but if you are feeling adventurous this recipe promises to be quick and easy.
- Pumpkin pie – The crowning glory of Thanksgiving dinner and also a deceptively easy recipe to make. For a twist on this time honored dessert try making individual pumpkin pies. To make 12 you will need 1 prepared pie crust, 2 eggs, 4 ounces of cream cheese (half a package), 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/2 can of pumpkin filling, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out the pie crust and cut into mini circles that will fit into cupcake tins. Separate the white from one of the eggs, whisk it and then brush over the pie crusts. Put the yolk from the first egg in a bowl and beat with the remaining egg. Mix softened cream cheese, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla extract and the pumpkin pie spice into the eggs and keep mixing until the mixture is smooth. Spoon the filling into the little pies and bake until golden brown and the filling is firm. Finish with a little whip cream or ice cream and voila, little bitty cups of pumpkin goodness.
Feel free to round out the meal with a big green salad, and extra veggie sides, but these basics will get you a delectable dinner and the praise of all of your guests.