I love that “Friendsgivings” are a thing. All year I am grateful to have friends who I love like family and taking a day to prepare a meal together is becoming one of my favorite traditions.
Something else I love? Going all out with cooking. Everyone in this group loves to cook so something like a Friendsgiving means added effort which takes their food from a The Food Network level to, I don’t know, a Thomas Keller/French Laundry level. These people are not messing around and my taste buds are so happy for that.
Ryan was on mashed potato and bourbon punch duty while I took on dessert. In case any of you have desserts on deck for this week, I did some prep-work for you and highly recommend doing an Apple Slab Pie and Pumpkin Bread Pudding with caramel sauce. This apple pie feeds a full group and is a lot denser than round pie. I added almond extract to the glaze because I love the sweet nutty flavor with the apples. Oh and totally make the pie crust. I did it for the first time last year and again this year, it makes such a difference and is so easy.
It’s my theory that people don’t actually love pumpkin pie but are tied to the idea of pumpkin being fall tradition so skipping the pie and doing Pumpkin Bread Pudding was my move…and it was a hit. I am not crazy about raisins so I did cranberries and holy cow, I can’t believe how easy it is to make caramel.
Our Friendsgiving meal was incredible but I think my favorite part was after leftover containers had been made, the table cleared and everyone curled up in the living room. Bottles of wine passed around, jazz playing, storytelling, a few people dozing off, blankets being shared. Like that quote from Walt Whitman, “We were together. I forget the rest.” Togetherness is Thanksgiving and I am so grateful for that.
I am also grateful, and slightly surprised, that these sweet potatoes arrived on the table without the use of a fire extinguisher. Last year, there were flames coming from the oven when the marshmallows caught fire thus earning this dish the name of “torched sweet potatoes” on the menu this year. While it was funny to watch everyone scramble to extinguish said fire, no one exactly complained that things were a bit calmer around the oven this time.