The holiday season is here and that means copious amounts of eating, drinking, and socializing. If you're planning to host your own friendsgiving this year, here are some essential tips to feasting with friends.
1. Invite only as many people as you can feed
Sure, it might be nice to spread the thanks this holiday by inviting every one of your Facebook friends, but you'll quickly run out of space in the refrigerator. First off, decide whether to be the hostess with the mostess or to rely on friends with a potluck. If you're ready to delegate (or just can't fathom the idea of mashing 20 pounds of potatoes) tell people what to bring unless you want to see a whole lot of starch and very little protein or veggies.
2. Plan ahead
Since the number one rule to hosting any successful dinner party is to plan ahead, stick with the traditional grub. Don't go fancy with some new Pinterest recipe, or you might ultimately end up with a Pinterest fail. And your top priority? Know where you're going to pick up the turkey and how long it'll need to cook. It also wouldn't hurt to look up the weather if you're hosting an outside event and check in with invited guests to see if they've got a new plus one.
(Courtesy of Slo Down Wines)
3. Stock up on inventive, local wines that start a conversation (i.e. don't plan party games)
The beauty of providing a variety of great wine is, according to Coastal Living's Steele Thomas Marcoux, “if you serve enough wine, they won't care how the food tastes." Slo Down Wines, based in San Francisco, has a devoted following thanks to its goes-with-everything blend of syrah, zinfandel and petite sirah, aptly named Sexual Chocolate. SOMA's Bluxome Street Winery has a festive Holiday Mixed 6 Pack, which includes a dozen half bottles perfect for mixing and matching.
4. Two words: cheese platter
Sometimes the simplest appetizers are the most adored (hey, if the Barefoot Contessa approves, you know it's got to be good). If you can't cook or don't want to devote too much time to the pre-turkey stuff, pick up a block of some San Francisco favorites such as Cowgirl Creamery's Mt. Tam. And if you're ready to cook with cheese, there's nothing like a spin on the classics – try out Cowgirl Creamery's Red Hawk Potato Gratin straight from their new cookbook.
(Courtesy of Bi-Rite)
5. Have a backup plan
Just in case someone “forgets" to bring their assigned side dish or something overcooks in the oven, be prepared. Bi-Rite has mouth-watering, pre-made holiday dishes like the green bean and wild mushroom casserole (sans Campbell's Soup) or the wild mushroom and zinfandel gravy, and you can order via Postmates for quick pick-up. If you're not a fan of Bi-Rite (or not in the trendy 'hoods of Nopa or Mission), Outer Richmond's Angelina's Deli and Cafe has a variety of both hot and cold ready-made dishes from their deli that, if plated right, could easily be made to look homemade.