What is Friendsgiving?
On Saturday we held a Friendsgiving dinner with a group of our close friends. We have previously blogged about out love of Thanksgiving. Friendsgiving is basically just Thanksgiving but with your friends rather family! In America it is usually the weekend before Thanksgiving where you gather with your friends and enjoy good company, good drink and good food. We were in America for Thanksgiving a few years ago and enjoyed the gathering of family and friends and wanted to get in on the act.
Its a great way to spend time with the people in your life that are important to you. We enjoy lots of parties, outings, pub trips and days trips with our friends, but there is nothing better than joining each other for an evening of food, drink and company.
Setting the Table
It has been 10 months since we moved into our new house and are starting to pull together our style. We have recently upcycled our dining room table, painting the legs and sanding back and rewaxing the tabletop. The refreshed table made for a good rustic theme to our setting.
To decorate the table we wanted a different feel from the Harvest Dinner we hosted last year so this time we opted for a pale blue and amber colour scheme. We used some blue squashes ‘Crown Prince’ as a centrepiece and a selection of amber toned voltives and some copper wired lights. We placed this on the bed of eucalyptus to continue the pale blue theme. This year we used some faux eucalyptus we had as finding some fresh seeded branches was proving a bit tricky.
Food, wine and good company
Traditional Thanksgiving is always a roast turkey. It is essentially the same as Christmas dinner for the Brits. Calum does all the cooking whistle Rich make sure everyone has a glass of beer or wine! To start we had pea and ham soup followed but roast turkey with all the trimmings. To finished off with a traditional pumpkin pie for dessert.
We had a wonderful evening, eat far too much and drank plenty!! We loved hosting our friends and we will no doubt host another friendsgiving in years to come.
This time last year we were in a small town just outside Boston celebrating Thanksgiving with our American friends. It was Rich’s first Thanksgiving and Calum’s second. We ate too much food and probably drunk a bit too much but it was a wonderful day, and we wish we could back again this year. Thanksgiving is a great American tradition and it is something we miss out on in the UK.
What is all about anyway?
We’ve probably all seen thanksgiving celebrated on American tv shows or in movies, Friends particularly comes to mind, but what it is and how is it celebrated?
Thanksgiving is the on the 4th Thursday of November. The Festival dates from 1621, when a group of pilgrims in New England shared a feast with the local native tribe that had helped them with their harvest. The holiday was officially recognised in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln and the date finally settled on by President Franklin D Roosevelt.
The secular nature means that more Americans celebrate Thanksgiving than any other holiday. It is time for family and friends to come together to celebrate. Although plenty of shops sell cards and decorations it is nowhere near as commercial as Christmas. The main event is the meal, Roast Turkey with all the trimmings, followed by pumpkin pie.
Other features of thanksgiving include the annual Macy’s Parade in New York City, (American) football games and the black friday sales.
Can we celebrate in the UK?
Closer to home we have tended to celebrate harvest festival, we hosted a harvest dinner earlier this year. Having said that there is nothing to stop you, and it seems more and more Brits are embracing the holiday as this recent article in the Waitrose Weekend suggests. We love the celebration so this is something we can get completely on board with.
This year we look back fondly on our trip to last year. Not quiet as much excess this year; we are just having some pizza, beer and a slice of Calum’s Pumpkin pie. Whatever you are doing this Thanksgiving, we hope you have a great time and don’t eat too much!
In these days of TV dinners, there is something special about sitting down to eat in a dining room. Having a separate room to eat in was a requirement on our ongoing house hunt. It is a room for entertaining in, but also just to sit together and have a catch up over supper. Inspired by our recent Havest Themed Dinner party we have created this Autumn Dining Room scheme.
Where to Buy | Autumn Dining Room
fig.1 Autumn Leaved Print Minted
fig.2 Pendant Light Lighting Lighting
fig.3 Autumn Leaves Plates Pottery Barn
fig.4 Plaid Napkins George by Asda
fig.5 Wine Glass John Lewis
fig.6 Rochelle Table made.com
fig.7 Rochelle Chairs made.com
fig.8 Wilton Mirror One World Trading
fig.9 Recycled Glass Vase Cox & Cox
fig.10 Sunflowers Vase Sainsburys
fig.11 Hunter Rug wayfair.co.uk
fig.12 Glazed Sideboard Maison du Monde
fig.13 Oro Antico Colour Courage
fig.14 Soft Grey Colour Courage
fig.15 Terra Di Sienna Colour Courage
Time for Harvest Festival
Now we are into October and the weather has turned we start thinking about cosier parties inside the cottage. The past weekend we had an autumn harvest dinner for a group of friends to celebrate the season. Harvest Festival is the traditional British celebration around this time of year, it is the less well know cousin of the American Thanksgiving. We both have memories of our churches harvest festival celebrations from when we were little, and many churches continue to celebrate. We though this is a perfect excuse for a party (we don’t need much encouragement).
To us, autumn decorations for can only mean one thing, pumpkins! We used this Mottled Rose Gold Pumpkin Battery Light from Lights4fun to create a table centre. Fresh pumpkins are now in the supermarket so it was easy to pick up a couple of small ones, along with a mini variety known as munchkin pumpkins. In addition to this, we mixed in some ornamental squash and gourds we picked up on a recent trip to Garsons farm shop in Esher. We found a mix of different colours and shapes to compliment the pumpkins.
Our Harvest Table
When we were laying our harvest table we added in some eucalyptus foliage from the garden to create a base, and placed this on a plan linen table runner with some decorative autumn maple leaves for colour. We then arranged the pumpkins, squashes and gourds and twisted in some micro fairy lights, again from lights4fun to give some warmth and interest.
A great night
We finished laying the table, put on our Autumn Jazz playlist and opened some English sparkling wine. It was a great evening celebrating with our friends. Calum cooked pumpkin soup (obviously) followed by a lovely roast pork followed by a delicious orange ginger and treacle pudding.
What do you think?
What do you think of our Harvest Table? Do you celebrate at this time of year and if so how do you go about it? let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you.
After making a pumpkin cake using our Nordic Ware bundt tin we found ourselves sitting with a few teaspoons of pumpkin purée. Rather than waste it, we decided to create a cocktail using it. There are very few pumpkin flavoured ones, but did take inspiration from Serious Eats and came up with our own Pumpkin Cocktail.
The pumpkin is ubiquitous with Autumn. It has received a massive push in the last few years thanks to a certain coffee based drink! None the less, it is a great ingredient to use for many things. Calum has been known to make a pumpkin and chilli ravioli in addition to the pumpkin cakes and soups. We also like to carve our pumpkins for Halloween, so keep an eye out for efforts in the next few weeks! We may find a need to try a different pumpkin cocktail when we do!
For this week’s cocktail, you will need;
- 2 tsp Pumpkin purée
- 1 measure Vanilla vodka
- 1 measure Pressed apple juice
- Ginger beer
Take the pumpkin purée, vanilla vodka and the pressed apple juice and pour into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake the mix well before pouring the mix into a tall glass with some ice. Fill the glass with the ginger beer. Add a straw and there you have our pumpkin cocktail.
The drink has a lovely smooth taste and certainly would be a hit and any Halloween or autumnal party! It even has Rich’s Mum’s seal of approval!