Throw a Great Friendsgiving

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

These images were shot and content was created for the November 2018 Traverse Magazine originally and so the original story and recipes can all found within their print magazine for the full meal go here to get them. Thank you to Traverse Magazine for letting us tell beautiful stories about the important part of life in Northern Michigan; Gathering. 

Last year we had the honor of working with Traverse Magazine, our local publication that comes out monthly. This publication is one of our favorites in the area and always provides some of the best ideas for life up north. For the last year we have worked with them to create content around gathering and seasonal living in northern Michigan. So when they approached me about writing a story about Friendsgiving for their November 2018 issue, I jumped at the chance. I knew just the place and just the crew. We headed north to Central Lake and gathered our friends, Kalin from Sweetwater Floral and Nicholas from COOP Tables to join in the fun. Together we created a gorgeous evening as a team in the gorgeous Fieldguide Farmhouse.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

For me the thing that gets me most excited about fall is the chance to gather together in a cozy space and eat a great meal. Fall is the most enticing season for cozy meals as we see the weather shift quickly and the days shorten. Gathering seems to ease the difficulty that can come with less sunshine. I believe that there is no cozier place that is rentable in the area then, Fieldguide Farmhouse, though and this house puts Fall on like a professional. It is intended to embrace this season in every way. Lee Maynard, the owner stoked the fires while we cooked and set tables and Nicholas from COOP Tables cooked up our meal for the evening.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

My friend, Kalin from Sweetwater Floral pulled together foraged bouquets for the centerpiece of the table while her pup Maple hung out below her feet. Kalin does more than floral though from having a lavendar farm, a tiny house on Airbnb, and she also holds lots of workshops throughout the year including her wreath one, which sells out very quickly.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Caitlyn, Nicholas’s wife (then fiancé) helped me bring food out to the table and prep the dining space for the evening.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

As we all prepped for the evening, we each pulled out own weight to bring everything together.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

I believe a truly great Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving is all about working together. I love watching the evening come together throughout an afternoon while everyone pitches in whether it be doing the dishes, cleaning glassware, opening wine, cooking the turkey/chicken, making a salad, pouring wine, setting the table. All of it makes it all come together and when everyone is involved it always means that each guest feels apart of the whole evening. It is incredibly gratifying to create something with a group over just doing it all on your own.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

To me the best things about creating gatherings with friends is the way we all bring our own vision to the table. I find many times when we all combine together things are more fun, easier, and more beautiful than I could have imagined.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

No matter the season I am a big advocate for foraging your elements for the table and so I was glad that Kalin felt the same about this. She brought in tons of beautiful foraged things from her farm and we slipped little bits of Cedar onto every napkin and tied them with some cotton rope to finish them off, which made for the simplest little setting for each seat.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Before seating we brought all the food to the table and finished up the final details for the evening. We made sure all the glasses were filled with wine and stoked the fires one more time.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

When the table was ready we came together and enjoyed the fruits of our labor from the afternoon. It was the perfect evening together.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

All the dishes were passed and the leftovers from the night were minimal to say the least. We finished off with preserved pears for dessert and enjoyed every bit of this favorite fall meal.

Throwing a Friendsgiving. Here is how to do it and have everyone pitch in.

If you would like more from the story you can see the full editorial in the new issue of Traverse Magazine. In it you will find all of the recipes from Nicholas and tips from every single guest on how to create a gorgeous and simple gathering wherever you are this holiday season.

To learn more about those involved you find them all below:

Kalin from Sweetwater Floral in Petoskey

Nicholas from COOP Tables in Petoskey and Harbor Springs

Lee Maynard from Fieldguide Farmhouse in Central Lake- Renting and events

Leave a comment

  1. Ohhh! Guys! this looks so beautiful, cozy and delicious. I love the story of gathering friends and creating something amazing! I would like to be part of this group. how is to live in north Michigan? my husband and i are looking for to move to place where the sense of community is strong. where people are friendlier and where we can really connect and share. do you think we would find that in your area?

    1. We love it here. You for sure have to live in Traverse City for the creative community though. It is exapanding but it is very good here. There is a lot to get involved that has to do with creativity, sustainability, and more. Lots of gathering and agricultural events in the community as well. If that is something you would enjoy I would suggest it.