Thanksgiving dinner has to be one of the best meals of the year: the mountains of food, the copious amounts of wine, the trips home to see family. But as wonderful as all those things are, I often find myself thankful for my friends on this particular day of reflection. With similar thoughts in mind, my friend Alice and her roommate Meg came up with a brilliant plan to host an early Thanksgiving dinner so we could celebrate the holiday with our friends.

(Image courtesy of Nick Northrup)

So this past Saturday I woke up, made some cranberry sauce, and hauled myself out to Bushwick. Guests brought a variety of cheeses, crackers, and wines, some much better than others (I brought a few bottles of Asti Spumante, which Alice promptly guzzled). We encountered the very real and daunting fear that we would become too full on cheese and not have enough room for the actual dinner, but being the motivated and ambitious individuals we are, we somehow persevered.

The chosen bird, fondly referred to as Hugo, was delicious. Meg, Alice, and Rob slaved over Hugo the whole day, carefully dressing him, stuffing him, and basting him. Once finished, the spread was impressive: turkey, stuffing, tomato potatoes (ask Rob, I prefer to lather my potatoes in butter and cream), cranberry sauce, kale salad, sweet potato casserole, yams, and possibly other delicious dishes that I then forgot during my subsequent food coma.

After dinner the night unraveled into a wine- and gravy-soaked bacchanal, but I remain impressed by dinner. Growing up, I always assumed that at some point between college and the real world, I would suddenly inherit Adult Knowledge. Things like using a real estate broker or building a stock portfolio or, in this case, making an entire Thanksgiving dinner. Over the past two years, I have realized that becoming an adult is a much different kind of process. You don’t take a class to learn how to make Thanksgiving dinner. One day you just have to wake up and do it. Although this particular dinner was a group effort (that I personally did not put that much effort into, if we’re being honest), it was still a more delicious meal knowing that we made it ourselves. When I go home in a few weeks, my parents’ turkey will taste even better because I’ll be at home and it will actually be Thanksgiving and, well, it was cooked by my family. All the same, I applaud Alice and Meg for being delightful hostesses who took the plunge and gave us our first taste of Thanksgiving adulthood.