A college student’s guide to Friendsgiving


Emma Hester, The Horizon

Got a craving for stuffing but don’t have a functional oven? Trader Joe’s has you covered.

Lily Crisp, Staff Writer

November is that odd time of year when nobody’s quite sure if it’s winter or fall, but if there’s one thing that screams “’tis the season” — regardless of what season you’re talking about — it’s the undeniable comfort of Thanksgiving food. 

Instead of trying to shove a turkey in the Armington lounge oven, follow these tips and tricks for a fun — and foolproof — Friendsgiving. Spoiler alert: there’s a lot of Trader Joe’s.

First, pick your location. I suggest taking it outside this year! Pack blankets and carpool to the beach for a Santa Barbara-style celebration, or take a frisbee to the Mission Rose Garden. Stuck on campus? Find a grassy lawn for a “High School Musical 2”-esque picnic. 

Now that you’ve picked a location, you may wonder what sort of food to bring, especially since nobody wants to touch that dirty pot that’s been rotting in the communal kitchen for five years. 

Keep it casual, yet plentiful with these products:

1. Head to the refrigerated section of Trader Joe’s and grab an “Antipasto Assortment,” which includes salami, cheese and olives. Pair this with the “Cracker Assortment” and arrange the melange on a charcuterie platter  — read: cutting board — to instantly impress your friends. If you’re feeling extra fancy, throw in some dried cherries or slice up a few Honeycrisp apples for a sweet addition.

2. There may be no stuffing at this year’s Friendsgiving, but if you throw in a bag of Trader Joe’s crunchy salty “Thanksgiving Stuffing Seasoned Kettle Chips,” no one will know the difference. 

3. If you’re looking to do a fun activity during your meal, break out the Trader Joe’s “Gingerbread Turkey Trot Cookie Decorating Kit” and put your artistic skills to the test. The best part? You can eat it afterwards.

4. The Thanksgiving spread has many essential components, but none compares to pumpkin pie. Bonus points if you throw in a can of whipped cream. Double bonus points if you skip the plates and dig in with spoons? 

5. This one requires a drive to Vons, Smart & Final or Grocery Outlet — the bargain market! — but let me tell you: it’s worth it. Behold the best, most important part of any Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving feast: Martinelli’s “Sparkling Cider.” Pick up at least two bottles because they somehow always seem to empty after five minutes. If you’re feeling especially classy, grab some mason jars or plastic champagne flutes, too.

Whether you stay on campus or explore Santa Barbara this Friendsgiving, there’s always something to be thankful for. Especially our good friend, Trader Joe.

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