For the last twenty something years it has been my tradition to reserved Thanksgiving as the day I literally close down my catering business to give personal thanks to my family and friends, and invite anyone and everyone that has no place to go. I’m a firm believer that this is a day when you should be surrounded with good company, great food, drinks, music, dancing and laughter. I cannot imagine anyone spending it alone, so I open my apartment to those that cannot make time to travel to be with their families, or those who have no family left at all or those who have no place better to go. I have so much to be thankful for that this is my way to show my closestcircle of friends and beyond, how much I love and appreciate them. And I always encourage them to bring along anyone they know that needs a place to go on Thanksgiving. It’s my smalltoken of paying it forward with a major bash, a feast… that starts with a plethora of appetizers,moves into a full course traditional Thanksgiving meal, and Vegan options, then finishes off the eating marathon with a buffet of traditional desserts. Make no mistake, this is a serious amount of food but spread over the course of a seven hour period makes the volume manageable. As important as the food, is the great music and dancing to keep the energy and appetite going through the night. I like to do my own Spotify playlist because I’m kind of a music snob. I like music that probably most sixty year old women would turn their noses up at but that’s okay. I’m known as a Trance Pop Queen. I love Roosevelt, Du Tonic, Satin Jackets, Goldroom, Tesla Boy, Atella, Anoraak, Cut/Copy, Empire of the Sun and that’s not even the tip of the iceberg. I assign my daughter Madison as DJ along with her millennial friends. And we dance!
My Thanksgiving! Apartment Style, some may say sounds pretty easy assuming there would be a relatively small group of people invited. But mine has its challenges. When I say anyone can come I most certainly meaning it. The numbers could span anywhere from twenty to eightyguests, all to fit neatly into a fourteen hundred square foot apartment. We do however, have some bonus space we call the balcony and avidly use it for the overflow. It stretches the entire thirtyfoot width of our apartment giving us an amazing view of NYC and an extra one hundred and eighty square feet of much needed space. I use a portion of it to house the beverages in an assortment of iced down tubs to separate the congestion of the crowds that usually surround the food and drinks. There are also areas for seating… so, sunshine, rain or snow, this area functions as though we have an additional living room attached to our apartment. Another welcoming convenience is when the weather is in the high 30’s, I can store food on the balcony as if it’s a walk in refrigerator. I have some shelving that works perfectly for storing my salads and desserts to free up space indoors.
On Thanksgiving, given that any number of people could arrive at our door at any hour of theday and into the evening, I always opt to have a buffet style food display and bring out the courses in the span of five to seven hours. History as shown that there will be the few that arriveon time but over the years of having this party I have a pretty good idea who will show up late. The appetizers are promptly set and ready to go at 3:00pm and by 6:00pm I begin consolidating and moving what’s left to the coffee table and the kitchen wood block. At this point I get everyone involved in clearing space on the dining room table and placing salads, side dishes and entrees into serving dishes to start the main course of the meal. The desserts are brought out around 9:00pm. This is about the time my daughters millennial friends start to show up and thesecond shift of guests consumes what is left of the food. This technically is when the party really gets started, the music volume goes up and the dancing begins. Unfortunately living in an apartment building has its downside when it comes to neighbors getting upset with the noise so I try to reign it in by 11:30.
Please don’t get me wrong…entertaining is hard work and requires a tremendous amount of organization, time and energy and I really do questions whether or not I can continue to do it every year on top of having a catering business. And then all I need to do is remember the faces, the love and the amazing energy of that night as I kiss and hug my friends goodbye... and realize the true reason for why I do this party to start with and the answer is always “Yes!!!”