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Celebrating the season & our city

Consider this a friendsgiving, Buffalo-style: A gathering of (just a few of) the creative forces fueling this city’s undercurrents of support, community and shared growth. That’s the spirit we wanted to celebrate as we usher in the last months of 2018. So we threw a laid-back feast to do just that—with the help of Amy Phillips of Private Knives and Jack Wrafter of Georgette, both small business owners themselves. And since it’s Thanksgiving, we also asked each to share a moment of introspection with us on why they’re thankful to call Buffalo home.

Celebrating the season and our city | Buffalo Friendsgiving | Buffalo Magazine

Gretchen Meyers
Jewelry designer

I’ve never been more thankful for my family this year, especially the new addition to our family, my little love Ollie (Oliver).

I’ve lived in three other cities before coming back to Buffalo, and none of them would have been able to afford me the opportunity to do what I love. Aside from the practical (lower cost of living, more affordable housing, etc.), there is also a strong small business support system in Buffalo, and I’m very thankful for that.

Anna Dusza
Clothing designer

I’ve lived in Buffalo my entire life and grew up getting to experience every little thing that makes it so special. Buffalo is filled with great food, creativity, unique people and an undeniable energy, with so much more to give. I’m thankful to be here to witness Buffalo thrive and to be a part of it. Most of all I’m thankful for Buffalo because it has formed so many of the people that I love.

Edreys Wajed

Thankfulness and gratitude, I practice daily. My wife’s smile; our sons and the gentlemen they are; my amazing family. I have a big family and the majority of them are lifelong Buffalonians. I really adore them. We don’t all see each other regularly, yet knowing they are close and doing well makes me feel good.

The city’s long history of success from the days of old are brag worthy and inspiring, yet there’s something about it that retains a great deal of humility. I respect humility and humbleness.

My first Friendsgiving was really awesome. I truly didn’t know what to expect. I had a great time meeting new people contributing to making the city vibrant and fresh.

Laurel Flynn
Intuitive tarot reader

I’m thankful to have had access and worked with teachers and mentors whom I consider to be the best in the world in their fields. Their influence has been an integral part of both my business and life, especially over this last year!

Jeff Mace
Media production

I am especially thankful for the love and support of those who surround me. Professionally, I am thankful for memory cards and that I no longer have to use tapes in cameras.

As a lifelong Buffalonian, I’m happy to witness and participate in this growing city. Although I’m most thankful for the tough blue collar folks that live here—true Buffalonians. These are the people who kept this city alive when others bailed in the '90s and '00s. I’m talking about the salt of the earth Buffalonians—the people in the machine shops, the restaurant workers, the artists, the old timers who work hard to make an honest dollar. They make me proud to live here. When I’m walking around with a camera I never forget that my roots are in that life.

Alana Fajemisin

I am thankful for my health, my family and for another successful year as a black, female, small business owner!

I am thankful for the continued support of my local community. My small but mighty network of family and friends are what keep me (and my business) right here in Buffalo. This community truly supports and recognizes local entrepreneurs. Why would I ever want to give up such grounding support?

On the menu

Celebrating the season and our city | Buffalo Friendsgiving | Buffalo Magazine

  • Roasted turkey garnished with fresh rosemary, cherry tomatoes and figs
  • Roasted garlic smashed potatoes with herb compound butter
  • Sweet potatoes and ginger soufflé with finger lime and gooseberries compote garnish
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts with red onion and Applewood smoked bacon
  • Green beans in a wild mushroom cream sauce with tobacco onion garnish
  • Hasselback butternut squash with fresh sage and brown butter
  • Brown sugar glazed roasted squash with ruby beets
  • Assortment of fresh, local bread

Apple cider sangria

Apple cider sangria | Buffalo Friendsgiving | Buffalo Magazine

This batch cocktail is undeniably seasonal and easy to put together—plus it’s balanced enough so you can pour yourself a glass while cooking and still make it ‘til dinnertime. (Which is why it’s the first thing my family makes each Thanksgiving morning.) Frozen cranberries keep the drink cool without watering it down.

3 cups apple cider
1 bottle cava (or any dry sparkling wine)
1 apple, julienned
½ cup pomegranate seeds (1 package Pom seeds)
1 bag frozen cranberries

Add the apple cider, julienned apples, pomegranate seeds and frozen cranberries into a pitcher or punch bowl. Pour in the cava. Serve chilled. If using a drink dispenser, don’t forget to set aside apples and pomegranate seeds to garnish each glass.

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