It’s no surprise that Thanksgiving, a holiday all about creating traditions and relishing food and drink with loved ones, is Beyond the Flavor’s favorite holiday. And, because it’s often hard for us to put into words just how very thankful we are for the passionate and committed people in our town who nourish our bodies and enrich our lives every single day, we decided to throw a party to help show them.

Dave and Kristi Farfara generously opened up their Shenandoah Joe on Preston Avenue on Sunday, November 4th, Stonegate Event Rentalstransformed the space into a festive and twinkly scene, we asked our past contributors to bring a beloved dish and its recipe, and our first annual “Friendsgiving” was born.

We held it early enough so that you, our readers who inject this project with so much if its energy, could benefit from these recipes that made up one glorious spread.

Of course, there wasn’t just an array of mind-bogglingly good food. There was Starr Hill beer, Blenheim and King Family wine, and a keg of Potter’s Craft Cider–even a handle of Beefeater gin and a mason jar of hot pepper-infused tequila.

There were children of all ages, toddling around, bouncing on the couches, dancing to Call Me Maybe, and playing hide-and-seek–all fueled by bites off turkey legs and return trips to the dessert bar.

There was a jar for donations, and with the help of Phyllis Hunter (The Spice Diva), we collected $216 in the wake of Hurricane Sandy for Citymeals-on-Wheels who provide meals and companionship to aged, homebound New Yorkers.

Most of all though, there was the comradery and merriment that comes with having a mutual respect, appreciation, and awe for the people with which we are connected from the soil to the table.

Here’s a peek at all the fun that was had and the recipes that made up our fine feast.