friday night meatballs

Friday, June 10, 2016 |
Imagine hosting a dinner party EVERY Friday night. 

If you’re like me, that sounds overwhelming and expensive (the time commitment alone!).  On the other hand, invite me to a dinner party every Friday night and I will come.  Two months ago my lovely friends Katie and Jared started their Friday Night Meatballs tradition.  They were inspired by this article.  The goal?  Connect with friends, family, and friends-of-friends who they haven’t seen in a long time.  Start a tradition that will bring them joy.  Make and eat delicious food in good company.  And so far, they’re making good on all of those goals.  There’s also the nice side benefit that this event doesn’t feel like “going out.”  Even if I’ve had a tough week, I can still muster the energy to head to Friday Night Meatballs.  And the company is always fascinating.

photo courtesy of Jared!

So what IS Friday Night Meatballs? 

It’s a dinner party at Katie & Jared’s on any given Friday night (unless they’re out of town).  It starts at 7pm, and it’s open to anyone who can see the invite on their Facebook walls.  It is capped at 10 adults, though additional children and dogs are welcome.  The menu is always pasta and meatballs, but with advance notice the hosts can accommodate all kinds of dietary restrictions.  You don’t have to bring anything, but wine, salad, and desserts are welcome.

What’s so special about the atmosphere?  I think part of the charm is that it’s low fuss. Katie and Jared are about hospitality.  Their home is open on Friday night no matter whether you’re a local and they see you every week, or you haven’t talked in years.  And they really work to get the food right.  Pre-Meatballs, dinner with Katie & Jared might involve making ravioli by hand, or checking out the newest DC fusion restaurant or ramen place. Now I feel like I can open their fridge, jump in and help with prep, and/or show up 30 minutes early just to chat.  BASICALLY… we’re even better friends than we were (and I love that).

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the really cool crowd (Jared’s in political radio, Katie works in international aid) that Friday Night Meatballs pulls.  I’ve talked about marine policy, the history of food spying, alligator rescue squads, and bikini baristas with fellow dinner party members.  So many good stories, so many interesting people!  It’s the DC I always imagined was out there, but didn’t necessarily meet because I wasn’t in the right crowd.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing on my Friday nights.  Do you have a food-related traditions?

Interested in other food-related posts?  Check out Beth Fish Reads’ Weekend Cooking!


Morgan @ The Bookish Beagle said...

You have such great friends, what an awesome tradition! I love the idea of that. My friends and I used to have dinner parties in college, and BBQs in summer, and it was always really fun. I don't have many food traditions anymore. Sometimes a couple friends will come over to watch a wrestling pay per view and I'll make dinner (crockpot tacos, spaghetti), which is always fun and low key. Wish more of my friends were local so I could do something like this!

Mae Travels said...

You are lucky to have such wonderful friends. Sounds like a terrific event.

best... mae at

Beth F said...

How cool is that tradition!

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

I love this tradition? We used to have a First Friday Club where a group of us got together the first Friday of every month and it was always a wonderful time.

Esme said...

This sounds like so much fun. IN Paris there is a fellow who opens his kitchen every Sunday night. Similar concept. You must have the best dinner conversations.

jama said...

Wow, love the idea of Friday Night Meatballs! You're lucky to have cool friends to host this event. :)

Unknown said...

That sounds like such fun! My husband and I are starting to explore foods from different countries - so once a month (or every other) we pick a country and then make dishes or go out to a restaurant that fits the theme!

Jenny @ Reading the End said...

Wow, that's amazing! If I ever have slightly more money than I currently have, I'll think about doing something similar. I'm a nervous chef, but I can imagine being a little calmer if I were making the same basic thing every week. And it would be lovely to have a ritual like that in place!

Anonymous said...

Love this idea. I don't think I even have chairs in my apartment to accommodate ten people but it sounds like a lot of fun! When my mom and I entertain, one of my go-to dishes to cook is actually spaghetti and meatballs. Go figure. I don't have a ton of food traditions but I do try to host an annual cookie swap in December. It's sometimes more work than I expect but it's a lot of fun. One year I wound up skipping it because I was exhausted and I have to say I sorely missed (and so did my friends).

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