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The Art Of Hosting A Successful Thanksgiving Day Potluck Dinner

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The Art Of Hosting A Successful Thanksgiving Day Potluck Dinner

The Uniqueness of a Potluck Dinner

For a long time, you and your peers have harbored the thought of throwing a thanksgiving potluck dinner, but you have no idea where to begin or end. Potluck dinners, unlike other parties, thrive on John Dickinson, the American founding father’s maxim in The Liberty Song: “Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall!” And so potlucks are a combination of dishes brought together by event guests.

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Challenges of Hosting a Potluck dinner

A potluck dinner also tagged as “bring and share” is theoretically a noble idea. But it is not as simple as your aunt’s green bean casserole, your dad’s Turkey Day’s spread or your mother’s pecan pie — so be forewarned — it’s huge!  In practice, it can be an insurmountable affair to you in regard to orchestration and attendance.

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Potluck Dinner Kitchen Tips

  1. If there are pitfalls to avoid, then it is in the kitchen during potluck dinners. As the host of the dinner, you must know the number of guests coming vis-à-vis your oven space, serving utensils and equipment. From this point, it will be easier to adjust your guests’ dishes or ask them to bring from their abodes what could be required. Wisdom demands that as a guest, you come fully equipped with your three-legged metal stand, dish towels, cups, napkins and plates to serve your meal and make cleaning easier.
  2. An oven will be vital during dinner where your pasta or kimchi rice will need to be warmed. But remember there could be seven others wanting to use the oven too. To beat this gridlock, prepare a dish that can keep warm or make prior arrangements with your host.
  3. Avoid bowls since mashed potatoes, lasagna and baked chicken wings are meals that you can eat from a plate. Avoid bringing stew or soup to reduce the post-potluck workload.

Tips for a Successful Potluck Dinner

  1. Allocate the budget to the guests and be sure it is within your cooking abilities and your peers’.
  2. It is not a rule of the thumb but make it a theme party since diversity is the spice of life. It is also worth following a tried regimen like one with Crock pot dishes, casseroles (hot meals), dessert bars and jello salads.

You could also get recipes from a cookbook which will help you avoid a comedy of potluck errors where everyone brings a mashup of kimchi fried rice with lasagna pasta and vegetable salads. Let it be a multi-course meal by being professional. You can email your peers with a sign-up sheet where you allocate the main dish to four peers, drinks to four other people and the last four may handle desserts and salads.

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  1. It is paramount that you abstain from the spicy and strange foods. People will give your dish a wide berth if it is excessively spicy and hyper-garlicky. And since it is not a cookery contest but a time to bond and sample different dishes, let your dish look modest and sumptuous.
  2. During a potluck dinner, the common and acceptable trend is for the attendees to arrive with portable and crowd-appealing chicken casserole, heavy dishes like baked pasta and meat sauced with chili pepper. Can you guess what is lacking? Yes, give your dinner the luminance and the crackle that it deserves by adding raw vegetable or a cereal salad. And before you know it; all the guests will be licking their fingers after tasting your dish. You are therefore welcome to engage in the beauty and diversity of a potluck dinner. But that is not the end of the right side of the potluck dinner for it is not only a cost-cutting engagement but also a time to bond. You can now proceed and make real your eagerly awaited Thanksgiving Day potluck dinner!

Featured photo credit: The Perfect Potluck Party by Miriam of the Event Planner blog. via Http

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Last Updated on January 13, 2022

10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

1. Camping

A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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2. Staycation

You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

3. Island Getaway

People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

4. Fancy Resort

Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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5. Road Trip

The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

6. Charter a Boat

If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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8. Themed Retreats

There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

9. Working Honeymoon

Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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