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.
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.
Potluck Dinner Kitchen Tips
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Allocate the budget to the guests and be sure it is within your cooking abilities and your peers’.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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