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The Art Of Hosting A Successful Thanksgiving Day Potluck Dinner

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 December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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