10.22.2008

POTLUCK


Have you ever been to a good potluck* dinner? Be honest.

When I say good, I mean, did you leave feeling satisfied? Did everything taste well?

I went to a Relief Society potluck dinner last night, and after much thought, I don't think I have ever been to a good potluck dinner. Last night's event was no exception. Before I started filling my plate, I had to decide, do I want to go the "lasagna - fruit - chicken - jello" route or the "enchilada - baked beans - french bread - iceberg lettuce salad" route? I find it difficult maintaining an appetite when I'm about to eat things that blatantly don't go together.

Compounding the problem of "mismatched" food is that I don't know who made this stuff or what it really is. Sorry, but stuff like that matters. I wish people at these things would be required to post a card with their name and dish, because it isn't always clear. Everything is a surprise when you bite into it. Sometimes it's pleasant and sometimes not so much.

The worst part about a potluck is that you have to act like you are loving every bite because you're not sure who made what dish. Women intently watch the plates of others while they eat. Is their dish getting eaten? (It's embarrassing for a woman to take home too many leftovers after a potluck. I know from experience.) My other favorite part of these gatherings is when women disingenuously ask each other for the recipes of things they pray they will never have to eat again. (Guilty!)

If I sound negative, it's not because I don't enjoy these things. I do. The people are always nice and it's fun to socialize. It's just that I came home last night feeling sick because I didn't eat a complete meal. Weird bites of mystery casseroles and huge portions of dessert do not constitute a healthy dinner.

*Potluck means no organization. No single person provides the main course.

10 comments:

  1. I try to avoid them. I can relate. I never know what to make and, sometimes things aren't too appetizing!

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  2. I had an experience one time this summer at a potluck. I was so excited about my plate, I for sure thought everyone would LOVE it. But sadly, kelley and I were the only people who ate it. I felt cheated. I guess not everyone likes green olives like I do.

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  3. I went to one a few weeks ago and it was great!!! It was a group of about 8-10 women from my ward, we all got together just to hang out while the kids were at school and had lunch together. Everyone there had pretty high standards and you knew they wouldn't serve anything "weird." (It was an invite only lunch, so that may have helped!) It was probably the best lunch I have had in a long time...I guess if you want a successful potluck, you have to be picky about who you invite!

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  4. Heehee! I totally agree! Relief Society potlucks are usually disgusting (I'm sort of a picky eater, though). I did go to one once where everyone brought salad (as in green salad, potato salad, pasta salad...) and that one was GOOD! And then the Relief Society bought a bunch of desserts for after.

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  5. I have eight siblings (we're all grown up, with 14 grandkids under the age of 12).

    We get together often, and for big occasions such as the 4th of July or my dad's birthday last Sunday, we make the meal a potluck, since there are so many of us now.

    The difference is that it's a _coordinated_ potluck. Whoever has the idea in the first place states (via email) what they're bringing and suggests other dishes to go along with it. On Sunday we did a couple pots of soup, a nice salad, nice bread, fresh peaches (the last of the season, sigh) and apple cinnamon cake. In the past we've done mexican-theme, italian theme, etc... But the meals always turned out awesome (it helps that many of us are good cooks). Next week we're having the annual family pumpkin carving, where everyone will bring some kind of pumpkin food (cookies, soups, breads, etc) We do potlucks right!

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  6. Oh so your a potluck snob! J/K! Your not the only one! Last year at our annual Christmas ward potluck Greg totally put his foot in his mouth by taking a dessert that he typically wouldn't try (lemon bars) and then making the comment that they were not good, right in front of our good friend who had made them! It was actually quite funny! The ward joke from then on was "Greg, can we bring you over some lemon bars!". Good thing she was a friend of ours or I think we would have sent someone home crying!

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  7. Agreed! Picky invites = better potluck. (Does the term potluck ever make you think of the game show Press Your Luck? "Big bucks, big bucks, no whammies, no whammies." That's what I'm usually thinking as I pick through the dishes.)

    Some of the wards out here are big on holding "Linger Longers." I thought those were just for singles wards so you could flirt/throw yourself at guys via your culinary skills. Being that I also agree with you about Sundays, why would I want to linger longer? And for potluck food?

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  8. I had one single adult ward that was always right on for potlucks. I think it's because it was a semi-organized thing. But generally, I have to agree. There just never seems to be anything that goes together.

    And, yes, you do totally feel like a lame cook, or something, if you go home with lots of leftovers.

    Although, one time, I brought something really yummy to a potluck and no one touched it. It was one of our favorite dishes, so our attitude was, "Sweet! More for us!?

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  9. I"m so glad to hear you say that you have a hard time eating dishes that you don't know who prepared them- I feel the same way but felt like such a snob for it! I mean theres always those one or two people who come to relief society who you would never eat at their house in a million years, and then at ward/relief society potlucks I spend all my time wondering if the food I'm eating was made by one of those people and if I'm going to be up all night sick- I learned the hard way to just avoid potlucks all together!

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  10. I HATE POTLUCKS! Probably because there is only ONE thing I can eat which is the thing I BROUGHT! Anyway I love how everyone agrees that they are all gross (yeah right! like they aren't all the ones who bring the nasty stuff) Let me tell you (ONE OF) the yuckiest thing I saw someone bring one time: "BEAN SALAD"--- CANNED REFRIED BEANS MIXED WITH CANNED GREEN BEANS, and probably a few other weird stuff... now that is just plain WEIRD!

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