Monday, December 08, 2008

On Potlucks



'Tis the season for Christmas potlucks. Jed and I recently attended one. You probably did too. Or you're planning to this weekend.

Has anyone ever stopped to think about how funny potlucks really are? I mean, a bunch of people who you may know or may not know, who may cook or may not cook are asked to bring some sort of food--any sort of food!--to a gathering to share with others. Have you ever felt really great after eating a potluck meal? Have you ever come away saying, "Now that was a great meal. " No you haven't. Because you probably had some random pasta salads, a roll, a crappy lasagna, funeral potatoes and a carrot. And a chocolate chip cookie. Then, if by chance the lasagna was decent and you want a little more to fill you up (because the potatoes were a big NO), you find (after waiting in line again) that everyone else had the same idea and the lasagna is gone.

The potluck we attended included cold Little Caesars pizza, wontons and egg rolls, stew, raw fish (we think?), and enchiladas. Along with, of course, pasta salads (one of which we brought), lasagna and funeral potatoes. After coming away less than filled, and a little nervous about what little we were filled with, Jed and I decided to make a list of Potluck Dos and Don'ts:

Don't
1. Have a potluck.
2. Bring raw meat.
3. Celebrate your heritage (there's nothing worse than chasing bad lasagna with fishy wontons).
4. Bring leftovers from the fridge (now what could this crowd help us get rid of?)
5. Have a potluck. (Did I say that already?)

Do
1. Stay home if you're invited to a potluck.

You can thank us for our words of wisdom later, but if you're in the mood, we love a pasta salad/peanut butter sandwich/chow-mein combo. Meet us at the cultural hall at 7-ish tomorrow. Bring something. Bring anything! Please prepare an amateur talent to share.

Nothing says Christmas like indigestion.

16 comments:

Teachinfourth said...

Wow, you really pegged it right on the head with this! I can't believe how accurate you were with your description of what a potluck consists of.

It's kind of scary, really.

By the way, I'm still laughing...

Josh said...

Jayne - truer words were ne'er spoken.

I HATE potlucks! I hate buffets. Because I don't want a burrito, some jelly beans and a bowl of clam chowder for dinner. I like harmonious meals that have foods that compliment one another.

Every year when we ask my Mom what we can bring for the Christmas lunch she says "Something yummy!" One year there were 6 cheese balls and nothing else.

Anonymous said...

i only eat what i bring. and foodstuffs from kitchens i've been in and trust.

jed said...

josh,

which is funny, because cheese balls aren't yummy.

Katy said...

So true. So true.

When Ryan and I go to potlucks, we eat dinner before we go. Some say we're food snobs....I have to agree.

Anonymous said...

After a hard rainstorm filled all the potholes in the streets and alleys, a young mother watched her two little boys playing in the puddles through her kitchen window. The older of the two, a five-year-old lad, grabbed his sibling by the back of his head and shoved his face into one of the water holes. As the boy recovered and stood laughing and dripping, the mother was running toward them in a panic.

'Why on earth did you do that to your little brother?' she said, as she shook the older boy's shoulders in anger, combined with relief.

'We were just playing church mommy,' he said. 'And I was just baptizing him. You know, 'In the name of the Father, the Son and in the hole he goes.''

bethanne said...

I have to admit that I always eat before potlucks and most ward parties. Isn't it funny how everyone can be given the same recipe for funeral potatoes or lasagna and when the party comes it looks like there were twenty different recipes? I am not really a food snob, I just like good food from clean (meaning pet free, separate cutting boards for meat and veggies, hand washed you get the idea) kitchens. I have to admit however, I don't mind directed potlucks. We do a fish fry every year and people offer to bring stuff. We kind of know who makes the best of what so you know Julie makes the baked beans, Gina makes the fruit salad, Sarah the green, and Aunt ____ the chips or something else that is store bought, non perishable and sealed shut.

Camille Hill said...

You are hilarious - I love to read your posts. I just think pot luck dinners are gross...

First of all, you don't know who brought what. Second of all, when people go back for seconds, they slap the serving spoon on their gross plate then back it goes into the serving bowl spreading germs instead of holiday cheer.

I should avoid potlucks all together but I usually do the following: ask my trusted friends what they brought, hit the line first to get all the safe food, and NEVER, NEVER go back for seconds!

Stefanie said...

we have obviously NOT been to the same potlucks! I have never had a bad potluck experience... yummy is in the tummy of the beholder!
Star (or wingling or schizophrenic stefanie)

ali said...

I'm with Steph on this one! I LOVE POTLUCKS! I have always considered myself a schmorgesboard eater, so you can imagine my delight when i show up to a potluck with a medley of chioces! What can be better?

Lindsey said...

I just wonder if that dijon mustard was set out for the cookies. Because that's just gross.

TaylorCrew said...

Jayne - I never comment, but just had to put in my two cents about potlucks - which are ok for summer picnics etc. BUT should absolutely be avoided for Ward Christmas Parties (no need to mention any specifics, right!) I mean come on, save all of the activity committee budget for the entire year to at least put a decent piece of ham or turkey on the plate of every ward member - it is Christmas after all! Sorry for the rant, just tired of lame Ward Christmas Parties!
Loves - Catherine

The Despot said...

catherine,

you weren't supposed to know which potluck we were talking about...

Noodle said...

Wow, I come from a ward of fabulous cooks with cleaner kitchens than you'll find in any restaurant. Besides, you're shaking everyone's hand at church anyway, and that's the easiest way of spreading germs. You might as well surrender to your fate (or wear gloves). At least I'll die happy. :)
Oh, and I love the way you ended your post, begging people to bring anything - that was hilarious!

KB said...

What were the sandwich things in the photo? Peanut butter? Just butter? Who brings a plate full of wonder bread sandwiches to a potluck? This deserves a sociological study!

Debra Johnson said...

Oh girly - Here in the south we do the "coordinated potluck" ALWAYS...everyone is told WHAT TO BRING...so that taste-wise it all works together ...all has the same theme...and there is ONE of everything. I guess that's not a true POTLUCK...perahps more like 'organized foodfest'...but the hostess never has to make more than one thing, and you do go home satisfied:)The hostess usually assigns the least gifted in the kitchen the relish tray or bag of potatoe chips....which can also be tricky - because you instantly know what your hostess thinks of you BEFORE you arrive by what you were assigned. It might be more work...but you WANT the harder dishes. * I know, because I am often assigned ROLLS - who can mess up rolls?? I think that I AM NOT one who is favored high on the list of fine cooks - oh well:) I long as I'm coming to the party - I'm happy!!
God Bless, Debra Johnson