The Holy Rules of Potluck


If you live in the south, you probably find your best recipes at a potluck function – often associated with a funeral where the BEST FOOD EVER is served.

With summer approaching, and people getting out and about again, you will probably be attending numerous potluck dinners and block parties.  I have decided to offer some rules – all of which I have broken at least once.  I’m ashamed, but vow to do better in the future. 

potluck003copy42-main_Full I want to write a book about this, so if you have some rules of your own to add – feel free to send them along.

1) Coordinate with others so everyone  isn’t bringing macaroni and cheese – unless of course you are planning a Mac and Cheese bake off – which isn’t such a bad idea now that I think of it.

2)  Put on the dog – bring your A-game fare.  Now is the time to impress and not cut corners.  If at least five people don’t DEMAND your recipe, you have failed.  If NO ONE requests your recipe, you will probably be banned from the next potluck.

3)  Do ALL your cooking in your own kitchen.  Don’t pick up a bag of greens and some tomatoes and expect to get the sink all to yourself to prep your salad.

4) Bring something! And not a little bag of chips, either. It is marginally okay if you spring for an expensive brie or guacamole with gourmet corn chips. If you absolutely can not cook something, call the host and see what is needed – drinks, fresh fruit. And forget those “Sock it to Me” cakes from the Kroger store.  Way overdone and shows you have no imagination and could care less about the potluck .  On the other hand, if you prefer to be dropped from the guest list, bring a Sock it To Me Cake.

5) Bring big portions. Some people have said they bring enough for 6, but why? Is it really that much harder to cook for 12? Like I said, now is the time to go all out. Mean business!  The Pot luck police report there is one person in town who always brings a half pint of strawberries to the function, one, not even two.  She always winks and coos “I brought strawberries,” like she should win an award or something.  Heck, they probably came from Mexico.

6)  Offer to help the host clean up – if she doesn’t want help in the kitchen bow out – don’t push the issue.  I don’t like help because I’m always afraid someone will open the fridge and see the sad state of affairs in there. Ditto for my towel and silverware drawers. I prefer to keep my dirty little secrets to myself.

3 thoughts on “The Holy Rules of Potluck

  1. When I lived in the Atlanta area (Suzanne Simmons Dressel will remember this!),we called them “covered dish” meals, instead of potluck. At one such occasion, a male friend of ours showed up with a large casserole dish- covered with aluminum foil. It was placed on the table, foil still intact, and everybody was wondering what Ronnie had brought. When the foil was removed, the dish was empty!! He said, “It’s supposed to be a covered dish dinner-nobody said it had to have food in it!”

  2. It just kills me to see someone who you KNOW can do more, and they walk in with a can of English Peas. they are the ones in the front of the line, and fix their plate with generous portions, not considering there are 50 others behind them. Then they come back and fix additional plates to carry home. I just fix a ton, and leave it for the buzzards. I’m not talking about elderly people on fixed incomes…these are healthy working folks!!! Now I feel better!!!

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