October 15, 2007


I do not really know how this name POTLUCK came to stay.When I went through the dictionary it is given as 'accept whatever is available'.So potluck parties are nothing to do with luck but truely a planned event.
We are a group who became close friends who used to meet for weekends in a small town in Tamilnadu were we are all married and settled.Imagine all city bred young girls,in a place with absolutely no recreation(our husbands will still not agree).Luckily all the guys were a close knit lot and fun loving, we all grabbed the oppurtunities and kept ourselves occupied.As i said we used to meet once a week in the same hotel, we really got bugged.That is how this concept of potluck started in our small dear town(now we have to accept as we have to like a place were you live)
Over the years our group has grown big so also our parties.I would like to share with you all the fun of potluck parties when properly planned and you can also master them easily.All these experiences mooted us to publish a book "POTLUCK SPECIALS" as a fundraiser for an NGO for a noble cause.


We can plan the potluck according to our convenience.
Lunch party
With family-sunday
Only ladies-a day of your friends convenience
Only children-according to their holidays
Dinner party
With family-saturday or a day when the next day will be a holiday
Tea/High tea
Preferably ladies and children

List down the guests and the numbers

Decide whether the dishes will be North or South Indian,Chinese,Italian,Diwali,Christmas etc

Plan a < MENU .If it is to be Indian,list down a few starters,three or four main dishes,two side dishes and appropriate desserts

Start calling the good cooks first,so they can take on the main or more challenging dishes

Tick off each course as it is spoken for.The hostess usually provides one of the mains

Keep numbers in mind.If there will be quite a few dishes,you could get away with smaller quantities

Take the ratio of vegs to non-vegs.The non-vegs will make inroads into veg,so make sure the veggies get enough options

Don't add foods that require last minute garnishing/heating/chilling

Decide on the crocery or disposables,a table sitting or buffet.

Have a quick-and-easy way for casual get-togethers and a more elaborate ones for important parties

This includes putting some flowers,nice music.

Make sure there are enough plates and spoons and beverages at hand

Even if your fellow potleggers will bring in appropriate serving dishes,be prepared with serving platters,spoons and spatulas

Since alcohol can work out quite a bit it is acceptable to divide the cost between friends.Preferably leave this to the guys

Give the guests enough notice to get their contributions together .It's smart to be flexible about where they come from too

Your friend who can't cut an onion should be allowed to order the dessert from a restaurant

Deal with the leftovers as you want-keep tham if you have the place,or divide them up amongst the guests

Make the guest list small for formal serious parties and little more for casual ones so that you can relax

Involve just one of your close friends on deciding the menu and alloting them


Check with the hostess about how many servings your dish should be

If you can't cook,please do buy,just get your dish there

Don't insist on getting asalsd when your hostess says there are already three

Bring in a dish with serving spoon,spatula or serving tongs whichever is appropriate

Make sure your dish will make the journey to the hostess' house

Have it ready to serve.Avoid heating cooling,then your hostess will have to run around

Do not expect the hostess to clean your dish especially when you are in a hurry to leave

If your hostess gives a mixed goodies of leftovers accept graciously

So friends get ready for a planned potluck for the forthcoming festive season.You can really relax and enjoy the homemade delicacies.You will definitely await another oppurtunity to host.


Sirisha Kilambi said...

Nice one renuka...Wish everybody reads these etiquettes and follow accordingly....It wud be so much easy for the hostess if everyone were like this :-)

renuka said...

Enjoyed reading Renuka!!!
Esp the first para!!..:D..

We are going to do it allll over again...forget the guyssss :D :D

Bharathy here :D

Sangeeth said...

lovely tips renuka :)Thanks for letting me know!