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.
Only ladies-a day of your friends convenience
Only children-according to their holidays
With family-saturday or a day when the next day will be a holiday
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
POTLUCK GUEST TIPS
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.