The Joy of Potlucking with People Who Love Food
Eliza and I participated in two potluck dinners this weekend and it got me to thinking how lucky we are to have friends who happen to love good food as much as we do.
I feel that potlucks are a pretty ubiquitous American experience. Where I grew up, in Vermont, there were potlucks for just about any occasion you could think of whether it be an after church service event or a school sports award ceremony. Potlucks provide an easy means of gathering plenty of food for a large group of people. Furthermore, if done well, there will be a diversity in the kind of food stuff offered so that everybody should be able to find something that they want to eat. Moving from Vermont down to South Carolina I was pleased to find that potluck culture was ripe and ready down here as well.
The thing with potlucks is that there is always the inherent risk that there will be no worthwhile food (perhaps besides your own, because you should probably provide something you in the least will like). However, I commonly associate will people who like good food. We may be considered foodies by those outside our circles (though I doubt that we really ever classify ourselves as such, we simply like well prepared food). As such, potlucking with these individuals allows for a wonderful experience to try a wide variety of excellently prepared foods.
It is not to say that other people’s potlucks are no good, but more so, to say, that often times I have experienced potlucks that settle for quick store-bought solutions, or some more traditional comfort foods (these are not always bad – often they can be great – but they demonstrated a reserved conservative mindset to what kind of food is appropriate to share with others).
The risk inherent to potlucks should not be a deterrent but instead an opportunity. I may never have tried a caper and red pepper mozzarella roll were it not for a potluck this weekend or have ever thought of the wonder of baking brussels sprouts with walnuts. It is this, as an exploring eater and cook, that I find so enjoyable about the potlucks thrown by my closest peers. Creativity and quality go hand in hand allow for new experiences as well as ideas for future productions.
And so we ate well over the past two days and had a good ol’ social time about it to boot. cheers to you potlucks and the folks who keep them interesting culinary events.