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The beauty of a potluck dinner


January 23, 2012
Billie Shelton , The Daily Freeman Journal

So we got to do potluck for our Sunday dinner last week. It was the best kind, too - a church potluck. I always like a good potluck because I get to eat food prepared by someone else with people who don't usually have their feet under my table. It all feeds my body and my spirit.

Whether you call it a spread, a covered-dish dinner, a bring-and-share, a pitch-in, a carry-in, a smorgasbord, or even a dish-to-pass, the idea is the same: each person in the group contributes a dish (or two) of food to be shared by the group. So, if you're lucky, what's in the pot will be tasty.

Usually you don't have to worry about that at a church potluck. My experience is that we want to bring our best effort to the table - your favorite dish, your specialty, maybe something others look forward to you preparing and bringing to the potluck.

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A potluck gives us a chance to show off just a little, if we want. I usually make and bring deviled eggs, and they are popular. Besides, I think I have most everyone fooled, because making deviled eggs isn't really that hard. Time consuming, maybe, but not difficult.

Like I said, church potlucks are pretty safe. As I recall, it's the office potlucks that might be a little sketchy. Often, there's someone in the office who brings a bag of chips or a box of chicken from the convenience store as their entry to the potluck, while most everyone else has worked to prepare their best dish.

When my children were little and we did a potluck, I was always interested in what they'd take off the loaded tables. The funny thing was that usually they wanted only what I'd brought, which somehow made me wonder why we went to the trouble of packing up the food and bringing it in rather than just eating at home.

When I was little, I didn't quite understand why my mom claimed that potlucks weren't her favorite. I thought they were fun. By the time I had a family, I understood much better what she meant after I'd prepared food at home, packed it all up along with dishes for everyone, got us all out the door on time, and then came home with a basket of dirty dishes after we all ate at church.

What I don't like about potlucks is coming home with food, unless it's something someone else sent with me. Leftovers get tiresome, and besides when I bring food home I take it that what I brought wasn't as good as I thought it was.

But then that's the chance of a potluck. Thankfully, it's usually lucky.



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