Potluck Tips

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Summer is the season to enjoy potlucks with your friends and family.  It seems like there is one every other week in our social circle!  As an attendee of these gatherings there are some expectations to follow, and as a host an easy way to serve a meal sometimes can actually feel like stress.  Here are some potluck tips to keep the party lighthearted and fun for everyone!

When Attending a Potluck as a Guest You Should:

Make Sure You Come Ready – Bring your dish prepared so that you can place it on the dining table when you arrive.  Extra baking or cooking at the place of the gathering should be avoided.

Label – Both on and off your food!  An address label works really well for your dish or slow cooker, that way if someone takes it home by accident or you forget it, it’s easily returned to you even if some of the guests weren’t acquainted. 

Put a small folded stock card next to your dish with the ingredients.  This will help nip any allergy reactions in the bud!

Come on Time – Because a potluck is based on a series of dishes brought by different people, there’s nothing worse than showing up 45 minutes late when you had a salad or a main dish or beverages to bring.  If you know you can’t be there when the potluck starts, offer right away to bring dessert so you know you won’t be shortchanging anyone their dinner.

When Hosting a Potluck You Should:

Assign – Both before and during the meal.  Don’t just have the guests bring what they like or you may have 6 bottles of pop, a salad, and s’mores to share among 18 people!  When you make the plans also assign dishes, that way there is a good variety of main courses, salads and desserts.

Likewise have your guests pitch in when they arrive or with clean up.  Even when you’re not doing all the cooking, hosting a gathering is a lot of work.

Be Mindful of the Food – We tend to get lax when we’re outdoors eating, especially when it comes to food safety.  When guests have finished eating salads and main dishes don’t let them sit out on the table, immediately begin to pack them up and place them in the fridge for the guests to collect on their way home.  No body wants to remember your potluck as the one they got sick at!

Do you have any other potluck tips?  Share them!

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