My family get-togethers have always been potlucks as far as I can remember. For birthdays, Christmas, or Thanksgiving, every family brings one or two dishes that end up in a big smorgasbord of food! It’s a great way to get a large variety of food and split the cost of a large meal. It’s easy to do since everyone is only responsible for one or two dishes. The host usually does end up doing more than anyone else, but they’re not cooking the entire meal for everyone. Potlucks are especially helpful when the host isn’t such a great cook!
More food than you can eat
The general rule when attending a potluck is to bring enough so that everyone can have some. An even better rule to follow is to bring more than everyone can finish! In my family, leftovers are a must! Most everyone brings their own tupperware because we know that we need to pack food for home. Get-togethers are fun times when people can enjoy themselves and eat a lot of good food. Potlucks help create a variety of food. It’s also a lot of fun to see what people end up bringing.
Split the cost between everyone
With the size of my family, the cost of having to cook for everyone would be very pricey. Having a small party might be okay if you foot the cost for everything, but when it starts getting larger, then it’s not really feasible for most people to pay for it all. It’s easy and low cost for each person or couple to bring a dish or two of their own. Even for small parties, sometimes I’ll end up doing most of the work but split the cost between everyone. It would be nice to be able to host parties and just cater the food, but I think my money would quickly dwindle if I did that. Potlucks can work for family gatherings and friends too. I think the only times you would think to not do a potluck are once in a lifetime events. Even then, I’ve heard of weddings that are potlucks!
No-stress get together
Potlucks are pretty common these days. There’s always a magical feeling during potlucks because everyone contributed. It always feels more like a family gathering when it’s mostly home cooked meals and you know that your entire family brought it all together. When all the cooking is split between everyone coming, it makes things much simpler. I can’t imagine trying to cook 12 different dishes in one day. I know people who do and they are amazing!
For myself, I wouldn’t say it’s no-stress at all when having people over even for a potluck. I love doing it though, and I have people over quite often. Sometimes when it’s a few people, I just provide the food and people can bring things if they wish. If it’s a large dinner, then I’ll turn it into a potluck. Usually I clean my place before and set it up nicely, cook a bunch of dishes, and then clean up afterward. My personal rule when attending a party is to always bring something as a thank you to the host for going to so much trouble. A potluck just makes it more official.
No matter what though, it’s always considerate to keep in mind that the host will always end up having to do more than anyone else. Not only are they having people over, but they will most likely cook the most. They are the ones to clean up before and after everyone has left. If it’s family or a good friend, I usually offer to help out before, after, or both.
Are you a potluck type of person? What is your one go-to dish to bring?