An article from last week's LA Times food section on potlucks
got me thinking about how we might do better at eating together.
There is a certain bias against potlucks, probably because of the jello salad - tuna casserole connection. I've been to plenty of them (occupational hazard) and usually tried to eat a little of everything, praising all the cooks. Now I don't eat meat and have a range of other things I'd rather not, which makes navigating such potlucks difficult. And they are a challenge for those on restricted diets, too (whether for medical or vanity reasons).
I've also been to planned potlucks, at least in my Reno days, where a main dish was chosen and folks negotiated things to go with it and committed to prepare them, or a menu was developed and assigned.
Not so much anymore, though.
Church potlucks seem to have more and more stuff from Costco, or a centerpiece of Kentucky Fried Colonel surrounded by homemade and deli salads - or they just aren't done at all.
And I don't know anyone anymore (maybe I know the wrong people) who is part of a circle of friends who regularly cook and eat together.
It occurs to me, though, that the potluck may be a solution to the frustrating problem of who to invite to dinner and what to serve.
I know some people go into high anxiety wondering what to serve me when they invite me - even though I always say "Just don't put bacon in all the vegetable dishes and I'll be fine." I've figured out some ways to do vegetarian or piscatarian menus when type II diabetics are on the guest list, but I am stymied by the absolutely no sugar ever crowd of whom I know too many.
The worst thing is the people who say, "Invite me over and I'll bring the food." Well, I hate - that's HATE - to clean and I love to cook, so it's no fun for me to prepare the setting and have someone else bring the food.
If we had more potlucks and each person brought plenty of something we like that is on our sugar free/gluten free/soy free/low sodium/low carb/low fat/meatless/vegan diet, then we each would be sure to have at least one good thing, and the omnivores would be in heaven.
It's worth thinking about...