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Pot Luck

A potluck is a communal gathering where each guest or group contributes a different, often homemade, dish of food to be shared.

The word pot-lucke appears in the 16th-century English work of Thomas Nashe, and used to mean "food provided for an unexpected or uninvited guest, the luck of the pot". The modern execution of a "communal meal, where guests bring their own food", most likely originated in the 1930s during the Great Depression.

Some speakers believe that it is an eggcorn of the North American indigenous communal meal known as a potlatch (meaning "to give away"). According to the Oxford English Dictionary, however, it is "unlikely that this played any part in the development of this sense".

So, what does this mean to you and I? Well to me it means a time where a sense of community is established. I'm a member of a local organisation that meets once a week for fellowship, and once a month we host a Pot Luck Brunch after our meeting. Socialisation is a big part of the human experience, in fact it's essential. In a world gone mad, we are being sold the idea of isolation, which has negative implications like addiction, depression and anti social behaviors. Covid in my opinion was part of a grander scheme for control of the masses, keep them cloistered, and they won't cause any problems. A world of robots rather than humans. Fortunately, it didn't really work as the powers that be suspected it would.

My business of Private Events actually flourished through this period, giving evidence that people need to be with people, and sharing food is part of our natural way of being.

Pot Lucks or just food gatherings of any kind bring out the best in us...sometimes not so much, but that's just life. In any case, folks were very creative during the Pandemic, hosting themed parties, experimenting with haute cuisine, cooking classes and more. Here are a few ideas for your next Pot Luck or Hosted Party;

It's a Small World - An international potluck with specialties from around the world creates a bold, engaging atmosphere. People can bring their favorite international meal and share stories about the inspiration for their dishes.

Memory Lane - Focus on comfort foods to invoke feelings of nostalgia and warmth. Homestyle favorites like macaroni and cheese, chicken and dumplings, chili, mashed potatoes, pork chops & gravy, meatloaf, apple pie and chocolate chip cookies are a few potluck hall-of-famers. Let your friends and neighbors choose their favorite comfort food to bring.

Book Theme - There is nothing better than a lively discussion of a good book… unless you pair the perfect menu to go with the book's central theme, location setting or time period.

Fire and Ice - This idea blends "hot" dishes that have some spice to them with some "cool" dishes such as pasta salad. It will make for a vibrant evening from appetizers to main dishes to desserts.

A Decade of Food - Pick a specific decade and ask guests to bring a dish that reminds them of that time. The menu and decorations will bring back memories of the good old days. It's a perfect way to naturally bring stories along with food into your evening gathering.

Fresh from the Farmer's Market - This theme will delight lovers of fresh, local fare. Think of the many dishes that are becoming popular at farm-to-table restaurants and allow that to help guide some ideas. A quick glance at any local farm-to-table restaurant menu will provide the ideas you need. Be sure to plan this potluck in the summer or fall when the harvest is plentiful.

Roots - Get to know your guests even better when they bring a dish inspired by their heritage. Of course, you could also take this literally and serve dishes prepared with roots. Sweet potato casserole anyone?

Wine & Cheese - Study up on your wine and cheese pairings. Each guest could be assigned a region to ensure a variety of both delectable options. To step things up a bit, break out your charcuterie board and have guests bring some of their favorite cheeses, crackers, sausages and fruits to fill the board.

5 Ingredients or Less - Keep it simple and somewhat healthy by giving your guests parameters on how many ingredients to use in their dish. Your guests will love the ease and it takes the pressure off having to prepare anything that's too fancy.

So there you have it, lot's of great ideas for your next themed Pot Luck Party. Don't feel like doing the work, but love the idea of getting together with friends and family just because you can, give us a shout at Dinner Thyme Private Chefs, and let us deal with it!

Cheers, and have a great weekend!

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