The holidays are upon us which means it's time for family, friends and food. And with food usually comes everyone's favorite: the potluck. Today I had my first official potluck of the holiday season and there were a few, well, observations that were made. So I thought I would make a simple how-to guide to navigating the potluck. Enjoy.
Sign up for something legit. Don't be that guy who writes down "napkins" when everyone else is about to go out and drop 20-30 bucks on a halfway decent potluck item. You by no means need to go out and pull a Martha Stewart on everyone but come on. At least make the attempt to couple a few items together and bring like napkins AND soup. This is your disclaimer: you look like a cheapskate and people will make jokes about you for years.
Also, if you forget or are just too busy to contribute to the potluck, just man up and say so. Don't try to just buddy up with someone and claim that you and someone else have a "joint" item. Especially if the item is salad. A "joint salad"? Really? At least if you're going to try and cover up the fact that you're the guy that didn't bring anything try to join up with someone who brought something legit. "Joint yams" or "joint mashed potatoes and gravy" sounds a lot better than "joint salad". Oh and you probably shouldn't let us see you pouring the store bought bag of salad into a bowl five seconds before everyone is about to eat. So if your forget, your first option should be to man up and apologize and say you forgot. Second option is to join forces with someone whose dish is a good one.
Okay so you make the decision to be that guy who is just going to bring napkins. Fine. Well then for the love of sweet baby Jesus, don't be the first person in line to get your food. Have some sense of decency and courtesy and a) let your boss go first, b) let a LADY go first or c) let someone who actually spent more than $3.99 on their item go first. I mean it's really just all about manners at this point.
Similarly, if you are that guy that just brought napkins, the least you can do is use your own napkins to then help to clean up. Likewise, if you forget/straight up don't bring an item, you really should offer to clean up. Again, manners people.
Finally, the clean up is really the trickiest part of the whole potluck experience because frankly, no one wants to do it. But here is one small rule of thumb. If you did not bring the item, you should find out who did before you straight up just throw away any leftovers. Maybe someone wanted to keep those deviled eggs.
Overall, nobody really likes pot lucks. They're kind of a hassle, nobody has the time to make something or really the money to go out and buy something to contribute. And if you're like me you're paranoid about if anyone will actually eat what you brought.
So there you go. Your friendly guide to all things potluck just in time for the holiday season.
Good luck everyone.