Pot luck dinners are a fun and inexpensive way of spending time with friends.
Wining and dining is a popular way of spending time with friends. But frequenting restaurants can be an expensive night out and put pressure on one’s personal budget. There are many alternatives to keep costs within control when wining and dining with friends. My favourite is a group of friends getting together and having a pot luck dinner.
What is a pot luck dinner? A pot luck dinner can be organised in several ways, and is a dinner where those people attending bring along a dish of food for sharing. You take pot luck in hoping that all the dishes combine to make a tasty meal. I’ve been to many pot luck dinners over the years and have to admit, there has never been one that has been a failure. The quality and variety of food is usually amazing. People are usually expected to bring their own drink to accompany the meal.
Why have a pot luck dinner? There can probably be as many reasons as there are dinners. But the major reason to make an event pot luck, is to distribute the cost and preparation amongst all those attending. As each person or couple brings a dish large enough to be shared with the others, the only financial outlay is the cost of one dish. Guests can therefore contribute at a level their budget can afford.
Where are pot luck dinners held? If the occasion is for a few invited guests or mutual friends, it is usually held in someones home. While the host or hostess has the additional responsibility of making their home ready, providing the crockery, cutlery and glassware, others usually contribute to the tidying up afterwards. Sharing food and drink in someones home is a relaxed and comfortable way of spending time together. Pot luck dinners can also be held in small communal places when they are catering for slightly larger groups such as community groups.
Who are pot luck dinners for? These dinners can be as small as a couple inviting another couple over for dinner and sharing costs, to large groups of invited guests. My experience of pot luck dinners is mostly small groups of friends deciding to spend time together.
How are pot luck dinners organised? The person responsible for hosting the dinner usually sets out the guidelines. They can be completely pot luck, where everyone brings something to contribute. This can be fun as you can end up with all salads or all desserts. Because that is the accepted criteria, no one minds if this happens. Usually though, mush to everyone’s surprise, there is a balanced range of food to choose from.
Sometimes the host allocates a category to those attending – starters, mains and desserts. This ensures that there is not too much of one sort of thing. Occasionally people are asked to say in advance what they will be bringing, but I feel this takes the fun and the pot luck out of the occasion.
Have a go. Next time you feel you’d like to catch up with friends you haven’t sen in a long time, why not organise a pot luck dinner. Invite the number of guests you’d feel comfortable with in your home and explain that as it is pot luck you’d like them to bring a dish of food to share.Inviting friends from different cultural groups can really enhance the tasting experience.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much fun you can have, how pleasant the company is when relaxed in your own home and what wonderful cooks your friends are. Remember, if it’s truly pot luck, anything goes as far as what is provided to eat. Relax and enjoy the occasion.
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Published in: Entertaining