Dinner parties can be daunting to most, but not so much for my circle of friends, we have mastered the potluck party.
Gone are the days of trying to impress, we like to make it easy on ourselves.
But first, the exception.
This was a little party for 6, I was thrilled to be there. This was on Johnny’s side of the friendship circle. They’re younger and haven’t embraced the potluck schematic.
Our hosts worked entirely too hard.
I don’t mind, I really love being a guest.
Look at this beautiful table. It was so very nice to be pampered.
It was also delicious.
This is how we do our pot luck dinner parties:
We start a text thread with the intended guests.
We decide on a date.
Everyone gets an assignment or volunteers their latest food obsession.
The host does the main entree, and usually something else. It’s important to take control of the menu, and curate the offerings. It really ups the deliciousness.
In my situation, with a catering kitchen at my fingertips, I usually do the main, dessert, and my new thing, I make some bread.
These are sweet potato rolls from “Beard on Bread.” Tasty and oh, so easy. I actually had to make them twice. I use my oven as a proofer and I heated it but forgot to turn it off and went to the Farmer’s Market. I came back to a voluminous mass of half cooked dough. Oopsies.
We set the table, fill some water pitchers for the table, and try to remove all the dog hair from the sofa. (Try being the operative word.)
My friend Gary does personal menus, and it’s super fun. This was a potluck brunch with a crazy delicious mushroom quiche as a centerpiece.
You can see the menus on the plate, so cute.
This is a delightful EXTRA, not a requirement.
Community contributions were smoked salmon and the fixings, vegan potato pancakes with fresh applesauce (I made those), tofu scramble and homegrown cara cara sliced fruit salad. There was also bacon, because brunch.
Gary makes the most delicious puntarelle salad, I can’t get enough. So we had that too, I would have been happy with just that!
I also brought my perfect caneles and imperfect thumbprint cookies.
What’s so delightful about keeping it casual?
Your friends will help with dishes, and the dishes they brought will leave with them. (less to wash!)
Guests take care of themselves. They’ll move through the house as if they own the joint, getting their own beverages helping bus the table and making sure everyone tries their offering.
I love when guests take ownership of their culinary prowess, kitchen pride.
So do it, have your friends over for supper.
Assign them their part of the menu, and sweep up the dog hair.
We had our Silverlake posse over last night, we’ve been friends for over thirty years.
We laughed and laughed, talked about the state of the nation, future plans and of course, a little bit about the kids.
We all ended the night with full hearts and bellies and grateful for our time together.
When’s your next pot puck party?