Rockin’ the Potluck

Pot LuckWe all know eating out is expensive. But its easy, hassle-free, something to do and no cleaning up involved.

Ever since I started cooking and baking more, I find eating out to be such a luxury now. I look at the menu sometimes and think I can make more of that for way less. Sometimes the portion isn’t very much either and I’m still hungry! I have two trains of thought when I go out to eat: I try to get something, I wouldn’t normally make at home or I get something on the cheaper side like a sandwich. The second thought pretty much contradicts the first thought, cause clearly I can make a sandwich at home! So eating out can actually be a hassle! Interesting.

I try not to eat out unless it’s a special occasion, but even then if it’s a special occasion, why do you have to eat out? Why not a potluck? I love potlucks! They’re a fun, great way to get together with friends. I had a potluck party for my birthday last year and it was a hit. There was a ton of food. I didn’t have to do much cooking and my sister helped with the clean-up.

Usually people go out to eat at restaurants for special occasions, especially birthdays, but I find it so hard to enjoy it. You’re stuck at one spot and you can’t really converse with everyone. You’re trying to talk to someone across the table, but it’s almost impossible  to hear them with all the other conversations and background noise in the air. With potlucks, you have the freedom to move around and mingle, while stuffing your face with the great variety of delicious food. It’s like your own private buffet. You get to share recipes and end up with a TON of leftovers. Have a lot of margarine/yogurt/sour cream containers handy so your guests can take home some food as well. I hate wasting food and you should too!

You can’t cook? Sure you can. If you can read, you can cook. If you’re not a very good cook or just starting out and don’t want to risk poisoning anyone or you don’t like cooking period, you can still contribute to the potluck. Bring drinks, cutlery, plates, napkins, fruit and veggie trays or any store bought stuff . One of the best things about potlucks: You don’t have to go through the agonizing exercise of how to split the bill “x” number of ways (THAT is one of my biggest pet peeves for eating out. I often ask for separate bills, because a lot of the times they won’t give it to you separately if you don’t ask. Sometimes people don’t carry enough cash and sometimes people prefer to pay with credit card) so people don’t overpay or underpay, which I find always happens in a big group. People don’t have change, don’t feel like asking for change and just throw down a few $20 bills.

With the popularity of celebrity chefs, cooking shows, recipes available at the click of a button and an entire tv network devoted to food, one would think potlucks should be at the top of everyone’s list for fun entertainment. The next time you are planning to go out to eat for whatever occasion, why not suggest a potluck? You can’t go wrong with good food, good convo and good company at a decent cost.