I love a good neighborhood potluck. For a minimal amount of effort to make a single dish, I get to eat the savory creations of all my neighbors. But sometimes I find that going through the effort to bring something to a potluck is actually a waste of time. I went to one such event over the weekend.
There’s a family that hosts the neighborhood holiday gathering every year. The polite question to ask when they deliver the invitation is to ask, â€œWhat can we bring?â€ The answer is always the same; bring your favorite side dish, appetizer, or dessert.
When we show up, not only has every neighbor fulfilled their potluck duties, but the hosts have also supplied enough food for everyone. There’s hardly a spot on the counter big enough to place a new dish. Typically, at the end of the night we’d pick up the remnants of what we brought, finding that only a small portion of the dish had been consumed.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
There was just too much food.
So this year, we took a different approach. Instead of making a side dish, we grabbed a bottle of wine we had on hand and brought that over instead. Entering my neighbor’s kitchen, I handed the bottle to my friend saying, â€œWe knew you’d have food covered, so we brought wine instead.â€ He smiled and thanked me as he took the bottle from my outreached hand, and placed it on a small table, next to half a dozen other bottles of wine.
I guess they had beverages covered as well.
At the end of the night, I noticed our bottle of wine had not yet been opened. At least I knew half of it wouldn’t go to waste, like a partially eaten fruit salad that a guy can only eat so much of for lunches over the next week. I thought about picking it up and taking it back home with me, but it felt a little weird so I left it there most likely to be consumed during a future neighborhood gathering.
I really didn’t need to bring anything to the potluck, as there was plenty of everything and my contribution wasn’t even opened. But my bottle of wine was the perfect compromise. I didn’t waste time making something that would end up back in my fridge, and I didn’t end show up empty handed.
Do you find yourself at potlucks that just have too much food? Have you ever brought home a mostly uneaten dish?