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Volume II
December 19, 2006

A Dish to Pass
By Amy Hunt

A little discussed but widely known fact about potlucks is that they tend to inspire fierce competition among dedicated cooks. After all, who can hang around a potluck table without wondering whose dish disappeared the quickest? Which was the tastiest? The most labor intensive?

So relieve a huge amount of stress when throwing a party, and let your guests bring the food. A little unspoken competition is good every now and then.

Some quick things to remember when organizing a potluck:

Be sure to assign general categories to your guests-appetizer, salad, and dessert. You don't want to end up with twelve trays of cookies and no drinks or salads.

Have plenty of extra serving spoons and dishes available. Food may not arrive ready to serve.

Can I get that recipe? Ask your guests to bring copies of their recipes to share.

Clean out the refrigerator, you will need the extra storage.

Have extension cords available for dishes that need to be kept hot. Choose a safe area in your home for hot foods so the cords do not create a hazard. Use duck tape to secure the cords to the floor.

To prevent congestion, separate the food area from the beverage area.

Unless you are able to seat everyone while they eat, ask guests to bring foods that do not require cutting with a knife.

Prevent being overwhelmed by leftovers, have small disposable containers available so your guests can bring leftovers home.

If you have any additional tips that you'd like to add, please post them on the Cook'n Club Forum (if you're a Cook'n Club Member)...or e-mail them to

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