Relaxation: the final product of continual potlucks

I had my third potluck of the year last night; while a couple of new friends and N’s boyfriend came for the first time, the core of the group had all been to my house before and new the drill: we fill our giant dining room table with food, you help yourself to drinks and pile plates high, and we mingle between rooms and the back porch all evening. Nearly everyone knew where the bathroom was, and no one seemed shy about raiding the fridge.

I had anticipated, as I moved from crockpot to oven to stove with the various foods I was cooking, some nerves or butterflies or just general anxiety about the party. However, it really never arrived; around 7 I put on some background music and people began arriving. It felt comfortable: a couple of my more shy friends sat on the back porch where it was quieter, and Husband started a fire in our firepit and talked heat transfer with a couple coworkers. We played one silly party game, but it was mostly to make each other laugh, not because there was nothing to talk about.

As for food… soup and bread turned out to be a wonderful theme! We had tomato soup, butternut squash soup, Indian mulligatawny, chili, gumbo, a sweet red bean soup from China, golden curry, and potato leek soup. For breads, we had roti, naan, fluffy peasant bread, crusty artisan bread, sesame seed bread from the farmer’s market, cornbread casserole, and smores bites for dessert! I also made some gingerbread cookies, which I’m happy to see have survived to the second day. 🙂

I include this picture of N putting away a pile of spilled toothpicks because she is grinning, and because it makes me smile too; parties aren’t perfect, just like spilled toothpicks are no fun to pick up, but if you get to know people and spend time eating with them and sharing life stories with them, you will eventually find a comfy rhythm that can actually look like being relaxed, not like being a stressed host.

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15 comments on “Relaxation: the final product of continual potlucks

  1. Great story! Really makes me want to host a friendsgiving this year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kim Smyth says:

    We love having people over to eat and usually just do it on Sunday’s, with family. We need to have more impromptu meals like that with friends as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Our church in Oregon had a once a month potluck after the service. It was wonderful to look forward to dishes we knew would always be brought by the same people and new dishes people were trying out. One favorite seemed to be broccoli with bacon salad. I never caught on, but it was very popular.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sherrie says:

    Wonderful tradition!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. foodinbooks says:

    Having potluck parties is such a great way to bring together friends and family, and gets you off the hook for cooking everything! 🙂 I had an appetizer potluck a few weeks back, where everyone had to bring one of their choice, and I provided the wine and the sweets. It was a hit, and got to try some new things I hadn’t yet tasted. Great post, and I love your friend’s smile as she fiddles with the toothpicks!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. jpeters6248 says:

    What a great idea for a potluck! My family does potluck quite a few times a year. I always bring the appetizers. My husband’s family is huge and everyone always brings main dishes or side dishes, but everyone is always starving while we wait for everyone to arrive, so I started bringing appetizers. I might have to suggest a themed potluck for the next time we get together. Thanks for the idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This sounds like the perfect evening!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve never done/been to a soup/bread potluck. Such a great idea. Especially for the cold months to come. Thanks. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Everything sounded delicious!! Love this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a great idea. I’ll be hosting a few of these this fall. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. arlingwoman says:

    Potlucks are lovely and not stressful as everyone brings one dish and you wind up with a feast. It sounds great.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Rini says:

    Interesting potluck theme. I have been trying to come up with another food party concept other than a taco potluck. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. wonderful party…… delicious items everywhere……

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Rainy Sunday says:

    Sounds like fun. I’m glad that the gatherings are becoming stressless; that’s when it becomes a great tradition.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Become More Healthy Blog says:

    You are the best!

    Liked by 1 person

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