Potluck

Perhaps it’s just me, but I’m really looking for some support on this.  Does anyone else dread the office potluck? 

Here are my concerns.  First, I have to make something that other people will enjoy.  Everyone knows that I do a lot of from scratch cooking so there’s a certain expectation that I will make something really good.  There’s a high probability that I could make something really good, if I wasn’t doing it after working a ten hour day.  My skills and level of creativity dwindle with each passing hour of the day.

Even if I make something I’ve made dozens of times, it sometimes doesn’t turn out right.  Once I attempted an apple pie.  In my lifetime, I have made a lot of pie crusts and they’ve turned out great, however, on this occasion I could not get the dough to roll out properly.  I ended up making two double crust recipes just to have enough bits of usable dough to make the thing.   It tasted good, but it was not my best work.

In addition, there’s the concern that people won’t care for what I’ve prepared, or they’ll find an egg or nut shell or something unsavory in my offering.  There’s also the slightest bit of fear and trepidation that I might cause some type of food poisoning that will send everyone to the emergency room.

Assuming that I’ve somehow managed to make something that is edible and somewhat visually appealing, then there’s the challenge of transporting my creation to work.  There’s a lingering aroma of crockpot cabbage rolls in my car from the last potluck, a direct result of taking a curve too quickly on my commute and having some spillover. 

Lastly, I’ve been trying really hard to use up things in my pantry and avoid going to the grocery store, which makes it very challenging to come up with something delicious.  Here’s what I came up with for tomorrow.  Yeah, I know.  Okay, maybe it doesn’t really look like a turkey – I may need to just add more ketchup in the morning.

Meatloaf

The other side of the coin is partaking in that which others have brought to the potluck.  Sometimes it’s very awkward when I can’t actually tell what something is.  Or that moment when someone urges me to try their dish and when I do, it’s something I don’t care for and there’s no way to gracefully spit it out and I have to finish it.  When I end up tossing something, I feel terrible about it.  There are also certain processed foods that I just can’t make myself eat, and I feel guilty that I’m unwilling to eat something that someone took the time and energy to prepare.  And again, there’s the slightest bit of fear and trepidation that I might eat something that gives me food poisoning and sends me to the emergency room. 

Even though I’ve prepped my meatloaf, I still need to make sure I get up on time to cook it before I go to work, sample it to make sure it’s edible, transport it safely without harming myself or my car, and get it inside the building to the snacking area.  No doubt it will all be fine, but I will be glad when the day is done and all I have to do is take my empty dish home. 

So am I all alone here?  Do you share my concerns about the office potluck?  I’d love to hear what you have to say about it!

One thought on “Potluck

  1. Yep! You perfectly summed up my feelings about potlucks. How’d you do that?

    Applies to gift exchanges, too. I never like what anyone else brings, and I always feel like I put way more time and effort into it than anyone else. And whatever I bring rarely lives up to my expectations or turns out right.

    My go-to for potlucks is something I never ever make for myself. It’s gone in 10 minutes with people licking the pan. It’s horrible for you and not healthy and made with store-bought everything, no chance of food poisoning, and no redeeming qualities except the taste. And it’s crazy easy.

    Cheesy potatoes

    2 lbs frozen shredded hashbrowns
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1/2 c onion, diced
    16 oz sour cream
    1/2 stick butter, melted
    8 oz shredded cheddar
    Pepper

    Combine in a 9×13 casserole dish
    Bake at 375 for 1 hour until bubbly

    So easy, so horrible for you, so processed. But I never have to eat it because there’s never any left. I suppose you could make it from scratch, shred your own spuds, sub Greek yogurt for the sour cream, etc.

    Another easy one is drinks! Volunteer to bring drinks. Make a big thermos of good coffee; brew some organic tea and ice it down, then add rough-chopped fresh mint leaves; find a good local apple cider mill; juice a bunch of organic lemons, sweeten with honey, and mash fresh local berries in it…

    As for what to eat, I usually eat before I go, and that way I can just nosh and take very small portions of each thing, a politeness serving. Hard to get really sick from one spoonful, right? And you can always use your drink to wash down one bite of something without chewing. I also busy myself cleaning up empty plates, filling juice glasses, and asking people about their recipes so I don’t look like I’m just standing there not eating. Lol! Ok, now you know all my potluck avoidance strategies!

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