Summer is the perfect time to get together with family & friends. Potluck parties are a great way to host gatherings without the stress of cooking for a crowd and also sample new dishes! Use this guide to make your next potluck a success.
- Choose a Theme: If you'd like to keep dishes consistent, choose a theme such as Asian cuisine, Mexican food, American BBQ, etc. Of course you could also do a true potluck and not set any parameters!
- Assign Dishes: To ensure that your party doesn't feature 12 desserts or nothing but appetizers, be sure to ask guests to bring a particular course. Don't forget side dishes, salads, appetizers, desserts, etc. Typically, the host creates the main dish and will fill in any gaps as needed.
- Choose Your Setting: Outdoor picnic areas in the community are a great place to host your party, weather permitting. If your community has grills, cooking can be done in an outdoor social setting. Be sure to pack two coolers ofice: one for keeping drinks cold, and another for your guests to use in drinks. Keep a backup plan in case of summer storms - guests may need to move indoors to your home. You can also book the community center for a larger crowd or to use as backup space for rain or heat alternatives. Be sure to contact your leasing office to reserve this space!
- Determine the Flow: Design your party area so that no one is overcrowded in one area. If you're hosting a seated dinner, set the table ahead of time and be sure there are enough serving dishes and utensils to divide dishes for each end of the table if it's a large crowd. Alternatively, you can set up a buffet-style party and have one table for food. Arrante the food so it flows from salads to main course to side dishes. Don't forget to add a stack of plates and utensils at the start of the table for your guests. Pre-wrapped utensils in napkins can speed up the line so guests can easily grab everything they need in an easy-to-carry pack.
- Keep Early Snacks Ready: Since most food won't be on hand when your first guests arrive, be sure to have snacks ready for your early guests. Great options are chips & dip, deviled eggs, mini eggrolls, etc. Keep these in line with your theme if you have one.
Do you have a potluck party scheduled? We'd love to hear about your plans in the comments!