Host a Summer Potluck Party

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.

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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!