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We believe that you don’t need a reason to gather friends and family around the dinner table. Breaking bread together is reason enough because it reminds us of our connections to each other within our communities. It’s the simple act of sharing food in communal meals that ties a group together. Why not gain that sense of fellowship by starting a potluck club of your own? Organize a group (make it small to start) where guests bring dishes based on a theme. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Mashed potatoes, mac’n’cheese and chicken pot pie are classic comfort foods. They’re also great dishes to share with others. The warm, filling meals will really give your feast a nostalgic theme.
Hometown Meals: Make your dinner even more personalized by focusing on personal comfort food. Maybe that means adding scrambled eggs with catsup or your grandmother’s snack mix — either way let others try a sample of your background.
Chili: Spice up your potluck club with a bit of competition. Have a chili cook-off. Those not interested in competing can bring corn bread and other fixings.
School Lunch: There is something sweet about returning to your childhood. Encourage guests to bring sandwiches (with the crusts cut-off), chocolate milk and other lunchroom favorites.
Expand your palate by making potluck night about exploring different cuisines. Try your hand at making sushi, preparing Udon noodles and perfecting your potstickers.
Authentic Mexican: Whip up meals using traditional ingredients like cactus and dried chiles.
British Spread: Have fun researching meals like Bubble and Squeak, Toad in the Hole and Scotch Rabbit to make a truly local meal.
Midwestern Specialties: Think of it as a creative challenge to conjure up meals using cheese (hello, Wisconsin!), canned tuna and grains in hearty casseroles.
Sometimes a meal isn’t about what you made but how you make it. Have fun exploring different ways to cook a meal. Fondue is a great example of a communal meal in which everyone can bring something fun for dipping.
Microwave: Cook up meals that are nuke-friendly.
Grilling: Have a feast where everything from the cocktails to dessert are fired up on the grill.
Raw: Don’t bother warming up the oven for this one. Take advantage of the raw food trend to create tasty, nutrient-rich meals.
Sometimes we get obsessed with a specific ingredient and that’s okay. Chocolate is a great example of an ingredient that works in both savory and sweet meals. Start with some cocoa-dusted appetizers and work your way into a chicken mole dish before topping it off with a slice of chocolate pie.
Fruit: Fresh fruit when in season, is such a versatile additive to your dishes. Build a whole feast around them!
Yogurt: The creamy substance is used all over the world in meals. Just imagine the variety of dishes from Indian to Greek that use this tangy product.
Gluten-Free: Many people live with gluten-free diets and as a result, there are plenty of flours from rice to tapioca to chickpea flour. Make your supper club gluten-free as a way to experiment with these different options.