Thursday, December 13, 2007

Potluck Etiquette

It has been really busy here at The Schmidt House. I did finally get our tree up, the house decorated and Gerald took care of the outside lights. The living room and the porch looked great, but for a few days, I had 2 rooms filled with half filled boxes of old decorations and just old Christmas junk spread out everywhere. Gerald says that's what doors are for, but I happen to know what's behind those doors and it makes me a little crazy. I do like it when everything is out and looking on purpose. I feel a real sense of accomplishment. So, our home is in full holiday bloom and I love it!
We had our little Christmas neighborhood Open house on Tuesday and that was fun. I made way too much food, but I get into it when I'm cooking and then it's overkill. The neighbors appreciated it though...they all had a nice little "Reindeer Bag" of leftovers to take home. Spreading the love!! I smoked a pork butt on Sunday for 4 hours and then finished it up, low and slow in the oven on Tuesday. It was (and still is) really good. We also had some Italian meatballs, Chicken Salad WonTons, too much chocolate, mini Red Velvet cupcakes w/ cream cheese frosting, and the ever present Bleu cheeseball and veggie tray. I did dig out an old recipe for Beau Monde Dip for the vegetable tray this year. I hadn't had it in years and folks, it is really good. I had found the Beau Monde ( Spice Islands Spices) at Publix. It's a nice little alternative.
My neighbor, Rhonda, who does not cook and is proud of it, brought a pan of pepperoni stuffed yeast rolls and Oh My Gosh...they were so-o-o- good! Maybe it's because I didn't make them that I enjoyed them so, but Geraldo was into them too. I'll share her recipe with you soon. It isn't written down and takes only 3 ingredients (5 if you count the pan and the oven.)
They're kinda like Pigs in a Blanket on steroids. I really appreciated Rhonda bringing something to our little soiree and that made me think about potlucks and how folks know to bring something or not. So here's some homegrown advice............... comfortcook@gmail.com

POTLUCK ETIQUETTE
* If you're bringing something to a potluck, let your host know what you are bringing and how many people you are expecting.
* Put your offering on a nice platter or bowl- as opposed to plunking down a plastic tub or container of food on the table or expecting your host to provide a dish or platter. And bring your own serving spoon, if needed.
* If you are bringing an appetizer, be sure to arrive on time.
* If you're hosting a potluck, have supplies on hand to wrap up food to take home.
* As for cleaning the serving dishes, guests should defer to the host ( Gerald will do it for you at our house!) Kisses, Geraldo! But if you are in doubt of protocol, rinse the dish, wrap it in a plastic bag and take it home to wash.
* And, if you want to know who gets the leftovers, they should be offered to the host. (I send anyone and everyone who wants a little somethin' somethin' a little something home.....hence the Reindeer Bags.)
As a Hostess, I appreciate any helping hand, but I want my guests to know that it is always my pleasure to spend time with good friends and neighbors. The food and prep is just how I say "Welcome to our home."

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