28 October 2021
Potlucks. You either hate them or love them.
If you are thinking about hosting a potluck, there are really no hard and fast rules, but there are some things that are important to share with your guests.
- As the host you will be expected to provide the space, plates, drinkware, and tableware.
- Drinks. You should also probably expect to offer at least one non-alcoholic (non-water) drink like a punch or soft drinks. Coffee is nice but be sure you have the proper cups. If it is BYOB, let them know. If you do not want any alcohol, ditto.
- Serving Utensils. Guests sometimes expect to raid your cabinets and drawers for ladles and spoons. If that’s not your preference, be sure to let folks know. It might be a good idea to hit the dollar store in advance for a few extras, just in case. It is less than appetizing for the same spoon that dipped into the barbecue sauce to handle the next serving of potato salad.
- Organization or Chaos. There are two camps. There is the theory of a sign up sheet where you indicate the categories and people sign up. This ensures a balanced meal. Then there is a free for all where anyone brings anything. That may mean you have nothing but desserts or only various types of chip and dip or such a variety you can’t believe it.
- Food Allergies. As guest you may want to pick and choose carefully because not everyone will list all the ingredients, or they could be bringing a purchased item and no one really knows what it is made of.
- Leftovers. Here is another big choice. Some people think it is fine to leave the remainder of your food for the host to enjoy later. The other side is that you take back whatever is left so there is less clean up for the host. Either is fine, as long as everybody knows.
If you are a guest and the host doesn’t tell you about any of these things, ask. Better to be safe than embarrassed. Also as the guest don’t expect to have full access to the kitchen to assemble or pop your casserole in the oven.
Here are some cute Halloween ideas from Allrecipes.com. There are lots more on other sites.
- ¼ cup strawberry jam
- 1 (11 ounce) can lychees, drained
- ½ (6 ounce) container fresh blueberries
Spoon a little bit of strawberry jam into the hole of each lychee. Place a blueberry in the hole and secure blueberry with a toothpick.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup whole almonds
- 1 (.75 ounce) tube red decorating gel
Combine the butter, sugar, egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat together with an electric mixer; gradually add the flour, baking powder, and salt, continually beating; refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets.
Remove dough from refrigerator in small amounts. Scoop 1 heaping teaspoon at a time onto a piece of waxed paper. Use the waxed paper to roll the dough into a thin finger-shaped cookie. Press one almond into one end of each cookie to give the appearance of a long fingernail. Squeeze cookie near the tip and again near the center of each to give the impression of knuckles. You can also cut into the dough with a sharp knife at the same points to help give a more finger-like appearance. Arrange the shaped cookies on the baking sheets.
Bake in the preheated oven until the cookies are slightly golden in color, 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the almond from the end of each cookie; squeeze a small amount of red decorating gel into the cavity; replace the almond to cause the gel to ooze out around the tip of the cookie.