Of potlucks and gatherings


Hello! It has been a couple of weeks since I updated my blog. Just been one of those phases with many drafts and none published. So much happening in the country and around the world, lot to process, lot of emotions. I decided to let go of everything and post something completely  unrelated. For the love of food and the experiences at potlucks !!

*Another potluck*

Being an Indian abroad we always have social gatherings and a lot that involve potluck lunch or dinners. No, this is not an organized ‘I bring an entree, you bring a dessert one’ but ‘I will bring something and you bring something’ ones. So we end up having dinner which have multiple versions of the same item. And many a time by a large group of people (whom we don’t know) whose culinary skills we don’t know about.

So what do you do at a potluck?


Look around the table to see what is on the menu today

  • 4 trays of lemon rice in different shades of yellow
  • 2 kinds Potato podimas (mashed potatoes with spices)
  • 2 kinds of potato fry
  • 3 kinds of puliyogare  (tamarind rice) distinguished by the amount of peanuts in each one
  • 2 kinds of  channa masala (chick peas)
  • 3 trays of sundal– black eyed beans, black chana dal and peas
  • and finally 4 kinds of curd rice
  • In addition a few trays of frozen samosas and pakoras and (ofocurse) dessert


Color, texture, consistency, presentation (yes they do matter when there is more than one)

  • This lemon rice lacks color, this is not mixed well, this looks perfect – on the plate
  • These potatoes are cut too big to fry, this podimas doesn’t have enough turmeric, these potatoes are cut right and looks great
  • This puliyogare has enough peanuts and well-cooked, non-mushy rice
  • This channa masala has better consistency and less watery than the other
  • This sundal has the right amount of coconut and curry leaves – win!!
  • Curd rice 1 too dry, curd rice 2 – no tempering, curd rice 3- too many pomegranate seeds, curd rice 4- looks creamy and inviting – on the plate


Once you have assessed and know what you want to eat, ATTACK before others do 😛


Socialize   (…only if you really want to.)

Unfortunately free food means free conversations too. So make sure you say hi to a couple of people and have a conversation. Well, if you don’t feel like it you can always pretend to like kids and sit closer to them as they are on their Nintendo, Wii, PS4 and would leave you alone!!

So ..what are your thoughts on potlucks and gatherings? What is your favorite dish to take for one?






8 thoughts on “Of potlucks and gatherings

  1. Hello Jan! I want to nominate you for the Blogger Recognition Award . Click https://thelivingmeblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/26/blogger-recognition-award/ for the rules and there is no time limit to respond. I hope you will accept this award! Thank you and I really love your blog! – The Living Me

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha! I just finished making a tray of coconut rice for a potluck that I am not attending. Just the husband and kids since I am weary of socializing. 🙂 As a newly married woman, I loved it. Now, I love it even more. Easy on the host and as a guest, I don’t have to worry about buying something else to take along. Love having a peek into what I call the next gen marriages. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! I agree.. it is easy on the host and people get to show off their culinary skills as well. I am still single (long-distance marriage) with no proper kitchen so I get to escape off with soda or cutlery . I guess when I do set up a house of my own I will have to probably host or attend more such events and actually cook 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoy potlucks once in a while. Cooking and carrying the food to the place, especially in new york is pretty tiresome. I enjoy any food cooked by others. I guess my standards are pretty low. I usually make quinoa salad, which is a huge hit, filling, healthy and makes up for good summer salad. Or I contribute money, which is my preferable option ..to buy a dessert or an appetizer or anything that is required . Oh.. socializing. .. with indian gatherings, I some how end up with kids or someone that I find who loves have a conversation… varies/depends on the group.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Quinoa salad sounds great! I usually end up buying cutlery or drinks. My socializing is similar to yours. It is kids or a single person who is also trying to hide on the kids room 😛 Since you mentioned New York. . Would you be interested in blogging meets in NYC? If yes, please feel free to email me at jansdoodles@gmail.com


  4. Haha! Growing up, my parents always frowned on hosts who decided to throw potlucks. If you’re going to invite others to your home, don’t expect others to feed everyone! But that was back then, when my parents were still fresh from India. As a married woman, I like potlucks… but only when the food is made well. And that’s the thing, it’s very hard to asses because you don’t always know who brought what. The food might look good, and so you plop a bunch on your plate. It’s no problem when the food tastes good… but it’s not. Ay! Many times I’ve been forced to finish food I didn’t want to eat because of my gluttony! The couple of times I’ve participated in a potluck, it’s always been my strawberry bread. It’s easy, unique, and usually no-fail.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Strawberry bread ❤ I can imagine my parents reacting the same way. I made the mistake of doing it a couple of times and now I am more careful about plopping a lot of food on my plate. Unrelated – "As a married woman" – I still feel weird saying that about myself. Even the word "my husband" Do you too?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wish I was as wise as you! I’ve yet to learn. This is guilt talking 😉 It does feel weird and I hope it’s not alienating to those who aren’t, but honestly, marriage has opened my world in many ways. I’m now a part of this secret society so I can’t not preface statements with it. We’re still newlyweds, so I think it’s normal!

        Liked by 1 person

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