Why I hate Pot Luck Dinners

Written By: Alice  Desmond

My sister now a southern Lady suggested I write my views of the Pot luck dinner. She was amused by my take on these horrors. I am a native born Long Islander who lived 23 years in the south till I moved back recently to the haven of LI. I really should write about my two weddings and a funeral while there but I am limited to 1500 words which would be is much more hilarious and tragical than the pot luck story but here goes. Does everyone know but me ( know now of course) that one never has to do an entire dinner when you move to the south? The first time I invited some new found friends over to dinner they asked me what they could bring. Oh, well I said if you have a special wine or drink you could bring that. But oh no no they insisted on bringing a dish. Oh Oh ok I have already planned the dinner ( southern speciality) chicken with crab meat with veggies and salad, can your dish fit in somewhere I said, trying to end the conversation. They said they would like to bring a string bean casserole I reluctantly agreed. Oh dear now we will have another veggie but I suppose it will be ok. The other couple called with the same results and they wanted to bring individual cheese cakes, they sounded a bit merrier than the casserole and again I agreed. Now to the night of the event in came the lady with the string bean casserole I had pictured a large dish with enough beans to serve 8 or so people . However the dish was tiny tiny and maybe had enough for two people with small appetites, Aghast I put it on the table wondering if the other guests would wonder why I had served so few beans or what they would think? Next came the cheese cake lady loaded down with cooking sheets and other stuff to make the cheese cakes. Huh? Well my kitchen at the time was small and so we juggled around for a while till she got the cakes in the oven and then she proceeded to do the fruit topping; Mean while, since my husband was a lowly government worker employed by the National Radio Astronomy Observatories hence no butler to answer the door or caterers ( I WISH) I was answering the door seating the guests and trying to find the dinner in the kitchen between the cheese cake pans, my cheese cake friend said you don’t mind that I moved the salad into the sink do you oh no fine fine fine. I sat down a bit ruffled minus any southern hospitality. manners. The string bean casserole went in a flash with some of the guests being passed an empty dish. Of course the cheese cakes were a hit but, because she had brought in so many other things, she didn’t have a plate to serve them on and had grabbed an old kitchen plate that I meant to throw out but was saving it in case I ever needed it for plants. I continued to endure the pot luck dinner for our remaining years in the south. One time it actually worked the hostess made up a menu and sent it to the guests to pick a dish you wanted to bring (how very clever) To a New Yorker that seemed tacky but everyone else raved about the special meal. oh oh oh did i mention that I am enjoying my move back to NY where I go to parties with only a bottle of wine or flowers and enjoy endless food made by the host or some wonderful caterer, but please don’t mention Pot Luck to me you might get a violent reaction.