Core Decorum


Dear Decorum,

A bunch of us who can’t make it home for the Thanksgiving holiday were hoping to combine resources and throw a potluck. Not everyone can cook or has the time to prep for the meal. Any advice on how to divvy up the meal or how to organize an event like this?

-Famished Friends


Dear Friends,

Well, as I am sure you know, the entire point of a potluck gathering is for each guest to contribute a dish. The results include a diverse variety of food for all to enjoy … and filled tummies. It’s a smart move to take the potluck route, especially since times are tough (particularly for the typical college student living on noodles and coffee). Naturally, you’ll eliminate the financial burden associated with large dinner parties.

Here are a few suggestions for having a successful potluck:

– Assign a coordinator. Having one person coordinate the meal will make the meal-planning run more smoothly. Have this person make a list of the desired dishes so that you can sign up for cooking, cleaning or contributing funds. Facebook events and e-mails are effective and instant tools of communication for the entire group. That way, you won’t end up with six dishes of stuffing and no cranberry sauce.

– Make sure you have an idea of how many people are attending the Thanksgiving dinner. This will help you determine how much food you need to cook. (Hint: the more food you make, the better the chances that you’ll have leftovers for meals for the rest of the holiday.)

– Play up your culinary strengths if you are cooking, and feel free to experiment, or if you want to, keep with a traditional Thanksgiving meal.

– Make sure to offer a variety of drinks for your group.

– Don’t forget about plates, glasses and silverware. It’s an easy contribution, but one that is often neglected.

– Include those students  you know who are stuck on campus and don’t have a place to celebrate. Of all social and dining gatherings, potlucks have one of the most relaxed atmospheres.

Above all, enjoy good food and good company and have a happy Thanksgiving!


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