Header photo by Luke Jones via Flickr – CC 2.0
Today’s post comes from Barbara in River Town
According to Wiki, a pot luck dinner is: “a gathering where each guest contributes a dish of food, often homemade, to be shared. Synonyms include: potluck dinner, spread, Jacob’s join, Jacob’s supper, faith supper, covered dish supper, dish party, bring and share, shared lunch, pitch-in, bring-a-plate, dish-to-pass, fuddle, and carry-in.” I always enjoy learning where words like this come from, and Wiki says: “The word pot-luck appears in the 16th century English work of Thomas Nashe, and used to mean ‘food provided for an unexpected or uninvited guest, the luck of the pot.’[this quote needs a citation] The sense ‘communal meal, where guests bring their own food,’ appears to have originated in the late 19th century or early 20th century, particularly in Western North America, either by influence from potlatch or possibly by extension of traditional sense of ‘luck of the pot’.” The only rule, unless you’ve been asked to bring a particular type of dish, is to bring enough to share with several other (not necessarily all) attendees.
I remember once reading an advice or manners column (which one is lost in the mists of time) stating that when hosting a Holiday Dinner, it is incorrect to ask the guests to bring food. I heard myself saying aloud to the newspaper, “What universe do you live in??”
So far in December we’ve been invited to 8 potluck Christmas or Holiday gatherings. This week alone there are Husband’s pool group (billiards, not swimming) party, our Harmonica Group and Wellspring Singers, my T’ai Chi group, the Wiscoy Community Farm carolers, and the Unitarians (Garrison would have a field day here) after caroling at nursing homes on Saturday. The folk dancers have their party on the 30th…
This is in addition to non-holiday pot lucks – November 12 we joined a spontaneous “sing-in” out at Zephyr Community Farm, sort of a coping tactic after the election. Last week was the Frac Sand Ban Victory bash put on by the Land Stewardship Project – the Winona County Commissioners voted in November to ban all further frac sand mining here.
Of course, this will all come to a screeching halt in January, and we will go through Party Withdrawal, along with Christmas Music Withdrawal, and Colored Light Withdrawal. At any rate, I hope there is one pot luck somewhere in January.
What’s your “go to” dish to bring to a pot luck?