Church potlucks have always had a special place in my heart, or should I say, stomach. I never truly appreciated them until I was in college. Then, anything homemade was wonderful, and a church potluck was nirvana.
Potlucks feature several tables filled with steaming pans and crockpots of food, and pretty bowls of a variety of salads, including my favorite...jello fluff. You stand at the beginning of the line, pick up your paper napkin, wrap it around your plastic silverware and stuff them in your pocket. Then you pick up your stryofoam plate, and begin your perusal.
Some things are obvious, like fried chicken, or meatloaf...but most are casseroles. You kind of poke at them, trying to figure out their contents. Then if it looks good, you have to make a decision. Do I take a chance and take a full scoop, or just a dab. But if I take a dab, and like it, and come back, it'll probably be gone. Hmm....
Going through a church potluck as a vegetarian provides even more challenges, as in, is there meat in this dish? I took a big scoop of what looked like veggie lasagna today, but ended up picking out chicken from it. (still tasty, once the chicken was gone). Normally, I can be sure of getting some protein via the inevitable baked beans, but today, there was none. *sigh*
Then you sit at your table, trying to separate individual dishes from the mishmash of stuff on your plate. Some things are interpretable, but sometimes taste good together anyways. Then there are the desserts. If I haven't satisfied my sweet tooth with jello fluff, then I hit the desserts. Today there was this awesome...thing. I don't know what it was...but there was a jello/pudding stuff in between cookies that had chess pieces on it. It was fabulous...but no idea what it was or who made it.
The best part is actually not the food. The best part of a church potluck is sitting with friends at long tables, munching on unidentifiable food, and talking and joking. Today I ended up sitting across from several kids, but still had pretty interesting conversations...and they got me laughing.
So, despite the lack of baked beans (and jello fluff...sigh), it was a great potluck today. And I left with an empty pan...(meatloaf went over well...even if my sons wrote 'eww' 'yuck' on the recipe years ago).