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Episode 15 of 15

Christmas Potluck!

Duration: 15:02
*I will be taking a little winter break and returning with a post and podcast episode in March. I have some exciting visits planned for 2018, and I can't wait to share them with you!*





Potlucks are, hands-down, my favourite kind of gathering to host. We have been hosting them fairly often for al
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*I will be taking a little winter break and returning with a post and podcast episode in March. I have some exciting visits planned for 2018, and I can't wait to share them with you!*





Potlucks are, hands-down, my favourite kind of gathering to host. We have been hosting them fairly often for almost a decade, with a wonderful group of friends. There are many more kids in the group now than when we began, and the toddlers who ran around and hid under the table are now taller than I am.Our potlucks are informal, and we usually hold two or three each year. Because it's primarily families with kids who attend, we typically host it at noon on a Sunday. People are free to come and go as they're able, and it's intended as a time for everyone to relax and catch up and enjoy some good food.Potlucks are great for several reasons - everyone gets to contribute something, it's easier on the host, there's a variety of foods for everyone, and people with special dietary needs can bring something that they know they can eat. The whole nature of the thing just feels comfortable and relaxed. I like to host them at times of the year when there aren't a whole lot of other things going on, December excepted. Our very first potluck was a midwinter one in February, to bring something fun to the darkest and coldest time of the year.I feel like I have our potluck routine down pat, for the most part, and I thought it might be helpful for anyone who has never hosted one to read a few nitty-gritty tips and a timeline for making the day a success. We typically have 35-40 people, which may be more than you'll begin with (or maybe not! be ambitious!), so keep that in mind as you read along. When everything is written out, it looks more intimidating than it is! Feel free to skip to the end for the recipes from this December's potluck!












































The basics:The most important thing, and the whole point of welcoming people into your home is to connect with them and make them feel at home. A bit of planning ahead will let you relax while your friends are there - and if you're relaxed and having a good time, they will be, too. They won't remember that dust bunny in the corner, but they will remember how they felt in your home.You'll need a clear table or countertop for placing the food, cutlery, and drinks. I set up the drinks on one section of counter in my kitchen, and we use the dining room table as our main serving area.You'll also need seating for your guests; I find that people tend to mill around and enough seating for each person isn't really necessary, but you'll probably want to get out those extra folding chairs if you have them.Bonus points if you have a deck, backyard, or other space where guests can circulate - placing some chairs in those areas will encourage guests to spread out. (At our place, the kids always want to go down to the barn to see the chickens.)A week or two before:Choose the recipes that you're going to make. We always make three things - one main dish, one dessert, and one appetizer, usually seasonally inspired. Choose recipes that will be entirely done before your guests arrive, and preferably ones in which parts or all of the recipes can be made the day before.For drinks, we always have coffee, tea, and a punch, so buy the ingredients for those, too. Punch seems to be a crowd pleaser that is easy on the host and can be spiked or not, depending on your crowd.Send out invitations (we just send them as a group message on Facebook). A week or sometimes two seems to be a good lead time for our group.
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