It's your turn. You've been to quite a few dinner parties, but you haven't given one yourself. Or maybe the kids' soccer team, your church group or book club wants to have a get-together with a meal -- and you're in charge. If you're on the spot for a gathering involving food, don't despair. There's a way to have a dinner party that's fun and filling without breaking the bank or tearing your hair out. It's the old-fashioned potluck dinner.
Potlucks weren't always the group efforts they are now. The dictionary tells us that the word "potluck" has two meanings, both reaching back into history. One has to do with a traveler or other unexpected guest showing up at mealtime and sharing whatever's in the cooking pot. The other -- the one we know today -- involves people bringing various dishes to a communal meal, and everyone sharing in the luck of whatever is provided. Potlucks developed for practical reasons -- think of everybody bringing a dish or two to a funeral, a barn raising or a church dinner on the grounds. The result is a varied, ample buffet.
Not convinced? Read on for plenty of reasons in favor of a potluck.