The best parties are the ones where the host doesn’t have to do all the work, but every party guest contributes and everyone enjoys themselves, party host included. Potluck parties combine the best of every guest’s culinary talents and allows the party hosts to relax and enjoy their own party. Thankfully, potluck parties are the hot new trend (thanks to the economy) in home entertainment. The party expense and work is divvied out among several different people and no one has to make a huge sacrifice of time or money to host a get-together for friends and family.
Assign Party Guests a Food Category
A successful potluck party host will not make demands of certain dishes, but rather assign party guests a food category from which they can prepare their own food choice. Food categories should include hors d’oeuvres, salad, two or three side dishes and desserts. Beverages and breads can also be included as food categories if desired. As host of a potluck party, plan on preparing the main dish (meat) yourself. Any large cut of meat, such as beef tenderloin or ham, is always a crowd pleaser. Be prepared to brew a pot of coffee to accompany dessert as well.
Ask For Potluck Dish Recipes
Ask each party guest that is preparing a dish to write down the recipe and send it to you prior to the potluck party. Compile the recipes into mini cookbooks to be handed out to each guest at the potluck party as party favors. Inevitably, someone always wants a recipe of a food that was served at a potluck event, so a mini cookbook containing all the recipes makes the perfect party favor.
Set Up A Buffet Table Before Party Time
Make it easy for all party guest (and yourself) by setting up a buffet table well before party time. Place extra serving platters, serving spoons and trivets on the buffet table so party guest can set down hot dishes when they arrive. Extra serving platters and serving spoons allows guests to do last minute serving preparation for their potluck dishes (less work for the hosts at party time).
Place napkins, cutlery, plates, salt, pepper and the like on the buffet table so as host, you won’t be doing a mad dash trying to find these items. Sit up a beverage bar away from the food buffet so guests can serve themselves without blocking the food serving line.
Take Home Containers
In all probability, there will be leftover food at the end of the potluck party that guests will want to take home. Have take home containers, like Chinese takeout boxes, lidded Styrofoam boxes and/or aluminum foil on hand so the potluck party leftovers can easily be carried home by guests.