Entertaining Ideas
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Potluck

My husband and I have hosted numerous dinners/parties at our home over the past year and really enjoy doing so, however it can get certainly get costly. We would like to have a 4th of July BBQ at our home but are thinking that the cost may be prohibitive. We are contemplating the idea of having a potluck BBQ but have never had one before. I feel a little uncomfortable with the idea, thinking that it is rude to expect your guests to supply food. Obviously my husband and I would provide the main courses and all the meat. Does any one of any thoughts on potlucks? Have you had one before? Were your guests okay with it? Thanks for your thoughts.

Re: Potluck

  • I Personally love a good Pot Luck!! I mean its not like its a wedding..its a BBQ!! I do not think there is anything wrong with a pot luck...especially on the 4th of July!! I always bring a dish to BBQ/Picnics, it just seems like the right thing to do!
  • Ditto the above comment.

    There is nothing wrong with having a potluck. When you invite people, tell them that it is a potluck style BBQ and ask them if they want to bring a side dish or dessert. It is a great way to eat some VERY yummy food! :)

  • Yep, love potlucks. Just let everyone know that you'll be deconflicting sides/desserts so you don't end up with too much of one thing and you should be fine. I find that a lot of people ask what they can bring anyway.
  • Is your crowd full of heavy drinkers? I find it's easier and cheaper if we make it BYOB.
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  • This must be a regional thing.  This question gets asked pretty often and I don't understand the hesitation.  Where I am, when you're invited to someone's house for dinner, you always make a fuss over bringing something and the hostess has to say, "oh no, really, just bring yourselves" a couple times - that back and forth exchange is expected and understood.

    Yes, it's ok to have a potluck, esp for the 4th.  It's a good idea to specify what people bring.  Like for the 4th, everyone's probably likely to bring potato salad, you might want to leave potato salad to someone who makes a great one and tell everyone else, "please bring a side other than potato salad".  Same goes for desserts, "something other than brownies".

  • My friend has a BBQ potluck every year.  It started as phone call invites, but now she sends an e-vite that says she'll provide the main course.  She doesn't dictate who brings what.  Some years are heavier on dessert or sides, but there is always plenty.  I usually wait until close to the date to find out if there's something she needs/wants, but usually she just wants my baked beans and lemonade cake.  They really are that good.
  • image TarHeels&Rebels:

    This must be a regional thing.  This question gets asked pretty often and I don't understand the hesitation.  Where I am, when you're invited to someone's house for dinner, you always make a fuss over bringing something and the hostess has to say, "oh no, really, just bring yourselves" a couple times - that back and forth exchange is expected and understood.

    Yes, it's ok to have a potluck, esp for the 4th.  It's a good idea to specify what people bring.  Like for the 4th, everyone's probably likely to bring potato salad, you might want to leave potato salad to someone who makes a great one and tell everyone else, "please bring a side other than potato salad".  Same goes for desserts, "something other than brownies".

    Same here, I'm in the south and it is expected that the guest will ask what they can contribute, and the hostess will either accept or tell you no a couple times. 

    It's completely normal and expected in our circle of friends but each couple has at least one person that likes to cook, and we all keep clean kitchens so there's none of the ick factor that people sometimes bring up in response to potluck meals.  The one single guy in our group that doesn't cook will bring beer or a pre-baked pie.  The host will generally make a main dish (although someone brought their smoker to our house at Thanksgiving and made the most fabulous turkey), and some sides and the guests will contribute something that coordinates. 

  • In our circle, it's just assumed that our parties are potluck.  The couple hosting provides the main dish and some drinks and everyone else brings a dish and/or drinks.  It always works out well, so don't feel bad asking!
  • Hi!  I haven't heard the word "potluck" used... but I always bring something to a BBQ/Party.  I think most guests will offer... and most will want to bring things. Evites has a BBQ invitation where your guests will pick an item to bring from a scroll-down menu.  You might consider that as well.

    Anyways - Happy 4th of July and let us know how if goes.

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