Out of Luck at the Potluck

Ok so I’m trying to figure out how to write this post without seeming like a neurotic, germaphobic snob or just a complete nut job. It turns out, I can’t.

But unfortunately for all of us, that’s not going to stop me.

Here’s the thing. Tonight we went to a potluck dinner, and I’ve just got to say…

Potlucks skeeve me out.

They sound like a good idea in theory – we each bring one thing, it’s not too hard on anyone, everyone’s happy.

In practice, however, they really don’t work out that well. Take, for example, what my family ate tonight. Andy had a plate full of assorted food that included chicken & noodles, asian cole slaw salad, cubes of cheese, and shrimp cocktail. Sammy ate a piece of cheese pizza, half a peanut butter and jelly, baked beans and a chocolate chip cookie (the most normal out of any of us). Kate ate a spoonful of sloppy joe without a bun and a cupcake, and I ate a chicken leg.

Because potlucks? They’re random food made by random people.

As you may have noticed, it’s not that I have a problem eating food prepared by others (in fact, that’s how I prefer it).

It’s not even that I’m opposed to the 16 variations of green bean casserole or endless dishes of that hash brown/sour cream/potato chip concoction. I actually am a big fan of those things and many other white trash delicacies as well.

But when they’re piled on a picnic table and their origin is unknown…

Well, I eat a chicken leg.

Because, like I said, potlucks skeeve me out.

I know the box of KFC is much more likely to contain spit and/or other bodily fluids than the food lovingly prepared by moms much more domestic and talented than me, yet somehow the luke warm Original Recipe seems like the safest choice.

I don’t know what it is.

Actually, I do know what it is. It’s random food made by random people.

It weirds me out.

Now, since I ate a measly chicken leg for dinner, I’m going to go order a pizza. Because dough kneaded by pimply teenagers is MUCH MORE APPEALING than a crock pot full of meatballs.

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  1. That was hilarious! My BFF Lulee won’t eat from potlucks unless she knows who made it and aproves of that particular person’s un-skeeviness!
    We always get weird food combos when we have potlucks at the lake. On July 4th I had London broil, mexi-stew, corn & tomato salad, and strawberry pie.

  2. My Mom would always make a plate of ham sandwiches to take to the family reunion. They were EASY and always popular since often-times no one brought any meat and we had to make an entire meal out of 14 variations of potato casserole and dessert.

  3. I am the same way, potlucks and buffets I just can’t do. If I go to a potluck, I don’t eat anything, I’m always ‘not hungry’ maybe in a little while.

  4. Wow, I’ve never thought of pot lucks this way. LOL

  5. Good luck w/ the neurotic thing…take a moment to check your maiden name and family tree, er branch, er palm!

    Also, my Brother in Law won’t eat at a pot luck but will stop at Hardee’s on the way home for something…go freakin’ figure!

    Do you want fromunda cheese on that?


  6. I’m totally with you! Food made from people I don’t know in there own kitchens freaks me out too!! And when I taught and parents would bring in homemade birthday treats…

  7. OMT – There were some folks at church dinners that I always asked “what did you bring”, that way I knew what to avoid…cat hair just isn’t a garnish!


  8. Mackenzie says:

    Yeah, there is stuff I avoid just out of common sense, most things made with mayo, as that’s just asking for gastrointestinal pyrotechics, but mostly I’ll eat anything anyone gives me. I’ve eaten food prepared by people who have nothing and have sneakily spit out the occasional gristle,rock, shell into my napkin.

    From the MD point of view, eat food while its HOT, be the first in line at the potluck and the bacteria haven’t had time to grow!

  9. Thankfully, the only potlucks I’ve ever been to were small, work related so it was easy to know where the food came from. I can understand why something a bit larger might be a bit skeevey.

  10. HAHAHA!!!! I get sorta weirded out too unless I actually know the people preparing the stuff. And, seriously, mixing all of those variations of food is not good for the intestines I’m sure. You did the safe choice with the chicken leg and pizza afterwards.

    Or, add alcohol next time and your guard will be down and I’m sure it’ll all taste – and look – marvelous!

  11. Christie says:

    My husband will never attend one of my family reunions again because of a dish we refer to as “cigarette casserole”. And no one took home that still-mostly-full container…hmm…

  12. Oh how I giggled! Thanks for making me feel like I am normal when it comes to that sort of thing. I am usually the one that eats a piece of cheese and a few crackers because it is just not my thing. Try the index card trick for the next one. Go grab a pack of bright index cards that each person can put the items name (especially since so many people have food allergies) and who made it.
    Trust me it will save you the ugho face while walking over to the table. You may also find something that you like 🙂 (wishful thinking!)

  13. OMT = One more thing…enough with the emails and direct tweets already!


  14. there’s no eating from potlucks for me… doesn’t matter if I know who made it or not. I think it’s more the big table of food/buffet aspect of it. okay – it’s the people making it in their houses where you just know their dogs & cats have been in the kitchen – and where you KNOW that they tasted it and then put the spoon back in…


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