Easy Tribal Dinners: Potlucks Scale

Why potlucks?

Potluck dinners scale. More people showing up = more food. Sharing food and conversation is the keystone tribal/family activity.

I started organizing potlucks my last few years in college. I’d make a huge pot of beans for veggie burritos. The only rule: no one could take leftovers home. We’d eat for the rest of the week on leftovers.

Simplest: Anarchist Potluck

  • Set a day, time, and location.
  • Invite people.
  • Refuse to offer suggestions or coordinate what folks bring.
  • If everyone brings salad, order pizza.

A bit more complex

  • Same as above but…
  • Make a big main dish (stew, pasta, chili, etc) to avoid a possible ‘order pizza’ event.
  • Let folks know what it will be.

If you must–

  • Organize the event.
  • Announce your main dish.
  • Ask for RSVPs with intended contribution.
  • Picking a food theme helps, eg. tacos or Mediterranean.

Things to remember

  • Ask folks to bring beverages.
  • It never hurts to have a stash of bulk paper plates and plasticware in case you exceed your place’s carrying capacity. (Costco is your friend. Get that bag of chips as big as your torso for $5 if you’re worried about appetizers.)
  • Seed someone in the crowd to lead a charge cleaning up by setting an example and enlisting would-be bystanders. Potlucks are DIY group events. Helping to do dishes is a feature not a bug.
  • If someone shows up early have them vacuum.

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