Sometimes the north/south thing gets me. I'm used to how things operate in Canada and am getting used to how they go in Australia. Somethings work out better than others, but you should know there is one place where I consistently fail:
How can you fail potluck, you ask? Oh, it's easier than you might think. I've been to plenty of potlucks in my day and you get used to what you can bring, what people like and go for and of what you always need more. Greek salads seem to work. Hot potato dishes. There's always bread and some sort of meat in a sauce. And meat in sauce is always the crowd favorite. I felt well versed in this art form. After all, I'm a rostered Lutheran church worker. Potluck is practically a parish service course. PS103, if I remember correctly.
At the first potluck here, I brought pasta salad. People saw it. Studied it. Moved on.
At another I had a brilliant thought. Everyone loves curry. And I just happened to have an amazing Indonesian rendang recipe. I filled my house with spicy smells early in the morning and made up a big bowl of rice. As I ladled the food in the serving bowl I noticed a problem. Not nearly enough food. It was enough for two hungry people. While it was enjoyed, it lasted about 3 minutes. Employing the standard potluck algorithm of deliciousness/amount, I'd come in lacking.
Also, I made squares and it was one of the first times I baked in this oven. They were too soft so I left them in for a bit as the oven cooled. Then they were rocks. They didn't make the trip to the potluck, but a handy packet of Tim Tams did.
I learned from my failures though and noticed trends. I tried a pasta casserole for the next one. So did almost everyone else. Mine was relegated to the back of the line and never used. People asked where the curry was.
Grade: super sad and depressing FAIL.
I should posit there there were occasional passing grades in between these hassles. I brought green salad a lot. Everyone eats salad. But it was very bad on my ego as I'm generally very happy with the standard of what comes out of my kitchen. It always seems to be on the day that I bring fruit salad everyone else brings sausage rolls, or if I bring cookies, they bring cakes. I'm just not making the grade.
Last week, I brought a pasta casserole with homemade sauce to potluck. I was proud of it. It turned out to not even really be a potluck, but just nibbles and desserts. It was giant and barely touched. It got left out during the meeting and then had to be thrown out.
Grade: A large continuous FAIL.
There are days when not even a Kathleen Edwards song can get you out of a potluck slump. But I have hope that I'll get there one day.
What do you bring to a potluck?