Summer is my favorite time of the year. It brings warm weather and outdoor fun. Yes, it can be unbearably hot some days, but it beats having to wear three sweaters to keep warm. What else I love about the arrival of summer is the planning of the annual potluck that my girlfriends and I have. The potluck is a way to get all of us together, minus our husbands and children, to have a dinner party that’s just for us gals.
The origins of the potluck came about when we realized it would be cheaper and funner (yes, I said funner), to cook and eat at each others house. You see, we used to meet up at restaurants but we found ourselves guilty of being a disturbance to other patrons while we talked about ‘the sex’ (or lack thereof), and in worse cases we would linger way past closing, to the point where the restaurant turned off the lights around us…BBQ on 42nd Street.
But in the midst’s of being hilariously obnoxious and crass (at least to us) the potlucks were needed as a way to get the time we desperately needed to refocus ourselves and to reconnect with one another. And its not that we don’t see each other over the course of the year, its just that sometimes we’re not all available to hang out at the same time. The potluck forces us to pump the breaks on whatever is happening in our lives in order to make time for ourselves and our besties.
It also serves as a way for us to tap into our creative culinary and decorating sides. We prepare meal and cocktail recipes, as well as table setting ideas that we’ve been collecting off Pinterest. Sometimes the table settings don’t go as planned but the effort is there. Why do we go all out? Uhhh, isn’t it obvious? Because we deserve it! And who doesn’t like shopping and decorating for a party where the shenanigans are going to make you think you’re back in your college dorm.
If you’re looking to start a tradition that reconnects you & your girls here are:
MOMMY R+R’s 6 TIPS TO PLAN YOUR OWN MOMMY POTLUCK:
1. Pick a date that works for everyone – Getting a group of moms together always seems like a hard thing to pull off but when you have a hard liquor involved it makes it easy. Don’t stop until you have everyone available even if the dinner is 2 months away.
2. Pick a location – Usually we just rotate the houses but sometimes someone volunteers because maybe one person’s house isn’t company ready yet or doesn’t have enough space. You can pick whatever works best for your group.
3. Unanimously choose a theme – You don’t have to have one, but it adds to the fun of the entire dinner. You can visit Oriental Trading for some great affordable bulk decoration and theme ideas. Previous themes we’ve had were ‘Hawaiian’, ‘#Ibeendrakin #Watermelon’ and last year’s theme was ‘Healthy Eating’. The best thing about themes is that you can make it whatever you want it to be.
4. Discuss menu – Once you know what your theme is going to be its time to talk about the dishes that everyone is going to prepare. Because there is a small number of us its easy for each person to prepare one thing from each of the food groups, plus bring a bottle of alcohol or juice. It is a golden rule that everyone supplies one dish and one drink. Store bought anything is not allowed, unless its alcohol. The idea is to cook from the heart.
5. Decide on a per person budget – Usually the budget for us is $30 or less each person. When everyone sticks to it no one person can feel as though they’ve paid more when others have paid less. It also keeps the preparer from having to make so much food for such a small group of people. There will be enough to eat and for everyone to take a plate home.
6. No men or kids allowed – This is the cardinal rule. Tell your partner, hey listen link up with the other dads and take the kids out. If you’re a single mom call grandma or your sitter. When the potluck is in session there are no kids allowed. And if its taking place at your house while your kids are home, as mine as have been once before then they are not to disturb mommy and her friends. Partners can pop in to say hello and to laugh and joke for a few moments but this dinner isn’t for them. Can they eat? Sure. But not hang out with the ladies.
What do you and your mom friends do together that takes advantage of the warm weather? Have you held a potluck in the past? Did you have a theme? If you haven’t I hope my tips are helpful. We’ve been living by them for the last 5 years and they have all been a success.
Oh, please remember…when liquor is being served never drive drunk. ALWAYS have a designated driver in attendance. That’s tip #7…someone has to make the pledge to not drink and drive. Now if getting sloshed is on your agenda, ask your partner to drive you or call Uber.
Happy potluck planning!!
May’s BMBC Collaborative Post is about ‘Outdoor Fun’