(Editors note: AmalgamatedAmalgamations is a family project aimed at providing hand-holding for building community. We’ll be adding information on recipes, disaster planning, etc. Some will be here but most will be on our website.)
Simply: potluck dinners scale. More people showing up = more food. And 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.
Here are the results of decades of learning.
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.