Last Thursday night I invited a group of friends over to break in my new apartment with a Greek-themed potluck dinner. It went so well that I’ve deemed myself potluck queen. Here are my tips:
1. Make Friends
Friends are easy to make. Usually you can find them by striking up conversation and finding a common ground. Offer a piece of gum or discover that your cousin’s best friend’s preschool teacher is one of your mutual friends on Facebook. That usually works.
2. Learn how to boil water
Few things can be cooked without knowing how to boil water. Even if they can, if you can’t figure out how to boil water you probably shouldn’t be cooking in any other form anyway. You can hit up Trader Joe’s for some tortilla chips and salsa, but let’s be real: you’ll get the stink eye if, as the host, you serve anything you poured out of a can. So learn the basics, and apply. I was pretty lazy and just made a signature cocktail and some couscous, but my friends more than made up for my lack of cooking with all the Mediterranean classics: homemade hummus, pita bread, baba ganoush, olives, Greek Chicken, Greek roasted potatoes, feta tomato salad, Orzo salad, and baklava.
3. Make sure you have enough silverware
There are 12 people coming over. That means you need 12 knives, 12 forks, 12 spoons. And serving spoons. There are people who are going to use 4 forks each. You must be prepared for those people. I almost learned this the hard way. Also give your dishwasher a pep talk beforehand because it’s going to be working pretty hard that night — potlucks require almost every dish in your cupboard.
4. Serve copious amounts of alcohol.
Booze makes people more fun. It’s a fact. Honor that fact.
5. Play inappropriate party games. They turn acquaintances into best friends.
I’m happy to take any follow-up questions via email.
- Potlucks: theme or free for all?
- Favorite Greek food?