There is really nothing funny about church potlucks. Okay, there is. Jell-O. Actually, the great purple Jell-O wave of the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s has faded into nothing but a joke about predominance of Jell-O at church potlucks. Jell-O is harder to find at today’s church potluck than finding a person who is happy with the direction of the church. Jell-O has been reduce to VBS and the occasional nostalgic dish of the hip mom doing the retro recipe she found on the cool retro mom’s blog.
Fed on diet of the Food Channel, Martha Stewart, and O living, and all
those foodie sites, the modern day potluck can be a cornucopia of
exotica and cuteness. Desserts like baked pound cake cut in strips looking suspiciously like french fries and
topped with raspberry sauce and served in a McDonald’s Fries container
make hard to know what to do. Eat it or admire its cleverness. Of course
I ate the foo-foo fries without the proper admiration, to the dread of
my wife for her uncouth husband. They were cute, but they were tasty. For men, taste trumps cute.
Then, there are the leftovers extravaganza
casseroles. Everything in the fridge is thrown into a dish and topped
with lots of cheese and cream. It is important with these dishes to make
sure to tell people that it was grandma’s or a beloved aunt’s recipe.
This keeps any unChrist like critic from setting you free with some
unwanted pesky truth.
For the most part the open potluck becomes a contest of taste. Many
people feel the anxiety of cooking for them and the anxiety of having to
sampling all the dishes while at them, less you insult someone by not
tasting their culinary concoction. We all admire the bachelor who brings
a bucket of fried chicken he pick up on the way in. If it were only that easy. I remember a
particularly good hunter bringing his various kills in the form of wild
game chili. The challenge was real men eat moose, elk and deer in a
mixture of beans and spices. It was good, but buried in spices, all that
game tasted liked chicken.
Churches understand the nature of competition and the drive to outdo
your beloved neighbors and friends, so they use a technique of targeted
potlucks. Pick a theme like soup, Mexican, pasta, or chili and you can
at least control the culinary adventures. But people, armed with Google,
are ever more clever. Homemade churros, a delicate pesto gnocchi or an
exotic chili from a small town in the Guatemala famed for its Mayan
green chili sauce suddenly find their way to the themed potluck.
Mexican, when Mexican is chosen, I feel the pressure. So when Mexican
was chosen in our recent potluck, I found my grandmother’s empanada
recipe online. At least I hope that the recipe was like my
grandmother's. It seemed like something she would make. I made my own
Dulce de Leche, sautéed apples and made the cream cheese dough. My wife
love the condition of the kitchen after my Googling adventure, but
that’s another story. At the potluck, I was relieved that they turned
out just like grandmother’s, or at least like the ones I hope I
remembered she made. I got the compliments. No one saw the kitchen I
left at home, no doubt. Yet, somehow the past connected to my present.
Is that what potlucks are about?
Was the wedding in Canna a potluck? I like to think so. Water to wine, I wonder I I can Google that?
This humor first published with Spokane Favs at : http://spokanefavs.com/blogs/ernesto-tinajero/church-potlucks-in-the-age-of-the-internet#sthash.ifxvZrbx.dpuf