I have a subscription to Martha Stewart Living and, although I rarely give the recipes a second glance, there are some really good ones this month! Among the simple ones is doing hors d'oeuvres with those mini sweet peppers that are popping up all over the place. The magazine gives three different fillings you can use. You just mix it up - it's meat, cooked rice and then spices - slice the peppers in half (removing the seeds, but not the stem) and put them in the broiler. They look SO cute!
The other idea, which I really want to try is a orange creamsicle smoothie with vanilla ice cream, orange sherbet and orange juice. To me, that's not a smoothie - it's a shake. Either way, it sounds delish! I was going to do it today (it was 107° here), but the stores I went to didn't have the orange sherbet and it was too hot to run around town looking for it. Soon....
Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov
I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"
I have a question, or situation, for all you foodies out there. I need some advice or input.
I was recently invited to another Pot Luck. Everyone is requested to bring "Homemade goodies, soups, or specialties". It was a group invite, so no personal invite to be able to talk to 1 on 1. Once again I just stayed home & didn't go.
I absolutely DREAD this.
For some reason it's taken for granted that all women worth anything are aspiring Martha Stewarts, Rachael Rays, or Paula Deens, dying to get into the kitchen to whip up "specialties".
I'm no freeloader. I'm more than willing to donate my share of the burden: Provide paper plates, cups, silverware, napkins, etc. or to go to the store to buy anything they need. I'll help with clean up, set up, etc.
But I just don't do the whole pot luck specialties bit. I don't enjoy learning new recipies or spending my time "whipping up goodies". It's just not my thing, never was, & never will be. NO interest whatsoever.
I doubt anyone would want me to donate a pot of plain steamed broccolli. Or plain brown rice. Or a bag of store bought apples. That's my style of cooking. Adequate, nurishing, easy, quick, but just plain NOT impressive.
My question is: How do I handle these things without looking like someone who doesn't care to be around these people, because I do. Just not showing up is what I do, but seems uncaring.
Help me, foodies. I love you & appreciate you, & love your goodies & talents. I love your company, but I'm just not like you.
Please don't give me recipies to try, because I just find it depressing & defeating when the "answer" is "Just be more like us & learn to like it."
"Success is getting what you want; Happiness is wanting what you get."
Sometimes I just don't have time to "whip up a specialty" for a potluck.
I've gotten pretty good at shopping and plating, though, to look like I did. (I hate shopping, but I like plating.)
It might cost a little more, but it's worth it for the convenience: in moments like these I'll go to one of the neighborhood caterers (who also have restaurants/takeout) and get something there, and transport it in one of my containers. Or go to a place like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, and get appetizer type stuff.
"There's no crying in baseball!"
-- Tom Hanks, A League of Their Own
Oh, but I have this really easy 7-can soup recipe you'd love...
just kidding; I think plating something you've bought as Ellen mentioned is a great option, and it probably goes on more than we realize. I'd imagine a lot of folks just don't have the time even if they'd like to make something for every occasion. Also, and I'm not sure of the group-social element, but surely these fuctions need drinks, ice, etc., as you've mentioned, so if there were just one person involved in the organization/invitation process that you could talk to, you could be their go-to gal for that type of stuff. I hope it works out for you, because I agree it would be crummy to pass on hanging out with these people because of the "style" of the function.
Miss Scarlet, can you be the designated "dessert" gal? You can buy some decent desserts in big box stores like Costco or BJ's that won't set you back a fortune.
I think plating is a great idea. That's what I would do especially if I didn't have time.
You don't have to attend every argument you are invited to.
Miss Scarlet, if it's a potluck with no one to contact, go for dessert (like EastCoastMom said). In this case, it said "goodies", and when they ask for the recipe, give the name of the bakery ;-) (Seriously...I've been to enough of these things and people do this all the time. While I like to cook, I don't always have time. And I figure, if I go to my local bakery, not just pick up a box at the grocery store, I've met the intent. The only difference between their stuff and mine is that their recipes make a lot more portions!)
I know you said no recipes, but what about a simple 2-ingredient dish that people wouldn't normally make for themselves. Devilled eggs (eggs, mayo, mustard) always go fast, because face it - who is going to make that for themselves? One group I used to belong to had someone who made cream cheese/olive sandwiches with the crusts cut off... bread with cream cheese and chopped green olives. Sooooo good you were lucky to snag a quarter sandwich before they were gone, but again - who is going to make a cream cheese and olive sandwich at home? (OK, I did once when I wasn't fast enough.) I have also plated when I was short on time, but you really shouldn't miss out on the commraderie if it is a group you enjoy just because you aren't a cook.
Count your blessings!
And, here, my non-cook butt started getting all excited when I read the words "really easy 7-can soup recipe"!!!
I really like all of the suggestions, so far. All are needed. I always made/make my huge 7-layer salad, and it was always expected. It is a lot of work, though, and it is expensive. That's as far as I am willing to go, usually. The problem with that is that I have to stand there and serve it, or risk going to jail.
"...each affects the other, and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one." - Mitch Albom, one helluva writer.
When you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, you know which one you hit by the one that yelps!