I’ve been baking today. Technically, I just opened up some pre-made cookie dough and plopped spoonfuls onto the cookie sheets — but that’s considered homemade, right? I like to bake. I usually make things from scratch, but I happened to have this dough, on hand, in my freezer, and they were quick and easy. I’m baking for our potluck dinner after Sunday’s service.
You’re familiar with the potluck, yes? A gathering of people who contribute to the meal by bringing a dish to share. Sometimes you are assigned a course, but I love it when it’s a free-for-all and the “luck” part comes in because you never know what will be on the table. I’m still waiting for the day when everyone brings dessert (and only dessert). Churches tend to organize such things (number one: because it’s cheap!) and the sharing and fellowship around the table brings a coerciveness to a body of believers that is reminiscent of Jesus and his followers. We just “connect” over food. It’s the same when we gather for family reunions or dinner parties with friends. There is just something about mulling over a meal that brings us a sense of comfort, peace and joy. I think we are losing some of that in this day and age when our meals are on-the-go and quick. We’ve substituted the country kitchen for the drive thru. The traditional mentorship of generation to generation is emphasized when grandma teaches the young brides her pie crust techniques. And who doesn’t love baking Christmas cookies as a family? You get the picture.
All this is not to say we can’t enjoy the conveniences of our modern day, however. I am using a premade cookie dough, afterall! But as I do, I muse about the bigger picture: fellowship. It is so vital to our world. We must continue to value it in spite of our cultural, physical and even spiritual differences. We all must eat to survive! So, this season, as you gather together to feast on the platters brought from near and far, consider yourself “lucky” to be blessed by family and friends, new and old, who care enough about you and yours to bring you a plate of freshbaked (premade) cookies!
To celebrate the great potluck, here are my top 5 shareable dishes!
- Meatballs with BBQ sauce and grape jelly! First discovered from a friend who shared them during a summer potluck at the trailer. Yummy, feeds a crowd, and only three ingredients! Find the recipe HERE
- Hamburger Casserole! My mom used to make this for every church potluck when we were growing up… and a quick Friday night meal before heading away for the weekend. This is also a pretty easy combination and can be adjusted to your own taste…but this recipe is pretty close to the traditional one mom used to make!
- Pizza! Potlucks can be brutal for picky eaters who don’t like their food “all mixed together” (can I get an “amen”, oh mom of toddler or teen? No worries — I hear ya!) Pizza of any variety seems to be a big hit — even when they won’t eat anything else. Just buy the ‘walk in special’ on your way to church! We have been enjoying family pizza making nights using my sourdough starter. If you wanna try it, check out this post.
- Butterscotch Confetti! This one goes under a whole host of names… but it is an old go-to for me from my Company’s Coming cookbook. It’s one of our neighbour’s favourites, and so I make these squares as an afterschool snack for when they all hang out at our place playing endless hours of Risk or Monopoly. It’s also a quick, but decadent, one to take to a ladies group gathering. Try this link for the recipe.
- Chocolate Chip Cookies! This is a personal favourite, and if you read the post here, you will see why. It just stirs up all the goodness of tradition, childhood memories, and all things lovely. Bake a bunch to give as gifts, make some to share, bake ’em with the grandkids!
Have a favourite potluck or shareable dish?! Share in the comments! But above all else, remember that the purpose of the gathering is to celebrate each other… the food is just a bonus!