It occurred to me this weekend that there is an entire genre of food that I spent most of my childhood eating that I rarely get to experience anymore: the potluck dish. Some of our--by which I mean mankind's--best entrees and desserts come in convenient and easily transportable squares which we march off under tinfoil to place on one of those long folding tables in a gymnasium somewhere. This never happens to me anymore yet it seems like I spent half my childhood deciding between two different tupperwares full of nearly identical pasta salad. Well, in honor of this, my list of the best potluck foods:
- Chocolate covered Rice Krispy Treats - The ultimate in half-assed mothering that beats out much more complicated desserts. Bonus points for when the chocolate layer is made with just melted chocolate chips. Negative points for when the Rice Krispy Treats have absorbed the stench of Kool Ultras.
- Enchilada Casserole - This dish always satisfies the obscure potluck rule that states all ethnic food must be made by someone of an opposite ethnicity. Senora Crocker is almost surely the originator of this recipe.
- Li'l Smokies - Traditionally made by someone's single father who owns a crockpot, two bottles of barbeque sauce, and nothing else. Plus, they always lead to one person bringing a quivering plastic spoon full of barbeque sauce up to their mouth after all the Li'l Smokies are gone.
- Au Gratin Potatoes - At least nine people will bring this . That's a good thing.
- Pumpkin Pie - As with the potatoes, multiple people will bring pumpkin pie and no one will be disappointed. It's especially great because it generally leads to two mothers staring each other down and carefully watching who goes for which pie first. I'm pretty sure several families at McDonald Elementary school were broken up because a father took a piece from the wrong pie. It was probably for the best.
- McDonald's Orange Drink - This may have just been a local thing, but it seems like McDonald's would provide a giant yellow cooler full of orange drink for every potluck between 1989 and 1997. I think it was just their normal Hi-C watered down, but it was delicious and deserves a mention.
- Cupcakes purchased at grocery store - See Smokies, Li'l. I don't know why cupcakes that come from grocery stores always have a giant cone of frosting that doesn't cover the entire top of the cupcake, but they just do. Even better when these have been placed in a dish to conceal their shameful origins.
That's hardly a comprehensive list. Feel free to suggest more. Oh, and no, I don't know why I'm writing about this either.