Potluck Etiquette

By The Chew Crew Nov 30, 2012

If the invitation to a potluck party leaves you panic-stricken, no need to “forget” to RSVP. In fact, you’re in luck -- The Chew has created a cheat sheet to tame all of your fears, and transform you into a potluck pro:

1. Bring a Dish

Do not show up at the host’s home empty-handed. It is a potluck, after all. When contemplating what to bring, remember that condiments and drinks are not dishes. Now, don’t get us wrong – no host will turn down a bottle (or two) of wine. This lovely gesture, however, needs to accompany an edible dish.

2. Arrive with a Finished Dish

Your dish should be able to go directly from car to tabletop. The host has enough to juggle before your request to accommodate your cheesecake in her fridge, or egg soufflé in her oven. A simple solution to this problem would be to plan a dish that works well at room temperature. Or, if you insist on a hot dish, consider investing in a small cooler or casserole carrier to maintain the dish’s ideal temperature during the car ride.

3. Compliments Only

A potluck party is a welcoming, supportive environment. Even if your neighbor’s dish isn’t your favorite, it is not the time to critique her attempt. Instead, compliment her on her creativity, or willingness to take a risk in the kitchen. Also, if one dish particularly strikes your fancy, feel free to ask your friend for the recipe. Potlucks are about sharing with family friends – recipes, included.

4. Offer to Help

Help the host clean up at the end of the party. In the least, wash the casserole dish or a cake stand you brought, and if you’re feeling generous, offer to wash a few others, too. Your host will not only appreciate that you took the time to go the extra mile, but you may even be first on her invite list for the next potluck.

Get all the delicious potluck dishes from today's show, here.