In these tough financial times, dining out with friends might not be a possibility, and catering for them at home is a drag that can send your grocery bill spiralling.
Donít fear! There is a way you can share a meal with friends, and not bear all of the cost and responsibility. The answer is in a potluck party.
Potluck parties were popular in the 70s (during a similar financial climate) and are starting to re-appear on social calendars. No occasion is too small or too big for a potluck party, they are even being used to cater wedding receptions.
Not only is hosting a potluck party cost effective, it also saves the host the time and stress often attributed to dinner parties. Dining at a potluck party is a more casual affair, and the different meals are great conversation starters for guests.
The idea of a potluck party is simple - each guest brings a dish to share. While the name suggests a random assortment of dishes, some planning will ensure that you donít spend the evening eating only desserts.
Organisation is simple. Call or e-mail your friends, let them know your hosting a potluck party, and assign a course. Itís that easy.
As host, you can decide what you will provide. Some hosts like to provide drinks, while others prefer to provide the main course and ask guests to bring sides and desserts.
For those attending the party, the dishes they bring should be easy to transport and need little preparation at the party, aside from re-heating if required.
There really is no limit to what you can do with a potluck party. Instead of food, the host could cater and guests bring a different spirit for a potluck cocktail party. A potluck afternoon tea could feature cupcakes, sandwiches and a variety of teas.
If you need catering inspiration, RecipeZaar has a collection of popular potluck recipes that have been tried and tested by subscribers.