Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Potlucks, Confessions of a Foodie and Some More Pics

A potluck dinner (Australia: bring-a-plate) is a gathering of people where each participant is expected to bring a dish of food to be shared among everyone in the group. These gatherings are often organized by churches, mosques and other community groups since they simplify the meal planning and distribute the costs among the participants. Smaller, more informal get-togethers may also occur in the form of potlucks.
The only traditional rule for dishes is that they be large enough to be shared among a good portion (but not necessarily all) of the anticipated guests. The purpose and benefits of potlucks include fun, socializing, good food, and building a healthy community. Many feel that some of the most honest and meaningful communication can occur over a dinner table.

Besides sleeping today to try and get over my sickness, I spent today preparing some dishes for a potluck tomorrow at Dann's abode. This is the first such planned event with this group of people and hopefully all goes well. Growing up in Norman potluck dinners were a regular event for my friends and I. We would have no less than 2 or 3 a month and always made a whole evening of it. Most were thrown at my friend's Pat's house being that he had a spacious house with a large front porch and a screened in patio in the backyard (perfect when mosquitoes reigned supreme). Many a night was spent in his house filled with people and the latest Modest Mouse or Jonny Cash album playing, beer and wine flowed in every direction and their was always a generous helping of food. Each dish reflected the person who brought it. I always had a vegetarian (I did not eat fish at this time), usually Asian or Indian style cooking. The conversations ranged from someone's latest gripes of a class, to the new exhibit at Sam Noble, to the next night's live band, to the politics of young idealist progressives, or to planning the next road trip (which happened about as often as the dinners). Sometimes conversations turned to arguments, but nothing some alcohol or weed wouldn't amend. I would have to say that those were probably some of the best times of my life.
I believe some of the most important, interesting, and knowledgeable events that happen to us as humans occur around food. Food has the ability to bring people together (dinner parties, holidays) or push us apart (starving children and underdeveloped nations). Food can show a lot about a person and what kind of person they are. I believe the type of food you put into your body reflects what you think of yourself and what you think your worth is. Some might disagree, but I bet these are the same people that think a good meal can be had at a fast food joint or prefer fried food to other forms of cooking lest you actually see, taste, and partake in the experience of eating. So next the time you are out to eat, try something new, eat at a restaurant you have never been before or try that piece of fish grilled or baked instead of fried without all the sauces masking its true flavor, and you might be surprised at what you discover. Oh yeah, here are some more pics.

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