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thanks for sharing organizing a Thanksgiving potluck
by Yee-Fan Sun
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continued from page 1

Meanwhile, decide what you’ll be providing. Turkey, stuffing and gravy are the logical choice; if you’re feeling more ambitious, of course, you can also whip up an accompaniment or two. Don’t kill yourself to produce the whole feast all by yourself, though; remember, the whole point of a potluck is that everybody contributes. Now is not the time to play super-host/ess.

You will, however, want to do a little organizing with the rest of the meal. When people ask what they can bring – and they will – be prepared to give them a more specific answer than, “Oh, whatever you like”. Divvy up the requisite Thanksgiving dinner components – veggie sides, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pies, beverages, salad, bread … you get the idea. Keeping track of who’s bringing what might seem anal-retentive, but trust me, it’s the only way to make sure you don’t end up with a turkey and ten salads. In particular, make extra sure that the traditional basics are covered: for most folks, moi included, Thanksgiving just isn’t the same without mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie to go along with the bird.

for the guest
So your fab friends have kindly offered up their abode for the big day, and are organizing a potluck banquet for all. Now what’s a good guest supposed to do?

First things first, you’ll need to know what to bring. With any luck, your host/ess will give you at least a rough idea of the general category of food s/he’d like you to prep for the big day, or what foods are still missing from the menu. Get specific about the prized whatever you’re hoping to bring. It’ll make it way easier for the busy host/ess to plan the menu and make sure all the usual Thanksgiving dishes are covered, and that there’s a good diversity of offerings to accommodate people’s food preferences.

But how do you decide on that perfect potluck dish? Favorite recipes from your own family are always a good place to start for inspiration, as one of the best parts of doing Thanksgiving potluck-style with your buds is that it gives people a chance to find out how other people’s families feast. Bug your mom for the recipe for that fabulous sweet potato casserole she makes every year; email your aunt for her yummy spinach gratin.

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