Etiquette Rules to Know Before Your Next Potluck

Potlucks are part of Southern culture. Whether it’s the church homecoming, Friendsgiving, or a monthly neighborhood event, potlucks give Southern cooks a chance to show off their favorite recipes. Just like any gathering, though, there are some important etiquette rules to follow at Southern potlucks.

Volunteer and Commit

Potlucks require a little teamwork to ensure the party goes smoothly, and that starts with the challenge of who brings what. If you’re hosting, there are several ways to go about this. If you’re planning the potluck with a group that meets in person, bring a sign-up sheet for guests. You can either specify what the party needs in a column (i.e. “Salad” or “Rolls”), and guests can sign their name by the item they’d like to bring, or you can give them the freedom to write down whatever dish they please. The only trouble with that route is that you don’t want to end up hosting a potluck that has an overflowing dessert table with just one main dish and a handful of appetizers. If you’re a tech-savvy crew, you can email a list via Google Docs for everyone to edit. Once you sign up for something, you’re expected to bring it. If you signed your name by “Vegetables,” show up with a vegetable dish! Your hostess planned this meal expecting a vegetable dish from you, not a last-minute appetizer you picked up on the way.

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