I don't know if I can properly explain the magic of a potluck. They seem to hold a special place in my heart. Growing up as a kid in Baptist churches, potlucks were a staple of my life. Life happened at potlucks. They were held for holidays, graduations, dedications, weddings and funerals. My big Italian family always comes together over food (and I think it's impossible for them to get together without it). At a previous job, we not only used potlucks for celebrations and team events, but we also used them to help each other out. During the winter months, we pooled our resources and held a weekly potluck. This not only provided us with a hot meal and saved us a good amount of money, but it built a sense of community. It sounds cliche, but it's true.
I'm in a different job now and we don't do potlucks. If we want to eat together, we got out to lunch. While it's convenient, it just doesn't have the same feeling. There's just something about making food for your friends, coming together and sharing a home-cooked meal.
I truly love living on my own, but I think that's the one thing I miss the most: sharing a home-cooked meal with friends. To some, cooking is a chore. Meals are something you prepare and partake in to survive. In all honesty, I do not understand those people at all. I love to cook, but what I especially love is to cook for those people I care about. Because it is such a communal event to me, when I offer to cook for someone or cook with someone, it's not just sharing the task or spending time with someone. It's almost like sharing a part of myself. And I think that's part of why I love potlucks so much. It's not just the food, but it's everyone sharing something of themselves (intentionally or not).
I almost wish that this post didn't sound so cheesy, but I really couldn't find another way to say it. (And because this post is all about food, I had to share a picture of my most recent success. I'll be posting the recipe, modified from one of Rocco DiSpirito's soon).