When I think of social events that feel like they belong in the past but are still needed today, it’s the church potluck.
Church potlucks are different than other kinds of potlucks. They are the kind where you know what traditional dishes will be provided and that there will be too much of everything. Casseroles and desserts. Fruit trays and cookies. Homemade cookies.
Church potlucks are better than regular old potlucks because the people bringing the food feel that they are on a mission. Even though the Bible says that man cannot live on bread alone, those church ladies do their best to make sure you leave feeling like you had the best meal of your life.
I usually take a homemade salsa to a church potluck. I figure there will always be too many bags of chips and potato salads. Salsa goes with almost anything, and people always have fun asking what ingredients I used. Cilantro, tomatoes, jalapeños, onions, and whatever else I think will make it interesting. “Oooh, I can taste the garlic,” and other familiar exclamations are usually heard.
The church elders get tasked with bringing in the crockpots and heavy glass dishes. They may help manage the church finances, maintenance the front lawn, and help fix up any of the century-old building’s wear and tear, but when it comes to the church potluck, they mostly carry food in and carry empty dishes out.
I like church potlucks because you get to know more about your church members, or brothers and sisters as we like to call each other, which in this case is very appropriate. Eating at the same table, chatting about the week and sharing recipes is something family does.
At a church I used to attend in Silver City, New Mexico, the pastor faithfully reminded us of his favorite pie — cherry pie. The congregation never failed. Every potluck included brownies, cakes, and cherry pie.
Sometimes, like was the case this Independence Day weekend, the church potluck was at the town park. Under a canopy and just after a quick but intense monsoon, the dishes arrived, the church goers…