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My Thursday Thing: Pot Luck

Well, it's that time of year again. Company holiday parties, gift swaps and pot lucks. For me, it's pot luck time at the office tomorrow for my company's Nomsgiving celebration. A time to put on my "fat pants", quickly scan over the football field-long array of side dishes and desserts, load up a plate of the weirdest mix of foods assembled in one place and gorge myself silly. And then go back for seconds! Yes, it's my favorite celebration of the work year.

But it's also the most stressful. "Why", you ask? Because everyone knows I cook and bake. So they are all wondering, "What will he bring?" I spend countless days leading up to the big event trying to figure it out. It needs to be really good, it needs to be creative, and it needs to serve a small army. That's a lot of pressure. And one that I tend to crumble under. Sure, my dishes are fine, but I always feel like I could have done better. And I've never won the employee vote for best dish. This year's countdown was no different, with me changing my mind over and over until I finally came up with my dish last night. And here it is.

This year, my pot luck offering are cranberry crumble bars with a white chocolate drizzle. Here's the recipe for the bars. I melted a little white chocolate with a few splashes of milk in a double boiler for the drizzle. I hope they'll like it. But in the end, we'll all be so bloated and barely able to roll ourselves back to our desks, that it I'm sure it won't even really matter.

Do you have a pot luck coming up? If so, here are a few suggestions to help you come up with the perfect dish.

  • Make something you would want to eat. Worst case, if no one else eats it, you'll have tons of leftovers to bring home and enjoy.

  • Experiment with something new. Sure, you risk it not working out, but if it goes well, you'll be the hit of the party and everyone will be asking for the recipe.

  • Make a cold side dish or dessert. It's hard to heat up food at the office, and it never tastes as good as when it's first cooked.

  • Make something that's easy to do in large quantities. The last thing you want to do is be up all night cooking and washing dishes. Make something that can be done on a large sheet pan or in a large baking dish. It will serve a large crowd with limited pots and pans.

Good luck and enjoy yourself. The diet can wait!

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