You may be thinking to yourself what is an iron chef potluck?
Well, it’s your lucky day, I’m going to tell you.
Two years ago I had an idea to have themed potlucks. This must have been right after the office of residential living had me do some type of iron chef get to know people better. (Wait, it’s all coming together now, right? That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, I was an RA.) So I decided that “key ingredient” potluck dinners would be an AWESOME idea. Who better to try it out with than the church choir? (After all, they put up with my crazy ideas. They once agreed to sing at a fake wedding I was planning I throwing. But that’s a story for another day…)
Well, we’ve tried this twice previously in the past two years. We had an avocado themed party. This was a learning experience. We tried some awesome foods – great salads, guacamole (of course) – and then things got a little stranger – fried avocado with dipping sauce, lasagna with avocado in it, avocado ice cream – and then things got very weird – avocado soup, avocado milkshakes, and to top it off – avocado daiquiris. I didn’t eat avocado for 4 months after that. And there was no air conditioning in my apartment. In the middle of summer. However, it was a blast, and the food was great.
Next we tried it with strawberries. That made much more sense. The drinks also made much more sense this time – strawberry daiquiris. Strawberries were used as glazes on meats, in salads and of course in desserts. This party was thrown at somebody’s house that actually HAD air conditioning.
Well, guess what. Now I have air conditioning. Henceforth, it’s time to kick off the themed potlucks again. Today’s potluck? Zucchini. There was ratatouille, meatloaf, pizza, cobbler, cookies and cake! Check it out – http://ironchefsummerpotluck.blogspot.com/
Now, where does the hostess part of this entry come in? I’ll tell you that too. (Clearly, because as previously stated, it’s your lucky day.) This was the first party that I’ve ever thrown that the age ranges spanned approximately 33 years? There were 9 adults (clearly I was the youngest, as always), 3 (almost?) teenagers and 3 infants under the age of 19 months. I was nervous. I was very nervous.
Here’s what I learned. Baby’s parents seem to take care of the babies and the teenagers either get involved in conversation or politely excuse themselves to another room or just play with their phones. What did I have to do differently? I needed to make sure that there was something plain enough that I knew everybody would eat – so I made a box of macaroni and cheese (no zucchini) and pulled out some sprinkles to go with the vanilla ice cream (which was meant to accompany the cobbler). I also put additional board games under my coffee table that I thought might be of interest to people – and Mancala was pulled out at some point during the event.
The next theme? Either peaches or tomatoes. And either way Matt M. is convinced he’s going to be able to make a cobbler
[because you add enough sugar and lemon juice that it doesn’t matter what’s in the middle]