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The Art of Potlucks; why potlucks are more than food!

In the calendar year I attend or host about 15-20 potlucks. Most are ok, some are great and very few are so engaging that having to end one leaves you wanting just a little bit more.

An assortment of food dishes at a church potluck.

An assortment of food dishes at a church potluck. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Most people view potlcuks as a mean to be frugal. Different occasions call for potlucks where the host can’t possible feed everyone at once, usually when the number of people are over 10. I see them as a great opportunity to practice hospitality. Many potlucks held at my place are either right after house church or some other Congregational event involving larger crowds like baptisms, birthdays and the like.

In my mind the responsibility falls on the host, the person whom house the event is happening at, unless there’s a party planner involved. If potlucks are not coordinated properly the table ends up with very similar dishes. Last Sunday 3 dishes had chicken drum sticks, luckily they were all different flavours. The host has the opportunity to address the guest before the day and direct the flow of food people will be bringing and dedicating specific people to bring specific things, i.e. such and such person can bring salad, others can bring refreshments, others dessert and so on. Furthermore, the host also has the opportunity to set the mood, plan games and start conversation pieces, setting the tone for the evening/afternoon. Opening your home is one the bravest and coolest thing you can do to practice hospitality. People will see how you prepare, live and treat those who you consider close and loved. In Roman’s 12 we are encouraged to practice hospitality, opening the doors of your house is inviting people to your world. People will see you for who you truly are, allowing them to come in our home places the host in a vulnerable position. Many people don’t open their homes unless they’re in immaculate shape, which of course is not likely if you have children.  I’m a huge believer in saying food brings people together. The camaraderie  and time spent in company allows people to share and get to know one another.

Good times are to be had in proper planned potlucks and get together’s.

Share with us your potluck stories?

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October 21, 2013 · 9:13 pm

Today I Make: Moro (pigeon pea rice)

This one brings me back to my childhood in the Dominican Republic. It’s a really simple dish.

Arroz con guandules!

Arroz con guandules! (Photo credit: urbanlatinfemale)

It’s been years since I’ve had pigeon peas (guandules) and when I finally found out what they were call in English (pigeon peas) I looked for them right away. Long and behold, I found them in the Caribbean isle in the supermarket. Funny enough I also found out the name “guandules” is only known to Spanish speaking Caribbean countries. Which is why I couldn’t find them anywhere.

This is one dish I dreamed about. Moro De Guandules, it involves dice onion, garlic, peppers, tomato and tomato paste. Seasoning, oregano and thyme are also key components of the dish but what really brings all the flavours together is coconut cream (milk). I on the other hand used coconut oil, its way more economical and you still get the same results. The flavour element is bang on while not compromising the rest of the dish.

Name a nostalgic dish by leaving a comment? Tell us how they bring you back to times of old memories! 

 

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Today I Make: Balsamic Asparagus

This is one of my wife’s favourites;

Very simple and very delicious;

balsamic asparagus

Raw asparagus sautéed with olive oil and basted for a minute in order to steam them. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar, tablespoon of butter and a squirt of honey, seasoning to taste. The whole dish takes no more than 6 minutes to make. I didn’t boil the asparagus first. I cooked from raw, this way you’ll get a snap and crisp to the dish… and yes, they will cook just fine…

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Today I Make: Glazed Butternut squash and green peas

hmmmm! my mouth just watered by writing only the title…

Butternut squash, blanched, tossed in an olive oil and butter mix. Salt, pepper, maple syrup. Stirred at medium heat until  the sugars start to caramelize, toss in the not so frozen green peas…and a pinch of nutmeg…

IMG_1648

I love Maple syrup, what’s your favorite natural  sweetener?

                  Grades of Vermont maple syrup. From left to ri...

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March 28, 2013 · 7:37 am

Today I Make

It’s been snowing for the last 3 days here in Edmonton. In my opinion there’s only 2 things that comfort cold weather and being coup up in with not much to do. Cake and Stews…

 

Pork Stew

Pork Stew

 

I made brownies last night. Naturally, today I had to make stew. Cubed pork loin, potatoes, garlic, onions, carrots, spices, and cilantro. Add enough water to cover it. Let it stew for about an hour or hour and half at medium heat (longer if you have shoulder or shank 2 hours or more)

Enjoy!

Leave a comment by telling me what your comfort foods are?

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Today I Make

One of our family favorites is pancake breakfasts. Today I saw a few ripe bananas just laying there taunting me to put them in the batter. So I did. (Did this for thanksgiving weekend)

Banana on Pancake

Banana on Pancake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The kids love to mix in the batter and slice the fruit when we add it to the batter. One of my super very secret ingredients is vanilla extract. PURE! vanilla extract, adding a couple of teaspoons to the batter makes for good times.

In reality when making pancakes the possibilities are endless. Go, Play , Eat! I hope you’ll get creative next time you make pancakes and enjoy the time with the kids.

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Filed under All About Food, Hobby, Today I Make

It’s a BBQ Affair

Let’s us talk about BBQ sauce!BBQ sauce is not all that bad, let me explain. Most Grill Masters would disagree with me that real BBQ meat don’t need the typical bought BBQ sauce you get at the grocery store. I agree, however if there’s one thing we can learn from the French chefs is that a good sauce makes the dish. The sauce puts the finishing touches on any dish. If the food is great then the sauce puts it into another level. Any great sauce can take a dish and shoot it straight into the stratosphere. This is why I want to write about a BBQ sauce.

Store bought BBQ sauces are all the same in a sense. They’re usually tasty and very flavourful but when you turn the bottle around you’ll find a bunch of sodium, preservatives and other questionable ingredients. This is why I’m starting to pull away from buying store brands. Here’s my take on BBQ sauce

Common large shelf display of Maull's BBQ sauc...

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