Saturday, May 15, 2010

Weekend 3-Way: Whaddayougot?

It’s spring, and will soon be summer, and with the warming of the weather comes increasing opportunities to get together with friends -- to share meals, and delight in hanging on the deck, the patio, or even poolside.

Often, these fetes involve bringing something to share -- some winning appetizer or decadent dessert.

My bet is that most of us have a few tasty tidbits that we fall back on again and again (and again); something that’s easy and good, and that won’t break the bank.

So, what is it you bring when asked to contribute to a backyard barbecue, fish fry, or wienie roast?

Do you have a tried and true potluck standby?

I can’t really say I have a tried and true standby, but I do tend to go through phases. My last phase was to bring Trader Joe’s mini crab cakes with a homemade pepper dipping sauce everywhere I went. It was easy, and yummy, and relatively cheap. And I didn’t feel too bad for buying the crab cakes already made because I’m lazy I did make the sauce myself. And the making of said sauce even involved a mixer.

I halfway discovered a new offering the last time I had people over. It's a super easy pasta salad, which I liked well enough the first time I made it, but that I now know how to vastly improve. It will involved substituting the parmesan with feta and adding lots of pine nuts. I know you want to try it.

I'll bring it, I promise. All I need is an invitation.

Good one, Beth! I'm sorry to beat Ellie to this response; but the one and only tried and true, sure as gold, big-winnah bet that anyone can bring to a gathering, ever is goop.

I am forever seeking a good dish to bring to a pot luck, but that's partially due to the fact that I am cursed with the inability to show up empty handed to any class of gathering of peeps.

I do like to go with the flow if there is one, embracing the theme of the event or occasion with a complimentary dish.

But when the cards are down and you're pressed to show up with a crowd pleasing entree, my new go-to dish is none other than a good old fashioned ham. Cover your ears, mom, because in this household, those are known by no other moniker than a Goddamn Ham. You sometimes get one free at Ralphs around Easter, you sometimes crave one when you pass by a Honeybaked, but I promise you that with the minor exception of Jews and vegetarians, everybody loves a Goddamn Ham. And it will go nicely with Beth's pasta salad.

Jacquie you rat. Goop has been my go-dish for years and years and years. I got bored by it and stopped bringing it for a while but then I got tired of showing up at parties and watching everyone's face drop when they saw me without it, so I started bringing it again. My specific goop-claim-to-fame? I can make it in the car. On the way to the party.

But since you're already bringing the goop, Jacquie -- harumph -- and the goddamn ham, I'll bring my next go-to-option: a cheese and crack and olives and hummus and carrots platter. Because the peeps love the cheese and crack and olives and hummus and carrots.

And Beth, like you I always have the fixin's for pasta salad in my larder this time of year, including artichoke hearts, pepperoncini, roasted red peppers, and black beans. I can whip it up in an instant once I get that phone call . . .

Wow! Someone needs to invite us to a party!


looking for company in PA said...

You are all cordially invited to MY HOUSE

Where: Boalsburg PA..also known as the birthplace of Memorial Day (unless you live in Waterloo NY and want to argue about it)

What Time: It's Happy Hour somewhere works for me, so you pick

Why: Just because...and I need to sample your best go to dishes

RSVP: and don't say "NO"

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Oh, I knew that would get your goat, Ellie! I also got sick of making goop for a while, but then I got really sick of being at parties where there was NO GOOP. Every party needs goop. It should be a law.


Kathi D said...

I have a picture of my best friends and me in front of the post office in Effingham, Illinois. I love that picture, because every time I show it to somebody, I get to say,

"Two weeks since Easter, and we're still eating that effing ham!"

Anonymous said...

I always like to bring hot-smoked salmon with some accompanying bits and pieces. It's one of those things people forget exists, so it's always a nice surprise.

Springer Kneeblood said...

Food. It goes especially well with the right people.