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Potluck Pitfalls

So, the potluck was only semi-successful, foodwise. First, I waited too long to get in line for the food. I didn’t want to just dive at it first thing, and there were a lot of people around the table, so I milled around and perused the auction items and got my glass of mineral water (no bowl of cut limes, though :-() before going to get my food. And guess what happened? By the time I got to my dish of beautiful roasted veggies, there was only like ONE SPOONFUL left!! Arghhhh!

Then I went to my strawberry-feta salad. There was something wrong with it — too vinegary, I don’t know, but it just wasn’t the delicious thing my friend brought to my house for MY potluck. It was really disappointing. So I scooped up some hummus and tabouleh and that was pretty good, especially mixing it with the small pile of veggies on my plate, but it just didn’t feel like… enough.

Then, the damn event went on for like two hours too long and I was sooooo bored and tired and ready to go home (none of my other parent friends showed up to this event – they were SMART!!) but I was sort of held hostage because you weren’t supposed to leave until after the auction slips were tallied up. Everyone was supposed to pay on the spot and bring their items home. I sat in a corner for a long time and watched the hosts’ enormous tortoise. I texted everyone I knew on my phone. I played some dumb phone games. I almost fell asleep.  But then I was really agitated and you know that’s not good. I got up and drank about five cups of coffee. (decaf) They were tiny little delicate cups, so it was probably equal to two coffee mugs’ full. Then I started pacing and noshing a bit. A little cheese. A little more hummus. Finally, I charged upstairs and saw that the entire auction was being tallied BY HAND on pieces of paper by these two women. Every other school auction I have attended was organized super efficiently using auction software on a COMPUTER. This was a… disaster. They were able to find my stuff and tell me how much to pay and then I took off. But what a mess.

Things I learned last night:

  • don’t go to things unless you are sure that people you like will be there.
  • make sure there is a viable escape route.
  • If you bring something healthy and good to eat, don’t hesitate – eat it right away!
  • don’t worry about being nice or doing things the “right way” – if it’s time to go, just GO. They would have dealt with it, and it wasn’t like there was an armed guard at the door.

All said, it wasn’t a complete disaster, it just wasn’t as successful as it could’ve been.

Caution: Potluck Ahead

I’m going to a potluck dinner for the parents at my kids’ school tonight. Just a few months ago, this would have been a Very Dangerous Situation for me.  Some kind of fluorescent green light would go on inside my head, and I would spend the evening circling the table and eating everything in sight, especially high carb or rich things. It was as if entrance to a potluck or buffet was a giant permission slip to eat eat eat eat. During the event, I’d feel like a little kid in a candy store, “getting away with” something decadent, and afterward, well – I probably don’t need to explain how I felt afterward. BAD. Sad, maybe a little defiant, definitely somewhat sick, discouraged and just… yuck.

I feel like I had my “special treat” last night. Just this afternoon, I went to a friend’s book publication party. I arrived just before the toast. The hostess was handing out glasses with “cider or champagne?” I really didn’t want either. Didn’t want the sugar in the cider nor the alcohol in the champagne. I slipped around her to the table and was glad to see a bottle of sparkling water and a big bowl of nice cut lime wedges! I think sparkling water is OK, but with a little fresh lemon or lime juice, it’s great. So I was happy to find that and to have something perfect to raise for the toast.  People kept pointing at the plate of homemade cookies but I just had a little piece of cheese and was A-OK.

So for the potluck dinner tonight: I thought it would be good to bring something healthy to eat. I decided on this great strawberry-feta salad which I think somebody brought to MY house for a potluck a few weeks ago.  I thought, I could always eat that. But do I want to just eat salad and not have anything warm and substantial for dinner? No I do not. So then I got the brilliant idea to make a huge pan of roasted vegetables. Roasted vegetables are so beautiful, luscious and comforting.  I got a bunch of red, yellow and orange bell peppers, some Japanese eggplant, butternut squash, red onion, carrot.

I feel very happy and prepared as I head off to this event tonight, and safe in the knowledge that I will have really good things to eat.

I can’t tell you what a change this is from just a short eight weeks ago.

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