Potluck suppers, covered dish meal dining!
In rural Maine, it’s go easy on the host. Everyone brings a covered dish that is known community wide as their piece de resistance that gets rave reviews. Look at that long row of covered dish surprises at a potluck supper in Maine. It’s never take you chances or settle for “potluck”. No no, only the finest from each chef, cook, household prepared with love from the many Maine kitchens.
At Maine potluck suppers, it’s remarkable how the selection of items is perfectly balanced too.
Not three bake bean pots and no potato salads. From past experiences and because everyone has a signature dish to create and bring, everything rounds out on it’s own. Plus you have several dining variations on a theme. More than one of everything for a true home made hot and ready buffet.
Grange Hall pot luck covered dish suppers also required your BYO silverware and plates.
When done, slide them all in a bag. Return them to your home to wash and put back in the drawer and up in the kitchen cupboard. Nothing lost and way way less wear and tear on the pot luck supper host.
The potluck covered dish come and get it delivered to the venue carried in with pot holders and oven mitts.
Zipped into insulated warmers. Maybe tucked away in a picnic basket. These pot luck suppers not a once a year tradition but held on a regular routine. It’s social too, more than another just meal to brain storm create and put together all by your lonesome.
It is a lot of work to host a party at your home in Maine. House cleaning, grocery shopping, decorating. The tidy up and set the stage, tear down the extra tables and folding chairs is a lot of work.
Attending a potluck supper, toting a covered dish with serving utensils is one efficient buffet variety meal to enjoy.
The lots of people who come together at the pot luck supper makes the meal memorable. Not just a table for two tucked away in the corner of your favorite restaurant haunt experience.
Some cooks excel at pastries, breads, your pasta salad, their artichoke dips. Others are grillers, their skill set is for casseroles, soups and chowder. Crock pot jack pot slowly simmered and ready to serve at the community meal. Who brought the smoked salmon or toasted crab cakes or brook trout?
Maine garden home grown farm to table platters of vegetables, fresh fruit with a floral center piece completes the menu.
Dig in but leave room for the buffet array of desserts of all kinds. Carefully created by many that migrate one by one, two by two and more to land in a small Maine community or family pot luck supper location.
Add a couple local Maine musicians for background music and the setting is complete.
The lack of shelling out a hundred dollars or more to settle up the bill only improves the take away taste from the potluck supper, covered dish experience. Maine is 450 small town communities and villages, plantations and only a handful of cities.
Small towns in Maine are masters at simple living, keep it friendly and neighborly. “Excuse me, can you pass the sweet potato casserole? Did you make it Marge?”
If you are moving, relocating to Maine, get ready for an invite for the potluck supper in Maine. The more the merrier.
Would you be ready for a potluck supper where everyone totes a hot or cold covered dish to your home in Maine?
All take a turn and today, many might say no way. Not at my house.
I’ll contribute something good to eat homemade or store bought and gladly ring you up at your place. Just not mine. My house is a wreck, has been for quite sometime really.
Maybe a potluck supper, opening up your place to take a turn would be just the fire lit under you to make it ship shape. Clean as a whistle and the housework done for the week or spring cleaning now complete. The potluck supper can be a holiday tradition with decorations to make it festive.
Growing up, my Mom from a family of 11 living on a Northern Maine farm who stayed close for life.
Each Sunday noon after church, each family member took a turn. This week Uncle Frank and Aunt Charlotte hosted the event at their Benn Hill in Hodgdon farm location. Or opened up their Nickerson Lake summer camp for the family meal time tradition. Kids splashing, boats plying by and the folks inside waving. Outdoor fire pits at night for the talks after the potluck covered dish supper time meal. Like group therapy!
The cousins socialize just like the parents.
Every Sunday it was a different family venue and we all stayed in touch growing up in a small Maine town. Each and every one of us in the family got to know each other better. In part due to the pot luck supper covered dish tradition and the variety of food it offered us.
The ease and simplicity of the bring your own plate, cup, silverware and covered dish contribution.
Not a small group, but the best way to handle a large one. So one cook is not overwhelmed with the meal time task.
Public or private, the take away is the same. Too much home cooked food. Lots of people grouping together for a family event meal or a public fund raising supper. We did not go to a restaurant to open up the menu and dine with a few people.
You opened up the Grange hall and arranged the tables and chairs.
Turned the heat up a little higher in the winter. Or opened up the place in early morning to bring in the cooler air. For lower temperatures that noon or by supper time when we used fans, took a dip in a Maine lake to cool off. Not just cranked up the AC when the weather was hot in our cars, office, homes.
Maybe too many cooks in their own familiar kitchens creating what’s for dinner or supper is a good thing.
When they wrap the dish in a towel or slide it in an insulated cozy. Bring it hot out of the oven wearing mitts or chilled to perfection right out of the refrigerator. To beeline to the pot luck supper. Families in Maine had the standing invitation. This week’s pot luck supper is at this Aunt and Uncle’s home. Next week, we trek to Aunt June and Uncle Cecil’s camp or home depending on the season.
Bigger homes, larger families, more people living nearby in small Maine towns.
The pot luck or potluck suppers help families stay in touch. To not just break the bread and dine together. But to exchange what’s new in each and every family members life and to help each other share joys, endure setbacks. You don’t feel alone living in a friendly, neighborly tight knit Maine small town.
These covered dish meals were like group therapy sessions in some ways.
They avoided isolation and created regular contact with family members and anyone else invited to come along. Card tables set up, crock pots plugged, lots of potato, pasta, green, three bean salads.
Coleslaw, fresh from the garden platters, relishes, dips. Home made rolls and breads. Casseroles, trays of finger food. Samplings of small portions to fit on your plate. Better double up that plate if it’s paper to carry the load. Too much good food. Way way too much variety makes it like holiday dining. Large, 2nd and 3rd size helpings expected from the local cooks who “super size” everything.
Do you eat too much at a covered dish, potluck supper?
It’s tempting, hard not to over indulge. Those paper plates are pretty flimsy when overloaded like a Maine trucker’s trailer load of Aroostook County potatoes. Who brought the home made lemonade or iced tea? Is that gluten free? You eat plenty and can say because you don’t want the cook to think it was not the best you ever had. Often it is and you hunt down that same meal selection for the potluck supper because you are addicted to their style of cooking.
Save room for the hand churned ice cream.
I think it’s grape nut and chocolate for choices. To ride high a top that warm, hot out of the oven slices of blueberry, raspberry, strawberry rhubarb pie. Is that cheesecake? Gotta get her recipe and print it out to share on the Maine cooking blog I follow.
Oh look, are those date crumble squares? Home made pumpkin, chocolate chip cookies, whoopie pies.
Picnics along the road traveling. Had to before the Interstate and those canopied table rest stops to munch on a chicken salad sandwich. Maybe grill a hot dog, burger, some chicken.Marsh mellows on top of the sweet potatoes. More of a Christmas dish but might as well let me try a small scoop.
Jello with carrots suspended inside. Lemon squares. Everyone contributed to the potluck supper. 2nds? Heck 3rds. It’s all cook and makes the covered dish cook smile ear to ear.
The pot luck or potluck covered dish tradition applied to weddings, funerals, graduation, reunion, anniversary event too in a small Maine town.
Or maybe to celebrate one of the four seasons, a successful harvest or holiday as a community. When is the last time you brought something home cooked to a potluck supper, covered dish event?