Handing over the blog today to the lovely Dr Bron Harman. Now this is an idea we should all try.

I HAVE a very extensive group of girlfriends who I have met through my children. I guess this is like most mothers in some respects; that when your children go to school, you meet other mums who have things in common. In my case, it’s a little different in that there are about 50 of us who are friends still, after first meeting 14 years ago. I guess we were lucky that we all stumbled on each other at the same small primary school.
We have stayed in touch even as some of us have moved out of the area and/or changed schools. One of the ways we do this is through a “pot luck”. It has occurred to me that this is a tradition we kind of made up and where the “rules” have evolved over many years, and you have no idea what pot luck is.
Here’s how we do it. Maybe you can, too!

Christmas Pot Luck 2004


  • The hostess calls the date. If it is dinner, it is 7pm, if it is lunch it’s 11am. No need to clarify. We all know this. The date is not negotiable. That’s when it is. If it clashes with something in your diary, too bad for you.
  •  The hostess sends an sms to about ten people. The sms would read something like “Pot luck dinner, Bron’s house, 13 Jan”. No need to write the time. It’s dinner, so turn up around 7pm. No need to write the address. We all know where everyone lives. 
  • If you receive such an sms, pass it on to five people if you remember to. Because of the informality, you may receive three invites, ten invites, or none. It’s pot luck if you hear about it. Don’t be offended if nobody tells you. It’s nothing personal.
  • Do not RSVP. Turn up or don’t. If you don’t go, no need to explain. If you are going, it is usually wise to organise your car pool early, though. Of course, the hostess has no idea who is turning up. Could be five. Could be fifty. It’s pot luck. For the record, we usually have around fifteen to twenty turn up. Once everyone turned up at Kate’s, ha ha. It was packed!
  • Paper plates are acceptable, but we want real cutlery.
  • Here’s the fun bit. You have to take a plate, without conferring with anyone else (plus take your own drinks). It can be nibbles, main or dessert. You can escape with buying something pre-made once or twice, but then we will notice. And we’re all pretty good cooks, so don’t be lazy. Because we don’t confer, we have no idea what will be on offer. Once we had one nibbles dish, one main and twelve desserts, ha ha. Oh well!
  • Children may come to lunch, but not dinner. Husbands may never come to pot luck. Once the girlfriends have served themselves at dinner (always set up buffet style), the hostess’s husband and children may serve themselves. But they eat somewhere else. Not with us.
  • At the end of the pot luck, you must take your dish as is. It may have leftovers, it might not. If it has been a pot luck that is well attended, your dish might be virtually untouched. Do not be offended. It is not personal. However, the important thing is that the hostess is not left with a sink full of dishes. We use paper plates, and you take your dish home, as is. She has cutlery to deal with and if she is smart, her husband washes it.
  • There’s 50 of us. Someone else do pot luck next time.

And there you have it. An easy stress-free way to enjoy a meal with up to 50 friends. Enjoy!

Dr Bron Harman, Dr Bron Harman is a psychology lecturer and researcher. Her research program is on various aspects of parenting and resilience, which she has been studying since 2002. Bron first became interested in the “good mother syndrome” when she had her own children. They are older now, but she is still passionate about “keeping it real” for Australian mums and dads. Bron blogs at The Modern Family.

11 Responses to Guest Post: Entertaining the idea of pot luck

  1. I freaking LOVE this! And love the rules, love the whole bloody idea! You could make a movie revolving around this pot luck. Thanks for sharing. Wonder if my gf’s would go for it. There’s only 10 of us though.
    Aroha @ Colours of Sunset recently posted..Random Values, PND, Death and Time IBOT PostMy Profile

  2. Lisa H says:

    50 friends from one area of your life – that’s huge! Pot luck sounds like a great idea for regular catch ups with such a large group.

    I’m catching up tonight with 5 girlfriends from high school… we’ve know each other for nearly 30 years and try to get together once a year. We’re going out to eat! 🙂
    Lisa H recently posted..Just another tattooMy Profile

  3. Shelly says:

    This sounds like a fabulous idea. I’ve always toyed with the idea of potluck, but it really only meant that people bring a plate, but I like all the other rules you’ve got here. Now if I could only find me 50 friends. 😉
    Shelly recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Weeds and MudMy Profile

  4. Lisa Wood says:

    Oh what an amazing idea – a pot luck dinner! Gosh it would be so fun…but at the same time I would be freaking out – not knowing who is turning up and who cant make it 🙂
    But then again that is the whole idea – its all down to pot luck!!
    I cant believe that you have such a big group of friends – that rocks!
    Lisa Wood recently posted..One Amazing Families Adventure On BikesMy Profile

    • Dr Bron says:

      No, the not knowing who is turning up is quite thrilling, actually! We’ve known each other a long time – no need to try and impress with a spotless house or elaborate dish…
      Dr Bron recently posted..Pick A PostMy Profile

  5. Silly Mummy says:

    Great idea. Dr Bron. I think I’ve been too busy working my arse off since I moved to WA that my work got in the way of me meeting new people. 2012 is the year that I slow down.

    P.S: can I join your pot luck? I make a good damn couscous, pizza and curry lol, I’ll even do the dishes and pour your drinks, oh and rub your feet. lol
    Silly Mummy recently posted..Why I’m Upset About Grandad’s DeathMy Profile

  6. Pip says:

    What a bloody marvelous idea this is. Many of my scheduled less spontaneous friends would struggle to embrace it but I LOVE the concept. Simple, no chasing or organizing involved and each one sounds like it will be memorable and individual. Thanks for sharing such a fab idea.
    Pip recently posted..*Dream*, *Sigh*, *Dream*, *Sigh*My Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge