Larry Mantle

When best laid plans go potluck

Tuesday morning on “AirTalk,” one of our planned segments completely fell apart just a few minutes before airtime.  Though that’s not unheard of, fortunately, it’s fairly rare.  We usually have at least 45-minutes to book an open segment.

Faced with a gaping half-hour hole in our show, I revisited an idea that I’d dismissed the day before from our producer, Katie Sprenger.  That suggestion, which I thought would have only limited appeal to listeners, led to an impassioned on-air and online conversation.

Katie had been complaining about spending hours cooking a turkey for her child’s daycare potluck, only to see some of the other food having been purchased at restaurants or supermarkets.  To Katie, “potluck” means it should be handmade by the participant, not purchased. 

I was surprised by Katie’s take, as I figured the quality of the food was the issue, not where it came from.  However, Katie went so far as to say it’s better to have something of lesser quality that’s personally cooked or baked than a higher-quality item that’s purchased.

Listeners took off on this topic and had wonderful anecdotes and personal opinions on what “potluck” means to them.  Opinions were varied and descriptions were mouth-watering – so much so that I closed out the segment and the hour as though the show was over.  We had another hour to go, but lunch was clearly on my mind after all the great culinary descriptions.

I can’t ever remember mistaking the end of “AirTalk’s” first hour for the end of the entire show.  I got lost in the pleasure of the conversation and assumed the segment was so much fun that we must be closing with our usual “softer” topic that we typically do at the end our second hour.  Regardless of my error, it was a blast.

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