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Don't push your (pot)luck

A homemade dish.
A homemade dish.
lynn.gardner/Flickr (cc by-nc-nd)

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We’ve all seen it: an office’s holiday potluck is being set up and, much to the horror of those who put time and effort into making a homemade casserole, someone waltzes in with a premade lasagna from Ralph’s and nonchalantly drops it on the table. Empirical evidence suggests that events like church fundraisers, school bake sales and end-of-the-year extracurricular ceremonies are being overrun by these store brought items, and that recipes made with tender, love and care are shrinking.

In a time when the economy is rough and people are working more jobs for longer hours, perhaps it can be understood that so many are turning to grocery stores and the like to relieve some of the burden. But purists disagree, as they believe something like a bake sale requires you to put a part of yourself into the dish. After all, these types of events are exactly what brought disparate members of communities closer together during the middle of the twentieth century, thus explaining their popularity today.


On which side of the buffet line do you fall? Do you prefer to make a dish yourself? Could you care less about the food or how you may look to others who slaved away in a kitchen? What about the issue of allergies, are store products acceptable given that possibility? What are the worst offenses you’ve seen at a fundraiser or potluck? If you are the offender, what do you have to say for yourself? What is the proper etiquette in this situation?