Happy potlucking!

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician

Arizona House Bill 2341 was sponsored by Representative Townsend and introduced in 2016. HB 2341 expands the food and drink rule exemption to include potlucks not conducted at a workplace. 

This bill was life-changing for the residents of the great state of Arizona. You see there was potluck prohibition (except in the workplace). Truth! It took almost two months from the first read to the Governor’s John Hancock approving a strike in line 26 (served at a noncommercial social event that takes place at a workplace, such as a potluck) making potlucks legal. Adding to the absurdity of the bill is that there were at least a couple of nay votes! Who votes no on potlucks? Arizonians were unknowingly having more fun than the law allowed at churches, sporting events or even neighborhood gatherings. The police could’ve pulled up, sirens a blazing to the church potluck and hauled them all off to jail. I can see the crazy headlines, can you? One jailbird asks another jailbird “What are you in for?” A potluck. This brings a new definition to “food police.” The story ends as Arizona residents have enjoyed a potluck since 2016 without the guilt or threat of being hauled off in the back of a cruiser.

Taste of Home states that the potluck goes back to Medieval times but became trendy in the 1930s. Potlucks were a terrific way to share the cost of a communal meal with friends, family, and coworkers. Your dish doesn’t have to feed the whole crowd because chances are there will be abundant selections for everyone to fill their plates. Some of the downsides to an unplanned potluck are: no one brings drinks and/or everyone brings the same thing. Paul’s dream potluck is a fried chicken potluck, but his nightmare is food tables filled with only green salads. Sign Up Genius is a great way to spread the variety and turn it into more of a communal picnic. 

Another great idea is having a potluck theme. Many years ago, I planned a Cooking Light potluck where you could pick any recipe from their website or their magazine. We were able to sample a lot of new healthy recipes that we wouldn’t have tried on our own. It is a great theme for a bunch of healthcare professionals. The fan favorite was a roasted red pepper dip made with raisins. SignUpGenius has 50 creative themes for potlucks. A few of my favorites include: stuff it, stick it and last name letter. How fun would it be to go to a potluck with everything stuffed or on a stick like a kabob. The Detwilers could bring dirt dessert, deviled eggs or even better, daiquiris to the last name letter potluck! What could you bring? 

Celebrate beef month with a ground beef potluck. Throw in some pasta, beans, or veggies to stretch your easy sharable dish packed full of lean protein. By the time this is in print, I will have shared the Greek Unstuffed Peppers with some OSU alumni and I can’t wait to try the tamale pie with Paul. Happy potlucking! 

Eat well and Healthy!

Shelly 

Sheet Pan Meatloaf

https://www.southernliving.com/recipes/sheet-pan-meatloaf

Tamale Pie

https://www.thepioneerwoman.com/food-cooking/recipes/a40118030/tamale-pie-recipe/

Greek Unstuffed Pepper Casserole

Adapted from www.bettycrocker.com

Red Pepper-Walnut Dip

cookinglight.com

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