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Favorite Make-and-Take Dishes

When everyone pitches in, potluck parties work!

Deciding what food to serve at your next event depends on a number of variables. How many people do you expect? Does your party have a theme? Are you hosting a family reunion, work get-together, special celebration or end-of summer party?

In addition, the expense of feeding your guests can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re on a budget. You’ve forked over for the tent, the entertainment and the tables and chairs already. And you know that no matter what you serve, you won’t please everyone. Enter the potluck.

It’s Southern Hospitality at Its Finest

It’s surprising that potluck gatherings always seem to work out so well. Whether you plan a menu and assign dishes to your guests or just encourage people to bring their favorites, you know everyone will have plenty to eat — and then some — especially if your event takes place in the South.

It’s the Southern charm and hospitality that make Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina so inviting. When you throw a potluck, you can count on those good cooks who grew up in the South, as well as on the transplants learning the ways of the “make-and-take” party, to ensure your party’s a success.

Laid Out for Good Eating

Set up a long table under the tent for your spread. Designate a hot portion, a cold section, a space for drinks and the all-important dessert table. When the guests — and the food — start showing up, you undoubtedly will see several of those old faithful potluck dishes that have graced make-and-take tables in the South for more than a century:

  • Fried chicken

  • Sliced ham

  • Potato salad

  • Sliced tomatoes and cucumbers

  • Cake and pies

For the guests who don’t have the time or the talent to cook up a dish for the event, ask them to bring bread, butter or beverages. And for those who aren’t quite sure what to bring, consider sharing some of the following potluck favorites. They are a welcomed addition to an outdoor party any time of year:

  • Baked Beans: Served hot or cold, with or without meat, baked beans are always a hit. Bring a dish to suit both the vegetarians and the meat eaters. Spruce up the beans with a little brown sugar, green peppers or onions.

  • Pasta: Another favorite. Serve it cold with mayo, peppers and celery, or hot in a casserole with cheese and a breadcrumb topping. Hot pasta also works well with a white sauce, garlic and chicken or with fresh tomatoes, basil and olive oil.

  • Fruit Salad: Cut up fresh fruit when it’s available; use canned fruit out of season. Mix it all with mayo and add some shredded coconut and walnut pieces for a truly Southern delight.

  • Broccoli Salad: Easy to make, healthy, novel and delicious. Try this recipe:

Mix -1 bunch broccoli, chopped, 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated1 small purple onion, sliced, 8 slices crispy bacon, crumbled

Dress with ½ c mayo,¼ c cup sugar,1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

You can’t go wrong with potluck desserts. Favorites around the Southern table include:

  • Cobblers

  • Brownies

  • Carmel cake

  • Banana bread

  • Pumpkin cheesecake

  • Bundt cake

So assign the dishes or leave it to chance. Either way, your event will provide your guests with homemade goodness. When everyone pitches in to share their favorite make-and-take potluck dishes, you may be pleasantly surprised by how everything works out and nobody leaves hungry.

Hendersonville Tents is a family-owned and operated company. 2015 marks the 31st anniversary of providing tents, tables, chairs, dance floors, pipe and drapes, tableware, games, specialty lighting, PA systems… everything you need to host a memorable outdoor event. Hendersonville Tents provides a personal touch to your party. Whatever your needs, Hendersonville Tents has got you covered.

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