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Unpopular at a Potluck


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I was supposed to go to a Potluck party today.

It was planned in advance and I decided to bring some Asian food.

I ordered Kaffir lime leaves and went to the Asian market yesterday

for ingredients.

I made Thai shrimp salad with FRESH grated coconut, kaffir lime leaves, and lemongrass http://i30.tinypic.com/v8ev5l.jpg

Gajinamul

Springrolls (2 layers) http://i29.tinypic.com/2ishx0i.jpg

And

ChapChae and Crab Pancakes http://i27.tinypic.com/2ex3r0m.jpg

Despite there being 65 people at this party, only 2-1/2 spring rolls were eaten, NONE of the Gajinamul, 1 cup of the shrimp salad, 2 crab pancakes and 1/8 the chapchae.

Everyone else brought dip, heavy mayo salads, or deserts youd think theyd want something light like those pretty Springrolls.

WhAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

I dont live in North Dakota. I live on the Main Line suburbs of Philly, none of this should be WEIRD food to people.

Anyone else have issues with people not "getting it"?

Edited by GlorifiedRice (log)

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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The experience I've had along those lines a few times is bringing homemade ice cream to a party, figuring it will be different and special, where the hosts will ooh and ahh when I get there, then put it in the freezer and forget about it.

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Your food looks gorgeous and I bet it tasted great. Did the people know you at the potluck, and what kind of cook you are? In my experience, people tend to go for the lowest common denominator at potlucks if they don't know the people who made the food. They're especially cautious around seafood--they don't know how scrupulous the cook is about buying very fresh seafood, and handling it properly. They're also very cautious about spicy food. They don't know if they'll end up with more heat than they can handle.

That's why I usually bring salads or home-baked goods to potlucks. Nothing special, I know, but people can see what they're eating and not worry so much about spoilage, weird ingredients, and the like.

Your experience was just too bad. If you make the same food and invite a bunch of friends, they'll probably come over and vacuum the plates and wish for more. :wink:

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Your food looks gorgeous and I bet it tasted great. Did the people know you at the potluck, and what kind of cook you are? In my experience, people tend to go for the lowest common denominator at potlucks if they don't know the people who made the food. They're especially cautious around seafood--they don't know how scrupulous the cook is about buying very fresh seafood, and handling it properly. They're also very cautious about spicy food. They don't know if they'll end up with more heat than they can handle.

That's why I usually bring salads or home-baked goods to potlucks. Nothing special, I know, but people can see what they're eating and not worry so much about spoilage, weird ingredients, and the like.

Your experience was just too bad. If you make the same food and invite a bunch of friends, they'll probably come over and vacuum the plates and wish for more.  :wink:

Ive known these people for 5-6 years now.

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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I can relate, but only because I live in the most back asswards area. If they can't pronounce it, they wont eat it.

One year I brought a curried couscous salad to a family( spouse's family) bbq and it didnt get touched. Another year, a homemade carrot cake sat untouched over a plate of storebought bar cookies. After living here for almost 7 yrs, I get it now, but it took me a long while to understand it.

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Your chapchae looks delicious and entirely edible. You probably already know this, but it's their loss, and at least you have your lunches for a few days. Often it's a matter of misjudging the crowd, but if your friends have known you that long...well, it's kind of strange.

I don't get to a lot of potlucks myself, but my mother made chapchae and brought it to a work potluck, where only an intrepid few of her co-workers tried it. I thought, "how can you go wrong with noodles? Everyone loves noodles." But there it is. They'd never heard of it before, so they assumed they wouldn't like it.

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I completely commiserate with you.

I went to a potluck Tupperware party once - not too far from where Calipoutine lives - brought my homemade sushi. Not even with raw fish - just california roll in case people were uncomfortable with the fish thing.

Don't think more than a piece or two was eaten. I got snatched up fast enough when I took it to school with me the next day - I guess medical students are a slightly more cosmopolitan crowd.

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Everything looks delicious...wish I was there to eat it!

And yes I have experienced it....in fact in a wierd way...I live in Italy and if I dare cook something other than Italian, my Italian family won't eat it thinking it will be too fattening, too heavy, too spicy, too many spices....apparently, that's what they think of every other culture's food!!

They will however eat my desserts. Go figure. I guess chocolate goes a long way....

Edited by ambra (log)
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...And sometimes your dish doesn't work with the theme that you didn't know about. Like when I brought baked beans that were about 50% just smoked pork butt to a July 4th party.

Baked Beans - BBQ perfect fit right? The hostess was serving Lemon Chicken, Eggplant Parm, Baked Ziti... etc.

It was like somone let my grandmother loose in the kitchen : )

not a lot of beans eaten

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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You just have to know your audience. Some people just can't accept anything new and different and what you served was alien to them. It's not their fault -- it's just where they are on life's food journey and you can't elevate their taste that much in just one outing. That takes time to cultivate. To bring something to a potluck for 65 people, they probably would have loved something with shrimp -- just something they recognized and felt comfortable with. Plus, you wouldn't have had to knock yourself out with special trips to special markets finding ingredients they didn't want to taste anyway.

If I could have been there (or probably anyone in this forum)-- there would have been a heavy dent in your food and the mayo-laden salad ladies would have needed to commiserate. :biggrin:

Rhonda

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So sorry to hear that, GR :( rest assured I'm sure many of us here would have been delighted to eat what you prepared. I was actually in the mood for some korean a while ago, too...

Why not enlist a few close friends to get heaping portions of the stuff and mingle, telling everyone else, "Have you tried the noodles? They are FANTASTIC!" and stuff like that. Cheesy I know but it could work!

Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

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Your chapchae looks delicious and entirely edible. You probably already know this, but it's their loss, and at least you have your lunches for a few days. Often it's a matter of misjudging the crowd, but if your friends have known you that long...well, it's kind of strange.

I don't get to a lot of potlucks myself, but my mother made chapchae and brought it to a work potluck, where only an intrepid few of her co-workers tried it. I thought, "how can you go wrong with noodles? Everyone loves noodles." But there it is. They'd never heard of it before, so they assumed they wouldn't like it.

Unfortunately it sayt out for 5 hours at the party, so I had to toss it all out.

:(

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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1. You need new friends.

2. You need to come to a potluck at my house: that would've gotten eaten, for sure.

No kidding.

I'd been all over those dishes. Not only did it look fantastic and I'm sure tasted as good it looked, but it sure beats the dickens out of the standard boring fare seen at potlucks. I would have seen your dishes as an oasis in the desert. Their loss but I commiserate with you.

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The experience I've had along those lines a few times is bringing homemade ice cream to a party, figuring it will be different and special, where the hosts will ooh and ahh when I get there, then put it in the freezer and forget about it.
Maybe they didn't so much "forget about it" as "keep it for themselves" - I know I'd be tempted. :wink: Edited by hsm (log)
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Its funny how rejected it can make you feel. I once took a greek pasta dish to a family potluck, meeting most of my new in-laws at the same time. The sauce had browned butter (people were put off by the "odd" color) in it and the pasta was orzo. No one touched it, and my dear new Parents-in-law ate about a lb of it in support of me. Loved them for that. And I too wish you would come to a potluck with me! I would eat that up!

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There is no rhyme or reason to potlucks. An organization I belong to has 2 to 3 potlucks a year, and I have given up getting all excited about what I'm going to take. The last straw was the year I took a homemade apple pie, and Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookies (chocolate sables) which my husband's co-workers call "ransom cookies" because from time to time they threaten to kidnap him and hold him for a ransom of these cookies - and we ended up bringing home most of what we took. I'd say around 75-100 people attended that particular event. The Oreos and the Chips Ahoy were eaten. It made me sad, because although we can freeze the cookies, a partial pie doesn't freeze well and so we each had a piece and we threw the rest out. We don't need the calories we'd be in for, finishing up 2/3 of a pie between the two of us. (Next time, I'll just make the neighbors happy.)

I am known, in most (non-foodie) circles as one of the best pie bakers 'round these parts and the pie tasted as good as it looked, even if I do say so myself. Oh, and the store-bought and freezer-case pies were nearly finished off.

Now when we go to these events, we stop at Sam's and pick up some potato salad. :sad: Every now and then, if I'm really hungry for a certain homemade dish, I'll take it, but I definitely don't put out the effort I used to.

Edited by jgm (log)
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What I bring to some potlucks depends on my mood -- if I really want a particular dish, I'll bring it and not worry about who will eat it. For instance, I made Vietnamese salad rolls for a church potluck with mostly older, Italian-American guests. I figured that my Thai friends and I would enjoy them, even if no one else did. They were placed at the very END of the groaning buffet. The (rather bossy) hostess announced that the seniors would go through the line first, and that everyone should keep in mind *not taking too much of one thing,* so that variety would remain for those who came later. Guess whose plate I spotted with THREE rolls?!? :rolleyes:

And there was almost a fight over the last few pieces. I was surprised, but pleased.

What I bring to other potlucks is based on knowledge of the guests and other cooks. Our church hosts a much-anticipated annual BBQ and picnic for a non-profit serving the homeless who are HIV-positive. Even though I'd like to bring something exotic, I know that familiar foods are strongly preferred. No one wants to HAVE to ask 'What is it?" So, I bring a huge pot of yellow rice with vegetables and some sort of chocolate dessert, usually brownies. The rice is on virtually everyone's plate I see. I know others will bring the mayo-based salads, mac and cheese, green salads, beans, etc. -- even though there isn't a formal sign-up sheet.

Know your audience...it saves a lot of work and angst. :wink:

Glorified Rice: I'd LOVE to have those recipes -- particularly the shrimp salad! :wub:

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Its funny how rejected it can make you feel.  I once took a greek pasta dish to a family potluck, meeting most of my new in-laws at the same time.  The sauce had browned butter (people were put off by the "odd" color) in it and the pasta was orzo.  No one touched it, and my dear new Parents-in-law ate about a lb of it in support of me.  Loved them for that.  And I too wish you would come to a potluck with me!  I would eat that up!

Well these people know I grew up in the food biz and that my mom is a prizewinning cook (several of her winners have been ideas I gave her) so they shouldnt have "wondered".

And yes Im very hurt.

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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I am known, in most (non-foodie) circles as one of the best pie bakers 'round these parts and the pie tasted as good as it looked, even if I do say so myself.  Oh, and the store-bought and freezer-case pies were nearly finished off.

Now when we go to these events, we stop at Sam's and pick up some potato salad.  :sad:  Every now and then, if I'm really hungry for a certain homemade dish, I'll take it, but I definitely don't put out the effort I used to.

Yeahhhhhhhh....

Its like the BIG thing yesterday was someones breadbowl of Lipton onion soup dip and Fritos, Macaroni salad and store bought cookies.

@@ <<Roll Eyes

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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I also live in the Philly burbs, and I find it's a toss-up as to whether more "exotic fare" will be consumed or not. I have gone to pot-lucks where the first things to go are items such as those you brought, and other times where those items are avoided like the plague. I typically try to bring something that I would like to eat that I also know won't go bad by sitting outside for a few hours. I'm a transplant to the area, and I can't seem to figure this area out...

What a bummer. Your food looked delicious.

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Sometimes I think it may have to do with the "eating conditions". If it is stand-up eating, some people don't like to get too involved with the food, therefore a cookie is chosen because it's easier to eat than a whole slice of pie. If there is a lot of mingling, someone might not want to eat garlicky, spicy stuff. Or perhaps something is too messy, lot's of sauce and they are wearing special clothes, so they don't want to risk drips.

These may sound a bit silly but it may well depend on the situation, and what folks might feel more comfortable eating in certain social situation.

But I do agree, you have to know your "audience". They may have different ideas of what constitutes good party food.

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I was supposed to go to a Potluck party today.

It was planned in advance and I decided to bring some Asian food.

I ordered Kaffir lime leaves and went to the Asian market yesterday

for ingredients.

I made Thai shrimp salad with FRESH grated coconut, kaffir lime leaves, and lemongrass  http://i30.tinypic.com/v8ev5l.jpg

Gajinamul

Springrolls (2 layers)  http://i29.tinypic.com/2ishx0i.jpg

And

ChapChae and Crab Pancakes http://i27.tinypic.com/2ex3r0m.jpg

Despite there being 65 people at this party, only 2-1/2 spring rolls were eaten, NONE of the Gajinamul, 1 cup of the shrimp salad, 2 crab pancakes and 1/8 the chapchae.

Everyone else brought dip, heavy mayo salads, or deserts youd think theyd want something light like those pretty Springrolls.

WhAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

I dont live in North Dakota. I live on the Main Line suburbs of Philly, none of this should be WEIRD food to people.

Anyone else have issues with people not "getting it"?

I am sorry to hear about this. I have had this happen beforre and it is disheartening when it does happen.

I would have tore that up! :wub:

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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Sometimes I think it may have to do with the "eating conditions".  If it is stand-up eating, some people don't like to get too involved with the food, therefore a cookie is chosen because it's easier to eat than a whole slice of pie.  If there is a lot of mingling, someone might not want to eat garlicky, spicy stuff. Or perhaps something is too messy, lot's of sauce and they are wearing special clothes, so they don't want to risk drips.

These may sound a bit silly but it may well depend on the situation, and what folks might feel more comfortable eating in certain social situation.

But I do agree, you have to know your "audience".  They may have different ideas of what constitutes good party food.

Very good point, 'eating conditions' can keep some people from enjoying noodles, spaghetti, garlickly and generously sauced items, to mention a few. If the dish requires a knife, think twice before including it in a buffet.

The fear of the unknown is more powerful than we food enthusiasts often think. People, for the most part, truly hate to ask "What is it?"

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Your food looks delicious and you shouldn't take it personally.

I've been burned at potlucks before. Now, I ask the host(s) if there's a theme or what they are making. Their answer usually tells me whether I should play it safe or not.


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