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Trevor Stone's Journal
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Potluck Tradition - A Manifesto Dish version 0.1 
30th-Mar-2004 01:35 pm
inner maiden animated no words
A potluck is an event to which everyone brings food. Each attendee brings a dish according to his particular culinary skills. Some people prepare exotic ethnic dishes. Some people make old standards to perfection. Some people cast about their kitchen and manage to construct a fruit salad. Citing kitchen incompetence or a lack of free time, some people bring chips and salsa. But it wouldn't be much of a potluck without chips, now would it? Some people bring armloads of food and drink to a potluck. For others, bringing themselves is a small miracle. The host and hostess provide potluckers with places to sit, surfaces from which to eat, and an atmosphere suited for serious discussion and joyous laughter.

Some potlucks have a theme or special rules. People hold organic potlucks, barbecue potlucks, vegan potlucks, and dessert potlucks. Some potlucks produce a mountain of beer bottles; other potlucks are alcohol free. Some people coordinate dishes in advance, other people end up with one tray of lasagne and 17 bags of chips. Some potlucks happen every week between close friends. Others are occasional gatherings with the opportunity to make new friends and try new foods.

The Fundamental Law of Potluck: There is no wrong way to host a potluck.
Corollary to the Fundamental Law: However, some potlucks go better than others.

Potluck Tradition is a way of practicing religion based on the potluck metaphor. The Potluck Tradition is not any particular religion; it has no set dogma, makes no particular demands of practitioners, and has no formal membership status. There is no wrong way to practice the Potluck Tradition.

Potluck Tradition is a meta-religion. It is a framework for organizing religious events. Each attendee of a Potluck Tradition gathering brings her own casserole of knowledge, filet of soul, bag of tortilla skills, and six pack of spirit. Some participants have years of experience in the holy kitchen and provide a main course. Some people have never been to a potluck before; perhaps they are tired of restaurants or maybe they've never had a chance to eat with other people.

The Second Law of Potluck: Every person present contributes to a potluck.
Corollary to the Second Law: If someone does not attend, it will make for a different potluck.

Some people take issue with potlucks. Some dislike the lack of central control -- what if nobody brings a dessert? What if the people who volunteered to cook a main dish don't make it? Some people dislike the uncertainty of offerings -- what if everything contains an allergen? Some people are embarrassed about their cooking skills -- what if nobody eats what they bring? Some people feel awkward at parties -- what if nobody has anything in common?

The Basic Rule of Potluck: No one is forced to attend a Potluck.
The Other Rule of Potluck: Everyone is free to organize a Potluck that meets their needs.

By bringing together interesting people with varied backgrounds, skills, and ideas, a Potluck officiant hopes to allow something wonderful to happen. Most Potlucks are fundamentally organic -- they take the resources at hand and develop to meet the challenges and thrive in the environment in which they grow. After a successful Potluck, everyone's hunger is quenched and memories filled with pleasing interaction, looking forward to the next Potluck.

The Primary Goal of Potluck: Bring together people who can nourish each other through many ways.
The Usual Method of Potluck: Through regular gatherings, experiment with dishes as participants get to know each other.
The Pithy Observation of Potluck: The main course is Soul Food.

There's a new Potluck in your neighborhood -- are you hungry?

This March I migrated from Boulder to Golden. As I transition from the world of academia to the land of the productively employed, I must find ways to maintain or renew the parts of my life which should remain while leaving behind those which are no longer feasible. (Alas! How I loved arising at 11.) Potluck is one of the former. Transience comes imbued in student creations and potlucks both; the Potluck in which I have refined my culinary skills is rounding the circle for perhaps the last time.

I therefore announce the creation of a new Denver Metro Potluck. Everyone is welcome, regardless of background, experience, world view, or any demographic characteristic. We will first gather, tentatively, on the evening of Monday, April 19th. The first several gatherings will be quite open as participants explore and learn whether they enjoy the dishes brought by their fellow Potluckers. After that, the Potluck will take its own organic direction.

If you would like to participate in this new Potluck, contact Trevor Stone. Email is most reliable at tstone AT trevorstone.org.
Comments 
30th-Mar-2004 02:50 pm (UTC) - wow
Each attendee of a Potluck Tradition gathering brings her own casserole of knowledge, filet of soul, bag of tortilla skills, and six pack of spirit. Some participants have years of experience in the holy kitchen and provide a main course.
i am impressed with the analogy and poetic-ness!! way to go trevor!!
30th-Mar-2004 05:34 pm (UTC)
Ooh, ooh, ooh, I'm in! I'll drag Mom along, too ... she needs more social interaction ... and what's better than a potluck? :D

~ Tanith
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