Attending potlucks without cooking



If you want to go to a potluck dinner, but don’t want to or can’t cook anything, ice cream can be a good thing to bring.

There are other things people who don’t want to or can’t cook sometimes bring, and they’re not rude exactly, but people who bring those things are often perceived as lazy or miserly. Some examples:

  • sodas
  • wine
  • chips
  • a box of store-bought cookies

Ice cream is not any more difficult or expensive than these things, but it’s perceived differently. Since ice cream is not an expected default potluck food, if you bring it, you get to be the guy who brought unexpected ice cream. Almost any crowd will contain a good percentage of people who are *very* pleased by unexpected ice cream.

If it is a vegan potluck, there are some pretty good non-dairy ice creams now. (So Delicious coconut milk ice cream is nice; so is Tofutti.) Sorbet is also a decent non-dairy option, although it isn’t quite as viscerally welcome as ice cream.

(I’ve also seen people bring pizzas with similar results, although I have not tried that myself).

This is a really good idea. Everyone loves ice cream and you can get it on the way there.

A salad is good, too, or a vegetable platter w/ dip (store-bought dip is fine). Mixing, not cooking. (Chopping, tho, unless you buy pre-chopped, which is more spensive.) You have to bring the dressings, so bring a variety of ~4 very different types, and don’t expect to get them back. You  can bring the stuff in ziplock bags in assemble at the party.