The potluck dinner is always a surprise. Potluck for 200 is really amazing. The Community Group’s variation on the practice is: Provide the fried chicken and drinks. Ask everyone to bring all the rest, without pre-planning or direction. Trust in the group wisdom of 200. The results are amazing. Food shows up in great abundance and variety with salads from local gardens and desserts prepared by home bakers of great renown. Side dishes, condiments, breads, pastas, rice, tortillas and fruit salads. In all just what’s needed for a celebration, a breaking of bread with neighbors, friends, and new acquaintances. A spirit of sharing and trust seems a good way to describe potlucks and the Dialogue on Race. Some say potlucks are a tradition passed down from Native American peoples.
From Wikipedia: “The word pot-luck appears in the 16th century English work of Thomas Nashe, and used to mean ‘food provided for an unexpected or uninvited guest, the luck of the pot.’ The modern execution of a ‘communal meal, where guests bring their own food,’ most likely originated in the 1930s during the Depression. The alternative origin of the word is associated with a tradition common to the Tlingit and other indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest, called a potlatch, and is considered by proponents of this theory to be an eggcorn or malapropism.”
Photos from Our Potlucks
TCG members Nancy Nowlin, below right, and Annette Anderson, second right at the potluck table for a Community Group event at Asbury United Methodist Church.
Children and youngsters learn early about community by attending potlucks with their parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles. Children are always welcome at Community Group events. This little girl is hanging on at the recognition celebration of African American elders sponsored by The Community Group.
Job fair participants at the potluck table. The Community Group puts on the dinner to impress on candidates, especially African Americans, the great quality of life and work in Montgomery County. The African American community has much to offer newcomers in affordable housing, excellent quality of life, proximity to national forest lands and the presence of a great research university, Virginia Tech.
Pat Akers, left, and Penny Franklin dish desserts for participants from the Montgomery County Public School Jobs Fair. The Community Group hosts the dinner as way to actively recruit African Americans to teach in Montgomery County.
Debbie Sherman Lee sets out desserts, a Penny specialty, at the dinner for job fair participants from Montgomery County Public Schools.
High school students join in the fun and celebration at the 2017 Summer Summit With Sides. More than 200 community members brought side dishes, desserts, and assorted treats to the annual picnic. The Community Group provides the fried chicken and drinks. The rest is cooked and prepared by Dialogue on Race participants.
Breaking bread at the 2019 Winter Summit. Here more than 230 participants gathered in the cafeteria of Christiansburg Middle School to talk about the morning program and prepare for the small group work in the afternoon.
Lois Snell, right, joins Penny Franklin preparing dishes for shut-ins at the 2018 Summer Summit with Sides. More than 230 guests sat down to dinner at Blacksburg’s Caboose Park. The largest picnic shelter at the park could barely contain the overflow crowd. Next year, The Community Group is moving the Summer Summit to the Christiansburg Moose Lodge.