How to Host a Fall Potluck

The origination of potluck dinners is attributed to a couple of separate occurrences, each of which occurred centuries apart. During the Middle Ages, when an unexpected guest arrived, they were treated to whatever was in the pot, or the “luck of the pot”. The phrase also referred to dinner gatherings during the Great Depression, when communities came together to share whatever they had to offer in an attempt to feed the neighborhood.

The same generous spirit exists with modern potlucks. Lifelong friends, family members, or new acquaintances gather and share a little bit of something they homemade (or bought!) that represents their background, hometown, or favorite cuisine. This fall, host a potluck to bring your own treasured community together. Here are some tips for hosting a successful, fun potluck.

Send Out Invitations

Give guests plenty of time to plan ahead for your autumnal potluck. Include a place on the email invite where attendees can RSVP with their intended dish, so no one repeats or makes similar items. In addition, be sure to include a place on the electronic invitation where guests can specify any dietary restrictions.

Make the Main Course

The purpose of a potluck is to have a low-key dinner party where everyone gets to relax and enjoy a delicious meal, including the host. Prepare the main course before guests arrive by choosing a casserole, crockpot, or roast dish that you can set and forget. This also takes the burden off of your guests to spend more money or time preparing a main dish.

Whip Up Fall Cocktails

Autumn cocktails may include a host of flavors like apple, nutmeg, pumpkin, cinnamon, and more. Offer up a starter cocktail that is light and refreshing, perhaps a spiked apple cider. Provide a few red and white wine selections to go along with the dinner fare. For dessert, try a cream-based cocktail with a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin liqueur, or perhaps pour a port wine to accentuate the flavors of fall. 

Decorate Accordingly

Swap out your summer décor for fall colors, like warm oranges, lush reds, deep yellows, and soft browns. Create a beautiful centerpiece out of harvest vegetables like gourds and pumpkins, interwoven with branches, brush, and dried flowers. Set the table before guests arrive using fall-themed napkins, placemats, or a festive tablecloth.

Enjoy Yourself!

The best part about a potluck is the minimal post-party clean up and low-key pre-party prep. Since everyone is bringing their own dish, you’ll have little to do in the way of dishes. When guests start to arrive, you’ll be able to have a cocktail and mingle with your friends until it’s time to eat.

Potlucks are a fantastic way to get the gang together without having to plan an extensive dinner party. Guests get to sample a bevy of delicious offerings, swap recipes, and take home a variety of leftovers. Celebrate the close of summer and welcome in the cool fall nights by hosting your own potluck.

Habitat Apartments for rent offer spacious, modern homes with plenty of room for all your friends. Our conveniently located residences are situated between Boulder and Longmont and offer a tranquil setting at the start of Colorado’s high plains. Contact us to schedule a showing today. 

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