February is Heart and Stroke Awareness Month, and the Wellness Committee is is once again promoting our Heart-Smart Potluck Challenge. The Wellness Committee challenges our college community to host a Heart-Smart Pot Luck between February 11th and February 22nd. Get together with your colleagues or challenge another department to a “Potluck Throw Down” to see who can make the tastiest Heart-Smart dish.
If you’re not sure what to make, head over to the Heart and Stroke Foundation website and browse their extensive set of Heart-Smart recipes. While there, you can also check out their 10 simple suggestions for healthy eating.
Here’s some Potluck tips + folklore
According to the definitive source of all-knowingness – Wikipedia – the word potluck is 4+ centuries old.
The word pot-luck appears in 16th century England, in the work of Thomas Nashe, and was there used to mean “food provided for an unexpected or uninvited guest, the luck of the pot”. The sense “communal meal, where guests bring their own food”, appears to have originated in the late 19th century or early 20th century, particularly in the Western United States, either by influence from potlatch or possibly by extension of traditional sense of “luck of the pot”.
If you’re not sure how to have a successful potluck, here’s a few three tips.
1. Put the “Luck” in potluck. Some people like to have a sign up sheet or may even designate the type of dish that people should bring. Others, like myself, prefer to leave it to chance. The risk of leaving things to luck is that everyone brings desert or a cheese platter and you’re left with a dissapointing meal. The benefit of letting the fates dictate the menu is that you never know what going to be on the platter until that day, which adds some excitement into the mix.
2. Don’t take the easy way out. Inevitably, some people prefer to buy premade food from the store because they lack the time and/or culinary skills to make a dish. This is okay once in awhile, but it’s good to push the envelop a bit and try to make something. Try making an interesting appetizer or a nacho dip or guacomole.
3. Think sustainability. I know it is easy to bring along disposable cups, cutlery and plates. But it isn’t that much harder to bring along your own plate and cup, and make things easier on the environment.