The holiday season is upon us and it’s time to prepare for the many potlucks that come with holiday weight gain. Keep in mind it’s not only the dishes we need to prepare for but the type of person who comes with it.
The One Who Can Cook
The one person who can turn on an oven and not start a kitchen fire. This individual is a heaven-sent saint with a Martha Stewart-like touch and capability of making that special dish from your childhood. Remember the one you thought only your grandma could make. Or a dish that on the first bite takes you back to your native country.
Traits: Humble though a few boastful outliers exist. Possibly an avid Pinterest user with hundreds of food pins.
Catchphrase: I just whipped this up last minute. No big deal.
Biggest pet peeve: Receiving criticism about their meal. Remember this person is part of the few dinner party guests who can cook. Don’t piss them off. If you have a dislike for onions move them to the side.
Guests reactions: Requests to receive the recipe or offers to pay for their own dish.
The One Who Can’t Cook
Often first to arrive at the party. This individual can be seen with a wide eye smile and a dish in hand that remains unknown and unnamed. They may claim the dish to be a familiar item, but party guests reactions say otherwise.
This personality type should be in charge of the simplest disaster proof dish. A dish such as salad or boiled eggs. If the lack of cooking skills is beyond the help of such simple dishes than further precautions should be made. Designate this person in charge of purchases such as water, beverages and alcohol. Explain the importance of the task and its key component to the potluck.
There are people who fall into this category that are aware of their lack in culinary skills. Refrain from mocking them or offering cooking lessons. Instead commend them for their awareness and choice in bringing three bottles of your favorite wine.
Traits: An eagerness to serve.
Catchphrase: Would anyone like to try my….
Biggest pet peeve: No one sampling what was brought.
Guests reactions: A flashback to last year’s food poisoning fiasco. Though forgiven, not forgotten. Smiles at the first bite followed by a polite napkin spit out when backs are turned.
The Store Bought
Their meal is sure to taste good because they didn’t make it. A masterful Store Bought would have removed all evidence of the purchase before arriving to the party. Goodbye original packaging, plastic bags, tags and receipts. Hello food placed in a new container. Those with no shame arrive with the meal in hand and in the grocery store plastic it was bagged in.
The reasoning for a Store Bought can vary. Most often it’s due to hectic schedules, lack of time, laziness or an awareness of being a bad cook.
Traits: Interests lie outside of the kitchen. Prefers to take food pics on Instagram.
Catchphrase: I worked really hard on this.
Biggest pet peeve: Being asked if they know how to cook.
Guests reactions: Range from eagerness to eat restaurant food to inquiries regarding why the person didn’t cook.
This is one of the most disliked of the personality types. Often causing trouble for the host and other party guests. Not only forgetting to bring a dish, but this person also arrives late and usually requires a present party guest to be sent off to retrieve them. The Forgetful may or may not feel guilty for their actions, but that can only be determined by their behavior and apologetic tone. Though coming empty handed, they tend to leave with a tray of food capable of lasting 3 days for leftovers.
Traits: Tardiness. Coming empty handed.
Catchphrase: Sorry, I forgot to …..
Biggest pet peeve: Being the butt of the jokes at the potluck. Either for not bringing a dish or arriving late, most likely a combination of both.
Guests reactions: Lack of surprise or empathy at their behavior. Usual a member of the party has already foreseen their actions and prepared a backup dish of what the individual said they’d make on the Facebook event wall.
The Picky Eater
Knowing to prepare for a guest with vegetarian, nut or gluten-free sensitivities is one thing, but nothing can prepare you for The Picky Eater. Well, except if they prepared their own meal.
This person sometimes brings their own ingredients and adds it to the food. Hopefully, if they are considerate they will keep to their own plate. The Picky Eater refuses to try anything, perhaps even having the audacity to claim that someone else’s version of a dish is superior or they are allergic even though that’s far from the truth. Known to not experiment with foods and sticks to bringing a generic dish.
Traits: Judgemental. Selective though once they found something they enjoy they become obsessive. With food it’ll take up majority of the plate.
Catchphrase: I don’t like…
Biggest pet peeve: Being called a picky eater, after all everyone has something they dislike.
Guests reactions: Light teasing regarding this person’s selective choice in food. Pressure or persuasive talks to get The Picky Eater to try a dish.
The Drunk – Can either be the life of the party or the bust.
The Allergic – Prepare labels for the dishes and a write up of key ingredients.
The Put My Name Too – Didn’t make the dish but sticks close to the friend who did. Claiming to have helped during the construction. A distant cousin of The Forgetful.
The Critic – Nothing and we mean nothing is good enough for them. It’s annoying to receive feedback from someone who didn’t take part in setting the event up.
The Sleepover Guest – Trust us, they’re not going home.
The Trendy Dieter – Technically not allergic to gluten, but don’t tell this person. If it’s the most talked about diet they’re currently on it. We suggest looking it up in advance or you’ll spend the whole night hearing why peas should be avoided.