Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Potlucks Galore [July 2011]

 Ever go to a potluck where everybody brought chips or dessert and you wound up eating some random combination of foods that left you wanting a little something more? This is a story nothing like that.

My friends are amazing. Not only the ones back in the states who have supported me and encouraged me through this trip (and this blog!), but also each one that I have met along the way. In Wanaka I live with three Kiwis, which I love since it makes me feel a bit more like a local. I have a few random friends from all over (Canada, Sweden, Germany, the list goes on...), but somehow many of the closest friends I've made are from somewhere in the UK. It is this group of friends (plus a few of us non-POME’s) that together produced the ultimate level of potluck dinner which will forever taint my expectation for potlucks to come. 

Doug takes over the kitchen during a winter potluck!

It all started when Doug, who you may recognize from climbing excursions, invited me to a potluck on Easter. There were many new faces, including his partner Hannah, and little did I know that it would be the first of many supreme food and fellowship experiences I would have with such a group! Doug and Hannah hosted a few random potlucks just because and by the end of the winter season it seemed we were having one almost every week! There were birthday potlucks, farewell potlucks, holiday potlucks, and movie night potlucks. And not once that I can remember did we accidentally have multiple versions of the same dish! There were curries and pastas, salads and vegetables, dips and casseroles, chili and home baked breads, family recipes of international origin, chef specialties, home brewed ciders, and a frequently requested (often demanded) certain chocolate cake. We learned to cater toward each others' preferences and dietary concerns, and frequently dug up new (or old) recipes to share. The variety, presentation, quality and quantity of food, combined with the friendship, general excellence, and overall enjoyment of these nights set the bar so high I'm not sure they will ever be repeated.

The infamous Kirstin's specialty, vegan chocolate wacky cake.

Potlucks are supposed to be random, require taking chances to see what turns up, and perhaps even be spontaneous. Though ours were all of those things, they were never ever lacking as everyone seemed to put thought and effort into their dishes. After each meal shared together there were often "food babies" or "food comas" throughout the room, but we always came back for more the next time around! I was endlessly impressed and never disappointed with our evenings together, and look forward to the day when I can share meals with these lovely people again! 

I didn't taste any icing. Promise.

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