We all have our favorite 4th of July potluck dishes. Whether you bring them or someone else does, by now you know what kind of spread to expect. Friends and family members will file in carrying various shades of plastic picnic food caddys and coolers filled with the usual items: meat for grilling; pasta, potato, and fruit salads; a range of hearty dips and chips; corn on the cob; brownies; cookies; and that weird fruit pizza made to look like the American flag that no one wants to be the first to cut.
But what if you bucked tradition this year? Instead of strolling in with that casserole dish you'll probably never see again, what if you brought bags full of wings, pretzel bites, bacon mac and cheese, and seasoned potato wedges? What would the picnic goers say about you then? Could you very well be the next cookout champion?
To that end, we put together a list of common potluck dishes and what they might say about you should you be the one to bring them.
Wingman (Wings) You know what the people want, what they really, really want. Besides, what says "Happy Birthday, America" more than a heaping platter of chicken wings with choice of sauces? Hot, mild, dripping, or dry, no matter how people like them, we bet they'll be lit upon like a pack of ravenous wolves. Speaking of, you might want to have a backup platter, just in case.
Standard Spud (Potato Salad) You like tradition and you don't want to disappoint. You might make your potato salad from a favorite family recipe (German? American?) passed down for generations. Potatoes are plentiful, budget-friendly, and pretty much well-liked by everyone. You stick to what you know and love, and there's no shame in that.
Penne Pal (Pasta Salad) Pasta salads leave a lot of room for experimenting, while still being universally loved. If this is your picnic go-to, we bet you are an adventurous people-pleaser. Though you might change the dish up from time to time, other picnic goers can count on you to bring a delicious, heaping bowl of bow ties, rigatoni, or even those tri-colored spirals on-theme. Be it Greek, Italian, Mediterranean, or American (i.e. ranch), you won't have to worry about hauling home any pasta leftovers.
Berry Bestie (Fruit Salad) You know everyone else is bringing fat- and calorie-laden dishes and someone has to be the voice of reason, right? You believe there should be at least one healthy option on that red checkered tablecloth, and you're okay being the one to bring it. Extra points if you skewer the fruit in kebabs to make it seem more fun.
Bacon Mac Daddy (Bacon Mac & Cheese) When you show up with an aluminum chafing dish full of Buffalo Wings & Rings Bacon Mac & Cheese (or any of our starters), you might be a bit of a show-off, but for all the best reasons. You know you can set your dish down next to all the other pasta dishes and it will be the first to go. Who can resist three-cheese-smothered rotini topped with Applewood smoked bacon and green onions? No one, that's who. A smug, I-told-you-so-face is optional.
Your Meatjesty (Hot Dogs and Hamburgers) Your dish is the crux of the picnic, the main course to which all other dishes must revolve around. Without meat to grill, the cookout would become a celebration of sad sides. You keep the peace, keep the party and the grill going, and you will not rest until every last patty or frank has been cooked, cheesed, and plattered.
Chipskate (Chips) If you're walking into a party with bags of chips, you probably either a) don't know how to cook or b) don't want to. Chips are easy, cheap, and the best part is, you don't have to do anything but run to the store or even the nearest gas station. You also don't have to locate any dishes, clean up anything, or worry about leftovers. Your choice of food item might be frowned upon initially but no one will have any problem consuming them anyway.
Pectin Pusher (Jello Mold) You're probably a part of the greatest generation, not that there's anything wrong with that.
If these descriptions ring too true, consider taking your potluck game up a notch with a carryout or catering order from us. We promise this year you'll be remembered in a good way.