Potlucks have a long and esteemed history. When writing Sixty Acres and a Bride (which releases in February!) it was natural to set a few scenes on the church grounds, but potlucks go back further than the 1880s. In fact, I’m pretty sure the Treaty of Paris was hammered out over fried chicken and green bean casseroles. Maybe that’s why I’m viewing them through Franklin bifocals. Hang around after church and you might see some of these folks.

The Minute Men – Their pantries are stocked with the goods they need. They rush into the fray with only a moment’s notice, and their muskets are loaded with… Spaghettios. Maybe it’s not gourmet, but give them credit for making it to the green. And another bonus-the kids absolutely love their food.

The Marquis de LaFayette – She has style. She has panache. And I have no earthly idea what is simmering in her Williams-Sonoma Le Creuet Stoneware. I’m sure it’s good. It’s probably even healthy, but I might decide on another serving of Spaghettios instead.

The Hessians – These are the mercenaries. They aren’t committed potluckers. Perhaps they scored an unlucky pot in the past, and now their hearts aren’t in it. After church Mr. Hessian runs to McDonald’s and returns with the correct number of Happy Meals. Sure, they’re there for the fellowship and are well-funded, but they aren’t going to suffer for the cause.

The Valley Foragers – Starving and empty-handed, they linger in the doorway of the fellowship hall or by the bathrooms in the gym. They don’t allow their kids take a seat until the line goes down and they see extra food.

The Continental Congress – These folks dive in before the Valley Foragers can make it past the paper goods and swoop up their crockpots. They want their left-overs safely in the refrigerator for lunch on Monday. Feeding the troops isn’t their concern. They’re saving for another day.

The Paul Revere – Mr. Revere is the friendly man, or woman, who gallops through the adult education wing calling “The Potluck is coming! The Potluck is coming!” Paul is usually the one responsible for the large number of Valley Foragers at the event.

The Benedict Arnold – At the last potluck she asked for your recipe, just as innocent as a Precious Moments figurine. Little did you know she’d show up with your signature dish in a brand-spanking-new stainless steel crock and set it next to your dented circa-1993 slow cooker. Rival, indeed.

The Martha Washington – Bless Mrs. Washington. She loads the table with comfort food and covers the shortcomings and over-cookings of many a new bride. Bringing much more than she and George could eat alone, she’s the one who keeps this tradition alive. Viva la Reine de la cuisine!

I’ll own up to falling into at least four of these categories at one point or another. How about you? What types have you seen?

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