March 4, 2009

Pot Luck

Potluck dinners are interesting beasts. It's always a challenge to find a recipe that people will eat and not just pass over. It can't be something too boring, it cant be too exotic, there is a balance to strike. Or maybe I just work myself into a tizzy when everyone else is opening a can of beanie weenies. That's probably more likely.

Last night was Briton's Cub Scout "Blue and Gold" dinner and the second potluck we've been two in two weeks. I'll admit that, feeling totally stuffed up and crappy with a killer cold that I'm hoping will not turn into bronchitis and then pneumonia as it often does with me, I seriously considered buying a potato salad from the grocery store. But since I didn't have the energy to haul two four o'clock crazy kids to the store and back, I made creamed corn.

I don't have a go to potluck dish. I wish I did but somehow I always forget what I made last time and if people liked it so I go searching anew. Fortunately, I do have a couple of go-to potluck cookbooks.

Around the time that Will and I got married, my grandma moved out of her house and into a condo. (this is the grandma who taught me all the cooking and sewing and fig drying and now sports the Judi Dench hair and is on Facebook, yes, my grandma is cool!) In the process of downsizing her house, she passed a handful of cookbooks on to me that I often forget about until a potluck rolls around. These are cookbooks made up of family recipes for church fundraisers or family reunions and have recipes with names like "upside down ham loaf" and "Beulah's Hot Dish." and "Pineapple-water chestnut roll-ups" (Honestly, they are all in there!) But despite, or maybe because of the funny names, they are full of great church social, family picnic, school potluck kind of foods. And that's good, because at the rate we're going, I'm going to need lots of potluck dishes in the next few years. Who knew that school aged kids meant so many community suppers...

Creamed Corn

1 bag of frozen yellow corn (I used a bag that I cut off the cob last summer so it was really sweet, fresh corn would be even better)
3 T butter
half and onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup of half and half or cream
1 tsp cornstarch
salt and pepper

Sweat the onion in 2 T of butter till soft then add half the corn and half the milk. Cook a few minutes longer, then puree (I used an immersion blender) add remaining corn and milk. Mix cornstarch with 1 T warm water, add to the pot and stir till slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper and last T of butter.

So how did the potluck go? Well, other than the "Friend's of the Scouts" guy who stood up and asked for donations so that he could make sure there weren't and "perverts" involved in the local scouting community (seriously, he said the word "perverts", in front of like 20 boys aged between 6 and 10, how much you want to bet that becomes the new school yard taunt this week?) It was....interesting. But the fried chicken was good. :)