The annual Halloween potluck is tomorrow, which means that I just finished making a big pot of vegetarian chili and two different recipes of cornbread.
I haven't made any of these particular dishes before, and with my well-known aversion to following directions, it probably doesn't matter. The chili smells more like curry to me (which makes sense given that it has cumin, coriander, and cinnamon for seasonings). I've made corn bread many times before, but I'm trying something new with jalapeños, corn kernels, and cheese. And then I modified it for the second batch to use habaneros instead of jalapeños. We'll see if any of it is actually edible.
Potlucks are the best time to try new dishes as far as I'm concerned. If it's a total disaster nobody will know you made it and there will be plenty of other food to eat. If someone really likes it, they will seek you out in order to get the recipe. And usually you don't end up with too many leftovers, which is a huge plus if you live alone and don't relish eating the same thing for the next week and a half.
So, really, there's no downside. Oh, sure, there's always the possibility of public humiliation, but who better to accidentally poison than your boss and most of your coworkers?
The humiliation factor is nothing like the bouquet toss at an outdoor wedding I went to fifteen years ago... The bride (who generally wasn't too bad but had definitely developed a bit of bridezilla attitude by the time the ceremony took place) forced all of the single women who hadn't already fled the reception to stand in a group near the pool. Then she stood about ten feet away and tossed the bouquet high in the air.
We all took a step back and the flowers hit the concrete with a wet splat. (In my defense, who's ever heard of a wedding without at least one woman diving for the bouquet? I was just getting out of the way.)
The bride marched over, picked up the bedraggled flowers, and hurled them at the closest person. She was not a happy camper.
Maybe that's part of why I avoid weddings. But I still don't mind occasional potlucks.