Anyone who knows me knows I don’t cook, despite the fact that I LOVE to eat. The holidays are one of my favorite times of year for many reasons, and that’s mostly due to the abundance of food and family that is around. So how can I, as a non-cooking person, pull my weight in social settings where everyone is expected to contribute? Here are three tips I have used to survive the holiday season as a non-cook.
One of my go-to moves for years has been to tag team with a friend (or friends) I know who can cook like a pro and who knows my limitations in the kitchen. My friends will ask me what dish I want to “learn” to make, and I will pick one or two, buy all of the ingredients needed for the dish and will then either go to my friend’s house or have them come over to teach me how to make it.
I did this with one of my best friends last Thanksgiving and learned how to make the best mac-n-cheese I’ve ever tasted; there wasn’t a piece left once dinner was over. When the time comes to give credit for all of the goodness of the food, you share the credit with your bestie since you did it together.
Practice Makes Perfect
Pick one or two recipes that are simple and easy for you as a non-cook. And don’t deviate or get overconfident in your culinary capabilities; make sure you follow the instructions step-by-step.
I did this with deviled eggs, and it became one of my signature items to make when I attend a holiday potluck event. Once you have selected your dishes, practice, practice, practice. Make the dishes a few times until you have perfected them; this should be to the point where you don’t need to follow the recipe anymore. Practice making your dish a few times in advance of the holiday season, so that when the holidays roll around, you’ve got your recipes on lock and are ready to share your potluck contribution with confidence.
Be the Host
Another trick I’ve used in the past is to be the event host(ess). What I do as hostess is provide all of the “staples,” as in things you can buy from the store, like wine, drinks, breads from the bakery, cheese, sliced meat, fruit and vegetable platters, etc. And then, I make a list of the items still needed for the event and send it to the guest list, which consists of people who can cook, who then come through the event with the more challenging and substantive dishes. This has worked wonderfully over the years. Plus, it has also resulted in lots of tasty leftovers once the event has concluded.
These few tips have served me well over the years, and I hope they help my fellow non-cooks out there to survive this and many more holiday seasons. Good luck and happy eating!!!
To all our BMWK non-cooks, what’s your go-to recipe when you’re asked to bring a dish for a potluck?