We did it! We had ourselves a potluck! People came! Even the sun showed up. It was a potluck miracle. I’m still a little breathless about it. I don’t know where to start.
How about at the beginning, when I hopped in the shower just as the doorbell rang? Turns out I told some people 2, and others 3. My mind, of course, was set for 3. I was so unusually completely on the ball. But then again not. So I got to meet everyone with sopping wet – and then varying degrees of dry-ish hair. Somehow it seemed appropriate.
It was so great to meet so many of you in person, and to have you all meet each other! I’m so glad you all were up to coming to a house full of people you had never met – at the house of someone you had never met. We were all kind of in the same boat. The Prosecco helped. My only regret is that I didn’t talk to everyone nearly as much as I wanted to.
The food was amazing. Unreal. It just kept coming in the door, each dish completely different from the last. The Other Al was first, with blueberry loaf. (I made more eccles cakes!)
AJ brought butter tarts. (Which were, it must be said – SUBLIME. I am particular when it comes to butter tarts. My grandma made them about as perfectly as they come. AJ – you nailed it! I tried to hoard them for myself without success.)
This strawberry-rhubarb punch, served with ginger ale, was a total hit. Look at that colour!
Colleen brought beet hummus with cumin, which she spooned onto rounds of cucumber, and then had a Barney purple index finger all afternoon. I loved that so many of you came in with baking sheets and tools and were cooking in my kitchen. LOVED IT.
Cathy brought a big rice salad, with dried cherries, oranges, grapes and pecans, in a royal blue bowl for me to keep. (Eee!)
And there was another big salad.. with avocado! I started to fall behind on my photos quickly.
These beans! Were fantastic.
I’m not sure at what point Mike figured out I had invited the internet over to our house. He got right into it, acting as Name Tag Police, insisting everyone identify themselves. I kept track of who brought what for awhile, but then fell behind on my photo taking and list making, and then I think the list got recycled. And I know I missed a few shots – Ulla, your veggie quiche! I may have to go back through my photo files. One night soon when I don’t have to get up at 4 to cover traffic in the morning.
And the asparagus, decorated with edible flowers! These came from Corrine and Darrel Winter – I thought it was funny that they didn’t bring turkey. This asparagus came straight from their garden.
So did the daffodils.
There were babies in my garden.
There was fresh bread, baked then wrapped in tea towels and whisked over so that it may as well have just come out of the oven. When Lisa walked in I wondered if I had put bread in to bake at some point and forgotten? It smelled as if it was still baking, right there in her bag.
(And more babies.)
The mini watermelon you see above went uncut. W named it Chickadee and kept it on the couch, under a blanket, and wouldn’t allow a knife near it.
There was only one quinoa salad, after all! Avery made it, a copycat Earl’s west coast prawn salad with citrus honey vinaigrette made by this recipe. Totally divine. (Note: I didn’t get to it fast enough, and wound up snapping the very dregs of the bowl. It did look far better than this before everyone swan-dived into it.)
Jane and Erica brought – oh yes they did – an enormous Mac & Cheese TOPPED WITH BACON. How have I not thought of this??
Fareen brought shrimp puffs!
And dhokra, made with wheatlets.
At one point Ulla asked me what I had made, and I remembered that there was a roast beef slow-roasting in the oven. I forgot. There was so much food we just left it there.
There was cranberry date squares.
There was cake! Colleen’s rum cake.
And Donna’s son made apple cake.
And amazing cookies – with oatmeal and chocolate and other good things.
And I know I missed some – I missed the tzatziki, and the hummus. And the grilled veg, and macaroni salad, and two kinds of marinated asparagus. Sorry. It was all so great, but I was so focused on meeting everyone – I didn’t want to spend all afternoon looking through my camera when I had so many of you there in person! – I’m thinking we should have more of these.
73 comments on “A Potluck!”
That is what we do best in Alberta: potlucks. There is nothing like them. Beautiful, Julie! Was this a Slow Food event, or a food blogging event? You say you had people you “knew” but had never met…
Wonderful looking food!
Julie, this looked like such an amazing party – wish we lived closer!
Oh Julie, serious Potluck envy have I!!!!!!!It looked like sooo much fun and those babies looked as edible as the yummy dishes on display.A wonderful idea.Thanks for the pictures 🙂 🙂 🙂 !
Wow, looks like it was a big success! I wish I lived in Calgary so I could have come. Yum!
Yes -potluck pictures –
How about a recipe exchange?
salads, 3 ways to do asparagus, butter tarts, rum cake, humus, pine nut filled meatballs – to name a few
Thank you, Julie and Mike, for hosting us.
I’m glad it was a great success! I wish I could have made it. I would have made OMG Scones…with lots of white chocolate chips. Because I think scones are divine and love that I can make them anytime I want.
Looks Amazing! Where do you live? Wish I lived close but since I had rain and dark clouds I am sure we are far apart.
Great idea hosting a potluck
Yes – thank you Julie for having us all over! It was so fantastic to meet you (and Cheryl – Yay for perogies!!!)… I promise if you do this again, I won’t hog the prosecco… Okay, who am I kidding… I’ll just bring more bottles of it with me!
It was a most lovely evening with great people to chat with and we all felt so at home. Much appreciated.
Thanks for posting the photos and letting me share in all the wonderfulness that I missed out on! So glad it was a success!
Yep… must admit to being just a wee bit jealous! Rum cake=magic! So happy it was a huge HIT, Julie! This blog has kept me sane in a year of insanity! Cheers to everyone but most especially to you!
Julie, your photos are great–they make me want to go back for seconds! Thanks again for sharing your house and your enthusiasm!
Ummm….okay….how do I get on the invite list next time? I wanna come!!!!! *sob*
Looks fantastic! I only wish I didn’t have to work and could have come. Not sure what I would have brought …
Wow!! Julie, you are the bravest woman I know! Who else would hold a potluck for the internet? Your blog, with so many pictures, is just great, very inspiring. What a terrific idea! Having only quite recently been introduced to Twitter (where I found you), I am so amazed by the wonderful connectedness that can exist there. Now you have taken a virtual community and made it IRL. Soooo cool!
I so wish I lived closer to you….. Maybe next time you’re in Ontario we could have a potluck, wth you as the guest of honour? I live about an hour west of Toronto (near one of the best farmer’s markets in Ontario), if you’d be willing to come, I’d be honoured to host. I know your visits here are usually jam packed, but your Ontario followers would love to meet you , too….. Think about it and let me know…..
sounds like an amazing success! wish we could have been there, but we had a completely soccer dominated day. two practices, two games, utter madness! next time 🙂
That looks amazing! I wish I could’ve been there.
Julie said, “I’m thinking we should have more of these.”
And Carol adds, “Oh, yes, please!”
To quote Elmo, “Again! Again!”
The photos are great! Thank you for hosting us, it was lovely to finally meet you and the people ( and beautiful babies) that brought that amazing food!I must have missed that asparagus. A recipe exchange would be something I would be interested in. Enjoy the bowl!
Wow! It looks like the best kind of neighborhood party! So wish I could have been there.
Julie, how exciting! Food looks divine…wish I could’ve been there. Glad to hear there may be more in the future. It gives me hope one might coincide with an Alberta road trip for me.
I guess the saying is still true: “If you build it, they will come.”
Thanks for the update! I was thinking about you all on Saturday wishing I could have been there, but I live much too far away. I’m glad the weather cooperated!
You are so generous Julie! Who else would invite the internet to a potluck at their own home? But it shows what a wonderful person you are when you are able to get a backyard potluck filled with lovely people who can cook! The food looks and sounds amazing. Yum!
Thanks for having us all over, Julie! And yes, we should definitely do it again. =)
What wonderful pictures!! It was a lovely party. I was so nervous to come but you made me feel welcome and like an old friend for the few minutes we got to chat:) It was also great to meet all the other readers! I’ve never been around SO MANY people that you can talk food/cooking with and having them UNDERSTAND. How great!
You have a beautiful home and you are a brave and wonderful woman for inviting the internet into it:)
I don’t want to make any of you jealous but we had a wonderful time. Julie and Mike were the perfect hosts at their great character home and the food was excellent. I brought my one month old daughter, my three year old son and my husband and all I can say is my son was crying as we drove away from “the party”. He had a great time playing with all the other children there and thought W was pretty cool.
Julie is even more beautfiul in person than she looks, sounds and reads depending on how you know her (by radio or blog). She was a social butterfly and from what I could see made an effort to talk to and make everyone feel welcome. She never stops and I think Calgary is very fortunate to have such a great local celebrity.
wow! looks amazing! I’m sad I missed out.
Okay, but was there lentil loaf with vegan gravy? Something to make you miss us here in Tofino?
It looked like a fabulous event, Julie. Good work! Looking forward to seeing you out here again. Just the other day someone said to me, “Isn’t it time for another potluck?” – Adrienne
Well done, Julie. That is the coolest thing I’ve ever heard of? Very brave! If only I lived closer…
When you talked of arranging a potluck with blogreaders, I imagined it turning out just as your prose and pictures show. Amazing! I got to share it vicariously through all your great photos and imagine the marvellous flavours. Thank you. I vote for a recipe exchange too.
Oh I’m so evious of all your readers/fans who lived close enough to participate! How delightful. I’m curious about just how many people showed up? Thanks for posting pics and descriptions of the food. Amazing!
super jealous! and i want some rhubarb punch!
We ALWAYS have fun at your house! That potluck was outstanding. The food was amazing, the company delightful
And of course, the amazing hostess – and host, Mike was fabulous too!
If you build it, they will come! Good job, Julie. I wish I could’ve been there.
Oooh we so wanted to come,and had sent a tentative yes, but then good friends of ours, who had helped us so much, had a flood in their basement the night before so we wanted to go and help them.
Recipes. Please y’all. I love the looks of that rhubarb punch too!
Looks like a fantastic afternoon! So sorry I had to miss it!
+1 what Donna said – recipes please!!!
For that rhubarb punch, I more or less followed the recipe over at cascadiakitchen.com. Didn’t have fresh mint to garnish, so threw in some organic strawberries. Also chose ginger ale instead of soda water, but I’m sure some of Julie’s Prosecco would have been a nice touch too to fizz it up!
I totally missed out! Looks amazing!
That looks wonderful! I’m glad you had a good time. What a great guy Mike is to step up and not be intimidated by having his home invaded.
I am so sorry that we didn’t make it out to this one. It looks like you had the best time!
For the Wild Rice salad, I adapted it from The Barefoot Contessa’s How Easy Is That? ( Page 111 ) I used a mixture of brown and wild rice instead of the plain wild rice she uses. I also added dried cherries along with the cranberries. The cranberries are brighter in color, so they so make it look prettier.
I’m sitting at my desk, eating it now! So yummy! Love the dried cherries in it!
Out of that big bowl?
Yes, recipes please! Here’s my version of rhubarb punch which came from a potluck about 25 years ago. A great way to use the excess.
1 kg rhubarb, chopped
375 mL sugar
750 mL pink grapefruit juice
50 mL lemon juice
1 L gingerale
Boil rhubarb in 1 L of water for 20 minutes. Strain and add enough water to the juice to make 1.5 L. Add sugar and juices and chill. Add chilled gingerale just before serving.
Julie, you and Mike are fantastic hosts (he’s such a good sport for being so gracious with the whole internet invited to his house..) all of the food was fabulous, and the guest list was perfect – we all had at least two things in common to talk about – cooking and your blog!
Corinne asked if I’d share the bread recipe – I gave her a quick overview, but here it is as made on Saturday (adapted from Cooking Illustrated)
Pour into the big mixing bowl for your mixer:
3/4 c hot multigrain cereal mix (I use the Community Foods one)
3/4 c large flake rolled oats
4 T unsalted butter
4 T honey
2 1/2 cups boiling water.
Stir this all around until the butter is melted. Cool it to around 100 degrees – I stick it in the fridge for a few minutes.
Stir in 2 1/2 T instant yeast and 1 T salt.
With mixer on low, beat in 2 cups of whole wheat flour, plus about 2 1/2 c of unbleached white, and let the mixer knead this for about 5 minutes. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl – if it doesn’t, add flour by additional tablespoonsful until it does. Turn it out onto a floured counter, and add in 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds and 1/4 cup of flax seeds. Knead it until the seeds are evenly dispersed through the dough.
Put about a tablespoon of melted butter in the bowl (I don’t bother cleaning it first…) and put the dough back in, and turn it over a few times so it gets buttered all over. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and put in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 45-60 minutes. Or, put it in the fridge, out out for a couple of hours or overnight, come back, take it out of the fridge, and start the 45 minute rise in the warm place then.
When it’s risen, turn it out onto a floured counter, divide in half and shape into loaves. At this point, I also brushed the loaves with an egg yolk mixed with a bit of water, and rolled them in oats, but this isn’t critical, it just makes them prettier. 🙂 Put the loaves, seam side down, in greased 9×5 loaf pans, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise again until almost doubled, 30-40 minutes. While loaves are doing their last rise, preheat the oven to 375. Bake about 35-40 minutes – if you want to be precise, the internal temperature should be 200.
The recipe says to remove from pans and cool the loaves on wire racks at least 3 hours before slicing, but eating fresh warm bread is a joy I’m not really prepared to give up, even if Cooks Illustrated says it will taste better/last longer if I do.
I vary the grains in part 1 (barley flakes, more or less cereal) depending on what I have in the cupboard, and I do the same with the seeds. The original recipe called for all 7-grain cereal (no oats) and either sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds.
Also, my kitchen is too small for a standing mixer, so I do all the mixing/kneading by hand. It’s a good workout, and a good way to relieve stress.
It seems long, but if you’re hanging around the house doing laundry or cleaning on the weekend, it’s really not that time consuming in terms of actual activity.
So much fun Julie! Thanks again!!!
This looks and sounds EXACTLY as I imagined it would. I’m so disappointed I was double/triple booked and couldn’t be there. Happy happy that it all worked and everyone enjoyed it so much. I’ve looked at the photos three times today thinking “how would I have chosen what to sample!?”
Oh, so lovely. What a beautiful idea and even better in practice, I’m sure. With that many food-loving people in one place, you can’t go wrong. Perhaps next time I won’t miss the call :).
For those of you who missed it – the potluck was fantastic. Thanks, Julie and Mike, for opening your home to all of us. It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon (I hope you made it to the salsa competition on time :))
Lisa’s bread (above) was divine. Yum! does not do it justice and I cannot imagine the flavour getting any better once it had cooled. Lisa, you have converted me to the joy of warm bread.
I brought the grilled veges that didn’t make the picture list (sniff). But here is the recipe:
Grill assorted veges over medium heat until tender (I have listed them in the order they take on my grill to cook, longest time to shortest):
1 lb asparagus, trimmed
4 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise
2 large red peppers, cut in thirds or quarters, seeds removed
20 button mushrooms
2 Chinese eggplant, sliced crosswise on a diagonal
After grilling, rough chop veges while still warm. (I have also left the veges whole and arranged them on a platter.)
Whisk together dressing:
1/2 c. olive oil
1/3 c. balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. honey
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste
Toss (or drizzle if arranged on a platter) dressing with veges. Can be served warm or at room temperature.
It was a great time! Julie, you and Mike are truly remarkable people. That, and you like to party!
Thanks to everyone who brought food. It was all so, so good.
Here is my asparagus technique (No recipe, remember that conversation?)
1 bunch asparagus
small handful of dill
mustard (dijon or regular)
salt and pepper
Blanch the asparagus. That is, steam it for about 2-3 minutes then run it under cold water for a minute.
In a bowl juice the lemon. Add an equal amount olive oil. Chop up the dill leaves. Stir it all together with a teaspoon of mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over the asparagus.
I just now thought that it would be interesting to have a “W” guest-post as to how he saw the whole event. Kids did remark that he was “cool”. He might have a unique perspective.
What fun! Wish I was stilling living in Calgary. But then, I wasn’t blogging when I lived there! Or following blogs!
Julie, thank you so much for hosting – it was a memorable afternoon. Standing on your deck in the sunshine (an incredible feeling after all the rain),under your blossoming apple tree, surrounded by foodies, babies and amazing tables of food – i felt lucky to be a part of it.
Thanks so much for having us Julie. It was fun to meet others as interested in food! I brought the middle eastern meatballs (kibbe) and Tsaziki and few people asked for the recipe. One of the ingeredients is some mysterious spice called “Arabic pepper” that my father in law brings to me in old pill bottles. I am amazed he makes it through customs. I have no idea whats in it or how to find it in Calgary. I will get the details from him and then pass along the recipe. As we discussed the other day, most of my husband’s family recipes are written to mix until it “looks right”. I will try to decipher more clearly for you! They are fun to make and were the first things my lebanese mother in law taught me when I got engaged. My husband’s greatest complimemt is: this food tastes just like mom’s. Ah.
Thanks so much to ‘special’ you, Mike and W for the hosting the wonderful potluck. We had a great time, as always you are so much fun, and meeting many new friends around great food is a winning combination. Thanks to everybody for sharing their recipes, I am excited to try Lisa’s bread recipe, thank you. The dressing I made for our asparagus salad was a simple oil and vinegar mixture, I used Chinook Honey Mead vinegar, crushed garlic, basil, parsley and sea salt. That’s all.
Thank you again Julie for building community, camaraderie and memories.
I am so jealous!
Maybe one day we will meet 🙂
We had a really great time. Thanks for the invite Julie! You were brave to invite random strangers to your home. We met some great people and the food was delish!
If you are ever in New York, I’d be happy to be a hostess for some of your tri-state area readers. I’ll take any excuse to make something out of the ordinary.
I’d be up for hosting too! More driving for you – being we’re in Sylvan Lake – but less clean up 🙂
I would love the recipe for the strawberry rhubarb punch. Ahhhh…wish I could have been there! Let me know if there is a Vancouver potluck…ever. I miss you Calgary and your warm western hospitality.
P.S. Julie, I finally made your skillet granola. Never going back to baked!
Fareen, Could we have the Shrimp Puffs recipe? They were delicious.
Bonnie, see response #36 for the rhubarb punch recipe.
CathyH – you can find the recipe here: http://bit.ly/ircObo
Thanks for the recipe shares everyone!
Garlic Tahini Dressing and Asian Rice Noodle Salad with Black Bean Vinaigrette recipes posted on my blog!
You are awesome! I’d love to be close by to attend 🙂 Looks like lots of good food was shared.
This recipe is from a lady I took a SAIT sewing class with in 1974. Ahead of its time, as it uses canola oil.
3 eggs 3 cups flour
2 cups sugar 1 tsp. salt
1 cup canola oil 1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla 1 cup chopped nuts
(or 1/2 nuts and 1/2 raisins)
3 cups chopped or grated Apple
In a large bowl, using a mixer, combine eggs.
sugar, oil and vanilla.
Stirring with a spoon, add flour, salt, soda,
nuts and apple.
Pour into a greased 9 X 13 inch pan.
Bake at 325 for 60 minutes.
Ha, ha we were the first to arrive! We never get times right…at least we got the date right-we once missed a Coldplay concert by a whole day!
It was so great to meet you Julie (and Mike!). We totally forgot to thank you as we were leaving…you inspire us, make us laugh and provide us with some mighty fine recipes and ideas!
What a great group of people you have as groupies! Count us in for Potluck Part Deaux!!!
What a gorgeous potluck! They’re so fun to throw, aren’t they?
Fareen…I made yuor shrimp tonight, adding one quartered , chopped zucchini and served it over coconut rice. Delicious!
Oh, how fun – if only I had been in town. (country, for that matter). I am sad to have missed it and hope that there will be another someday!
Hurray for potlucks!
I want some of that rhubarb punch!!