Yesterday we talked about attending raw food meetups / potlucks. Today we'll focus on...
*Hosting* Raw Foods Meetups
There are two main ways to host a raw foods meetup. The first would be through the meetup.com web site. If there is no raw foods meetup in your area, you're going to need to launch one. (See the Meetup web site for details.) If there is a group, you'll need to sign up and get to know the moderator, as you'll need to announce your meetup through that person.
?The second way is to simply host your own raw foods potluck without using meetup.com. Obviously, you can do that by simply inviting some friends and acquaintances.In either case, below are some tips for hosting the "best raw foods potluck ever."
- Try to be clear in your announcement about how much food you expect each person, group, or family to bring. In general, it makes sense to me to recommend that each person, group, or family should bring at least a little more than they're probably going to consume. Mathematically and socially, it seems to just work out well this way.
- As the host, though, I think it's fair to say that you're usually offering more food volume-wise than your guests. So, our recommendation is to err on the side of providing too much rather than too little if you're the host. Consider, for example, putting together a huge salad or other entree, a snack or side-dish, and maybe even a dessert.
- Speaking of snacking... Raw foodies aren't any different from cooked folks when it comes to nibbling on appetizers. For larger potlucks, there's usually a window of time during which people arrive, and also a bit of a lag before everyone finally migrates to the buffet. So, as a host, it's probably a best practice to put out some raw goodies for before the meal. (I'm realizing now, as I write this, that we don't always do this!) But, you know, maybe just some carrot and celery sticks would do the trick.
- Another good consideration for the host is to realize that almost everyone will likely bring solid foods to your party. (It's kind of tough to lug pitchers of juice around.) So, at a minimum, you'll want to think about what you're going to offer people to drink (and make sure you have enough cups!). We usually put out pitchers of water, and also often have a tea kettle going. From time to time, we've been known to fire up the Vita-Mix as well during potlucks. (I don't think we've ever actually juiced at a potluck, although we've certainly attended a few at which the hosts offered fresh juice.)
- As we mentioned yesterday, a lot of people interested in raw foods follow fairly strict dietary practices. So, it might be a good idea (especially forlargeer meetups) to request that attendees write down their ingredients on cards or pieces of paper. This way, everyone will know what they're eating. Admittedly, we've not always followed this suggestion, but I do think it's a good idea.
- If you own raw food books, leave some out for people to look at.? Among the many interesting qualities of raw food meetups is the fact that not everyone knows each other. So, the presence of these books can be good conversation starters. (Actually, they're pretty good conversation starters even when everyone does know each other.)
Naturally, other standard party tips also apply:
- Make sure you've communicated the date, time, and place
- Make sure you've offered directions
- Make sure you've communicated to your guests where they should park
- Make sure you have enough cups, plates, silverware, napkins, etc.
- Tidy up beforehand
- Get creative:? Put thought into making it extra fun!
Two closing questions:? (1) Anyone have further suggestions for hosting ?raw food meetups and making them the best-ever? (2) On the fun side, what are some great experiences or ideas you've had? Bonfires, drum circles, camp-outs, picnics... please share some great ideas!
Below, we have included the original comments from this blog post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.
On January 19, 2010, wrote:
great ideas! it is soooo important to have a list of ingredients. my husband can't eat garlic and he doesn't like to chance it if he doesn't have to at potlucks. plus there are some borderline raw ingredients that some people are ok with and some aren't. it's not fun getting a tummyache after a potluck and it happens all too often.
On January 20, 2010, wrote:
Hi there! Great post!
Here are some random ideas that our meetup group practices....
Have your guests bring their own dish and utensils so the event is "green" in more way than one.
Either have some type of demo (green smoothie, dessert, holiday recipe,etc)or presentation regarding raw food, or ask one of the guests (ahead of time) to do so, or have a guest speaker.
Take photos so you can share on meetup.com so that new/potential members can check out the fun, in addition to the attendees. Be sure to take some shots of peeps AND of the dishes (before eaten, of course!).
On January 21, 2010, wrote:
Thanks, Bitt! Those are great examples of why ingredient lists are a huge best practice. We don't always ask people to bring them, but we really should. Wendi actually gets a little ill sometimes when she doesn't eat all organic, so we appreciate the labels, too.
On January 21, 2010, wrote:
Great suggestions! I especially like the idea of taking more pictures!!! :-)