We are super lucky to have Marlie C. from Barefoot and Frolicking once again posting for xgfx during VeganMofo! Let’s give it up for Marlie and this amazing post she is sharing with us today.
Hi folks – I hope you are bundling up during these cooler days of autumn. Today, I wanted to discuss potlucks, specifically raw vegan potlucks. Potlucks are a fantastic way to establish a sense of community, get to know your neighbour(s), and share in the abundance of healthy, plant-based food.
A few months ago, I was approached by my newfound friend Lee from Truly Organic Foods about organizing a raw vegan potluck meetup group in our area. I’d had the opportunity of attending some amazing vegan potlucks, but had never attended a raw vegan potluck before.
Little by little, Lee and I discussed ideas about possible venues and ways to connect with others who shared our interest in healthy, raw vegan food. Sure enough, there were many others out there who were also looking for a raw vegan potluck.
For our first potluck, held at a local eatery in April of this year, we had about twenty fantastic people in attendance. Each month, we expanded in numbers, and eventually took our potlucks outdoors for a backyard meetup during the summer months. Recently, we relocated to our third venue to accommodate the larger numbers (now between forty to fifty people!).
The premise for the potluck is simple: bring a raw and vegan dish (a recipe that only uses 100% raw, uncooked and plant-based ingredients) to share with about 4-6 people. People are also encouraged to bring a copy of their recipe to share with the group. We also try to upload the recipes online so people can access them afterwards.
The food is simply out of this world, unbelievably delicious, and I feel honoured to be surrounded by such talented cuisine artists each and every month. The enjoyment, love, and positive energy that everyone brings to these meetups is what keeps bringing me back month after month. Also, some of the best meals of my life have taken place at our gatherings – the following are just some examples of the inspiring rawesome dishes that grace our communal table:
Chocolate Raspberry Cheezecake
Creamy Kelp Noodles
Sumptuous Green Salads
Sweet Potato Pie
Thinking about starting your own meetup group? Here are a few tips to get your motors running towards organizing your very own potluck:
1. Seek out like-minded foodie folk: This might seem like a given, but try to connect with others who are interested in plant-based, healthy food. Is there a similar potluck group already in your area? If so, see if you can help their group, or have a themed evening based primarily on raw vegan foods. In terms of venues, see if there are any local halls that are available to rent, or even start out in someone’s home to save money.
2. Plant the seed and communicate: Get the word out about your group online, in person, or through word of mouth. Print media (posters, little leaflets or cards) that advertise the potluck can be handed out to local health businesses, at universities, or farmers markets. Remember to indicate the time of the potluck, and outline any information attendees will need to know.
3. Organize the community: This can be done using social media tools like Facebook and Meetup (the latter does require a yearly fee to use the website). This way, you can put out monthly reminders about the potluck, and have an idea of who will be attending based on the number of RSVP’s.
4. Think about potential guest speakers: Guest speakers add a wonderful flair, and can help to spark an engaging discussion about a health topic. In the past, we have had talks from yoga instructors, a recipe demonstration from yours truly, as well as people sharing their health journey. We’ve even screened some health-related films.
5. Get ready for the first potluck: Remember, introductions are key. Nametags are a great way of connecting people together and to get them talking about the wondrous food they are about to enjoy. It can be beneficial to have the organizer’s introduce the dishes so enough attention is paid to the time and effort of everyone’s contributions.
Have fun and enjoy!