Triangle Vegetarian Society
Q: What should I expect at a potluck?
A: Some of our potlucks are primarily social, and some have a program,
such as a lecture, food preparation demonstration, or panel discussion. But
all potlucks feature food that we eat together as a shared meal.
Q: What should I bring?
A: Please bring a fully plant-based (no meat, chicken, fish, broth, gelatin, marshmallows,
dairy, egg, or honey products) vegan food item to share. We don't have any guidelines as to
how much to bring, but think of 10-15 or 20 small sampler side dish size servings as a point
of departure. Please remember to label your ingredients! This helps people who want to
avoid certain foods, perhaps because they have allergies.
Q: Anything else?
A: Yes, please bring any utensils necessary to serve your dish. Also, please
bring your own place setting that you can then take back with you and reuse.
A dinner plate, fork (and maybe spoon), and glass or cup would be a good
Q: Oh no, I am not fond of cooking! Can I come without bringing a dish?
A: Please come as we want your company most of all. If you are in a rush
before the potluck or just don't enjoy cooking, never fear. You could stop by
a store and pick up a jug of apple cider or good quality juice, perhaps. How
about seasonal fruits that you bring home, rinse, and maybe chop and serve
with a little bit of lime juice and raisins? Another good idea may be to pick
up hummus and a whole grained bread. How about a quart or two of a good
non-dairy "ice cream" (there are many such products available, typically
made with soy or rice "milk")?
Q: I do like to cook. What are some typical dishes that people bring?
A: It varies widely. Try making a stir fried vegetable dish. Or show off a
dessert or appetizer you made with filo dough. How about a
? If you
like working with dough, make pizza dough and roll it (or buy
prepared - just
watch out for eggs or dairy in some prepared crusts), slice some
tomatoes atop, sprinkle a little salt and dried oregano, and
bake in a
350degF oven for 8-10mins, then top with fresh basil for a fresh
pizza. How about making fresh guacamole with a half dozen
bringing a good quality tortilla chip? Some like to make comfort
they make all the time, and others like to use the opportunity
to try a new or
Q: Are there any ingredients that I should be aware of?
A: It's great if your dish is vegan as most everybody should be able to eat
what you've made. Please remember that the vast majority of
marshmallows are made with animal bone derived gelatin. Some breads
have egg or dairy (the best breads are fresh baked and have just a few
ingredients, like wheat, starter like sourdough or yeast, water, and salt). If
you use soy cheese, realize that most will have caseine, a milk protein, but
there are a variety of vegan "cheese"s available. Instead of butter, try a non-
hydrogenated spread - several vegan varieties are readily available - or extra
virgin olive oil. Sugar? Some white sugars are bleached in animal bone; if
you must use sugar, it's best to use a less processed turbinado sugar, or
other sweetener like brown rice syrup, corn syrup, or black strap molasses.
Honey is not considered vegan.
Q: Should I list "ingredients of ingredients"? If I use pre-made peanut butter, say, should I include the list of ingredients in it?
A: Good question. Use your judgement here. Generally, the more information, the better. If you want a shortcut to listing all of the sub-ingredients, consider bringing the label of the product and/or listing its brand name.
Q: What is the dress code?
A: So far except for our annual holiday potluck and gift exchange in
December (where even then there isn't a "dress code", but people do tend
to dress nicer than perhaps usual), we haven't had any suggested dress
code. If a special occasion dictates it, the event description will include that
point. Our potlucks are often at people's homes or places like a Quaker
meeting house, and you can dress as you normally would.
Q: How many people come to potlucks?
A: It varies. Our holiday party can have 30-40 or more people, and special
event lectures can as well. Most social potlucks tend to have 12-20 or so
Q: Do I have to call to let people know I'm coming?
A: Generally, no, but once in a while we ask for an RSVP.
Q: How frequently are potlucks held?
A: At least once a month, every month.
Q: Can I host a potluck?
A: If you're a member of TVS, sure! We typically schedule events 6-12
months in advance, so just let Dilip
know of your interest. If you feel you live in a small home, you can always
host an outdoor potluck and make arrangements at an area park. Or maybe
you can make arrangements at a community center, clubhouse, or other
space. Our potlucks are typically on Saturdays at 7 pm, but we can design a
potluck to meet your needs - perhaps a Sunday brunch at 1 pm, an optional hike
or canoe trip in the afternoon followed by a 7 pm potluck, etc., a Friday at 6 pm potluck
followed by film night, etc.
Q: What do I have to do if I am hosting a potluck?
A: Not much - just expect fun and interesting people to show up almost
magically at your door carrying a variety of delicious food, and enjoy the
party! We ask people to bring their own place settings, but inevitably some
may forget, so it's a good idea to have a few plates, utensils, and glasses
available, as well as some serving utensils. Also, some may forget to label
their dish ingredients, so having paper and writing instruments handy is a
good idea. You decide if you want to make a dish or provide drinks - almost
all hosts do, but it is reasonable to also take your hosting as your
contribution and just enjoy the treats that others have brought.
Q: I'm not (yet) a member - can I come?
A: We would love to meet you! Feel free to come to a few events, but
please consider joining the group. Just print and mail our membership form.
Q: Are there other events that TVS holds?
A: Sure. Our biggest event of the year is our Thanksgiving, which attracts
hundreds of people. We have monthly restaurant reviews, catered dinners,
occasional film nights, and other special events, including lectures/demos by
nutritionists, food preparers, and others. Check our our online
Q: I'm new to the area - how can I find other vegetarian resources?
A: We're glad that you found us - we welcome anybody interested in
vegetarianism, whether or not they are vegetarian. Coming to potlucks is a
great way to meet people. Check out our local resources for a
handy guide to area groceries, restaurants, farmers' markets, etc.
Q: What exactly is a "potluck"?
A: A potluck is a meal organized by a family, set of friends, community
organization, or other group, where attendees bring food to share. Some
potlucks (but almost never ours) have a structure where people sign up to
bring particular dishes; some have a theme (dessert, particular ethnicity,
etc.). The first known use of the word is from a citation in 1592 in England,
"That pure sanguine complexion of yours may never be famisht with pot
lucke". The 1913 edition of Webster's dictionary defines potluck to be
"whatever may chance to be in the pot, or may be provided for a meal".