It’s a scene that has been played out across the South for generations: a crowd of close friends and family gather together for a celebration that is centered around cooking and sharing signature dishes, from classic deviled eggs and cheesy casseroles to jiggly congealed salads and mile-high layer cakes. Known as a potluck, this type of impromptu, “no-rhyme-or-reason” get-together was historically a casual event—not a well-planned menu. Today’s hostess organizes a potluck with more attention to detail and less of that “just surprise us with something special” attitude. But despite the differences, the purpose behind these parties still rings true: gathering around the holiday table to enjoy delicious fare with people we love. Here, find our secrets for stress-free hosting, tips for being a good guest, and our favorite recipes for this Easter’s feast.