You’re at the church potluck. Or maybe it’s a junior league potluck, or a book club potluck, or a Saturday afternoon potluck at your sister’s house. (Southerners really love potlucks.) You’ve brought your favorite warm spinach-artichoke dip in your prettiest casserole dish. It’s still warm from the oven, smelling of Parmesan cheese, and garlic, and tangy sour cream. There is a little basket of bread and freshly-cut crudité beside the spinach-artichoke dip, just begging to be dunked in there. The dip smells so good and you didn’t get a chance to eat lunch because you had to make an extra trip to the bakery to buy the “good” bread, and then you needed to pick up some flowers for the potluck host. You’re thoughtful like that. That spinach-artichoke dip looks irresistibly good. So good you can hardly stand it. Plate in hand, you’re the first in line for the potluck. The table is loaded down with dishes of every type: casseroles, salads, bar cookies, pies, sandwiches. But your eye is drawn to that dip. If you were home alone, you would eat the whole dang thing yourself. But instead, you’re first in line behind a hungry crowd of people who are assessing the offerings and waiting for their turn to load up their plates. What do you do?
Do you go for the spinach-artichoke dip first? Do you add a few other things to your plate, then sneak a dab of dip, hoping no one will notice? Or do you show superhuman restraint and leave the dip for the rest of the guests? Maybe you wait and see how much dip is left at the end of the potluck, then help yourself to the rest of it while “cleaning” your dish in the kitchen.
As a seasoned potluck-goer and thrower, I would go for option two. I don’t think there is anything wrong with eating something you’ve brought to a potluck, as long as you’re not helping yourself to a heaping portion of it or making a big deal out of it. No one wants to be that person making a fuss over the storied history of her grandmother’s aunt’s cousin’s top-secret Hummingbird Cake. (Although, if someone asks you to tell them about the recipe, go for it.)
Whatever you do, definitely do not set aside a portion of your own dish to bring home to your “husband” or “daughter.” That’s just straight-up tacky. You don’t need a potluck as an excuse to enjoy your favorite recipe—the next time you get a craving for spinach-artichoke dip (or whatever your potluck weakness is) make it all for yourself and enjoy it in the privacy of your own kitchen. We won’t judge.