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May 17, 2009 04:07 PM

I need ideas for the International Potluck at the kids' school!

Once again the Potluck Dinner at my kids' school is coming up, and I am groping for ideas. They attend an International Studies School, and we are encouraged to bring a dish that reflects our family heritage. My husband is from England, so in the past I have taken shortbread and sticky toffee pudding. I need something that is fairly uncomplicated to eat and will transport well, and since 'reflecting' my OWN heritage would probably entail a pan of cornbread and a canister of bacon grease, I'll probably stick with the English thing.
There is some pretty fearsome competition for the most popular dishes at these things, with bragging rights for the whole next year...please, fellow hounds, any ideas?

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  1. Dessert, main dish?
    Baked herb pudding?
    Spotted Dick?
    Bacon Criss Cross?

    1. What about Jacket potatoes with a chicken curry topping. Those were on tons of pub menus and curry is extremely popular in England.

      You could also do mini yorkshire puddings stuffed with sliced roastbeef.
      Trifle could be a dessert option too.

      3 Replies
      1. re: salsailsa

        Going on the idea of the mini yorkshire puddings, why not little toad in a hole? Same concept, but a much cooler name.

        Welsh rarebit
        bubble & squeak
        sponge cake with strawberries and cream

        1. re: weezycom

          I was going to include "toad in a hole" - it's a great dish. I sometimes have trouble with it though and, because of my own issues with that dish, I left it off the list. But I agree it'd be an awesome addition to a traditional English Pub menu. I also like the "bubble and squeak" suggestion. There are so many variations of it that you're sure to find one that strikes your fancy.

          1. re: todao

            Oh please make bubble and squeak! I've been at many school food heritage fairs, but I've never had something that had such a fun name. You'll be mobbed by munchkins demanding it just to say the name and your kids will be the most popular kids at school. Especially if you have a sweet there for when they realize its vegetables.
            By the way, the kids will remember this. I still use my friend's empanada recipe from my 4th grade fair and now I find out my friends still remember my mom's matzo ball soup. My little sister in law (14 years old) has the attention span of a fruit fly, but can remember what foods her friends brought to hers 5 years ago.

      2. Lemon curd either in little tarts or jars depending on your inspiration.

        1. I'd do a shepherd's pie or a cottage pie. I think either would be a pretty safe bet for kids.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rainey

            I think most pies would be a safe bet for kids, i.e. pork pie, sausage rolls, Cornish pasties, etc. Otherwise I might consider tea sandwiches such as the classic cucumber or something heartier like BP and bacon (or if you want the parents to gang up on you, a chip buttie).

          2. I think your tradition (assuming it' s US southern) is much more interesting, food wise.

            Crock pot full of beans (with a ham bone) to go with your cornbread
            Shrimp and cheese grits
            BBQ ribs or pulled pork (if you have a smoker and do this regularly)
            Bake a buncha biscuits and make bacon or sausage white gravy or bring a whole country ham along and slice small thin pieces - that'll get their attention.

            I mean - I have nothing against tasteless meat pies, and I do understand that it's a tradition - but the southern tradition has a lot more pull to my way of thinking.

            1 Reply
            1. re: applehome

              I agree. If your roots are southern, then southern food is much more interesting than English food -- even if there are a lot of good suggestion in the English vein.

              Sweet potato pie, hush puppies (+ bacon), fried catfish... what are some dishes from your childhood?