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What is "simple"?

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I keep hearing, "just keep it simple." Except I always hear it when I think I am! So, what does it mean to keep things simple?

Latest example: I'm making the main dish and a couple sides for a friend's wedding. She was going to have a cake & punch reception, I offered to help with food and it morphed into a potluck as a gift to her. My husband is making pulled pork (it's pretty casual), I'm making slaw for the sandwiches, helping with sauces, making a corn-poblano salad, a mayo-based cole slaw, setting up the food table, taking care of drinks. I was told to "keep it simple." Repeatedly. This is a BBQ potluck wedding reception! What am I missing?

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  1. For me, keeping it simple means letting the flavour of the main ingredients come through without too much adornment or interferance.

    I'd guess here that your friend is also meaning that she doesnt want too many dishes with the meal developing into something like a full buffet. As you note, her original intent was just cake and drinks.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Harters

      This is another friend who is also helping with the wedding, not the bride. :) This friend is the one who suggested bbq in the first place, and a potluck. My list of contributions keeps going down as everyone else's goes up. I don't get it.

      I agree with your definition. I wonder if people not used to scratch cooking would consider that going to a lot of trouble, even though it really is simple?

      1. re: SAHCook

        Probably right about scratch cooking. There's a place for it and there's a place for buying. For instance, I have never made coleslaw and always buy supermarket readymade.

        1. re: SAHCook

          "My list of contributions keeps going down as everyone else's goes up. I don't get it."

          ~~~

          perhaps the lessening of chores equates "simple" to your other planner? for me this is chaos, because there are then too many moving parts and i always fear winding up with 6 bowls of pasta salad and nothing decent to eat. if you're comfortable with it, let go and have fun.