Life,  Ministry

Potluck Panic: A Tale of Last Minute Mac ‘N Cheese


Baptist churches are notorious for a few different things.  Some good. Some bad.  One thing that is distinctly Baptist is the potluck.  Those of you who have not experienced the Baptist phenomenon of a lunch consisting of fatty comfort foods and more desserts than you can ever imagine, will need to use a little bit of imagination to appreciate the conundrum that I found myself in on this particular Sunday morning.

As a ministry wife, Sunday mornings have a few more moving pieces than your normal church going family.  We are normally the first ones at the church.  Instruments are put in place. Media for the service is set. Everything is ready to go so that we can run a practice with other praise team members and be done before small groups even start.  So a little bit busier than the average Sunday morning.

This particular day, I woke up and was not greeted with a cheerful “Good morning, my dear.  How did you sleep?” Let’s be honest, I’d probably slap him if he actually did wake me up like this!  But I would have like it better than “Did you fix anything for that potluck after church?”.

Crap.  I immediately started to decide how necessary it was that we bring something.  We didn’t have kiddos this weekend, so it was just two of us.  Fewer mouths that would be eating. The occasion for the potluck wasn’t a huge deal, so there may not be a big turn out.  But on the other hand, a small turn out means fewer people pitching in, so fewer dishes.  Then I remembered that I didn’t take anything to the last one, and I couldn’t be that minister’s wife that can’t even remember to bring a simple dish to lunch.

So before I jump in the shower, I started a pot of coffee and stood in the kitchen looking for something I could whip up in about 20 minutes.  Even some cookies to put on a plate and pass off as mine would do the trick.

Then I found it- two boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese.  Score!  After fixing it according to directions, I added extra cheese, some almond milk, and some crushed up croutons.  You know, makes it look more gourmet and less $1 box of mac n cheese. In all honesty, though, it was quite good for little prep.  And I can totally give you the recipe…

As I’m finishing up, though, I realize that something looks slightly off. The macaroni pieces looked strange….not like normal elbow macaroni.  I grabbed the box out of the trash can to discover that I had prepared limited edition, Anna and Elsa Christmas pasta.  And it was 90 degrees outside.  Thankfully, the extra ingredients masked the Christmas tree and snow flake noodles, and a quick glance wouldn’t reveal what was actually in the box.

We as human beings worry WAY too much about what other people think of us.  I was reminded of this when I received several compliments on the dish, and did not observe anyone poking at their food, trying to figure out what exactly it was.

Fast forward to the next month, and yet another potluck creeps upon me.  This time, my husband asked me about 15 minutes before we planned to walk out the door.  I was determined not to disappoint again.  I was able to commandeer 4 cans of green beans and a can of potatoes, throw them into the crock pot, season them and run out the door.  They were a hit this time…all eaten!

So what can we learn from this?

First, worrying about what other people think of us is a waste of time. They’re normally more concerned with worrying about what people think of them than actually thinking about you or me.

Second, it’s always good to have a few quick recipes on hand, something that looks impressive, but is actually super easy.  That is, if we’re still caring about what others think…

And finally.  Always put a Saturday reminder in your phone for Sunday potlucks.  It will make for a lot smoother Lord’s Day.


    • KWatkins

      Ha ha….another back up idea! But we live and go to church out in the country a little bit. So a trip to KFC is more than I normally allot for on a Sunday morning. Makes me miss my McDonalds Sunday morning breakfasts!

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