The Southern “Pig Pickin” Potluck

Posted by Leigh Hines on April 30, 2014 

Everything looks good at a Southern potluck. Because it is.

LEIGH HINES

Is there anything better than a Southern potluck?

I always overeat. How can you not?

I have a lot of international folks who follow me on Instagram. It’s my connection to Skimbaco Lifestyle since it’s an international magazine with a lot of European influence, plus our editor is also living in Sweden right now.  We also have a few other team members living in London and Norway.

I’m the only Southern girl in the Skimbaco bunch. And I fill my feeds with fattening desserts and such. I don’t show myself often in my photos, and I’m probably giving off the impression that I wobble when I walk after eating so much.   Sometimes, I do.

On Saturday evening, I showed a photo on Instagram from a yearly neighborhood function and said, “One must always save room for dessert at a Southern Pig Picking.” I really should have written “Pickin,” but I knew auto-correct would go bonkers over that one, and I would probably end up with “Pig picnic” in the caption instead.

One of the first questions was, “What is a Pig Picking?”

I tried to describe it like a luau, and we call it BBQ.  In the South, BBQ is such a noun.

My neighbor makes some of the best BBQ I’ve tasted.  And I get around.

But more than anything, I love all the sides and desserts.  They really force you to get out of your food comfort zone and try different things.

There is nothing else on earth like the good, old Southern potluck.  Where else can you get two different types of baked beans, several versions of potato salad and other potato dishes (I made “Potluck Potatoes for a Crowd” from my favorite Edenton cookbook), and as the potluck has evolved through the years, even kale and quinoa are now making appearances on the community table.

No matter how many sides you put on your plate, you must save room for dessert.  It’s the cardinal rule of Southern potlucks. Where else can you have a brownie, a “Pig Pickin” cake, coconut cake, and poundcake on your paper plate all at one time, and it doesn’t cost you a thing?

Yes, I did. Are you kidding me? I will never pass up homemade, Southern poundcake. My only regret is that I didn’t take a piece to go, and I would have had it for breakfast the next day.

I overeat at the neighborhood potluck every single year.  The scales tell me so.

My neighbors have been doing this wonderful party for 17 years, and when they first started it, their kids were probably my children’s ages now.  Now, kids in this neighborhood are graduating from college.

It just shows you that life moves way too fast.  Retired couples are putting their homes on the market, and newlyweds are moving in.

There will soon be a whole new generation to enjoy this family’s “pig pickin.”

Thank God for Southerners and their potlucks. Life wouldn’t be the same without them. 

Connect with Leigh On Instagram. Be sure to visit The HinesSight Blog for Leigh’s “Potluck Potatoes for a Crowd”. Some of this column appeared on her blog this week.

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