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Sabbath at the Spectrum Café: Potluck Wisdom


I’ve always enjoyed potlucks. Whatever the occasion, it’s fun to try new dishes, and taste the answers to questions like, what is in that unusual casserole? What is the filling in that pie covered with such a crispy crust? Potlucks offer a smorgasbord of new dishes and the opportunity to exchange recipes. And, if you’re vegetarian, one thing about most U.S. Adventist church potlucks is almost always guaranteed: the casseroles, “meat”-loaves and beyond fit your vegetarian lifestyle, as they usually doesn’t contain meat.

If a dish is not quite as tasty as it looks, I suggest eating it silently, with a smile— but if you truly enjoy its flavors, you simply have to find out who brought it. It’s worth praising the recipe and seeking out its creator. Good cooks are usually flattered to be asked for a recipe, and you can count on a new addition to your cookbook, and often, a new friend.

While Adventists rarely bring a dish with meat, I remember a story from a pastor friend about a new convert who was invited to the church’s potluck. She brought her favorite dish: a large platter of fried chicken. At first, all the guests passed by quickly, not willing to put any of it on their plate, so finally, the pastor walked up to the platter. He generously helped himself to two pieces, exclaiming, “How delicious!” Immediately, many came back to the table. Very soon, the platter of fried chicken had disappeared!

Admittedly, potlucks may feature mysterious dishes at times. But, Adventists have always been generous in creating great desserts. Attend a potluck, and you’ll likely see cakes, pies, cookies and all other sorts of desserts arranged on a separate table, which must be protected (temporarily) from small children eager for a head start on the sweets.

This recipe for Mystery Lime Pie is a familiar favorite that I’ve tested on my family. If their preferences are an indicator of others’ tastes, this dish won’t last long at your potluck table.

Elaine Nelson lives in Fresno, California and is a frequent commenter on the Spectrum website.

Image: Bonnie Dwyer


Mystery Lime Pie

Prep time: 15 minutes

Chill time: 4 hours

Serves: 8


1- 10” graham cracker pie crust

1-8-oz. pkg. organic cream cheese

10 oz. sweetened condensed milk

2 avocadoes

½ C. lemon and lime juices

Soften cream cheese in microwave; blend to very smooth consistency with hand mixer. Puree avocadoes till smooth consistency and gradually add to milk mixture until very smooth. Stir in juices. Pour in crust and refrigerate until set.

Top with whip cream or substitute. Enjoy. If you hear compliments, reveal the secret ingredient. Few ever guess. The avocadoes give it richness and blunt the very sweetness of the milk. The pie has a great green color for Easter.

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