Making a dessert for a potluck should be considered cheating.
My kitchen scale sighs under the weight of the brown sugar, the gluten-free flour, and the butter. It heaves as I upturn 1/4 of a cup of rolled oats into the bowl, kneading the mixture with my hands, because getting a whisk or a spatula would be too much of a hassle. Or maybe that’s what I tell myself, because I really just want to run the crumble topping between my fingers. The cherries are next. They are still sickeningly tart and don’t yet have that scent that always reminds you it’s summer, making them simpler to de-pit, because my fingers glide through the meat and tear out the pit without leaving a crimson trail. I peel, dice, and squeeze an entire lemon over the cut apples and toss them with the cherries. The oat mixture settles on top, as I try to look past the globs of butter sprinkled on the crumble top.
Making a dessert for a potluck is an easy, but admittedly lazy thing to do. Desserts don’t win any prizes, but no one will complain about a plate piled high with butter, sugar, and flour. No one leaves a potluck with the leftovers of an uneaten pie.
L and I went to a potluck last Tuesday, for which I made the aforementioned gluten-free Cherry Apple Crisp. The crisp was a hit, though even I remember it less than the ‘forest of grits, shrimp, and asparagus trees’ that came to the table still steaming hot from an oven. The potluck was hosted by the cooking app SideChef and took place at a Naked Hub, which is a non-clothing-optional co-working space nestled inside West Nanjing Lu, by the hidden Taixing Lu bar street.
Adult potlucks are a funny thing. They involve a lot less tupperware, but a lot more Jameson. The dishes are still 60-75% pasta. And like all great potluck dinners, this one ended with a round of Bingo (but like, bingo with fun prizes like juice cleanses, so I don’t feel old).