Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: MommyPenguin on December 07, 2013, 10:28:37 AM

Title: Quick help! What to bring to dinner?
Post by: MommyPenguin on December 07, 2013, 10:28:37 AM
A couple at our church has invited us to dinner tonight.  We asked what we could bring, and they said that we didn't need to bring anything.  I'm guessing we're still supposed to bring some sort of host/hostess gift anyway, though, right?  A bottle of wine?  Brownies?  What should we bring?  They're hosting all 6 of us, so they're going considerably out of their way to include us (there are 5 of them).

I know nothing about wine, as I don't drink, so if we should bring wine, I need specifics for somebody who knows *nothing* except there's white and red and would have to read the bottle.  I have no idea if they drink, but our church doesn't forbid it or anything.  If brownies or cookies, I could wrap them up to seem more like a gift rather than dessert, if that makes sense.

If it makes a difference, the family is second-generation Korean (the church is a Korean-founded church), but I am not.
Title: Re: Quick help! What to bring to dinner?
Post by: rose red on December 07, 2013, 10:55:35 AM
I don't think you need to bring anything, but if it makes you feel more comfortable, I suggest a box of chocolates.
Title: Re: Quick help! What to bring to dinner?
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 07, 2013, 11:12:12 AM
I like the idea of bringing brownies or cookies.
Title: Re: Quick help! What to bring to dinner?
Post by: Lorelei_Evil on December 07, 2013, 11:22:18 AM
How about fudge?  This recipe is a good one.  http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/bakers-classic-chocolate-fudge-57398.aspx

Title: Re: Quick help! What to bring to dinner?
Post by: DavidH on December 07, 2013, 11:31:40 AM
I understand the need to bring something.  I nice bouquet of flowers is always a safe choice and can fit a wide variety of budgets.  Chocolates are another good choice, as is a homemade dessert that is wrapped, as you say, as a gift not an eat this now type if thing. 

If you choose to bring wine, many wine shops, and even Costco, has cards telling about the wines, frequently including point ratings.  In my experience, I'd say that <80 points usually is not a good thing, 80-85, okay, 85-90 is good and over 90 is very good.  As you approach 100, the price often goes up exponentially.  I'd try to find something around 90 in your price range, which should be doable if you can spend around $20.  I've never seen a rating on a card under 75, and even 80 is rare. 

Since they are going considerably out of their way and it's the holiday season, I'd err on the side of getting something that's a bit too much, perhaps a bigger box of chocolates or something like that than you ordinarily would.
Title: Re: Quick help! What to bring to dinner?
Post by: Luci on December 07, 2013, 11:32:32 AM
A dessert that will keep for a few days, like brownies or cookies mentioned above, or coffee cake for the next morning.  A nice loaf of banana bread ready to freeze is good.

Please, no wine. I know so very many people who are offended at alcohol, and I personally have gotten some really awful wines as gifts. "OOO. Luci likes wine! I don't know anything about wine or what she likes, but this is pretty."  Blech.

If she said not to take anything, she probably really means that she has everything carefully planned so it all blends smoothly, so don't take anythings that must be served immediately.
Title: Re: Quick help! What to bring to dinner?
Post by: EllenS on December 07, 2013, 11:40:21 AM
Second to flowers - always an appropriate hostess gift.
Title: Re: Quick help! What to bring to dinner?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on December 07, 2013, 11:45:00 AM
I also agree with flowers, or maybe a potted poinsettia, if they don't have pets or young children.  Some other kind of potted seasonal plant, if they do.

If your children do some sort of cute little Christmas craft - an ornament or something - that would be good, too.

I wouldn't take wine without knowing if your hosts drink it.
Title: Re: Quick help! What to bring to dinner?
Post by: Drunken Housewife on December 07, 2013, 12:16:46 PM
I don't think you should bring wine, as you yourselves don't seem like drinkers, and far from knowing their tastes, you don't know whether they even like to drink. 

Flowers or candy are a better idea.  Another option:  sparkling cider (there are more fancy ones than Martinelli's) or another special non-alcoholic drink.
Title: Re: Quick help! What to bring to dinner?
Post by: Zizi-K on December 07, 2013, 12:40:34 PM
If you bring flowers, bring them in a pot or vase. It can be terribly inconvenient as a hostess to have to stop what you're doing, find a vase, trim the flowers and arrange them when guests walk in the door. A nice jar of honey or jam with some scones for tomorrow's breakfast is nice.
Title: Re: Quick help! What to bring to dinner?
Post by: rose red on December 07, 2013, 01:07:21 PM
For something a bit different, maybe spiced nuts in a pretty jar/container and wrapped in a bow or ribbons.  Homemade is best, but there may not be time for that.

This is if you know they are not allergic.
Title: Re: Quick help! What to bring to dinner?
Post by: sweetonsno on December 07, 2013, 01:49:47 PM
While wine is a lovely idea, it is quite personal and subject to taste. (Like perfume.) It's a bit risky if you don't know them.

Flowers are always nice. Zizi's right, though. Please bring them in a jar or vase or get a potted plant.

A jar of nice honey would also be lovely.
Title: Re: Quick help! What to bring to dinner?
Post by: MommyPenguin on December 07, 2013, 02:11:38 PM
Okay, I had to go to BJ's this afternoon.  They had flowers, but they were pretty cheap-looking, no vases.  This BJ's does not appear to have a wine section.  So I got a large bag of Linder's truffles.  That sound okay?

I don't know if they have pets, but they do have a 2-year-old (and a 5-year-old and 7-year-old).  Of course, we have a 1-year-old and would be willing to get a poinsettia, but then we'd also be willing to go to the effort to find a place out of reach.  If they don't really want to waste rare out-of-2-year-old-reach places with a poinsettia, then it might just be an annoyance.

I do actually have sparkling grape juice; should I bring that as well?  Walmart had it on sale and we like it for Christmas and New Year's.  :)  It's Welch's, though, so not anything expensive.
Title: Re: Quick help! What to bring to dinner?
Post by: Drunken Housewife on December 07, 2013, 04:16:54 PM
Just the bag of truffles, I think.
Title: Re: Quick help! What to bring to dinner?
Post by: #borecore on December 07, 2013, 04:52:31 PM
Seconding 'just the truffles.'

Good choice.
Title: Re: Quick help! What to bring to dinner?
Post by: menley on December 07, 2013, 07:02:28 PM
I'd also just bring the truffles, but I wanted to point out that poinsettias are not actually poisonous to children or pets.
Title: Re: Quick help! What to bring to dinner?
Post by: MommyPenguin on December 07, 2013, 07:59:35 PM
Okay, I brought the truffles.  They went over really well!  The little boy (the 2-year-old) was really eager to get to eat them, so after dinner his mom opened them up and (after asking me) passed out one to each kid.  I think she really liked them, as she ate a bunch.  :)  So it looks like they were a good choice!  Still lots left for them to enjoy later.

Thanks, everyone!
Title: Re: Quick help! What to bring to dinner?
Post by: Luci on December 08, 2013, 09:42:19 AM
Just for the record, I think Linder truffles are the best chocolate candy ever - better than Godiva, and a lot easier to find, as well as cheaper. And better than any homemade I have had. Thank you, Walmart.
Title: Re: Quick help! What to bring to dinner?
Post by: Thipu1 on December 10, 2013, 11:24:52 AM
Second to flowers - always an appropriate hostess gift.

Flowers are beautiful but they can be a problem.  When you're putting together the last bits of a dinner party and a guest shows up with a dozen roses, you're of two minds. 

Part of you says, 'Isn't this a lovely, thoughtful gift?'.  The other part says, ' S***! now I have to cut these stems under water and find an appropriate vase while the gravy is at a delicate point'.