Etiquette Hell

Hostesses With The Mostest => Entertaining and Hospitality => Topic started by: sparksals on March 30, 2007, 05:53:26 PM

Title: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: sparksals on March 30, 2007, 05:53:26 PM
We had some friends over for a BBQ last Sunday afternoon.  The menu was burgers, spicy sausage, salad, home made baked beans and a mixed fruit pie.  Appetizers were shrimp, cocktail sauce and home made guacamole.

Dh fired up the BBQ, we waited for it to heat up and I put the burgers and sausage on to cook.  I was a bit put off when one of my guests got up and did the cooking.  I'm sure she was trying to help, but when I have guests over, I prefer to do the cooking or dh do the grilling. 

Was she rude or am I over reacting?

Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: Lisbeth on March 30, 2007, 06:51:55 PM
I think it was not appropriate for your guest to assume that she could do the cooking in your home without asking you first.  As the hostess, you needed to give permission, and you hadn't done so.  If I am hosting, I would not like it if my guests simply cooked unless I told them explicitly that it was fine with me.
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: sparksals on March 31, 2007, 12:34:38 AM
Good.  I thought maybe I was overthinking it.  I just found it so odd that she just got up and basically took over the BBQ.  It made me feel like she didn't trust my ability to cook the burgers and sausage properly.
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: VelvetMorning on March 31, 2007, 02:40:01 PM
Gah--I'm on the other side of that situation.  I'm a classically-trained chef and I still enjoy taking regular courses through a local chef school.  The number of times I've been invited to dinner as a guest, and wound up stuck in the kitchen all night are legion.  It ALWAYS starts with "Velvet, could I get your advice here?"--Inevitably,  the hostess has chosen an incredibly difficult menu, often, I suspect, to impress. 

I don't eat at other people's homes that much anymore--just my close friends who know I'm happy with stew or pizza!  8)
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: sparksals on March 31, 2007, 02:48:56 PM
I think it's very rude to expect a guest to come over to help cook the dinner!  That's taking advantage of your expertise!
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: audrey1962 on March 31, 2007, 02:53:01 PM
I have relatives who do this and I think it is very rude, so much so that I have stopped inviting them over.
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: Jaywalker on March 31, 2007, 03:33:50 PM
flipping burgers on a grill etc is unpleasant smoky generally icky work -- I would assume that the guest assumed she was helping with an unpleasant task -- just as a guest would help clear the table, or clean up in the kitchen -- and that she was doing this to give you a break

if you don't like it -- and certainly your prerogative -- you could certainly jump in and say 'Oh I like to handle that' or whatever but I would not frame is as 'rude' or 'taking over the cooking'

if she did the same thing in your kitchen with an elaborate dish without your permission or request, that would feel a bit different
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: sparksals on March 31, 2007, 11:38:02 PM
Jaywalker,

I had the BBQ on low and just put the burgers and sausage on, closed the lid to allow them to cook and sat down to further socialize.  That is when she got up, opened the lid and started fiddling with everything. 

I can see your point, but at the same time, regardless of the method of cooking, I felt she took over and it came across that I wasn't capable of bbq'g properly. 
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: Kiwichick on April 01, 2007, 04:48:17 AM
Jaywalker,

I had the BBQ on low and just put the burgers and sausage on, closed the lid to allow them to cook and sat down to further socialize.  That is when she got up, opened the lid and started fiddling with everything. 

I can see your point, but at the same time, regardless of the method of cooking, I felt she took over and it came across that I wasn't capable of bbq'g properly

I suspect the other guests probably didn't even notice, I wouldn't have thought that you weren't capable of cooking just because someone else took it upon themselves to cook.  It says much more about her than you.
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: Twik on April 01, 2007, 07:46:36 AM
I had the BBQ on low and just put the burgers and sausage on, closed the lid to allow them to cook and sat down to further socialize.  That is when she got up, opened the lid and started fiddling with everything. 

I can see your point, but at the same time, regardless of the method of cooking, I felt she took over and it came across that I wasn't capable of bbq'g properly. 

That would annoy me, as well.

Perhaps you could say, "Please, Guest, I've set everything just so, and if you open the lid/move the food/flip it too soon, you'll throw my calculations off. Now come sit down and chat for a while!"
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: Evil Duckie on April 01, 2007, 11:23:19 AM
If I had a guest take over the cooking without being asked it would be rude and I would rightly feel insulted because they have told me through their actions that I am not capable of cooking their meal.

It would be equally rude for to invite a guest over for dinner and expect them to cook the meal because that is saying that I only wanted them over to be my chef and not a guest.

It would be a situation different if it was discussed in advanced about having a friend cook while I provided everything for them to do so.
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: Jaywalker on April 01, 2007, 11:27:35 AM
If I had a guest take over the cooking without being asked it would be rude and I would rightly feel insulted because they have told me through their actions that I am not capable of cooking their meal.

----

but why choose to be 'insulted' instead of just assuming they were trying to be helpful AND then communicating to them that you preferred that they leave it to you

the OP had a way of doing her burgers that she preferred -- fair enough -- the guest might well have thought she was being a good guest by 'helping' with what is generally a hot smoky unpleasant task i.e. flipping burgers --- guest is wrong here -- but not necessarily trying to insult anyone

the world would be a better place if insult were not our first response to slight differences in perceptions of appropriate behavior

(of course the guest could have been a control freak who is trying to suggest the OP is a bad cook -- buy one would want to have a bit more data to conclude that)
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: jais on April 01, 2007, 11:30:35 AM

but why choose to be 'insulted' instead of just assuming they were trying to be helpful AND then communicating to them that you preferred that they leave it to you


I completely agree.  Why would you automatically assume that your friend was insulting you?
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: Sophia on April 01, 2007, 11:32:07 AM
I would have been annoyed too.  Especially since your way, i.e. leaving the meat to cook under a closed lid, is better than her way of fiddling with it and letting the heat escape.  I would figure her to be a control freak before I would feel insulted though. 
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: sparksals on April 01, 2007, 01:44:32 PM
If I had a guest take over the cooking without being asked it would be rude and I would rightly feel insulted because they have told me through their actions that I am not capable of cooking their meal.

----

but why choose to be 'insulted' instead of just assuming they were trying to be helpful AND then communicating to them that you preferred that they leave it to you

the OP had a way of doing her burgers that she preferred -- fair enough -- the guest might well have thought she was being a good guest by 'helping' with what is generally a hot smoky unpleasant task i.e. flipping burgers --- guest is wrong here -- but not necessarily trying to insult anyone

the world would be a better place if insult were not our first response to slight differences in perceptions of appropriate behavior

(of course the guest could have been a control freak who is trying to suggest the OP is a bad cook -- buy one would want to have a bit more data to conclude that)

Ok, I see your point.  I do think that she meant well and was not trying to insult me.  I just thought it odd that as soon as I put the stuff on the BBQ, she got up.  Perhaps she prefers to watch the stuff on the BBQ for the entire time it's on.  I don't.  I BBQ enough to know how long things take.  I do understand your point to take the assistance in the spirit it was intended and that was to be helpful.
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: sparksals on April 01, 2007, 01:50:16 PM
I would have been annoyed too.  Especially since your way, i.e. leaving the meat to cook under a closed lid, is better than her way of fiddling with it and letting the heat escape.  I would figure her to be a control freak before I would feel insulted though. 

Never looked at it from that point of view.  I have to admit, I'm a control freak when it comes to cooking and having guests over.  I like things a certain way, I prefer people not to help in the kitchen because it interferes with my "system".  Whenever people ask if they can help, I politely refuse and tell them to have a seat and we can chat while I'm getting everything ready. 

Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: magdalena on April 02, 2007, 04:35:03 AM
Gah--I'm on the other side of that situation.  I'm a classically-trained chef and I still enjoy taking regular courses through a local chef school.  The number of times I've been invited to dinner as a guest, and wound up stuck in the kitchen all night are legion. 

I have 1 friend who loves to do this.
She'll even try calling me up last minute when she's invited people over and realizes she has no idea what and how to cook.
I don't go over anymore.
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: Suze on April 02, 2007, 05:10:24 AM
Gah--I'm on the other side of that situation.  I'm a classically-trained chef and I still enjoy taking regular courses through a local chef school.  The number of times I've been invited to dinner as a guest, and wound up stuck in the kitchen all night are legion. 

I have 1 friend who loves to do this.
She'll even try calling me up last minute when she's invited people over and realizes she has no idea what and how to cook.
I don't go over anymore.

I would -  Let's see a Kraft dinner might be good for supper, maybe with a peanut butter and jelly sandwifh

Bet she would never ask again
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: magdalena on April 02, 2007, 09:46:18 AM
Gah--I'm on the other side of that situation.  I'm a classically-trained chef and I still enjoy taking regular courses through a local chef school.  The number of times I've been invited to dinner as a guest, and wound up stuck in the kitchen all night are legion. 

I have 1 friend who loves to do this.
She'll even try calling me up last minute when she's invited people over and realizes she has no idea what and how to cook.
I don't go over anymore.

I would -  Let's see a Kraft dinner might be good for supper, maybe with a peanut butter and jelly sandwifh

Bet she would never ask again

The real trouble is: she buys the stuff, sets in on the vounter and the moment I walk in: "oh, Madga, honey, you know I've got chicken, tomatoes, tagliatelle... what do you think would be the best thing to make?" I tell her I've no idea. She keeps bugging until I'm in the kitchen and all of a sudden she asks me how she could help...

she also calls me from the supermarket if she is to bake/cook something on her own because "you probably know how to make this that or the other" or "I loved your cake, how do you make it?"

She's one of the kind.
For dinner, she's welcome to my place. I enjoy cooking. In MY kitchen.
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: Evil Duckie on April 02, 2007, 11:12:47 AM
I went back and reread my comment and it was sterner than I meant.

I would not be insulted if someone offered to help. Then I have the option of accepting it or declining it. To just take over is rude.

We do have friends over and often it is everyone helps, but there are times when it is not an everyone helps.

Too many cooks can ruin the meal.
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: Sophia on April 02, 2007, 11:21:00 AM
I have offered to help, and had the offer accepted.  But it always non-critical things.  Chopping stuff, tenderizing the chicken with forks, carrying stuff to the table.  Never anything critical. 
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: caranfin on April 02, 2007, 01:22:51 PM
I wouldn't take it as a generous offer to help you with an unpleasant task. Presumably, if you found cooking burgers so unpleasant, you wouldn't have decided to do it. I would take it as an aggressive move - perhaps to show how "helpful" she is, or what a good cook she is. If she really wanted to help you, she would have asked you first, instead of just taking over.
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: Deetee on April 02, 2007, 04:32:17 PM

but why choose to be 'insulted' instead of just assuming they were trying to be helpful AND then communicating to them that you preferred that they leave it to you

..... --- guest is wrong here -- but not necessarily trying to insult anyone

the world would be a better place if insult were not our first response to slight differences in perceptions of appropriate behavior


I strongly agree. Communicating with the guest, rather than stewing over an "insult" that was likely just mislaid helpfulness is a nicer time for everyone.
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: mchernan on April 03, 2007, 04:49:57 AM
Being a novice at anything other than extremely casual entertaining, I would be thrilled to have somebody help out.  I also would only have guests over who would be that comfortable at my house.  "Hey you want to watch the burgers in this heat?, Let me get you a cold beverage and I'll keep working in the kitchen or socialze here on the porch with you and my good friends!".
 I would say "Thank you" and not be offended. 
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: sparksals on April 03, 2007, 01:24:40 PM
I wouldn't take it as a generous offer to help you with an unpleasant task. Presumably, if you found cooking burgers so unpleasant, you wouldn't have decided to do it. I would take it as an aggressive move - perhaps to show how "helpful" she is, or what a good cook she is. If she really wanted to help you, she would have asked you first, instead of just taking over.

Yes!  I guess I wasn't too clear in my OP.  I certainly don't find cooking burgers unpleasant b/c then I wouldn't have served them for guests.  This was a casual BBQ and was meant to catch up without me having to spend too much time on preparation.

I think that is what bothered me the most.  She just up and took over the cooking without asking first.  Then, I felt out of place getting up to continue cooking since she was doing it.  Had I done that, I think I would have felt like *I* was taking over and sending a message I didn't appreciate her gesture, however it was meant.  If that makes sense.
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: sparksals on April 03, 2007, 01:27:37 PM
Being a novice at anything other than extremely casual entertaining, I would be thrilled to have somebody help out.  I also would only have guests over who would be that comfortable at my house.  "Hey you want to watch the burgers in this heat?, Let me get you a cold beverage and I'll keep working in the kitchen or socialze here on the porch with you and my good friends!".
 I would say "Thank you" and not be offended. 

Actually, I wouldn't mind that scenario at all if I had asked for her help or if she asked if she could.  She just got up and completely took over the cooking to the point I felt awkward about saying anything so as not to make her think I didn't appreciate her cooking. 
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: ZipTheWonder on April 03, 2007, 08:24:28 PM
I had the BBQ on low and just put the burgers and sausage on, closed the lid to allow them to cook and sat down to further socialize.  That is when she got up, opened the lid and started fiddling with everything. 

I would be worrying that she is one of those people can't just let burgers cook, someone who just HAS to smoosh all the juice out of them.  Someone who cannot, for the life of her, figure out why you served hockey pucks at a BBQ.
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: Sophia on April 03, 2007, 11:57:31 PM
I had the BBQ on low and just put the burgers and sausage on, closed the lid to allow them to cook and sat down to further socialize.  That is when she got up, opened the lid and started fiddling with everything. 

I would be worrying that she is one of those people can't just let burgers cook, someone who just HAS to smoosh all the juice out of them.  Someone who cannot, for the life of her, figure out why you served hockey pucks at a BBQ.


Oh, I hate that!  If I am a guest, and I have a choice, I always go for the sausage because you never know who is a smoosher.  Of course, then I run the risk of them punching holes in the sausage. 
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: sparksals on April 04, 2007, 12:02:42 AM
I had the BBQ on low and just put the burgers and sausage on, closed the lid to allow them to cook and sat down to further socialize.  That is when she got up, opened the lid and started fiddling with everything. 

I would be worrying that she is one of those people can't just let burgers cook, someone who just HAS to smoosh all the juice out of them.  Someone who cannot, for the life of her, figure out why you served hockey pucks at a BBQ.


Oh, I hate that!  If I am a guest, and I have a choice, I always go for the sausage because you never know who is a smoosher.  Of course, then I run the risk of them punching holes in the sausage. 


Sophia, you'd be happy to know that I'm neither a smoosher nor a poker!  But the friend who did the cooking was.   ::)
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: Sophia on April 04, 2007, 12:10:32 AM
I had the BBQ on low and just put the burgers and sausage on, closed the lid to allow them to cook and sat down to further socialize.  That is when she got up, opened the lid and started fiddling with everything. 

I would be worrying that she is one of those people can't just let burgers cook, someone who just HAS to smoosh all the juice out of them.  Someone who cannot, for the life of her, figure out why you served hockey pucks at a BBQ.


Oh, I hate that!  If I am a guest, and I have a choice, I always go for the sausage because you never know who is a smoosher.  Of course, then I run the risk of them punching holes in the sausage. 


Sophia, you'd be happy to know that I'm neither a smoosher nor a poker!  But the friend who did the cooking was.   ::)

So, she was presumptuous, AND she ruined your meat?   I think thats a shooting offense around here.  (Kidding, kidding)
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: sparksals on April 04, 2007, 12:28:39 AM
I had the BBQ on low and just put the burgers and sausage on, closed the lid to allow them to cook and sat down to further socialize.  That is when she got up, opened the lid and started fiddling with everything. 

I would be worrying that she is one of those people can't just let burgers cook, someone who just HAS to smoosh all the juice out of them.  Someone who cannot, for the life of her, figure out why you served hockey pucks at a BBQ.


Oh, I hate that!  If I am a guest, and I have a choice, I always go for the sausage because you never know who is a smoosher.  Of course, then I run the risk of them punching holes in the sausage. 


Sophia, you'd be happy to know that I'm neither a smoosher nor a poker!  But the friend who did the cooking was.   ::)

So, she was presumptuous, AND she ruined your meat?   I think thats a shooting offense around here.  (Kidding, kidding)


Well, she didn't ruin the burgers too much, but because she poked the sausage, she let all the juices out and they were dry. 
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: supernova on April 04, 2007, 11:49:17 PM

So, she was presumptuous, AND she ruined your meat?   I think thats a shooting offense around here.  (Kidding, kidding)


Just hazarding a guess, but Sophia, are you perchance from Texas?   :D

     - saphie
Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: Sophia on April 05, 2007, 09:01:28 AM

So, she was presumptuous, AND she ruined your meat?   I think thats a shooting offense around here.  (Kidding, kidding)


Just hazarding a guess, but Sophia, are you perchance from Texas?   :D

     - saphie

 ;D   Yes!
The shooting offense line does seem to be unique to Texas. 


Title: Re: Come over for dinner and take over the cooking!
Post by: supernova on April 05, 2007, 04:47:08 PM

So, she was presumptuous, AND she ruined your meat?   I think thats a shooting offense around here.  (Kidding, kidding)


Just hazarding a guess, but Sophia, are you perchance from Texas?   :D

     - saphie

 ;D   Yes!
The shooting offense line does seem to be unique to Texas. 



I thought as much.  :)  I'm a California girl myself; but I have dear friends who used to live in Texas, and they still firmly believe in the  "s/he was just looking to get him/herself shot" line of defense.   :D

Nice to meet you!  :)

     - saphie