Author Topic: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese  (Read 17998 times)

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TurtleDove

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #90 on: December 18, 2012, 09:25:49 PM »
Kenvee B nailed it.

Gumbysqueak

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #91 on: December 18, 2012, 10:24:04 PM »
OP here. Sorry about the delay. Everyone has wonderful comments. SIL is a nice women and my mother has hosted this party for 9 years. Each family brings a side dish. Mother asks each family (3) what to bring. Mom asked SIL for mac and cheese and requested I bring a salad. Since meat and other dishes were ready when they arrived there was not time to make the mac and cheese. In SIL defense, she may not know that that Mom was used to the homemade mac and cheese you keep warm in the car and quickly heat in oven.

wolfie

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #92 on: December 18, 2012, 10:56:27 PM »
All I'm sayin is, with ingredients and material, just about everyone CAN in fact make it. Whether they WANT to is, of course, a different animal.

Mac and cheese is not crown rack of lamb.

Don't say "I can't" when you mean "I don't want to." If you don't want to, own it and say you don't want to. It's even cool to say, "My kitchen isn't fitted for that." But that's not the same as "I can't."

Words mean things.

Sure I CAN make homemade mac and cheese. Wether you would actually be able to or want to eat it would be another question. Being able to do something and being able to do something well are two different things - cooking is not an exception to that.

Sharnita

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #93 on: December 18, 2012, 11:09:15 PM »
Aeris I have experienced family dinners too.  I will say that in my expereince a family dinner opens up the decision making and power to mutiple family members.  So "mom" might say something like "I was wondering about something that the kids would enjoy - I thought mac and cheese might be good, what do you think?" Maybe some discussion and "mom" asking if SIL wanted to bring mac and cheese.

I will say that when SIL handed over the box I might say somethign like "Let me get you a pan to start the water ..."

KenveeB

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #94 on: December 18, 2012, 11:21:12 PM »
This thread has made me wonder if I'm the only person who makes mac & cheese in the microwave. :)

wolfie

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #95 on: December 18, 2012, 11:23:14 PM »
This thread has made me wonder if I'm the only person who makes mac & cheese in the microwave. :)

No. :-) that is pretty much the only way I will make it.

mj

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #96 on: December 19, 2012, 09:50:45 AM »
Aeris, sure, for some families that is the way they have family dinners.  Other families do go traditional routes and that is ok too.  SIL may be from another hosting style, that is something to consider, IMO.  With the OPs update, it really doesn't appear to be done rudely, P/A or anything I can see negative.  So, I'm inclined to look for the solution rather than blame.

WillyNilly

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #97 on: December 19, 2012, 10:23:33 AM »
Most family holiday dinners that I've seen are neither fully hosted nor are they true potlucks. Instead they are exactly what they sound like: family dinners. At family dinners in many families, it's the norm for everyone to participate in the meal, but the nominal host to do the bulk of the work and provide the space, as well as organize the participation.

I can't imagine a family holiday dinner where my parents or grandparents or aunt made every single thing, and "hosted" in the true and proper fashion for dinner parties. It's not a dinner party, it's family. My mother is going to ask my brother to bring the green bean casserole since he didn't leap to volunteer something, and that's not rude.  He can say he'd rather bring something else, or he can bring the horrid casserole, but he can't bring a bag of frozen green beans and whatever else goes in that horrific concoction and hand it to my mother right before meal time.

It's family. Help or get out of the way, but don't agree to bring something and fall down on the job.

You write this like its some sort of universal law.  Its not.

In my family whomever hosts, hosts fully and completely.  It would be downright rude to bring a dish to one of my family's dinners unless it was pre-cleared well in advance, and even then I doubt it would be agreed to happily.  How rude and dismissive of the hosts!  Its not a picnic, its dinner, and there are certain rules of formality to dinner, consistent rules that are amped up when there are more family members present not toned down. Men would be expected to wear ties, and women make-up - there are no jeans at my family dinners! Formal table manners are observed. Children do not get special foods. Etc. Casual is reserved for when you are alone.

Now obviously not all families are like mine, I have through friends and beau's and my husband and my other extended family experienced totally different types of family dinners, not to mention what I've seen on TV... and I have to say what you describe is something I've only ever seen on TV or in movies.  I know of no actual family that operates in that "everyone pitches in with the food" way.  There is nothing wrong with how your family does it (it sounds fun!), but I hardly doubt its a case of how "most" families operate.

This was a SIL - she married into the family.  She honestly, even after a few years, might still be getting used to things being done differently then her family of origin.

Yvaine

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #98 on: December 19, 2012, 10:26:45 AM »
In my family whomever hosts, hosts fully and completely.  It would be downright rude to bring a dish to one of my family's dinners unless it was pre-cleared well in advance, and even then I doubt it would be agreed to happily.  How rude and dismissive of the hosts!  Its not a picnic, its dinner, and there are certain rules of formality to dinner, consistent rules that are amped up when there are more family members present not toned down. Men would be expected to wear ties, and women make-up - there are no jeans at my family dinners! Formal table manners are observed. Children do not get special foods. Etc. Casual is reserved for when you are alone.

And that is something I've only ever seen in the movies!  ;D I think if someone wore a tie to our family dinners, everyone would commiserate with the poor fellow who obviously must have been scheduled for a job interview on Christmas Day!

TurtleDove

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #99 on: December 19, 2012, 11:08:24 AM »
WillyNilly, are we related?  Exactly how my family operates.

mj

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #100 on: December 19, 2012, 11:27:44 AM »
WillyNilly, are we related?  Exactly how my family operates.

Mine too.  It was a shock to my system when I married into a family who does everyone pitches in.  There were many instances where I was genuinely confused and made similar errors as the OPs SIL.  Not out of malice or an attempt to be p/a, it simply was a completely different style than I ever encountered previously. 

Cat-Fu

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #101 on: December 19, 2012, 12:00:52 PM »
It seems to me that the SIL didn't have a general objection to bringing something, seeing as she also brought a salad. I'm used to having almost-fully hosted Christmases (they're BYOB), but when my DH's mother asked me to bring a green bean casserole the first year I went to her holiday party, I managed to figure it out. In retrospect, I'm pretty glad she specifically asked me to bring something, because otherwise I would have felt terrible for showing up empty-handed to a potluck! Or worse—showing up with a cake (my default), not realizing that Aunt Easily Offended makes **the** cake every year!
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Decimus

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #102 on: December 20, 2012, 11:53:01 AM »
I'm going to guess there was some sort of miscommunication, since we're told the SIL is generally nice.

And for those insisting making boxed mac and cheese is easy -- I can't do it.  I am one of those people who has burned water (literally, in the sense of letting a pot boil dry).  I follow directions on the box as exactly as possible and it rarely works out.  I'm usually told I'm too inflexible and the directions are "suggestions" which I can't deal with on some level.  I am also an extremely literal person.

My family is somewhere in between -- we're "informal" in that nobody would wear a suit and tie to the table, but the host or hostess prepares everything.  So if I was asked to "come over at 12:30" and "bring boxed mac and cheese" I'd certainly arrive at precisely 12:30 with a box of mac and cheese.

Is that the case here?  Well, we don't know the precise conversation that occurred.  It IS possible even the participants don't remember it correctly, because most people don't remember the exact words they used.  Particularly over the phone.  The MIL might have said "It would help if you brought mac and cheese, the boxed stuff the kids eat" or "It would help if you brought boxed mac and cheese, like the kids eat" and SIL might have heard it as "It would help if you brought a box of mac and cheese for the kids to eat."

I tend to try not to attribute to malice what can be equally explained by miscommunication.

mmmchocolate

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #103 on: December 22, 2012, 02:01:14 PM »
This reminds me of the Thanksgiving my friend was to bring the mashed potatoes.  She showed up 15 minutes before dinner with a 10 lb bag.  Not having mac and cheese is always sad, but no taters?  Catastrophe!

SoCalVal

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #104 on: December 22, 2012, 11:51:31 PM »
I just don't see "I don't know how" as a reasonable counter to a request to do something easy. Making mac and cheese isn't the same as giving a home perm or repairing brakes.

I can make boxed mac and cheese.  I have never attempted any other sort of mac and cheese.  If people want homemade mac and cheese (which is what your earlier comment was about) and insist that I make it, that seems really strange to me.  Cooking may be easy to you.  It causes me significant anxiety which is why I don't do it.  Not all people enjoy cooking, and I still don't understand why you would want someone who doesn't know how to cook to cook you something.

I love cooking, and I don't see mac and cheese from scratch being that simple.  I've only recently made mac and cheese from scratch, having always been fine with the boxed kind.  I haven't yet perfected the from-scratch recipe and, frankly, find that recipe to be too much work for too little return to want to make it for a party (for the amount of work that goes into the recipe I've used, I want that mac and cheese dish to last as long as a big tray of lasagna would last).  I think I would've been dismayed in someone asked me to bring mac and cheese to a party (I'd find the party amount to be cost-prohibitive to buy a tray from a restaurant).  I wouldn't have any anxiety making it; I just wouldn't want to do it (I could totally see DF agreeing to do it and me telling him that since he volunteered, he gets to make it...and it would end up being the boxed kind that most posters seem to agree isn't good if not eaten right away -- I don't think it would be a hit at the party but it sure would teach the host not to request such a dish from us again if they want the better cook -- me -- to do the cooking).

I think the lesson here for the mom is not to request mac and cheese again from SIL.