Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Bringing Food to Others homes for Parties

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Snooks:
I think if your SIL doesn't ask don't bring anything, if she says "bring something if you like" I'd say to her "Oh no, it sounds like you have everything covered".

If your MIL gets upset that your dish got eaten and her's didn't you could always telling the truth with a bit of padding "The kids ripped into mine because it didn't have pineapple in it, and I guess everyone else thought it wasn't worth starting the second until we'd finished the first bowl of beandip"

I wouldn't take any serving dishes that you want back.  Start using the disposable foil ones so that you can just dump it in the recycling at the end of the event, and only make things which can be transported that way.

Supplementing your SIL's hosting is rude in my opinion, it has the potential to paint you as a know it all who wants to upstage SIL.  Don't take anything to the party that she didn't ask you to bring.

With the water, you should have asked SIL for water, if it's potable the fact that it doesn't taste as good as you'd like is something you just need to be a grown up about.  Again, it's not your issue that she doesn't have any containers suitable to be used at the picnic.

I would recommend taking a big step back from involving yourself with SIL's hosting and just turn up and enjoy the celebrations.

perpetua:
I agree with Snooks. It sounds as if you don't consider your SIL's hosting or your MIL's cooking to be adequate or at least not up to  your standards. The problem is that you are passive-aggressively pointing this out with your actions, in front of the rest of the family (getting drinks, providing cups, etc). You are taking over hosting duties where you consider hers to be lacking, and that's wrong.

If your husband is 'spoiled by your cooking', well, he's a grown up, and he needs to learn how to politely suck it up if he doesn't think his family's cooking is up to your standards, or not go.

I do think it's fine to take food for your kids if they genuinely have disabilities that mean they can't eat certain things. That said, in order to know that they wouldn't have eaten your MIL's dish with her ingredients in it, then you must have known what she was cooking. To then bring along a different version of the same thing is very rude.

camlan:
For the duplicate food issue, I'd just call MIL and ask her if she's bringing anything. You can use the issue of needed to bring something that your kids can eat. "Oh, your lasagna is so tasty. I think I'll bring XYZ, then, because my kids can't eat the mushrooms that you use."

Bringing something your kids will eat and enough of it to share is a good way of handling their picky eating. Just coordinate with MIL so that you don't bring the same thing.

The serving dishes--it doesn't matter if SIL and MIL would like to keep your serving dishes. Just take the food out of them and put it into SIL's dishes. "Sorry, I'm going to need this myself." I wouldn't want the expense of buying disposable things, just because SIL wants my stuff. But I'd label every single piece with my name on the bottom, and double check that I had it all before I left.

For the rest of the issues, really, what you are doing is solving SIL's hosting problems. She is never going to see the problems as long as someone else keeps fixing them for her. So the flatware runs out. Go and tell her there isn't enough and ask how you and your kids are going to eat. Same with anything else that runs out or that there isn't enough of. Let her deal with hungry people who have to wait for someone else to finish eating so that they can wash the plate and utensils so they can eat enough times and she'll start to see there's a problem.

If you leave the extra food with SIL, I wouldn't care if MIL took some of it. They're family; maybe SIL wants to share it with MIL, or SIL knows her family won't be able to eat it all before it spoils. I see a difference between MIL taking some of the food and a random, non-related guest walking off with a pot of chili.

If you want to take the extra food home and MIL asks for some, you can always say no. Or you can give her some, if there's enough to split it. I suspect MIL is just seeing this as "extra food at her daughter's house," and not "food that Iggy257 brought." It would seem normal to me for a mother and daughter to split up extra food after a party.

Venus193:
I'm inclined to think that it is more rude to underprovide for a party, particularly one that could last a whole day.  "Bring something if you like" sounds rather passive/aggressive to me and in this particular case it also sounds like your SIL knows she does not provide adequately and is looking to others to pick up the slack.  She's not complaining about the OP's contributions so it looks like she sets you up for them, whether it's food or disposable tableware.

If the tap water in her area is bad, I am mystified how she can prepare Kool-Aid while not purchasing adequate bottled water for those who don't drink that stuff.

The complaints cited by the MIL when you prepare similar dishes and yours are finished while hers are not.  Too bad, so sad.  You are looking out for your children and if her dish is finished first because others think they shouldn't start hers before yours is finished MIL should not take it personally.  I agree with the recommendation that you speak with your MIL in advance so that you don't bring duplicate dishes.

As to leftovers, there is no hard and fast rule of etiquette about who gets them at the end of an event; you simply make an agreement in advance.  What was rude was demanding that you leave your expensive pot.

I agree with the idea that you bring only semi-disposable containers from this point on.  That way you don't need to worry about getting them back or cleaning them if you do.


--- Quote ---For the rest of the issues, really, what you are doing is solving SIL's hosting problems. She is never going to see the problems as long as someone else keeps fixing them for her. So the flatware runs out. Go and tell her there isn't enough and ask how you and your kids are going to eat. Same with anything else that runs out or that there isn't enough of. Let her deal with hungry people who have to wait for someone else to finish eating so that they can wash the plate and utensils so they can eat enough times and she'll start to see there's a problem.

--- End quote ---

It wouldn't hurt to let this happen once and let her take the consequences.

Giggity:
I'm not sure why any of that would be rude.

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