Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Asking for an item before it's served

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I would have let it go .

Then again , my dinner parties were never very formal and if a guest decided he's like to start his meal with dessert and work backwards , it would be no problem for me .

I don't see it as rude . Reba asked politely and the Hostess was well within her rights to say "I'd prefer to wait until dinner is finished before I bring out the desserts , but if you need to leave after the main meal , I can wrap a piece up for you to take home ."

I understand that the Hostess would be annoyed at the thought of bringing out a cake that already had a slice taken out of it . If she has pride in how she presents her food , I can understand that . A plate of cookies , not so much .

Toots does have very valid points though - hosting means different things to different folks and dinner parties usually follow a standard pattern . It's a case of knowing your Host in terms of whether or not any deviation from that pattern will bother them . I have seen the "Dessert Stampede " - it's not pretty  ;D.

It was a request , not a demand . The hostess could have refused it , but "grudgingly complied" . That was her decision . She had plenty of opportunity to politely decline . 

I think it's odd to expect dessert to be served early so someone can leave early.  If you need to leave early, just politely make your excuses and leave.  As a guest, I would never ask for dessert before dessert time, as I agree with Toots that serving dessert is a signal to guests that the evening is nearing an end.  I am not going to take it upon myself to hasten that for everyone simply because I need to leave early.  I would just go without dessert!

As a host though, I would comply with the request but I like the idea of boxing it up so that the message is, you can have some of this, but not here, because we are not ready to move on to dessert.

I think it would have been best to give your apologies to the host for not being able to stay longer, then say, "If it's not too much to ask, Bill was really looking forward to dessert. Can we take a bit home?"

Most hosts would have little problem complying with such a request in most cases, is my guess.

And most guests would have no problem taking no for an answer, particularly a no phrased like, "I'm sorry, I was hoping to cut the cake/flambe the pudding/take it out of the oven right when it was time to serve. I won't be able to put aside a single portion right now. Next time you visit, be sure to ask for seconds!"

Woldnt have bothered me.  Might have made me wondered if the timing/pacing of my hosting didn't work for elderly guests.  What is early for me might not be early for others. 

I'm usually much better at deserts then at food, if someone wanted me to get a desert out early I'd be pleased as punch to do so. 

And I really think that at 'casual buffet style' event the asking is perfectly fine. I'm used to my inlaws where an event might stretch over 4 or 5 hours and very few people are their the entire time.


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