Author Topic: Doggie bags at dinner parties - today's Dear Abby  (Read 7032 times)

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SoCalVal

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Re: Doggie bags at dinner parties - today's Dear Abby
« Reply #30 on: October 05, 2013, 01:53:27 AM »
I hosted a meal for 20 people and I had plans for the leftovers. After dessert people were milling around and I went into the kitchen to bring out some more drinks. In the kitchen 4 different family members had searched by kitchen for ziplock bags. They could only find the gallon freezer bags and they had started to cut off pieces of turkey from the carcass and were putting it in the bags to take home. They were like locusts and had even used a spatula to get the last of the mashed potatoes from the pot we cooked them in. They had already cleared out all of the serving bowls.
One of the family members had even taken one of our plates from a matching set to make a take home plate for a family member who refused to come to our house because he was angy at us.

Now DH and I hide anything that could be used for doggy bags, disposable containers, ziplock bags, paper plates. We also quickly and discreetly put all leftovers in covered containers and put it in the fridge even before our "guests" leave. I was told by both my side and his side of the family that this is what Faaaaamily do. I never remember doing this as a child. However my grandmother did go to buffet restaurants and sneak fried chicken in her purse :o

It's a shame that this happened to you and your DH.  I have never gone to a non-family gathering and asked to bring home any of the food.  We've had it offered to us, but we didn't expect to be able to take food home that wasn't offered.  Mind you -- these are non-family gatherings.

At family gatherings (my brand of Asian), and I mean *all* family gatherings, bringing home food is the norm.  Part of my heritage is always feeding our guests and feeding our guests generously so there has always been food remaining.  I've spent all my time hosting always offering food for guests to take home.  Had more than a paltry few of my family been able to attend our wedding, we would've purchased containers for our guests to bring food home.  As it were, most guests were not part of a culture that brings home "doggie bags" from social gatherings, so we thought our guests would be weirded out about being encouraged to bring home wedding food.  However, as bringing home wedding cake is normal, I did announce to everyone that not only were they encouraged to try cakes at different tables but that we also provided boxes for them to bring home cake.  Several happily took us up on that.  Also, a few of both my and DH's family members asked if it were okay to pack up food to take home to their loved ones who were invited but could not make it to our wedding.  We happily and enthusiastically encouraged them to take home as much food as they wanted.

I think offering guests food to bring home with them will always be a constant with me and with DH.  HOWEVER, what I won't do (and I've already made this clear to DH) is serve expensive food to guests (I'm talking about stuff like pricey roasts, lobster, filet mignon, etc.).  I mentioned to DH a few months ago that I am interested in learning how to prepare sushi and sashimi so we could start having it at home and save money on not eating out for it.  DH's response was that we should have these people over or those people over to eat sushi and sashimi with us.  I told him absolutely not, and DH was rather snarky to me in his response (he said, "So, what, do you suggest we only serve them macaroni and cheese?").  I pointed out to his rude butt that, first, since when am I such a bad host that I have only served mac & cheese (although I said that mac & cheese is not necessarily a bad choice).  Secondly, I said that the point of eating expensive foods at home is to avoid the cost of eating them in a restaurant.  If we really *I* served such expensive foods to guests as well, then we are saving nothing yet I get to also do all the work so there would be no point in having them at home.  Wisely, DH acknowledged that, yes, I've been a very generous host* and that it wouldn't be cost-effective to have our expensive meals at home if we are still spending that amount of money but to feed guests also.  I have to say that if were to start serving expensive foods to guests, I probably would not offer doggie bags.  I *love* lobster and crab and sashimi and sushi and a good steak, blah blah blah, and these are extremely rare treats for us so, no, I'd have definite plans for the leftovers.

*I first said "always," except, a few days ago, I did tell DH that, last year, after our annual trek to Apple Hill, I feared he would offer his friends some of our precious (and expensive) apples (precious and expensive because most of the varieties we got we could only find at Apple Hill which is a few hours away round-trip).  I told him I took all the special apples and stuck them in my car so that no one would see the apples and ask him about them, thus prompting DH to give them away.  So, an excellent example of me not being willing to give away something expensive.  We're talking about apples where we only purchased about 4-6 of a variety so if DH gave away one each to his friends, DH and I would have only 1-2 for each of us.  If I wanted to give them away, we would've gotten more.  I am happy to share but, unlike DH, I am not willing to share EVERYTHING we have.



flickan

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Re: Doggie bags at dinner parties - today's Dear Abby
« Reply #31 on: October 05, 2013, 07:54:44 PM »
*I first said "always," except, a few days ago, I did tell DH that, last year, after our annual trek to Apple Hill, I feared he would offer his friends some of our precious (and expensive) apples (precious and expensive because most of the varieties we got we could only find at Apple Hill which is a few hours away round-trip).  I told him I took all the special apples and stuck them in my car so that no one would see the apples and ask him about them, thus prompting DH to give them away.  So, an excellent example of me not being willing to give away something expensive.  We're talking about apples where we only purchased about 4-6 of a variety so if DH gave away one each to his friends, DH and I would have only 1-2 for each of us.  If I wanted to give them away, we would've gotten more.  I am happy to share but, unlike DH, I am not willing to share EVERYTHING we have.

Oh man, I'm a serial offender in the "giving our best stuff away" category.  All it takes is for someone to say, "Oh those look good," and I'm giving them away.  Later on if I want the thing I usually kick myself.  I just love sharing food with people in the moment.  I've had to learn restraint but it's hard.

rose red

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Re: Doggie bags at dinner parties - today's Dear Abby
« Reply #32 on: October 05, 2013, 08:55:09 PM »
At family gatherings (my brand of Asian), and I mean *all* family gatherings, bringing home food is the norm.  Part of my heritage is always feeding our guests and feeding our guests generously so there has always been food remaining.  I've spent all my time hosting always offering food for guests to take home.  Had more than a paltry few of my family been able to attend our wedding, we would've purchased containers for our guests to bring food home.  As it were, most guests were not part of a culture that brings home "doggie bags" from social gatherings, so we thought our guests would be weirded out about being encouraged to bring home wedding food.  However, as bringing home wedding cake is normal, I did announce to everyone that not only were they encouraged to try cakes at different tables but that we also provided boxes for them to bring home cake.  Several happily took us up on that.  Also, a few of both my and DH's family members asked if it were okay to pack up food to take home to their loved ones who were invited but could not make it to our wedding.  We happily and enthusiastically encouraged them to take home as much food as they wanted.

I'm also Asian.  This reminds me of a wedding my sister went to of a friend.  There were tons of food leftover.  Food that one usually only get at weddings.  My sister really (really) wanted to bring home leftovers, but like you, I guess the HC felt weird since many guests were not from our culture and it may look tacky to "outsiders" since packing up food to go is not a delicate process ;).

TootsNYC

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Re: Doggie bags at dinner parties - today's Dear Abby
« Reply #33 on: October 05, 2013, 11:37:49 PM »
I don't generally have 'classy' dinner parties, just casual get togethers so it wouldn't bother me but I can see how it would bother other people.  Plus, I always have containers I don't mind not getting back and I also always have ziplocks so it isn't an issue for me to pack stuff up.

Even at a casual dinner, it would bother me. I would be planning to eat those leftovers for lunch myself. It was my money! Sure, I'd be very willing for you to eat as much as you like *at the dinner*, but if I've overestimated how much food I'd need, I expect to recoup some of that excess expenditure by eating it for lunch or dinner later.

Besides which, you know, I'm not a restaurant.

And I really like this insight--I think this is how I'd feel too.

...But if someone asked it would make me feel put out-- as though they weren't going to give me a chance to be generous to them but wanted to make sure they got what they felt they were entitled to.  I wouldn't say no if asked but I wouldn't be happy about it.

My MIL always sends the leftovers home with us from her house. I never, ever, ever start that conversation. My DH doesn't either. It's only when she offers twice that we'll do it. Because that's -her- food, and her belongings aren't mine to covet.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Doggie bags at dinner parties - today's Dear Abby
« Reply #34 on: October 06, 2013, 10:00:29 AM »
I don't generally have 'classy' dinner parties, just casual get togethers so it wouldn't bother me but I can see how it would bother other people.  Plus, I always have containers I don't mind not getting back and I also always have ziplocks so it isn't an issue for me to pack stuff up.

Even at a casual dinner, it would bother me. I would be planning to eat those leftovers for lunch myself. It was my money! Sure, I'd be very willing for you to eat as much as you like *at the dinner*, but if I've overestimated how much food I'd need, I expect to recoup some of that excess expenditure by eating it for lunch or dinner later.

I meant uneaten food on their plate - not all the leftovers.  I always have plans for my leftovers.  If I was serving dessert and someone didn't have room for it, I'd have no problem sending it home with them, since desserts are the one leftover I don't like to keep in the house.
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Ontario

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Re: Doggie bags at dinner parties - today's Dear Abby
« Reply #35 on: October 06, 2013, 09:58:54 PM »
SoCalVal--

OT: Where is Apple Hill, and what rare varieties are you getting there?

I'm missing the farmer's market in my old neighborhood in New York, which probably had about 15 varieties of apples yesterday and goes down to five or so in the depths of winter. But one of the farms there is primarily an apple orchard (they have a few kinds of pear as well), with heirloom varieties, and a few that are common in the Northeast but not out west, such as Cortlandt, along with the Gala and Granny Smith and Delicious.
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SoCalVal

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Re: Doggie bags at dinner parties - today's Dear Abby
« Reply #36 on: October 06, 2013, 10:55:56 PM »
SoCalVal--

OT: Where is Apple Hill, and what rare varieties are you getting there?

I'm missing the farmer's market in my old neighborhood in New York, which probably had about 15 varieties of apples yesterday and goes down to five or so in the depths of winter. But one of the farms there is primarily an apple orchard (they have a few kinds of pear as well), with heirloom varieties, and a few that are common in the Northeast but not out west, such as Cortlandt, along with the Gala and Granny Smith and Delicious.

Apple Hill is in Camino, which is in El Dorado County in Northern California.

I'm not sure about the rarity of the varieties, but I know I never see them in any grocery stores (or farmers markets -- not even in SF) -- Empire, Rome, Winesap, Mutsu, Arkansas Black, McIntosh and Jonathon.  They also have ones I find pretty easily -- Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Pink Lady and Red Delicious.

My favorite rare ones are Winesap and Arkansas Black, neither of which were available yet this year because we went too early in the season.  Next year, we'll go just before Halloween (which is what we did last year unintentionally).  One of those two take a couple of weeks to come to full flavor but, WOW, when they did, I was in heaven! (I think it was the Winesaps but, after looking at the list, it just as easily could've been the Arkansas Blacks).  It's been quite a blessing to live close to areas that offer the opportunity to go directly to the growers' farms (we picked peaches over the summer in another county; they were FABULOUS -- and I never knew there were so many varieties of those either).

Sorry for the threadjack, y'all!



hannahmollysmom

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Re: Doggie bags at dinner parties - today's Dear Abby
« Reply #37 on: October 07, 2013, 02:55:00 AM »
I would never ask for leftovers. I have been known to offer, but would be offended if someone asked. In fact, years ago someone did ask, and it angered me.

My sisters roommate (they weren't roommates at that time, just friends)  (I think I've mentioned her before) wrangled an invite to Thanksgiving as her own daughter never invites her. :P This was the first Thanksgiving after her husband died, so I was sympathetic.

She walked in without any hostess gift (not that I expect anything big, but I was always brought up to bring something) and proceeded to tell me how she had been given a wonderful food basket by her church, but since she was coming to my house, she gave it away. Then after dinner, asked to take turkey and fixings home. And she didn't just take a little, she cut seriously into my left overs that I had plans for.

She has gotten better over the past few years as I took my sister aside and reminded her we were not brought up like that (sister needs reminding too at times) and to subtlety teach her roommate some manners. The woman is 65 and should know better!

Obviously, the woman drives me nuts, mentions every time we see her that she feels like family! Therefore, I am inclined to invite her to every family gathering we have out of guilt, because she assumes she's included, and due to her immediate family not including her. (Wonder why?)

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: Doggie bags at dinner parties - today's Dear Abby
« Reply #38 on: October 07, 2013, 07:20:36 PM »
There are a lot of otherwise normal people who lose their minds over the possibility of free food.  I too like free food, since I'm a terrible cook, but I don't toss out my manners, self-respect, and ethics to get it.  As far as I'm concerned, asking for food is the same as asking for cash.  It wasn't free for the person who bought it. 
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Katana_Geldar

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Re: Doggie bags at dinner parties - today's Dear Abby
« Reply #39 on: October 07, 2013, 07:33:08 PM »
Wouldn't being asked for leftovers be a complement to your cooking?

CakeEater

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Re: Doggie bags at dinner parties - today's Dear Abby
« Reply #40 on: October 07, 2013, 10:51:41 PM »
Wouldn't being asked for leftovers be a complement to your cooking?

Sure, I'm glad you liked the food. Eat your fill. But that doesn't mean you can ask to take the rest home.

People compliment furniture and artworks and serving platters too - doesn't mean you get to ask to take them home with you. They're mine - just like any food that's left over after we've all eaten our dinner.

If I buy 6 bread rolls for our meal, knowing that I like those bread rolls for lunch as well, and deliberately buying more than I think we'll eat at dinner, a guest desn't get to ask for the rest for their lunch tomorrow. They're mine. I bought extra to eat for my lunch tomorrow.

Figgie

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Re: Doggie bags at dinner parties - today's Dear Abby
« Reply #41 on: October 08, 2013, 02:06:35 PM »
If the hostess wants you to take home leftovers, they will offer their guests the leftovers.  If the hostess says nothing about giving out the leftovers, then I think it sounds fairly greedy to ask for them.

Complimenting me on the food, telling me how much you enjoyed the evening, eating large servings of the food that I have cooked/baked is all the way that a good guest lets their hostess know how much they appreciated everything.  Asking for leftovers doesn't leave me feeling like I was complimented...more like the person saw my home as a restaurant.

And I save cottage cheese and other food containers because I always offer at family meals for my extended family to take food home with them and this way I don't need the containers back. :) 

The key is that I am the one making the offer.  No one is asking me for the food.  They wait until I offer and then happily help me fill out the containers with the food that they chose.

SoCalVal

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Re: Doggie bags at dinner parties - today's Dear Abby
« Reply #42 on: October 10, 2013, 03:08:05 PM »
And I save cottage cheese and other food containers because I always offer at family meals for my extended family to take food home with them and this way I don't need the containers back. :)

A friend I have posted about here many times once had a little hissy fit about these.  See, I do the same thing.  I will send guests home with containers I don't care about because I don't expect to get them back.  This friend, in my younger years, used to get containers I wanted to keep all the time but would never bring them back.  I learned to give him containers I didn't care about getting back (a few times when I'd been at his place, I would comment about wanting them back and he'd say, sometimes jokingly but usually not, "They are mine now.".  One evening, after he'd dined with then-DF and me, I was packing up food, and Friend commented about me getting back the containers.

Me:  "Oh, I'm not worried about it.  You're getting these because I don't expect to get them back."
Friend:  "I always give them back."
Me:  "No, you don't; you never do.  Don't worry about it, though, because you're getting these that I don't care about getting back because you don't give them back."
Friend:   >:(

The next time I saw him, he gave me back not only the containers I just sent home with him but as many of the others he'd never given back as he could find.  He then had the nerve to say I couldn't have a cow anymore about him not giving back the containers.  I repeated my stance, "I wasn't the one having a problem or else I would've said something a long time ago.  *You* were the one who claimed you always give them back; if you'd always given them back, then you wouldn't have had these."  Him again --  >:(  Frankly, I didn't care.  I hate it when people make claims about being so good at ___________ when it's the exact opposite -- oh, and accusing me of doing what they are guilty of, not me.



BarensMom

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Re: Doggie bags at dinner parties - today's Dear Abby
« Reply #43 on: October 10, 2013, 08:20:29 PM »
SoCalVal--

OT: Where is Apple Hill, and what rare varieties are you getting there?

I'm missing the farmer's market in my old neighborhood in New York, which probably had about 15 varieties of apples yesterday and goes down to five or so in the depths of winter. But one of the farms there is primarily an apple orchard (they have a few kinds of pear as well), with heirloom varieties, and a few that are common in the Northeast but not out west, such as Cortlandt, along with the Gala and Granny Smith and Delicious.

Apple Hill is in Camino, which is in El Dorado County in Northern California.

I'm not sure about the rarity of the varieties, but I know I never see them in any grocery stores (or farmers markets -- not even in SF) -- Empire, Rome, Winesap, Mutsu, Arkansas Black, McIntosh and Jonathon.  They also have ones I find pretty easily -- Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Pink Lady and Red Delicious.

My favorite rare ones are Winesap and Arkansas Black, neither of which were available yet this year because we went too early in the season.  Next year, we'll go just before Halloween (which is what we did last year unintentionally).  One of those two take a couple of weeks to come to full flavor but, WOW, when they did, I was in heaven! (I think it was the Winesaps but, after looking at the list, it just as easily could've been the Arkansas Blacks).  It's been quite a blessing to live close to areas that offer the opportunity to go directly to the growers' farms (we picked peaches over the summer in another county; they were FABULOUS -- and I never knew there were so many varieties of those either).

Sorry for the threadjack, y'all!

Don't forget the orchards along the Gravenstein Highway up in Sonoma County.

blue2000

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Re: Doggie bags at dinner parties - today's Dear Abby
« Reply #44 on: October 11, 2013, 06:33:26 AM »
SoCalVal--

OT: Where is Apple Hill, and what rare varieties are you getting there?

I'm missing the farmer's market in my old neighborhood in New York, which probably had about 15 varieties of apples yesterday and goes down to five or so in the depths of winter. But one of the farms there is primarily an apple orchard (they have a few kinds of pear as well), with heirloom varieties, and a few that are common in the Northeast but not out west, such as Cortlandt, along with the Gala and Granny Smith and Delicious.

Apple Hill is in Camino, which is in El Dorado County in Northern California.

I'm not sure about the rarity of the varieties, but I know I never see them in any grocery stores (or farmers markets -- not even in SF) -- Empire, Rome, Winesap, Mutsu, Arkansas Black, McIntosh and Jonathon.  They also have ones I find pretty easily -- Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Pink Lady and Red Delicious.

My favorite rare ones are Winesap and Arkansas Black, neither of which were available yet this year because we went too early in the season.  Next year, we'll go just before Halloween (which is what we did last year unintentionally).  One of those two take a couple of weeks to come to full flavor but, WOW, when they did, I was in heaven! (I think it was the Winesaps but, after looking at the list, it just as easily could've been the Arkansas Blacks).  It's been quite a blessing to live close to areas that offer the opportunity to go directly to the growers' farms (we picked peaches over the summer in another county; they were FABULOUS -- and I never knew there were so many varieties of those either).

Sorry for the threadjack, y'all!

Don't forget the orchards along the Gravenstein Highway up in Sonoma County.


It must depend on the orchards in the area. You can get Macintosh just about anywhere in southern Ontario (they are my favourite!) I've also seen Empire and on occasion, Mutsu.

OTOH, we used to have Cortlands, but I haven't seen them for years. And my grandmother apparently made her apple pies with Tallman Sweets, but I've never seen them anywhere.


Back on topic  - I've asked immediate family about leftovers from Christmas dinner, etc. Not anyone else. It would feel very odd to tell someone I want a container for lunch tomorrow as well - almost as if their offer of dinner wasn't enough. :-\
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