News: IT'S THE 2ND ANNUAL GUATEMALA LIBRARY PROJECT BOOK DRIVE!    LOOKING FOR DONATIONS OF SCIENCE BOOKS THIS YEAR.    Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139832.msg3372084#msg3372084   

  • December 14, 2017, 07:12:41 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made  (Read 12795 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

BlendedFamily

  • Member
  • Posts: 442
  • Keep positive energy flowing!
This has happened to me a few times. I know it's not malicious or vindictive. It's always been of the mindset "I can't show up empty handed", which I do appreciate.

Situation 1: I was hosting a May 24 weekend end party with dh friends just after we first moved in together (pre marriage). All guests rsvpd yes. One guest asked what she could bring. I said nothing (sort of wanting to show off my skills to all his friends, most of which I'd met once and never hosted). That guest showed up with a lovely 7 layer dip with homemade guacamole and olives) which I promptly put out with tortilla chips. Another guest comments " mmmmm blended, this dip is good, but it tastes different from what I had earlier". My (I think gracious) response was that so and so brought this dip, compliments to the chef, never mentioning that when I put her dip out, I put my own 7 layer dip inside the house.

Situation 2: mil loves to cook. When she hosts, she doesn't let anyone help no matter how many times its offered that we all bring dishes. I hosted the family once or twice, and took her cues and said I would handle everything. She always shows up with something and it always turns out to be something that I've gone to great lengths to make (breaded chicken strips, homemade soup, cheese/cracker/smoked meat platter, veggie tray). I always usher my food to the leftover spot or fridge.

What is the proper protocol. Again, these situations are not born of malice, or showing me up. I would not consider saying "thanks for the hostess gift, this will be great for dinner on Tuesday". I think I'm doing it properly (because they aren't being spiteful, just trying to be helpful without knowing my menu or thinking its a lot to feed 20 people so they should help). But, am I? Should I be more transparent with my menu of is that going a bit far to have to share my entire menu with each guest. How do y'all do it??
Strive to be the best possible person you can be, not what others have dictated are their expectations of you!

Hmmmmm

  • Member
  • Posts: 8913
Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2016, 09:25:14 PM »
Why are you moving your items off the table? I'd have left both items out. Or if I already had dip out and I thought having two of the same dish was too much, I'd say "oh thanks. I've already set out chicken strips I made earlier. I'll put yours in the fridge in case we need more later."

gramma dishes

  • Member
  • Posts: 7380
Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2016, 09:34:28 PM »
 >:(

No.  Just no. 

You went to a lot of trouble to make special foods appropriate for the occasion and you were (rightfully I'm sure) proud of what you made.  You specifically told these people NOT to bring anything, but they chose to over-ride you. 

Leave you own stuff out and put theirs away somewhere. 

If you run out of that particular food, then maybe you get theirs and bring it forward.  But never, never, never put other people's stuff ahead of yours.  It's your party.  Your food.  Send theirs back with them at the end of the night. 

BlendedFamily

  • Member
  • Posts: 442
  • Keep positive energy flowing!
Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2016, 09:36:12 PM »
I guess my thinking has always been that it would break my heart to embarrass the guest knowing that the trouble or lengths they went to were for naught as I had already made the same/similar dish. To me, as the host, it would be very awkward. It's almost like saying "thanks for spending an hour  cutting up chicken, making it with home made bread crumbs ( which the homemade bread takes over an hour to prepare and bake, then 2 days drying and 30 minutes chipping it to crumbs), and deep frying it in small batches (an hour and a half of frying time all together) when I've done the same. Let's move your hard work to the fridge in case the 5 pounds that I made is not enough".

To me that sentence, laid out in full is rude. Since mil and I are both apt chefs, we know exactly the time and effort that goes into any given dish.
Strive to be the best possible person you can be, not what others have dictated are their expectations of you!

CakeEater

  • Member
  • Posts: 3379
Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2016, 09:48:07 PM »
But it's not your fault that their effort was wasted. It's their fault. And if you put yours away, they don't know that your effort has now been wasted.

In fact, they'll think that their work is not only appreciated, but necessary, because without it, there wouldn't be enough food, and they'll continue doing it.

If you want this to stop, you need to do something different, because what you're doing currently is encouraging the practice.

Even if you put both dishes out, it would be better than putting yours away. Then, at least, your food bringers know that you did have the food covered, and now perhaps some of both of your effort is wasted.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2016, 10:15:23 PM by CakeEater »

Wittyone

  • Member
  • Posts: 686
Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2016, 10:00:56 PM »
I guess my thinking has always been that it would break my heart to embarrass the guest knowing that the trouble or lengths they went to were for naught as I had already made the same/similar dish. To me, as the host, it would be very awkward. It's almost like saying "thanks for spending an hour  cutting up chicken, making it with home made bread crumbs ( which the homemade bread takes over an hour to prepare and bake, then 2 days drying and 30 minutes chipping it to crumbs), and deep frying it in small batches (an hour and a half of frying time all together) when I've done the same. Let's move your hard work to the fridge in case the 5 pounds that I made is not enough".

To me that sentence, laid out in full is rude. Since mil and I are both apt chefs, we know exactly the time and effort that goes into any given dish.

But the bolded is what you are saying about your own efforts.  You shouldn't diminish your own work.  You are the host.  They may not mean to be rude, but it is rude to bring dishes when asked not to.  It's especially rude to bring something the host has gone to great lengths to prepare.  You don't need to call them out on it.  Putting the extra offerings away, unless needed later, is not being rude. And if what they bring isn't needed offer it back in a matter of fact way.  Just say, "Oh it turns out I made enough.  Did you want to take yours home again.  They'll make great lunches."  Or something along those lines.

I really relate to this.  I host Thanksgiving for our family every year.  Last year some family friends didn't have anywhere to go so I invited them over.  The wife is one of those who can't come empty-handed.  I already had dishes assigned out to everyone else and we didn't really need anything more.  But I told her to bring a dessert.  We can always use more dessert at Thanksgiving.  What did she bring?  Everything.  She brought a dish of everything from cranberry sauce and stuffing, to potatoes and rolls and even a vegetable dish, and a dessert.  The only thing she didn't bring was a turkey, or gravy.  I was extremely annoyed, but didn't say anything.  We just put everything out all together.  I don't necessarily think she was trying to be rude, but she was rude.  And I'll be reluctant to invite her again.
California

gramma dishes

  • Member
  • Posts: 7380
Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2016, 10:03:52 PM »
^^^  Agree with both CakeEater and Wittyone.

You're encouraging this behavior to continue!

gramma dishes

  • Member
  • Posts: 7380
Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2016, 10:08:14 PM »
If you're convinced that putting their offerings away would be rude, then at the very least please consider CakeEater's suggestion to put out the guest's food along with your own.  "Oh my goodness!  I made the very same thing!  Why don't you put yours over there right next to mine." 

That way both the person who brought the unnecessary food and your other guests will know you had it covered. 

greencat

  • Member
  • Posts: 3899
  • Trap...Neuter...What was that third thing again?
Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2016, 10:24:28 PM »
I suggest having something really simple to suggest people bring - soda or ice or napkins or adult beverage.  "Oh, we have so much food prepared already that I don't know how it will all fit on the serving table.  Would you mind bringing a (small bag of ice)(bottle of white wine) instead of food?  That would really help me out a lot."  It makes you sound a lot more prepared, like you've moved past thinking of food, and into the minutia of the party.

The gracious thing to do in the case of a repeat/excess/unwanted food or beverage item showing up is to kindly accept it, and then put it away to enjoy later.  If, and only if, questioned about why their item isn't out, look befuddled and say, "But Aunt Clueless, I already had seven layer dip out on the table.  We'll pull yours out when the one I made is finished."

Deetee

  • Member
  • Posts: 6101
Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2016, 10:27:34 PM »
I'm going to answer this assuming you don't mind that people brought extra food (this is pretty personal; some people take as almost an insult; other people find it normal; some people would look askance at those showing up empty handed).

Just put their dish out too and don't worry about hiding it. If they care, they can check on your menu next time or bring nothing.


Hmmmmm

  • Member
  • Posts: 8913
Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2016, 10:56:30 PM »
OH I was also going to say that since your MIL always wants to bring something, do tell her what your making so she doesn't duplicate.

kudeebee

  • Member
  • Posts: 2711
Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2016, 11:44:36 PM »
^^^  Agree with both CakeEater and Wittyone.

You're encouraging this behavior to continue!

I agree, too. 

If someone shows up with food, accept it with a thank you and put it aside.  "Thanks so much for bring the foofoo dip.  I already have mine on the table, so I'll put this in the fridge."  Then redirect them to drinks, where to put their coat, where other guests are, etc while you put the food away.  If you have a second fridge--put the dish in there.


sammycat

  • Member
  • Posts: 7934
Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2016, 11:55:32 PM »
>:(

No.  Just no. 

You went to a lot of trouble to make special foods appropriate for the occasion and you were (rightfully I'm sure) proud of what you made.  You specifically told these people NOT to bring anything, but they chose to over-ride you. 

Leave you own stuff out and put theirs away somewhere. 


If you run out of that particular food, then maybe you get theirs and bring it forward.  But never, never, never put other people's stuff ahead of yours.  It's your party.  Your food.  Send theirs back with them at the end of the night.

Pod to all, especially the bolded.

sammycat

  • Member
  • Posts: 7934
Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2016, 11:57:16 PM »
I guess my thinking has always been that it would break my heart to embarrass the guest knowing that the trouble or lengths they went to were for naught as I had already made the same/similar dish. To me, as the host, it would be very awkward. It's almost like saying "thanks for spending an hour  cutting up chicken, making it with home made bread crumbs ( which the homemade bread takes over an hour to prepare and bake, then 2 days drying and 30 minutes chipping it to crumbs), and deep frying it in small batches (an hour and a half of frying time all together) when I've done the same. Let's move your hard work to the fridge in case the 5 pounds that I made is not enough".

To me that sentence, laid out in full is rude. Since mil and I are both apt chefs, we know exactly the time and effort that goes into any given dish.

Yet they don't mind doing it to you.

MIL can't have it both ways. She can't insist on doing things her way in her home, and then also insist on doing things her way in someone else's home. That's rude and uncaring.

ClaireC79

  • Member
  • Posts: 3577
Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2016, 03:11:29 AM »
Problem is you've been saying no, don't bring anything and then contradicting yourself with your behaviour, so they are going to think you didn't actually mean no, you were just doing this polite little fiction when they offered