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Author Topic: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made  (Read 12892 times)

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BlendedFamily

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Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2016, 08:48:43 AM »


Since the consensus is put my food out along with hers (still seems embarrassing to me) I will try that!

Personally, I'd put her food away, unless/until something runs out.  If I've set out a spread, I probably wouldn't have room to squeeze in something I haven't planned for. 

Also, I'm not sure who's supposed to be embarrassed here.  Your MIL's behavior is no reflection on you.

I'm not one for confrontation and to me that entire situation is awkward. everyone would know that I made X dish and since they are 2 X dish, there must have been a mix up of sorts. That's why I've been putting my own away. I don't want people to know that 1. A guest stepped boundaries 2.  I have way too much X dish. 3. I must know "be mad" guest that brought X dish which creates awkwardness
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CakeEater

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Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #31 on: March 18, 2016, 09:04:32 AM »


Since the consensus is put my food out along with hers (still seems embarrassing to me) I will try that!

Personally, I'd put her food away, unless/until something runs out.  If I've set out a spread, I probably wouldn't have room to squeeze in something I haven't planned for. 

Also, I'm not sure who's supposed to be embarrassed here.  Your MIL's behavior is no reflection on you.

I'm not one for confrontation and to me that entire situation is awkward. everyone would know that I made X dish and since they are 2 X dish, there must have been a mix up of sorts. That's why I've been putting my own away. I don't want people to know that 1. A guest stepped boundaries 2.  I have way too much X dish. 3. I must know "be mad" guest that brought X dish which creates awkwardness

I don't know - I'm pretty sensitive to awkwardness, and I think you're overthinking it.

I don't think any of your guests will notice if you have two types of chicken strips on the table, or will assume that you're mad about it. And no-one will know that you have any kind of boundary about food, or your MIL bringing it.

I don't think you need to worry about anyone else's reaction than your MIL's.

And if she feels a bit awkward, well, that's her own fault. I just can't imagine her being able to be annoyed that you had made food that she has duplicated. What could she say?

TeamBhakta

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Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #32 on: March 18, 2016, 10:24:38 AM »
This sketch from the show Man Stroke Woman sort of represents what it looks like when guests disregard the host's wishes. (it's work safe, I promise)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgvR5DJ-Qj0

mandycorn

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Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2016, 10:38:44 AM »

I'm not one for confrontation and to me that entire situation is awkward. everyone would know that I made X dish and since they are 2 X dish, there must have been a mix up of sorts. That's why I've been putting my own away. I don't want people to know that 1. A guest stepped boundaries 2.  I have way too much X dish. 3. I must know "be mad" guest that brought X dish which creates awkwardness

I think the vast majority guests will take their cues about the situation from you, so if you just treat it like it's no big deal, guests either won't notice at all, or assume it you're fine with it, which will minimize any awkwardness for them.

Guest: "What's the difference between these two plates of chicken?"
You: "This one's mine and MIL brought those" (with a smile)
Guest: "Oh, nice. Thanks!" (carries on partying)

The only one who could feel at all awkward about that is MIL, and she already knows she's bringing food when you told her not to, so that's a risk she's willing to take. Let her own her own feelings; as long as you're polite, you aren't doing anything wrong (and I'd say serving an unasked for dish is above and beyond the minimum for politeness).
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gramma dishes

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Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #34 on: March 18, 2016, 11:16:08 AM »

... Since the consensus is put my food out along with hers (still seems embarrassing to me) I will try that!


No.  You have that backwards and it's an important distinction!  We're not suggesting you put out your food along with hers.  We're suggesting you put out HER food along with YOURS.  Yours always comes first.  Always is more important.  Always has the prominent display.  Yours.

Onyx_TKD

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Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2016, 12:17:53 PM »


Since the consensus is put my food out along with hers (still seems embarrassing to me) I will try that!

Personally, I'd put her food away, unless/until something runs out.  If I've set out a spread, I probably wouldn't have room to squeeze in something I haven't planned for. 

Also, I'm not sure who's supposed to be embarrassed here.  Your MIL's behavior is no reflection on you.

I'm not one for confrontation and to me that entire situation is awkward. everyone would know that I made X dish and since they are 2 X dish, there must have been a mix up of sorts. That's why I've been putting my own away. I don't want people to know that 1. A guest stepped boundaries 2.  I have way too much X dish. 3. I must know "be mad" guest that brought X dish which creates awkwardness

According to your OP:
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.

Your guests are already noticing when this happens! Putting your food isn't hiding the fact that something has been duplicated. It's just ensuring that your effort was completely wasted. Having two versions of 7-layer dip, homemade chicken strips, etc., could conceivably have been the plan all along, especially if you used different recipes. Even if people realize it wasn't planned, it implies that you're not offended by the situation if you're willing to put the guest's version out along with yours. By contrast, having your version disappear to make room for the other makes it blatantly obvious to anyone who notices the switch that it wasn't the plan and the other guest's "contribution" just displaced your efforts. As an uninvolved guest, the latter version is the one that would make me feel awkward if I noticed.

Venus193

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Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #36 on: March 18, 2016, 01:33:50 PM »
Last year my friend the Potluck Queen had a St Patrick's Day party to which everyone brought sweets.  Not a big surprise with an 8PM start time.  She had also made cupcakes (but doesn't otherwise cook).  Nobody brought anything resembling "real food."

This year it was almost exactly the opposite in addition to the unopened bags of frozen oven-ready wings she had from Super Bowl.  There was too much chicken.

Since other people are mostly stepping up to contribute (except the guy with the stale matzohs) I don't bring as much stuff as I used to.  If there is another party before the weather gets too warm I might make either Italian or Moroccan meatballs.





z_squared82

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Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #37 on: March 18, 2016, 01:40:58 PM »


Since the consensus is put my food out along with hers (still seems embarrassing to me) I will try that!

Personally, I'd put her food away, unless/until something runs out.  If I've set out a spread, I probably wouldn't have room to squeeze in something I haven't planned for. 

Also, I'm not sure who's supposed to be embarrassed here.  Your MIL's behavior is no reflection on you.

I'm not one for confrontation and to me that entire situation is awkward. everyone would know that I made X dish and since they are 2 X dish, there must have been a mix up of sorts. That's why I've been putting my own away. I don't want people to know that 1. A guest stepped boundaries 2.  I have way too much X dish. 3. I must know "be mad" guest that brought X dish which creates awkwardness

I can almost guarantee that no one is thinking about guest/you/the food as much as you think they are thinking about guest/you/the food. And ever if they were: 1. So what? 2. So what? and 3. So what?

Yvaine

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Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #38 on: March 18, 2016, 02:11:05 PM »
Last year my friend the Potluck Queen had a St Patrick's Day party to which everyone brought sweets.  Not a big surprise with an 8PM start time.  She had also made cupcakes (but doesn't otherwise cook).  Nobody brought anything resembling "real food."

This year it was almost exactly the opposite in addition to the unopened bags of frozen oven-ready wings she had from Super Bowl.  There was too much chicken.

Since other people are mostly stepping up to contribute (except the guy with the stale matzohs) I don't bring as much stuff as I used to.  If there is another party before the weather gets too warm I might make either Italian or Moroccan meatballs.

An old friend group of mine once had the Party of Bread. Literally everyone brought some kind of bread, roll, pastry, etc.

Harriet Jones

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Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #39 on: March 18, 2016, 02:13:59 PM »
I went to a 'desserts & appetizers' potluck where everyone but me brought doughnuts.

Dindrane

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Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #40 on: March 18, 2016, 04:06:16 PM »


Since the consensus is put my food out along with hers (still seems embarrassing to me) I will try that!

Personally, I'd put her food away, unless/until something runs out.  If I've set out a spread, I probably wouldn't have room to squeeze in something I haven't planned for. 

Also, I'm not sure who's supposed to be embarrassed here.  Your MIL's behavior is no reflection on you.

I'm not one for confrontation and to me that entire situation is awkward. everyone would know that I made X dish and since they are 2 X dish, there must have been a mix up of sorts. That's why I've been putting my own away. I don't want people to know that 1. A guest stepped boundaries 2.  I have way too much X dish. 3. I must know "be mad" guest that brought X dish which creates awkwardness

You know what's really rude and awkward, though, is asking if you should bring something, getting "no" as your answer, and deciding to just go ahead and bring something anyway.

Also, if you just take the dish as soon as your MIL (or whoever) brings it and either stick it right in the kitchen/fridge, or put it right out with everything else and then say nothing at all...I bet you a lot of people won't notice, and those who notice won't care or assign any motives to it.

I think the best course of action really is to put theirs away until the end of the party, or until you run out, whichever comes first. Unless you want the duplicate dish out, just keep yours out and put the duplicate away.


Aunt4God

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Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #41 on: March 18, 2016, 06:35:22 PM »
If you were to take the guest's dish and loudly announce that you already have this on the table so you're going to put theirs in the fridge until it's needed, then march to the kitchen holding it high for everyone to see, then ,yes, you're repaying rudeness with more rudeness.  OTOH, if you quietly thank them, discreetly put it in the fridge (or even on the table next yours) then politely return it to them without drawing attention to it at the end of the party, most people are going to be completely clueless.  Don't assign thoughts and feelings to people when you have no way to know that's what they are thinking or feeling.  You are not being rude to not use their dish. 

gellchom

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Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #42 on: March 18, 2016, 08:13:50 PM »
It might not be rude, but it is kind of petty.  I wouldn't like it, either, but it's not such a big deal.  I'd just put them both out and find another way to address the issue another time.

Stricken_Halo

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Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #43 on: March 18, 2016, 08:17:04 PM »
I've told this story here before, but it's particularly relevant to this thread. Several years ago, I invited people over for Easter luncheon. I told people not to bring anything and worked really hard on the full meal. I had prepared Spanakopita (Greek spinach pie) as a first course. My cousins turned up at the door with a huge tray of...Spanakopita! I wish they had told me they were planning to do this, so I could have steered them to something else if they really wanted to contribute. I served both, but I was really annoyed, since it turned part of the meal into a kind of Bobby Flay Throwdown. Next time they were invited, I assigned them wine. They brought the wine and only the wine. Problem solved, I thought...until the time after that, when I assigned wine again and they came with it and a bakery cake. I admit to being vain about my home baking, so I felt especially irritated, but I served it along with my own on the "you can't have too many desserts" theory.

Several other people I've told this to don't seem to mind whenever guests bring extra food. So I guess I should just keep repeating "They're only trying to help, they're only trying to help." But I don't understand the "no means yes" thinking.

I'm curious about the potlucks others have mentioned that were all desserts, or all bread. Did no one assign dishes? I know it's possible to over-micromanage potlucks (i.e. that famous "Thanksgiving letter"), but some hosts go too far in the other direction.

Harriet Jones

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Re: A guest brings food to your party that you've already made
« Reply #44 on: March 18, 2016, 09:57:49 PM »
I'm curious about the potlucks others have mentioned that were all desserts, or all bread. Did no one assign dishes? I know it's possible to over-micromanage potlucks (i.e. that famous "Thanksgiving letter"), but some hosts go too far in the other direction.

In the case of my all-doughnuts potluck, there was no organization, just a signup sheet to say you were coming.