Bringing food to a party and then taking it

shawna_annDecember 13, 2006

Hi, I attended a party today with work colleagues. We met at a home and everyone contributed. One of my colleagues made a couple of things. Not all of the two dishes were gone at the end of the party and she took it home with her. It was still in her containers but I think that is sort of rude to take it from the party. I see it as a contribution and could have transferred what is left to another container.

This also happened when we had dinner together at my house and I just see it as a bit strange. Just wanted to hear what others had to say.....I usually leave something if I bring it.....thanks ! S.A.

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If I have to make something to take to someone elses house and it's in my container when served off the buffet then I wouldn't probably wait around to see if I could leave the rest of it there. Especially given that it was a work funcion.

I hate leftovers. So I leave the food if I can. But, maybe she sees it as a burden.

I think you are being a bit picky on this. Do you just not like her maybe? :)

    Bookmark   December 13, 2006 at 8:50PM
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If it was like a pot luck function, then I see no problem her taking the leftovers especially if there wasn't an easy way to transfer the leftovers to another dish. Maybe her worry wasn't about the food, but being sure she got her dish/container. I know many hosts don't like to have to wash, and track down what dishes belong to who, and have to return them all. Plus, if the food was sitting out for hours it was probably nearing the toss out stage anyway.

And, if someone brings food to my house, I usually send their leftovers home with them, or at least offer to. I don't assume all the leftovers are mine unless I've made them all.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 12:23AM
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I don't see this as rude. It was a casual potluck get together. She probably wanted the containers back and didn't give the food a second thought. I'm like carla35, I don't assume the food is mine unless I make it. Guests are free to take or leave whatever food they like. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 7:43AM
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As a veteran pot luck host and attendee, here's how I see it. I think the right thing for a person bringing a dish to a potluck is, when you're ready to leave, ask the host if they'd like to have the leftovers and if they say yes, transfer it to their container. If not, take it home. If there's a ton of it, you can split the leftovers if the host wants some.

When I'm a hostess, from my point of view, what I have is a lot of people bringing a lot of food to my house. I don't WANT all the leftovers. Some of it might be something I don't want to eat. Some of it might be something that might not survive a night on the buffet table that well and is probably best thrown out. And, depending on the number of guests & number of dishes, it might be physically impossible for me to keep/eat all the leftovers!

As the guest, much depends on what dish I brought and how it was recieved. If hardly anyone ate it, I might feel more comfortable just keeping the leftovers, simply because that means to me that it wasn't well liked, and probably it's something my own family would like. On the other hand, if there's hardly anything left, it's really not worth going to the trouble of transferring to another container.

In the end, I still believe the best thing to do is to give the host the right of first refusal. But honestly, as host, if they don't bother and just take it home, it's ok with me, I don't see it as a great faux pas.

Thinking about this some more, the main exception I can think of to what I said above, is if the guest has to leave the party earlier than most of the other guests. In that case, the food should be left, either transferred to another container, or better yet, left in the original container with arrangements made to pick them up later. In reality, if you know you have to leave early, the best thing to do is bring the dish in disposable containers that can be left behind.

You did say "at the end of the party" so I don't think that's the case here, so really, I don't think what she did was horrendous. Just MHO.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 11:52AM
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Yeah!! What lowspark said...
Not much worse after a good sized party that having a lot of other people's leftovers.
In my book, kindness is bring the food in your own serving dish.....and then removing all, serving dish and leftovers when you say Good-by.
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 14, 2006 at 10:05PM
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Here's another consideration she may have had. What if it was a food that she knew to be perishable, that had already sat out at room temp about as long as would be safe? maybe she was concerned that if someone took the leftovers and didn't store them properly, they could become very ill?

But all in all, I don't see there's any real hard and fast rule here. Yes, it would have been nice if she'd offered the leftovers to the host, but as she probably didn't want to chance losing her dish, it wouldn't have bothered me a bit that she took home what was left in it. Just not a situation I'd lose any sleep over one way or the other.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 11:49AM
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Exactly what Lospark said!

As a hostess, I don't want the dishes or the leftovers! I always give the hostess right of first refusal and then get the stuff out of her way.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 2:46PM
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Well, I love leftovers! If someone wants to leave something - and I like it - it's a welcome addition to my fridge. However if someone takes home the leftovers, I'm not offended, as I view it as theirs to begin with.


    Bookmark   December 15, 2006 at 4:31PM
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in fact we took, and brought home leftovers, lol...ds1 just didn't have room for all the ham he purchased...

i'm not offended at all if someone takes food home...

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 9:14PM
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A little off-topic but here goes:

I have a friend (and just because this is a little quirky to me, she IS a friend) who announces at the beginning of each party that she's going to make her husband a dish. I go to a lot of just-the-girls pot-lucks with the same crowd of women. We all bring something to share.

This announcement is before everyone has made themselves their own dish, not when we're looking at a sea of leftovers. She piles a dish high with food, asks for plastic wrap and puts the dish in the fridge for when she goes home.

Granted, there is enough food. I just think it's odd behavior considering no one's husband is there and no one else takes a meal home to their husbands.

And, to answer the original question--I'm relieved when someone takes their dish, serving utensil and leftover food home with them. But it's courtesy to ask the hostess first.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 6:23AM
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Hmm. That's an interesting thing to do! I think if she did that at my house (assuming I'd heard it before and was prepared for it) I'd take her aside and ask her to fix her dish for her husband AFTER everyone else had served themselves. I don't see anything wrong with anyone taking a plate home per se, but the way she does it, well I find that a bit presumptuous.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 5:07PM
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dian, that is an odd thing to do, quite rude imo.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 6:36AM
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dian...that is strange, especially since she does it before all the girls made their own plates. In my opinion, that's rude. I can see if there were alot of leftovers then asked if it would be okay to take a plate home to by DH.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2007 at 5:09PM
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We have a pool in our back yard and all summer long we have lots and lots of impromtu pot-luck get togethers. I have no problem with people taking their left-overs. One less thing for me to clean up afterwards.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 9:38AM
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If the party is still in full swing, I think taking what you brought, if still on the buffet is a bit rude. If the dinner (food) has been cleared to the kitchen, I would love it if someone who brought a dish would take it with them. One less dish for me to deal with. We are not a big leftover family and I would more likely than not, discard the leftovers, wash and return the serving dish.

When I take a dish to a party, I usually purchase an inexpensive serving dish so that the dish can be put directly on the buffet, and I don't retrieve it after the party. Restaurant supply stores have a great selection of inexpensive serving dishes that are inexpensive, yet look nice enough to go directly on the buffet. If asked if I wanted what was left of my dish, I definitely would decline.

When I entertain family, I always buy the disposable Gladware and send care packages home with the older guests. Seems that they enjoy not having to cook a meal the next night:)). In fact, MIL will ask if she can have something to heat up the next night. I know its rude, but I take it as a compliment rather than feeling badly about it.

As for the gal who makes a platter for hubby before the guests at the gals' function even serve themselves is just downright rude. I could see and have seen women do this after the dinner and there's food left, but have never seen someone go through a buffet before guests to make a plate.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 6:45PM
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