When dinner guests ask 'What can we bring besides wine?'

YoursTilNiagaraFallsFebruary 22, 2012

What's your response? Do you accept their offer?

I never know what to say, particularly if we don't know the invitees that well. Sometimes if it's been a crazy work week, it would help if they brought dessert or something. However, part of me feels that as our guests, they shouldn't have to bring their own food! What to do, what to do.

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I always prefer wine but if they insist, then...


    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 5:40PM
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I just say "your self"....unless the guest says something like "can I bring an apple pie"...
But then if they say, I'll just stop by the supermarket and pick one up"....and then I say thanks but I really have the whole meal planned!
Mostly I say...no really nothing....really!
When I am invited out, if it's a good friend who I know well, I might say "what can I bring"....or "Would you like me to bring a loaf of bread?"...if they still say nothing, I either bring wine or a wedge of Maytag Blue.....or a jar of jam if I have been recently making some.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 5:46PM
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I think if one of my friends asked what they could bring besides wine, I would have to wonder if they are feeling okay LOL! Yes, we ALL like our wine when we get together. That said, I have had a few go off the beaten path and bring an interesting vodka, scotch or bourbon instead.

If someone really wanted to bring food, then I might say a loaf of crusty bread or I love the suggestion from L2C46 - chocolate!


    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 5:55PM
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Heh, I wasn't clear -- they're asking if they can bring something IN ADDITION to wine, not instead of it. Trust me, with our friends the wine is a given!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 6:01PM
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"Your appetite"


    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 6:04PM
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I always say "just yourselves".

I'm not a control freak but usually I have put some effort into planning the meal and I want everything to work well together. In addition I take great pleasure in "entertaining" my company.

Wine of course is always welcome!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 6:26PM
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My friends and I have an agreement...they come empty handed (and get the night off from cooking) and when I go to their homes, I go empty handed (and I get the night off). We do always show up with wine or maybe something for them or for me from the garden, etc. or not. But nothing toward the meal. It's really nice to have it worked out that way.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 8:15PM
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And then there was the friend who would call and say..."I have some steaks would you like to come for dinner?" I would accept and say what can it bring? She would reply 'Do you have a loaf of your good bread...oh and I don't have anything for salad"....She did that often...about every 2 months. and one time she said, "and it you would like Scotch, bring it, I'm out".
So I arrived with bread a bowl of salad and dressing, home made, bottle of scotch....and she says...Oh and my ice machine doesn't work, would you go get some ice?"
I have stopped accepting invitations!!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 8:46PM
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We have one set of close friends we often have dinner with. I almost without fail ask them to bring dessert. I also tell them that if they are feeling lazy or short on time to bring the kind of ice cream we all like and if they want something specific to drink. Seems to work out fine. I like to cook but I'm not huge on dessert so this arrangement seems to be good for everyone.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 8:57PM
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I think you have to use your judgment to read what they're really saying- do they sound excited to bring something that they've made, or do they sound like they would rather not but are trying to be polite. Lindac- I have a similar story. One friend bought steak and asked if we could barbecue it. Suddenly we owed him the world because of that steak- "can I drink all of your beer? I brought you steak. Can I invite all of my friends over? I brought you steak." Funny thing was, we'd spent more than him on baked beans, rice, veggies, etc. People are funny sometimes.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 9:00PM
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How about "something sweet or just your own sweet selves." A relationship where you feel comfortable enough to bring something when you feel like cooking and not when you're busy and stressed is absolutely wonderful. I actually think letting people pitch in helps them feel more at home. Too much politeness is draining for everyone. We've finally hit that niche in my extended family, and it's bliss. No one has to stay up all night cooking after a stressful day of work, and not once have we ever gone hungry.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 10:31PM
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When we have people over for dinner, we usually have the menu all planned out. But we aren't that inflexible that if a guest insists, we have them bring a dessert. Even the ones that can't cook or don't have time stop at a favorite bakery and pick up some nice pastries. Now if it is a family get together or close friends that is a different story. I tell them right off what to bring. I know what good cooks they are so I pick the best dishes they make. lol NancyLouise

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 4:50AM
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Family functions its understood that you're bringing something. It's too many people for one person to handle. However, if its a smaller dinner, I tell people to bring what they like to drink. I generally have sodas available, but the DH doesn't drink. So if you want to drink, you're bringing it.

I generally don't mind bringing appetizers or dessert or something to drink to other people's functions.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 7:10AM
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I guess that depends on the family. Our gatherings are usually small- sometimes it's potluck and sometimes someone just makes a lasagna or something. I'm not sure how close you want to be with these people, Niagra, but I say let go of the thought that the host has to do all the work.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 8:23AM
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In Mexico (at least in Mexico City) it is considered rude to bring food to a dinner party, and for some people even wine is frowned upon. The only gift that is acceptable is flowers, but you cannot suggest to guests that they bring flowers. Fortunately, everyone in Mexico City seems to know the rules. Of course it will also vary from culture to culture, and in a melting pot like here, it is difficult to pick which rules to follow.

If it were up to me in your situation, I would tell them that the wine is enough. I generally end up with more leftovers than I can store, and if someone brought more food, there is a good chance it would not be touched. I might ask someone to arrive early to help me set something up, however, but that is a rare situation and usually does not work out.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 11:35AM
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I usually accept the offer, but make it something easy. Depends on who it is. A lot of my friends who offer to bring something like to cook and share. Plus they know I work and am busy and they don't mind pitching in to help. So for those people it varies--dessert, side dish, appetizer, whatever they feel like making, we kind of discuss what I am making and they decide. But if it is someone I don't know and there is nothing easy I need, and if I get the feeling they are just going through the motions, then I would probably politely decline.

I'm the same way as a guest, if it's someone I don't know well, I usually don't ask about bringing anything, but do bring something foodie as a hostess gift, something they can eat later. That's why I got into canning, lol! I often bring them a jar of jam or salsa, if it's not wine or flowers. On the other hand, if it is a good friend whom I know is just as harried as me, I'll offer to bring the dessert, bread, beverages or whatever if they need me to.

BTW, if you ever find yourself in that situation, offering to bring pie is a great idea. By buying precut frozen fruits and a pre-made pie crust, you can get a "homeade" pie in the oven in about 10 min. Fresh baked "homeade" pie with very little effort. I have a recipe for raspberry peach pie that is my "go to" for that effect. Just be careful, some pre-made pie is made with lard, which is fine as long as you're not going to a Jewish party!! :)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 11:57AM
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My friends know that when I invite them for dinner, that I have everything planned including the wines that will be served with each course.

If someone new offers to bring something I tell them just to bring themselves.


    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 1:47PM
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My sister was asked to bring a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, and she showed up with a PUMPKIN!!!!!and all of the ingredients for the pie! Luckily, the house we were at for TG had double ovens! The next spring I sent her a packet of pumpkin seeds and told her she was the pumpkin pie maker, but PLEASE make it at home! LOL
For a meal that has been planned out, I usually ask for a great loaf of bread! The meal is already planned, so there's not much room for bread! Then I have that bread and some soup the next day! Yum! Nancy

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 9:00PM
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