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Pot luck expectations?


Audrey
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If you are invited to a pot luck supper, and the host says in the invitation email to bring "an entree or a salad" and you RSVP within a day (and two weeks before the pot luck) that you would bring an artichoke, roasted pepper and black olive pasta salad would you be annoyed if the host then asked you the day before the pot luck if you would also make another entrée dish that you had once made for a past pot luck and which the host had hoped you would say you would bring?  (forgive my syntax there)

 

This is not hypothetical.  This happened to me.  I know how I feel about this, but I want to know what the Hive says.  How would you feel? Do you think the host's request was out of line?  Is this acceptable etiquette on her part?  What would you do?  Would you make the dish you promised in the RSVP?  Would you make the dish requested by the host?  Would you make both dishes? Would you even go to the pot luck at all? 

 

 

I'd be annoyed in the first place at having to specify ahead of time what I was bringing, because pot *luck,* so then yeah, I'd be annoyed if the hostess asked me to bring an additional something else. If she really loved that other thing, she should have asked right away, not the day before, and oh definitely not an additional dish.

 

So, yes, it was not proper etiquette.

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The other dish is a smoked brisket with my grandma's BBQ sauce. I didn't say what the dish was because I didn't want the cost of it to be a factor. I really wouldn't have minded making it, but it isn't a good season for that for me. I made it prior because we still had a big brisket in the freezer because we’d just got a steer back from the butcher. Also, the sauce is a big batch and uses a lot of tomatoes. In our climate gardens are only just going in. I don't have any tomatoes. Yes, I could buy some but they're really not the same. It wouldn't be the right sauce.

 

And my apologies, but it's grandma's sauce and that's one of those family secret recipes. I can tell you that it cooks a whole day ahead and sits a day while the brisket smokes, though, so if you know your Southern BBQ, then you probably know what I mean.

 

For what it's worth, the response I got this morning when I apologized for not being able to make this and said I didn't have the ingredients was "you have cattle. What do you mean you don't have beef?" to be honest, I was so put off by that I couldn't even reply to it. I will go with my pasta dish, but only because there will be actual friends there with whom my family and I had looked forward to dining.

 

 

 

 

ETA: Editing for weird formatting while posting from my phone.

Edited by Audrey
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<snip>

 

For what it's worth, the response I got this morning when I apologized for not being able to make this and said I didn't have the ingredients was "you have cattle. What do you mean you don't have beef?" to be honest, I was so put off by that I couldn't even reply to it. I will go with my pasta dish, but only because there will be actual friends there with whom my family and I had looked forward to dining.

 

You have got to be kidding me!  I can imagine saying that jokingly to someone I knew really well, and who I knew would get that it was a joke. But this does not sound like that. 

 

 

Edited by marbel
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Smoked brisket?  I want some!  But no way would I make that for a potluck - brisket (when I can even find it, everything here is corned beef) is too expensive to make for a potluck.  Tell her if she wants it, next time she can provide the meat and you will cook it :-)

 

I wonder - was she planning on YOU providing the main course, your brisket, for everyone?  What a cheap hostess!

 

Oh, now I read all the other posts - you have cattle!  Well, there you go - just go out and poke the cow until a brisket falls off it.  That is how it works, right? ;-)

Edited by JFSinIL
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Oh my. After her latest email, I'd show up with the lamest potluck contribution ever. Half a bag of stale marshmallows. Old trail mix. Cheese toast, cold. Burnt cookies. Lower her expectations to the point she never asks for anything ever again.

 

I'm only half kidding.

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I would be:

 

A - slightly annoyed (more work for me at the last minute)

B - Hugely Flattered (I don't think anyone has EVER asked me to even give them a recipe for anything I brought that wasn't a dessert)

 

But if it wasn't convenient for me (don't have the ingredients, shopping is a pain, no time, whatever), I would not feel bad about letting her know that I couldn't bring the second dish.

 

Sounds like you might be in this situation and should feel fine about just declining nicely. 

 

 

ETA - NM found the recipe above!!!!   Sounds amazing!  Thank you for taking time to post that!

Edited by AK_Mom4
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I would roll my eyes, make the dish requested, and be slightly annoyed. I think the host is out of line to ask for a change, but it wouldn't be a big deal. If the dish requested takes a lot of money or time, I would be more annoyed but would probably still do it unless I had reasons that I couldn't. If I couldn't- for instance, it takes all day to make and I had plans for that day, then I would tell the host that I could not do it this time. 

Edited by Paige
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It's just the one salad -- pasta, artichoke, roasted peppers, black olives, some other stuff and dressing.

 

And, I really don't have all the ingredients I'd need for what she requested.  We live near a very small town.  The store was already closed for Saturday. They're never open on Sunday and it's a holiday weekend, so even if I were inclined to drive to the next largest centre 50 miles away, they'd be closed this Sunday, too.

 

"I'm sorry, I'm happy to hear you like [dish] so much; unfortunately I don't have the ingredients for that on hand. I'll be bringing the salad I mentioned in my RSVP, it is one of my favorites. We look forward to seeing you."

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The other dish is a smoked brisket with my grandma's BBQ sauce. I didn't say what the dish was because I didn't want the cost of it to be a factor. I really wouldn't have minded making it, but it isn't a good season for that for me. I made it prior because we still had a big brisket in the freezer because we’d just got a steer back from the butcher. Also, the sauce is a big batch and uses a lot of tomatoes. In our climate gardens are only just going in. I don't have any tomatoes. Yes, I could buy some but they're really not the same. It wouldn't be the right sauce. And my apologies, but it's grandma's sauce and that's one of those family secret recipes. I can tell you that it cooks a whole day ahead and sits a day while the brisket smokes, though, so if you know your Southern BBQ, then you probably know what I mean. For what it's worth, the response I got this morning when I apologized for not being able to make this and said I didn't have the ingredients was "you have cattle. What do you mean you don't have beef?" to be honest, I was so put off by that I couldn't even reply to it. I will go with my pasta dish, but only because there will be actual friends there with whom my family and I had looked forward to dining.

 

Oh my!

 

Wow, rude much? I'd be tempted to reply "were you planning to come over here and do the butchering for me this morning?"

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I'm not sure I'd be up for bringing the salad at this point, now that we know she feels entitled to your brisket plus she covets your cows. I mean, Katy, bar the door.

 

In my ideal snark scenario, pick up a bucket of fried chicken and a two liter of pop for the potluck (so as to adjust strangers' expectations), and don't go to her parties anymore.

 

But IRL I'd take the salad if I was still going (iffy).

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Oh my. After her latest email, I'd show up with the lamest potluck contribution ever. Half a bag of stale marshmallows. Old trail mix. Cheese toast, cold. Burnt cookies. Lower her expectations to the point she never asks for anything ever again.

 

I'm only half kidding.

I did not see this post! Totally agree, down to the only half kidding.

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Have not read any of the replies.

 

If host preferred you bring a specific dish, host should have made the request upfront. 

 

I would attend with the dish I had already planned to prepare. 

 

I *may* also prepare the requested dish, but certainly would not feel obligated to do so and would only do so if it were no extra trouble.

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I'd write back again something to the effect of, "It is my grandma's secret recipe, so I can't let out the secret, but trust me, we don't have the ingredients I would need to make it. I am so glad you liked it though!" 3 of the ingredients you don't have right now are time, inclination and energy in addition to the meat and the ripe tomatoes.

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Well I was prepared to suggest a "benefit of the doubt" argument.  Perhaps the other participants were slow to tell her what they were bringing, plus she's been busy with other stuff, and she realized too late that there weren't enough main dishes for the dinner, so she figures it wouldn't hurt to ask.  Possibly she asked additional people besides OP.  She should not have waited until the day before, but I could understand not having it all figured out right after the RSVPs started coming back.  Obviously OP should still say no under the circumstances.

 

However, that last rude comment stung my charitable nature.  This person is dense.  Period.  That's as charitable as I'm willing to be at this point.  :P

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Okay now I know you didn't want cost to influence our replies but

 

HOLY MOLY THAT'S NERVY!!!!

 

In my world, such substantial food items are provided by the hostess or someone who offers without being asked. I can barely fit a big brisket in my own grocery budget, it would make me sick to request it from someone else.

 

But hey, it really does sound delicious!

 

ETA I responded first in a huff and then I read your post more thoroughly. Good grief. I'm with the gals up thread, pick up some grocery store fried chicken and a bottle of Pepsi cola and bring your store-bought with a smile. Well, I'd hate the beautiful salad dish to go to waste but....

Edited by Seasider
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Okay now I know you didn't want cost to influence our replies but

 

HOLY MOLY THAT'S NERVY!!!!

 

In my world, such substantial food items are provided by the hostess or someone who offers without being asked. I can barely fit a big brisket in my own grocery budget, it would make me sick to request it from someone else.

 

But hey, it really does sound delicious!

 

ETA I responded first in a huff and then I read your post more thoroughly. Good grief. I'm with the gals up thread, pick up some grocery store fried chicken and a bottle of Pepsi cola and bring your store-bought with a smile. Well, I'd hate the beautiful salad dish to go to waste but....

 

 

Well... yes.  The cost wasn't the issue.  It doesn't cost me store prices to make something with my own beef (it costs money, yes, but in a different way and not equivalent to butcher counter costs).  

 

I have only made that once for a pot luck and it was a big event to raise funds for a family who had lost their husband/father who was also the sole famer of the operation.  The occasion warranted something extra nice because dishes were judged by a coin donation.  There was a group of local businesses who each matched the highest dish's donation.  So it was something like 10-12 times whatever the winning dish would have earned.   So, naturally... you would want to bring something that people would give up their loonies and toonies for, not just nickels and dimes.  And, I did have the brisket and tomatoes and everything to do it.  

 

Anyway.... I'm glad I'm not the only one miffed or found it inappropriate.  I *am* flattered whenever anyone makes a special request and I'm usually good to accommodate it.  I almost always bring the recipe, too.  I'm not bothered to share most of them.  There are the special ones, though, but I think almost everyone has secret or family special recipes that stay in the family.  Most people understand that.

Edited by Audrey
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Oh my. After her latest email, I'd show up with the lamest potluck contribution ever. Half a bag of stale marshmallows. Old trail mix. Cheese toast, cold. Burnt cookies. Lower her expectations to the point she never asks for anything ever again.

 

I'm only half kidding.

 

 

It was a phone call. I had to shut my mouth.  And, Katie, you've known me long enough to know what an incredibly difficult thing that was for me! :laugh:​

Edited by Audrey
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Well I was prepared to suggest a "benefit of the doubt" argument.  Perhaps the other participants were slow to tell her what they were bringing, plus she's been busy with other stuff, and she realized too late that there weren't enough main dishes for the dinner, so she figures it wouldn't hurt to ask.  Possibly she asked additional people besides OP.  She should not have waited until the day before, but I could understand not having it all figured out right after the RSVPs started coming back.  Obviously OP should still say no under the circumstances.

 

However, that last rude comment stung my charitable nature.  This person is dense.  Period.  That's as charitable as I'm willing to be at this point.  :p

 

Am I the only one who thinks a potluck with a bunch of salads would be fine?  Many people make substantial salads - I would count the salad Audrey described in that category - it really could be considered a vegetarian main dish.    It may not be everyone's preference but it's not like people wouldn't be fed.

 

I'm not disagreeing with you, SKL, it's just that you articulated something that I think was implied in some of the other posts. 

 

But then again, I've been to potlucks where the only things that seems appetizing were the salads.  At least I could tell what the ingredients were.  Sometimes the contents of the crockpots all look the same, and not necessarily very tasty....

 

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I would completely think she was making a silly joke by saying that you have cattle, what do you mean you don't have beef. I would take it as lighthearted.

 

And I completely would have not thought much of anything about the request. I'd have forgotten it about 1 minute after she made it. "Oh sorry! I wish you'd asked me sooner. There's no time to make it now." And then....right out of my head. Wouldn't think about it again and would have gone on with my day.

 

But food is 100% NOT my love language. For the first 10 years of marriage, we had spaghetti about 5 nights out of 7 and if there was a potluck or event at work/church, I always brought the plastic ware. :). So, my opinion might not count on this thread. (P.S. I did learn how to cook when we had kids, but it's still not my love language.)

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I think she's finding herself short on main dish food and thinks it's ok to ask you to bend over backwards to fix that problem for her.  If she had fessed up to that and told you that she's in panic mode, perhaps you still wouldn't have made the requested dish but at least you could understand her rudeness.  Yeah, it would still be rude to ask, but...

 

 

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It is not a friend at all. The host chairs a local volunteer group with which I am involved.

 

ETA: The pot luck is for the volunteers.

Then I would be a little annoyed.

If it was a party for friends I would be happy to make the dish if I had the ingredients.

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I agree with everyone else. The initial request would have been okay if she had asked when you RSVP'd, even though it is kind of a big thing to ask, but the day before? No way. I also live a ways from the store and I never shop for potlucks that late. We raise our own beef, but obviously she doesn't know brisket isn't something you get a ton of and it doesn't mean you don't need to conserve or it might be a while before you butcher again. She sounds very insensitive and like she needs to learn some tact.

 

And wow for keeping your mouth shut because there is no way I could've not made a rude retort!!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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OK, if you want to know my real gut reaction to that lady's cattle comment, the first thing that came to my mind is "you are a cow, why are you bothering me for beef?"

 

Yes I now that makes me sound like a misogynist .....

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I think it's acceptable to ask, though she should have asked right away and not right before the event. I do, also, think it's acceptable for you to respond that you've already bought the ingredients for the dish that you were bringing and you'll make sure to bring the requested dish next time. 

 

If you haven't already bought the ingredients then I'd make the requested dish.

 

 

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You guys are nice. Only put out if you don't have the ingredients. Psssh I'd be put out regardless LOL. I find pot luck prep a chore. Even if I pick an easy to make item and have everything.

 

I think the most annoying thing about the request was she was asking you to bring two items. I'd be pretty annoyed and wonder if she was trying to compensate for someone falling through with an entrée. If so, I think given the last minute situation, she should just buy something or make something herself rather than dump the chore on a guest.

 

What would I do? I'm not sure. I guess email back and say I wish I had known so I could have signed up for an entrée from the start and had time to shop. Now unfortunately it is too late. Do you still want me to bring the dish I signed up for or are there too many salads?

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Oh my. After her latest email, I'd show up with the lamest potluck contribution ever. Half a bag of stale marshmallows. Old trail mix. Cheese toast, cold. Burnt cookies. Lower her expectations to the point she never asks for anything ever again.

 

I'm only half kidding.

 

I just read the part about the latest email and when I got to this I laughed out loud.

 

After that email I don't know if I could show up. I might suddenly not feel well.

 

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Never mind the very late request, I find it just as surprising that she would feel okay with making a request for such an extravagant entree in the first place.  In my neck of the woods potlucks are very casual affairs and no one is expected to bring a dish big enough to serve everybody, more like just bring enough for 10.  You're an attendee, not a caterer.

Edited by Malory
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It was a phone call. I had to shut my mouth. And, Katie, you've known me long enough to know what an incredibly difficult thing that was for me! :laugh:​

*stands up, starts slow clap*

 

Seriously, I'm not sure I could've held my tongue.

 

Eta: hope the event ended up a great time!

Edited by happi duck
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I wouldn't have been annoyed by the first request. I read it as flattering and an off-hand request. Yes, it would have been better earlier and not last minute (especially now that I know what the dish is) but I could see someone in my circle of friends sending something similar. However, I would also have no problem saying no that it was too late. I don't think it's necessarily rude to say "Oh, I was hoping you would make x" and I don't think it's rude to say "Oh, thanks, I'd love to next time but I can't this time..." 

 

However, after reading her response to you I agree that she sounds at best, clueless.  That makes me read the OP differently and now I'm annoyed for you. :) 

 

We host and go to a lot of potlucks. We've had a standing potluck lunch after church every other week for the past 13+ years that rotates between our house and two others. We never tell people what to bring, ask for RSVPs or even ask what they are bringing. That's the whole point of it being a potluck. It always works out. We always have enough food and there is always interesting variety. Dh's 50th birthday is this weekend and we're having a potluck open house on Saturday. He invited something like 200 people and we don't really have any idea who will come or what food they will bring. We'll also provide food as well, but the beauty of the potluck is the variety and accepting what people offer, not in making it perfect. 

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The other dish is a smoked brisket with my grandma's BBQ sauce. I didn't say what the dish was because I didn't want the cost of it to be a factor. I really wouldn't have minded making it, but it isn't a good season for that for me. I made it prior because we still had a big brisket in the freezer because we’d just got a steer back from the butcher. Also, the sauce is a big batch and uses a lot of tomatoes. In our climate gardens are only just going in. I don't have any tomatoes. Yes, I could buy some but they're really not the same. It wouldn't be the right sauce.

 

And my apologies, but it's grandma's sauce and that's one of those family secret recipes. I can tell you that it cooks a whole day ahead and sits a day while the brisket smokes, though, so if you know your Southern BBQ, then you probably know what I mean.

 

For what it's worth, the response I got this morning when I apologized for not being able to make this and said I didn't have the ingredients was "you have cattle. What do you mean you don't have beef?" to be honest, I was so put off by that I couldn't even reply to it. I will go with my pasta dish, but only because there will be actual friends there with whom my family and I had looked forward to dining.

 

 

 

 

ETA: Editing for weird formatting while posting from my phone.

 

Oh, my goodness. How clueless! I know that you are far too gracious to do it, but after that comment, I'd be tempted to show up with a bag of chips. Generic brand.

 

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Bring a cow.

A live one.

 

And let it eat the salad.

 

(That's what I'd do in my imagination.  In real life, I'd be pretty impressed/annoyed by her nerve, but stick with the original plan.)

 

:smilielol5:

 

a calf is small (er.  relatively) 

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It's just the one salad -- pasta, artichoke, roasted peppers, black olives, some other stuff and dressing.

 

And, I really don't have all the ingredients I'd need for what she requested.  We live near a very small town.  The store was already closed for Saturday. They're never open on Sunday and it's a holiday weekend, so even if I were inclined to drive to the next largest centre 50 miles away, they'd be closed this Sunday, too.

 

 

Given this, NO, I would not.  I would respond that unfortunately, I would not be able to do it this time, but if given more advanced notice, I would do it for next time!

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Are you sure the lady seriously actually expected you to bring the same dish? It is hard to explain, but it sounds like she is trying to flatter you about the last potluck with a touch of humor and is failing at the attempt. She could have thought it was such a special treat last time, knew it was over the top as a traditional pot luck main dish, and with a 'wink' asked to bring it again knowing it wasn't going to be the case. Her 2nd response about having cattle had to be another failed attempt to humor you. One time we had a steak dinner at someone's house right after they bought 1/2 cow. The next time we got invited, I jokingly said, "we're having steak again, right?" The host instantly knew I was just joking and was fine with hot dogs. She took it as a statement that we were extra spoiled by the last dinner she prepared.

 

Edited for errors.

 

Also adding in, when I read the original situation I thought she was being so rude. When I read what the dish was and all the expense, time, and TLC involved I instantly took it as she was just kidding with you.

Edited by TX native
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Are you sure the lady seriously actually expected you to bring the same dish? It is hard to explain, but it sounds like she is trying to flatter you about the last potluck with a touch of humor and is failing at the attempt. She could have thought it was such a special treat last time, knew it was over the top as a traditional pot luck main dish, and with a 'wink' asked to bring it again knowing it wasn't going to be the case. Her 2nd response about having cattle had to be another failed attempt to humor you. One time we had a steak dinner at someone's house right after they bought 1/2 cow. The next time we got invited, I jokingly said, "we're having steak again, right?" The host instantly knew I was just joking and was fine with hot dogs. She took it as a statement that we were extra spoiled by the last dinner she prepared.

 

Edited for errors.

 

Also adding in, when I read the original situation I thought she was being so rude. When I read what the dish was and all the expense, time, and TLC involved I instantly took it as she was just kidding with you.

 

 

She wasn't kidding.  The second response (the "you have cattle" response) was via a phone call.  There was not one hint of humour in her voice. Quite the opposite. 

Edited by Audrey
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How would I feel?  If this were my best ever bosom buddy, it wouldn't bother me, and I would do it. Because I had probably asked something similar of her in the past.  Not so close a friend, honestly, yes I would be bothered, and I'm not sure I would do it.  Of course, my girls would probably try to guilt me into it (they've been my conscience lately).  Still, I would be irked about it.

 

Your pasta salad sounds delicious.

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Oh, now I read all the other posts - you have cattle! Well, there you go - just go out and poke the cow until a brisket falls off it. That is how it works, right? ;-)

I'm just a city girl, but I thought the COWS needed their briskets, lol.

 

So, I have another vote for leaving the brisket on the cow.

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She wasn't kidding.  The second response (the "you have cattle" response) was via a phone call.  There was not one hint of humour in her voice. Quite the opposite. 

 

:blink:

 

Is this someone you have to see on a regular basis? a relative or someone whom you love and care about? 'Cuz she'd probably be way down on my list of People I Love to Socialize With.

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