Dear Home-Ec 101,
Heres one for ya.
With the summer party season coming up, I was hoping you could explain to me (and the Monster in Law) the proper ways to handle dishes and leftovers that a guest brings to your gathering.
Party at my house!
Cool, I’ve been looking for a party to go to this weekend. Just kidding, I already have a party to go to, and conveniently enough, it’s a potluck. I was unsure of the exact etiquette for potlucks, so I whipped out my Peggy Post (Book! Sheesh, people!) and did some research.
The proper etiquette is for the hostess to hand back the dish with leftovers to the guest. The guest may ask the hostess if she would like to keep any leftovers, but is not obligated to. If a dish gets left behind, the guest- not the hostess- is the person under obligation to make sure they get their dish back.
Some additional potluck etiquette:
- If you are a non-cook, ask if you can bring paper plates or cups. Other things to bring might be a bottle of wine, flowers for the table (already in a vase), or a fruit or veggie plate.
- Remember you are trying to make things easier for the hostess, so bring your dish ready to serve and ask if you need to bring serving utensils.
- It’s perfectly okay for the hostess to suggest to the guests what to bring. If the hostess doesn’t make suggestions, ask.
Have fun at your summer potlucks! I’m still trying to decide what to bring to the one I’m going to tomorrow. I’m up for suggestions, Home-Eckers!