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Old 05-04-2019, 11:49 AM
 
779 posts, read 319,254 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emm74 View Post
I agree that enough for 4 people would be too little but I think if everyone brought party sized amounts, you'd end up with way too much food.

I recently went to a very large potluck for culture night at my son's school, and they asked everyone to bring a dish that could serve 6 to 8 people. Some people brought more because if it was a casserole or something, the recipe is enough to fill the baking dish, but it was still a typical amount that people make when they cook that dish. Most people didn't take a full serving anyway because they wanted to a chance to try a variety of things but it was helpful to have that serving size as a guideline. And there were a few hundred people there, so as one dish got emptied, there was always another to take it's place. Depending on when you went through the line, you may have had a completely different variety of food to choose from, but there was plenty for everyone.

For 50 people, I would probably want to plan a little more, but if there were specific items, such as deviled eggs, I would have a few people assigned to make those, so that everyone could make a reasonable amount but there would still be plenty to go around. I've been to big family Thanksgivings where it's like that. You might have 4 people bringing mashed potatoes so that each one can make a big batch but no one is trying to make enough to serve 40 or 50 people. And you can still say "bring enough mashed potatoes for 8 people" so that everyone knows what the expectations are. I'm sure there are still some people who are a combination of lazy and greedy and will slack off, but there should still be enough to go around if everyone else assigned to a particular food or category of food brings enough.
I don't plan it like that, when we have people over. We make sure that we can feed everyone ourselves (backup hotdogs that can be thrown in the freezer if unused, a HUGE potato salad, a HUGE regular salad, a large cobbler, etc.) and the sides are for variety. I don't care if there are 4 kinds of potato salad or 3 kinds of bean-salad. Everyone's recipes are different and there's still variety.

Which is why it irks me so much when someone shows up to a potluck with 6 devilled eggs or a cereal bowl of baked beans or 8 quarter-slices of watermelon when they know roughly 50 people will be there. It's an FU serving, imo. I once had someone offer to bring hot dog buns because they knew they wouldn't have time to make anything. So nice. One less thing to worry about keeping aside and not crushing. They showed up with an 8-pack of buns. WTHeck? Those people are also the ones who eat like they'll never have a meal again, always "forget" to BYOB, and ask for leftovers. We don't need friends like that. Those are one and done people.
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Old 05-04-2019, 11:51 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,651 posts, read 6,939,142 times
Reputation: 13927
My favorite memory of being invited to someone's home for dinner was the time a coworker and I accepted a dinner invitation from our department supervisor. We didn't like her (no one who worked there did), she treated us like servants and acted as though our job descriptions included catering to her personal whims and needs. She was derogatory towards the people she supervised, took every opportunity to try and make them look bad, especially in front of higher managers and the doctors we worked with. The good thing was everyone had her number, knew she was borderline incompetent herself ( this was in a hospital clinical laboratory and she had not kept up with changes and progress over the years, or perhaps there was much she didn't understand), and she was more or less a joke among the employees there. In fact, considering what we knew of her personal life we felt somewhat sorry for her.

So we'd heard she invited one of the resident docs to her home for dinner, and he told us she had served him a gourmet filet mignon dinner and the fixings. No surprise here as this guy was young, good looking and charming and she absolutely fawned all over him. But my friend/coworker and I were puzzled over why she kept up her invite to us for dinner, especially in light of all the excuses we made not to take her up on it. We finally accepted it , actually at the encouragement of this resident, who said accepting the invite would be the right thing to do- thought we were a bit cold at rejecting her dinner offers.

So we went, and that "dinner"was not to be believed. We showed up at the appointed time, and she invited us to sit at a small card table she'd set up on the front porch, she didn't even invite us into the house. And for dinner, she served us baloney sandwiches on white bread, with soft drinks, no sides. I think dessert was a package of store brand bought cookies she put on the table with the sandwiches That was it, and she didn't even sit with us or join us in this sumptuous repast!

Well, we couldn't believe it, and I laughed my head off while my friend expressed her outrage at what seemed like an obvious insult to us- being treated like we were strangers who'd come to her door begging for food. But I guess the humor in the situation prevailed, and we acted like it was dinner at the -Ritz-Carlton, ate our baloney sandwiches, left the cookies ( l never liked fig newtons), thanked this poor wierd woman for her hospitality and the dinner and left.

It made for a good laugh the next day at work when we told our coworkers about our dinner with Miss P, and it was even funnier when this woman showed up for work the next day and in front of everyone, asked me how we had enjoyed dinner. Well, I couldn't resist, in the most cheery, enthusiatic way I could muster, I proclaimed that those were the BEST baloney sandwiches and fig newtons I had ever in my life eaten, and the ambience and views from that card table on her front porch were like " nothing I'd ever seen."

Well, the sad thing was that this woman didn't even get the irony in what I'd said, and made some comments about wanting to serve food she figured we'd be the most familiar with, or something like that. I don't know what she could have said, but her response only added to the humor, and that baloney sandwich dinner became a joke in the department after that. Along with the comments that this woman must have thought my friend and I smelled like wet dogs which is why she wouldn't let us in the house.
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Old 05-04-2019, 12:20 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
22,388 posts, read 28,285,646 times
Reputation: 43043
Quote:
Originally Posted by emm74 View Post
I'm curious how much food you do think is reasonable to bring to a potluck of that size? I'm not disagreeing that 6 deviled eggs is ridiculous, but what does seem like a reasonable amount? Do you think everyone should be bringing enough of whatever they are bringing to serve 50 people?

No, you don't take 50 servings for a group of 50 people. But deviled eggs, I'd make a dozen eggs. That's 24 deviled eggs and that is plenty. For a group of 50 people, perhaps a dozen servings, but it depends upon what you are taking.


I'd take more than a dozen cookies, or more than a dozen crackers with cheese. If I am taking coleslaw, I take a huge bowl (full head of cabbage). I make an outrageous coleslaw and no matter how much I take, I get my bowl back empty. People go back for seconds and thirds of the coleslaw.



For a casserole, whatever fills the casserole dish, which might be 8 huge hungry man servings, or 12 normal dinner size servings. Usually, people take a small spoon full and not a full serving, no matter how delicious it looks, so there miht be 20 "taster" size servings.



I've been to a potluck where many of the people brought tiny bits of things and there wasn't enough food, The cheap people get to the trough first and the people who bring lots of food end up hungry. That doesn't happen often, though. Usually there is way too much food.


On general entertaining, not potluck, my mother was really stingy with food for her family, but pulled out the stops whenever there were guests. To impress people with her generosity?


For a barbecue, I only do one burger per person. A full half pound of home ground meat. But here are many sides and a wonderful dessert to go with it. No one leaves hungry. Seriously, if someone refused to eat anything bit plain meat and wanted more than 8 ounces of beef, I find something else to throw on the grill for them, without making a fuss about it.
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Old 05-04-2019, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,476 posts, read 14,118,048 times
Reputation: 29920
I've trotted a million dishes to potlucks through the years. There are always some people who bring tiny bits of food, and others who bring enough to "feed Cox's arm" (my mother's phrase). The people who bring too little, reveal things about themselves that are not positive. The people who bring a ton of food, also reveal themselves. They seem generous and happy to share.
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Old 05-04-2019, 04:27 PM
 
3,090 posts, read 784,665 times
Reputation: 3573
I look at it like this. I'm an adult, but I don't control other adults. If someone doesn't "feed me" at breakfast / lunch / dinner, I will walk out when I am hungry, without saying a word, and drive to a place to get some food.
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Old 05-04-2019, 05:35 PM
 
5,285 posts, read 2,733,498 times
Reputation: 9784
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelassie View Post
My favorite memory of being invited to someone's home for dinner was the time a coworker and I accepted a dinner invitation from our department supervisor. We didn't like her (no one who worked there did), she treated us like servants and acted as though our job descriptions included catering to her personal whims and needs. She was derogatory towards the people she supervised, took every opportunity to try and make them look bad, especially in front of higher managers and the doctors we worked with. The good thing was everyone had her number, knew she was borderline incompetent herself ( this was in a hospital clinical laboratory and she had not kept up with changes and progress over the years, or perhaps there was much she didn't understand), and she was more or less a joke among the employees there. In fact, considering what we knew of her personal life we felt somewhat sorry for her.

So we'd heard she invited one of the resident docs to her home for dinner, and he told us she had served him a gourmet filet mignon dinner and the fixings. No surprise here as this guy was young, good looking and charming and she absolutely fawned all over him. But my friend/coworker and I were puzzled over why she kept up her invite to us for dinner, especially in light of all the excuses we made not to take her up on it. We finally accepted it , actually at the encouragement of this resident, who said accepting the invite would be the right thing to do- thought we were a bit cold at rejecting her dinner offers.

So we went, and that "dinner"was not to be believed. We showed up at the appointed time, and she invited us to sit at a small card table she'd set up on the front porch, she didn't even invite us into the house. And for dinner, she served us baloney sandwiches on white bread, with soft drinks, no sides. I think dessert was a package of store brand bought cookies she put on the table with the sandwiches That was it, and she didn't even sit with us or join us in this sumptuous repast!

Well, we couldn't believe it, and I laughed my head off while my friend expressed her outrage at what seemed like an obvious insult to us- being treated like we were strangers who'd come to her door begging for food. But I guess the humor in the situation prevailed, and we acted like it was dinner at the -Ritz-Carlton, ate our baloney sandwiches, left the cookies ( l never liked fig newtons), thanked this poor wierd woman for her hospitality and the dinner and left.

It made for a good laugh the next day at work when we told our coworkers about our dinner with Miss P, and it was even funnier when this woman showed up for work the next day and in front of everyone, asked me how we had enjoyed dinner. Well, I couldn't resist, in the most cheery, enthusiatic way I could muster, I proclaimed that those were the BEST baloney sandwiches and fig newtons I had ever in my life eaten, and the ambience and views from that card table on her front porch were like " nothing I'd ever seen."

Well, the sad thing was that this woman didn't even get the irony in what I'd said, and made some comments about wanting to serve food she figured we'd be the most familiar with, or something like that. I don't know what she could have said, but her response only added to the humor, and that baloney sandwich dinner became a joke in the department after that. Along with the comments that this woman must have thought my friend and I smelled like wet dogs which is why she wouldn't let us in the house.
Wow. She didnít invite you inside or even sit outside with you. Why bother? It would have been better to order a load of pizzas and sides for everyone to eat at lunch, at work.
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Old 05-04-2019, 06:55 PM
 
4,623 posts, read 3,943,469 times
Reputation: 9684
Some people are plain weird about food.
A friend has a sister-in-law who always brings a cereal bowl sized orange jello salad with grated carrots in it as her family of six's contribution to any family dinner celebration. My friend thinks it must be a half box of jello & one carrot. She also is first in the kitchen for any left-overs, but not to help clean up.

Whenever I hear about food weirdness with people, I always think of my friend's incredulous telling of the little bowl of grated carrot orange jello salad & laugh....one year she changed it up & it was green jello!
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Old 05-04-2019, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Middle of the ocean
31,145 posts, read 19,664,359 times
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I don't find it a big deal. Just one measly burger? I'd be fine with that, it's more than enough for me, and I'm a guest.

Pajama time? Meh. Like someone mentioned, I would go out and bring back doughnuts or something.

We stay with a friend for a week every year, and our eating habits are totally different. DH and I always pack something to take with us (Kind bars, protein powder, etc) as snacks when we travel, and hit the grocery store for what we know we will want to eat. So if our host fasts until 11am we have food we can eat, or if they serve us 2 lettuce leaves and a tomato for dinner, we're fine with the food we bought.

My friend finds our eating habits odd, and I am perfectly comfortable with that.
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Old 05-04-2019, 11:18 PM
 
Location: Caverns measureless to man...
7,241 posts, read 4,622,374 times
Reputation: 16311
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagemomma View Post
I agree that younger people seem to think that multiple servings should be expected. IMHO, it is good manners to assess the lay of the land (or the table) . If there is one burger per person, that's what you eat, and be grateful for it. If that isn't enough for you, eat more later. Once took my cousins for dinner and they each ordered TWO dinners and proceeded to eat about half of each. Soooo not cool!

Americans over eat. you don't actually need two burgers.
Mmm... maybe not, but that's not really the point, I don't think. I don't really need salt or pepper, either, but if I ask for it and am told it's not necessary, I'm going to think that's weird. If my wife and I are invited over for a steak dinner, and the host grills up a one-pound ribeye and then cuts it up into 4 pieces because "nobody needs a whole steak," I'm going to think that's very odd.

For a lot of people, dinner is the biggest meal of the day. A single 200-calorie burger is not really dinner, it's a snack. If I'm invited to dinner, I'm usually going to assume it's so that we can all share the experience of a good meal together, not that I'm being taught a lesson in appropriate portion sizes. This kind of behavior is just weird hosting etiquette.




Quote:
Originally Posted by veuvegirl View Post
Then it was dinner time. She starts grilling and asks what I want with my burger. I asked her what are the options? Apparently none. You could have a burger, or a burger. Not even cheese. No sides, no lettuce, tomato etc. Just a burger, ketchup and mustard.

Needless to say we left the party early and went out to dinner.
I wonder why she even bothered asking, if there were no options? I get this mental image of Dan Akroyd glowering, "No Coke. Pepsi!"



Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelassie View Post
So we went, and that "dinner"was not to be believed. We showed up at the appointed time, and she invited us to sit at a small card table she'd set up on the front porch, she didn't even invite us into the house. And for dinner, she served us baloney sandwiches on white bread, with soft drinks, no sides. I think dessert was a package of store brand bought cookies she put on the table with the sandwiches That was it, and she didn't even sit with us or join us in this sumptuous repast!
??? Where did she go? You mean she just vanished herself? You didn't see her again the rest of the evening?
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Old 05-05-2019, 03:15 AM
 
37,673 posts, read 14,632,646 times
Reputation: 23910
Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
I've trotted a million dishes to potlucks through the years. There are always some people who bring tiny bits of food, and others who bring enough to "feed Cox's arm" (my mother's phrase). The people who bring too little, reveal things about themselves that are not positive. The people who bring a ton of food, also reveal themselves. They seem generous and happy to share.
Exactly.

My mother used to belong to a church that didn't believe in eating meat and had church potlucks after services that were sorry affairs.

Over the years, parishioners settled into their dishes. One always brought macaroni salad which as far as I could see consisted of macaroni and mayonnaise. But at least she brought plenty. Others didn't even bother to do that. One person always brought a can of olives. That was it.

Apparently, the focus was fellowship and not food.
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