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#1 nup

Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:22 PM

When people come over do you serve them a set plate of food, or lay out all the food in a help yourself style? Have you ever not had enough food for your guests? Do guests ever ask you for more food?

I ate at ILs house last night after not having done so for a couple of years. We both had forgotten how mean they are with food and they served up a single portion between six of us. roll2.gif

MIL has serious food issues as the fridge is always full of leftovers which they're squirreling away for themselves. She'll make a birthday cake and only serve half of it.  laughing2.gif Meanwhile I think they're throwing away a great deal of food while all of their guests leave hungry.

I'm curious to know how you figure out how much others eat as MIL is so clueless and we just lay on a banquet for our guests. In my house, no one leaves hungry.

Edited by blithely2, 13 December 2012 - 08:24 PM.


#2 *LucyE*

Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:38 PM

If its casual, it would be serve yourself style. If it's more of a formal dinner party, I tend to serve individual portions.

Sometimes our impromptu meals are a bit haphazard and people will share a steak or something so there's enough to go around, but there will usually be enough sides to fill people up.

I buck from my mother's habit of force feeding people til they are so full they need to roll away from the table. No one wants to hurt her feelings so don't refuse her food and because people keep eating, she keeps bringing stuff out. Vicious circle LOL.

So, I don't push food on people and sometimes I think I may go too far the other way. Using the birthday cake example, I recently only served the kids and didnt serve any of the adults. I left the cake on the table for people to help themselves (with places and cutlery) and then when no one touched it after about 30 mins, I moved it to the kitchen to clear the table. There was 3/4 of the cake left.  I noticed one person go cut themselves a slice later. I had a twinge of guilt but then figured our friends know me well enough and are comfortable here, it's no big deal.

#3 snortle

Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:44 PM

If its a dinner party with up to 6 guests I will serve out the courses already plated.

If its more people its buffet.
I'm from the Balkans (Europe) and basically been taught that running out of food is a sin that should be punishable by death lol, I was always taught to make one extra serve (at least) of each food unless you had a surprise guest

ETA I actually meant IN CASE you have a surprise guest lol ddoh.gif

Edited by snortle, 13 December 2012 - 08:52 PM.


#4 MrsDamonSalvatore

Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:45 PM

depends what we have. if i "cook" a meal, i will do individual plates. but if we have a bbq (yes i know thats cooking but its different Tounge1.gif) we just lay it all out and everyone helps themselves original.gif

#5 Unatheowl

Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:47 PM

QUOTE (snortle @ 13/12/2012, 09:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If its a dinner party with up to 6 guests I will serve out the courses already plated.

If its more people its buffet.
I'm from the Balkans (Europe) and basically been taught that running out of food is a sin that should be punishable by death lol, I was always taught to make one extra serve (at least) of each food unless you had a surprise guest


Haha. One side of my family is polish and I have been brought up with the same ideals.  Running out of food would be truly mortifying.  I usually serve up the food but the put the rest on the table for seconds.

#6 nup

Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:49 PM

Just to clarify because I don't want anyone thinking she's normal in any way... MIL will bring out a birthday cake, cut it in half and take half back to the fridge. For her it's light the candles, birthday song, cut the cake in half as soon as birthday boy has done his cutting part.

#7 Holidayromp

Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:51 PM

I always make sure I serve more than enough food.  Usually I have so much left over that it feeds this family of five for a few days afterwards!  But it it better to have more than enough then not enough.
Also I put the food out for people to serve themselves.  I don't know how much people eat and they know how much or how little they want so it is easier to let them make their own decision.

#8 *Caro*

Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:56 PM

I tend to do buffet style and let people serve themselves.  I also do this for most of our every day meals at home - it helps the kids learn to regulate how much they eat.  If they are hungry they have three serves, if they are peckish they have a little serve original.gif

I'm not Polish or from the Balkans, but I also tend to over cater and serve too much food.  I hate the idea of guests being hungry! I'm also very conscious of not serving up food that people might not like - which is why I like serving up buffet style, because then people can choose from a range of options.

#9 hunter4

Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:22 AM

definitely serve yourself for me.  I don't know people preferences and would prefer that they chose than be handed something they don't like.  Last time I went somewhere and they served out the dinner they gave me half a place of mashed potatoes which I hate.  So to avoid being rude I'm forced to eat a heap of potato I didn't want.  Allowing people to serve themselves removes all those hassels.

#10 HollyOllyOxenfree

Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:28 AM

I much prefer the serve yourself idea, and that's what we do when we have people over. I always have too much food too, but there's no harm in leftovers.

That said, I've never done a formal dinner party type thing, so if I were to do that I'd probably serve up individual plates.

Your MIL sounds a bit strange

#11 Bel Rowley

Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:29 AM

Depends on the type of food. If I'm having guests I tend to do the type of food where it's easiest for people to serve themselves, different people have such different appetites so it would be crazy to serve up the same portions to everyone. I have never run out of food, I always over-cater.

#12 JustBeige

Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:35 AM

QUOTE (snortle @ 13/12/2012, 09:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If its a dinner party with up to 6 guests I will serve out the courses already plated.

If its more people its buffet.
I'm from the Balkans (Europe) and basically been taught that running out of food is a sin that should be punishable by death lol, I was always taught to make one extra serve (at least) of each food unless you had a surprise guest

ETA I actually meant IN CASE you have a surprise guest lol ddoh.gif


Dont have European family, but I was brought up the same.  Whether it be buffet or plated.

QUOTE (blithely2 @ 13/12/2012, 09:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just to clarify because I don't want anyone thinking she's normal in any way... MIL will bring out a birthday cake, cut it in half and take half back to the fridge. For her it's light the candles, birthday song, cut the cake in half as soon as birthday boy has done his cutting part.

MIL and I were talking about someone who they know that does exactly the same thing.    

This lady is a small eater and even if she does the buffet style thing, she portions out how much each person has. ie: 1 party pie each; 1 portion of Sausage roll each etc.  My FIL used to go to Maccas on the way home as he was always hungry.    

They have changed their get togethers now so that they all bring a dish each (there is 8 of them) but this hostess will ALWAYS get up after eating her toddlers worth of food, scrape the leftovers into a container for her and her DH, wash the guests dish and then sit back down.  Doesnt matter that the others may want more, as far as she is concerned you should be done.    

LOL, She's a really nice lady other than this and they do enjoy her company.  My MIL tells me she is getting worse and they just dont know what to do about it without embarrassing her.


OP, your MIL sounds exactly the same.  Do they live in the outskirts of Sydney and her name start with a Y??   (dont delete if it is, just PM me) original.gif

#13 WithSprinkles

Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:41 AM

I prefer letting people serve themselves, that way they can choose how much to eat and what they want to eat.

Sometimes I may serve part of the meal up (e.g. the meat portion or a slice of lasagne or something) and let them help themselves to salad/veggies/side dishes..

I always end up with food left-over. I think it's better to over-cater than under-cater.

ETA: and I don't put the left overs away until everyone has FINISHED eating (and usually ask if anyone wants a second helping)

Edited by VanillaIcecream, 14 December 2012 - 08:42 AM.


#14 qak

Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:41 AM

On the servings - we went to a BBQ at a friends house and they had 6 bread rolls for 12 people.  I really thought WTF???

Then after the (1 sausage each) was eaten the hostess offered around some of those wafer sticks - she had counted 12 into a glass which was passed around.

We went to Maccas on the way home too!

#15 ~Jodama~

Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:41 AM

Depends on the meal. I like buffet style but sometimes a plated meal is called for. But there is always enough for seconds and thirds and usually we will eat the leftovers for lunch the next day or the dog will get it, so no waste here.

#16 Holidayromp

Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:44 AM

QUOTE (JustBeige @ 14/12/2012, 09:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
LOL, She's a really nice lady other than this and they do enjoy her company.  My MIL tells me she is getting worse and they just dont know what to do about it without embarrassing her.


Don't eat at this ladies house.  Alternatively if it is that much of a problem someone is going to have to speak up.  Her actions seem selfish to me irrespective of how nice she is.

#17 Wahwah

Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:46 AM

[quote name='blithely2' date='13/12/2012, 09:22 PM' post='15155845'

I ate at ILs house last night after not having done so for a couple of years. We both had forgotten how mean they are with food and they served up a single portion between six of us. roll2.gif

[/quote]

My MIL is almost this bad. She doesn't cook so much anymore for the whole family but in the past she would have cooked enough sausages so that each adult got one and the kids (including 8 - 10 year olds) got half a sausage. And maybe a potato salad made from 6 taties for 12 people.

I don't think she's being mean. She is a crappy cook with really no idea about food. My ILs have very small appetites and are quite elderly and hate waste. They haven't worked out that their big strapping adult boys eat 3x what they do, let alone the grand kids.

We always insist on bringing something to "help out" as does DH's sister, so that the kids don't end up asking nanna for more food and sending her into a tizz.

ETA sorry about the quote thing, doesn't like the iPad for some reason.

Edited by Wahwah, 14 December 2012 - 08:47 AM.


#18 *melrose*

Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:47 AM

QUOTE
She'll make a birthday cake and only serve half of it.
roll2.gif roll2.gif

#19 Jenflea

Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:48 AM

My MiL ALWAYS over caters. She used to late up food and always give me too much, but now we tend to put it all out in the kitchen, we serve ourselves and our kids , then eat in the dining room.

Though it seems its the women getting food for everyone while the men sit down now I think about it...

#20 Holidayromp

Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:52 AM

QUOTE (Jenflea @ 14/12/2012, 09:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Though it seems its the women getting food for everyone while the men sit down now I think about it...


My DH would starve if he expect this sort of service.  However depending on what is happening ie he may be busy with the kids or something then I would offer but if they all go and sit on their fat arses and expect the food to come to them they will be waiting a long long time and end up with no food at all.

#21 princessanarchy

Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:00 AM

My DH is the cook in our house, and always over-caters, does a smorgasbord of several dishes/sides etc. The funny thing is he then sooks when I send people home with leftovers?!? My BF overcaters then gets cranky when it all gets eaten. I think people often set out to 'have leftovers' so it might be better, if wanting extras for the next few days etc, to make a bigger batch and not put it all out. There's a difference between serving plenty so no-one's hungry, can have seconds etc and actually overcatering. People who are stingy on the other hand drive me mad - they are usually the ones who won't leave a man behind when it comes to eating at other people's places (IME).

#22 kpingitquiet

Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:09 AM

We have limited space and I cook a LOT of food so I almost always do buffet style., A buffet doesn't have to be casual and can be quite formal, really. I only serve people's portions if we have only 1 or 2 people over for a meal and actually all fit around the kitchen table, but I definitely make sure there's enough for everyone to have 2nds and even a couple options for 3rds. We may be broke but we're not stingy!

Oh, and I've totally noticed that women=service+cleanup men=sit+gab+drink since I moved here. It blew my mind. I pointed it out to husband and he has helped "the women" bring down salads and clear up dirty plates ever since. My family was more women=service+sit+gab and men/kids=sit+gab+cleanup.

Husband's always been good about it at our house, though. If we have guests, I serve the food because I'm the cook, unless we all want nachos, beef stroganoff or apricot chicken (the foods he's comfortable cooking) for every special occasion biggrin.gif But he pours and serves drinks for everyone, carries food/plates in and out, gets up to get me something if I've forgotten, does all the dishes...as any non-cook should! original.gif

#23 Holidayromp

Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:21 AM

QUOTE (princessanarchy @ 14/12/2012, 10:00 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My DH is the cook in our house, and always over-caters, does a smorgasbord of several dishes/sides etc. The funny thing is he then sooks when I send people home with leftovers?!? My BF overcaters then gets cranky when it all gets eaten. I think people often set out to 'have leftovers' so it might be better, if wanting extras for the next few days etc, to make a bigger batch and not put it all out. There's a difference between serving plenty so no-one's hungry, can have seconds etc and actually overcatering. People who are stingy on the other hand drive me mad - they are usually the ones who won't leave a man behind when it comes to eating at other people's places (IME).

Maybe this is why your DH sooks because you send people home with food that he has taken hours to cook that he intends to use over the next couple of days.  To be quite honest I wouldn't blame him.  I would be pretty p*ssy if my partner handed out food to guests who haven't brought anything (or even brought a little something) that I had spent hours making when they have contributed nothing at all towards.  What gives you the right to think you can just hand out food.  Surely your husband should have say in it.  Did you even bother consulting him?

#24 emlis22

Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:25 AM

Usually our weekly get together dinners are serve yourself at the table and there's always plenty to go round. (this ultimately creates more dishes!)

at the IL's you are served with a plate.

#25 Holidayromp

Posted 14 December 2012 - 09:26 AM

QUOTE (kpingitquiet @ 14/12/2012, 10:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
But he pours and serves drinks for everyone, carries food/plates in and out, gets up to get me something if I've forgotten, does all the dishes...as any non-cook should! original.gif

DH never cooks if we have guests but he does the above with the exception of the dishes.  I get stuck with them and it sh*ts me.  I have just spent hours in the kitchen preparing it all and now I have to stand out there cleaning up.  One year the guests offered their assistance with the clean up and I was cheering but bloody dh turned around and said not to bother and then sat on his fat a*se and did NOTHING whilst I stood out in the kitchen for another two plus hours cleaning up.  Boy I was p*ssed off with him that night.
It is an on-going issue with him - if he does do it he leaves it until the next day, or take ages top do a little bit but leave the table, leave clean dishes piled up amongst the mess and dirty benches and it then takes me twice as long to get it all cleaned up.  Unfortunately we now only have a tiny kitchen and it needs to be properly cleaned up every time.  But he still has trouble understanding that.




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