Tis the season for invites to dinner and parties! I shared some ideas for dishes if you are hosting Thanksgiving this year, but what about what is needed when you are going to someone else's house for dinner? Here is what you need to know:
I know this sounds like a big old "duh", but coming late or early can be oddly imposing on the host.
Don't Bring a Dish Unless Asked:
The host is the one whom plans the menu and works hard on that, so while your mashed potatoes may be great, she already has it.
Make Yourself Useful:
Offer to come early and prep. Do not take offense if you are told no. Once there, it is polite to ask if there is anything you can do, but do so only with permission from the host.
Bring a Beverage:
You can ask if there is any specific beer, wine, or nightcap the guest would like. If nothing specific is listed, bring something you think the host would like. Remember, white wine should come to a party chilled.
Bring a Gift:
If you are instructed to "just bring yourself", bring something small. No one ever gets mad when you show up with something with nice thought. Here are some ideas of things a host would love to receive:
Flowers: Bring them in a vase and trimmed already so the host does not have to attend to them. Sometimes I like even a simple mason jar, because it is a jar I don't mind giving up.
A Special Bottle of Wine: This is a fancy one that has a note for the host to enjoy it later when there are not as many relatives there that the host has to share it with.
Edible Sweets and Treats: Compound butters, cheeses, crackers, fruits, pancake mixes, chocolates, etc...are all great for the host to put away for another time.
Others: Candles and notebooks are always good little ideas
Hosts and guests, what else would you recommend?