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Thanksgiving Food Etiquette


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  #1  
November 8th, 2010, 06:21 AM
Linzie's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I was just thinking about this when talking about plans for Thanksgiving on another board. When talking about providing food, what should the host provide? What should guests provide? Do you have a reason why you feel the way you do?

I think the host should provide the main dishes, the turkey/ham/chicken (or all three if you can), a few side dishes, drinks and a dessert. The guests should supplement the meal if they are able with side dishes, desserts, and drinks of their choice. It is not required for a guest to bring food, but appreciated. If you are unable to make the main dishes of Thanksgiving dinner, it may be wise to have another family member host the gathering.

I feel this way because it is a lot easier to make the turkey at the house it will be eaten at! In all other parties/gatherings, the host provides the bulk of the meal and activities. It should not be any different for Thanksgiving.


Thoughts?
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  #2  
November 8th, 2010, 08:13 AM
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i provide the meat. and the stuff that i either enjoy making, or have a special recipe for that everyone enjoys (tom makes portuguese stuffing that everyone seems to adore). i usually ask people to bring one thing. i tell them what we need, and they can pick what to bring, or if they want to bring something different, that's ok too.
if they can't bring anything, not a big deal at all.

curious why someone would make chicken AND turkey? seem pretty similar.


this whole thread is making me very hungry. lol
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  #3  
November 8th, 2010, 08:17 AM
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I've only done thanksgiving a few times at my own home, DH usually ends up working so I head up to MA to spend it with my family. When I have done it here, I provide everything for the meal, if a guest had something specific that was their own tradition but was not on my menu then they could make it and bring it with them for everyone. I never expected people to bring anything and I will usually bring a bottle or two of wine for the table when I go to others houses. I do however always ask if they need me to bring anything.
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  #4  
November 8th, 2010, 08:22 AM
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Both my and DH's family make chicken and turkey. It's just extra because we both have really big families and sometimes turkey just isn't enough. We deep fry the turkey and bake the chicken. It's just up to the individual.

And ditto on the hungry thing! I can't wait for lunch.
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  #5  
November 8th, 2010, 10:30 AM
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We've only hosted it once. I prefer to do it somewhere else so it's less work for me and I usually just bring a side dish. I don't think the host should be required to have everything, just the main dishes. I see no issues with them requesting certain families bring drinks, desserts, etc.
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  #6  
November 8th, 2010, 03:09 PM
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For our family, whoever is hosting makes the main dish (just one turkey, we'd never be able to eat more than that) and most of the sides. Everyone always asks if they can bring something though, usually a side, salad or dessert. Most will bring their own drinks for some weird reason, usually a few bottles of wine, beer if they want, etc.

To answer the question though, I think the host should ALWAYS provide the meat dish for a meal such as Thanksgiving. Unless some freak tragedy happened, like the oven broke the night before or something. It'd be weird to bring a whole turkey to someone's house though, not to mention those really big birds get pretty heavy.
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  #7  
November 8th, 2010, 08:09 PM
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I cook every year and some times family comes over, some times they don't. I always cook all the food. I don't expect a guest to bring anything with them, I won't mind if they do but it's not a must. Last year MIL brought over corn bread, boy was I thrilled. I managed to make everything else but forgot about that. I guess I look at it this way, if you offer to host a meal then you need to cook that meal. You shouldn't offer to host and then ask your guest to bring a major dish. It just doesn't look right.
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  #8  
November 9th, 2010, 07:57 AM
AMDG's Avatar Margaret
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linzie View Post

I think the host should provide the main dishes, the turkey/ham/chicken (or all three if you can), a few side dishes, drinks and a dessert. The guests should supplement the meal if they are able with side dishes, desserts, and drinks of their choice. It is not required for a guest to bring food, but appreciated. If you are unable to make the main dishes of Thanksgiving dinner, it may be wise to have another family member host the gathering.

Thoughts?

Are you talking about a family gathering? Geezz - even with my in-laws, who absolutely drive me crazy, I can't imagine worrying about proper "food etiquette" - a family email usually circulates and everything regarding location, time, food, etc is worked out. So what if a "guest" offers to bring the turkey or if guests are expected to bring a side dish? Family gatherings are suppose to be fun so I don't see much point in expending energy worrying about what is proper etiquette when talking about getting together with those we are suppose to be close with and can be honest and casual around.

I realize that some families may have a more distant or formal relationship and so things like proper "thanksgiving food etiquette" may be of some concern - just not my personal experience.
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  #9  
November 9th, 2010, 08:41 AM
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Well if you feel it's a crock then that's ok. I was just posting thing because I was wondering what others thoughts were on this, and how they feel things should be done, or they do things in their family.

Our family gatherings are fun and casual, but everyone in my family feels the host should provide the majority of the meal, since people are coming to your house to have the gathering. It really is no different than any other gathering/party, and having a way of doing things make it much easier.
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  #10  
November 9th, 2010, 01:14 PM
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We usually decide on someones house and the dishes. Then each person usually does a dish and we go to that person's house in the morning and we cook the turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy and pumpkin pie. I am doing fresh green beans the day before. My Gma brings desert. We don't do formal get together.
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  #11  
November 9th, 2010, 05:26 PM
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With my family, the host would provide the turkey and some sides, maybe a dessert and everyone would bring something extra. over the years, we knew pretty much who was bring what, my sis makes great sweet potatos, my aunt does the green beans, i never had time to cook so i brought the wine.

last year, DF's brother and his wife hosted but DF's mom wanted to make the turkey, so that is what she did. or maybe 2 people made turke, i don't recall, but i do remember transporting said turkey to the party house.

everyone does things different i guess. personally, we don't get too hung up on etiquette.
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  #12  
November 10th, 2010, 05:45 AM
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In our family it's usually the host that makes basically ALL the dishes, so it's enough for everyone. And guests are really welcome to bring anything they want to share with the family, but of course nothing is important. At the end of the meeting the host shares the rest of the food (both his and the one brought by others) amongst the guests so they can take it home.
I know it's pretty strange, but it worked for us so far.
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  #13  
November 11th, 2010, 02:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMDG View Post
Are you talking about a family gathering? Geezz - even with my in-laws, who absolutely drive me crazy, I can't imagine worrying about proper "food etiquette" - a family email usually circulates and everything regarding location, time, food, etc is worked out. So what if a "guest" offers to bring the turkey or if guests are expected to bring a side dish? [COLOR="rgb(153, 50, 204)"]Family gatherings are suppose to be fun so I don't see much point in expending energy worrying about what is proper etiquette[/COLOR] when talking about getting together with those we are suppose to be close with and can be honest and casual around.

I realize that some families may have a more distant or formal relationship and so things like proper "thanksgiving food etiquette" may be of some concern - just not my personal experience.

It is distant and formal to offer to help with the making of a colossal meal you plan to partake of?

I think using some etiquette and courtesy is a great way to keep family members from becoming distant.

In my experience, family gatherings are a lot more fun when no one feels taken for granted.
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  #14  
November 11th, 2010, 05:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calendula View Post
It is distant and formal to offer to help with the making of a colossal meal you plan to partake of?

I think using some etiquette and courtesy is a great way to keep family members from becoming distant.

In my experience, family gatherings are a lot more fun when no one feels taken for granted.
Thanks for posting that. That's basically how I feel. Maybe "etiquette" was a wrong word to use, but I couldn't think of anything else that would really fit.
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  #15  
November 15th, 2010, 06:28 PM
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My grandma has a few cousins. They all took a holiday or some family event through out the year. My grandma got Thanksgiving. Traditionally she made the main things ((30 people) turkey, gravy, ham, rolls, stuffing, pies) and everyone brought a side or a snack. Since then the family has married and had many babies. We're up to about 50 people. My aunts house sorts of squeezes us all in, especially if its nice out and kids can play outside, so we have it there. Grandma does the turkey still, but my mom does the ham and my aunt does everything else. We are very close so its not an issue. The "main things" seem to fall on our plate and who's going to ask an almost 90 year old woman to make everything? She insists on the turkey.
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  #16  
November 16th, 2010, 03:59 PM
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We normally make everything we usually make and people just bring other stuff, but it's easier because along with American traditions, there's Turkish food too. So we have never had anyone bring the same dish as someone else.
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  #17  
November 18th, 2010, 11:21 AM
AMDG's Avatar Margaret
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calendula View Post
It is distant and formal to offer to help with the making of a colossal meal you plan to partake of?

I think using some etiquette and courtesy is a great way to keep family members from becoming distant.

In my experience, family gatherings are a lot more fun when no one feels taken for granted.

No, where did I say anything like that? I guess it was the word "etiquette" that threw me for a loop. Sometime prior to thanksgiving the family talks about thanksgiving plans - I just meant that "etiquette" shouldn't be a concern if a family knows eachother. I would never worry - oh, is it bad etiquette for me to offer to make desserts or wow, sister-in-law Mary sure used poor etiquette in making mashed potatoes because I made them last year and she is stepping on my toes. To me, etiquette, implies the need to follow some kind of social norms or rules while courtesy is just common sense. I agree that family gatherings are more fun when no one feels taken for granted but my solution to that is to talk and make decisions together rather than to pull out an etiquette book to find out what I "should" make and bring to the family's thanksgiving dinner.
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  #18  
November 18th, 2010, 01:23 PM
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For us, we are the family members with the most space to host a family gathering. We are also the family members with the least extra money. So I was planning to make the turkey and a few sides that I'd like to try making, and some drinks, and also expecting (yes expecting) everyone to bring a side or desert. I don't see any reason for someone to take the entire financial burden of feeding a dozen people (or however many there are) for a family holiday. If they're hosting a birthday party or something, sure.

I would consider it extremely poor etiquette to show up to a family gathering as one of 12 people withOUT something to offer, even if it's just a 2-liter of Pepsi or a bag of chips. Except when it's my FIL hosting the gathering, because he can actually afford it.
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  #19  
November 18th, 2010, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Keskes View Post

I would consider it extremely poor etiquette to show up to a family gathering as one of 12 people withOUT something to offer, even if it's just a 2-liter of Pepsi or a bag of chips. Except when it's my FIL hosting the gathering, because he can actually afford it.
I rarely if ever bring anything to my parents house for the holiday other than a bottle of wine that I tap into during the meal. In fact when I was in college I would show up with tupperwear and load up before I left.

I think it depends solely on family dynamics, no one would bat an eye if you showed up empty handed at anyones home. We'll usually ask if they need anything but most times the answer is no. I'd prefer it if you didn't to anything at my home but understand if it's a traditional food I'm not offering. I usually go overboard to begin with and end up with way too much food being offered.
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  #20  
November 18th, 2010, 06:17 PM
AMDG's Avatar Margaret
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poncho06 View Post
I rarely if ever bring anything to my parents house for the holiday other than a bottle of wine that I tap into during the meal. In fact when I was in college I would show up with tupperwear and load up before I left.

I think it depends solely on family dynamics.
I agree and that was what i was getting at - I don't there is etiquette that must be followed when dealing with family. The difference between what was acceptable with your family vs. what Kes described shows that. If I showed up to a family gathering with a 2-Liter or a bag of chips people would look at me like I was absolutely crazy but that is because that is because our family dynamics are different. No right or wrong - no proper etiquette - just different.
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