Demanding Hostess Dilemma

Our friend Mindy loves to host Thanksgiving dinner.  Like most Turkey Day hostesses, Mindy asks each of her guests to bring a dish…

But Mindy actually takes it a step further.  When she assigns dishes, she tends to get very specific about quality and price point!  For example, requests in this year’s email included: “Bring 2 bottles of red wine – GOOD wine please – NO Two Buck Chuck!” and “Green Bean Casserole – only organic ingredients please!”

While everyone appreciates Mindy’s holiday invitation, some of the guests are getting a little peeved about how specific the hostess is getting with her “suggestions”.  In general, Mindy’s directives suggest bringing something high quality and expensive, but should this be the guests’ choice or the host’s demand?  Should her disgruntled guests say something or should they just be thankful for the invite and shell out the big bucks for organic beans?  

Tell us what you think!

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6 Responses to “Demanding Hostess Dilemma”

  1. Simone says:

    Wow! Those of you who are regular readers know I often chime in with an opinion. But this one sure has me stumped! I honestly don’t know what I’d do if asked in this manner.

    Whenever I’m a guest at a dinner where everyone brings something, I always make sure to bring something of high quality. For example, I have a “famous” potato dish that I’m often asked to bring. This dish calls for small potato’s such as little red ones, however, I like to go all out and buy pricey peruvian purple ones that wow’s the heck out of people. But that’s my choice. The little red ones would work just fine.
    And when I bring wine/spirits – it’s always top shelf.
    With all the work that the hosts do, I can’t imagine bringing the cheap stuff. But it’s MY choice! My hosts would never specify brands or quality.
    Maybe I just run with a crowd that leans that way naturally.
    One couple I know host a lot of dinners where prople bring items & there’s one couple who are known cheapskates and bring a bottle of cheapest sparkling wine. Pure Plonk! The hostess, a good friend of mine simply says thanks and puts it in back of the fridge. She often saves it for a future brunch when she’ll use it for mimosa’s. But she’d never say anything to the cheapskates. They’re nice people, it’s just that they’re cheap. (and yes, they can afford better)

    On one hand, I can see that if hosts are going through the trouble of most of the meal and organizing it don’t want someone to show up with a bottle of 2 buck chuck. But requesting “the good stuff” and only organic vegetables? Yikes. I honestly don’t know what I’d say to such a host, although I’d be very offended.
    I wonder if she has a meter that determines if the green beans are organic? :)

  2. Tara says:

    If this hostess has such specific demands, she should be making everything herself. Otherwise, she should trust that her friends will bring quality dishes and wine. If I got an insulting email requesting “good” wine, I’d reply that I wasn’t able to make her party, something “came up”.

  3. louie says:

    Anyone who brings a specific dish has their signature on it and I’m sure wants it to be delicious and get compliments. What’s in it is the makers decision and should never be discussed, whatever it may be. As to the Wine, that should definitely be hostess supplied.
    There are all types of people, and Mindy is in a class all by herself. Bring what you are proud of and don’t divulge the ingredients other than its organic, locally produced and fantastic quality. A little poetic license goes a long way. Be smart….Lie

  4. Simone says:


    Normally I’d agree with you. However, this is Thanksgiving, and chances are the people invited don’t have other places to go, and would rather not sit home on Thanksgiving on principle.


    Lie….Ha! As I said, the hostess doesn’t have an organic meter, nor can she asked a potato if they grew up locally. :)

    As far as wine, it’s pretty common to ask the guests to each bring a bottle. After all, even with people bringing dishes, it’s still expensive to host as they usually do the main course and other extras.

  5. Sue says:

    In this day and age there are always other places to go. Think about it. If nothing else, don’t these people know of an older friend or family member or neighbor who is alone and would really like the company of another person on the holiday? Think people, who do you know that is in that position? Call the person up and ask them if they have a place to go and if they do not, ask them what their preference is, would they like to come to you or you to them or eat out as more restaurants are now open for the holiday (you just need to check on your location). You could have a holiday menu of roast chicken or a turkey breast, stuffing, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce (and of course pumpkin pie) and maybe the one item that makes Thanksgiving special to you. That simple dinner can easily be packed up and thrown in an oven to reheat and it is Thanksgiving!! I have been on my own for quite a few years and never have I spent a holiday alone unless it was by my choice. And there have been years that my doors have been open for any one who would be alone for the holiday with no place to go because there is absolutely no reason for them to be alone. And there have been years that I have cooked Thanksgiving dinner and divided it up in care packages and delivered it because that was the need of the year. Use your heart here and quit thinking about yourself. The holiday season is about sharing, start early and enjoy the full spirit of the season.

  6. Emmeline says:

    I am a fervent eater of all organic food, at least in my own house. It is a choice made for 2 reasons: ecologically, I want to buy what is sustainable and harmless for the planet; and secondly, there is no doubt that clean organic food makes a difference in our health (I have had very serious health issues, so I am watchful and don’t eat run of the mill tainted ingredients). Of course I do go out and though I favor places where the food is organic or locally produced without pesticides, it’s difficult to be always on top of it. But, at home: all is certified organic, or coming from my garden. So I understand the request from Mindy. That being said there is also obviously some control issue there as well. I would say this: it is easy to bring something organic and not breaking the bank. As a matter of fact, you do not need to shell out big bucks for organic beans. And you can cook them at home in slow cooker. Easy. Yummy. Cheap. You can also decline the invitation if it makes you feel uneasy. Or you can go with the flow and put in what you would spend for a non-organic meal in one organic dish for her spread and enjoy an array of high quality things while you are there !

Any Thoughts?