Ask Marge

Is It Rude to Take the Leftovers of the Dish I Brought to My Friend’s Thanksgiving?

published Nov 27, 2019
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Dear Marge,

I am going to a Friendsgiving and bringing my broccoli slaw with crunchy noodles and cranberries. I don’t want to brag, but this dish is always a huge hit — and leftovers are great (especially if you add more crunchy noodles). 

Here’s my question: I want to be sure to bring enough, and I know that means it is likely there will be leftovers. Is it rude to ask to bring leftovers of my dish home?

Salad Queen

 Dear SQ,

As with so many things in life, it really depends on how you handle it. Clearly, you are not going to walk in, plunk down the bowl, and announce to the host that you are bringing home your leftovers. I also would avoid boasting about how good the dish is the next day. There are ways to politely ask for your leftovers, but before we get to that, let’s talk for a moment about what you could do pre-emptively. 

When you make the salad, make extra. That way you already know you have some to come home to, and you may be more relaxed about pursuing it with the host. Also, it sounds like you have made the dish enough times before this so that you have a fairly decent idea how much of it people will eat. Try to think it through in order to estimate more closely what you need to bring. But let’s say you have done all that, and for some reason, there is still a ton of it left at the end of the night.

As you are helping the host clear dishes, mention that if no one else wants it, you would love to take a little home. If she agrees, tell her you will just throw it into the bowl you brought so she doesn’t need to fish out a container.  If when you ask, she seems hassled about it in any way, remember: you already have some at home — and drop it. And if she seems amenable, don’t take all the leftovers — the host is more than entitled to be able to snack on it tomorrow, too.

Have a great Friendsgiving!

— Marge

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