Proper Etiquette: Would You Serve Leftovers to Guests?

Proper Etiquette: Would You Serve Leftovers to Guests?

Emma Christensen
Feb 2, 2009

We had a friend over for dinner the other night and the soup we served ended up being less filling than we had expected. Our choices were to order take-out, walk to a restaurant, or heat up some leftovers we had in the fridge. What would you have done?

Since it was cold outside and none of us felt like take-out, we ended up opening another bottle of wine and re-heating some leftover casserole from dinner the night before. It was perfectly delicious and our guest even ended up asking for the recipe!

But as we walked back into the dining room with the plates of re-heated food, we definitely felt a little hesitant. In our heads, we knew that there this would be the same casserole whether we'd made it special for the evening or just for ourselves. But it still felt a little like we were serving "used" food not intended for public viewing.

It helped that our guest was an old friend. If she had been someone we didn't know as well, we probably would have felt a lot more shy about offering leftovers, honestly.

It's kind of a strange situation and not one that we've really thought about before. How do you feel about serving leftovers to guests?

Related: Etiquette: How to Tell Someone There's Food In Their Teeth

(Image: Flickr member Wendy Copley licensed under Creative Commons)

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