It seems that these days, an invitation to dinner or a party always involves bringing a dish to contribute to the event's meal. "What can we bring?" has become an automatic response to the initial verbal or email invite. To be perfectly honest, we've grown a bit tired of creating sometimes elaborate dishes for a gathering that isn't our own. What happened to just a a bottle of wine for a host(ess) gift?
I'm not a consummate cook or event planner. I like the idea of just attending a party as a guest to mingle with other guests and not have to worry about "oh, I have to heat up our dish, where are the serving spoons, wonder if they have an extra trivet, where is a good place to set up the food?! And so on and so on...
Conversely, I'm not terribly fond of being the host who must receive the requisite food items from our guests. Our kitchen is small, we have only 1 of every appliance so a group of people who want to heat up and serve their dishes becomes an exercise in insanity. We once had a friend who basically brought bags of ingredients and created his dish while making a mountain of a mess. I felt quite frustrated that he could have done most of that at home.
Do I sound like an ungrateful grump? Emily Post was from a time of the hostess taking on more responsibility. I agree that if you host, act like one and not a coordinator of a potluck dinner at a community centre.
What do you think?