Can I ask a guest to bring a something specific dessert?

I know my friend is a good cook. But she's probably looking forward to a day off with her husband and daughter on Thanksgiving. She did ask what she could bring. I'd like her to bring something homemade, otherwise what is the point? She'd probably be great at a vegetable side dish, (which I could frankly use), and makes a mean date-nut roll. Can I give her that choice? She comes from an interesting (Yemenite) background. Saying "bring what you want" wouldn't help, because I will be cooking all the traditional foods that we look forward to all year. So is it too much to ask for, say, "one of your yummy veg. side dishes, or else maybe the date roll, just let me know which you prefer?"

  • Posted by: creamtea
  • November 15, 2011


boulangere November 15, 2011
I'm always glad for some guidance as to what to bring. I'm having Thanksgiving dinner on Friday with a friend's family (we both serve Thanksgiving dinner at a food bank on Thursday), and she said to bring my favorite side. That's pretty vague, so I asked if I could bring a pumpkin cheesecake, and got a big thumbs up. The moral of the story: never hesitate to suggest, most especially when it's a question of such a rich authentically ethnic possibility.
SKK November 15, 2011
When I ask the host/hostess what I can bring, I love it when they make specific requests based on dishes they enjoyed that I have made for them. What a pleasure! And what a pleasure to only make one or two dishes instead of a whole meal every once in awhile!
dymnyno November 15, 2011
If you know the guest and know her/his capabilities, then I think you can be pretty specific like saying "that mud pie you made last time we were at you house was divine...can you bring that? After all they are good enough friends to be invited?
Dona November 15, 2011
I would appreciate guidance on what dish to being. I think it's easier than trying to guess what to bring.

Voted the Best Reply!

Niknud November 15, 2011
Yikes - that's a tricky one. Generally I would say it's ok to ask someone to bring a specific type of dish if they've volunteered to bring something (i.e., dessert or a vegetable side). I might hesitate to ask a guest to prepare a specific dish because you don't know what kind of time they have to devote to your favorite. That being said, there's nothing wrong with saying, "oh any dessert is fine. People just loved your awsome date roll that you brought last time and I'm sure would enjoy seeing it again. But whatever you have time to throw together will be warmly received." And who knows, she might bring something even better than the date roll if you leave her to her own devices.....
creamtea November 15, 2011
She did say to "tell me what I can bring." The trouble is I don't know if she means pitching in and cooking a dish or bringing something packaged/ bottle of wine. I'm just not sure what to ask for (which is why I initially said salad, since it's easy). I'm not clear if she's coming from a potluck frame of mind or a "never come empty handed" frame of mind.
Niknud November 15, 2011
Since I am always a fan of more information then less, I'd say ask her. No harm done and you can get a better idea of what she's willing to do. It wouldn't be at all inappropriate to ask her whether she would prefer to make a dish to bring or contribute to the wine stash. You can caveat all this by saying it's entirely at her discretion. Good luck! Let me know what you end up doing
boulangere November 15, 2011
Never hesitate to ask. As has be said, if she's a good enough friend to be invited, she's likely a good enough friend to listen to a genuine question.
creamtea November 15, 2011
sorry for the garbled title...just pretend it says "like dessert".
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