Grrr! This is probably more a vent than a request for advice (because I've already decided what I'm doing next time!) but let me get it out there....
We were invited to a potluck-style July 4th get-together with some neighbors. The hosts provided the burgers and dogs and the guests were asked to bring an appetizer or side dish. I was asked to bring my jalapeno poppers (basically, jalapenos cut in half length-wise, seeded and deveined, stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon and baked until the bacon is crisp) which are quite popular with our friends. I figured on 3-4 poppers per guest (I ended up making about 60.) The food was set up buffet-style on a long table and everyone--including the kids--helped themselves.
After the meal, I helped with the cleanup and got to the table where the younger kids (ages 7-12) were sitting. Two of the plates had 7 or 8 jalapenos with cream cheese sitting on them... but no bacon. I asked my 11-year-old nephew,who had been sitting at that table, what that was about and he told me that the hosts' grandchildren (ages 7 and 9) had taken the poppers but they only wanted the bacon... "they don't like jalapenos or cream cheese".
I was aghast. There must have been a few adults who didn't get their full "ration" of appetizers (if they got any at all!) but mainly I was upset at the waste. It's not an extraordinarily expensive or difficult appetizer to make, but it's not cheap, either, and it does take some time. I said nothing to the hosts, because I'm not sure exactly what I could have said... at least they didn't put the jalapenos back on the serving tray! I always taught my son and his cousins that the guests go first and that even when THEY'RE the guests, they never take more than one until everyone's had a chance to go through the buffet line... and I usually took them through the line when they were younger (just to make sure they remembered how many is ONE!)
My husband told me next time I'm asked to bring something (at least to this particular home), offer to bring chips and salsa... not the poppers! He said I should make those only when we host the party and we have some control over the serving line (as he pointed out about this last potluck--did the person who brought the deviled eggs PURPOSELY leave olive slices lying on the serving tray? Hmm....)
Anyway, thank you for listening! If anyone has any suggestions, I'd appreciate them, but I think my hubby's advice will probably give me the least amount of stress in the future!
So everyone enjoy your Fourth... and watch for olives on the serving tray without deviled eggs!