I’m not sure if this is just common among my friends, or if it’s a generally American thing, but it’s tough to get someone to show up to a dinner party without their bringing food.
It’s hard to complain about this because my friends tend to be really good cooks and I gladly relieve them of the burden of carrying back leftovers.
But I can’t help but think about how inefficient this pattern is. And it’s not just the pile of bowls and tupperware that invariably get left behind and must be returned before they mingle too much with the host dishes.
Instead of one person making a trip to the grocery store and putting in time in the kitchen, now there are n=number of parties attending people doing this separately for d ~ n dishes. While it’s true that shopping for ingredients for d dishes takes more time than t1 = time it takes to shop for 1 dish, I think it’s not even close to d*t1. Probably no more than d0.5*t1. Same for cooking. One can easily chop and toss a salad, or stir a pot while something else is cooking. So, really, no need to bring anything… unless, ahem, it’s one of your chocolate desserts, or fun salads, or recipes you saw on that cooking show, or …[Burp].