Serious Eats: Talk

Confessing The (Dinner Party) Blues

My serial misanthropy now extends to friends and family, over food. It seems like I never get a good meal, unless I make it myself, or go to one of the few local restaurants that I think is worth it. Not to say that I am a great chef, I am not, but I have learned to cook out of necessity.
When invited to a party or holiday meal by friends or family, I get served mediocre or downright bad food, and I am the only one who ever seems bothered by it. I am growing resentful.
Just last weekend, we attended a party to which we had been invited a month in advance. For dinner, I was seved cold fried chicken and day-old salads from the supermarket deli counter. The woman had recently remodeled her kitchen, and has two ovens (I have one), yet she couldn't even be bothered to warm up the store-bought food. This was not a picnic, it was a sit-down dinner.

When I have a party, I go all out with a large and varied menu, everything made from scratch, sometimes spending days on the preparation. My wife hates my irascible complaining, and thinks I am insufferable. I'm told it's not about the food, it's about getting together with people. I say, if you are inviting me to your home for a meal, serve me halfway-decent food, and don't expect me to bring a dish, either. Right or wrong?

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