Hey, we were going to eat that, too

Dear Annie: At the recent Thanksgiving celebration, I was again faced with a situation that has bothered me for some time now.

We take turns in my family hosting a holiday. This year, it was my turn to host Thanksgiving. I truly love cooking for this feast. Everyone brings a dish, and I usually do the turkey and dressing. Our group consisted of about 15 people this year, as it usually does. The problem is that every year, without fail, when everyone is packing up to leave, “Rhonda” starts grabbing leftovers to take home. She prepares several plates for herself. She does this at every gathering, even when she hosts the holiday (she will pack food away in her refrigerator while no one is watching). I don’t mind when people take dishes home, but I find it rude that Rhonda helps herself without asking. What can I do to discourage this at future gatherings? — Roasting in Kentucky

Dear Roasting: The best defense is a good offense. The next time you’re preparing to host a family feast, pick up 15 containers you don’t mind parting with. After everyone’s done feasting, pass out the boxes and encourage everyone to load up on a little of everything. And if anyone has a friend, neighbor or relative who is homebound or hospitalized, tell that guest to pack some extra containers and take Thanksgiving to that person.

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