Leftover label


Dear Beard,

My husband and I often host his parents for meals and each time my mother-in-law asks for containers and brings home all the leftovers. She even grabs handles of our bowl of candy. I’m happy to feed her – she hates cooking and her own mother has dementia and lives with them – but she is too greedy and we want to save food for ourselves. What’s the best thing to do?



Dear annoyed,

A quick and convenient solution would be to make an extra dinner and put some in the fridge before serving the meal and fill a small amount of candy in the bowl or put nuts and healthy foods in it.

When it’s time to pack the food, say, “Love that you liked dinner. Can we share the leftovers? ”

But philosophically, you can think of these dinners as a cross between a family reunion and something like charitable giving or volunteer work. Caring for an elderly woman with dementia can be overwhelming. Giving away the leftovers from dinner is very charitable and kind. How kind of you to lighten the burden on your mother-in-law with your kindness and good cooking.

Barb Rock is a retired mental health counselor and published author of “Run Your Own Race: Happiness after 50”. Send him any questions about mental health, relationships or life issues at [email protected] or send an SMS to (253) 377-9668.


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