Dear Blake,

I have a friend who insists on bringing food whenever I invite her over for an event (birthday party, Thanksgiving, etc.). It doesn’t matter what she cooks, it’s always awful. Everyone tries whatever it is she made, but then spits it out. I don’t want to hurt her feelings, but I don’t want her to bring anything ever again that isn’t store-bought. How can I tell her tactfully?

Signed, Valerie
From Beattyville, Kentucky

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Dear Valerie,

I feel bad that you and others are subjected to some of her horrible concoctions. To get her to stop bringing food, you and the other “guinea pigs” should bring food that’s worst than hers, until she suggests that no one should ever bring any form of cuisine to any functions. Here are some suggestions. At the next social event, have one of your friends bring some McDonald’s dumpster casserole, the title is self-explanatory. Or, have someone bring some crab shells, and only the shells, not the interior. Then watch and see if she complains when her teeth start to crack like thin ice. Or this idea. Have her come by your place for breakfast, along with some of her past victims. Serve her a “new” cereal that never gets soggy, which is actually packing popcorn/Styrofoam. And if you’re in good mood, put a few slices of banana in there too. And lastly, invite her over along with some of your other friends who are can’t stand her food, for some “mop water stew”, pouring it in a bowl from a bucket. And as she stares at you in disbelief, insist that she eats every drop, while you brag about how clean and shiny your floors are. I hope this helps.