Dear Massi, Just last month I invited my brother and his wife over for dinner and it caused all sorts of trouble.

My new sister-in-law has only come over once before for dinner.

I went to a lot of trouble and was cooking from 6am. I literally made all the food from scratch.

Everything was fine and friendly when they arrived, but when we sat down to eat, my sister-in-law pulled out a box of food from her bag and dished that out onto her plate.

She didn’t eat a single thing I cooked. When I asked her why she brought her own food, she blamed it on her allergies, but didn’t specify what those allergies were.

Clearly she doesn’t like my cooking, but to bring your own food to someone’s house when they have invited you over for dinner is so insulting.

My brother can’t see a single fault in his wife, so there’s no point saying anything to him.

Now she has invited us round to hers for dinner.

I really don’t want to see her again, but I can’t exactly avoid her. What do you think I should do?

Massi says:  It is only natural that you felt hurt when, after going to so much trouble, your sister-in-law decided to eat her own food instead of what you prepared. 

Your sister-in-law may have allergies that she is not comfortable revealing, or is inclined towards a particular palate. 

Perhaps, next time you invite her and your brother over, ask her in advance if there is anything she can’t eat, or something she would prefer.

If you feel this would cause you too much tension, then why not invite them round when it is not a meal time, which would avoid any issue about dietary requirements.