My sister often hosts holiday dinners. She also has this one friend who always helps with the food. The friend is a devout 'hands in the food finger-licker.' She will stick her bare hand into the turkey to get out the stuffing, then instinctively lick it off each time. She does this with every dish. There is virtually no way to avoid getting her saliva in your food. My sister is completely oblivious to all of this, but I'm disgusted. What should I do?
Ewwww. That is disgusting. Your sister, as the host, should have stepped in by now. But given her apparent obliviousness, you should attempt something completely un-Christmaslike: honest communication. Tell her in as calm, discreet and non-judgmental a way possible that Saliva Queen must be kept away from the food. If that doesn't work, get into that kitchen, make yourself useful and give your hands, your fingers, your forearms - hell, even the turkey baster - the sort of frequent and rigorously thorough tongue-baths that would make an alley cat proud. Extra points if you mention, loudly, that you wish your cold sores would finally stop weeping. That's holiday spirit.
Chris Nuttall-Smith is a food writer and restaurant columnist. Have an entertaining dilemma? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.