Dear 100 Hour Board,
Mormon culture question for ya. Since I didn't grow up LDS, I've always been accustomed to bringing a bottle of wine when invited to dinner; that's the polite thing to do, and it's rude to show up empty handed.
You can see where this is going...what do I bring the host/hostess now? So far I ask what I can bring in advance, but usually get some variation of "just bring yourself." Is it weird/overbearing/rude to bring a side dish after they've told you to just bring yourself? Does mormon culture (I do live in Utah) just not care about an empty handed guest? What about occasions one wants to impress?
-Rootbeer Ain't The Same
Dear Sparkling Cider,
Green Jell-O. That's pretty much as classy as wine, right?
Ask if you can bring a dessert. Sugar replaces a lot of the social functions of alcohol in Mormon culture. If they say no, don't worry about it. Or take Van Goff's advice below.
Martinelli's drinks. All the class of wine without the alcohol. Over my senior year, my friend and I would celebrate things at school with a Martinelli's drink and I have never felt so fancy in my life. It seems to be the Mormon equivalent of champagne.
I second both Zed and Van Goff's answers and would add as a more general rule: just ask "is it ok if I bring _______?" This is great 'cause you can fill in the blank with a lot - "a dessert", "martinelli's", "my mom's world famous cheese-filled rolls"... the possibilities are endless. Plus, it removes the burden of figuring out what you can bring that just asking "can I bring something?" Or "what should I bring?" places on your host. It's easier for your host to say "sure bring a dessert" or "those rolls sound fantastic! Bring them!" than it is to come up with something that you could bring to add to the meal off the top of their head.
Best of luck,