DEAR ABBY: I had to write after reading the letter from "Ready to Serve in New Hampshire," who felt compelled to delay her dinner party when her guests brought fresh vegetables from their garden.

My husband's summer hobby is a large vegetable garden, and he, too, enjoys giving away the fruits of his labor. When we are invited to dine with friends, he also brings a gift of his wonderful vegetables. But in no way does he expect our hosts to prepare them for us. They are intended for the family to enjoy at future meals.

I doubt that "Ready's" guests intended for her to cook those veggies, either. She should have thanked them and stored their gift for future dining.

- Farmer's Wife in Kansas

DEAR FARMER'S WIFE: Most letters I received on that question agreed that the woman had stressed out needlessly, and that common sense dictated that the items should be consumed later. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: I often bring a basket of vegetables from my garden as a house gift. Never in my wildest dreams would I think my hosts would put everything on hold in order to serve the veggies immediately. If I brought homemade bath salts as a gift, I wouldn't expect the hosts to stop what they were doing and take a bath.

"Ready's" friends did nothing wrong. She overreacted to their kind gesture.

- Green Thumb in Amarillo, Texas

DEAR ABBY: "Ready" should have smiled graciously and said, "Oh, how lovely! Bob and I will certainly eat well this week." Those of us who bring edible gifts should indicate that they are intended for later enjoyment.

- Southern Gent