Etiquette Hell

Hostesses With The Mostest => Entertaining and Hospitality => Topic started by: littlelauraj on September 17, 2012, 04:54:34 PM

Title: Special food for special people
Post by: littlelauraj on September 17, 2012, 04:54:34 PM

I'm not sure about this one, so I'd love to see some responses and get some varied opinions.

 Background:  Every fall we throw a big party and invite everyone we know.  It's open house, so guests are coming and going all day.  We usually have around 150-200 people attend.  Even though it's not a potluck, many people bring food, which means we could have 20 or 30 desserts and treats at the party in addition to the various dips and side dishes that guests bring. 

As you can imagine, this is a huge temptation for someone on a restricted diet.  My husband is a diabetic, and he, my daughter, and I are all on a carb-restricted diet.  So is one of our guests, a friend of my daughters' who is also diabetic.  I make a really good low carb, sugar free cheesecake that I am thinking of making for the party so that those of us with restrictions can enjoy ourselves.  Unfortunately, it really is a good cheesecake and most of my friends have had it before and love it.  I am going to make a regular cheesecake, too, but I want a way to make sure the sugar free stuff gets to the people who need it.  Does that make sense?

Unfortunately, I can't think of a polite way to do this.  Knowing me, I'm probably over thinking it.  How rude would it be to put the sugar free cheesecake in the fridge and only serve it to certain people?  Probably pretty rude, but I'd like some input. 
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: rashea on September 17, 2012, 04:57:18 PM
Why not make two sugar free? I may not be carb restricted, but sugar free doesn't sound like a bad option to me.
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: sourwolf on September 17, 2012, 05:02:07 PM
I agree with Rashea, I'd just make two of the sugar free ones.  Just make sure they are labeled that way in case anyone is allergic to artificial sweetener.
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: Pippen on September 17, 2012, 05:08:19 PM
Not rude at all. It's practical. You are simply ensuring that people who are restricted get a share. If you put it out it may well get wolfed down by others who don't realise.
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: QueenofAllThings on September 17, 2012, 05:17:38 PM
As an aside to sourwolf, my best cheesecake recipe has no sweetener in the cheesecake at all - it's delicious! Sometimes, I'll add a tablespoon or so (just because I feel I should) but it really doesn't need it. Now, there IS sugar in the crust, but you can omit the crust all together - so sugar- and carb-free!
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: sourwolf on September 17, 2012, 05:20:27 PM
As an aside to sourwolf, my best cheesecake recipe has no sweetener in the cheesecake at all - it's delicious! Sometimes, I'll add a tablespoon or so (just because I feel I should) but it really doesn't need it. Now, there IS sugar in the crust, but you can omit the crust all together - so sugar- and carb-free!
You know what? I looked back at the OP and she doesn't actually say anything about artificial sweeteners so it might be like your recipe where there is no need for a special label.
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: jpcher on September 17, 2012, 05:34:12 PM
With 150-200 people attending, I see absolutely nothing wrong with putting out a sign that states "Diabetic, sugar-free, whatever eating restriction Only!" Just the same that you can set aside a group of food with a sign that states  "Vegetarian/vegan friendly."
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: rose red on September 17, 2012, 05:38:37 PM
Even with two cheesecakes, it may get all gobbled up since there's hundreds of people attending.  I would put the cheesecakes out on the table so they don't think a few guests are served "better" stuff, but I don't see a problem with hiding away a few slices for those who can't eat the other desserts. 
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: lady_disdain on September 17, 2012, 05:47:36 PM
I would keep some of the sugarless away as well. Let the girl know when she arrives that you have a piece of cheesecake for her in the fridge and either let her get it when she likes it or have her ask you for it.
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: miritree on September 17, 2012, 06:02:04 PM
This special person would love a copy of that recipe.  ;)
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: Oh Joy on September 17, 2012, 06:10:38 PM
Hmmm...a gathering that large makes it tough to have a special food in limited quantity.  But I'm not comfortable having something restricted to certain people (which is different from providing a certain dish that anyone's welcome to).

Could you put a note on the dessert table that a sugar-free cheesecake is available and to ask you for it?  That way anyone who can't/shouldn't/would rather not eat the sweetened stuff can get it, but it won't 'go' as fast.

Have fun!
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: Outdoor Girl on September 17, 2012, 06:23:23 PM
Could you put a note on the dessert table that a sugar-free cheesecake is available and to ask you for it?  That way anyone who can't/shouldn't/would rather not eat the sweetened stuff can get it, but it won't 'go' as fast.

I like this idea!
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: CakeEater on September 17, 2012, 07:11:09 PM
I think it's completely fine to put away a few pieces of the cheesecake for someone in particular. I wouldn't even give it another thought.
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: littlelauraj on September 17, 2012, 07:20:06 PM
Thanks for the replies, everyone.  My recipe does indeed call for artificial sweetener, so I am concerned about that.  I don't want anyone to get sick, although I do consider that if a guest has allergies or sensitivities it's up to them to ask about certain ingredients, so I'm not too worried.  It never occurred to me to just make both cheesecakes sugar free.  I knew I was over thinking!  I could do that in addition to putting a few portions away.  Then if we do run out there is still some left, and if we don't then there are leftovers.  Perfect!  (I guess that was RoseRed's suggestion, so thanks!)

Queen, I'd love to see your recipe if you'd like to share.  I'll try to post mine soon.

Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: Isometric on September 17, 2012, 07:40:04 PM
I hope it's not rude, since I have done it before! At our engagement, we had a wonderful, glutenous cake. For the few attendees who were Gluten Free, I baked some cupcakes and left them aside to give to those people.

Or, when having a party, I will tell the GF people, "everything on the purple platter is GF" so they can swoop in.
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: Really? on September 17, 2012, 07:50:13 PM
HI

I would be interested in seeing the recipes from both OP and Queen. My brother has gone low carb and one of the kids is diabetic. But the family loves cheesecake.

Onlyme
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: blarg314 on September 17, 2012, 09:47:17 PM
I think what I'd do is either make the cheesecake part of the regular offerings, but keep a bit back so that it doesn't run out before they people who need it get it, or serve regular cheese-cake, but have the sugar free stuff in reserve for those who need it.

I agree that in a group that big it's difficult to put out reserved food - the odds that someone else will have it are too big. They key in having special items kept back for people with restrictions is to not have it seem like they are getting something *better* than the rest of the gathering. So if they're the only ones who get cheesecake, it could cause disgruntlement. But if they get a sugar free cheesecake while others get regular, then it shouldn't be an issue.

As an aside - I've seen this happen often with vegetarian pizzas. There are a lot of non vegetarians who prefer veggie pizzas, or at least ones not loaded down with meat. So when you order pizza for a group, you either need to defend the vegetarian table with great vigor and a lot of questions, or have two piles of veggie pizza - one for regular consumption, and one for vegetarian only.
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: hannahmollysmom on September 18, 2012, 12:04:58 AM
I would make a little flag and put it on a toothpick and insert it into the cheesecake. Most people who aren't sugar free will most likely leave it for those who are. You can always make a 2nd one and keep it away in case it is needed.

I've been diabetic for almost a year now, and make sugarfree low carb items. The first thing my adult children ask when I serve something is "is this real food?" meaning none of my experiments with sugarfree/low carb flours.  ???

And, I would love the recipe too!
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: WillyNilly on September 18, 2012, 09:42:15 AM
I think the idea of two sugar free cheese cakes is good, as well as labeling it.  And also, perhaps try to have a large selection of 'good to everyone, safe for everyone' treats.

As everyone has noticed often the 'special' foods get eaten by 'regular' people.  And absolutely as a 'regular' person I totally sympathize; it must be frustrating to not have foods you can eat at an event. 

But I also have to say, just because I can eat any of the foods, doesn't mean I want to.  The reason I'm not diabetic (like both my parents) is in great part due to the fact that I follow an almost diabetic diet.  I also eat low gluten - I have no gluten intolerances, but I also don't want to develop one!  And while I'm not a vegetarian I don't tend to eat more then 1 or 2 servings a meat a week, if that much, but I do make sure to get a minimum of 4 servings of veggies a day, often more. 

And I know a lot of people who eat like me.

So when we go to a party it can be a minefield for us too.  We want to eat the low sugar, low gluten, low processed foods, high veggie dishes.  But often we are pushed towards the high calorie, processed foods because the other stuff is being saved for those who need it. But its a paradox - if I eat too much "regular" food chances are, based on family history, that I'll become a diabetic.  So while I technically can eat it, I really shouldn't.  But you know that's really not a conversation I feel like I should have to have with anyone - while my own medical condition is my private business to share if I want, sharing my parents medical conditions is absolutely unacceptable - its not my business to tell anyone!

So in my opinion is if you have recipes everyone can eat, and they are tasty and popular with everyone, just make those - that way everyone is equal and everyone is happy.
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: Zilla on September 18, 2012, 09:50:17 AM
Could you put a note on the table, For those following the sugar or carb free diets, a sugar free/carb free cheesecake is available and to ask you for it?  That way anyone who can't/shouldn't/would rather not eat the sweetened stuff can get it, but it won't 'go' as fast.

I like this idea!


I love this idea, with the bolded change.
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: bah12 on September 18, 2012, 11:38:49 AM
I would make two sugar free cheesecakes and label them as such so that those on restricted diets know that they are ok.  I'd also make an extra one to keep in the kitchen for your family.  Since I'm assuming that you are the only ones (or ones of just a few) that will be there all day, I see nothing wrong with having the extra in the back for them to snack on in between entertaining guests.
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: doodlemor on September 18, 2012, 11:56:35 AM
I would make two sugar free cheesecakes and label them as such so that those on restricted diets know that they are ok.  I'd also make an extra one to keep in the kitchen for your family.  Since I'm assuming that you are the only ones (or ones of just a few) that will be there all day, I see nothing wrong with having the extra in the back for them to snack on in between entertaining guests.

I really like the idea of having a whole extra sugar free cheesecake left as a back up in the fridge.  So many people are health conscious nowadays that I suspect the sugar free cheesecake on the buffet will be very popular.
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: littlelauraj on September 19, 2012, 11:53:58 AM
Posted the recipe here:

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=120771.0
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: sweetonsno on September 19, 2012, 03:55:56 PM
I like the idea of making all of the cheesecake sugar-free (as others have said, definitely label it as such, including an indication of which sweetener you're using. . . some folks are allergic/averse to some types but not others). I think bah12's suggestion is good as well. Make an extra cheesecake for your family and keep it in the fridge. If any of the diabetic or carb-restricted people show up later and nothing is available for them, you could give them some of your stash.

I'm glad you're thinking of them. I understand that folks without dietary restrictions can eat anything they want, but it's definitely frustrating to come to a party with the understanding that there will be options for you to find that there are none.
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: SuperMartianRobotGirl on September 19, 2012, 04:42:24 PM
I would personally just put it up with a sign that says "diabetic sugar/free cheesecake. uses artifical sweetner." People who don't need it are likely to go for something else with the sign. You might have a piece or two taken by someone who doesn't care, but usually when people go to a potluck they aren't in it for sugar-free desserts. But then it's available for people who DO need it without having to hunt around for someone and wait to get it. I don't know how many people would go through that trouble.
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: bopper on September 21, 2012, 10:54:53 AM
Another idea is to make the SF cheesecake and keep it in the fridge until dessert time. Then get it out, serve some to the people who need it, and then put it out with the rest with a little sign saying this is SF Cheesecake.

Stacey
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: littlelauraj on September 21, 2012, 04:26:53 PM
Bopper, I would do that except this an open house style party.  That means that people are coming and going literally all day long.  That's how we can easily host hundreds of people and never feel crushed and crowded. 
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: blarg314 on September 21, 2012, 08:00:40 PM

What about a sign saying "diabetic/carb free desserts available by request" on the dessert tray?

That way people who need it know that it's available, but you can monitor how fast it gets eaten. Using the term diabetic rather than sugar free makes it sound more medical - ie, you're more likely to have diabetics ask for it than people who are on a diet.

Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: VorFemme on September 21, 2012, 09:43:51 PM
My Lil Sis has a bad reaction to all artificial sweeteners.  She had put off trying Splenda & Stevia - due to her reactions being painful and somewhat prolonged - someone tried to make their cooking "healthier" and used Splenda to sweeten something.  She now refuses to even think about trying Stevia or any newer ones now.  She actually allergic to flax seed, which is ground & added to food for extra fiber, to the point that some people have forgotten what they are adding to food she's being offered - until the warning prickle starts in her mouth.  By which time she has probably already swallowed the first bite....

Please be sure to let people know if it is has "no added sugar" or if has been artificially sweetened to keep down the carbs - because it can make a difference to some of the people who'd think about eating it.  But having a diabetic friendly dessert in the kitchen is a great idea - that way the people who can eat other things will try what is out on the dessert table and the ones who need to restrict carbs can ask for the other dessert option.

And now I want cheesecake - since I could serve a slice to VorGuy (diagnosed as diabetic earlier this summer - he is NOT happy about it, either).
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: Venus193 on September 21, 2012, 10:32:24 PM
I would make a little flag and put it on a toothpick and insert it into the cheesecake. Most people who aren't sugar free will most likely leave it for those who are. You can always make a 2nd one and keep it away in case it is needed.

I've been diabetic for almost a year now, and make sugarfree low carb items. The first thing my adult children ask when I serve something is "is this real food?" meaning none of my experiments with sugarfree/low carb flours.  ???

And, I would love the recipe too!

I make sugar-free pumpkin pie and banana bread.  You can't tell the difference.
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: littlelauraj on September 22, 2012, 03:03:46 PM
VorFemme, I would never give someone artificial sweetener without telling them.  Like you point out, many people react.  But please, do encourage your sister to try Stevia.  It's not artificial, it's made from the stevia plant.  I sold them in the greenhouse last year with the rest of the herbs.  It was fun to reach out and grab a leaf on my way by during my day, especially if I also grabbed a chocolate mint leaf at the same time.
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: VorFemme on September 22, 2012, 04:07:28 PM
VorFemme, I would never give someone artificial sweetener without telling them.  Like you point out, many people react.  But please, do encourage your sister to try Stevia.  It's not artificial, it's made from the stevia plant.  I sold them in the greenhouse last year with the rest of the herbs.  It was fun to reach out and grab a leaf on my way by during my day, especially if I also grabbed a chocolate mint leaf at the same time.

I've tried it - but the prospect of three days of pain while it "clears out of her system" has her not wanting to try anything new in the way of sweetners.  And I can't say that I blame her, as she's been developing new sensitivities (the flax seed wasn't an issue ten years ago).   Her husband travels a LOT for business - so she is "Home Alone" a lot.
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: littlelauraj on September 23, 2012, 07:05:09 AM
I wouldn't want to try anything new, either.  Just wanted to say it's not artificial, if that were to make a difference.
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: VorFemme on September 23, 2012, 10:34:46 AM
I wouldn't want to try anything new, either.  Just wanted to say it's not artificial, if that were to make a difference.

She's reacted to the sweetener made from the berries - I forget the name? - so she avoids anything sweet that isn't sucrose, glucose, fructose, or one of the other "real" sugars (Mom was a chemistry teacher who went back to school & became a lab assistant - we got a bit of science background in the family kitchen & dinner table).
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: littlelauraj on September 24, 2012, 07:24:26 AM
And at our house we are busy trying to avoid all of the "oses".  :) 
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: SamiHami on September 24, 2012, 01:23:16 PM
My Lil Sis has a bad reaction to all artificial sweeteners.  She had put off trying Splenda & Stevia - due to her reactions being painful and somewhat prolonged - someone tried to make their cooking "healthier" and used Splenda to sweeten something.  She now refuses to even think about trying Stevia or any newer ones now.  She actually allergic to flax seed, which is ground & added to food for extra fiber, to the point that some people have forgotten what they are adding to food she's being offered - until the warning prickle starts in her mouth.  By which time she has probably already swallowed the first bite....

Please be sure to let people know if it is has "no added sugar" or if has been artificially sweetened to keep down the carbs - because it can make a difference to some of the people who'd think about eating it.  But having a diabetic friendly dessert in the kitchen is a great idea - that way the people who can eat other things will try what is out on the dessert table and the ones who need to restrict carbs can ask for the other dessert option.

And now I want cheesecake - since I could serve a slice to VorGuy (diagnosed as diabetic earlier this summer - he is NOT happy about it, either).

FYI Stevia is not an artificial sweetener. I grow it in my back yard and use it as an everyday sweetener in my home. Yummy!

ETA: Oops! I see several others have already posted about stevia. Sorry!
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: VorFemme on September 24, 2012, 06:14:54 PM
And at our house we are busy trying to avoid all of the "oses".  :) 

So is VorGuy the newly diagnosed diabetic who is now drinking at least half of my diet sodas
Title: Re: Special food for special people Update post 37
Post by: littlelauraj on October 30, 2012, 07:47:46 AM
Just a little note to let everyone know how it went.  Our party ended up being much smaller than usual so I only made one cheesecake.  I set aside three portions and put the rest out with a sign.  My daughters' diabetic friend couldn't come due to illness, so that was a non-issue.  There was one piece of cheesecake left at the end of the party, so hopefully everyone who wanted some got some.  Thanks for all of the input!

On a related note, when I get on a cooking kick I love to prepare foods for the freezer, so this week I'm preparing and freezing cheesecakes.  I'm testing my own recipes to make them fit into our eating plan.  Yesterday was Toffee Apple, today I'm making Triple Chocolate, maybe tomorrow will be Maple Walnut or Strawberry Pecan.  I'm also doing some savory cheesecake like Blue Cheese with Pecans or Feta with Pine Nuts.  As you can imagine, my family fully supports this little kick.  :)
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: VorFemme on October 30, 2012, 08:18:21 AM
My Lil Sis has a bad reaction to all artificial sweeteners.  She had put off trying Splenda & Stevia - due to her reactions being painful and somewhat prolonged - someone tried to make their cooking "healthier" and used Splenda to sweeten something.  She now refuses to even think about trying Stevia or any newer ones now.  She actually allergic to flax seed, which is ground & added to food for extra fiber, to the point that some people have forgotten what they are adding to food she's being offered - until the warning prickle starts in her mouth.  By which time she has probably already swallowed the first bite....

Please be sure to let people know if it is has "no added sugar" or if has been artificially sweetened to keep down the carbs - because it can make a difference to some of the people who'd think about eating it.  But having a diabetic friendly dessert in the kitchen is a great idea - that way the people who can eat other things will try what is out on the dessert table and the ones who need to restrict carbs can ask for the other dessert option.

And now I want cheesecake - since I could serve a slice to VorGuy (diagnosed as diabetic earlier this summer - he is NOT happy about it, either).

FYI Stevia is not an artificial sweetener. I grow it in my back yard and use it as an everyday sweetener in my home. Yummy!

ETA: Oops! I see several others have already posted about stevia. Sorry!

She's had bad reactions to every sweetener known to man but sugar and honey.  Some well meaning "friends" of hers, convinced that it's all in her head because they've never seen her get sick from artificial sweeteners, have snuck Stevia, Splenda, and other sweeteners into food or beverages that they have served her, trying to tell her that she'd never know...they aren't at her house for the next three days as she lives through the reaction...

Well, flax she gets an immediate reaction to (burning sensation down the entire digestive tract - for up to three days) so she can stop after one nibble.....Artificial sweeteners don't give immediate symptoms but do cause severe and painful gastrointestinal upsets for three days...and for the next few months, she's gassy and everyone around her knows it (seriously - weapons of mass destruction potential here, if it were produced in larger quantities than one digestive tract can manage) - it just takes a couple of hours for her to realize what happened since there is no immediate prickle of pain.    But nobody connects the artificial sweetener in their "healthy" dessert two months ago to the eye-watering cloud...for some reason.

Everyone keeps telling her that artificial sweeteners are healthier for her now that she's in her fifties than "real sugar" (expression and tone of voice imply that real sugar is equivalent to cocaine mixed with strychnine in how bad it is for the human body) - doctors, dentists, friends, and some more distant family members......except me - I've been in her house after she got dosed and the gas really is just about as horrible as she claims. 

Seriously - skunks would complain...

But since she doesn't have an immediate reaction that she can point to (like hives, projectile vomiting, or something equally visible) - a lot of people think that she's exaggerating....and that she should stop using sugar because everyone knows white sugar and white flour are "poison"...
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: Ms_Cellany on October 30, 2012, 05:43:12 PM
And at our house we are busy trying to avoid all of the "oses".  :) 

[pedantic chemistry major ON!]

All sugars end in "ose" - glucose, fructose, sucrose (table sugar, which is made up of one molecule of glucose and one molecule of fructose bound together), lactose (milk sugar), galactose, amylose (found in plants; when polymerized, it makes starch), etc.

[pedantic chemistry major OFF]

ETA further pedantry: the stuff in stevia that tastes sweet isn't a sugar; it's called steviol glycoside: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steviol_glycoside (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steviol_glycoside)
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: littlelauraj on October 31, 2012, 06:55:52 AM
When I say we're trying to avoid all of the "oses", I mean it literally.  Milk is off of the list, as is honey, sugar, etc.  Anything with any kind of sugar.  Any and all processed foods that have "hidden" sugars, all of it. 
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: iridaceae on October 31, 2012, 07:12:51 AM
I wouldn't want to try anything new, either.  Just wanted to say it's not artificial, if that were to make a difference.

My sister's a supertaster or something and to her stevia is unpleasantly bitter.  If she needs anything sugarfree she has to use Splenda or another artificial sweetener.
Title: Re: Special food for special people
Post by: Roses on October 31, 2012, 12:46:48 PM
Could you put a note on the dessert table that a sugar-free cheesecake is available and to ask you for it?  That way anyone who can't/shouldn't/would rather not eat the sweetened stuff can get it, but it won't 'go' as fast.

I like this. I think Oh Joy nailed it.