Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: Poppea on February 22, 2013, 05:59:57 PM

Title: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Poppea on February 22, 2013, 05:59:57 PM
Lets say that you are a vegetarian by choice.  You eat fish, eggs & dairy.  Your friend who is not a vegetarian has invited 3 couples over for dinner.  The hostess is offering a salad and appetizers you can eat.  Would it be polite to:

1.  Bring a separate entree for yourself. (lets say the others are getting grilled hamburgers, and you bring fish to be grilled)

2.  Bring a vegetarian entree that others can also share if they desire.

Are both choices polite?  Does anyone thing #1 is rude?  #2?  Lets assume the hostess is uber polite and would not tell you that she minded either option even if she was actually steamed about it.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Sharnita on February 22, 2013, 06:03:00 PM
#2 sounds good but I suspect that is because I am craving both a burger and salmon right now.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: SiotehCat on February 22, 2013, 06:04:46 PM
I don't mean to be critical here, but someone who eats fish is not a vegetarian. They are a pescetarian.

Also, I think both of those choices would be rude. I wouldn't say anything, because salad and appetizers is (to me) plenty. If I had to pick one of those choices for whatever reason, I would ask the hostess if she was okay with choice #1.

If the hostess was fine with me bringing something for myself, I would bring something very similar to what everyone else was having. So, if everyone is having burgers, I would bring veggie burger patties.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: bansidhe on February 22, 2013, 06:06:19 PM
If you eat fish, you aren't a vegetarian.

However, I would go for option 3: Let your hostess know you are a vegetarian and ask her if she would prefer if you go with option 1 or 2. Perhaps she'd rather come up with a veggie dish herself, though.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Poppea on February 22, 2013, 06:16:49 PM
I don't mean to be critical here, but someone who eats fish is not a vegetarian. They are a pescetarian.

Also, I think both of those choices would be rude. I wouldn't say anything, because salad and appetizers is (to me) plenty. If I had to pick one of those choices for whatever reason, I would ask the hostess if she was okay with choice #1.

If the hostess was fine with me bringing something for myself, I would bring something very similar to what everyone else was having. So, if everyone is having burgers, I would bring veggie burger patties.

I'm am calling the guest a vegetarian only because that is what she calls herself. I would not consider anyone who dislikes meat but eats fish a vegetarian myself.

Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: gollymolly2 on February 22, 2013, 06:54:34 PM
I think the host should ask whether the guests have any dietary concerns, and that opens the door for the vegetarian/pescetarian/whatever to mention her issue and offer to bring something. When the host doesn't ask, I think the guests options are to decline or attend and hope she can eat something.

Having said that, I think that really only applies in more formal settings or dinners with acquaintances. If a good friend invited me to dinner, I'd just ask something like "do you mind if I bring some x to grill since I don't eat y?"
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Judah on February 22, 2013, 07:05:16 PM
If I'm the host, I provide a vegetarian meal for my guest. If I'm the guest, I pick choice #3: I let my host know that I'm a vegetarian and ask her what her preference is.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Aeris on February 22, 2013, 07:05:23 PM
Do you have any idea if the host knows she's a pescetarian?

I generally think the host should be asking about dietary restrictions, and planning an alternate main course for the pescetarian from the outset. But if for some reason she doesn't know, or forgets to ask, I think the it's reasonable for the guest to let her know and perhaps say "I'm perfectly fine with the salad and appetizer only, but if you'd like me to bring a veggie burger to be grilled along with the burgers I'd be more than happy to".

I wouldn't just show up with an alternate in tow unless it was a good friend of mine where I knew this would be cool.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Deetee on February 22, 2013, 07:18:10 PM
I think it is fine for a vegeterian to offer to bring their own meal. I think it is fine for the host to make a veggie meal.

As host, I would be comfy making a vegetarian meal for most people, but some people are stricter than others and I wouldn't want to mess with their diet, so they can bring their own food.

Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: *inviteseller on February 22, 2013, 07:27:24 PM
If I were the hostess and knew one of my guests could only eat an appetizer & salad, while the other guests ate a full meal, I would be uncomfortable.  Most people will tell me what is going to be planned and if it looks like i will get just a side or salad, I will also offer to bring something for my main course, but will also bring enough for all to have some if they want.  If that is turned down (OH, you don't have to, there's plenty of food here!) I just decline the invitation.  I chose to eat this way and I am not pushy about it , but if I am going to be the only one not getting the 'meal', it can be awkward with both guest and hostess feeling weird.  Nothing like everyone leaning back and saying their full while all you can think about is going home and making some pasta & veggies!
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Winterlight on February 22, 2013, 07:30:41 PM
If I'm the host, I provide a vegetarian meal for my guest. If I'm the guest, I pick choice #3: I let my host know that I'm a vegetarian and ask her what her preference is.

This. As a hostess, I want to serve my guests a full meal. As a guest, I want to be able to eat a full meal.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: blarg314 on February 22, 2013, 07:33:02 PM
I would go with option

3) have a snack before the dinner, and eat what you can at the dinner.

1) is appropriate if you know the hosts well enough to know that they won't mind this, *and* you ask before hand.

1) is also appropriate for extreme food restrictions, where even if the host tried to make food to suit your diet you couldn't risk eating eat (you keep strict kosher, for example, or you have extreme sensitivities/allergies which make cross contamination  serious issue, or involve ingredients that are ubiquitous and very hard to screen out.

Definitely don't decide you're going to force the hosts to hold a potluck instead of a hosted dinner party, showing up with enough food to disrupt the menu they've planned.

I would say that an 8 person dinner party is getting to the size where the hosts can't necessarily accommodate the dietary restrictions and decisions of all the guests at the same time. They've got something you can eat, even if you can't eat everything.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Aeris on February 22, 2013, 07:48:53 PM
I would go with option

3) have a snack before the dinner, and eat what you can at the dinner.

1) is appropriate if you know the hosts well enough to know that they won't mind this, *and* you ask before hand.

1) is also appropriate for extreme food restrictions, where even if the host tried to make food to suit your diet you couldn't risk eating eat (you keep strict kosher, for example, or you have extreme sensitivities/allergies which make cross contamination  serious issue, or involve ingredients that are ubiquitous and very hard to screen out.

Definitely don't decide you're going to force the hosts to hold a potluck instead of a hosted dinner party, showing up with enough food to disrupt the menu they've planned.

I would say that an 8 person dinner party is getting to the size where the hosts can't necessarily accommodate the dietary restrictions and decisions of all the guests at the same time. They've got something you can eat, even if you can't eat everything.

Unless there are a multitude of conflicting or extreme dietary restrictions among those 8 people, I really don't think it's too much to ask. And I do not actually think it is sufficient hosting to offer 5 guests 3 course meals, and offer 1 guest only salad and an appetizer. And *particularly* in this situation, there is a shockingly easy remedy. Throwing a veggie burger on the grill is about as easy as a substitution can get.

Each person does not need to be able to eat every single dish, but if they can't eat an entire course, that's not okay. The host really either needs an alternate main course for that guest, or have multiple dishes in a course - like a plate of ribs and a cheese lasagna. The guest wouldn't be able to eat the ribs, obviously, but they'd be able to eat something reasonable in the main course.

I'm hosting a brunch next week for 7 people, and I need to accommodate my vegetarian self and my celiac friend and I don't find the menu planning to be that onerous. She won't be able to eat every single dish (nor will I), but she'll certainly be able to have something in every course.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: snowdragon on February 22, 2013, 10:10:42 PM
Lets say that you are a vegetarian by choice.  You eat fish, eggs & dairy.  Your friend who is not a vegetarian has invited 3 couples over for dinner.  The hostess is offering a salad and appetizers you can eat.  Would it be polite to:

1.  Bring a separate entree for yourself. (lets say the others are getting grilled hamburgers, and you bring fish to be grilled)

2.  Bring a vegetarian entree that others can also share if they desire.

Are both choices polite?  Does anyone thing #1 is rude?  #2?  Lets assume the hostess is uber polite and would not tell you that she minded either option even if she was actually steamed about it.

neither would be polite. both are telling the hostess that you find her hospitality lacking, even before you experience it.  And many people will not want you grilling fish on their grill.

Your options are to decline the invite or eat before hand and have what you can of the offerings.   
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: #borecore on February 22, 2013, 10:35:35 PM
I would not do either. I am so used to filling up on sides or eating later (14 years vegetarian, hate when people assume that means I ear fish!) that I've never felt compelled to say, "Accommodate me!" so in many words (or so few). I would especially not dream of saying I'd bring a whole secondary entree!
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: mbbored on February 22, 2013, 11:53:13 PM
I said it in the previous thread, but it bears repeating.

I've been a vegetarian (except for the occasional piece of locally caught fresh fish) for almost 20 years. When I'm invited to a meal, I say, "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?" I always get one of three answers:

1) "Don't worry about it! I've got a yummy vegetarian dish for you."
2) "Ooh, I'd love it if you could bring something to share. I was going to grill some steaks: do you have something that might go well with baked potatoes and creamed spinach?" (P.S. My goat cheese stuffed portabellas are amazing)
OR
3) "Hmm, I was planning on my great grandmother's signature 3 meat lasagna with prosciutto as an appetizer and bacon ice cream for dessert. But if you'd still like to come hang out, you're welcome to!"

It gives the host the chance to decide how comfortable they are with a vegetarian guest (and an easy out if the answer is "not at all") and I know that I'm going to have enough to eat, one way or the other.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: snowdragon on February 23, 2013, 12:11:06 AM
I said it in the previous thread, but it bears repeating.

I've been a vegetarian (except for the occasional piece of locally caught fresh fish) for almost 20 years. When I'm invited to a meal, I say, "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?" I always get one of three answers:

1) "Don't worry about it! I've got a yummy vegetarian dish for you."
2) "Ooh, I'd love it if you could bring something to share. I was going to grill some steaks: do you have something that might go well with baked potatoes and creamed spinach?" (P.S. My goat cheese stuffed portabellas are amazing)
OR
3) "Hmm, I was planning on my great grandmother's signature 3 meat lasagna with prosciutto as an appetizer and bacon ice cream for dessert. But if you'd still like to come hang out, you're welcome to!"

It gives the host the chance to decide how comfortable they are with a vegetarian guest (and an easy out if the answer is "not at all") and I know that I'm going to have enough to eat, one way or the other.

I would consider  rude and likely never issue another invite.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: cicero on February 23, 2013, 12:13:06 AM
Lets say that you are a vegetarian by choice.  You eat fish, eggs & dairy.  Your friend who is not a vegetarian has invited 3 couples over for dinner.  The hostess is offering a salad and appetizers you can eat.  Would it be polite to:

1.  Bring a separate entree for yourself. (lets say the others are getting grilled hamburgers, and you bring fish to be grilled)

2.  Bring a vegetarian entree that others can also share if they desire.

Are both choices polite?  Does anyone thing #1 is rude?  #2?  Lets assume the hostess is uber polite and would not tell you that she minded either option even if she was actually steamed about it.
neither choice is polite, in fact I find them both rude. You don't *bring* anything. You mention to the host that you didn't eat meat or chicken or anything cooked with those items or whatever your dietary restrictions are. You can at that point *offer* to bring a veg entree to share.

I don't think it matters if the guest is 'vegetarian by choice' or for other reason (medical, religious).at this moment they *are* vegetarian.

As a host, I would much prefer that a guest alerts me ahead of time that they are vegetarian or other restrictions so I can accommodate them.I would prefer to have *something*to give them to eat, and not just apps and bread while the rest of us are feasting on steak...
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: sweetonsno on February 23, 2013, 12:23:20 AM
Lets say that you are a vegetarian by choice.  You eat fish, eggs & dairy.  Your friend who is not a vegetarian has invited 3 couples over for dinner.  The hostess is offering a salad and appetizers you can eat.  Would it be polite to:

1.  Bring a separate entree for yourself. (lets say the others are getting grilled hamburgers, and you bring fish to be grilled)

2.  Bring a vegetarian entree that others can also share if they desire.

Are both choices polite?  Does anyone thing #1 is rude?  #2?  Lets assume the hostess is uber polite and would not tell you that she minded either option even if she was actually steamed about it.

Unless the guest has discussed it with the hosts, both options would be rude. The guest should clear it with the hosts before bringing something to the meal (unless of course it is a potluck). Before bringing something (either for him/herself or to share), a guest should ask and find out from the hosts whether or not they should bring one serving or more than one serving.

Generally speaking, though, I would vote against bringing your own entree, especially if there will be plenty for you to eat.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Aeris on February 23, 2013, 12:28:19 AM
I said it in the previous thread, but it bears repeating.

I've been a vegetarian (except for the occasional piece of locally caught fresh fish) for almost 20 years. When I'm invited to a meal, I say, "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?" I always get one of three answers:

1) "Don't worry about it! I've got a yummy vegetarian dish for you."
2) "Ooh, I'd love it if you could bring something to share. I was going to grill some steaks: do you have something that might go well with baked potatoes and creamed spinach?" (P.S. My goat cheese stuffed portabellas are amazing)
OR
3) "Hmm, I was planning on my great grandmother's signature 3 meat lasagna with prosciutto as an appetizer and bacon ice cream for dessert. But if you'd still like to come hang out, you're welcome to!"

It gives the host the chance to decide how comfortable they are with a vegetarian guest (and an easy out if the answer is "not at all") and I know that I'm going to have enough to eat, one way or the other.

I would consider  rude and likely never issue another invite.

Wait, I just need to clarify. You'd never invite someone again if they said "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?". Do I understand you correctly?
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: snowdragon on February 23, 2013, 12:38:36 AM
I said it in the previous thread, but it bears repeating.

I've been a vegetarian (except for the occasional piece of locally caught fresh fish) for almost 20 years. When I'm invited to a meal, I say, "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?" I always get one of three answers:

1) "Don't worry about it! I've got a yummy vegetarian dish for you."
2) "Ooh, I'd love it if you could bring something to share. I was going to grill some steaks: do you have something that might go well with baked potatoes and creamed spinach?" (P.S. My goat cheese stuffed portabellas are amazing)
OR
3) "Hmm, I was planning on my great grandmother's signature 3 meat lasagna with prosciutto as an appetizer and bacon ice cream for dessert. But if you'd still like to come hang out, you're welcome to!"

It gives the host the chance to decide how comfortable they are with a vegetarian guest (and an easy out if the answer is "not at all") and I know that I'm going to have enough to eat, one way or the other.

I would consider  rude and likely never issue another invite.

Wait, I just need to clarify. You'd never invite someone again if they said "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?". Do I understand you correctly?

They are telling me they can't trust me to feed them and find my hospitality lacking enough that they have to do either bring their own meal or eat before, they don't need to be burdened by my poor hospitality.   Especially since I have not committed any faux pas by issuing an invite - if someone does not trust me enough to allow me to ask about restrictions but makes the point of letting me know that they would prefer to either bring something to my table or eat before hand - then they don't trust me enough to be able comfortable in my home. The entire premise of that tactic is pretty insulting to the host.

  I eat vegetarian two or three times a week, I am not incapable of making a vegetarian meal...but the assumption that I can't or won't is insulting.   The hose sets the menu - guests don't over ride that by bringing over their own food.  OR would it be OK for me to bring a meat entree to a vegetarian home? If the answer is no for the meat eater, then it should be no for the vegetarian.
 
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: NyaChan on February 23, 2013, 12:43:22 AM
I said it in the previous thread, but it bears repeating.

I've been a vegetarian (except for the occasional piece of locally caught fresh fish) for almost 20 years. When I'm invited to a meal, I say, "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?" I always get one of three answers:

1) "Don't worry about it! I've got a yummy vegetarian dish for you."
2) "Ooh, I'd love it if you could bring something to share. I was going to grill some steaks: do you have something that might go well with baked potatoes and creamed spinach?" (P.S. My goat cheese stuffed portabellas are amazing)
OR
3) "Hmm, I was planning on my great grandmother's signature 3 meat lasagna with prosciutto as an appetizer and bacon ice cream for dessert. But if you'd still like to come hang out, you're welcome to!"

It gives the host the chance to decide how comfortable they are with a vegetarian guest (and an easy out if the answer is "not at all") and I know that I'm going to have enough to eat, one way or the other.

I would consider  rude and likely never issue another invite.

Wait, I just need to clarify. You'd never invite someone again if they said "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?". Do I understand you correctly?

They are telling me they can't trust me to feed them and find my hospitality lacking enough that they have to do either bring their own meal or eat before, they don't need to be burdened by my poor hospitality.   Especially since I have not committed any faux pas by issuing an invite - if someone does not trust me enough to allow me to ask about restrictions but makes the point of letting me know that they would prefer to either bring something to my table or eat before hand - then they don't trust me enough to be able comfortable in my home. The entire premise of that tactic is pretty insulting to the host.
 

That's a fairly uncharitable way of thinking about this.  I think this tactic is meant to be used for hosts who may not think to ask whether someone has a dietary restriction rather than someone who planned to ask anyways - if all hosts actually checked about this, we wouldn't have so many threads about problems at dinner parties with dietary restrictions.  The offer to bring food is to avoid the appearance that the prospective guest is demanding accommodation when the host may not want to do it, not to imply that a host is incapable of cooking with that restriction or untrustworthy.  I do agree though, that offering to eat beforehand goes too far in that direction.  I don't think asking, "I'm vegetarian/can't eat various things - would it be easier for you if I brought a dish to share?" is bad though.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: MariaE on February 23, 2013, 02:12:33 AM
I said it in the previous thread, but it bears repeating.

I've been a vegetarian (except for the occasional piece of locally caught fresh fish) for almost 20 years. When I'm invited to a meal, I say, "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?" I always get one of three answers:

1) "Don't worry about it! I've got a yummy vegetarian dish for you."
2) "Ooh, I'd love it if you could bring something to share. I was going to grill some steaks: do you have something that might go well with baked potatoes and creamed spinach?" (P.S. My goat cheese stuffed portabellas are amazing)
OR
3) "Hmm, I was planning on my great grandmother's signature 3 meat lasagna with prosciutto as an appetizer and bacon ice cream for dessert. But if you'd still like to come hang out, you're welcome to!"

It gives the host the chance to decide how comfortable they are with a vegetarian guest (and an easy out if the answer is "not at all") and I know that I'm going to have enough to eat, one way or the other.

I would consider  rude and likely never issue another invite.

That seems like huge overreaction to me.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: petal on February 23, 2013, 02:43:33 AM
I've invited vegetarians to dinner before.  i knew before hand they were and looked upon it as an interesting challenge

Im not an inspiring or inventive cook so really had to rack my brain on what to make. 

really really loved the challenge
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: gollymolly2 on February 23, 2013, 02:50:39 AM
I said it in the previous thread, but it bears repeating.

I've been a vegetarian (except for the occasional piece of locally caught fresh fish) for almost 20 years. When I'm invited to a meal, I say, "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?" I always get one of three answers:

1) "Don't worry about it! I've got a yummy vegetarian dish for you."
2) "Ooh, I'd love it if you could bring something to share. I was going to grill some steaks: do you have something that might go well with baked potatoes and creamed spinach?" (P.S. My goat cheese stuffed portabellas are amazing)
OR
3) "Hmm, I was planning on my great grandmother's signature 3 meat lasagna with prosciutto as an appetizer and bacon ice cream for dessert. But if you'd still like to come hang out, you're welcome to!"

It gives the host the chance to decide how comfortable they are with a vegetarian guest (and an easy out if the answer is "not at all") and I know that I'm going to have enough to eat, one way or the other.

I would consider  rude and likely never issue another invite.

Wait, I just need to clarify. You'd never invite someone again if they said "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?". Do I understand you correctly?

They are telling me they can't trust me to feed them and find my hospitality lacking enough that they have to do either bring their own meal or eat before, they don't need to be burdened by my poor hospitality.   Especially since I have not committed any faux pas by issuing an invite - if someone does not trust me enough to allow me to ask about restrictions but makes the point of letting me know that they would prefer to either bring something to my table or eat before hand - then they don't trust me enough to be able comfortable in my home. The entire premise of that tactic is pretty insulting to the host.

  I eat vegetarian two or three times a week, I am not incapable of making a vegetarian meal...but the assumption that I can't or won't is insulting.   The hose sets the menu - guests don't over ride that by bringing over their own food.  OR would it be OK for me to bring a meat entree to a vegetarian home? If the answer is no for the meat eater, then it should be no for the vegetarian.
 

Oh brother.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Miss Unleaded on February 23, 2013, 02:58:37 AM
I said it in the previous thread, but it bears repeating.

I've been a vegetarian (except for the occasional piece of locally caught fresh fish) for almost 20 years. When I'm invited to a meal, I say, "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?" I always get one of three answers:

1) "Don't worry about it! I've got a yummy vegetarian dish for you."
2) "Ooh, I'd love it if you could bring something to share. I was going to grill some steaks: do you have something that might go well with baked potatoes and creamed spinach?" (P.S. My goat cheese stuffed portabellas are amazing)
OR
3) "Hmm, I was planning on my great grandmother's signature 3 meat lasagna with prosciutto as an appetizer and bacon ice cream for dessert. But if you'd still like to come hang out, you're welcome to!"

It gives the host the chance to decide how comfortable they are with a vegetarian guest (and an easy out if the answer is "not at all") and I know that I'm going to have enough to eat, one way or the other.

I would consider  rude and likely never issue another invite.

Sometimes you can't win though.  I've had the situation where someone got upset at me for not telling them in advance I was vegetarian.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Miss Unleaded on February 23, 2013, 03:05:49 AM
They are telling me they can't trust me to feed them and find my hospitality lacking enough that they have to do either bring their own meal or eat before, they don't need to be burdened by my poor hospitality.   Especially since I have not committed any faux pas by issuing an invite - if someone does not trust me enough to allow me to ask about restrictions but makes the point of letting me know that they would prefer to either bring something to my table or eat before hand - then they don't trust me enough to be able comfortable in my home. The entire premise of that tactic is pretty insulting to the host.

  I eat vegetarian two or three times a week, I am not incapable of making a vegetarian meal...but the assumption that I can't or won't is insulting.   The hose sets the menu - guests don't over ride that by bringing over their own food.  OR would it be OK for me to bring a meat entree to a vegetarian home? If the answer is no for the meat eater, then it should be no for the vegetarian.
 

You're putting the worst possible spin on it you could.  It's not a statement about your cooking, it's the guest trying to give you important information without the appearance of imposing on your hospitality.  They are offering to make your life a bit easier and let you know that they want your company and don't want to put you to any more trouble.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: audrey1962 on February 23, 2013, 08:01:58 AM
I said it in the previous thread, but it bears repeating.

I've been a vegetarian (except for the occasional piece of locally caught fresh fish) for almost 20 years. When I'm invited to a meal, I say, "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?" I always get one of three answers:

1) "Don't worry about it! I've got a yummy vegetarian dish for you."
2) "Ooh, I'd love it if you could bring something to share. I was going to grill some steaks: do you have something that might go well with baked potatoes and creamed spinach?" (P.S. My goat cheese stuffed portabellas are amazing)
OR
3) "Hmm, I was planning on my great grandmother's signature 3 meat lasagna with prosciutto as an appetizer and bacon ice cream for dessert. But if you'd still like to come hang out, you're welcome to!"

It gives the host the chance to decide how comfortable they are with a vegetarian guest (and an easy out if the answer is "not at all") and I know that I'm going to have enough to eat, one way or the other.

I would consider  rude and likely never issue another invite.

Wait, I just need to clarify. You'd never invite someone again if they said "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?". Do I understand you correctly?

They are telling me they can't trust me to feed them and find my hospitality lacking enough that they have to do either bring their own meal or eat before, they don't need to be burdened by my poor hospitality.   Especially since I have not committed any faux pas by issuing an invite - if someone does not trust me enough to allow me to ask about restrictions but makes the point of letting me know that they would prefer to either bring something to my table or eat before hand - then they don't trust me enough to be able comfortable in my home. The entire premise of that tactic is pretty insulting to the host.

  I eat vegetarian two or three times a week, I am not incapable of making a vegetarian meal...but the assumption that I can't or won't is insulting.   The hose sets the menu - guests don't over ride that by bringing over their own food.  OR would it be OK for me to bring a meat entree to a vegetarian home? If the answer is no for the meat eater, then it should be no for the vegetarian.
 

And if the hostess doesn't ask about restrictions, then what?
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Zilla on February 23, 2013, 08:16:18 AM
Neither, if I was the hostess in question, I would provide the fish or entree to grill.  I don't think either one is rude but I love to cook so it would be fun for me to find a recipe and make it.  If I was the guest, I would offer option number 2 but if declined, I would be fine with the salad and appetizers.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Zilla on February 23, 2013, 08:21:49 AM
I said it in the previous thread, but it bears repeating.

I've been a vegetarian (except for the occasional piece of locally caught fresh fish) for almost 20 years. When I'm invited to a meal, I say, "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?" I always get one of three answers:

1) "Don't worry about it! I've got a yummy vegetarian dish for you."
2) "Ooh, I'd love it if you could bring something to share. I was going to grill some steaks: do you have something that might go well with baked potatoes and creamed spinach?" (P.S. My goat cheese stuffed portabellas are amazing)
OR
3) "Hmm, I was planning on my great grandmother's signature 3 meat lasagna with prosciutto as an appetizer and bacon ice cream for dessert. But if you'd still like to come hang out, you're welcome to!"

It gives the host the chance to decide how comfortable they are with a vegetarian guest (and an easy out if the answer is "not at all") and I know that I'm going to have enough to eat, one way or the other.

I would consider  rude and likely never issue another invite.

Wait, I just need to clarify. You'd never invite someone again if they said "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?". Do I understand you correctly?

They are telling me they can't trust me to feed them and find my hospitality lacking enough that they have to do either bring their own meal or eat before, they don't need to be burdened by my poor hospitality.   Especially since I have not committed any faux pas by issuing an invite - if someone does not trust me enough to allow me to ask about restrictions but makes the point of letting me know that they would prefer to either bring something to my table or eat before hand - then they don't trust me enough to be able comfortable in my home. The entire premise of that tactic is pretty insulting to the host.

  I eat vegetarian two or three times a week, I am not incapable of making a vegetarian meal...but the assumption that I can't or won't is insulting.   The hose sets the menu - guests don't over ride that by bringing over their own food.  OR would it be OK for me to bring a meat entree to a vegetarian home? If the answer is no for the meat eater, then it should be no for the vegetarian.
 


The OP said the guest already knows there will only be a salad and appetizers and not the main entree.  Problem here is that a meat eater can eat from both dishes where as a vegetarian cannot.  If as a hostess you don't wish to provide an entree to your guest, I think that is rude.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Sharnita on February 23, 2013, 08:48:00 AM
In this case OP has made it clear that the menu of salad and (red meat) burgers has already been disclosed.  I am not really sure how snowdragon sees that as a host having taken care of vegetarian needs or solves the question of what a vegetarian would fill up on,
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: snowdragon on February 23, 2013, 09:16:44 AM
     It has been said here that an invitation is not a summons, the OP can just decline the invite. But the host has the right to serve the foods she prefers to.  It is not polite to bring food to someone else's house. It is especially not polite when one knows the host would not feel free to decline this honor but would be silently fuming as in the OP. 
      People go to restaurants all the time and order appetizers and a salad, so expecting someone to either fill up before the party ( or after) and have what she can of the offerings or decline the invite, is not so heinous of the host. It is after all, what would be expected of anyone who did not like the what host had to offer if the situation was reversed - or if the meat eater simply did not like the entree.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Zilla on February 23, 2013, 09:23:43 AM
     It has been said here that an invitation is not a summons, the OP can just decline the invite. But the host has the right to serve the foods she prefers to.  It is not polite to bring food to someone else's house. It is especially not polite when one knows the host would not feel free to decline this honor but would be silently fuming as in the OP. 
      People go to restaurants all the time and order appetizers and a salad, so expecting someone to either fill up before the party ( or after) and have what she can of the offerings or decline the invite, is not so heinous of the host. It is after all, what would be expected of anyone who did not like the what host had to offer if the situation was reversed - or if the meat eater simply did not like the entree.


I can respect that.  As a hostess and more importantly, as a friend, I would always welcome a politely asked question if they have a need.  I would never be offended or fume at a guest if they inquire about helping with their requirement since they don't want to impose on the hostess.  But we all host differently and that's fine.  But I would hope you can be a bit more charitable if someone does ask and not think the absolute worst of them.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Sharnita on February 23, 2013, 09:27:09 AM
I know a lot of people who would be fine with an inquiry.  I think the number of hosts who would fume are actually a small minority.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: hyzenthlay on February 23, 2013, 09:33:22 AM
I can respect that.  As a hostess and more importantly, as a friend, I would always welcome a politely asked question if they have a need.  I would never be offended or fume at a guest if they inquire about helping with their requirement since they don't want to impose on the hostess.  But we all host differently and that's fine.  But I would hope you can be a bit more charitable if someone does ask and not think the absolute worst of them.

POD!  If I want people over I will do my best to host well, but my vegetarian is limited, my fish non-existent, and other allergy concerns . . . I'm not sure I have the level of attention need to protect against the bad ones.

So if a guest is concerned, I'd have no problems at all with them bringing food. My pride is not more important then their company. But I don't invite people whose company I am not pretty sure I want. I don't host formal dinner parties at which introductions would be necessary, and I think some of the 'you eat what you are offered and be quiet about it' are rules applicable to much more formal events.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: snowdragon on February 23, 2013, 09:52:42 AM
     It has been said here that an invitation is not a summons, the OP can just decline the invite. But the host has the right to serve the foods she prefers to.  It is not polite to bring food to someone else's house. It is especially not polite when one knows the host would not feel free to decline this honor but would be silently fuming as in the OP. 
      People go to restaurants all the time and order appetizers and a salad, so expecting someone to either fill up before the party ( or after) and have what she can of the offerings or decline the invite, is not so heinous of the host. It is after all, what would be expected of anyone who did not like the what host had to offer if the situation was reversed - or if the meat eater simply did not like the entree.

I can respect that.  As a hostess and more importantly, as a friend, I would always welcome a politely asked question if they have a need.  I would never be offended or fume at a guest if they inquire about helping with their requirement since they don't want to impose on the hostess.  But we all host differently and that's fine.  But I would hope you can be a bit more charitable if someone does ask and not think the absolute worst of them.



So, guests get to now tell the host "I don't like what you are cooking, I want to bring X over to your house use your facilities ( grill or kitchen ) and do it myself?"    And the host who does not like this is "Uncharitable" for refusing to burden such a guest with further invites.     Honestly - I think if a guest needed to bring their own food to my dinner table it's a  good indication that socializing over food is not going to work with that person.
   And the double standard is really irksome.  Don't ask for privileges in another's home that you are not willing to reciprocate in your own. 
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Sharnita on February 23, 2013, 09:56:48 AM
What makes you think that person wouldn't reciprocate?  If the person in this situation wants to bring fish because they can't eat red meat they might very well be happy to let a guest bring red meat they needed to eat.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: snowdragon on February 23, 2013, 10:00:02 AM
What makes you think that person wouldn't reciprocate?  If the person in this situation wants to bring fish because they can't eat red meat they might very well be happy to let a guest bring red meat they needed to eat.


   I asked above if a meat eater could bring their own meet to a vegetarian house, that thought was not well received.  And frankly for many meat eaters dinner means meat, they need it to make a whole meal,.... so them bringing meat to an event is no different than a vegetarian not liking the offering here. She could fill up on salad and appetizers, she just perfers something else.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Moray on February 23, 2013, 10:01:14 AM
Please, snowdragon, you are assigning nefarious intent where none exists. An offer to make things easier on your host isn't a criticism, not in the least. It's also just that an offer and can be declined.

I'm afraid I just can't understand this attitude of animosity towards helpful vegetarians. It's not like they're invading the host's kitchen and ruining all the meat. They're just offering to contribute a dish if wanted.[\I]
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Zilla on February 23, 2013, 10:01:15 AM
     It has been said here that an invitation is not a summons, the OP can just decline the invite. But the host has the right to serve the foods she prefers to.  It is not polite to bring food to someone else's house. It is especially not polite when one knows the host would not feel free to decline this honor but would be silently fuming as in the OP. 
      People go to restaurants all the time and order appetizers and a salad, so expecting someone to either fill up before the party ( or after) and have what she can of the offerings or decline the invite, is not so heinous of the host. It is after all, what would be expected of anyone who did not like the what host had to offer if the situation was reversed - or if the meat eater simply did not like the entree.

I can respect that.  As a hostess and more importantly, as a friend, I would always welcome a politely asked question if they have a need.  I would never be offended or fume at a guest if they inquire about helping with their requirement since they don't want to impose on the hostess.  But we all host differently and that's fine.  But I would hope you can be a bit more charitable if someone does ask and not think the absolute worst of them.



So, guests get to now tell the host "I don't like what you are cooking, I want to bring X over to your house use your facilities ( grill or kitchen ) and do it myself?"  How do you equate a vegetarian that can't eat meat to saying she doesn't like the entree?  That's not the case at all.  She can't eat it.  Period.  And again you are painting the worst picture of what usually happens.  Which is, "Oh I am a vegetarian, may I bring a dish to share?  I wouldn't want to put you through any extra trouble!"  This is an open ended question to let them bring something or offer to make something for them.  It isn't a demand as you posted.




And the host who does not like this is "Uncharitable" for refusing to burden such a guest with further invites.   
It isn't uncharitable, it's how you are phrasing it. 
 Honestly - I think if a guest needed to bring their own food to my dinner table it's a  good indication that socializing over food is not going to work with that person.
And here is the phrase.
   And the double standard is really irksome.  Don't ask for privileges in another's home that you are not willing to reciprocate in your own.
I am confused, where is the double standard?  I don't understand this part?


I think you are confusing vegetarians with picky eaters.  I get the sense that your situation again is very different then what's presented in the OP.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Zilla on February 23, 2013, 10:04:12 AM
What makes you think that person wouldn't reciprocate?  If the person in this situation wants to bring fish because they can't eat red meat they might very well be happy to let a guest bring red meat they needed to eat.


   I asked above if a meat eater could bring their own meet to a vegetarian house, that thought was not well received.  And frankly for many meat eaters dinner means meat, they need it to make a whole meal,.... so them bringing meat to an event is no different than a vegetarian not liking the offering here. She could fill up on salad and appetizers, she just perfers something else.


Now I am super confused, I don't see anywhere in this thread that you said this and it wasn't received.  Can you quote where it was posted?  Or are you talking of other thread entirely?  I do remember a poster talking about this a while back.  I am trying to think of who it was...
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Veronica on February 23, 2013, 10:12:47 AM
What makes you think that person wouldn't reciprocate?  If the person in this situation wants to bring fish because they can't eat red meat they might very well be happy to let a guest bring red meat they needed to eat.


   I asked above if a meat eater could bring their own meet to a vegetarian house, that thought was not well received.  And frankly for many meat eaters dinner means meat, they need it to make a whole meal,.... so them bringing meat to an event is no different than a vegetarian not liking the offering here. She could fill up on salad and appetizers, she just perfers something else.


Now I am super confused, I don't see anywhere in this thread that you said this and it wasn't received.  Can you quote where it was posted?  Or are you talking of other thread entirely?  I do remember a poster talking about this a while back.  I am trying to think of who it was...

Waterwren, I'm confused as to how someone who is a meat eater would need to eat meat all the time.  I'm not a vegetarian and yet I had vegetarian guests last weekend and I managed to go all weekend without eating meat because it was just easier to stick with the same meal they were eating.  I didn't want to prepare a vegetarian dish for them and a meat dish for me.  What dietary restriction is there that says someone had to eat meat at every meal?  I've never heard of it.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Zilla on February 23, 2013, 10:31:23 AM
Oh I remember now, that's right your other account was waterwren, I remember you posting something about that.  Yep, those are entirely different threads (I just searched and read a bunch).  In this specific thread though, no one is saying there are double standards or demanding a vegetarian dish.  It's a very nicely worded question.


ETA:I just reread what you had said about Waterwren in another thread, sorry I remembered wrong.  I only remembered that you had posted you aren't her.  But in any case, you mentioned you read her threads.  I think that is what you are thinking of when you posted about double standards.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Aeris on February 23, 2013, 10:32:02 AM
     It has been said here that an invitation is not a summons, the OP can just decline the invite. But the host has the right to serve the foods she prefers to.  It is not polite to bring food to someone else's house. It is especially not polite when one knows the host would not feel free to decline this honor but would be silently fuming as in the OP. 
      People go to restaurants all the time and order appetizers and a salad, so expecting someone to either fill up before the party ( or after) and have what she can of the offerings or decline the invite, is not so heinous of the host. It is after all, what would be expected of anyone who did not like the what host had to offer if the situation was reversed - or if the meat eater simply did not like the entree.

I can respect that.  As a hostess and more importantly, as a friend, I would always welcome a politely asked question if they have a need.  I would never be offended or fume at a guest if they inquire about helping with their requirement since they don't want to impose on the hostess.  But we all host differently and that's fine.  But I would hope you can be a bit more charitable if someone does ask and not think the absolute worst of them.



So, guests get to now tell the host "I don't like what you are cooking, I want to bring X over to your house use your facilities ( grill or kitchen ) and do it myself?"    And the host who does not like this is "Uncharitable" for refusing to burden such a guest with further invites.     Honestly - I think if a guest needed to bring their own food to my dinner table it's a  good indication that socializing over food is not going to work with that person.
   And the double standard is really irksome.  Don't ask for privileges in another's home that you are not willing to reciprocate in your own.

Honestly, if I raked my friends over the coals for such minor, perceived infractions as daring to ask if they might help reduce the burden of their dietary restriction, I imagine I wouldn't have any friends at all.

Fortunately, my friends and I seem to be able to let such abominable behavior as offering to help pass. Somehow we struggle on and manage to enjoy each other's company despite it.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: *inviteseller on February 23, 2013, 10:33:10 AM
I do not eat meat..period.  It is my choice and most everyone I know who invites me to dinner knows this. When I am invited for a meal (and these are usually informal get togethers with friends), I am told ahead of time by most what they are planning.  Say the menu is a cheese and cracker platter with drinks, then steaks and a salad.  I then offer to bring a pasta/veg mix for another side, but  (left unsaid) something I can use as a substitute for the steak.  Usually my host will say yes, that sounds great, thanks, but I have been told 'no, we have enough food planned.  In those cases I graciously decline the invitation.  Now, if I am going to a big summer blowout, even though I will not eat the burgers and dogs, there is usually enough sides that I do not walk away feeling hungry.  I have never expected any host, be it family or friend, to come up with alternatives for me, and I am more than happy to contribute something, but if I am going to sit around a table nibbling a bowl of salad while everyone is having their steaks and scalloped potatos with bacon (this has happened), I feel weird.  And if people find me rude because I will not want to partake in their meat fest, then by all means, do not invite me.  And I typically host a few B B Q's a summer and Christmas dinner...I do serve meat because I am a lonely little herbivore in a carnivore world.  And Snowdragon, you seem to take a persons dietary habits as a personal affront.  My one friend is a wonderful cook, but I will not eat any of her meat dishes.  I am not rude, nor am I making some sort of commentary about her cooking, I just do not eat it.  You are, obviously a hard core meat eater, and that is your choice.  I am a vegetarian, that is my choice.  Neither is rude, but, if I am reading you posts correctly, a guest gets an invitation, they should just accept it, suck it up and eat it or subsist on a salad or a side of veg and be hungry just so you can be a good little guest?  And if said guest has the audacity to ask to bring a little something to share that they can eat as opposed to everything else being served, that is a slap in the face to the hostess?  And if the vegetarian declines that particular invitation, you would never have them back again?  Do you have any friends or relatives who are vegetarians or have serious food restrictions due to allergies?  I don't think a good hostess would want a guest to sit there eating salad and bread while everyone else is feasting on steaks when it could be rectified so simply.
And POD to Moray who posted while I was typing
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Sharnita on February 23, 2013, 10:36:16 AM
To be fair, I think Snowdragon is OK with declining, just not offering to to bring anything.  That is what would get thme blacklisted.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Aeris on February 23, 2013, 10:39:00 AM
To be fair, I think Snowdragon is OK with declining, just not offering to to bring anything.  That is what would get thme blacklisted.

But they must decline without asking any questions about what the host is planning or whether they might be able to eat anything, as that would also be 'questioning the host's hospitality'. So I suppose they are supposed to just decline everything. Which would put them no worse off them getting blacklisted, I suppose, so no real loss.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Moray on February 23, 2013, 10:39:25 AM
Veronica, yes, I think it was waterwren that  had an axe to grind about vegetarians....among other things.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Allyson on February 23, 2013, 10:43:07 AM
It's not uncharitable for a host to say 'no, I'd really rather you didn't bring anything for yourself' and then maybe the guest decides this isn't a great invitation for them and goes elsewhere, or else eats beforehand an just has some appetizer and salad. Not every invitation is great for every person. I do think it's uncharitable to blacklist someone from future invitations for asking the wrong question.

This puts guests in the position of either mentioning being vegetarian, and possibly having the host take major offense, or not mentioning it, showing up, and having pretty much nothing to eat. That's just illogical to me. If a guest asks, it's not because they believe this particular host can't provide--it's probably because they've trusted for enough 'providing' in the past and gone away hungry.

Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Tea Drinker on February 23, 2013, 10:46:38 AM
I don't have a lot of people over for meals right now, though I hope to change that. But when I do, or when I'm arranging to go out for a meal, I always ask "are there any dietary restrictions?" Otherwise, it's all too easy to inadvertently leave someone with little or nothing that they can eat: for example, someone I know has to avoid dairy altogether. Knowing that, it's easy to work around. If I didn't know, I might serve, say, cucumber salad with a sour cream dressing, a curry with a few tablespoons of milk or cream in the sauce, and ice cream for dessert, leaving that person with nothing to eat but plain boiled rice.

Knowing, even if I didn't change the main dish, the salad could have a different dressing, and I could be sure to get sorbet as well as ice cream.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Mikayla on February 23, 2013, 11:01:43 AM
I'm in the camp that prefers the hostess ask vs the guest volunteer, but my main issue here goes back to the OP and the "vegetarian" who eats fish. 

I think anytime someone's eating prefs/beliefs, etc come into play, it's important to at least know what you are.  For example, what if the hostess had said everything was cool, she'd accommodate the guest.  And so, in addition to preparing her signature crab dip, she made some hummus and pita to go with it.  The guest arrives and digs into the crab dip. (I saw this happen once).

This would irk me as a hostess, because if I didn't know the person well, it would be hard to assume it came from ignorance of terms vs some weird kind of snowflakiness. 
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: *inviteseller on February 23, 2013, 11:03:43 AM
As a hostess, I want my guests to enjoy themselves when they are at my house, and if they offered to bring something to not only compliment my menu (you can never have too much food!!) and help me out because of their dietary choices/restrictions, I would NOT see that as a slap in the face of my hospitality, I would see it as a good friend who realizes that they don't want someone else to go all out to accommodate their specific needs.  I have never set such a stringent menu that I could not accommodate more food, and it gives others a chance to maybe try a vegetarian/gluten free/ ect meal that they may never had thought of. 
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Poppea on February 23, 2013, 11:11:52 AM
This has been very interesting listening to all the different viewpoints.  Two of my girlfriends and I were discussing this issue because we have a friend who is a pescetarian by choice (probably best description) and all had different feelings about her bringing her own piece of fish (she doesn't ask the hostess BTW).

I said that in an informal setting I would prefer that she offered to bring a dish to share.  I think its rude to not have all guests given the same choice.  In a buffet brunch/dinner party I would have choices available (again offered to all), But when having a formal sit down dinner I wouldn't actually invite anyone who would require my altering my menu (example I had guests over for a Boxing Day sit down dinner and served Prime Rib and Yorkshire Pudding)  If I wanted to have a specific friend over for a formal dinner and they had an aversion to a food, I would just plan my menu around it.

One of my GFs thought bringing your own piece of fish was okay, because its not too disruptive.  But she wondered in theory if its appropriate when the reason is a food aversion, not a moral, medical or religious reason.

The other GF is a southern girl who would never say no to a guest, but actually thinks is horribly rude to bring something to someone else's house without asking/permission.  She (like a previous poster) thinks its an insult to the hospitality of the hostess.  She said if she had an aversion to a tyoe of food she would eat beforehand and then eat appetizers and salad.  Sha actually hates fish and does just that when that when she is a guest and confronted with a fish entree.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Moray on February 23, 2013, 11:15:08 AM
I do think asking before showing up with your own main or side is absolutely paramount. "Forcing" a menu change is pretty rude, and I can see how that would make a host feel bad.

I wonder why she refuses to ask; that seems the best way to decide what accommodations could be made on either side, or even if this is a good invitation to accept. Some people, eh?
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Poppea on February 23, 2013, 11:19:31 AM
I do think asking before showing up with your own main or side is absolutely paramount. "Forcing" a menu change is pretty rude, and I can see how that would make a host feel bad.

I wonder why she refuses to ask; that seems the best way to decide what accommodations could be made on either side, or even if this is a good invitation to accept. Some people, eh?

My experience with her is that she never asks permission because someone might say "No".  She has never offered or brought a dish to share either.  Lovely person in many ways, but I personally have moved her off my dinner party list.  I'll still invite her to my larger parties, bringing the chunk of uncooked fish irks me.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Aeris on February 23, 2013, 11:20:46 AM
This has been very interesting listening to all the different viewpoints.  Two of my girlfriends and I were discussing this issue because we have a friend who is a pescetarian by choice (probably best description) and all had different feelings about her bringing her own piece of fish (she doesn't ask the hostess BTW).

I said that in an informal setting I would prefer that she offered to bring a dish to share.  I think its rude to have all guests given the same choice.  In a buffet brunch/dinner party I would have choices available (again offered to all), But when having a formal sit down dinner I wouldn't actually invite anyone who would require my altering my menu (example I had guests over for a Boxing Day sit down dinner and served Prime Rib and Yorkshire Pudding)  If I wanted to have a specific friend over for a formal dinner and they had an aversion to a food, I would just plan my menu around it.

One of my GFs thought bringing your own piece of fish was okay, because its not too disruptive.  But she wondered in theory if its appropriate when the reason is a food aversion, not a moral, medical or religious reason.

The other GF is a southern girl who would never say no to a guest, but actually thinks is horribly rude to bring something to someone else's house without asking/permission.  She (like a previous poster) thinks its an insult to the hospitality of the hostess.  She said if she had an aversion to a tyoe of food she would eat beforehand and then eat appetizers and salad.  Sha actually hates fish and does just that when that when she is a guest and confronted with a fish entree.

I actually think most of the posters were in agreement that one should *ask* the host before just bringing an alternate entree. I can't imagine bringing something with me unless either I knew the friend very well and this was already sort of understood, or if it were a large and very informal gathering where most people are bringing food anyway (backyard barbecue type thing).

For a dinner party with a small number of people? You certainly just don't show up with food without checking!

I'm not overly fussed about the distinction between aversion, moral diet, medical diet, allergy, etc. It's sort of like religion to me - if you tell me your religion is toadstool worship, I'm not going to question you too much about it. It's not really my place to determine whether you have a genuine toadstool belief, I should just assume you do for most purposes. So if someone tells me they aren't eating gluten, I'm interested *as a friend* to know whether that's because they have Celiac's, they've decided to go paleo, they were told by the great spirit Kaa that gluten is sacred and not to be eaten, or they just think it's gross - but it doesn't actually change any of my hosting behaviors. I'll do my best to accommodate what they do eat, and welcome their assistance if they offer it.

Unless someone just had about 47 'aversions' - then I'd lose patience. But that's extreme.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Judah on February 23, 2013, 11:22:23 AM
The other GF is a southern girl who would never say no to a guest, but actually thinks is horribly rude to bring something to someone else's house without asking/permission.  She (like a previous poster) thinks its an insult to the hospitality of the hostess.  She said if she had an aversion to a tyoe of food she would eat beforehand and then eat appetizers and salad.  Sha actually hates fish and does just that when that when she is a guest and confronted with a fish entree.

Well I agree with your Southern friend. Just showing up with an alternate meal without asking the host first would not be okay. I think that with close friends we can relax some of the etiquette rules a bit, so asking the host/hostess how she'd like the situation handled would be fine, but just showing up with food is taking it too far. But, as I said earlier, as the hostess I would make sure all my guests had complete meals. That's my job as hostess.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Zilla on February 23, 2013, 11:27:24 AM
As others said, I too think it's rude to show up with food without asking.  Especially with her history plus she makes it harder for other people with similar lifestyles as evidenced in this thread.


I wonder if the hostess asked her if she had any restrictions?  Or if the hostess knows she is a pescetarian?  Do you guys know for a fact she didn't ask the hostess or they have a long standing tradition of doing this?
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Aeris on February 23, 2013, 11:28:45 AM
I do think asking before showing up with your own main or side is absolutely paramount. "Forcing" a menu change is pretty rude, and I can see how that would make a host feel bad.

I wonder why she refuses to ask; that seems the best way to decide what accommodations could be made on either side, or even if this is a good invitation to accept. Some people, eh?

My experience with her is that she never asks permission because someone might say "No".  She has never offered or brought a dish to share either.  Lovely person in many ways, but I personally have moved her off my dinner party list.  I'll still invite her to my larger parties, bringing the chunk of uncooked fish irks me.

You know, the adage 'it's better to ask forgiveness than permission' only goes so far. If it just didn't occur to her that she ought to ask, I would cut her a lot of slack for being flighty. But you're describing someone who *deliberately* skips asking, so as to avoid a result she doesn't like. That's not cool at all.

As a prior poster as experience, a few times when I've asked, I've had hosts tell me excitedly that they had tried out a super special vegetarian extravaganza for me and they couldn't wait for me to try it - if I just showed up with raw fish or veggie burgers without asking, when they had gone to all that trouble to make me something special... That would be so very awkward. :(
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: mbbored on February 23, 2013, 11:32:04 AM
I said it in the previous thread, but it bears repeating.

I've been a vegetarian (except for the occasional piece of locally caught fresh fish) for almost 20 years. When I'm invited to a meal, I say, "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?" I always get one of three answers:

1) "Don't worry about it! I've got a yummy vegetarian dish for you."
2) "Ooh, I'd love it if you could bring something to share. I was going to grill some steaks: do you have something that might go well with baked potatoes and creamed spinach?" (P.S. My goat cheese stuffed portabellas are amazing)
OR
3) "Hmm, I was planning on my great grandmother's signature 3 meat lasagna with prosciutto as an appetizer and bacon ice cream for dessert. But if you'd still like to come hang out, you're welcome to!"

It gives the host the chance to decide how comfortable they are with a vegetarian guest (and an easy out if the answer is "not at all") and I know that I'm going to have enough to eat, one way or the other.

I would consider  rude and likely never issue another invite.

Wait, I just need to clarify. You'd never invite someone again if they said "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?". Do I understand you correctly?

They are telling me they can't trust me to feed them and find my hospitality lacking enough that they have to do either bring their own meal or eat before, they don't need to be burdened by my poor hospitality.   Especially since I have not committed any faux pas by issuing an invite - if someone does not trust me enough to allow me to ask about restrictions but makes the point of letting me know that they would prefer to either bring something to my table or eat before hand - then they don't trust me enough to be able comfortable in my home. The entire premise of that tactic is pretty insulting to the host.

  I eat vegetarian two or three times a week, I am not incapable of making a vegetarian meal...but the assumption that I can't or won't is insulting.   The hose sets the menu - guests don't over ride that by bringing over their own food.  OR would it be OK for me to bring a meat entree to a vegetarian home? If the answer is no for the meat eater, then it should be no for the vegetarian.
 

I'm not trying to insult your hosting; I'm trying to make sure that I have something I can eat, because I do not handle being hungry well. There are plenty of people who don't know how to prepare vegetarian food or are too busy taking care of everything else to whip up an extra dish, and that's fine by me. There are also plenty of people who can make lovely vegetarian food and want to, and that's also fine by me. What isn't fine is a friend feeling like that I'm a burden and creating extra work for them because I voluntarily choose not to eat something most of the world does. I just want my host to know that the opportunity to spend time with them is more important than exactly what I eat, so I'm letting them know I'm fine with whatever level of hosting they want to provide.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: zinzin on February 23, 2013, 11:38:50 AM
I said it in the previous thread, but it bears repeating.

I've been a vegetarian (except for the occasional piece of locally caught fresh fish) for almost 20 years. When I'm invited to a meal, I say, "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?" I always get one of three answers:

1) "Don't worry about it! I've got a yummy vegetarian dish for you."
2) "Ooh, I'd love it if you could bring something to share. I was going to grill some steaks: do you have something that might go well with baked potatoes and creamed spinach?" (P.S. My goat cheese stuffed portabellas are amazing)
OR
3) "Hmm, I was planning on my great grandmother's signature 3 meat lasagna with prosciutto as an appetizer and bacon ice cream for dessert. But if you'd still like to come hang out, you're welcome to!"

It gives the host the chance to decide how comfortable they are with a vegetarian guest (and an easy out if the answer is "not at all") and I know that I'm going to have enough to eat, one way or the other.

I would consider  rude and likely never issue another invite.

Wait, I just need to clarify. You'd never invite someone again if they said "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?". Do I understand you correctly?

They are telling me they can't trust me to feed them and find my hospitality lacking enough that they have to do either bring their own meal or eat before, they don't need to be burdened by my poor hospitality.   Especially since I have not committed any faux pas by issuing an invite - if someone does not trust me enough to allow me to ask about restrictions but makes the point of letting me know that they would prefer to either bring something to my table or eat before hand - then they don't trust me enough to be able comfortable in my home. The entire premise of that tactic is pretty insulting to the host.

  I eat vegetarian two or three times a week, I am not incapable of making a vegetarian meal...but the assumption that I can't or won't is insulting.   The hose sets the menu - guests don't over ride that by bringing over their own food.  OR would it be OK for me to bring a meat entree to a vegetarian home? If the answer is no for the meat eater, then it should be no for the vegetarian.
 

I feel like you might find it a happier way to go if you give people the benefit of the doubt rather than assuming they intended to insult you or doubt your hosting. Sometimes people are just trying to be nice and not be an imposition.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Poppea on February 23, 2013, 11:40:46 AM
As others said, I too think it's rude to show up with food without asking.  Especially with her history plus she makes it harder for other people with similar lifestyles as evidenced in this thread.


I wonder if the hostess asked her if she had any restrictions?  Or if the hostess knows she is a pescetarian?  Do you guys know for a fact she didn't ask the hostess or they have a long standing tradition of doing this?

In one example the hostess would have said to a group of friends "Hey, Hubby and I are going to grill out tonight.  Do you want to come over for burgers? "  Cue various friends asking if they could bring anything - side dishes, desserts?  FishGirl and husband show up with chunk of fish.

In another case the Southern Girl was having a themed dinner party and FishGirl brought a piece of fish to cook.  Southern Girl especially disliked having someone else trying to use her oven while she was preparing dinner.

If it makes a difference the fish is never brought over cooked.  And its always fish.

I don't have this problem with her at all since when I have large groups I serve a buffet with a variety of foods.  And I am careful about my guest list  for dinner parties.

ETA - Its seems that there are actually a variety of etiquette rules that conflict.  "Don't burden your hostess" "Take care of your guests"  "If you don't have something for everyone your shouldn't eat in front of them"
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Poppea on February 23, 2013, 11:47:07 AM
I said it in the previous thread, but it bears repeating.

I've been a vegetarian (except for the occasional piece of locally caught fresh fish) for almost 20 years. When I'm invited to a meal, I say, "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?" I always get one of three answers:

1) "Don't worry about it! I've got a yummy vegetarian dish for you."
2) "Ooh, I'd love it if you could bring something to share. I was going to grill some steaks: do you have something that might go well with baked potatoes and creamed spinach?" (P.S. My goat cheese stuffed portabellas are amazing)
OR
3) "Hmm, I was planning on my great grandmother's signature 3 meat lasagna with prosciutto as an appetizer and bacon ice cream for dessert. But if you'd still like to come hang out, you're welcome to!"

It gives the host the chance to decide how comfortable they are with a vegetarian guest (and an easy out if the answer is "not at all") and I know that I'm going to have enough to eat, one way or the other.

I would consider  rude and likely never issue another invite.

Wait, I just need to clarify. You'd never invite someone again if they said "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?". Do I understand you correctly?

They are telling me they can't trust me to feed them and find my hospitality lacking enough that they have to do either bring their own meal or eat before, they don't need to be burdened by my poor hospitality.   Especially since I have not committed any faux pas by issuing an invite - if someone does not trust me enough to allow me to ask about restrictions but makes the point of letting me know that they would prefer to either bring something to my table or eat before hand - then they don't trust me enough to be able comfortable in my home. The entire premise of that tactic is pretty insulting to the host.

  I eat vegetarian two or three times a week, I am not incapable of making a vegetarian meal...but the assumption that I can't or won't is insulting.   The hose sets the menu - guests don't over ride that by bringing over their own food.  OR would it be OK for me to bring a meat entree to a vegetarian home? If the answer is no for the meat eater, then it should be no for the vegetarian.
 

Southern Girl feels the same way as you.  She thinks its not rude to offer to help the hostess "Can I bring anything?" but that bringing special food for yourself is an insult to the hostess. 
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Zilla on February 23, 2013, 11:47:10 AM
As others said, I too think it's rude to show up with food without asking.  Especially with her history plus she makes it harder for other people with similar lifestyles as evidenced in this thread.


I wonder if the hostess asked her if she had any restrictions?  Or if the hostess knows she is a pescetarian?  Do you guys know for a fact she didn't ask the hostess or they have a long standing tradition of doing this?

In one example the hostess would have said to a group of friends "Hey, Hubby and I are going to grill out tonight.  Do you want to come over for burgers? "  Cue various friends asking if they could bring anything - side dishes, desserts?  FishGirl and husband show up with chunk of fish.

In another case the Southern Girl was having a themed dinner party and FishGirl brought a piece of fish to cook.  Southern Girl especially disliked having someone else trying to use her oven while she was preparing dinner.

If it makes a difference the fish is never brought over cooked.  And its always fish.

I don't have this problem with her at all since when I have large groups I serve a buffet with a variety of foods.  And I am careful about my guest list  for dinner parties.

ETA - Its seems that there are actually a variety of etiquette rules that conflict.  "Don't burden your hostess" "Take care of your guests"  "If you don't have something for everyone your shouldn't eat in front of them"


Got it.  I would think it was rude the first time but then now that it is well known about "fish" girl (lol) I would invite her and say ahead of time, "Oh and I remembered you love fish.  I will be sure to have some for you." 
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Aeris on February 23, 2013, 11:52:55 AM
I said it in the previous thread, but it bears repeating.

I've been a vegetarian (except for the occasional piece of locally caught fresh fish) for almost 20 years. When I'm invited to a meal, I say, "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?" I always get one of three answers:

1) "Don't worry about it! I've got a yummy vegetarian dish for you."
2) "Ooh, I'd love it if you could bring something to share. I was going to grill some steaks: do you have something that might go well with baked potatoes and creamed spinach?" (P.S. My goat cheese stuffed portabellas are amazing)
OR
3) "Hmm, I was planning on my great grandmother's signature 3 meat lasagna with prosciutto as an appetizer and bacon ice cream for dessert. But if you'd still like to come hang out, you're welcome to!"

It gives the host the chance to decide how comfortable they are with a vegetarian guest (and an easy out if the answer is "not at all") and I know that I'm going to have enough to eat, one way or the other.

I would consider  rude and likely never issue another invite.

Wait, I just need to clarify. You'd never invite someone again if they said "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?". Do I understand you correctly?

They are telling me they can't trust me to feed them and find my hospitality lacking enough that they have to do either bring their own meal or eat before, they don't need to be burdened by my poor hospitality.   Especially since I have not committed any faux pas by issuing an invite - if someone does not trust me enough to allow me to ask about restrictions but makes the point of letting me know that they would prefer to either bring something to my table or eat before hand - then they don't trust me enough to be able comfortable in my home. The entire premise of that tactic is pretty insulting to the host.

  I eat vegetarian two or three times a week, I am not incapable of making a vegetarian meal...but the assumption that I can't or won't is insulting.   The hose sets the menu - guests don't over ride that by bringing over their own food.  OR would it be OK for me to bring a meat entree to a vegetarian home? If the answer is no for the meat eater, then it should be no for the vegetarian.
 

Southern Girl feels the same way as you.  She thinks its not rude to offer to help the hostess "Can I bring anything?" but that bringing special food for yourself is an insult to the hostess.

Does Southern Girl feel that offering to bring special food is an insult? Or only that bringing special food without asking first is an insult?
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Aeris on February 23, 2013, 12:03:51 PM
In one example the hostess would have said to a group of friends "Hey, Hubby and I are going to grill out tonight.  Do you want to come over for burgers? "  Cue various friends asking if they could bring anything - side dishes, desserts?  FishGirl and husband show up with chunk of fish.

Interesting - in my group of friends, the hosts would likely say 'we're grilling burgers, if you want to grill something else, like fish or a veggie burger, please feel free to bring it'. If they didn't say that, as vegetarian I would likely, in the midst of the chorus of 'can I bring mashed potatoes', ask if she'd like me to bring a package of veggie burgers.

I do think in a casual 'grill out' situation bringing something to throw on the grill is not so heinous, but I would definitely ask unless I knew the people pretty well and it was expected.

If it were me doing a grill out, and I ate meat, I'd be providing veggie burgers myself for my friend. But if for some reason I didn't, I'd honestly *expect* a vegetarian friend to bring veggie burgers to throw on the grill.

In another case the Southern Girl was having a themed dinner party and FishGirl brought a piece of fish to cook.  Southern Girl especially disliked having someone else trying to use her oven while she was preparing dinner.

That's honestly just...bizarre.  I can't really wrap my head around that. I'm curious how much of the planned menu FishGirl knew she could eat. I mean, if Southern Girl really wasn't providing enough food for FishGirl for proper hospitality, then that's not cool, but the answer is never just to show up at a dinner party with a slab of uncooked fish to put in the oven. That's weird on about 4 levels.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Poppea on February 23, 2013, 12:07:01 PM
I said it in the previous thread, but it bears repeating.

I've been a vegetarian (except for the occasional piece of locally caught fresh fish) for almost 20 years. When I'm invited to a meal, I say, "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?" I always get one of three answers:

1) "Don't worry about it! I've got a yummy vegetarian dish for you."
2) "Ooh, I'd love it if you could bring something to share. I was going to grill some steaks: do you have something that might go well with baked potatoes and creamed spinach?" (P.S. My goat cheese stuffed portabellas are amazing)
OR
3) "Hmm, I was planning on my great grandmother's signature 3 meat lasagna with prosciutto as an appetizer and bacon ice cream for dessert. But if you'd still like to come hang out, you're welcome to!"

It gives the host the chance to decide how comfortable they are with a vegetarian guest (and an easy out if the answer is "not at all") and I know that I'm going to have enough to eat, one way or the other.

I would consider  rude and likely never issue another invite.

Wait, I just need to clarify. You'd never invite someone again if they said "I'd love to come! Since I'm a vegetarian, would you like me to bring a dish to share or should I eat something before hand?". Do I understand you correctly?

They are telling me they can't trust me to feed them and find my hospitality lacking enough that they have to do either bring their own meal or eat before, they don't need to be burdened by my poor hospitality.   Especially since I have not committed any faux pas by issuing an invite - if someone does not trust me enough to allow me to ask about restrictions but makes the point of letting me know that they would prefer to either bring something to my table or eat before hand - then they don't trust me enough to be able comfortable in my home. The entire premise of that tactic is pretty insulting to the host.

  I eat vegetarian two or three times a week, I am not incapable of making a vegetarian meal...but the assumption that I can't or won't is insulting.   The hose sets the menu - guests don't over ride that by bringing over their own food.  OR would it be OK for me to bring a meat entree to a vegetarian home? If the answer is no for the meat eater, then it should be no for the vegetarian.
 

Southern Girl feels the same way as you.  She thinks its not rude to offer to help the hostess "Can I bring anything?" but that bringing special food for yourself is an insult to the hostess.

Does Southern Girl feel that offering to bring special food is an insult? Or only that bringing special food without asking first is an insult?

Southern Girl thinks that bringing special food for yourself is rude.  Not asking makes it ruder because she would have said that there was a variety of veggies dishes (side dishes that doubled as entrees).  And cooking it in your hostesses kitchen is ruder.  I think bringing the uncooked food was what really torched her. 

Part of the our discussion was whether food aversions have as much weight as religious, moral and medical reasons.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Poppea on February 23, 2013, 12:15:14 PM
In one example the hostess would have said to a group of friends "Hey, Hubby and I are going to grill out tonight.  Do you want to come over for burgers? "  Cue various friends asking if they could bring anything - side dishes, desserts?  FishGirl and husband show up with chunk of fish.

Interesting - in my group of friends, the hosts would likely say 'we're grilling burgers, if you want to grill something else, like fish or a veggie burger, please feel free to bring it'. If they didn't say that, as vegetarian I would likely, in the midst of the chorus of 'can I bring mashed potatoes', ask if she'd like me to bring a package of veggie burgers.

I do think in a casual 'grill out' situation bringing something to throw on the grill is not so heinous, but I would definitely ask unless I knew the people pretty well and it was expected.

If it were me doing a grill out, and I ate meat, I'd be providing veggie burgers myself for my friend. But if for some reason I didn't, I'd honestly *expect* a vegetarian friend to bring veggie burgers to throw on the grill.

In another case the Southern Girl was having a themed dinner party and FishGirl brought a piece of fish to cook.  Southern Girl especially disliked having someone else trying to use her oven while she was preparing dinner.

That's honestly just...bizarre.  I can't really wrap my head around that. I'm curious how much of the planned menu FishGirl knew she could eat. I mean, if Southern Girl really wasn't providing enough food for FishGirl for proper hospitality, then that's not cool, but the answer is never just to show up at a dinner party with a slab of uncooked fish to put in the oven. That's weird on about 4 levels.

GrillOut Girl wasn't too bothered about the fish on the grill.  She thought if would have been nicer to have offered to bring some veggie burgers to share.  Everyone else brought food that others could also eat. 

The chunk of fish at the dinner party was odd indeed.  I don't think she would have done it to anyone except Southern Girl.   I would have just said that all the ovens were is use. 
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Aeris on February 23, 2013, 12:16:33 PM
<snip to trim quote tree>

Southern Girl thinks that bringing special food for yourself is rude.  Not asking makes it ruder because she would have said that there was a variety of veggies dishes (side dishes that doubled as entrees).  And cooking it in your hostesses kitchen is ruder.  I think bringing the uncooked food was what really torched her. 

Part of the our discussion was whether food aversions have as much weight as religious, moral and medical reasons.

Ah, gotcha. If FishGirl had only asked, then Southern Girl could have explained how there would be plenty for her to eat. That makes perfect sense. And it does sound like there would be enough for her to have a proper meal.

I would never find someone rude for *offering* - I think that's a bit much. There are many times when hosts are all too relieved to shift the burden of providing food that meets a dietary restriction back to the guest. I have a few friends that keep *super super strict* kosher, and I'm all too happy to take them up on their offer of bringing the totally safe kosher food for themselves. There's no way I could be sure of it if I did it myself.

Guests who have restrictions are in enough of a pickle trying to figure out how to be polite without going hungry or violating the restriction - a well intentioned offered should always be taken as such. But even saying that, I cannot imagine even offering to bring a raw piece of fish to cook in someone's oven at a dinner party. That's weird. 

If FishGirl had made some sort of open ended offer to bring an extra entree or extra 'something', I would think that was perfectly acceptable (whether Southern Girl declined that offer or otherwise). But to 1) not ask and 2) bring over something raw to cook in the host's oven in the middle of the dinner party is just really bizarre behavior.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Poppea on February 23, 2013, 12:17:56 PM
As others said, I too think it's rude to show up with food without asking.  Especially with her history plus she makes it harder for other people with similar lifestyles as evidenced in this thread.


I wonder if the hostess asked her if she had any restrictions?  Or if the hostess knows she is a pescetarian?  Do you guys know for a fact she didn't ask the hostess or they have a long standing tradition of doing this?

In one example the hostess would have said to a group of friends "Hey, Hubby and I are going to grill out tonight.  Do you want to come over for burgers? "  Cue various friends asking if they could bring anything - side dishes, desserts?  FishGirl and husband show up with chunk of fish.

In another case the Southern Girl was having a themed dinner party and FishGirl brought a piece of fish to cook.  Southern Girl especially disliked having someone else trying to use her oven while she was preparing dinner.

If it makes a difference the fish is never brought over cooked.  And its always fish.

I don't have this problem with her at all since when I have large groups I serve a buffet with a variety of foods.  And I am careful about my guest list  for dinner parties.

ETA - Its seems that there are actually a variety of etiquette rules that conflict.  "Don't burden your hostess" "Take care of your guests"  "If you don't have something for everyone your shouldn't eat in front of them"


Got it.  I would think it was rude the first time but then now that it is well known about "fish" girl (lol) I would invite her and say ahead of time, "Oh and I remembered you love fish.  I will be sure to have some for you."

Would you?  I might have veggie burgers available to all  but I wouldn't pick up fish especially for just one guest. 
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Poppea on February 23, 2013, 12:22:25 PM
<snip to trim quote tree>

Southern Girl thinks that bringing special food for yourself is rude.  Not asking makes it ruder because she would have said that there was a variety of veggies dishes (side dishes that doubled as entrees).  And cooking it in your hostesses kitchen is ruder.  I think bringing the uncooked food was what really torched her. 

Part of the our discussion was whether food aversions have as much weight as religious, moral and medical reasons.

Ah, gotcha. If FishGirl had only asked, then Southern Girl could have explained how there would be plenty for her to eat. That makes perfect sense. And it does sound like there would be enough for her to have a proper meal.

I would never find someone rude for *offering* - I think that's a bit much. There are many times when hosts are all too relieved to shift the burden of providing food that meets a dietary restriction back to the guest. I have a few friends that keep *super super strict* kosher, and I'm all too happy to take them up on their offer of bringing the totally safe kosher food for themselves. There's no way I could be sure of it if I did it myself.

Guests who have restrictions are in enough of a pickle trying to figure out how to be polite without going hungry or violating the restriction - a well intentioned offered should always be taken as such. But even saying that, I cannot imagine even offering to bring a raw piece of fish to cook in someone's oven at a dinner party. That's weird. 

If FishGirl had made some sort of open ended offer to bring an extra entree or extra 'something', I would think that was perfectly acceptable (whether Southern Girl declined that offer or otherwise). But to 1) not ask and 2) bring over something raw to cook in the host's oven in the middle of the dinner party is just really bizarre behavior.

This was a New Orleans themed dinner party.  I don't know if she would have accepted an offer to bring a precooked fish casserole, but she certainly would have explained that there would be shrimp and grits, red beans and rice, salads, cornbread, etc.  as well as the meat dishes. 
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Aeris on February 23, 2013, 12:26:49 PM
<snip to trim quote tree>

Southern Girl thinks that bringing special food for yourself is rude.  Not asking makes it ruder because she would have said that there was a variety of veggies dishes (side dishes that doubled as entrees).  And cooking it in your hostesses kitchen is ruder.  I think bringing the uncooked food was what really torched her. 

Part of the our discussion was whether food aversions have as much weight as religious, moral and medical reasons.

Ah, gotcha. If FishGirl had only asked, then Southern Girl could have explained how there would be plenty for her to eat. That makes perfect sense. And it does sound like there would be enough for her to have a proper meal.

I would never find someone rude for *offering* - I think that's a bit much. There are many times when hosts are all too relieved to shift the burden of providing food that meets a dietary restriction back to the guest. I have a few friends that keep *super super strict* kosher, and I'm all too happy to take them up on their offer of bringing the totally safe kosher food for themselves. There's no way I could be sure of it if I did it myself.

Guests who have restrictions are in enough of a pickle trying to figure out how to be polite without going hungry or violating the restriction - a well intentioned offered should always be taken as such. But even saying that, I cannot imagine even offering to bring a raw piece of fish to cook in someone's oven at a dinner party. That's weird. 

If FishGirl had made some sort of open ended offer to bring an extra entree or extra 'something', I would think that was perfectly acceptable (whether Southern Girl declined that offer or otherwise). But to 1) not ask and 2) bring over something raw to cook in the host's oven in the middle of the dinner party is just really bizarre behavior.

This was a New Orleans themed dinner party.  I don't know if she would have accepted an offer to bring a precooked fish casserole, but she certainly would have explained that there would be shrimp and grits, red beans and rice, salads, cornbread, etc.  as well as the meat dishes.

Yeah, I would have thought there would likely be *plenty* for a pescetarian at a New Orleans dinner party.

Just to be clear, I don't think Southern Girl would be required to accept such an offer. I just don't think FishGirl would be out of order to *make* the offer.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: *inviteseller on February 23, 2013, 12:33:38 PM
I think showing up with a slab of uncooked fish, whether a B B Q or a formal situation, when you have not as much as brought it up with the hostess is rude, but I do not think it is rude to ask the hostess if she minded if you brought an already prepared dish to share and (unsaid) you the vegetarian have something to eat.  If hostess says 'no', then you politely decline.  There are people out there, as we have seen on these boards, who really don't get different dietary choices and we have to figure out before the meal what will and what won't fly with some people.  This can be done with absolutely politeness or it can ruin friendships from both the guest and hostess.  I will say though, as the one with the different eating habits, I am usually the one making concessions so as not to offend the hostess ( and then going home at 10 o'clock and making myself a meal because I am starved).  The main part of a meal is usually the meat portion, with a small side of salad and potato or pasta, so i am getting a quarter of the meal that everyone else is getting.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Dragonflymom on February 23, 2013, 01:06:26 PM
I'm a pescetarian myself and I'd be really puzzled at someone showing up with a slab of uncooked fish (ewwww) and expecting to use my oven.  *LOL*  Chances are my oven would already be in use and I would already be making something that everyone could eat.  People showing up at my home with uncooked food for me to deal with, unless it's a potluck and everyone is grilling stuff, is a huge pet peeve of mine and always feels very rude.  It takes up space in my oven or on my stove that is likely being used by me to get everyone's food made on, dirties my pans, takes up my time telling people where all the seasonings are, and is just an all around pain in the neck.

I try to let people know ahead of time what I'm planning on cooking when I am having them over, as I wind up hosting a lot of people with food issues and want to assure them that their issues are being accommodated.  So fish girl would know I'm serving shrimp or something vegetarian, low carb diet girl would know I'm serving lots of stuff with protein and veggies, cinnamon allergic Dad would know there will be lots of stuff that's safe for him to eat, lactose intolerant MIL will be similarly reassured, etc. 

I'm ok with people bringing already cooked stuff to share, but would prefer they ask beforehand.   Bringing uncooked stuff and commandeering my kitchen to prepare it without asking me beforehand will make me very displeased and consider cutting back on their invites if they do it more than once.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: candelilla on February 23, 2013, 01:39:30 PM
     It has been said here that an invitation is not a summons, the OP can just decline the invite. But the host has the right to serve the foods she prefers to.  It is not polite to bring food to someone else's house. It is especially not polite when one knows the host would not feel free to decline this honor but would be silently fuming as in the OP. 
      People go to restaurants all the time and order appetizers and a salad, so expecting someone to either fill up before the party ( or after) and have what she can of the offerings or decline the invite, is not so heinous of the host. It is after all, what would be expected of anyone who did not like the what host had to offer if the situation was reversed - or if the meat eater simply did not like the entree.

Wow...with friends like that, who needs enemies? People choose not to eat meat for various and sundry reasons, none of which are actually your business. A good host or hostess shows flexibility and consideration for all his/her guests. For instance, I cannot eat pork or shellfish - my religion forbids it. I certainly won't die if I eat a bit of shrimp scampi or a piece of bacon, but I prefer not to.

I'm not saying I can't have those things in my presence at all - simply that if they are offered to me, I cannot eat them as a matter of religious principle. If you invite me to a dinner at your house and go out of your way to serve shellfish and pork in every single dish, I'm certainly not only going to feel like I am unwelcome, but that you are going out of your way to offend me and ensure that I never want to come back to your house. That's an extreme example, of course, but what you're saying is that you don't care about your guests and that their dietary preferences are an imposition you'd rather not deal with at all. That's a great way to lose friends really fast.

On another note, do you have food allergies/sensitivities/a religious/personal conviction about eating certain foods? Because I'm certain you would feel differently about having those accounted for when invited as a guest in someone else's home. In fact, I'm sure I've seen you talk about that very issue, and the double standard you hold is jaw-dropping.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Zilla on February 23, 2013, 01:45:15 PM
As others said, I too think it's rude to show up with food without asking.  Especially with her history plus she makes it harder for other people with similar lifestyles as evidenced in this thread.


I wonder if the hostess asked her if she had any restrictions?  Or if the hostess knows she is a pescetarian?  Do you guys know for a fact she didn't ask the hostess or they have a long standing tradition of doing this?

In one example the hostess would have said to a group of friends "Hey, Hubby and I are going to grill out tonight.  Do you want to come over for burgers? "  Cue various friends asking if they could bring anything - side dishes, desserts?  FishGirl and husband show up with chunk of fish.

In another case the Southern Girl was having a themed dinner party and FishGirl brought a piece of fish to cook.  Southern Girl especially disliked having someone else trying to use her oven while she was preparing dinner.

If it makes a difference the fish is never brought over cooked.  And its always fish.

I don't have this problem with her at all since when I have large groups I serve a buffet with a variety of foods.  And I am careful about my guest list  for dinner parties.

ETA - Its seems that there are actually a variety of etiquette rules that conflict.  "Don't burden your hostess" "Take care of your guests"  "If you don't have something for everyone your shouldn't eat in front of them"


Got it.  I would think it was rude the first time but then now that it is well known about "fish" girl (lol) I would invite her and say ahead of time, "Oh and I remembered you love fish.  I will be sure to have some for you."

Would you?  I might have veggie burgers available to all  but I wouldn't pick up fish especially for just one guest.


Yep.  Especially with her history of bringing just fish to everything she is invited to.  But I love to cook and don't think anything of it to pick up a few pounds of fish in case anyone wanted fish along with hamburgers. 
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: citadelle on February 23, 2013, 01:53:09 PM
*inviteseller, I remember your other thread about taco night at your house. Do you do vegetarian tacos? I am curious what a recipe would be!
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Dragonflymom on February 23, 2013, 01:55:21 PM
     It has been said here that an invitation is not a summons, the OP can just decline the invite. But the host has the right to serve the foods she prefers to.  It is not polite to bring food to someone else's house. It is especially not polite when one knows the host would not feel free to decline this honor but would be silently fuming as in the OP. 
      People go to restaurants all the time and order appetizers and a salad, so expecting someone to either fill up before the party ( or after) and have what she can of the offerings or decline the invite, is not so heinous of the host. It is after all, what would be expected of anyone who did not like the what host had to offer if the situation was reversed - or if the meat eater simply did not like the entree.

Wow...with friends like that, who needs enemies? People choose not to eat meat for various and sundry reasons, none of which are actually your business. A good host or hostess shows flexibility and consideration for all his/her guests. For instance, I cannot eat pork or shellfish - my religion forbids it. I certainly won't die if I eat a bit of shrimp scampi or a piece of bacon, but I prefer not to.

I'm not saying I can't have those things in my presence at all - simply that if they are offered to me, I cannot eat them as a matter of religious principle. If you invite me to a dinner at your house and go out of your way to serve shellfish and pork in every single dish, I'm certainly not only going to feel like I am unwelcome, but that you are going out of your way to offend me and ensure that I never want to come back to your house. That's an extreme example, of course, but what you're saying is that you don't care about your guests and that their dietary preferences are an imposition you'd rather not deal with at all. That's a great way to lose friends really fast.

On another note, do you have food allergies/sensitivities/a religious/personal conviction about eating certain foods? Because I'm certain you would feel differently about having those accounted for when invited as a guest in someone else's home. In fact, I'm sure I've seen you talk about that very issue, and the double standard you hold is jaw-dropping.

Very true.  I am a pescetarian due to gallbladder issues that have really restricted what I can eat.  Technically I guess I could eat it, and it wouldn't kill me, but I'd wish I were dead the next day.  *LOL*  It's never a good idea to make assumptions about why someone can't eat something. 

Those who become vegetarians/pescetarians for moral reasons too, it's much more than a matter of simple dislike.  And once they have been eating that way long enough, eating meat will do some unpleasant things to their system so again it's far more than mere dislike.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Zilla on February 23, 2013, 01:58:59 PM
*inviteseller, I remember your other thread about taco night at your house. Do you do vegetarian tacos? I am curious what a recipe would be!


Not inviteseller but I make lentil tacos.  It's stupidly easy and so tasty.  My non vegetarian family loves them. It's literally cooked lentils with taco seasoning blend.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Aeris on February 23, 2013, 02:06:56 PM
*inviteseller, I remember your other thread about taco night at your house. Do you do vegetarian tacos? I am curious what a recipe would be!

Also not *inviteseller, but I make up a bowl of faux ground beef and a bowl of cooked black beans with garlic and onions. Alongside the bowls of lettuce, onions, tomato, cheese, sour cream, avocado, and rice, it's a pretty good 'build your own' set up. It's also easy for a meat-eater to add in a bowl of actual ground beef that way.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: zinzin on February 23, 2013, 03:15:22 PM
     It has been said here that an invitation is not a summons, the OP can just decline the invite. But the host has the right to serve the foods she prefers to.  It is not polite to bring food to someone else's house. It is especially not polite when one knows the host would not feel free to decline this honor but would be silently fuming as in the OP. 
      People go to restaurants all the time and order appetizers and a salad, so expecting someone to either fill up before the party ( or after) and have what she can of the offerings or decline the invite, is not so heinous of the host. It is after all, what would be expected of anyone who did not like the what host had to offer if the situation was reversed - or if the meat eater simply did not like the entree.

Oh, I see the difference. When I invite friends over, I don't care about the specific menu, I care about my specific guests, and helping ensure they have a good time. I am eager to tailor the menu accordingly or welcome contributions they really like to bring. I don't feel it hurts my cooking at all to make adjustments or accommodations. I always feel the point of socializing over a meal is the friendly and comfortable socializing, and making sure my guests are happy and feel welcome, not the specific food items involved.

I assume your friends have realized that you consider non-disruption of your meal planning to be your major concern (as you prefer they not attend and/or participate rather than disrupt your planning), and in that case, great, I'm happy that works for you.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: mbbored on February 23, 2013, 03:26:31 PM
     It has been said here that an invitation is not a summons, the OP can just decline the invite. But the host has the right to serve the foods she prefers to.  It is not polite to bring food to someone else's house. It is especially not polite when one knows the host would not feel free to decline this honor but would be silently fuming as in the OP. 
      People go to restaurants all the time and order appetizers and a salad, so expecting someone to either fill up before the party ( or after) and have what she can of the offerings or decline the invite, is not so heinous of the host. It is after all, what would be expected of anyone who did not like the what host had to offer if the situation was reversed - or if the meat eater simply did not like the entree.

Oh, I see the difference. When I invite friends over, I don't care about the specific menu, I care about my specific guests, and helping ensure they have a good time. I am eager to tailor the menu accordingly or welcome contributions they really like to bring. I don't feel it hurts my cooking at all to make adjustments or accommodations. I always feel the point of socializing over a meal is the friendly and comfortable socializing, and making sure my guests are happy and feel welcome, not the specific food items involved.

I assume your friends have realized that you consider non-disruption of your meal planning to be your major concern (as you prefer they not attend and/or participate rather than disrupt your planning), and in that case, great, I'm happy that works for you.

I agree. Snowdragon, it seems you have a bit of a double standard here. In one post you say that you make a variety of vegetarian dishes you could prepare for a guest and in this one, you say a vegetarian guest should be happy with salad and appetizers. I ask my hosts what they would like ME to do so they don't end up in that silent fume. I'm assuming that somebody who wants me to come to their home can be honest enough to say "I have a menu already set, but I'll have some appetizers and salad you can eat."
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Poppea on February 23, 2013, 03:35:50 PM
     It has been said here that an invitation is not a summons, the OP can just decline the invite. But the host has the right to serve the foods she prefers to.  It is not polite to bring food to someone else's house. It is especially not polite when one knows the host would not feel free to decline this honor but would be silently fuming as in the OP. 
      People go to restaurants all the time and order appetizers and a salad, so expecting someone to either fill up before the party ( or after) and have what she can of the offerings or decline the invite, is not so heinous of the host. It is after all, what would be expected of anyone who did not like the what host had to offer if the situation was reversed - or if the meat eater simply did not like the entree.

Oh, I see the difference. When I invite friends over, I don't care about the specific menu, I care about my specific guests, and helping ensure they have a good time. I am eager to tailor the menu accordingly or welcome contributions they really like to bring. I don't feel it hurts my cooking at all to make adjustments or accommodations. I always feel the point of socializing over a meal is the friendly and comfortable socializing, and making sure my guests are happy and feel welcome, not the specific food items involved.

I assume your friends have realized that you consider non-disruption of your meal planning to be your major concern (as you prefer they not attend and/or participate rather than disrupt your planning), and in that case, great, I'm happy that works for you.

I agree. Snowdragon, it seems you have a bit of a double standard here. In one post you say that you make a variety of vegetarian dishes you could prepare for a guest and in this one, you say a vegetarian guest should be happy with salad and appetizers. I ask my hosts what they would like ME to do so they don't end up in that silent fume. I'm assuming that somebody who wants me to come to their home can be honest enough to say "I have a menu already set, but I'll have some appetizers and salad you can eat."

Maybe Snowdragon means that as a hostess she would provide a variety of vegetarian friendly food, but as a guest she would not expect her hostess to rearrange her menu.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: snowdragon on February 23, 2013, 03:51:49 PM
     It has been said here that an invitation is not a summons, the OP can just decline the invite. But the host has the right to serve the foods she prefers to.  It is not polite to bring food to someone else's house. It is especially not polite when one knows the host would not feel free to decline this honor but would be silently fuming as in the OP. 
      People go to restaurants all the time and order appetizers and a salad, so expecting someone to either fill up before the party ( or after) and have what she can of the offerings or decline the invite, is not so heinous of the host. It is after all, what would be expected of anyone who did not like the what host had to offer if the situation was reversed - or if the meat eater simply did not like the entree.

Oh, I see the difference. When I invite friends over, I don't care about the specific menu, I care about my specific guests, and helping ensure they have a good time. I am eager to tailor the menu accordingly or welcome contributions they really like to bring. I don't feel it hurts my cooking at all to make adjustments or accommodations. I always feel the point of socializing over a meal is the friendly and comfortable socializing, and making sure my guests are happy and feel welcome, not the specific food items involved.

I assume your friends have realized that you consider non-disruption of your meal planning to be your major concern (as you prefer they not attend and/or participate rather than disrupt your planning), and in that case, great, I'm happy that works for you.

I agree. Snowdragon, it seems you have a bit of a double standard here. In one post you say that you make a variety of vegetarian dishes you could prepare for a guest and in this one, you say a vegetarian guest should be happy with salad and appetizers. I ask my hosts what they would like ME to do so they don't end up in that silent fume. I'm assuming that somebody who wants me to come to their home can be honest enough to say "I have a menu already set, but I'll have some appetizers and salad you can eat."

Maybe Snowdragon means that as a hostess she would provide a variety of vegetarian friendly food, but as a guest she would not expect her hostess to rearrange her menu.


precisely.   The insult I see here is pre-emptively asking ( or not asking at all) The OP stated that her hostess would acquiesce but would silently fume about it. 

From post #1. "Lets assume the hostess is uber polite and would not tell you that she minded either option even if she was actually steamed about it."

So it's known the hostess would not feel she could refuse, even if she minds.  SO the polite choice is not to ask and not to bring something, eat what you ( general you) offered.  A hostess has enough going on with out someone bringing extra food either for the hostess to cook - or put an extra body in the way of the preparations for dinner, by cooking themselves a separate meal - is rude.
     
  The hostess was kind enough to tell you (general) the menu, either accept it or decline it, but bringing another meal because you find their hosting lacking is rude.

 
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: *inviteseller on February 23, 2013, 04:04:36 PM
*inviteseller, I remember your other thread about taco night at your house. Do you do vegetarian tacos? I am curious what a recipe would be!

I make a taco bar so everyone makes their own.  I usually make ground turkey for the kids to have a meat filling, and the toppings to choose from are black beans, tomatoes,  lettuce,  cheese, onions, sour cream, guacamole, and picante.  We all have different tastes, so I try to find something for everyone.  So my tacos are very veggie filled (yumyum now I want them!) ;D
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Aeris on February 23, 2013, 04:12:22 PM
     It has been said here that an invitation is not a summons, the OP can just decline the invite. But the host has the right to serve the foods she prefers to.  It is not polite to bring food to someone else's house. It is especially not polite when one knows the host would not feel free to decline this honor but would be silently fuming as in the OP. 
      People go to restaurants all the time and order appetizers and a salad, so expecting someone to either fill up before the party ( or after) and have what she can of the offerings or decline the invite, is not so heinous of the host. It is after all, what would be expected of anyone who did not like the what host had to offer if the situation was reversed - or if the meat eater simply did not like the entree.

Oh, I see the difference. When I invite friends over, I don't care about the specific menu, I care about my specific guests, and helping ensure they have a good time. I am eager to tailor the menu accordingly or welcome contributions they really like to bring. I don't feel it hurts my cooking at all to make adjustments or accommodations. I always feel the point of socializing over a meal is the friendly and comfortable socializing, and making sure my guests are happy and feel welcome, not the specific food items involved.

I assume your friends have realized that you consider non-disruption of your meal planning to be your major concern (as you prefer they not attend and/or participate rather than disrupt your planning), and in that case, great, I'm happy that works for you.

I agree. Snowdragon, it seems you have a bit of a double standard here. In one post you say that you make a variety of vegetarian dishes you could prepare for a guest and in this one, you say a vegetarian guest should be happy with salad and appetizers. I ask my hosts what they would like ME to do so they don't end up in that silent fume. I'm assuming that somebody who wants me to come to their home can be honest enough to say "I have a menu already set, but I'll have some appetizers and salad you can eat."

Maybe Snowdragon means that as a hostess she would provide a variety of vegetarian friendly food, but as a guest she would not expect her hostess to rearrange her menu.


precisely.   The insult I see here is pre-emptively asking ( or not asking at all) The OP stated that her hostess would acquiesce but would silently fume about it. 

From post #1. "Lets assume the hostess is uber polite and would not tell you that she minded either option even if she was actually steamed about it."

So it's known the hostess would not feel she could refuse, even if she minds.  SO the polite choice is not to ask and not to bring something, eat what you ( general you) offered.  A hostess has enough going on with out someone bringing extra food either for the hostess to cook - or put an extra body in the way of the preparations for dinner, by cooking themselves a separate meal - is rude.
     
  The hostess was kind enough to tell you (general) the menu, either accept it or decline it, but bringing another meal because you find their hosting lacking is rude.

 

I can't imagine a reasonable host "silently fuming" over someone merely offering assistance. If they did, they'd be petty and wildly overreacting. That also doesn't seem to be what the thread was actually about originally - it was about someone who brought food *without asking*, in a weird intrusive way to boot.

It also does not actually sound like Southern Girl told FishGirl what the menu was ahead of time - the OP points out that she *would* have, if only FishGirl had asks her instead of just bringing the raw fish undiscussed.

At any rate, you have said in the past that you would need in certain cases to be allowed to bring supplementary food that you knew was allergen free if you were to enjoy a hosted meal - why is it okay for you to want to bring allergen-free food, but not okay for a vegetarian to offer to bring something?
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: MariaE on February 23, 2013, 04:14:00 PM
From post #1. "Lets assume the hostess is uber polite and would not tell you that she minded either option even if she was actually steamed about it."

That's not being über polite - that's being a doormat.

Besides, I think it would be really uncharitable of the hostess to be steamed about it assuming the following:
1) The guest asked.
2) The guest used mbored's phrasing when asking (i.e. "Would you prefer that I filled up at home" was an option).
3) If bringing a dish - whether to share or for herself - the dish was already cooked and ready to be served - i.e. no inconvenience to the host.

Really it all boils down to what's more important to you in a hosting situation - the guests or the food. For me the guests would always come first. I'd feel horrible if a friend turned down an invitation rather than informing me of a dietary restriction out of some sense of displaced "politeness".
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: *inviteseller on February 23, 2013, 04:20:57 PM
     It has been said here that an invitation is not a summons, the OP can just decline the invite. But the host has the right to serve the foods she prefers to.  It is not polite to bring food to someone else's house. It is especially not polite when one knows the host would not feel free to decline this honor but would be silently fuming as in the OP. 
      People go to restaurants all the time and order appetizers and a salad, so expecting someone to either fill up before the party ( or after) and have what she can of the offerings or decline the invite, is not so heinous of the host. It is after all, what would be expected of anyone who did not like the what host had to offer if the situation was reversed - or if the meat eater simply did not like the entree.

Oh, I see the difference. When I invite friends over, I don't care about the specific menu, I care about my specific guests, and helping ensure they have a good time. I am eager to tailor the menu accordingly or welcome contributions they really like to bring. I don't feel it hurts my cooking at all to make adjustments or accommodations. I always feel the point of socializing over a meal is the friendly and comfortable socializing, and making sure my guests are happy and feel welcome, not the specific food items involved.

I assume your friends have realized that you consider non-disruption of your meal planning to be your major concern (as you prefer they not attend and/or participate rather than disrupt your planning), and in that case, great, I'm happy that works for you.

I agree. Snowdragon, it seems you have a bit of a double standard here. In one post you say that you make a variety of vegetarian dishes you could prepare for a guest and in this one, you say a vegetarian guest should be happy with salad and appetizers. I ask my hosts what they would like ME to do so they don't end up in that silent fume. I'm assuming that somebody who wants me to come to their home can be honest enough to say "I have a menu already set, but I'll have some appetizers and salad you can eat."

Maybe Snowdragon means that as a hostess she would provide a variety of vegetarian friendly food, but as a guest she would not expect her hostess to rearrange her menu.


precisely.   The insult I see here is pre-emptively asking ( or not asking at all) The OP stated that her hostess would acquiesce but would silently fume about it. 

From post #1. "Lets assume the hostess is uber polite and would not tell you that she minded either option even if she was actually steamed about it."

So it's known the hostess would not feel she could refuse, even if she minds.  SO the polite choice is not to ask and not to bring something, eat what you ( general you) offered.  A hostess has enough going on with out someone bringing extra food either for the hostess to cook - or put an extra body in the way of the preparations for dinner, by cooking themselves a separate meal - is rude.
     
  The hostess was kind enough to tell you (general) the menu, either accept it or decline it, but bringing another meal because you find their hosting lacking is rude.

 

I always bring my food prepared and thanks to those insulated bags, you can keep a casserole dish warm.  I guess what you are saying Snowdragon is, if you have a food issue for whatever reason, you should either suck it up and enjoy the breadbasket while everyone enjoys a full meal, or continuously decline all invites, which then gets you blacklisted from your dinners.  I did that for awhile and it isn't fun.  I would much rather my guests ask me (and possible give me a heads up to a condition I didn't know about) than have someone sitting at my table with a spear of broccoli and call it a meal.  You say a guest is rude for daring to ask a question, but I say your hosting style of 'suck it up, you should be happy to be invited' is very off putting.  If a guest has to eat a meal ahead of time because her host doesn't care to make modifications or accept the offering of an alternate dish being brought, and host has no problem with an invited guest getting little to nothing to eat at a dinner party, then that is someone who should not be hosting meals in their house.   
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: citadelle on February 23, 2013, 04:21:35 PM
Thanks for all the veggie friendly taco ideas! Sorry to derail.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: *inviteseller on February 23, 2013, 04:28:24 PM
Don't forget the black olives and refried beans too!
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Drunken Housewife on February 23, 2013, 05:18:19 PM
By coincidence I'm planning on doing vegetarian tacos tonight for dinner.  It will be monterey jack cheese, cheddar cheese, Soyrizo (vegan chorizo), black beans, green onions, salsa, and olives for the fillings.  I forgot to get lettuce -- I hope I have some in the crisper that is still good.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Poppea on February 23, 2013, 05:23:35 PM
From post #1. "Lets assume the hostess is uber polite and would not tell you that she minded either option even if she was actually steamed about it."

That's not being über polite - that's being a doormat.

Besides, I think it would be really uncharitable of the hostess to be steamed about it assuming the following:
1) The guest asked.
2) The guest used mbored's phrasing when asking (i.e. "Would you prefer that I filled up at home" was an option).
3) If bringing a dish - whether to share or for herself - the dish was already cooked and ready to be served - i.e. no inconvenience to the host.

Really it all boils down to what's more important to you in a hosting situation - the guests or the food. For me the guests would always come first. I'd feel horrible if a friend turned down an invitation rather than informing me of a dietary restriction out of some sense of displaced "politeness".

In the example at hand the guest did not ask.  She did not bring a dish to share.  Her food was not part of the New Orleans theme and she cooked it in Southern Girls kitchen.

Southern Girl had invited her guests over to celebrate an authentic Mardi Gras dinner.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Aeris on February 23, 2013, 06:46:58 PM
From post #1. "Lets assume the hostess is uber polite and would not tell you that she minded either option even if she was actually steamed about it."

That's not being über polite - that's being a doormat.

Besides, I think it would be really uncharitable of the hostess to be steamed about it assuming the following:
1) The guest asked.
2) The guest used mbored's phrasing when asking (i.e. "Would you prefer that I filled up at home" was an option).
3) If bringing a dish - whether to share or for herself - the dish was already cooked and ready to be served - i.e. no inconvenience to the host.

Really it all boils down to what's more important to you in a hosting situation - the guests or the food. For me the guests would always come first. I'd feel horrible if a friend turned down an invitation rather than informing me of a dietary restriction out of some sense of displaced "politeness".

In the example at hand the guest did not ask.  She did not bring a dish to share.  Her food was not part of the New Orleans theme and she cooked it in Southern Girls kitchen.

Southern Girl had invited her guests over to celebrate an authentic Mardi Gras dinner.

I think there's some confusion here with people talking past each other a bit because snowdragon keeps trying to conflate the thing that would apparently make her furious (a vegetarian offering to bring something) with what happened in your OP (the pescetarian not asking and just showing up with food).

Snowdragon was using the bolded and italicized quote as though the hostess would acquiesce to a mere *offer* to bring something, but silently fume about it - which is, of course, completely unreasonable (and not at all what actually happened to Southern Girl). MarieE was responding to *that* usage of the quote, and I believe her point was that a hostess being furious at someone who merely offers, and is willing to accept no for an answer (which FishGirl clearly did NOT do), would be really extraordinary and uncharitable.

I don't blame *Southern Girl* for being upset at what happened, but it is a completely different thing than what snowdragon appears to be trying to tie this to.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: MariaE on February 24, 2013, 12:53:54 AM
Thanks Aeris, that was it exactly. I absolutely do not blame SothernGirl - FishGirl was ridiculously rude and would be excluded from my dinner parties as well. A person acting the way mbored described that she does - not so much  :)
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: White Lotus on February 24, 2013, 12:09:32 PM
As host, I ask about restrictions, and cook to provide food everyone can eat. It is a challenge and usually fun.  However, every meal is not a pot luck, and I don't like it when I have, say, a SW menu ready to go and someone shows up, unasked, with Thai curry, which just plain doesn't fit in, or worse, hunk'o'meat.  (Special Snowflakes who bring usually uncooked meat to my vegetarian house, and then announce they've brought DINNER, throwing off my timing and my menu sometimes by an hour or more, drive me nuts! This would be FishGirl, who would only do this to me once, unless I had to have her again for some reason.  Then I think the Meat BBQ would break, and that is the only place to cook meat at our house.  Too bad.  She'd just have to take it home.)
Like I said, as a host, I ask about restrictions and do my best to accommodate.  If someone with restrictions offers to bring something, we can come up with something for them to bring that integrates into the planned menu and fits their needs.  As a guest, I always offer to bring, usually a vegetarian entree, so there will be one, and then we make sure it goes seamlessly into the planned menu.  The problem, to me, lies in not communicating with one's host/guest.  Taking over a planned party with your unplanned-for thing that does not fit into the hosts' menu, is IMO, controlling, "specialness" to the nth degree, and quite rude.  Hostess gifts of edibles are normally of the kind that do not have to be consumed right away -- wine, candy, maybe artisan bread -- and are not expected to be consumed immediately, but rather kept for the hosts' later enjoyment -- in part so these gifts will NOT screw up a planned menu and dining experience. 
If I show up after being told NOT to bring, and there are things I can eat, great.  I eat them.   If there are not, and this has happened, literally nothing at all, I quietly do not eat, and am always grateful for the stash I keep in the car.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: mbbored on February 24, 2013, 01:33:11 PM
I agree with all of you that asking to bring the dish is key. I would never dream of showing up to somebody's home with a dish in hand unless we specifically discussed it before hand.

Really the most important part is communication between the host and the guest with restrictions, so that the guest has the opportunity to express they can't eat something (for medical or ethical reasons) and the host has the opportunity to determine how they want to handle that.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: Minmom3 on February 24, 2013, 03:06:57 PM
For me, I think the cherry on the fecal pile is that Fish Girl is bringing FISH. Raw fish that must be cooked.  Of all the things to bring uncooked to somebody else's (spelling looks wrong here...) party, fish is about the least welcome thing I have ever heard of.  There are rules at most of the workplaces I've been to that you may not put fish in the microwave, because it's smelly and that smell lingers nearly as long as burned popcorn does.  Bringing raw fish to someone's home, assuming that you'd be welcome to cook it there, is taking (IMO) huge license to smell up the hosts kitchen.  It piles rude on top of rude, let alone the time and functionality disruption of another person's kitchen.  It's incredibly self absorbed to do that.  Fish Girl would NEVER get a repeat invitation to my home after doing that to me.

I know there are plenty of ways to cook fish such that it doesn't stink up the kitchen, because I've had to devise some myself to be able to cook fish at MY house, because DH gets testy about that 'we had fish last night' aroma.  But knowing I can do it at my house doesn't mean somebody else knows how to do it, nor that they will be able to do it at a home they don't live in.
Title: Re: Vegetarian Question
Post by: twiggy on February 24, 2013, 03:19:04 PM
For me, I think the cherry on the fecal pile is that Fish Girl is bringing FISH. Raw fish that must be cooked.  Of all the things to bring uncooked to somebody else's (spelling looks wrong here...) party, fish is about the least welcome thing I have ever heard of.  There are rules at most of the workplaces I've been to that you may not put fish in the microwave, because it's smelly and that smell lingers nearly as long as burned popcorn does.  Bringing raw fish to someone's home, assuming that you'd be welcome to cook it there, is taking (IMO) huge license to smell up the hosts kitchen.  It piles rude on top of rude, let alone the time and functionality disruption of another person's kitchen.  It's incredibly self absorbed to do that.  Fish Girl would NEVER get a repeat invitation to my home after doing that to me.

I know there are plenty of ways to cook fish such that it doesn't stink up the kitchen, because I've had to devise some myself to be able to cook fish at MY house, because DH gets testy about that 'we had fish last night' aroma.  But knowing I can do it at my house doesn't mean somebody else knows how to do it, nor that they will be able to do it at a home they don't live in.

Thank you, I've been trying to figure out how to express the smelly factor. I don't eat fish. I don't care for the taste, or the texture, or the smell. I have literally gagged at the smell of seafood being cooked. (no allergy/intolerance, I just don't think seafood tastes good. Except for crab cakes)

Depending on the state of my spine that night, I would either turn Fish Girl away, with her fish, or else I would excuse myself frequently to get fresh air, gag, and weep quietly. Well, maybe not weep, but still. It would be a terrible evening, and I wouldn't invite her back.