Etiquette Hell

Hostesses With The Mostest => Entertaining and Hospitality => Topic started by: POF on December 16, 2006, 07:25:18 AM

Title: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: POF on December 16, 2006, 07:25:18 AM
I am hosting XMAS dinner this year for 20 people. I am having Baked Ham, Scallpoed Potatoes, Sweet / Sour Wax Beans , Lasagana , Chicken Marsala and some salads, rolls etc.  Other family members are bringing desserts / beverages and appetizers.

BIL is on a low/no salt diet. ( and has been for several years - not a new issue )

I added Chicken Marsala to my menu so that I could save out a few pieces - make them with no salt and add a no salt tomato sauce/gravy. I also plan to bake a sweet potato and a regular potato for him and will have a low salt salad dressing available. . This is pretty typical of what we do at family dinners. On occasion SIL ( his wife ) will bring his food.

The lasagna is  my "special secret recipe holiday" lasagna - which includes homemade meatballs / imported sausage and cheeses from the Italian Market is a favorite with the family. I only make it a few times a year - because it's a trillion calories and takes a lot of work and is expensive to boot. 

So just checking in with SIL last night and I told her what I was doing for BIL in terms of his meal. ( He is also very picky - no fish, few veggies etc. ) and she said to me - Can't you make your lasagna with no salt ? I said - well no - it has cured meat and cheeses and they are full of sodium - plus I don't think it would be very good without any seasoning. It's not something that I can easily portion off a side and leave out the salt. So she got into a whine fest about how he LOOVES lasagna .... blah blah blah..

I just said very nicely - but sorry I can't do that.  ( Good advice from EHELLDAME )

It just irks the heck out of me that she expects 19 other people to go low salt because he has to...... I also think it's rude to hijack the menu..... I think I made a very reasonable - very typical accomodation - and all I get is whining and complaining.

I know - actually it's common knowledge - that BIL manages this restrictive diet by having a "regular meal" once a week - which is usually a fully loaded pizza. So I suggested - that since he really wants lasagna - can't he use XMAS dinner as his regular meal day ?

SIL replies ... Oh No - he doesn't want to give up pizza night........ it's too bad that your so inflexible .....


I know what is behind this is mostly sour grapes. When holidays are at her house - it's a disaster - dinner is late by usually 2 + hours, everthing is unorganized - not enough seating, place settings , usually no beverages and some rather unpleasant bickering and fighting among her grown kids. It got to the point where other family members made there own plans or did other things. 

When I volunteered to host XMAS this year there was a nice response and some of the farther away family members are coming in. In fact her own kids ( in their 20's ) are all excited because they said I will have some activites planned and they like my cooking.

I think I did fine to accomodate his special needs. I made several reasonable suggestions and there will be food he likes that he can eat.

Thanks for listening











Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: Chartreuse on December 16, 2006, 08:03:21 AM
I think you're covered on the etiquette aspect of this.  You made some reasonable changes that would allow him to have a full meal.  You're not expected to completely change the entire menu based on his dietary issues.  As you've pointed out to his wife, he also gets one "eat normal free" card a week. It's his choice if he wants to apply it to Christmas dinner or if he wants to use it on the pizza.

Well, one thing I'll give your SIL...  she's got a lot of nerve.   ;)
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: BurninDinner on December 16, 2006, 08:45:07 AM
Oh you're totally fine.  Good job, I'm proud of you.
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: POF on December 16, 2006, 09:23:36 AM
Well - I learned my lesson once -  I went to a lot of effort to prepare no salt appetizers for a potluck. They were tasty - lots of crudites - healthy dips - crostini etc. At the party he scarfed down tortilla chips ( which his wife brought  :o)   and tons of salty stuff and rudely announced he didn't want any of that no salt crap. So I could very easily make a major accomodation and he will eat whatever he wants anyway .......

INLAWS and the holidays .........
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: Evil Duckie on December 16, 2006, 10:08:49 AM
POF you did great in planning Xmas dinner with him in mind. You made an accommodation for him. You don't need to redo your entire menu just for him. He is an adult and can easily live without lasagna.

I know what is like to have to work around a dietary need. My youngest is allergic to dairy. He knows and understands just because he has a special dietary need that doesn't mean that doesn't mean that everyone will make all food safe for him. We let people know when he is invited to events, but that doesn't always mean there will be food for him. He will eat what he can and leave the rest without making a fuss.
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: Lunadiana75 on December 16, 2006, 10:19:23 AM
I think you did great making sure your BIL would have something to eat at the party. 

In the States my diet is vegan (can't do that here) and I never ever once expected someone to accomodate me and ONLY me whenI was invited to their house.  I always had very sweet friends who made sure there was something I could eat (and I would always thank them for thinking of me) but I certainly didn't expect everyone around me to change their eating habits just for me.  Everytime I had a dinner party I would ask people I had never cooked for if they had any allergies or diet restrictions so I could figure that into my meal planning. 

Of course I had one friend who eternally cracked me up, everytime I would invite her over for dinner she would say "Sounds great! Is it vegan?"  After the fourth or fifth time she asked I looked at her deadpan and say "No, it's cheeseburgers.  Hon, I'm cooking, of course it's vegan!"
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: supernova on December 16, 2006, 11:01:48 AM
POF, you are being perfectly accommodating.  More than considerate, actually.

Your SIL is being passive-aggressive, and you are handling her beautifully.  "No, I'm sorry, I can't do that."  Lather, rinse, repeat.  You are being perfectly polite, in the face of rudeness.

Considering the information in your second post...  I'd bet money the BIL will have lasagna anyway, or else he'll complain about the special portion you've made for him being tasteless.  Be prepared for further passive-aggressive behavior, and remember to just smile and let it roll off your back.

Everyone else will have a good time, and that's all that matters.  :)

Have a wonderful holiday!  I'll bet that lasagna is fantastic; enjoy every bite!  :)

     - saphie
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: blue2000 on December 16, 2006, 01:28:18 PM
I would say - most emphatically - you are NOT a restaurant.  >:(

If you have something he can eat on his diet, then that is all you are required to have. He can choose to come or not, and to eat it or not, whichever he feels like. And it sounds like he and SIL will be a pain in the behind no matter how much you try, so why go overboard? If she asks again about the lasagna, give her the recipe and let her try and make a low-salt version herself.
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: kherbert05 on December 16, 2006, 01:59:35 PM
You did fine. Your SIL needs to grow up.

Your story made me fill better. We are having a faculty lunchon after the kids leave on Wednesday (1/2 day). The meal is catered, and each team is bringing a desert. I've had 2 different teams show me dessert they planned to buy from a bakery and ask if they had peanut products. One had M&M and plain M&M have peanut oil and may contain traces warnings. I told her go ahead and get it, I just won't eat it. It's not like the situation with the graduation ceremony last year. We won't be hugging each other. But they said no they won't be buying that one.

I feel guilty, because I won't most things from bakeries. They make so many things with peanuts or peanut butter, that crosscontamination is just so easy. I've landed in the ER several times because of this. Most bakeries now post signs saying they can't promise that products are nut or peanut free.

The main meal is safe - BBQ from a place I frequent. They should have the desserts they want. If the kids were present, especially the K-2 kids I would be more concerned. But this is an adult function.
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: Lynda_34 on December 16, 2006, 03:57:36 PM
You are being more than polite.
My suggestion is put some lasagna noodles and sauce with cheese in a small separate dish.
Then make your lasagna for everyone else. 
You cannot make lasagna without using the "good stuff". 
There is an Italian market in a city near where I live that uses turkey as the base for their sausages, they are low sodium, and they are ok.  (The owner had a heart attack and didn't want to change his diet so he developed these recipes, they've been awarded something from the American Heart Assn.)  However, if you make a good lasagna keep on making it the rest of the family loves it, why deprive them.  It also speaks volumes that her children are visiting you and have been avoiding her holiday meals.   
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: gjcva1 on December 16, 2006, 08:25:09 PM
POF, i think your meal sounds lovely.  there are a few low salt/low fat dairy products that i will eat (mostly cottage cheese and yogurt) but i just can't imagine how you would make a delicious low sodium lasagna.  so make your special lasagna.  BIL is a big boy.  he'll have to make his own choices, and SIL will have to whine about it.  Happy Holidays!!!  ;)
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: Venus193 on December 16, 2006, 09:09:33 PM
POF, even diabetics eat the occasional normal dessert, and if your BIL will eat "normal" meals once a week, there is no good reason for you to make any more changes. 

I also consider SIL's attempt at hijacking your recipe to be incredibly presumptuous and unspeakably rude.  She is clearly envious of your successful entertaining and this sounds like an attempt at sabotage.
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: Suze on December 17, 2006, 09:10:43 AM

I know - actually it's common knowledge - that BIL manages this restrictive diet by having a "regular meal" once a week - which is usually a fully loaded pizza. So I suggested - that since he really wants lasagna - can't he use XMAS dinner as his regular meal day ?

SIL replies ... Oh No - he doesn't want to give up pizza night........ it's too bad that your so inflexible .....



Gah - You have done more than enough to accomdate his needs, and if he wants to be a baby about HIS PIZZA night.  Let him eat what you have cooked for him or not come at all.

I know about restrictive diets - I have a friend who is allergic to EGGS, WHEAT, AND MILK plus should watch how much suger he eats.  Talk about fun trying to come up with anything like a normal meal! Let alone sweet anything (I can though)

And no egg beaters are still an egg product (just the yokes are removed and some food color put in) You would not believe how many people will not take that as a given.  I repeat -- Gah
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: CynthiaBelle on December 17, 2006, 10:53:21 AM
That's more than enough. I think that you did just a fine job on helping his dietary needs and special diet.
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: FoxPaws on December 17, 2006, 12:27:17 PM
Quote
If she asks again about the lasagna, give her the recipe and let her try and make a low-salt version herself.

Amen to this!!

And why is wifey-pooh the one asking? BIL is a grownup. He should be whining on his own behalf, although from the OP's description, he doesn't seem to have an issue with finding things to eat (whether they're on his diet or not). There are some weird little power plays happening here. Should make for an interesting holiday.

Keep us posted. ;)
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: POF on December 17, 2006, 01:30:40 PM
Oh this will be a holiday to top them all ! ....... This particular pair had a really nasty episode with some other family members ( they instigated it ).  This is the first get together since it happened.   DH's family ( not all of them - but a goodlly number ) take the prize in passive aggressive behavior and whining and complaining. 

I am also having a Yankee Grab -  :o  Oh the horror - we've never done it before - How will it work! What if we get something we don't like. Maybe we can;t afford it........ We USUALLY sit around and talk ( well snipe )Yikes - it's 5 - 10 dollars - PURELY Voluntarily - and I have a few extra's to accomodate anyone who wants to play but isn't prepared.

I also have a few games in the TV room to entertain the younger teen - college age set.....
Why is that ? why do you have special things for them ?  why are you playing Xmas movies in that room ? why can't we sit like logs and talk about Dear Aunts gall bladder ?

I will keep you posted. Thanks

Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: Lunadiana75 on December 17, 2006, 04:24:43 PM
Oh you horrible hostess you!  Trying to accomdate people's diets!  Preparing entertainment for the younger set!  Coming up with fun games!

What's next? Providing silverware and dishes for your guests?  Or perhaps trying to make people feel at home?!  Oh the humanity!
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: sammycat on December 17, 2006, 04:52:45 PM
I think you handled the situation perfectly, the activities sound great and the menu sounds delicious ;D

It sounds like SIL is jealous and is still wanting to run the show even though the party is being held somewhere other than her house.
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: Clara Bow on December 17, 2006, 05:35:08 PM
Sister in law is being a you know what...she's trying to take over and you are perfectly within your rights to put the kibosh on it. She's lucky that you're doing the chicken to suit him...
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: blarg314 on December 17, 2006, 10:18:11 PM

When I entertain for a group I will do my best to accomodate dietary restrictions, which means making sure that there is something for the person in question to eat, rather than making sure that they can eat everything.

Most people I've done this for are very polite about it and don't want to cause a fuss, and will often offer to bring something themselves.

However, people who abuse this privilige get dropped down in priority.  I'm talking about the vegetarians who make comments about charred flesh at a barbeque, or the people who insist on special accomodation and then eat the regular food too, or the ones who combine dietary restrictions with pickiness - the vegetarian who will only eat certain brands of veggie burgers, or hates tofu, mushrooms and nuts. 
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: Lisbeth on December 18, 2006, 09:04:29 AM
I think you did everything you could reasonably be expected to do to accommodate your BIL.

Your SIL needs to accept that she isn't in charge of your menu.  I would have told her, "I'm sorry you and BIL don't feel that you can join us.  We'll miss you."
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: Morty'sCleaningLady on December 18, 2006, 10:52:42 AM
SIL replies ... Oh No - he doesn't want to give up pizza night........ it's too bad that your so inflexible .....
{/quote]

Wait -- You, the individual that is specially preparing a fabulous entree and sides for BIL, is inflexible.  BIL not giving up one week of pizza is not inflexible. 

Is anyone else confused?
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: graceh9 on December 18, 2006, 10:56:25 AM


It just irks the heck out of me that she expects 19 other people to go low salt because he has to...... I also think it's rude to hijack the menu..... I think I made a very reasonable - very typical accomodation - and all I get is whining and complaining.

I know - actually it's common knowledge - that BIL manages this restrictive diet by having a "regular meal" once a week - which is usually a fully loaded pizza. So I suggested - that since he really wants lasagna - can't he use XMAS dinner as his regular meal day ?

SIL replies ... Oh No - he doesn't want to give up pizza night........ it's too bad that your so inflexible .....


[/quote]

LOL  you are just so inflexible!  You might see if you can purchase a low sodium frozen lasagna -- I know there are lots of dietary meals available this way -- obviously don't go nuts trying to find it, b ut take a look at the frozen entrees section of an organic food store or well stocked supermarket and see if there isn't a low sodium entry.,

it is nuts to ruin everyone's meal because BIL can't give up pizza night -- you are already going above and beyond with the chicken
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: graceh9 on December 18, 2006, 11:01:31 AM


And no egg beaters are still an egg product (just the yokes are removed and some food color put in) You would not believe how many people will not take that as a given.  I repeat -- Gah
[/quote]

I think that most people allergic to eggs are actually allergic to the egg protein in the whites -- so the whites are even worse than the yolks for these folks -- egg beaters wouldn't work at all -- it must be very frustrating to not be able to communicate that to people who insist on subtly poisoning their guests
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: Suze on December 18, 2006, 11:25:19 AM


And no egg beaters are still an egg product (just the yokes are removed and some food color put in) You would not believe how many people will not take that as a given.  I repeat -- Gah

I think that most people allergic to eggs are actually allergic to the egg protein in the whites -- so the whites are even worse than the yolks for these folks -- egg beaters wouldn't work at all -- it must be very frustrating to not be able to communicate that to people who insist on subtly poisoning their guests
[/quote]

And you would not believe what they HIDE egg, wheat, or milk in .... Look on the back of a bag of Or-Ida tater tots sometime, last I looked it had all three in. (other brands don't)

Since I mostly live at my friends house and them at mine we both keep a sort of "kosher" kitchen with food in it that is not "poisonous" (his term) for him.  There are products in the "regular" grocery store that are diet friendly, and we learned how to cook for him.

Something his MIL didn't do -- one night she invited us all to her house for supper and cards and served Shake and Bake pork chops (wheat and egg) mashed potatoes (milk and butter) and green beans (with butter) and wondered why we all turned right around and went out to eat (he lives on a lot of steak and fries at restaurants)

My Mom however looked at it as a challenge to feed him a "real meal" and went to the cookbook stash and started in (nothing like the WWII cookbooks - milkless, meatless, and eggless recipes for a jumping off point)

Suze
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: Hawkwatcher on December 18, 2006, 03:18:28 PM
Oh this will be a holiday to top them all ! ....... This particular pair had a really nasty episode with some other family members ( they instigated it ).  This is the first get together since it happened.   DH's family ( not all of them - but a goodlly number ) take the prize in passive aggressive behavior and whining and complaining. 

I am also having a Yankee Grab -  :o  Oh the horror - we've never done it before - How will it work! What if we get something we don't like. Maybe we can;t afford it........ We USUALLY sit around and talk ( well snipe )Yikes - it's 5 - 10 dollars - PURELY Voluntarily - and I have a few extra's to accomodate anyone who wants to play but isn't prepared.

I also have a few games in the TV room to entertain the younger teen - college age set.....
Why is that ? why do you have special things for them ?  why are you playing Xmas movies in that room ? why can't we sit like logs and talk about Dear Aunts gall bladder ?
 

If they really want to "sit like logs" and talk about "Dear Aunt's gall bladder,"  they can stay home and discuss whatever they want.   
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: Clara Bow on December 18, 2006, 07:15:08 PM
They can go to my stepinlaws..they spend the whole day trying to come up with the most tragic and morbid stories about people that they can find. And when they run out of friends, relatives, townfolk etc, they start in on depressing news stories. I absolutely kid you not. They love to talk about who has died, become diseased, has fallen on hard financial times....it's nothing but illegitimate children and cancer all day.
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: NotCinderell on December 19, 2006, 09:02:34 AM
Quote
I know about restrictive diets - I have a friend who is allergic to EGGS, WHEAT, AND MILK plus should watch how much suger he eats.  Talk about fun trying to come up with anything like a normal meal! Let alone sweet anything (I can though)


Not to one-up, but I have a cousin who's intolerant to almost everything.  She's celiac, can't eat dairy, eggs, fish, meat, corn, spinach, and citrus.  I usually make a vegetable sautee with some beans and brown rice for her, with a fruit salad for dessert.  The best part is that she's actually not a picky eater, after all that, and she always happily eats whatever I cook for her as long as it's within her restrictions.
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: Suze on December 19, 2006, 08:35:57 PM
Quote
I know about restrictive diets - I have a friend who is allergic to EGGS, WHEAT, AND MILK plus should watch how much suger he eats.  Talk about fun trying to come up with anything like a normal meal! Let alone sweet anything (I can though)


Not to one-up, but I have a cousin who's intolerant to almost everything.  She's celiac, can't eat dairy, eggs, fish, meat, corn, spinach, and citrus.  I usually make a vegetable sautee with some beans and brown rice for her, with a fruit salad for dessert.  The best part is that she's actually not a picky eater, after all that, and she always happily eats whatever I cook for her as long as it's within her restrictions.

Wow - and here I thought my friend had it rough.  With those kind of problems I guess you can't afford to be a picky eater.

Ps - what does celiac mean? or is it a discriptive of the type of allergy problems she has. And you don't have to answer if you think I am being too nosey

Suze
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: VorFemme on December 20, 2006, 09:23:11 AM
Several years ago now, when DeHubby was still DeKid at home - he told his dad that he "couldn't eat" something.  The Future DFIL apparently took that as a challenge to his authority and the family rule of eating everything on your plate (no matter WHO put it on your plate).

DeKid eventually choked down a spoonful - whatever the MINIMUM was that he had to eat to be allowed to leave the table. 

And it came back up, accompanied by much of the rest of his dinner, to be deposited on his father.

Who never again forced him to eat anything that he "couldn't eat".

(It appears that it was a texture issue and not an allergy - as he has since eaten the same vegetable - although prepared differently.  There is a short list of items that have to be run through the blender if they are a MUST have for flavoring a dish - because the texture of those items still causes issues - over forty years later...........)
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: Gileswench on December 22, 2006, 03:25:32 PM
The job of the hosts is to check for important dietary restrictions (severe allergies, reliegious/moral restrictions, medically required diets) and come up with something that will feed guests without killing them or offending their principals. It is the guests job to eat at least a bit of what is placed before them without complaint so long as it isn't going to harm them physically or force them to abandon their principals.

POF, you've more than done your part. Now it's up to your BIL and SIL to do theirs. And if they can't, well, they can stay home and order that pizza.

BTW, I'm not familiar with the term 'Yankee grab'; could someone explain what it is?
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: Pixie on December 22, 2006, 05:35:57 PM
You mentioned your recipe was "super secret"..... Do NOT give it to SIL.  I made that mistake once with my very super secret and special spaghetti sauce.   

 The "friend" I shared it with butchered the recipe..... (added carrots, broccoli, cauliflower,  and celery to spaghetti sauce???)   Canned it and entered it in the county fair with my late mother's name on it!   As in,   "Miss Emi-Lu's Spaghetti sauce"   I was livid.  Not only did she add things not in the recipe, she left out the meatballs, and some important ingredients because they were "too expensive"     But to put my Mom's name on something my mother would have thrown in the trash was very offensive to me.  What she entered in the fair was NOT my Mother's recipe.  I know because I make it exactly as my Mom did every New Year's Day.

  I didn't mind her entering HER sauce in the fair, I minded that she put my LATE Mother's name on it. (This was less than a year after my Mom passed)  But typical passive me, I never said a word, I just never shared a recipe with her again.  And I won't.


Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: artk2002 on December 22, 2006, 08:34:53 PM
... (added carrots, broccoli, cauliflower,  and celery to spaghetti sauce???)

An aside: My favorite pasta sauce has both carrots and celery in it.  It's wonderful (and a good way to sneak in some veggies when my boys weren't as interested in them.)  Aside from that, what this person did to your (mom's?) recipe was unconscionable!
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: POF on December 23, 2006, 01:16:08 PM
RE: How to play Yankee Grab - there are several versions - but this is the way I do it ! Every one brings a gift of a price range. ( ours is $5 - $10 ). All of the wrapped gifts are put on a table and everyone draws numbers. #1 Selects a gift and opens it. #2 Selects a gift, opens it and can keep it or trade with #1. - and down the line. After everyone has selected or traded gifts - #1 gets one last shot at a final trade. ( You have to trade if asked )

It's done more for the hiliarity of seeing what people get frantic over. Sometimes at work - people get really fixated on certain things and people keep making others swap.
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: Gileswench on December 24, 2006, 01:42:53 PM
Ah! I've actually played that game, but it was a Christmas ornament exchange. Sadly I wound up with a rather alarming pig in a Santa hat grinning atop a stack of ham, bacon, pork chops, etc. Still it was sort of amusing to play, and if the worst that happened was I wound up with a bizarre Christmas ornament and a funny story to go with it, well, that was just fine.

Thanks for the info!
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: Lynda_34 on December 26, 2006, 03:40:15 PM
I remember that as a Chinese Auction we had at an office Christmas party years ago.
Celiac Disease is a dietary disease involving digestion.  just put celiac disease into a search engine and you'll get a good explanation. It is also a last ditch diagnosis as a lot of things are usually ruled out first.
I was taking care of an elderly woman with psych issues and confusion.  She had said she was hungry so we brought her a sandwich and a banana.  She refused the sandwich but devoured the banana.  I suddenly realized she had celiac disease it had been listed in her diagnoses but I hadn't made the connection and that she couldn't eat the bread.  I found her some more food she could eat but it amazed me that even in her confusion she was careful about what she ate.

My ex and I used to run a catering business and we could cook for everything but a renal or dialysis diet.  We catered for from "2 to 200".  All diets were accomodated, at one wedding we created two vegetarian meals for two guests, (they liked it so well they asked for the recipe) We accomodated all diets by not adding salt while cooking but making it available at the table.  Draining all fats from meats and taking food out of a preparation and putting it aside before adding meat to it. (Today I don't think I could easily accomodate a true vegan diet while catering)
I also think I should get credit for four postings for this one since I read to the end of the thread before posting and consolidated all this stuff.  YAY :D
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: gjcva1 on December 27, 2006, 09:23:12 PM
POF, so how did your dinner go?  was your lasagna simply delicious as usual?  did BIL eat that or the chicken that you had set aside for him?
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: willow08 on December 28, 2006, 06:26:18 AM
Yes, I would like to know how it went. P.S. I made a lasagna on Saturday and thought of you as I added sausage and cheese. "Take that, selfish BIL!!"
Title: UPDATED : Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: POF on December 28, 2006, 07:10:00 AM
Hi everyone,

XMAS went great - BIL did have some lasagna - he called me XMAS Eve and was kind of embarassed about his wife's meddling. She tends to a) have no common sense and b) put her nose in where it doesn't belong ( My observations not his ). He asked for the ingredient list for the lasagna and another dish and told me he could make some medicine adjustments to allow him to have a small piece.  Which he really enjoyed !  He also told me he had been saving his "free" weekly meal so he could enjoy XMAS. He opted to forgo a pizza party wife was having for the neighbors ..... hmmm - I kind of see who instigated this ......

He did eat the chicken, baked potato and plain green beans I also had for him. His wife tends to be the food police and I think she really overstepped.

Everything else went great - people behaved , had fun with the activities and it was smooth sailing. A few things were definitely not up to par etiquette wise.

Another BIL and SIL ( #2 ) live really far away and flew in for the occasion. They called on their way to my house and announced they were bringing another guest  ??? ( a great aunt on her side ). This lady turned on the kitchen TV during dinner so she could eat and watch the game !. I offered to set her a tray in the den with some of the guys - but she refused and said she wanted to stay in the kitchen. ( It's a large open kitchen/dining room ). No one else wanted it on - so I made her turn down the sound ! 

 BIL SIL #2 also showed up at my house with there dog ! They had flown in this week - but had told me before they left darling poochy was staying home.  So in they walk with extra guest and dog ! I like animals - but XMAS day with 20 people is not an occasion to bring a pet. - Plus my pets were fed , watered and bedded down in the spare bedroom - while theirs had the run of the house. I decided to let it slide to keep the peace - but it was rude. Their dog pee'd on my carpet as well  ???

But overall - a really nice time - I am still recuperating.






Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: willow08 on December 28, 2006, 08:05:40 AM
It's funny how you think you've covered all of the bases and the relatives you don't expect trouble from blindside you, huh?

I had some last-minute "who's bringing what?" drama that came out of no where. At that point, I just didn't have the energy to deal with it.
Title: Re: UPDATED : Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: Lisbeth on December 28, 2006, 08:11:12 AM
Hi everyone,

XMAS went great - BIL did have some lasagna - he called me XMAS Eve and was kind of embarassed about his wife's meddling. She tends to a) have no common sense and b) put her nose in where it doesn't belong ( My observations not his ). He asked for the ingredient list for the lasagna and another dish and told me he could make some medicine adjustments to allow him to have a small piece.  Which he really enjoyed !  He also told me he had been saving his "free" weekly meal so he could enjoy XMAS. He opted to forgo a pizza party wife was having for the neighbors ..... hmmm - I kind of see who instigated this ......

He did eat the chicken, baked potato and plain green beans I also had for him. His wife tends to be the food police and I think she really overstepped.

Everything else went great - people behaved , had fun with the activities and it was smooth sailing. A few things were definitely not up to par etiquette wise.

Another BIL and SIL ( #2 ) live really far away and flew in for the occasion. They called on their way to my house and announced they were bringing another guest  ??? ( a great aunt on her side ). This lady turned on the kitchen TV during dinner so she could eat and watch the game !. I offered to set her a tray in the den with some of the guys - but she refused and said she wanted to stay in the kitchen. ( It's a large open kitchen/dining room ). No one else wanted it on - so I made her turn down the sound ! 

 BIL SIL #2 also showed up at my house with there dog ! They had flown in this week - but had told me before they left darling poochy was staying home.  So in they walk with extra guest and dog ! I like animals - but XMAS day with 20 people is not an occasion to bring a pet. - Plus my pets were fed , watered and bedded down in the spare bedroom - while theirs had the run of the house. I decided to let it slide to keep the peace - but it was rude. Their dog pee'd on my carpet as well  ???

But overall - a really nice time - I am still recuperating.


I'm starting to wonder if there's any benefit at all (except to therapists) in families getting together for the holidays if they treat each other like this... ???
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: Venus193 on December 28, 2006, 10:07:59 AM
I'm starting to wonder if there's any benefit at all (except to therapists) in families getting together for the holidays if they treat each other like this...  

Ding, ding, DING; we have a WINNAH!
Title: Re: UPDATED : Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: Chartreuse on December 28, 2006, 11:24:16 AM
I'm starting to wonder if there's any benefit at all (except to therapists) in families getting together for the holidays if they treat each other like this... ???

Ahemn...  "But they're FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMILY!"   :P

I'm always amazed at how much we're supposed to put up with from people we just happen to share some DNA with.
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: supernova on December 29, 2006, 02:35:46 PM
A very wise woman once told me, "Mixing holidays and family is rather like mixing alcohol and handguns."  There will always be those who think it's a great idea; and someone's bound to get hurt.

I had a feeling that it was POF's SIL that was the instigator, and not BIL.  I'm glad to hear he enjoyed his meal and had a good time.  Bummer about the rest of the rude relatives...  I think they're in every family.  ;)

     - saphie
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: JudiAU on December 29, 2006, 06:56:08 PM
They can go to my stepinlaws..they spend the whole day trying to come up with the most tragic and morbid stories about people that they can find. And when they run out of friends, relatives, townfolk etc, they start in on depressing news stories. I absolutely kid you not. They love to talk about who has died, become diseased, has fallen on hard financial times....it's nothing but illegitimate children and cancer all day.

We must be related because that sounds exactly like my Aunt!
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: freakyfemme on January 02, 2007, 11:01:02 AM
Quote
If she asks again about the lasagna, give her the recipe and let her try and make a low-salt version herself.

Amen to this!!

And why is wifey-pooh the one asking? BIL is a grownup. He should be whining on his own behalf, although from the OP's description, he doesn't seem to have an issue with finding things to eat (whether they're on his diet or not). There are some weird little power plays happening here. Should make for an interesting holiday.

Keep us posted. ;)

Is it possible that the wife is more concerned with BIL following his low-sodium diet than he is, and is afraid that he'll eat the "bad" food anyway, thereby endangering his health?  That's not an excuse to be rude like that, of course, but I think there's a good chance that the wife asked without prompting from BIL, in a misguided attempt to make it "easier" for him to follow the diet......but sometimes that's just the way things are, if BIL is supposed to be eating low sodium, then maybe he just *can't* have his pizza night and Christmas lasagna too.
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: Sophia on January 02, 2007, 11:28:24 AM

My evil twin wonders if maybe she is trying to ruin your lasagna?  Since she is really, really familiar with low/no salt foods, then she knows how no salt lasagna will taste.  She has probably been hearing her family salivate over the prospect of your lasagna. 

Next time she asked something like this, My evil twin would probably reply, "Why don't you just bring Tortillas for him to eat?"
Title: Re: How far do I need to go to accomodate special dietary needs ?
Post by: momtwosix on January 25, 2007, 01:00:54 PM
celiacs disease is an immunological disease. The person's body is missing the enzyme to break down wheat and gluten. If the person ingests these the body will send out antibodies which end up attack the intestines. The symptoms include diarrhea, constipation , bloating stomach aches and sometimes behavior changes.

My 8 yr old has it. Two of my sils have it. Whenever we eat over any of my il's they always make sure there is stuff that is safe for her to eat.

If she is invited to a birthday party I provide her cupcake adn pizza. I also let the hostess know which snacks are safe for her to eat.

I never ask any one to change their menu, I just make sure dd has something to eat.