Author Topic: Guests with clashing dietary preferences  (Read 3928 times)

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Giggity

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Re: Guests with clashing dietary preferences
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2012, 08:39:28 PM »
I'd ask the two of them what they could compromise on.
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Isometric

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Re: Guests with clashing dietary preferences
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2012, 08:40:09 PM »


For instance, I would never knowingly invite a vegetarian to Thanksgiving dinner.  I am not willing to alter it in any way since it is a traditional meal. 

Wow! You must know some mean vegetarians! I'm one myself and would never expect anyone to alter their traditional meal for me. I would either bring a meat  alternative mysle or make do with what's there - there's always salads, bread, potatoes etc.

Having said that, I will always try to accomodate food allergies/dislikes. For hub's and I's dinner, we have the same thing, say pasta, but cook chicken and tofu separately to add after. Same with burgers - meat patty and vegie patty. With a gluten free person, i might do pizzas, same toppings, but give them a GF base

philliesphan

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Re: Guests with clashing dietary preferences
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2012, 10:49:45 PM »
In answer to the question "how often were we entertaining them?" it was actually once a month or so. We live in NYC, and most of our circle of friends don't have enough space to host parties. So DH and I end up picking up far more than what one would say is our "fair" share of hosting for this group, and I think that's part of why I sometimes felt put out by having to accommodate their preference -- that we'd end up feeding the whole group according to their limited common diet. Let's be honest...DH and I like to show off when cooking for friends. So when these two broke up, it became MUCH more fun to cook for the group!

Now we just have to accommodate the one friend of ours who doesn't eat pork. Much easier (and she is gracious about eating side dishes when we really, really want to make a pork dish).

sparksals

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Re: Guests with clashing dietary preferences
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2012, 11:18:53 PM »


For instance, I would never knowingly invite a vegetarian to Thanksgiving dinner.  I am not willing to alter it in any way since it is a traditional meal. 

Wow! You must know some mean vegetarians! I'm one myself and would never expect anyone to alter their traditional meal for me. I would either bring a meat  alternative mysle or make do with what's there - there's always salads, bread, potatoes etc.

Having said that, I will always try to accomodate food allergies/dislikes. For hub's and I's dinner, we have the same thing, say pasta, but cook chicken and tofu separately to add after. Same with burgers - meat patty and vegie patty. With a gluten free person, i might do pizzas, same toppings, but give them a GF base

I just learned that from here, actually, that many vegetarians are offended when they are only provided sides.  I never thought about the off chance of unknowingly inviting a vegetarian to such a traditional dinner.  Although, unless they are from a foreign country, they should know what the typical traditional Thanksgiving dinner entails in Canada or the US.   The problem for you with my potatoes, is I make them with chicken stock.  What you'd be making do with are many items that have some sort of meat or product in them.  My meal just isn't vegetarian friendly. 

Because of this forum, whenever I invite ppl for Thanksgiving, I make a point to say a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings.  That is their clue that it is probably not vegetarian and either to decline or let me know they are vegetarian, at which time, i would suggest they come over another time when I can actually make a dinner that will comply with their requirements. 

that's why for a meal like Xmas or Thanksgiving, I will not knowingly invite a vegetarian.  If I accidentally do so,

blarg314

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Re: Guests with clashing dietary preferences
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2012, 11:50:45 PM »


For instance, I would never knowingly invite a vegetarian to Thanksgiving dinner.  I am not willing to alter it in any way since it is a traditional meal. 

Wow! You must know some mean vegetarians! I'm one myself and would never expect anyone to alter their traditional meal for me. I would either bring a meat  alternative mysle or make do with what's there - there's always salads, bread, potatoes etc.

Having said that, I will always try to accomodate food allergies/dislikes. For hub's and I's dinner, we have the same thing, say pasta, but cook chicken and tofu separately to add after. Same with burgers - meat patty and vegie patty. With a gluten free person, i might do pizzas, same toppings, but give them a GF base

I've done Thanksgiving with vegetarians without much issue - a turkey substitute dish, made in advance, and some stuffing cooked outside the bird. Vegans for a traditional Thanksgiving would be really hard - when you factor in butter and milk, the only things they could eat would be the side salad.  Even the cranberry sauce has refined sugar in it, which isn't always vegan.  Using vegan substitutes makes for meal that tastes noticeably less good (soy milk and margarine and brown sugar just don't cut it), and preparing a parallel meal for a holiday dinner is pretty much impossible in my kitchen, as every single cooking appliance and burner is already spoken for.



sparksals

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Re: Guests with clashing dietary preferences
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2012, 11:57:07 PM »


For instance, I would never knowingly invite a vegetarian to Thanksgiving dinner.  I am not willing to alter it in any way since it is a traditional meal. 

Wow! You must know some mean vegetarians! I'm one myself and would never expect anyone to alter their traditional meal for me. I would either bring a meat  alternative mysle or make do with what's there - there's always salads, bread, potatoes etc.

Having said that, I will always try to accomodate food allergies/dislikes. For hub's and I's dinner, we have the same thing, say pasta, but cook chicken and tofu separately to add after. Same with burgers - meat patty and vegie patty. With a gluten free person, i might do pizzas, same toppings, but give them a GF base

I've done Thanksgiving with vegetarians without much issue - a turkey substitute dish, made in advance, and some stuffing cooked outside the bird. Vegans for a traditional Thanksgiving would be really hard - when you factor in butter and milk, the only things they could eat would be the side salad.  Even the cranberry sauce has refined sugar in it, which isn't always vegan.  Using vegan substitutes makes for meal that tastes noticeably less good (soy milk and margarine and brown sugar just don't cut it), and preparing a parallel meal for a holiday dinner is pretty much impossible in my kitchen, as every single cooking appliance and burner is already spoken for.

For me, it would require too much substitution of my regular recipes.  I use chicken stock in my potatoes and stuffing, so it wouldn't matter if made inside or outside the bird.  Just like you, parallels would be too much work for me.  There are 363 other days I can have people over for dinner with strict requirements.  I'm just not going to alter anything for the traditional holiday meals. 

Isometric

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Re: Guests with clashing dietary preferences
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2012, 12:20:01 AM »
So vegetarians shouldn't celebrate Thanksgiving? (I'm just kidding   ;))

I understand where you are coming from, you make your dishes a certain way and don't want to change them. And why should you? Most vegetarians and others with allergies will fend for themselves. Those who make a big fuss make the rest of us look bad.

If it was a close friend's house I was going to for dinner, they would know to provide something vegetarian, just as I cater to their dietary requirements. If I was going to someone's house that I didn't know well, I wouldn't expect them to cater for me. If I love making beetroot salad, I'm not going to stop making it because 1 person doesn't like it!

OP, I think you've been more than fair, if it were me I would start suggesting we go to a restaurant for dinner!

saki

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Re: Guests with clashing dietary preferences
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2012, 07:23:51 AM »
I honestly think that the vegetarian/side dish thing is a cultural difference.  I'm in the UK and I've been to dinner at many people's homes.  I can only think of three times in the UK when I've been expected to make a meal from the side dishes:  Christmas lunch at a friend's parents' place (and they made sure the sides were vegetarian, even when they didn't usually - i.e. no goose fat on the potatoes); Christmas lunch at my then future-in-laws (and my MIL is American); dinner for 30 odd people cooked by my friend's American mother. 

I don't mind the holiday dinner side dish thing, as long as there are enough of them, because I realise that it's tricky to get lots of dishes prepared for Christmas and there isn't necessarily time/oven space to make an extra vegetarian main work.  But I do expect not to be stuck with side dishes normally and that's a reasonable expectation in the UK because it basically never happens.  I realise, from EH and other American messageboards (and, indeed, from my visits to American homes), that it's different in the US and vegetarians just don't get catered for to anything like the same extent but, in the UK context, in my experience, it absolutely is a reasonable expectation for a vegetarian to get a vegetarian main course and sides when they're invited to dinner, it's not entitled or mean or anything like that.  (Obviously, this is my personal view and experience, I'm not suggesting that out of 60 million people, there aren't any who would disagree with it.)

gellchom

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Re: Guests with clashing dietary preferences
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2012, 12:04:24 PM »
Vegetarians at Thanksgiving I can manage, no problem.

Vegetarians at Passover is almost impossible.  My husband calls it "the eleventh plague."  I somehow manage when we have a vegetarian or vegan guest, but besides all the traditional and ritual foods that we aren't going to vary -- egg, gelfilte fish, chicken soup, and on and on --  it's really hard to make a vegetarian option, since I can't serve pasta, rice, bread, grains, soy, shellfish, yogurt, anything with cheese or dairy, etc., etc., etc.  I've seen vegetarian seder menus, but all the other guests definitely want the traditional menu, which is so complicated to begin with, it's the last time I'd want to make a whole separate menu for one guest.

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lowspark

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Re: Guests with clashing dietary preferences
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2012, 03:03:44 PM »
LOL gellchom, I just HAVE to comment!

My son is a vegetarian (for seven years now) and Passover is my favorite holiday specifically because of the cooking involved and the creativity in the kitchen required for the week. And now add to that a vegetarian son -- not someone I can just skip inviting or say "they can just make do". Wheee! the fun begins.

I do make him a separate vegetarian matzo ball soup. And all the veggies/sides I serve are vegetarian so we're ok there. He does eat the eggs and is really satisfied with eating plenty of all that. He only skips the brisket & fish. No biggie.

A couple of years ago, I found a wonderful matzo spinach lasagne recipe. I know, I know, it's dairy. But I just keep it in the kitchen and he serves himself and no one seems to mind as they are all really into the brisket, etc. and don't crave the lasagne. You gotta know, there's a ton of food, no one is going hungry! :)

I have to say, though, that I do agree with you. If it was not my own son, I'd have a different attitude. I don't think he'll ever go vegan - he loves cheese and eggs too much - but if he does, it'll be a whole 'nother ball game!