Author Topic: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44  (Read 18533 times)

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still in va

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #60 on: May 29, 2012, 02:35:43 PM »
Actually you prompted me to go on Wikipedia and look at te condiments and I had no idea mint sauce and horseradish sauce were mainly a traditional British accompaniment! Very traditional and very universal in ENGLAND with roasts. I thought it would be worldwide! See, you learn something new everyday!

really?  the hubs and i have horseradish sauce often.  sometimes he even dips crackers in it!

Surianne

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #61 on: May 29, 2012, 02:37:28 PM »
Actually you prompted me to go on Wikipedia and look at te condiments and I had no idea mint sauce and horseradish sauce were mainly a traditional British accompaniment! Very traditional and very universal in ENGLAND with roasts. I thought it would be worldwide! See, you learn something new everyday!

I'm in Canada and I'm used to horseradish and mint sauce in those situations too, at least with my family -- funny how different/similar countries are.   :D

Tilt Fairy

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #62 on: May 29, 2012, 02:47:57 PM »
Actually you prompted me to go on Wikipedia and look at te condiments and I had no idea mint sauce and horseradish sauce were mainly a traditional British accompaniment! Very traditional and very universal in ENGLAND with roasts. I thought it would be worldwide! See, you learn something new everyday!

really?  the hubs and i have horseradish sauce often.  sometimes he even dips crackers in it!

That's a good thing! I want to hear about people eating horseradish as the norm! Mmmmmmmmm

Tilt Fairy

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #63 on: May 29, 2012, 02:51:59 PM »
....and sometimes canada as a country and Canadian people are so close to how England are about most things that sometimes I can close my eyes and I swear I could be in either county. The (almost) mutual same sense of humor also helps too ;)

TootsNYC

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #64 on: May 29, 2012, 03:04:52 PM »
Although, it was a potluck.  If it isn't there, it isn't there.  Sometimes that happens. 


And sometimes it accidentally gets left in the fridge.
Or pushed behind some platter/stack of napkins.
That's why I think it's perfectly fine to ask.
(the tone is pretty annoying, though)



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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #65 on: May 29, 2012, 03:13:57 PM »
Yes if I were hosting a cookout I would probably remember to pick up ketchup and sliced cheese for burgers and hotdogs, as I do see your point about many people liking those 2 things.  But I hardly think they are givens, and universally desired.  They are merely common, not default.

I think that ketchup & mustard are more than just common in the US for cookouts - Heinz even makes the Picnic Pac http://www.amazon.com/Heinz-3-Piece-Picnix-Pack/dp/B003XLOOCS, which also includes relish for your hot dog.  This is true for grilling events I've been to in MO, TX, GA, KS, CA & PA - not that it matters all that much ;)  I would also hope that if I forgot to put a condiment on the table - whether common or not - that my friends and family could ask me for it.  Why should I be mortified that I forgot one little item? 

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purplemuse

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #66 on: May 29, 2012, 05:19:29 PM »


1) should a host at least try to foresee a condiment would be wanted by the majority of guests? E.g roast beef and horseradish and attempt to provide it?

I think you should do your best with common pairings (e.g. baked potato/sour cream), but not beat yourself up over it if you miss. You never know what other people are used to, and you can't foresee everything (e.g. you're American and you invite a bunch of crazy Canucks who are used to ketchup on their mac and cheese).

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2) Should a guest ask for the condiment if the host has forgotten it? Is this rude?

I wouldn't, personally, unless I knew the host well and it was really, really important as part of a dish. Peg Bracken says it's okay to ask for "the basics," but she goes on to list things like cutlery, napkins, salt and pepper, water... no condiments on her list, but the other etiquette writers might say different.

On a specific note, I wouldn't ask for ketchup if the host didn't provide it-- it's obviously not an uncommon condiment, but I've heard that asking for ketchup can be seen as an insult, and I'd rather do without than insult the host (unless he/she is a good friend/family member and I know where they stand). But that's me.

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3) could a guest ask for an unusual condiment? Is this rude?

Unusual for the meal, or unusual in that a lot of people don't keep it in the house?

If the former, I'd say it's the same as question 2 with the caveat that if it's really unusual (e.g. strawberry jam for french fries), you should probably do without so that the meal isn't derailed with conversation about your eating habits.

If the latter, I wouldn't ask.

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4) how should the good host react to the above two requests?

If the host has it and wants to provide it (if you don't want to share the fancy "dijon ketchup" that you're saving for a special occasion, you shouldn't have to), he/she should bring it out. If not, "I'm sorry, we don't have any/don't keep it in the house" would be fine.


jpcher

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #67 on: May 29, 2012, 06:59:00 PM »
NutellaNut -- You are an amazing hostess. Your menus are well rounded and there is plenty of food that is sure to please everybody minus 1. ::)

OP here with an ironic update!

First, to those who say we shouldn't invite picky friend any more, I do hear what you're saying.  But she's a part of a close-knit group of friends, it would be very obvious and hurtful if she was no longer invited, and, except for this one thing, she's really a good person and I don't want to hurt her or her husband that way.  So we'll keep inviting them, and hopefully I'll be able to handle food issues well in the future.

I am glad that this is not a hill to die on for you.

I doubt that you'll ever be able to fully please picky eater. I'm thinking that she'll always find something amiss. You shouldn't take it personally, nor would should you bend over backwards in order to please her.

I'm wondering if you've ever eaten a meal out with this couple . . . how does she behave in a restaurant?


"No, sorry we're not serving cheese for the burgers."

Friend went back into the dining room to report this, and the evening proceeded well.

But I bet you all can guess who was asking for cheese for their burger?

Yup! ;D  Bold above is the best and most polite way to handle this situation. (Curious, did you know who was asking for the cheese? LOL, Betcha did, didn't you? ;))





P.S. When's your next party? . . . I promise I won't complain about a thing! I'll even help clean up! ;D

Winterlight

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #68 on: May 29, 2012, 09:00:05 PM »
But apparently, she worded her question as "Isn't there any cheese for the burgers?" with a tone.  So that's why I'm a little less than impressed.

A tone, especially by a repeat offender, makes all the difference to even the most innocent question so I understand your feeling more clearly now.

Seconded. I think I'd find it more irritating because of the history behind her requests.
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sparksals

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #69 on: May 29, 2012, 10:42:49 PM »
Actually you prompted me to go on Wikipedia and look at te condiments and I had no idea mint sauce and horseradish sauce were mainly a traditional British accompaniment! Very traditional and very universal in ENGLAND with roasts. I thought it would be worldwide! See, you learn something new everyday!


It is common in Canada.  We call it mint jelly.   HP Sauce is also a big thing, but the Canadian recipe is slightly different.

sparksals

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #70 on: May 29, 2012, 10:43:29 PM »
Actually you prompted me to go on Wikipedia and look at te condiments and I had no idea mint sauce and horseradish sauce were mainly a traditional British accompaniment! Very traditional and very universal in ENGLAND with roasts. I thought it would be worldwide! See, you learn something new everyday!

I'm in Canada and I'm used to horseradish and mint sauce in those situations too, at least with my family -- funny how different/similar countries are.   :D


Great minds think alike.

learningtofly

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #71 on: May 29, 2012, 11:14:49 PM »
I'm very glad you didn't tell her there was cheese in your fridge.  She sounds just picky enough to bypass the cheddar and go for the artisanal cheeses.  I can just imagine your beautiful artisanal cheeses going to waste on a burger.  Of course I say this as someone who when cleaning up from her own BBQ found her own beautiful cheeses tossed into my fridge to dry out.  So I'm a little biased  :D

Dorrie78

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #72 on: May 30, 2012, 11:09:40 AM »
But apparently, she worded her question as "Isn't there any cheese for the burgers?" with a tone.  So that's why I'm a little less than impressed.

A tone, especially by a repeat offender, makes all the difference to even the most innocent question so I understand your feeling more clearly now.
Unless I misread the update, I believe that the troublesome guest was not the one who directly asked the OP for the cheese - someone else passed along the message. In that case, I'm not sure the OP can be certain about what, if any, tone there had been in the original comment. I could just as easily see someone saying to herself "Shucks, isn't there any cheese?" in a rhetorical fashion and being overheard by someone who then bustled over to the host to ask about the possible oversight.

I agree with those who don't see anything wrong with asking if there is cheese for the burgers. While I don't like cheeseburgers myself, I find myself usually in the minority as everyone around me has cheese on theirs. With a table that is "groaning" with food, I can see that someone may think she missed the cheese somewhere as well.

NotTheNarcissist

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #73 on: May 30, 2012, 02:21:44 PM »
Part of my grumbliness may stem from the fact that it seems like it's *always* my husband and I who host parties in our crowd.  Even though the parties are mostly pot luck, we usually spend at least $50-70 on some main meat dishes and beer, plus have to clean house before and after. We do enjoy having the parties, but it doesn't feel good to work hard, spend a bunch of money, and then have someone imply it's not adequate.

Nutella, I so empathize with the bolded. We dish out hundreds of dollars per gathering, clean for a week ahead of time, yard is immaculate, I use vacation time to dot every 'i' & cross every 't', I use checklists to make sure I don't forget anything, post a menu over on a hostessing forum I use & get a green light on my menu, have every conceivable liquid refreshment short of opening a liquor store, and here comes my SIL behind my back calling DH to say she wants to change the menu to something else. Thankfully those days seem to be over because she is no longer invited over (she invites herslef but that is another story & i have a backbone now thanks to ehell) but I suffered for 5-6 yrs of her fault-finding. I have bent over backwards to accommodate guests, inc. my husband's ex-wife too drunk to drive home so she stayed the night. She was a more gracious guest in my home than my control freak SIL who finds fault with every kitchen move I make. She has also complained that i did not spend enough time socializing with her (that day, i spent approx. 15 minutes visiting with her, usually its more ....but that day was approx 25-30 guests).

My fuse is getting short with ungracious guests in my home. Sometimes I want to show them my grocery store receipt & point out they do not have to come since it's obviously such an inconvenience for them. For years DH & I tried to throw fun, relaxing get togethers/parties & we did throw many a party & hopefully people had a great time, but between cost & drama, we have almost stopped entirely. All that to say I agree with the bolded very much.

Bookgirl

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Re: Guest complaining about menu - ironic update #44
« Reply #74 on: June 01, 2012, 06:40:19 PM »
If the host has it and wants to provide it (if you don't want to share the fancy "dijon ketchup" that you're saving for a special occasion, you shouldn't have to), he/she should bring it out. If not, "I'm sorry, we don't have any/don't keep it in the house" would be fine.

Heh heh heh, dijon ketchup.  Another BNL fan, I take it?    ;D
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