Author Topic: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23  (Read 21926 times)

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NyaChan

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2012, 11:49:43 PM »
What is wrong with allowing them to bring something that makes Thanksgiving dinner complete for them?  Not sharing the menu sounds ...  I really tried to think of a better word since you came here for advice, since you are trying to do the right thing.  But, I think you are being a little sanctimonious about the menu.  The dinner won't be ruined if mashed potatoes shares the same table as your menu.  Or the homemade bread.  But, if your parents are morose, that could ruin dinner.  You are probably thinking that would be an over-reaction.  But, it is a holiday dinner laden with tradition, and it sounds like you are rejecting all the traditions.  The ones you grew up with.  This is family, not a dinner party on a random day.

I was trying to think of what sort of feeling was coming off the post and I have to say I agree with Sophia.  I mean to say, there was a sense in your post that your menu was somehow superior to typical Thanksgiving foods and certainly too good to have with pedestrian mashed potatoes nearby. 

sparksals

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2012, 11:53:13 PM »
Your menu sounds awesome and i would love to be a guest at your dinner.   I am quite shocked by the answers here and now that I think of it, this topic has come up in the past and been quite divided.  I believe you can serve whatever you want.  You and dh are allowed to start your.own traditions.   I dont think you should change a thing.   

greencat

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2012, 11:55:47 PM »
Why prevent your FIL from bringing the homemade bread, since you need a "munchie" to eat while you're finishing?  Just use the bread.  That way you don't have to upset him or cook anything else.

As most of our "standard" Thanksgiving food is the product of corporate cookbooks trying to get people to use "convenience foods" (the dreaded green bean and cream of mushroom soup and french fried onion casserole recipe, for example, although I personally enjoy the taste of that dish) rather than actual long-established tradition, your menu mostly sounds great and is made up of plenty of "traditional" foods.  Rosemary-roasted is a way I commonly prepare potatoes - that's not even fancy food for me.

The only thing I would suggest you reconsider is the salad - it's a lot more exotic than the rest of the meal, and I don't think the tastes and textures of it (just considering the quinoa and kale and apple, and not even going into what your choices are for dressing the salad) will go well with the rest of what you're serving.  Stick with fancy lettuces - maybe even endive, which I think would go particularly well with the other flavors.

sparksals

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2012, 11:56:25 PM »
Everyone's traditions are different.  I don't expect mashed at thanksgiving.  The OP and her husband don't have to.cook the meal their parents made.   They have the right to start their.own traditions.  If family does not appreciate their effort, then that is their problem. 

Brockwest

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2012, 11:58:47 PM »
I forgot what time you said to expect me to arrive for dinner?

MrsJWine

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2012, 12:07:16 AM »
You can start new traditions with eradicating several of the oldest, most expected ones.


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Utah

sourwolf

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2012, 12:12:17 AM »
Your menu sounds awesome and i would love to be a guest at your dinner.   I am quite shocked by the answers here and now that I think of it, this topic has come up in the past and been quite divided.  I believe you can serve whatever you want.  You and dh are allowed to start your.own traditions.   I dont think you should change a thing.   

I'm not sure how you are shocked if in your next sentence you say this topic has come up before and been divided? Why not just say what you think instead of saying you are shocked that others believe otherwise? If the OP didn't want opinions she wouldn't have asked for them. 

No one is saying you aren't allowed to start your own tradition but if you know that people will be disappointed not to have their favorites either give them the option of having the dinner they want somewhere else or compromise and add some mashed potatoes to the menu.

buvezdevin

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2012, 12:35:41 AM »
I think your menu sounds amazing, but you may want to tweak your agenda.

It sounds as though you will be hostin both sets of parents for *your* first formal TG.

While I understand keeping your menu to yourself for most hosted events (other than asking for special restrictions of guests, as deemed an appropriate request) - you are sailing into waters which may involve family traditions on either side, which are unique to the holiday - which I do not doubt you want to be pleasurably experienced and remembered by all.

I would, in this case, share your "draft" menu thoughts with appropriate family memnpbers in advance, possibly with your thought "Aunt Bessy always made such a nice dressing, I like a version I have developed with similar flavors" - but I would also add that as the meal and celebration of a holiday are meant for all, you will enjoy a chance to update some things to make them reflect you and DH, but don't want to omit some important family tradition if there is one of importance.

Doesn't mean you have to change your offerings, but if it won't be Thanksgiving to someone without Uncle Fred's fig preserve appetizer, let them offer to bring it.
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
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MrsCrazyPete

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2012, 06:17:35 AM »
OP here! I just wanted to kind of respond to some of the things that people said.

I didn't realize that people loved mashed potatoes so much! DH can take them or leave them, and I detest them. I don't want to make something i don't like. I figured replacing with another potato dish wouldn't be such a stretch.

As far as not serving stuffing as a side dish, I thought it would be a little much to serve that in addition to the muffins. Same goes for not serving the bread.

The only people we will be hosting is each set of our parents and my SIL. I think my mom will really like everything on the menu....she's just excited that she doesn't have to cook! My stepdad doesn't care much about food either way. My MIL grew up in Europe and only moved here when she was in her 20's so there's no traditions that she will associate with T-Day. Unfortunately her idea of great mashed potatoes is the kind that come in the box. That's what the eye roll was for; I'm sorry.

As far as not serving pie: in the past when I've made pumpkin pie, I don't like the way it turns out and after reading about so many other yummy pumpkin desserts, I wanted to try a new one.

I will let my FIL bring the bread, since that is his tradition and I do like it. I was just afraid that it would carb-heavy...but I guess it's supposed to be on T-Day! :) Also I will replace the salad with something else, I guess it is pretty exotic for our families. Any suggestions for a replacement? Both of our families serve very carb-heavy and starch-heavy foods for Thanksgiving and I want something a little lighter, especially since DH is doing P90X and wants to avoid most of that anyway.

For people that wanted recipes: the champagne turkey is EASY. Stuff cavity with chopped apples and celery. Make a rub of salt, pepper, rosemary and sage and cover the bird with that. Open champagne. Do a taste test and make sure the champagne is good  ;D Place turkey on rack in pan and pour the entire bottle over it, making sure to get some in the cavity. Do the same thing with a can of chicken broth. Tent the bird with foil and roast at 350* for however long your bird takes.
Stuffing muffins: prepare your stuffing however you like. I make mine with cubed bread, onion, celery, dried sage, dried thyme and a little crumbled sausage. Then I just used a box of Jiffy cornbread mix and prepared that according to instructions. In well greased muffin tins (or use papers) put a spoonful of the stuffing in, so it's about 1/3 full. Pour some cornbread mix over that so its about 2/3 full. Bake at 350* for 15-20 minutes.
Sell crazy somewhere else, we're all stocked up here.

Sophia

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2012, 08:18:04 AM »
Great update. 
Yes, T-Day is one meal that you don't have to worry providing balance or it being carb-heavy.  After all there is that traditional after T-day dinner nap in order to process the carbs. 

I think with the exclusion of the bread and boxed mashed potatoes, I (and maybe others) were reacting not to the exclusion of bread or mashed.  But to the exclusion of Side Dish That Must Be Included.  In our family it is a particular corn dish and the green beans.  My Mom and Dad would get grumpy if they were not included.

That said, you can start gently steering the tradition in another direction.  Since you seem to want to host thanksgiving, and presumably will want to do so for the near future, I would make sure everyone is happy.  I would tell everyone the menu.  Let the homemade bread come.  Maybe get some fancy butter to put out with it before the meal.  If someone fusses about the lack of XYZ, let them bring that too.  What will probably happen is that the boxed mashed potatoes will come, and then they will see you roasted potatoes and eat them instead.  BUT, they won't be grumpy about it.  Same with the pumpkin pie (which looks unappealing) and your pumpkin cake.  I think you will find that as time goes on, people won't be so keen to bring the dish that no one eats and tradition will have changed. 

My husband and I did something similar with the Green Bean Casserole.  I always detested it.  Then I discovered I liked Green Beans if they weren't overcooked or from a can, so we started to use frozen beans.  I found a recipe on Allrecipes that instead of canned soup uses a white sauce and sour cream and cheese in the sauce. 

jemma

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2012, 08:30:18 AM »
Add a potato dish and I actually think it is a pretty traditional thanksgiving dinner.  Everyone does a different style of stuffing, turkey, cranberry, and dessert so as long. You have all those things I think you are good. My mom always did single serving potato rouille yes for thanksgiving where she mashed potatoes, added herbs, cheese, and sautéed vegetables, and baked them in the oven.  You can have a variety of them and they hit the mashed potato idea while still tasting special.  I'm not sure why everyone thinks your menu is so untraditional other than the lack of potatos though.

O'Dell

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #26 on: September 22, 2012, 08:37:04 AM »
OP here! I just wanted to kind of respond to some of the things that people said.

I didn't realize that people loved mashed potatoes so much! DH can take them or leave them, and I detest them. I don't want to make something i don't like. I figured replacing with another potato dish wouldn't be such a stretch.

As far as not serving stuffing as a side dish, I thought it would be a little much to serve that in addition to the muffins. Same goes for not serving the bread.

The only people we will be hosting is each set of our parents and my SIL. I think my mom will really like everything on the menu....she's just excited that she doesn't have to cook! My stepdad doesn't care much about food either way. My MIL grew up in Europe and only moved here when she was in her 20's so there's no traditions that she will associate with T-Day. Unfortunately her idea of great mashed potatoes is the kind that come in the box. That's what the eye roll was for; I'm sorry.

As far as not serving pie: in the past when I've made pumpkin pie, I don't like the way it turns out and after reading about so many other yummy pumpkin desserts, I wanted to try a new one.

I will let my FIL bring the bread, since that is his tradition and I do like it. I was just afraid that it would carb-heavy...but I guess it's supposed to be on T-Day! :) Also I will replace the salad with something else, I guess it is pretty exotic for our families. Any suggestions for a replacement? Both of our families serve very carb-heavy and starch-heavy foods for Thanksgiving and I want something a little lighter, especially since DH is doing P90X and wants to avoid most of that anyway.


Personally I like traditional T-day foods, but I don't give a whit about having "traditional" foods on a certain day. I'm just not a traditional sort of person.

What bothers me about your menu plan is the sense I get from your OP and in the bolded above. It's seems like your main concern is what you like. Sure you're trying to see to it that some people also like the dishes, but you don't even want people to bring dishes for themselves that they like even though you think it's a concern. That attitude seems off to me.

Your plan may not be rude, but that doesn't mean that it's polite or gracious hosting either.

I'm not saying that you have to cater to your guests. But if you aren't going to serve traditional foods and you don't want people to bring anything and you're only cooking food that you will eat and that fits in with your husband's diet...well it just seems dictatorial to me. That puts me off even though your menu doesn't.

I think allowing the bread is a good idea.
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sparksals

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2012, 09:03:40 AM »
Your menu sounds awesome and i would love to be a guest at your dinner.   I am quite shocked by the answers here and now that I think of it, this topic has come up in the past and been quite divided.  I believe you can serve whatever you want.  You and dh are allowed to start your.own traditions.   I dont think you should change a thing.   

I'm not sure how you are shocked if in your next sentence you say this topic has come up before and been divided? Why not just say what you think instead of saying you are shocked that others believe otherwise? If the OP didn't want opinions she wouldn't have asked for them. 

No one is saying you aren't allowed to start your own tradition but if you know that people will be disappointed not to have their favorites either give them the option of having the dinner they want somewhere else or compromise and add some mashed potatoes to the menu.


Excuse me??  Why so confrontational? 


I am surprised so many people think the menu is not appropriate and then it popped into my mind that this topic has been discussed in the past and quite divided.    My thought IS I am surprised people think otherwise.  Etiquettely speaking, a host chooses the menu,, not the guests.   






 

sparksals

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2012, 09:08:25 AM »
OP here! I just wanted to kind of respond to some of the things that people said.

I didn't realize that people loved mashed potatoes so much! DH can take them or leave them, and I detest them. I don't want to make something i don't like. I figured replacing with another potato dish wouldn't be such a stretch.

As far as not serving stuffing as a side dish, I thought it would be a little much to serve that in addition to the muffins. Same goes for not serving the bread.

The only people we will be hosting is each set of our parents and my SIL. I think my mom will really like everything on the menu....she's just excited that she doesn't have to cook! My stepdad doesn't care much about food either way. My MIL grew up in Europe and only moved here when she was in her 20's so there's no traditions that she will associate with T-Day. Unfortunately her idea of great mashed potatoes is the kind that come in the box. That's what the eye roll was for; I'm sorry.

As far as not serving pie: in the past when I've made pumpkin pie, I don't like the way it turns out and after reading about so many other yummy pumpkin desserts, I wanted to try a new one.

I will let my FIL bring the bread, since that is his tradition and I do like it. I was just afraid that it would carb-heavy...but I guess it's supposed to be on T-Day! :) Also I will replace the salad with something else, I guess it is pretty exotic for our families. Any suggestions for a replacement? Both of our families serve very carb-heavy and starch-heavy foods for Thanksgiving and I want something a little lighter, especially since DH is doing P90X and wants to avoid most of that anyway.


Personally I like traditional T-day foods, but I don't give a whit about having "traditional" foods on a certain day. I'm just not a traditional sort of person.

What bothers me about your menu plan is the sense I get from your OP and in the bolded above. It's seems like your main concern is what you like. Sure you're trying to see to it that some people also like the dishes, but you don't even want people to bring dishes for themselves that they like even though you think it's a concern. That attitude seems off to me.

Your plan may not be rude, but that doesn't mean that it's polite or gracious hosting either.

I'm not saying that you have to cater to your guests. But if you aren't going to serve traditional foods and you don't want people to bring anything and you're only cooking food that you will eat and that fits in with your husband's diet...well it just seems dictatorial to me. That puts me off even though your menu doesn't.

I think allowing the bread is a good idea.


I don't see anything wrong with the OP choosing the menu based on things she likes or doesn't.  I don't like seafood.  I'm not going to make a huge holiday meal and include things I cannot eat.  If I am going to go to the huge effort of making a nice meal, it most certainly will include things I like and exclude things I don't.  If I am neither here nor there, fine, but something I detest, no, I will not make and I shouldn't have to.

Zilla

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #29 on: September 22, 2012, 09:17:56 AM »
I think that when you host people in general, the point is not to serve yourself but to serve your guests.  I believe that this is especially true at a holiday meal.  To purposefully ambush people with a menu you have been told they won't like is not gracious or hospitable.  Even if they don't say a word or are so blindsided that they don't think to bring the foods they would want to eat on Thanksgiving, are you really going to feel good knowing that people are sitting at your table disappointed about their meal?  I find myself wondering why you want to do this menu on this day?  If you want a chance to try out new dishes, why not have a dinner party on another day that isn't associated with a particular type of menu rather than hijacking this one?  I particularly think that you may want to be careful since this is the first time you are hosting and can set the tone for what sort of hospitality people expect from you.  Do you want to be known as the hostess who just made whatever SHE wanted without a thought for others' wants just because she could?


I agree.  OP, what's the harm in serving FIL's homemade bread alongside with what you are serving?  And adding one or two side dishes that is "traditional" to help your guests feel more homey.

After all, it's easier for them to both come to you instead of going to two dinners.  If you serve something delicious as your menu suggests AND some traditional favorites, they might be inclined to come back next year.