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Author Topic: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23  (Read 68807 times)

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #30 on: September 22, 2012, 08:29:28 AM »
The one time DH and I hosted TGiving dinner, we made the turkey and I made a sweet potato casserole a friend gave me the recipe for.  It was Tipsy Sweet Potatoes, made the way your typical sweet potato casserole is with the brown sugar, marshmallows, etc, but with some whiskey mixed in, and the alcohol is of course burnt off in the cooking.

MIL brought the sweet potatoes too but it gave everyone a choice as DH's grandma is a teetotaler so even though there was no more alcohol left in the casserole when it was done she didn't want it and had MIL's potatoes instead.

Everyone else had them and enjoyed them. :)
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata


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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #31 on: September 22, 2012, 08:35:05 AM »
If you allow the potatoes and bread, it sounds better.  Personally, I'd still miss sweet potatoes (or yams), the dressing, green beans and pumpkin pie.  But I'd never let my host know I was disappointed.  Hopefully your guests will be polite enough not to show *if* they are disappointed.  In the past when it has happened, I simply eat light, thank the hosts and compliment the meal, leave early and stop by the grocery and buy the "missing" traditional foods on the way home.

I agree that it would be a good idea to let your guests know that it won't be a traditional meal so they can have the option to gracefully back out.  I would hate to expect a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and then be disappointed without warning.  I might still go to a meal that wasn't traditional---especially if it is a light lunch where I could still leave in time to eat traditionally at home with my hubby.

If the non-traditional meal were given on the weekend after Thanksgiving (not actually on Thanksgiving Day) I think it would be great!


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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2012, 08:41:30 AM »
I would be fine with the menu if given warning. If people insist on bringing addons, make a rule that they have to take the leftovers home. I've been stuck with leftovers that I wouldn't/couldn't eat and didn't have the courage to throw them away until they became a science project. (The worst was the cranberry-apple pie my sister-in-law worked so hard on and only one slice was eaten among the 35 people here.)

Inviting someone over for Thanksgiving Dinner and changing the menu is almost (stress 'almost') like inviting someone over for BBQ and serving a roast beef dinner. Thanksgiving is so all about the food that it brings to mind the expectation of the traditional menu, not just any nice meal.

By the way, I do love the menu except I personally wouldn't eat the salad - I don't like fruit in other stuff and quinoa just adds to the carbs - healthful or not.


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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2012, 08:43:36 AM »
My 2 cents...

First of all, both the turkey and the muffins sound incredible, and I may have to have a fake Thanksgiving next weekend just as an excuse to make them. Also Tipsy Sweet Potatoes. Between checking the champagne and the whiskey for poison, though, I may need a cook's helper!

I don't think there's a divide in the comments here: Everyone agrees that the OP has the right to set her own menu (which sounds delicious, btw), the right to make new traditions, and should not have to expend the time, effort, and money into making dishes she doesn't enjoy.

What some of us, myself included, feel is that while OP also has the right to ask her guests not to bring any additional food, it's not particularly gracious nor inclusive on Thanksgiving to refuse to allow her guests to bring food to add to the menu. This isn't a dinner OP is hosting for friends, in which case I would be put off by a guest showing up with an addition to the menu. It's a holiday in which sharing dishes is common, where there are traditional foods that people look forward to, and it's a holiday whose entire point is about being thankful for what we have - it just seems a bit against the spirit of things to refuse to allow mashed potatoes and whatnot to be on the same table as what the OP made.

And from the OP's update it sounds like she's happy to bend a little to make sure her guests have a great dinner, so all seems well.  ;)


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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2012, 09:33:55 AM »
OP, as an aside since you seem to be ok with potatoes, have you looked at more creative mashed recipies?

There are garlic mashed potatoes, pesto mashed, probably rosemary mashed, from all sorts of potatoes and you can even mash them with the skin and still be serving 'mashed' potatoes.

I don't think I'd have a problem with your menu, but I'd also be planning on doing my own T-Day at home anyway, I love the leftovers  ;D

If I were expecting the 'traditional' layout, I'd probably be dissapointed, but I don't think I'd be so bummed that it would be obvious. I have to agree that if your DH is certain his parents will be looking for one or two particular dishes that it would be gracious to have that available.


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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2012, 09:46:11 AM »
As for replacement salads, try mixed spring greens, arugula, spinach, and endive for the greens - actually, you could include kale in that mix.  For toppings, stick with tomatoes and croutons.  With big meals like T-Day, the salad is kind of a palate cleanser rather than a main feature.  Go with a light dressing - maybe a balsamic vinaigrette.


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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2012, 10:26:11 AM »
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.

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.

That was my feeling as well.  I understand preferring not to cook with foods you don't like.  I don't cook with onions for that very reason.  I will put that aside on a holiday though, and either cook a dish twice, once with and once without or cook two different sides.  One for me and one for anyone who likes onion.  I think it's selfish to only be willing to cook foods that you will eat.  It's technically correct  but it's not very nice.


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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2012, 10:43:55 AM »
I think your menu sounds great.  I think a lot of the mashed potato comments were because you said in your post that your DH thought the guests would miss the potatos which would imply the families had a strong alliance to them.  But your update indicates few of your guests have favorite traditional tday foods, so I think your fine.

We never had any type of "white" potatoes at thanksgiving because sweet potatos were always served in some form.  And that is what I would miss from your menu, but probably not in your family. 

Instead of the quinoa, I'd do green beans almodine, roasted asparagus, or sautéed spinach.  I always like some type of cleaner tasting green vegetable with the Tday to cut some of the richer flavors. 


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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #38 on: September 22, 2012, 11:24:58 AM »
I think your menu sounds fine, but then we don't have any required foods in my family. The general attitude is, "as long as i don't have to cook, I don't care what is served."


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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #39 on: September 22, 2012, 12:17:05 PM »
Sparksals, I'm sorry my post it was perhaps not worded as well as it should have been. As you pointed out to me a few weeks ago, I am new here, while (according to your profile) you have been a member here since 2006. Based on that I assumed you wouldn't be shocked by people not agreeing with you/threads taking a different direction. The fact that you have been here so long made your post seem like a rebuke to everyone who disagreed with you. It's was especially strange because the OP doesn't seem the least bit shocked or offended by any of the responses she has received.  I apologize for the confusion.

In order to not further derail the thread. I hope we can agree to disagree on whether or not hosts should consider what their guests like to eat when planning a menu.  While I don't agree with you, I respect that it is, as they say "your house your rules" and of course you can host however you see fit.


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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #40 on: September 22, 2012, 12:25:10 PM »
It's been interesting reading the responses and I feel like I have enlarged my thinking. So thanks to everyone for their input (even though I am not the OP).

To me, Thanksgiving is probably the one day of the year where one meal is the focus of the day. So I can see that traditional foods take on an importance that they wouldn't necessarily have at other times. I think if the OP wants to start her own food traditions for the day that is fine but like many others here I would suggest adding them to the menu rather than substituting them for the traditional dishes. Sure, it will make more food even if the dishes are made smaller but aren't the leftovers a tradition in themselves? I can't see more being worse.

And now let me just say that while I had thoughts of maybe skipping making a T-Day meal this year this thread has now derailed that. Plans--and drooling--have commenced.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 12:31:12 PM by Amara »


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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #41 on: September 22, 2012, 01:02:18 PM »
This isn't just a "come for dinner"'s for a major family holiday, for heaven's sake.   Even if it were just a "come for dinner" invitation, most people wouldn't keep the menu a secret.  I'd definitely give the guests a basic outline of what's for dinner.   Why not let them bring (or the host make) a dish or two that is very traditional to the parents?  As I said, it's a major family holiday, to give thanks for the good things in our lives.  One's guests are presumably some of those good things, why not show them they're appreciated by including a dish or two they might be looking forward to?


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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #42 on: September 22, 2012, 01:46:22 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.   

I totally agree. The other side of the parents being morose and not being happy about 'their' foods being served, would be the hosts deciding that they can't be bothered with guests who wish to dicate the menu . I wouldn't be happy with guests throwing a strop because they weren't allowed to have certain foods: frankly, I would consider that childish.


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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #43 on: September 22, 2012, 01:48:37 PM »
I admit that I was a bit sad when my mom didn't make her wonderful peppermint cake for Christmas dinner last year - but, then again, Christmas has relocated from my parents' home to my mother's ex-mother-in-law's home, and MXMIL is diabetic and holiday meals are carb-heavy enough without cake.


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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #44 on: September 22, 2012, 02:04:11 PM »
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.

Presuming that your MIL had your husband after she arrived here and that you are at least 20 years old that is 20 years of T-Day meals - long enough that she could have developed a tradition that she associates with T-day.

Mine is stuffing - my mom makes an awesome stuffing that is to die for - if that was the only thing served I would be happy! Your menu sounds good (I might pass on the recipe for the Turkey) but I would be disappointed a bit about not having the stuffing. I wouldn't show it - I probably wouldn't say anything about it even afterwards to my spouse. But if next year I get two invitations I would probably not take yours again.

It's a moot point for me - it is always just my mom and me (other siblings are too far to travel, dad has gone deer hunting that week for ages (hasn't caught a deer in ages either) and I am getting divorced) so I know we will have our favorites there. The stuffing and the turkey are the only staples - everything else is what we feel like although I usually vote for corn.