Author Topic: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23  (Read 19322 times)

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jaxsue

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #45 on: September 22, 2012, 03:23:07 PM »
Honestly? Not really.  The menu sounds great, but not for Thanksgiving.  In my family it's not Thanksgiving if there is no stuffing,  mashed potatoes or pie (apple & pumpkin.)

Same for me.

kckgirl

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #46 on: September 22, 2012, 03:44:04 PM »
Menu:
Champagne roasted turkey (who, btw, is being lovingly cared for and fed organically by a friend of mine)
Rosemary roasted bite-sized potatoes
Roasted veggies (squash, carrots, pearl onions, asparagus, zucchini)
Kale, quinoa & apple salad
Cranberry jelly
Cornbread-stuffing muffins (I invented these recently and they. are. AMAZING.)
Pumpkin dump cake with cinnamon ice cream

I think the only thing that would really disappoint me is the salad, but I'd just skip it. We usually have a traditional tossed green salad (as someone else said above, for crunch). I would totally skip anything with cranberries, so that doesn't affect me at all. You might want another option available for dessert unless you're sure everybody who is coming likes pumpkin. I HATE HATE HATE it and would have to skip the cake, no matter how much I like cake.

I applaud you for rethinking allowing your FIL to bring his homemade bread. I also think you should mention the menu just so there aren't any surprises on a day when the meal is the star of the show.
Maryland

jpcher

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #47 on: September 22, 2012, 04:51:02 PM »
Wow. Hot topic!

OP -- I think your menu sounds awesome! I agree with your update on changing out the salad and letting FIL bring the bread.

But the rest of it? It sounds pretty traditional to me.

You have the turkey, potatoes, stuffing, gravy, veggies, salad, cranberry, and pumpkin desert. What's not traditional about that? The only thing that may be missing is sweet potatoes (but I, personally don't mind that omission ;).)


Just because the potatoes are "Rosemary roasted bite-sized potatoes" instead of mashed? I could understand if OP served something like Gnocchi or a different pasta dish instead of roasted potatoes . . . with the roasted, a person could always "mash" them with a fork, top with gravy and voila! Mashed potatoes.

"Cornbread-stuffing muffins" -- with the recipe OP provided, this is stuffing! Only served in a different/creative way.

Veggies? Instead of the stale and old bowl of corn (which I love!) or green bean casserole, OP is providing a yummy variety of veggies.


OP -- would you mind sharing the menus from your past TG dinners at both parents house?

Why, exactly, do you think your menu is non-traditional? Because you're serving real potatoes instead of potatoes from a box?



For the salad . . . I think just a simple garden salad is light, refreshing and unobtrusive to the meal. I don't think that you need to add extra flavors or make this a gourmet salad. What sort of salad is traditional for your families?

For the appetizers . . . since you mentioned apples for your ex-salad ;), why not serve some sliced fruit (apples, pears, melons, kiwi) with some crackers, cheese and a nut bowl.


I really don't think that you need to tell your guests that you're making changes to the traditional menu because you're not. You're just serving all the traditional foods in a different way. Nothing wrong with that.

sparksals

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #48 on: September 22, 2012, 05:13:14 PM »
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.  ;)

I understand that there are traditions, but not everyone has the same traditional meal and not everyone celebrates the holiday by everyone bringing a dish.  I grew up with fully hosted Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners.  We alternated our house/friend's house each year where it was fully hosted.  Friend would not think of bringing something to my mom's dinner and vice versa.  It just wasn't done.   When I do Thanksgiving (and I do mine in October for Canadian Thanksgiving which is a couple weeks away), I fully host.  Completely.  People ask if they can bring a dish, but I politely decline and they accept that.  They bring wine instead which is perfectly fine.

Someone upthread mentioned they would miss green beans at Thanksgiving.  I have never had them on TG or Christmas until a couple years ago when I found an amazing recipe for green bean bundles wrapped in bacon.   The casserole?? I don't think I have even tasted it.  It is just not on my radar for what I consider to be traditional Thanksgiving.  So, a hostess not including GBs may not have had it as part of her traditional meal either.

I do have to say, I agree with everyone about the quinioa salad... it doesn't really match the TG dinner.  Waldorf salad is a great salad for TG. 

sparksals

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #49 on: September 22, 2012, 05:18:33 PM »
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.

I don't think it is fair to say it is selfish.  The hostess is going to a lot of time, effort and expense to make a meal.  If she is going to omit onions b/c she doesn't like them, then she has that right.  Honestly, how many people will miss them?  It is such a minor ingredient that if someone begrudges a hostess for omitting onions, then they aren't a very gracious guest.   

One doesn't criticize a hostess for being vegetarian while inviting those who like meat over.   There is no difference between a lifestyle dietary choice and a personal dislike.  Most times, a person chooses to be veg'n b/c they don't like meat.  They aren't selfish for not serving it to guests.  It is accepted they won't.   


sparksals

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #50 on: September 22, 2012, 05:38:09 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.

Thank you, SW.  I appreciate that.  Your post did come across as a bit combative and accusatory.  There was no connection between being shocked and the history of divided topic that gets heated.   I didn't have that connection at all.  Wasn't even on my radar.  Could have been b/c I am jet lagged as I just flew overseas on Thursday and had a long delay making the trip much longer. 

Then, I remembered a similar topic from years ago that got quite heated.  It was nothing more than that.  No ulterior motives.   It is very common to mention in a thread if it has been discussed in the past or if it got heated.  I just mentioned both in passing with no connection between the two. 

I was not shocked people didn't agree with ME.  I was shocked people would be so disappointed in a menu that was not traditional when the hostess has obviously spent a lot of time and energy planning it.  I think about the time and research I spend in meal prep for Thanksgiving (Canadian is coming up) and it seems a bit ungracious to not think about it from the hostess' side too.   

If someone served me *Reindeer Jerky on Thanksgiving, I would be pleased thinking they used some imagination in the meal or be thankful for including me  in THEIR tradition.  I don't go to my friend's US Thanksgiving meal expecting what is traditionally at Canadian Thanksgiving.  I wouldn't criticize it and I wouldn't be disappointed.  I would chalk it up to a different tradition. 

Yes, I have been her a long time, dating back much longer than 2006 - that is when this board was created after a few problems with another provider.  I have been a member since nearly the beginning when the page was black with flames on either side.   

*Just had Reindeer Jerky for the first time ever in a Beer House in Helsinki, Finland yesterday.   

AustenFan

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #51 on: September 22, 2012, 05:59:09 PM »
I think the menu sounds delicious and am going to make champagne turkey this year. May I ask how much chicken stock you use? 

I think allowing (or preparing, sound like you love to cook) a couple "bridge" dishes is your best bet. I also like to shake up a traditional menu, and am proud to say that a salad I introduced with pistachios, apple slices and watercress and my roasted garlic mashed potatoes are now family favorites. Among my failures are stuffing with sausage and pear (blech) and cornbread stuffing. I messed up the cornbread and should have just made traditional stuffing when I realized it.

I also suggest picking up some cheap Tupperware containers you won't expect back and packing up some of the leftovers for your guests. That way you & hubby won't be stuck with mashed potatoes, traditional stuffing or bread you don't want.

rose red

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #52 on: September 22, 2012, 06:27:47 PM »
Your menu sounds good to me…IF I know it ahead of time.  I would be disappointed if I was not prepared and was expecting a traditional meal, but would look forward to it knowing the menu about a week or so.

Zilla

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #53 on: September 22, 2012, 07:52:04 PM »
....

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,

...

I understand that there are traditions, but not everyone has the same traditional meal and not everyone celebrates the holiday by everyone bringing a dish.  I grew up with fully hosted Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners.  We alternated our house/friend's house each year where it was fully hosted.  Friend would not think of bringing something to my mom's dinner and vice versa.  It just wasn't done.   When I do Thanksgiving (and I do mine in October for Canadian Thanksgiving which is a couple weeks away), I fully host.  Completely.  People ask if they can bring a dish, but I politely decline and they accept that.  They bring wine instead which is perfectly fine.
...


You mentioned that it might not be done in other households and explained that in yours it isn't.  But if it isn't done, then people wouldn't ask.   What Sleepykitty suggested was the same thing.  To ask that is.

katycoo

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #54 on: September 22, 2012, 08:10:01 PM »
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.

How is T-Day different to a dinner party on any other day? 
So many posters on this forum like to cater entire menus when they have a dinner party, and get shirty when people bring dishes which the host doesn't want.  I find it confusing that there is some exception to this rule for T-Day.

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. :)

Actually its a myth that all the alcohol is burned off during the cooking period.  Some is, but some remains. Just something to bear in mind when catering for people who choose not to imbibe at all.

sourwolf

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #55 on: September 22, 2012, 08:25:57 PM »


How is T-Day different to a dinner party on any other day? 
So many posters on this forum like to cater entire menus when they have a dinner party, and get shirty when people bring dishes which the host doesn't want.  I find it confusing that there is some exception to this rule for T-Day.


I think it's because for many families Thanksgiving is essentially a potluck.  Mom might make the turkey while Grandma brings the pies, Uncle Tony makes the sweet potatoes, Cousin Sue is in charge of drinks, etc.  If you are used to a potluck Thanksgiving you might assume that that is what everyone does.  Not to mention the fact that it cuts down on the "burden" of hosting.  (I don't think of it as a burden but I know many people aren't used to cooking a meal of that magnitude - ie multiple side dishes, multiple desserts etc)

Deetee

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #56 on: September 22, 2012, 09:23:14 PM »
I think the menu looks delicious but I also think it looks traditional. It has turkey and potatoes and cranberry sauce.

I think this totally depends on your family.

Iris

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #57 on: September 22, 2012, 09:31:22 PM »

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.

(quote trimmed considerably)


I haven't contributed as we don't celebrate Thanksgiving so didn't feel qualified, but I had to pop in to say; where I come from mashed potatoes in a box are evil! Evil I say!
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O'Dell

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #58 on: September 22, 2012, 10:55:32 PM »
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.

How is T-Day different to a dinner party on any other day? 
So many posters on this forum like to cater entire menus when they have a dinner party, and get shirty when people bring dishes which the host doesn't want.  I find it confusing that there is some exception to this rule for T-Day.


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. :)

Actually its a myth that all the alcohol is burned off during the cooking period.  Some is, but some remains. Just something to bear in mind when catering for people who choose not to imbibe at all.

The OP knows that at least one guest is expecting specific dishes because it's T-day. No one expects a specific or traditional dish at other dinner parties.

You're right that at the typical dinner party guests may be asked not to bring anything and it might not be served it they do. But at a typical dinner party the host doesn't deliberately keep the menu secret, so the guest can decide if there will be a problem for them and can decline if necessary.

Also, T-day and other holidays have added pressure for family members to attend a family dinner whether they like the food (and other aspects of the party) or not. IMO, I think that adds pressure and responsibility for the host/ess to serve a meal that is pleasing to others.

As I said I don't really care one way or the other about traditional foods on holidays. As long as it's tasty I'm happy! What doesn't sit right with me is to plan an entire menu based solely on what *I* like and want to cook and eat while knowing that some guests will be disappointed.

NyaChan said: 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?

Just copy/pasting the above, because, as usual, NyaChan said it better than I could.
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sparksals

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #59 on: September 22, 2012, 11:20:05 PM »
....

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,

...

I understand that there are traditions, but not everyone has the same traditional meal and not everyone celebrates the holiday by everyone bringing a dish.  I grew up with fully hosted Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners.  We alternated our house/friend's house each year where it was fully hosted.  Friend would not think of bringing something to my mom's dinner and vice versa.  It just wasn't done.   When I do Thanksgiving (and I do mine in October for Canadian Thanksgiving which is a couple weeks away), I fully host.  Completely.  People ask if they can bring a dish, but I politely decline and they accept that.  They bring wine instead which is perfectly fine.
...


You mentioned that it might not be done in other households and explained that in yours it isn't.  But if it isn't done, then people wouldn't ask.   What Sleepykitty suggested was the same thing.  To ask that is.

I was speaking about my mother and her friend who alternated hosting Xmas.    That is what I meant about not being done... in our circle.  Others, I'm sure it is.