Author Topic: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23  (Read 19386 times)

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sparksals

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #60 on: September 22, 2012, 11:22:21 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.


I don't understand that either.
ETA:  I don't know why the bold won't change.  Didn't mean for my response to be bolded.   Can't change it back.   This happens occasionally and always wonder why.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 11:26:20 PM by sparksals »

sparksals

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #61 on: September 22, 2012, 11:29:45 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)

People need to learn and not assume everyone does the same thing.   I don't do potluck Christmas or Thanksgiving at my house.  However, I will ask to bring something to another's home, but accept whatever answer they give.  Essentially, I follow the hostess' lead. 

sourwolf

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #62 on: September 22, 2012, 11:35:25 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)

People need to learn and not assume everyone does the same thing.   I don't do potluck Christmas or Thanksgiving at my house.  However, I will ask to bring something to another's home, but accept whatever answer they give.  Essentially, I follow the hostess' lead.

Well no, they can assume whatever they want. It's not the assumption that's rude (because really if you've always done something one way it's natural to assume that's how everyone else does it too) it's what comes after that that is important. How else are they supposed to learn? (besides asking Ehell of course!)

kareng57

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #63 on: September 22, 2012, 11:48:12 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)


That's generally how it was done in both my and late Dh's families.  Usually, the "host" (not really when it's potluck, but the cook at the location) did the turkey and pie, and everyone else divided up the potatoes, vegetables, side-dishes, rolls etc.

I agree with the perception of some PPs that the OP knows that the guests are expecting a "traditional" Thanksgiving dinner, and seems to want to go to lengths to provide something quite different - and I too would wonder why.  Naturally they're within their rights to serve anything that they want to, and only the most boorish guest would complain.  Overall though - if you (general) know that your guests would be expecting certain food items - and you have other recipes that you're eager to serve - why not save those for another dinner party, especially if you enjoy entertaining so much?

greencat

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #64 on: September 23, 2012, 12:04:27 AM »
Why bring the menu up in a confrontational way?

Just say:
"We're having turkey, potatoes, muffins, salad, cranberry sauce, and veggies, and a pumpkin cake for dessert - and of course, we'd love it if FIL will bring his homemade bread, but we've got everything else taken care of!"

That way, you've got the menu described, you've established what addition is welcome (bread) and what are not (everything else) and you don't have to have a big fuss over it.

It's a lot better to treat things you think might produce a negative reaction like they're completely normal than to present them defensively.

It isn't even accurate to say that you're not making the traditional dishes, because you are - I've seen many variations on turkey preparation (deep fried, cajun-flavored deep fried, smoked, roasted, etc.) a dozen variations on potatoes (one extended family T-day potluck produced EIGHT different potato dishes that I saw!), numerous ways to make stuffing, all sorts of vegetables made all sorts of ways, all kinds of bread, and many assorted cakes and pies.  Ham frequently shows up on my family's Thanksgiving table as well.  Some years, my mother decides that she's bored with turkey and ham and gets a goose.  There isn't just one tradition - there are many.

kareng57

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #65 on: September 23, 2012, 12:15:54 AM »
Why bring the menu up in a confrontational way?

Just say:
"We're having turkey, potatoes, muffins, salad, cranberry sauce, and veggies, and a pumpkin cake for dessert - and of course, we'd love it if FIL will bring his homemade bread, but we've got everything else taken care of!"

That way, you've got the menu described, you've established what addition is welcome (bread) and what are not (everything else) and you don't have to have a big fuss over it.

It's a lot better to treat things you think might produce a negative reaction like they're completely normal than to present them defensively.

It isn't even accurate to say that you're not making the traditional dishes, because you are - I've seen many variations on turkey preparation (deep fried, cajun-flavored deep fried, smoked, roasted, etc.) a dozen variations on potatoes (one extended family T-day potluck produced EIGHT different potato dishes that I saw!), numerous ways to make stuffing, all sorts of vegetables made all sorts of ways, all kinds of bread, and many assorted cakes and pies.  Ham frequently shows up on my family's Thanksgiving table as well.  Some years, my mother decides that she's bored with turkey and ham and gets a goose.  There isn't just one tradition - there are many.


What you say is true, of course.  However, the impression that I (and some others, I think) get from the OP is that all the guests are expecting pretty much the same traditional items - ordinary roast turkey (which I love personally), bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, green vegetables, and pumpkin or apple pie.  There truly are families who have been eating pretty much the same Thanksgiving or Christmas menu for decades with little variation, and everyone really does love it.  Of course that doesn't mean that no one can ever do anything new, but sometimes small changes can be best, at least in the beginning.

blarg314

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #66 on: September 23, 2012, 03:56:10 AM »
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.

I think that's where I'd fit.  I'd be too polite to *say* anything, but for me, a turkey is an vessel for producing stuffy, gravy for the mashed potatoes (and later home-made turkey stock).  The pumpkin cake or way of roasting the turkey wouldn't bother me, and the salad sounds wonderful.  The muffins would seem odd to me, because I don't associate muffins with dinner - for me they're a breakfast food or snack.

On the other hand, I've heard people describe 'traditional Thanksgiving dinners their family won't do without' that made me want to gag. Boxed stuffing, gravy from a mix, that noxious green-bean casserole, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, cranberry jelly from a jar.

If I were going to a Thanksgiving dinner that I knew wouldn't be what I would consider a Thanksgiving dinner, I might want enough warning so I could by a turkey quarter or breast to make my own meal later.

A more middle ground might be to provide at least one of traditional stuffing or potatoes (to pour gravy on), and adding a new favourite side dish, like the salad and/or the  muffins.

Seraphine1

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #67 on: September 23, 2012, 05:58:07 AM »
I am curious... what is a pumpkin dump cake?

I've never heard of that before.

marcel

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #68 on: September 23, 2012, 06:05:20 AM »
What always surprises me about thanksgiving is that Americans are fixed in some kind of rut, where not just the menu is "traditional" but the entire preparation method is "traditional"

Traditionally, the focus off a thanksgiving meal is having a sumptuous, homecooked dinner, focused on the seasonal foods. The focus on very specific dishes and preparation methods, as you can see nowadays is not traditional, it is modern.

The OP is making a complete traditional thanksgiving menu, yet some people are saying that it is not "traditional", because her preparation methods are not "traditional".
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MariaE

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #69 on: September 23, 2012, 07:26:19 AM »
What always surprises me about thanksgiving is that Americans are fixed in some kind of rut, where not just the menu is "traditional" but the entire preparation method is "traditional"

I think all countries have meals like that. Go into practically any house in Denmark for dinner on Christmas Eve and you'll see pretty much the same main and the same sides, prepared in pretty much the same way. 
 
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iridaceae

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #70 on: September 23, 2012, 07:56:03 AM »
What always surprises me about thanksgiving is that Americans are fixed in some kind of rut, where not just the menu is "traditional" but the entire preparation method is "traditional"

Traditionally, the focus off a thanksgiving meal is having a sumptuous, homecooked dinner, focused on the seasonal foods. The focus on very specific dishes and preparation methods, as you can see nowadays is not traditional, it is modern.

The OP is making a complete traditional thanksgiving menu, yet some people are saying that it is not "traditional", because her preparation methods are not "traditional".
There are some things that people tend to expect on specific occasions. Christmas trees at Christmas. Turkey at Thanksgiving. Candy on Halloween.  Does it matter if the tradition is 50 years old instead of 200 or 1000? Some people also have set ideas of what to eat on specific occasions-just ask any bride or groom who got grief for not having a wedding cake but chose pie or cookies or what have you.



marcel

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #71 on: September 23, 2012, 08:42:21 AM »
What always surprises me about thanksgiving is that Americans are fixed in some kind of rut, where not just the menu is "traditional" but the entire preparation method is "traditional"

Traditionally, the focus off a thanksgiving meal is having a sumptuous, homecooked dinner, focused on the seasonal foods. The focus on very specific dishes and preparation methods, as you can see nowadays is not traditional, it is modern.

The OP is making a complete traditional thanksgiving menu, yet some people are saying that it is not "traditional", because her preparation methods are not "traditional".
There are some things that people tend to expect on specific occasions. Christmas trees at Christmas. Turkey at Thanksgiving. Candy on Halloween.  Does it matter if the tradition is 50 years old instead of 200 or 1000? Some people also have set ideas of what to eat on specific occasions-just ask any bride or groom who got grief for not having a wedding cake but chose pie or cookies or what have you.
No, but the thing is that the OP is making a traditional thanksgiving meal, the only thing is that her preparation methods are not traditional enough for some people here.

THe traditional thanksgiving meal does not really exist. It has been changing over the years anyway, the only thing tht exists is the currently most popular thanksgiving meal, and it is people who do things a little bit different, like the OP, who create these continuously happening changes, in so-called traditional meals.
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Sharnita

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu?
« Reply #72 on: September 23, 2012, 09:02:52 AM »


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)

People need to learn and not assume everyone does the same thing.   I don't do potluck Christmas or Thanksgiving at my house.  However, I will ask to bring something to another's home, but accept whatever answer they give.  Essentially, I follow the hostess' lead.

I agree with this but I think that when somebody in the family says they want to host the family Thanksgiving dinner then it is reasonable to expect that things will be done "the same way" to at least some extent.  If a friend invites me to Thanksgiving dinner I am not going to have the same expectations I would have of a sister or brother or even an in-law.

Sophia

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #73 on: September 23, 2012, 10:09:16 AM »
What always surprises me about thanksgiving is that Americans are fixed in some kind of rut, where not just the menu is "traditional" but the entire preparation method is "traditional"

Traditionally, the focus off a thanksgiving meal is having a sumptuous, homecooked dinner, focused on the seasonal foods. The focus on very specific dishes and preparation methods, as you can see nowadays is not traditional, it is modern.

The OP is making a complete traditional thanksgiving menu, yet some people are saying that it is not "traditional", because her preparation methods are not "traditional".

Well, lots of traditions are fairly recent.  Take wedding traditions for example.  Thanksgiving dinner has been around as long as or longer than wedding dresses being white, attendants all wearing the same dress and engagement rings being diamonds.  Plus, as Americans our history doesn't go as far back so "distant history" isn't so far back. 

But, I really think it isn't so much a matter of certain preparation methods being "traditional".  It is a matter of each family having it's own iron-clad version of the tradition.  The dinner will vary from the neighbors BUT it does not vary much year to year. 

I remember when I was 8 we moved away from family.  T-day is a day to spend with extended family.  At work, Dad knew two other family who had also moved away from their families, and the three families got together.  We had Turkey and every family brought the side dish that the dinner must have.  In our family it is a corn casserole.  Another family had noodles in a cheesy white sauce.  Neither of which is on most people's traditional meal. 

If I were invited and attended a T-day dinner outside my family, I wouldn't expect many particular dishes and certainly wouldn't expect a particular preparation method.  But, at my parents house I would be scandalized if someone added an egg to the corn casserole. 

For the OP, she has some wiggle room from what their parents did, since the dinner is moving to her house.  But, it is a dinner for immediate family, which is why I suggested drifting the tradition to what she wants, rather than abruptly.

siamesecat2965

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #74 on: September 23, 2012, 03:07:35 PM »
I think it sounds delicious, and would like to know what I can bring, and what time I should be there!!!  that being said, I am very non-traditional, and the only thing I might think if I were invited to someone's house, but wouldn't say out loud, is that I would have loved some mashed potatoes.  But they're easy enough to make so I can make them at home!

Funny story: growing up, and into my 30's, my parents and i SPENT Thanksgtiving with friends, at their house.  We usually didn't have mashed potatoes, which I was ok wiht, but one year, lo and behold, they were on the menu!!  I was so excited, as I love them.  we sit down, and there's this dish with white "stuff" in it.  Turns out the mashed pot. were instant, which I can deal with, but mixed with cheese and baked like a casserole!  which rendered them almost inedible, and like paste.