Author Topic: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23  (Read 21090 times)

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kareng57

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #90 on: September 23, 2012, 09:17:57 PM »
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.


It doesn't matter at all whether or not it's traditional enough for "some people here".  The concern was whether or not it would fit in with OP's families' expectations.

Sharnita

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #91 on: September 23, 2012, 10:58:33 PM »
I think "some people here" are trying to explain their reaction to changes in traditions so that OP might see how family members could possibly react to changes she proposes.  (I think changes in preparation do qualify as significant changes.  You can grind up beef in a burger or serve it in a nice medium rare steak and tell me that it is the same thing except for preparation and I'll tell you to eat the burger)

Iris

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #92 on: September 23, 2012, 11:53:22 PM »
As I mentioned earlier I have no connection to Thanksgiving at all, so no emotional connection to the foods as such. However, from the OP;

"DH is concerned that our menu isn't traditional enough, and that our parents won't like it. I'm of the opinion that it's our house, our grocery bill, and therefore our menu."

This doesn't sound very hospitable to me. The OP's DH is also hosting this and is concerned that the guests won't enjoy the food. If I had DH's parents over and he expressed doubts that they would enjoy the menu I think it would be churlish to come back with "Tough. We're paying so they'll eat what they're given." I would be absolutely within my rights to say that but I would feel that it was disrespectful to both DH as my co-host and an unwelcoming attitude to guests in my house.

It would indeed be very rude indeed for people to complain about the menu and mean spirited to not come back based on a non-traditional menu. But that particular part of the OP just doesn't sit right with me.
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sourwolf

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #93 on: September 24, 2012, 12:01:38 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.

I disagree entirely. While there is not a national "traditional meal" I would dare say the majority if families do indeed serve the same Thanksgiving dinner year to year with little variation.  This is what people are referring to when they are talking about a "traditional" Thanksgiving - the meal they are accustomed to having each year.  In my experience dishes may be added to this meal but rarely are they subtracted once they have become part of the tradition.

NyaChan

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #94 on: September 24, 2012, 12:10:26 AM »
As I mentioned earlier I have no connection to Thanksgiving at all, so no emotional connection to the foods as such. However, from the OP;

"DH is concerned that our menu isn't traditional enough, and that our parents won't like it. I'm of the opinion that it's our house, our grocery bill, and therefore our menu."

This doesn't sound very hospitable to me. The OP's DH is also hosting this and is concerned that the guests won't enjoy the food. If I had DH's parents over and he expressed doubts that they would enjoy the menu I think it would be churlish to come back with "Tough. We're paying so they'll eat what they're given." I would be absolutely within my rights to say that but I would feel that it was disrespectful to both DH as my co-host and an unwelcoming attitude to guests in my house.

It would indeed be very rude indeed for people to complain about the menu and mean spirited to not come back based on a non-traditional menu. But that particular part of the OP just doesn't sit right with me.

This is what gave me a negative reaction as well - it isn't the menu itself, as who knows, maybe the parents could sit down at that table and be really excited (I would be even though I'd miss some dishes I'm used too & really I don't think it is all that untraditional).  But the attitude of my money, my house, my preferences trumping the enjoyment of the guests is not what I consider to be hospitable. 

I think I feel strongly about it, because there is such an emphasis in my culture (and others I am sure) to treat the comfort of your guests as the most important thing.  Having people over is considered an honor for us and we were always taught to do whatever you could to properly see to a guest's comfort and enjoyment of the food even if it meant that you as a host had to go without.  Granted that goes both ways though as it is expected that guests will be gracious in return :)  So yeah, you can serve anything you like, and they absolutely shouldn't say anything.  But personally, I would give people a heads up if I were in this position and change things  on the list if I got the sense that they weren't looking forward to the different menu.

kareng57

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #95 on: September 24, 2012, 12:24:47 AM »
I think "some people here" are trying to explain their reaction to changes in traditions so that OP might see how family members could possibly react to changes she proposes.  (I think changes in preparation do qualify as significant changes.  You can grind up beef in a burger or serve it in a nice medium rare steak and tell me that it is the same thing except for preparation and I'll tell you to eat the burger)


Yes, and I agree with that, completely.  My point was that it really doesn't matter whether or not people here would like the menu.  OP's partner was concerned that the guests might not find it traditional enough - and that's what matters.

I realise that some folks here would never prepare a dish that they didn't like, simply to satisfy guests.  Of course that's their decision, but it does happen.  I used to prepare a jellied-salad dish for Thanksgiving that many guests liked (actually, I'd have gagged if I had to eat it - and the guests who liked it have since departed...).  My sister still prepares a baked sweet-potato-and-marshmallow bake for either Thanksgiving or Christmas because the ILs like it.  Same thing.  Naturally it's not rude to refuse to prepare a dish that you (general) don't like, but sometimes you just do it because you know others will enjoy it.

Sharnita

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #96 on: September 24, 2012, 12:28:39 AM »
I think "some people here" are trying to explain their reaction to changes in traditions so that OP might see how family members could possibly react to changes she proposes.  (I think changes in preparation do qualify as significant changes.  You can grind up beef in a burger or serve it in a nice medium rare steak and tell me that it is the same thing except for preparation and I'll tell you to eat the burger)


Yes, and I agree with that, completely.  My point was that it really doesn't matter whether or not people here would like the menu.  OP's partner was concerned that the guests might not find it traditional enough - and that's what matters.

I realise that some folks here would never prepare a dish that they didn't like, simply to satisfy guests.  Of course that's their decision, but it does happen.  I used to prepare a jellied-salad dish for Thanksgiving that many guests liked (actually, I'd have gagged if I had to eat it - and the guests who liked it have since departed...).  My sister still prepares a baked sweet-potato-and-marshmallow bake for either Thanksgiving or Christmas because the ILs like it.  Same thing.  Naturally it's not rude to refuse to prepare a dish that you (general) don't like, but sometimes you just do it because you know others will enjoy it.

I agree - now if they insisted you eat it then their expectations would beyond the pale. 

snowdragon

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #97 on: September 24, 2012, 02:02:01 AM »
I think it sounds great, but I could not eat some of it with out knowing what's in it and if I could not eat it, what do I do then? Not eat on Thanksgiving? I would like advance notice and the option to bring things I could eat to supplement what I can't. Sorry to be a party pooper.
   

AustenFan

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #98 on: September 24, 2012, 02:25:00 AM »
I think it sounds great, but I could not eat some of it with out knowing what's in it and if I could not eat it, what do I do then? Not eat on Thanksgiving? I would like advance notice and the option to bring things I could eat to supplement what I can't. Sorry to be a party pooper. 

What would you do at a normal dinner party? In your case I don't think this is a problem limited to Thanksgiving.

AstiTheWestie

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #99 on: September 24, 2012, 08:18:02 AM »
"I think it can be about memories and connections to people who are there as well as people who aren't.  Food  can be a big element of that, particularly when there are familiar/traditional foods.  There are certain foods, made certain ways that will always remind me of people I love - some who I plan to share this Thanksgiving with, some who will not share another Thanksgiving with me.  If I eat those familiar foods it brings the memories back and in some ways the people.  If I celebrated the holiday and was surprised by not having the foods or traditions I could survive but it might feel like more than the food was missing."

Excellent point. Food is very powerful that way!

Hmmmmm

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #100 on: September 24, 2012, 08:41:14 AM »
As I mentioned earlier I have no connection to Thanksgiving at all, so no emotional connection to the foods as such. However, from the OP;

"DH is concerned that our menu isn't traditional enough, and that our parents won't like it. I'm of the opinion that it's our house, our grocery bill, and therefore our menu."

This doesn't sound very hospitable to me. The OP's DH is also hosting this and is concerned that the guests won't enjoy the food. If I had DH's parents over and he expressed doubts that they would enjoy the menu I think it would be churlish to come back with "Tough. We're paying so they'll eat what they're given." I would be absolutely within my rights to say that but I would feel that it was disrespectful to both DH as my co-host and an unwelcoming attitude to guests in my house.

It would indeed be very rude indeed for people to complain about the menu and mean spirited to not come back based on a non-traditional menu. But that particular part of the OP just doesn't sit right with me.

Thank you Iris.  You stated my exact feelings about the original post.  While I think the menu covers the flavors of a traditional thanksgiving and most guests would be happy with it, it was the dismissal of her DH's concerns that sounded ungracious to me. 

snowdragon

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #101 on: September 24, 2012, 02:10:06 PM »
I think it sounds great, but I could not eat some of it with out knowing what's in it and if I could not eat it, what do I do then? Not eat on Thanksgiving? I would like advance notice and the option to bring things I could eat to supplement what I can't. Sorry to be a party pooper. 

What would you do at a normal dinner party? In your case I don't think this is a problem limited to Thanksgiving.

  I don't normally eat at places where they won't tell me if the foods will set off an allergy or two.  Holidays are really different than normal days in that they are usually with family who should understand allergies. And they are more tricky to decline than normal dinner parties.
That whole "it's a holiday and its family" adds a whole other dimension to the mess. But, if I don't find out what's in stuff before hand or be allowed to bring my own - I would not go, no matter what day it is. I'd rather spend a holiday alone than spend it in the hospital or worse. 

Roe

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #102 on: September 24, 2012, 03:13:27 PM »
As I mentioned earlier I have no connection to Thanksgiving at all, so no emotional connection to the foods as such. However, from the OP;

"DH is concerned that our menu isn't traditional enough, and that our parents won't like it. I'm of the opinion that it's our house, our grocery bill, and therefore our menu."

This doesn't sound very hospitable to me. The OP's DH is also hosting this and is concerned that the guests won't enjoy the food. If I had DH's parents over and he expressed doubts that they would enjoy the menu I think it would be churlish to come back with "Tough. We're paying so they'll eat what they're given." I would be absolutely within my rights to say that but I would feel that it was disrespectful to both DH as my co-host and an unwelcoming attitude to guests in my house.

It would indeed be very rude indeed for people to complain about the menu and mean spirited to not come back based on a non-traditional menu. But that particular part of the OP just doesn't sit right with me.


Pod, pod, pod!  I've been reading the thread and couldn't really explain why I felt negatively about what the OP wrote.  It wasn't the lack of traditional food on the menu.  But then Iris stated it perfectly!  And I do think that's what others might be reacting to as well. 

Fleur

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #103 on: September 24, 2012, 05:31:09 PM »
The OP could have a very nice meal, everyone eats and seems to enjoy themselves but any time after that that she tries to host a holiday she is turned down because they decided that her way of doing things just don't suit them.

To be honest, if, after eating my dinner, my parents and in-laws decided not to come to my house for a holiday meal again, that would be ok with me. If having the traditional foods is THAT important to them, I wouldn't want to go to the trouble of cooking for them again anyway. I don't mean to sound snarky about it, but if my guests gave me the choice between dictating my menu or doing it themselves, then I'd rather they do it themselves. That being said, my parents and in-laws are all very gracious and I don't think any of them would do that.

That would be my feeling as well. I also POD SamiHami and Vall.

Giggity

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Re: Rude to change Thanksgiving menu? Add'l info #23
« Reply #104 on: September 24, 2012, 05:40:19 PM »
I just can't get my mind around the concept of being outright disappointed in good food. But then, I don't think turkey and gravy and stuffing are just for Thanksgiving.
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