Author Topic: When dinner is significantly delayed...  (Read 24607 times)

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mindicherry

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #180 on: November 13, 2012, 02:43:21 AM »
I had the mortifying experience of serving dinner about 2 hours late once when we had friends over.  I was trying out a new recipe (always a mistake when having company over I discovered the hard way!) and it looked a lot easier and faster in the book then it actually ended up being.

But I apologized all over the place about it.  I accepted their help in trying to get the thrice accused sweet potato pancakes and tamarind soup done at a more reasonable hour.  I tried to socialize with them as best I could while stuff was cooking, and so did my husband.

My point in all this is that yeah cooking disasters happen.  But a good host does not handle them like this woman does.  A good host handles them with as much grace as they can, and tries to make the best of it.

That's what makes me think it could have been passive aggressive.
As someone who has had to scrap an entire meat entree and substitute it with another about 20 minutes before my guests were to walk in the door, I feel your pain! :)

The important thing is communication...and a good sense of humor (and a full "junk drawer" of take-out menus for places that will deliver!)

Hmmmmm

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #181 on: November 13, 2012, 02:11:32 PM »
But that's a completely different situation and I don't see how it applies here.

I mention it because I think it is one of those situations where there is a lot of blurring between having a genuine beef like the OP did ( with respect to having discussed it in advance ) to becoming rigid, inflexible and demanding.  I am not accusing the OP of that....I just think that many parents can become a little too "mama-bearish" when it comes to accomodating their children.

It's a fine line that the OP didn't cross....but others do which is why I do think it applies here.  Just something to consider.

IMO, it doesn't really apply at all.  Other than OPs valid reason to have to leave by a certain amount of time, going anyplace else and whomever else was the host when this scenario happened would be considered rude.  Going to a restaurant with ample enough time to order, eat and leave by 8 PM yet not being served until hours later after your arrival time would be insanely rude no matter which way you slice it. 

So, I don't see how your bolded could actually apply in any similar scenario in the OP.  To make it apply, it wouldn't be a similar scenario.  What the OPs hosts did is rude no matter if there were kids involved or not, the kids are a red herring here.  Put in any reason the OP had to leave by 8PM, anyway you slice it, her host was rude.

I get that what I have been saying is not in direct relation to the OP's situation and I have agreed all along that the OP was badly treated.  I don't, however, think in the course of general discussion that stating that there has to be some flexibility on the part of the guests is totally irrelevant.  I am sorry if it has gotten too off-topic - maybe I should have started a new thread.

I agree that the issue of why the OP had to leave is not relevant.  Let's take this out of context from even having a meal. 

Let's say a friend invites you over for an evening of scrapbooking at 7.  You say sorry, I can't as I have to be home by 8.  She says, oh that's ok, let's start at 6.  You arrive at 6 with your scrapbooking stuff.  She then spends the next 2 hours upstairs pulling all her stuff together and leaves you downstairs visiting with her child.  At 8, you call up and say, sorry, I've got to go as discussed.  I think we'd all agree that the hostess has been rude and the guest was well within her right to leave. 

To me what the hostess did to the OP was the same as this scenario. 

Rohanna

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #182 on: November 13, 2012, 10:01:06 PM »
Honestly, re-reading it, it sounds like someone was enjoying some "puttering" time without having their child underfoot.
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MommyPenguin

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #183 on: November 14, 2012, 12:00:47 AM »
You know what I wonder?  What *was* Annie doing in the kitchen for 2.5 hours?  Supposing she was being PA, that still meant that she had to spent 2.5 hours in the kitchen, and probably on her feet at least *pretending* to cook, because if she'd sat down to read a book and one of the guests walked in... so my guess is that she was cooking *something*.  What in the world was she doing that she managed to draw it out that long without going insane?  Cooking dinners for the week?  It's just mystifying.

MrsJWine

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #184 on: November 14, 2012, 12:31:59 AM »
You know what I wonder?  What *was* Annie doing in the kitchen for 2.5 hours?  Supposing she was being PA, that still meant that she had to spent 2.5 hours in the kitchen, and probably on her feet at least *pretending* to cook, because if she'd sat down to read a book and one of the guests walked in... so my guess is that she was cooking *something*.  What in the world was she doing that she managed to draw it out that long without going insane?  Cooking dinners for the week?  It's just mystifying.

Hah! No kidding. At that speed, she must have been chopping vegetables with the blade of her hand.


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sparksals

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #185 on: November 14, 2012, 02:34:46 AM »
I think the OP's hostess and host had said the half hour would be fine.

Frankly, if I had invited someone w/ a narrow window for dinner, I *would* have had dinner ready BY 6:30.

I think it was rude to be in the kitchen cooking, with their guests cooling their heels in the other room. You don't invite people over to watch you cook. Your cooking should mostly be done by the time they get there.

Don't get me wrong--I have had people over for dinner and not been finished when they arrive. But--I always regard it as a failure when that happens, unless it's a few last-minute touches.


And even in those situations, we socialized WHILE I finished up. We talked--they stood in the kitchen doorway, or my DH entertained them in the living room with me shouting comments from the kitchen or running out briefly to be part of the convo when it got suddenly interesting.

I think this was a lesson for the OP--while your kid is little, evening dinner get-togethers aren't a good idea. Maybe they'll work if *you* host, but they leave you a very short socializing time. And it's the rare host that can make your short socializing time work. Apparently THIS particular hostess and host can't do it.

Let's just see how you do on the Thanksgiving you get to finally host, Toots.   Timing is a difficult thing, especially with a large meal. I don't have two ovens.  When the Turkey comes out, I have to put all the sides in the oven to heat while the turkey stands..  I am not a bad hostess b/c I still have food cooking when guests arrive. 

This last Cdn TG, I had plenty of appetizers, beverages and snacks.  The turkey was taking longer than normal.   Turkey is unpredictable.  It was still in the oven when guests arrived and I still had to heat the sides.  Sometimes it can't be helped not matter how much I tried to put on a good meal.  That does not make me a failure in the kitchen. 

Please let me know how you do in a couple weeks and let's revisit.   I think you're being a bit judgmental.  When a hostess is trying and things get a bit behind, that is not rude or a poor hostess.

The hostess in the OP, she was rude, but in general as you described, not everyone has dinner ready upon arrival and it is not rude for it not to be ready. 
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 02:36:40 AM by sparksals »

sparksals

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #186 on: November 14, 2012, 02:55:32 AM »
You shouldn't really try anything new when you're entertaining, just in case you do have a kitchen mishap.

I do it all the time.  That is try something new.  Mishaps are few and far between. Our friends like to try new foods and enjoy the adventure.  Friends, if they are true friends will understand if something doesn't turn out. 

MariaE

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #187 on: November 14, 2012, 04:34:11 AM »
I think the OP's hostess and host had said the half hour would be fine.

Frankly, if I had invited someone w/ a narrow window for dinner, I *would* have had dinner ready BY 6:30.

I think it was rude to be in the kitchen cooking, with their guests cooling their heels in the other room. You don't invite people over to watch you cook. Your cooking should mostly be done by the time they get there.

Don't get me wrong--I have had people over for dinner and not been finished when they arrive. But--I always regard it as a failure when that happens, unless it's a few last-minute touches.


And even in those situations, we socialized WHILE I finished up. We talked--they stood in the kitchen doorway, or my DH entertained them in the living room with me shouting comments from the kitchen or running out briefly to be part of the convo when it got suddenly interesting.

I think this was a lesson for the OP--while your kid is little, evening dinner get-togethers aren't a good idea. Maybe they'll work if *you* host, but they leave you a very short socializing time. And it's the rare host that can make your short socializing time work. Apparently THIS particular hostess and host can't do it.

Let's just see how you do on the Thanksgiving you get to finally host, Toots.   Timing is a difficult thing, especially with a large meal. I don't have two ovens.  When the Turkey comes out, I have to put all the sides in the oven to heat while the turkey stands..  I am not a bad hostess b/c I still have food cooking when guests arrive. 

This last Cdn TG, I had plenty of appetizers, beverages and snacks.  The turkey was taking longer than normal.   Turkey is unpredictable.  It was still in the oven when guests arrived and I still had to heat the sides.  Sometimes it can't be helped not matter how much I tried to put on a good meal.  That does not make me a failure in the kitchen. 

Please let me know how you do in a couple weeks and let's revisit.   I think you're being a bit judgmental.  When a hostess is trying and things get a bit behind, that is not rude or a poor hostess.

The hostess in the OP, she was rude, but in general as you described, not everyone has dinner ready upon arrival and it is not rude for it not to be ready.

Not Toots, obviously, but I read her comment as not being finished with the preparations would be considered a failure. Getting something out of the oven and popping something else in wouldn't count.

... at least, that's where I'm at, so guess I read her comment through those glasses.
 
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cicero

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #188 on: November 14, 2012, 05:13:29 AM »
I think the OP's hostess and host had said the half hour would be fine.

Frankly, if I had invited someone w/ a narrow window for dinner, I *would* have had dinner ready BY 6:30.

I think it was rude to be in the kitchen cooking, with their guests cooling their heels in the other room. You don't invite people over to watch you cook. Your cooking should mostly be done by the time they get there.

Don't get me wrong--I have had people over for dinner and not been finished when they arrive. But--I always regard it as a failure when that happens, unless it's a few last-minute touches.


And even in those situations, we socialized WHILE I finished up. We talked--they stood in the kitchen doorway, or my DH entertained them in the living room with me shouting comments from the kitchen or running out briefly to be part of the convo when it got suddenly interesting.

I think this was a lesson for the OP--while your kid is little, evening dinner get-togethers aren't a good idea. Maybe they'll work if *you* host, but they leave you a very short socializing time. And it's the rare host that can make your short socializing time work. Apparently THIS particular hostess and host can't do it.

Let's just see how you do on the Thanksgiving you get to finally host, Toots.   Timing is a difficult thing, especially with a large meal. I don't have two ovens.  When the Turkey comes out, I have to put all the sides in the oven to heat while the turkey stands..  I am not a bad hostess b/c I still have food cooking when guests arrive. 

This last Cdn TG, I had plenty of appetizers, beverages and snacks.  The turkey was taking longer than normal.   Turkey is unpredictable.  It was still in the oven when guests arrived and I still had to heat the sides.  Sometimes it can't be helped not matter how much I tried to put on a good meal.  That does not make me a failure in the kitchen. 

Please let me know how you do in a couple weeks and let's revisit.   I think you're being a bit judgmental.  When a hostess is trying and things get a bit behind, that is not rude or a poor hostess.

The hostess in the OP, she was rude, but in general as you described, not everyone has dinner ready upon arrival and it is not rude for it not to be ready.
sparksal i think you are being harsh here - I'm not toots but I believe her reply was about *this* thread which is specifically *not* about a big dinner (e.g., t-giving) where you are having multiple courses, and roasting a turkey etc. this thread was about a mid-week casual dinner with two couples and two toddlers. and toots is absolutely right - for a regular (mid-week, or even weekend but not a big occassion) dinner,  i think the expectation is to have dinner ready or "just about ready" at 6.30, so that guests can sit down to eat at or about 6.30 (especially given the parameters of this thread - the two toddlers, the time limitation). when i have company, or i am a guest, i do expect the meal to be "just about ready" - i agree with toots that it is rude for the host (remember: there was one hosting couple and one guest couple) to disappear into the kitchen for 2.5 hours to "prepare dinner".

Last minute prep - as in toss a salad, stick fish fillets under the grill for a few minutes, grill the steak - fine. Long-term prep - as in thrice baked potatoes, chicken cassulet, or 2.5 hours of dinner prep - not so much.

Thanksgiving dinners are a whole different story.


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sparksals

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #189 on: November 14, 2012, 07:30:03 AM »
I think the OP's hostess and host had said the half hour would be fine.

Frankly, if I had invited someone w/ a narrow window for dinner, I *would* have had dinner ready BY 6:30.

I think it was rude to be in the kitchen cooking, with their guests cooling their heels in the other room. You don't invite people over to watch you cook. Your cooking should mostly be done by the time they get there.

Don't get me wrong--I have had people over for dinner and not been finished when they arrive. But--I always regard it as a failure when that happens, unless it's a few last-minute touches.


And even in those situations, we socialized WHILE I finished up. We talked--they stood in the kitchen doorway, or my DH entertained them in the living room with me shouting comments from the kitchen or running out briefly to be part of the convo when it got suddenly interesting.

I think this was a lesson for the OP--while your kid is little, evening dinner get-togethers aren't a good idea. Maybe they'll work if *you* host, but they leave you a very short socializing time. And it's the rare host that can make your short socializing time work. Apparently THIS particular hostess and host can't do it.

Let's just see how you do on the Thanksgiving you get to finally host, Toots.   Timing is a difficult thing, especially with a large meal. I don't have two ovens.  When the Turkey comes out, I have to put all the sides in the oven to heat while the turkey stands..  I am not a bad hostess b/c I still have food cooking when guests arrive. 

This last Cdn TG, I had plenty of appetizers, beverages and snacks.  The turkey was taking longer than normal.   Turkey is unpredictable.  It was still in the oven when guests arrived and I still had to heat the sides.  Sometimes it can't be helped not matter how much I tried to put on a good meal.  That does not make me a failure in the kitchen. 

Please let me know how you do in a couple weeks and let's revisit.   I think you're being a bit judgmental.  When a hostess is trying and things get a bit behind, that is not rude or a poor hostess.

The hostess in the OP, she was rude, but in general as you described, not everyone has dinner ready upon arrival and it is not rude for it not to be ready.
sparksal i think you are being harsh here - I'm not toots but I believe her reply was about *this* thread which is specifically *not* about a big dinner (e.g., t-giving) where you are having multiple courses, and roasting a turkey etc. this thread was about a mid-week casual dinner with two couples and two toddlers. and toots is absolutely right - for a regular (mid-week, or even weekend but not a big occassion) dinner,  i think the expectation is to have dinner ready or "just about ready" at 6.30, so that guests can sit down to eat at or about 6.30 (especially given the parameters of this thread - the two toddlers, the time limitation). when i have company, or i am a guest, i do expect the meal to be "just about ready" - i agree with toots that it is rude for the host (remember: there was one hosting couple and one guest couple) to disappear into the kitchen for 2.5 hours to "prepare dinner".

Last minute prep - as in toss a salad, stick fish fillets under the grill for a few minutes, grill the steak - fine. Long-term prep - as in thrice baked potatoes, chicken cassulet, or 2.5 hours of dinner prep  - not so much.

Thanksgiving dinners are a whole different story.

I dont think so, cicero.  Many have stated that not sitting right down for dinner is the norm for them.  Even for me on weeknight, I would delay serving to have bevvies and appies. 

Perhaps Toots did mean prep. I didn't read it that way.  The 'failure' part was a biy much. There are tonnes of reasons dinner can be delayed, none of which makes one a failure in the kitchen.   
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 07:32:34 AM by sparksals »

secretrebel

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #190 on: November 14, 2012, 07:38:22 AM »
I think the OP's hostess and host had said the half hour would be fine.

Frankly, if I had invited someone w/ a narrow window for dinner, I *would* have had dinner ready BY 6:30.

Maybe this is a question for the other thread but wouldn't having dinner for the exact time you expected the guests to knock on the door risk the food being overcooked once they'd come in and exchanged greetings and seated themselves and got drinks?

That seems a bit impractical unless it's something like a lasagne which is all prepared and already mostly cooked by the time the guests arrive and can be turned up or down if they are early or late.

LeveeWoman

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #191 on: November 14, 2012, 07:39:48 AM »
I think the OP's hostess and host had said the half hour would be fine.

Frankly, if I had invited someone w/ a narrow window for dinner, I *would* have had dinner ready BY 6:30.

I think it was rude to be in the kitchen cooking, with their guests cooling their heels in the other room. You don't invite people over to watch you cook. Your cooking should mostly be done by the time they get there.

Don't get me wrong--I have had people over for dinner and not been finished when they arrive. But--I always regard it as a failure when that happens, unless it's a few last-minute touches.


And even in those situations, we socialized WHILE I finished up. We talked--they stood in the kitchen doorway, or my DH entertained them in the living room with me shouting comments from the kitchen or running out briefly to be part of the convo when it got suddenly interesting.

I think this was a lesson for the OP--while your kid is little, evening dinner get-togethers aren't a good idea. Maybe they'll work if *you* host, but they leave you a very short socializing time. And it's the rare host that can make your short socializing time work. Apparently THIS particular hostess and host can't do it.

Let's just see how you do on the Thanksgiving you get to finally host, Toots.   Timing is a difficult thing, especially with a large meal. I don't have two ovens.  When the Turkey comes out, I have to put all the sides in the oven to heat while the turkey stands..  I am not a bad hostess b/c I still have food cooking when guests arrive. 

This last Cdn TG, I had plenty of appetizers, beverages and snacks.  The turkey was taking longer than normal.   Turkey is unpredictable.  It was still in the oven when guests arrived and I still had to heat the sides.  Sometimes it can't be helped not matter how much I tried to put on a good meal.  That does not make me a failure in the kitchen. 

Please let me know how you do in a couple weeks and let's revisit.   I think you're being a bit judgmental.  When a hostess is trying and things get a bit behind, that is not rude or a poor hostess.

The hostess in the OP, she was rude, but in general as you described, not everyone has dinner ready upon arrival and it is not rude for it not to be ready.
sparksal i think you are being harsh here - I'm not toots but I believe her reply was about *this* thread which is specifically *not* about a big dinner (e.g., t-giving) where you are having multiple courses, and roasting a turkey etc. this thread was about a mid-week casual dinner with two couples and two toddlers. and toots is absolutely right - for a regular (mid-week, or even weekend but not a big occassion) dinner,  i think the expectation is to have dinner ready or "just about ready" at 6.30, so that guests can sit down to eat at or about 6.30 (especially given the parameters of this thread - the two toddlers, the time limitation). when i have company, or i am a guest, i do expect the meal to be "just about ready" - i agree with toots that it is rude for the host (remember: there was one hosting couple and one guest couple) to disappear into the kitchen for 2.5 hours to "prepare dinner".

Last minute prep - as in toss a salad, stick fish fillets under the grill for a few minutes, grill the steak - fine. Long-term prep - as in thrice baked potatoes, chicken cassulet, or 2.5 hours of dinner prep  - not so much.

Thanksgiving dinners are a whole different story.

I dont think so, cicero.  Many have stated that not sitting right down for dinner is the norm for them.  Even for me on weeknight, I would delay serving to have bevvies and appies. 

Perhaps Toots did mean prep. I didn't read it that way.  The 'failure' part was a biy much. There are tonnes of reasons dinner can be delayed, none of which makes one a failure in the kitchen.

But that's not what happened to CakeBeret. She, her husband and their toddler were invited for dinner at 6:30 yet it wasn't served until two-and-a-half hours later, an hour-and-a-half after prep work had begun. Maybe I missed it but, CakeBeret and her husband were not served appetizers while they were forced to entertain the hosts' toddler. (Their toddler did get something to eat but only when his daddy had to get something.)


sparksals

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #192 on: November 14, 2012, 07:45:10 AM »
I realize that. I was responding to Toots' comment.  In the OP case, absolutely rude.  In general, not.rude not to serve immediately or shortly after arrival. 

TootsNYC

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #193 on: November 14, 2012, 10:56:20 AM »
sparksals--did you not realize that I *was* talking about myself?

When *I* have SO much still do do in the kitchen that I can't really focus on my guests when they arrive, I consider that *I* have failed. In my own goal of "having a good time making the dinner for everyone" (bcs I'm stressed) and in my own goal of "timing dinner properly." I've been in the situation in which I had way too much left to do when my guests walked in the door. It marred my enjoyment of the evening.
   (I didn't mean "failed utterly in all aspects as a hostess"--those evenings were still pleasant.)

I did not say "you have failed"--I wasn't actually talking about other people at all.

And did you miss "should mostly be done"? I put the "mostly" in on purpose! Because of course some stuff might still be in the oven.

But if I'm serving dinner, I don't think it's "success at food prep" to still be cutting up the potatoes when people walk in the door (oh, salad and crudite, that's fine if you're still slicing--but you should finish pretty quick!)

I wasn't talking about you.

sparksals

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Re: When dinner is significantly delayed...
« Reply #194 on: November 14, 2012, 11:11:14 AM »
Toots... No I knew you weren't talking about me specifically, but generally that those who don't adequately prepare in a timely manner are a failing.  I did not see you were talking soley about yourself.  My apologies for misunderstanding.  Been up since three AM sitting an an airport reading from the phone with 5 hours to go in a layover.