Etiquette School is in session! > "I'm afraid that won't be possible."

No Snowflake Soup for you!

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As a teensy background, I am not comfortable in the kitchen.  If I can follow a recipe, I'm fine, but don't ask me to improvise.  Most of my foodie friends know this and are not surprised when I leave the potluck contribution to my husband's care.  However, for an upcoming NYE potluck party, I had a hankering to make matzo ball soup and found I had all the ingredients in the house.  I've never come close to my late grandmother's quality, but I was determined to follow her recipe to give it another shot.

Yesterday, I mentioned my planned contribution on the Facebook page for those who were invited.  Andrea, one of the other attendees, immediately asked if I'd make the soup vegetarian.  The recipe I have calls for chicken stock and chicken fat (schmaltz).  I have no vegetarian broth in the house, and I have found that using canola oil in place of schmaltz isn't as effective.  I responded to Andrea, "Unfortunately, I cannot. I already have the chicken stock and schmaltz ready to go, and I honestly have had terrible luck trying to make them vegetarian or vegan."

Today, I was so excited that I had finally started working in the kitchen that I updated my Facebook status that the matzo ball dough was resting and awaiting the soup to boil.  Again, Andrea immediately responded, "So, not vegetarian?  :("  I was quickly simmering faster than my soup stock.  No, I hadn't learned overnight how to make matzo ball soup vegetarian without wrecking it.  I also couldn't make it gluten-free for my other friend with celiac, but she wasn't prodding me about it.

Instead of blowing my stack, I responded, "Sorry, Andrea, I'm afraid it won't be possible.  I have plenty of matzo meal if you want to make a veggie version."

Her response?  "Bummer.  I think that I am going to bring bread, seeing how much soup is going to be there."

Oh, and at least one of the other soups that has been promised by a guest IS a vegetarian black bean soup.  She just wanted mine to be veggie as well.

Don't let her rain on your parade-your soup sounds yummy!

gramma dishes:
Wait, you'd already told her twice that it wouldn't be vegetarian and she still acted disappointed that you hadn't rearranged the recipe to suit just her? 

I don't blame her for asking the first time.  If you have a special dietary need or requirement it never hurts to know what's going to be awaiting you when you get to the party.  But what on earth gave her the idea to assume that you (and everyone else) should/would all be willing (and able) to adjust your food contributions just to suit her personal preferences?  Is she accustomed to being catered to like that?

This is your grandmothers traditional recipe. She is being ridiculous (and I cheerfully accomadate vegetarians)

Label the soup with Grandma Whatsit's Famous Matzo Ball Soup and the ingredients and don't give it a second thought.

I think the thing that got her is that we're two of the only Jewish people in our group of friends, so she got REALLY excited about the idea of something ethnic.  I'd offered her the one ingredient she might not have around the house (matzo meal) if she wants to make some vegetarian soup.  It would've been a major imposition for me to do this, especially after having made the chicken stock from scratch last week, but she might have had veggie stock in her home.  Instead, she requested I change my recipe and then she whined when I couldn't.


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