Author Topic: Hosting horror stories  (Read 11369 times)

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magician5

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Re: Hosting horror stories
« Reply #30 on: February 16, 2013, 04:18:43 PM »
Cheyne, I liked your story and it brought back a memory from me from 30 years ago. When in college I taught myself to make bread. I spent a whole day making French croissants. It was a long process but I was proud of my efforts when I got these flaky beautiful croissants out of the oven.
My Future FIL and my dad both loved when I baked. I took some to my FIL and he met me in the driveway with a stick of Promise Margarine in hand and took me in the house, where he consumed the croissants, with that horrible fake butter ;), in just minutes. He wasn't supposed to have butter, but he piled globs of Promise on everything.
When I got home, my dad was raving about his croissants. He had enjoyed him with his bowl of canned soup!
I guess I had a vision of them eating them slowly with a nice cup of coffee. I felt my all day efforts weren't really appreciated. But two of my favorite men enjoyed them the way they wanted to, and that was really all that mattered.

But how did they go with catsup?
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cheyne

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Re: Hosting horror stories
« Reply #31 on: February 16, 2013, 09:57:26 PM »
Cheyne, I liked your story and it brought back a memory from me from 30 years ago. When in college I taught myself to make bread. I spent a whole day making French croissants. It was a long process but I was proud of my efforts when I got these flaky beautiful croissants out of the oven.
My Future FIL and my dad both loved when I baked. I took some to my FIL and he met me in the driveway with a stick of Promise Margarine in hand and took me in the house, where he consumed the croissants, with that horrible fake butter ;), in just minutes. He wasn't supposed to have butter, but he piled globs of Promise on everything.
When I got home, my dad was raving about his croissants. He had enjoyed him with his bowl of canned soup!
I guess I had a vision of them eating them slowly with a nice cup of coffee. I felt my all day efforts weren't really appreciated. But two of my favorite men enjoyed them the way they wanted to, and that was really all that mattered.

But how did they go with catsup?

You are wicked!  >:D



jedikaiti

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Re: Hosting horror stories
« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2013, 01:34:17 AM »
I do understand modifying what you cook based on who is attending.  I have a BIL who really doesn't care much about what he is eating. To him, the paella I spent 3 hours preparing tastes the same as my 30 minute jambalaya recipe.

But I do have a question.  Is it a breach of etiquette to substantially modify a meal served by your hostess?  I'm not talking about a sprinkle of a little salt or pepper or adding a bit more tabasco to your bowl of gumbo.  But more like the OP stated. Dan requested a bottle of ketchup be provided and then doused his meal with the ketchup.  Is that a breach of etiquette for an adult diner? 

The OP's story reminded me of an event from my college days. I had 3 roommates and one decided to make Fettucinni Alfredo and invite over all of our BF's. She served it, bread, and salad. One roommate's BF was suprised there was no meat so his GF went and got a can of tuna to top their servings. The cook roommate was very irritated and I was completely suprised because in my background that would never have been acceptable.  Tuna roommate felt because she lived there she was within her right even though she contributed nothing in labor or cost to the meal.

I would suggest NOT doing something so smelly as tuna, though - something with that strong an odor can easily put everyone else off their meal.
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Miss Misha

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Re: Hosting horror stories
« Reply #33 on: February 26, 2013, 08:50:57 PM »
Cheyne, that's hilarious!  English sauce!  LOL!   ;D

BTW, I would love your mole recipe if you wouldn't mind sharing.  For a shortcut, I use Dona Maria and add a few spices to it and I'm always curious to see how others make it. It's one of my favorite things to make.  The Native American Museum in DC has really good mole tacos...my middleson is begging to go back this weekend 'cause he's craving them. 

I used to live in STexas where getting tamales was no problem whatsoever!  Now that we are in DC area, I make tamales from scratch but they aren't coming out that great.  Definitely not my grandma's tamales!  They are "okay" but I'm still searching for a better recipe.  I can't ask my grandma because she buys the 'wet' masa while I can only find the dry variety around here so I'm using different recipes I find online.  So again, if you wouldn't mind sharing, I'd love to see how you make your tamales.  :)

Best mole EVAR!  I tried to link to the original page, but got a 404 error:

Basic Mole Paste from Jacqueline Higuera McMahan

10 dried ancho chiles
6 dried pasilla negro chiles
4 dried guajillo or mulato chiles
6 tbl black raisins
1/2 cup almonds
6 tbl raw sesame seeds
1/4 cup raw pumpkins seeds (sometimes called pepitas)
1 slice french bread
1 corn tortilla
1 3" piece cinnamon bark or 1 1/2 tea. ground cinnamon
6 whole cloves
1 tea peppercorns
1 1/2 tea oregano (Mexican preferred)
1 round of Ibarra Mexican Chocolate (3.1 oz.), broken into pieces

Wash the dried chiles under cold running water.  Pull out the stems, then shake out the seeds.  Heat a griddle or nonstick skillet and gently toast the chiles.  Do not overbrown or they will be bitter.

After toasting, put all chilis in a huge bowl and cover with boiling water.  Add raisins to plump. Let steep 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees and place the almonds, sesame seeds and pumpkins seeds in separate pans for toasting (I use separate pieces of foil on a large cookie sheet).  Toast in oven for ~10 minutes.  Remove separately as they brown (usually the sesame seeds first).  Also toast the bread and tortilla in same oven.

Grind spices (I have a dedicated coffee grinder for this).

Drain chiles and raisins, reserving soaking water.  Chop chilis, almonds and seeds in food processor.  Add raisins, ground spices, tortilla, bread, oregano and chocolate and chop/combine.  Add enough soaking water to make a thick paste. 

This paste freezes well and is the base for mole sauce (1 recipe paste=2 batches sauce), below.

Mole Sauce
3 large tomatoes, chopped or 3 cups drained canned tomatoes
1/2 onion
4 cloves garlic
2 tea olive oil
2 cups Mole Paste
1 to 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place tomatoes in small, foil-lined roasting pan (easier clean up and handling later).  Roast in oven 20 minutes.  Let cool slightly.  Put onion and garlic in square of foil.  Drizzle with olive oil and fold foil to cover.  Roast alongside tomatoes in oven for 45 minutes.

Pick up edges of foil holding tomatoes and use as a funnel to pour into food processor.  Add roasted vegetables.  Chop roughly.   Add mole paste and broth until of desired consistency; i.e., more broth for enchilada sauce, less for tamales.  I also grill chicken and pour a thick-ish version of the sauce on top with a squeeze of lime. 

Gotta go, drooling on keyboard now.

Miss Misha

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Re: Hosting horror stories
« Reply #34 on: February 26, 2013, 08:55:26 PM »
Oh, and now my horror story.   ;)

I invited the Managing Partner, my boss (Consulting Principal and next in line to the top), and fellow consultant and their spouses to my first.big.dinner.party at my.first.big.newly.purchased house.  Fellow consultant's babysitting arrangements fell through, so he brought his five year old and 18 month old.  To a house with light grey carpets, a large dog and my wedding china and crystal laid on the table.  The dog and the tableware survived intact.  The carpet did not.  Red wine anyone?  Oh, and the childrens' mom?  Didn't even offer to help clean up.  Just kept saying how the kids "weren't used to this kind of party".  Well, uh, yeah.  Because they aren't adults yet and this was intended as an *adult* party.  /end snark

doodlemor

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Re: Hosting horror stories
« Reply #35 on: February 26, 2013, 09:39:02 PM »
I'm so sorry that this happened to you, Miss Misha. 

Were there ever any career repercussions for your fellow consultant?  He and his wife sound pretty clueless.  Was your carpet completely ruined?  Did your coworker ever apologize?

Here is a story from the ehell classics with a similar theme:

http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=4104.0

NyaChan

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Re: Hosting horror stories
« Reply #36 on: February 26, 2013, 09:55:28 PM »
That story always bugged me - really made me wonder if the husband ever had a word with his subordinate.  I hope he did.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Hosting horror stories
« Reply #37 on: February 27, 2013, 09:33:50 AM »
Cheyne, that's hilarious!  English sauce!  LOL!   ;D

BTW, I would love your mole recipe if you wouldn't mind sharing.  For a shortcut, I use Dona Maria and add a few spices to it and I'm always curious to see how others make it. It's one of my favorite things to make.  The Native American Museum in DC has really good mole tacos...my middleson is begging to go back this weekend 'cause he's craving them. 

I used to live in STexas where getting tamales was no problem whatsoever!  Now that we are in DC area, I make tamales from scratch but they aren't coming out that great.  Definitely not my grandma's tamales!  They are "okay" but I'm still searching for a better recipe.  I can't ask my grandma because she buys the 'wet' masa while I can only find the dry variety around here so I'm using different recipes I find online.  So again, if you wouldn't mind sharing, I'd love to see how you make your tamales.  :)

Best mole EVAR!  I tried to link to the original page, but got a 404 error:

Basic Mole Paste from Jacqueline Higuera McMahan

10 dried ancho chiles
6 dried pasilla negro chiles
4 dried guajillo or mulato chiles
6 tbl black raisins
1/2 cup almonds
6 tbl raw sesame seeds
1/4 cup raw pumpkins seeds (sometimes called pepitas)
1 slice french bread
1 corn tortilla
1 3" piece cinnamon bark or 1 1/2 tea. ground cinnamon
6 whole cloves
1 tea peppercorns
1 1/2 tea oregano (Mexican preferred)
1 round of Ibarra Mexican Chocolate (3.1 oz.), broken into pieces

Wash the dried chiles under cold running water.  Pull out the stems, then shake out the seeds.  Heat a griddle or nonstick skillet and gently toast the chiles.  Do not overbrown or they will be bitter.

After toasting, put all chilis in a huge bowl and cover with boiling water.  Add raisins to plump. Let steep 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees and place the almonds, sesame seeds and pumpkins seeds in separate pans for toasting (I use separate pieces of foil on a large cookie sheet).  Toast in oven for ~10 minutes.  Remove separately as they brown (usually the sesame seeds first).  Also toast the bread and tortilla in same oven.

Grind spices (I have a dedicated coffee grinder for this).

Drain chiles and raisins, reserving soaking water.  Chop chilis, almonds and seeds in food processor.  Add raisins, ground spices, tortilla, bread, oregano and chocolate and chop/combine.  Add enough soaking water to make a thick paste. 

This paste freezes well and is the base for mole sauce (1 recipe paste=2 batches sauce), below.

Mole Sauce
3 large tomatoes, chopped or 3 cups drained canned tomatoes
1/2 onion
4 cloves garlic
2 tea olive oil
2 cups Mole Paste
1 to 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place tomatoes in small, foil-lined roasting pan (easier clean up and handling later).  Roast in oven 20 minutes.  Let cool slightly.  Put onion and garlic in square of foil.  Drizzle with olive oil and fold foil to cover.  Roast alongside tomatoes in oven for 45 minutes.

Pick up edges of foil holding tomatoes and use as a funnel to pour into food processor.  Add roasted vegetables.  Chop roughly.   Add mole paste and broth until of desired consistency; i.e., more broth for enchilada sauce, less for tamales.  I also grill chicken and pour a thick-ish version of the sauce on top with a squeeze of lime. 

Gotta go, drooling on keyboard now.
This Miss Misha, I've been wating to try a mole sauce that doesn't take 3 days and 80 ingredients.  I think I'll try it out this weekend.

weeblewobble

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Re: Hosting horror stories
« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2013, 08:40:44 PM »
I think I have been maligning SIL a bit much, she is pretty bad, but we have other family members that are as bad as well.  We have discovered that "that won't be possible" is completely lost on her.  Simply a waste of breath.

MIL is very difficult in another sense.  She will not have us to her apartment.  I know that it is small and we are five people, but she has SIL and family on a regular basis, it is most likely because of our kids (2 with special needs) that had some rough years, especially when we were traveling on an extended basis.  She then is very upset that she can't see us for holidays, but won't come to our house either.  After being stood up numerous times at the last minute for holidays, we have scaled back.  She also cannot make plans that will be kept more than 2 days in advance.

Wait, so she won't see you at your house, but she doesn't want you coming to her house.  And then she gets upset when she doesn't see you for holidays? Can she not do this math in her head?

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: Hosting horror stories
« Reply #39 on: March 05, 2013, 09:31:51 PM »
A question, because now I'm worried that I was rude without realising it.

My aunt (at whose house I dined regularly) used to make a pasta dish involving tomato soup.  In some contexts, I'm all right with tomato soup, but in this particular dish, I always thought it was gross.  Rather than comment on how I didn't like it or whatever, I used to put a squlorch of ketchup on it to kind of bury the taste of tomato soup.  While it wasn't as unusual as ketchup on enchiladas, it wasn't the 'typical' way to eat this dish, either.  It was just that I didn't want to complain about what was served, and adding ketchup seemed to be one of the only ways to me to make the dish palatable.
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lady_disdain

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Re: Hosting horror stories
« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2013, 09:44:19 PM »
I learned that, as in the game of Telephone, the 'party' I was supposed to be hosting had morphed out of all proportion.  Instead of the casual blanket picnic for six that I proposed, the affair was thought to be a red-carpet affair for about a hundred people.  Dress was to be black tie.  There was to be a catered meal served inside an air-conditioned tent and the concert would be piped in for the
 guests.

That certainly would never happen when I was making 125 USD a week. 

Unfortunately, the original casual picnic didn't come off either. 

And people were actually inviting themselves to what they thought was a red carpet, catered affair?!

Lynn2000

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Re: Hosting horror stories
« Reply #41 on: March 06, 2013, 11:10:30 AM »
A question, because now I'm worried that I was rude without realising it.

My aunt (at whose house I dined regularly) used to make a pasta dish involving tomato soup.  In some contexts, I'm all right with tomato soup, but in this particular dish, I always thought it was gross.  Rather than comment on how I didn't like it or whatever, I used to put a squlorch of ketchup on it to kind of bury the taste of tomato soup.  While it wasn't as unusual as ketchup on enchiladas, it wasn't the 'typical' way to eat this dish, either.  It was just that I didn't want to complain about what was served, and adding ketchup seemed to be one of the only ways to me to make the dish palatable.

Okay, first I think it's funny to hide the taste of tomato soup with ketchup. :) I know what you mean, though. I'm guessing at some point you had tasted the dish without ketchup and realized it wasn't to your liking as-is, right? As opposed to the guy who just poured on the ketchup without tasting the enchiladas first. Also, it sounds like your aunt regularly made this dish for you--so my guess is she either didn't notice or didn't care that you were altering it, or she would have stopped serving it to you. From those things I would say you were in the clear.
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lady_disdain

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Re: Hosting horror stories
« Reply #42 on: March 06, 2013, 01:36:51 PM »
Wouldn't it be even more insulting to add a cup of ketchup after tasting the food instead of before. In one case, he thinks the food is bad. In the other, he knows >:D

Danika

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Re: Hosting horror stories
« Reply #43 on: March 06, 2013, 04:14:19 PM »
Tangent story...

I remember my cousin telling me a story about a man her father knew who was interviewing a candidate for a job. They were at a fancy restaurant for lunch and the candidate put salt on his steak without even tasting it first. The interviewer decided not to hire him just based on that, because he didn't even try it first before he determined that it wasn't seasoned to his liking.

I've since thought about that story and it's unlikely, but perhaps the candidate had low sodium or low iodine and his doctor told him "just add a dash of salt to everything you eat so your levels are higher." Probably unlikely but I thought the interviewer was making as many assumptions about the candidate's actions as the candidate was about the taste of the steak.

lady_disdain

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Re: Hosting horror stories
« Reply #44 on: March 06, 2013, 08:16:24 PM »
If I am not mistaken, that interview "practice" started with Henry Ford. I still hate it.