Author Topic: Asking for food without "stretchers"  (Read 11215 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

ladiedeathe

  • Pushing the bounds of ministry, one gasp at a time.
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1803
Asking for food without "stretchers"
« on: February 28, 2013, 07:48:46 PM »
I couldn't think of what else to title this, so I'll try to be clear. This question comes from something that happened last year, when a good friend was staying with us for a month as a guest. It isn't terribly serious, but I've had it happen before and I'm interested in other's opinions.

When I have guests over, I try to match our meals to their tastes, and preferred meal times/sizes. If they like their heaviest meal at noon and a light meal in the evening, fine. Other way around, fine too. Whatever the big meal is, I make more than enough, and it is well prepared. For the lighter meal there is enough food, but it might be sandwiches, or tuna salad or pizza- not so "serious".

That day, I was making tuna salad for lunch, for 4 of us- my family plus guest. When I make tuna salad, I add chopped egg (I grew up in a home with 4 kids and 2 adults, stretchers like egg were often used to allow one big can of tuna to feed us kids). It tastes good, so I never thought about it.

My friend stopped me before I could put it in, and said he wanted just tuna and mayo in his tuna salad. Without the egg, relish, and onion, this meant that for him to have a tuna sub like the rest of us, he got almost an entire can of tuna to himself, and I had to open a second one.

It wasn't a big deal, but it made me start thinking. I've had a friend ask for no celery in her lobster roll- meaning she got "pure" lobster with mayo, and probably a third more meat than the rest of us. I've had other friends who took tiny amounts of veggies but loaded up on roast portions. Roast with potatoes and carrots isn't just a more balanced meal- it's also a way not to serve a pound of meat each! In each case there was more than enough food and no one was left hungry by peoples' actions.

I'm curious- would you all say it's rude for someone to (presumably politely) request their food in such a way as to get more of the most expensive ingredient, and little or none of the "filler" or side items?
"Here to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Have chalice, will travel."

SamiHami

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2858
  • No! Iz mai catnip! You no can haz! YOU NO CAN HAZ!
Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2013, 08:24:13 PM »
Interesting question. I think much of it can be explained as simple aversions to particular ingredients. I despise celery, and find it ruins any dish that it is in, so I can relate to your example with the lobster rolls. Same thing with your tuna example. I was raised on tuna/mayo only sandwiches, so that's "normal" to me. I think when we entertain we just need to do as you have yourself-making sure that there is an abundance of food available so that it doesn't really matter if someone takes more roast than you would expect.

All that being said, yes, it would be rude to take a gigantic hunk of roast, especially if others have not yet been served. Better to take a moderate amount and then, if the opportunity presents itself, have seconds.

Anyone else reminded the Mary Tyler Moore show episode where Mary had a dinner party, and Lou took what amounted to 1/2 of the food meant for the entire group? he would up awkwardly putting the majority back on the serving platter. Veal Prince Olaf, I think it was.

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

flowersintheattic

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 641
Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2013, 08:48:33 PM »
I agree with SamiHami - I think a lot of it comes down to how people prefer their food, rather than them knowingly messing up the amounts. I'm from a big food stretching family, too - tuna salad was tuna, celery, pickle relish, mayo, and whatever else happened to be laying around that could go in. When I've had something like that with a friend, she's asked how I make it and we compromise.

The roast example was rude.
...I learned my lesson / And yes, I still remember the last one / But this time will be different / Until I do it again... ~Phish, "Kill Devil Falls"

Dazi

  • like the flower
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3865
Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2013, 09:03:44 PM »
I think it really depends.

If their goal is to get more of the "good" stuff, I'd vote inconsiderate. If it's something I wouldn't expect in the "normal" version, I'd give a pass. If it's because of a food allergy or food aversion, I'd also give a pass (says the girl with both).  I personally hate when people out egg in things like potato salad or macaroni salad or raisins in chicken salad, even though it falls into the "normal" version (but then again, I'm allergic to eggs and raisins shall not pass these lips).


That being said, I've never known anyone who put egg in tuna salad. Tuna salad while I was growing up had relish and mayo, sometimes apple.  I like it best with sweet relish, onions, celery,and apple.  I do have a friend that does this totally bizarre looking one with shredded carrots, raisins and apples.  The celery thing I also get.  I love celery, but it is VERY strong to some people.
Meditate. Live purely. Quiet the mind. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine. ---Gautama Buddah





oceanus

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 693
  • pronounced o-see-ANN-us
Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2013, 09:19:32 PM »
@ SamiHami
Quote
Anyone else reminded the Mary Tyler Moore show episode where Mary had a dinner party, and Lou took what amounted to 1/2 of the food meant for the entire group? he would up awkwardly putting the majority back on the serving platter. Veal Prince Olaf, I think it was.

YES!  It was Veal Prince Orloff. :D (I think Sue Anne Nivens/Betty White helped make it.)
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 11:39:33 PM by oceanus »

NyaChan

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3942
Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2013, 09:21:19 PM »
The first time I had egg in tuna salad was when I visited a prison - after that, I absolutely can't stomach it.  In the tuna and lobster roll example, I think it is very likely that the added ingredient didn't suit them, rather than it being the guest trying to get more of the good stuff.  Really - a can of tuna is not that much of a luxury item.  The roast incident, well that would have bugged me a lot if they were doing it on purpose but not so much if they genuinely don't like the side items.

siamesecat2965

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8197
Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2013, 09:52:56 PM »
I agree with those who say its more that they don't like certain ingredients, than trying to get more of the "good stuff" I detest hard boiled eggs, and relish, so that in tuna would basically make it inedible for me. My mom, on the other hand, loves sweet relish, and adds it to tuna. So when we have it when I visit, she makes it without, splits it, and adds relish to her "half"

I also can't stand celery, so if someone were making lobster rolls, and putting celery in, it would never occur to me that by asking them to leave it out i was taking more than my share.

A roast, however, or a single dish, not mixed, yes, that's rude when you take a larger than normal portion, and ignore the rest of the food. Kind of along the lines of picking meat or cheese, say, out of a pasta salad.

cicero

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 16890
Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2013, 10:25:04 PM »
As pp's said, asking to leave out ingredients would be more because of taste,not to get more of the good stuff. Personally I prefer the  tuna with more fillers! But I do get What you say in that now you would need to use more of the expensive stuff. I am actually sometimes on the other side of this'd when someone throws a bagel brunch that consists of bagels spreads and veggies, salmoin, tuna. The veggies are there to go *on*the bagel as condiments, but I sometimes prefer to not eat carbs, especially bagels which-while I do dearly love 'em - are very high in calories/carbs. So I'll tend to take a lot more of the veggies. I hop that isn't rude...

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

blarg314

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8301
Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2013, 02:56:42 AM »

I'd vote for "It depends"

In the first two examples, if I were making the sandwiches, the one without filler would simply have less volume of filling, so the same amount of the premium ingredient. Like at Subway - if I order a sub with no toppings, I get less stuff in my sub rather than more tuna. So there it may have been a matter of interpretation - your guest was thinking "I don't like hard boiled eggs" and you were hearing "Give me more than my share of tuna".

In the last case, with the roast, I think it depends on how much of the roast they took.  If they took more than their share, based on the size of the roast and the number of people, then they were being rude. But if you had six people, and they took 1/6 or less of the available main course, then I would say it's just a matter of preference rather than rudeness. If you planned to have leftovers for later, and you're entertaining guests, then it's better to slice of the portion you want to reserve before serving.


Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21245
Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2013, 08:35:14 AM »
I agree that it is because they do not like X,  not because they are trying to get more of Y. And it is a tuna sandwich or a lobster roll.  It is not unreasonable to ask for it without minor add-ins.

Piratelvr1121

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10444
Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2013, 08:52:06 AM »
I wouldn't consider tuna fish (canned that is) to be considered a luxury item since often they go for about 4 cans for $5, sometimes 5 for $5. 

Roast and lobster however? Definitely and I think someone who deliberately helps themselves to the lion's share is rude, but someone who simply has food aversions/allergies, not so much.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

Zilla

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6506
    • Cooking
Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2013, 10:02:36 AM »
I don't like fillers in salads or crab cakes etc.  I'm more of a purist when it comes to flavors.  I don't like muddled flavors.  like eggsalad, I prefer just mustard, mayo and egg with beau monde seasoning.  I never looked at it as wanting more of the expensive ingredient.  Interesting way of looking at it.

Sophia

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11545
  • xi
Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2013, 10:14:55 AM »
I don't like fillers in salads or crab cakes etc.  I'm more of a purist when it comes to flavors.  I don't like muddled flavors.  like eggsalad, I prefer just mustard, mayo and egg with beau monde seasoning.  I never looked at it as wanting more of the expensive ingredient.  Interesting way of looking at it.

Me, too, on the muddling.  I'd be tickled pink to have half an egg salad sandwich and half a tuna salad sandwich.  But I'd be disappointed in the muddled version. 
I've also never liked relish except in Braunsweger dip.  As a kid I used to make tuna salad sandwiches for the family.  We used to put them on buns and then inside a paper bag in the oven.  I loved that because I could leave out the relish on mine and my parents didn't know.
It is funny that my toddler is very anti-muddling too.  I was eating chili nachos the other day.  She wanted some "clean" chips.  So, I dug in my nachos for some without chili or cheese.  Then she wanted some chili (she is another Wolf fan).

Yvaine

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8341
Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2013, 10:37:02 AM »
I think this is just one of those things that people think about when they're the cook, but that flies right out of their mind when they're the eater. It happens to me. I've been making a lot of stir-fry lately and I'm always impressed with how much more food I can make if I have some broccoli to put in it, because it takes up so much space. And then when I go to a restaurant, I find myself getting annoyed because my food is so full of broccoli!  ;D

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21245
Re: Asking for food without "stretchers"
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2013, 10:58:00 AM »
Actually, if I were the cook I would not mix in relish, onion or celery into the dishes mentione.  Never even heard of eggs in tuna so that wouldn't really occur to me.  If I knew some of my guests/family really liked that stuff I might offer it so they could mix it in or make some with, some without  but I definitely wouldn't add things I don't like just to stretch the food.  I'd rather go without than choke down the food with stuff I actively disliked.