Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

"Tell me what you want for dinner!" - how to graciously reply

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turnip:
A friend is coming to visit soon and has generously offered to make whatever dish I'd like for dinner one evening.   It is a very kind offer and I would like to give a gracious and appreciative response....

However while I have enjoyed this friend's cooking, I'll be honest and say that his more elaborate dishes often fall short of the mark. The dishes I like best are pretty simple ones.  Part of me wants to say "Oh, I'd love that pear and walnut salad you do!" but I worry that it looks a little dismissive(?) of his skills?  Like by omission I'm making it clear that I _don't_ like any of his more complicated recipes.

I'd also be happy to say "Oh, how about that wonderful Yorkshire Pudding again!", even knowing that last time the pudding didn't come out that great, just to make him feel appreciated.  But that also feels kind of dishonest and patronizing...

I've even thought of suggesting a recipe, but I have a feeling that could land me in eHell.  Maybe I should just go with "Surprise me! I'm sure I'll love it!"?

I know a lot of hellions are passionate about cooking and entertaining - so what would _you_ want to hear if you offered to cook someone a dinner of their choice? 

lady_disdain:
I would like an honest reply, instead of "surprise me". If I wanted to surprise you, I wouldn't have asked. If you really like the pear and walnut salad, say so. You can even add something like "I love how you [insert what you like about it]" or mention how simple dishes can be tricky to balance but he always gets the [ingredient] just right.

Ms_Cellany:
I think you're overthinking it. Say enthusiastically what you want (because you DO want it and you ARE enthusiastic).

TootsNYC:

--- Quote from: Ms_Cellany on April 21, 2014, 06:01:39 PM ---I think you're overthinking it. Say enthusiastically what you want (because you DO want it and you ARE enthusiastic).

--- End quote ---

I agree with this.

And you can always add that you never think of that salad on your own, etc.

katycoo:
Don't hide the dishes you like!  Just say "You know, I know its not as fancy as some of the other things you've made, but that pear and walnut salad was so good it was in my dreams for weeks afterwards.  I'd love you to make that again."

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