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Author Topic: Vegetarian Guest  (Read 9644 times)

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twinkletoes

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Re: Vegetarian Guest
« Reply #30 on: September 21, 2007, 11:23:41 AM »
The problems with the rule are:
1) It can be hard for hosts to plan menus when every guest admits to a different dietary restriction and expects the host to have something available.  One person might be unable to eat something that someone else is required to eat.

You know, I don't find it that way at all.  A few weeks ago, I had plans to have 4-5 people over for dinner (only 2 ended up being able to come, but regardless...)  One of the guests, the mother of one of my friends, eats almost no meat anymore, eats no red meat, and eats only white meat chicken, for health and personal taste reasons.  Another is exceedingly picky about which vegetables he likes.  So that limited me to chicken and whatever vegetables my friend liked.  I made the lovely E-hell recipe for pork chops with raspberry sauce, but used chicken instead (I keep kosher, so I always use this recipe for chicken), my famous brown/wild rice pilaf with mushrooms, onions, and herbs, and boiled green beans.  If my friend who is allergic to mushrooms had been a guest, I would have made rosemary potatoes instead.  If my friend who was a vegan had also been a guest, I would have made another vegetable, some salad, and some stir-fried tofu or some hummus.  It can be done.  The only people I can't stand are the ones who "ewwww" at food.  As it turns out, my friends who came for dinner that night are not fans of onions or mushrooms (wish I'd a known that, but oh well).  They ate a little bit of the rice to be polite, but they didn't really care for it.  It wasn't a big deal.

I can see where it would work when you're only having a few people over.  I think KeenReader might be referring to parties in which there are 10+ people, and each one has a litany of foods they can't eat, for whatever reason.  I imagine it would be difficult to find something suitable when you have so many dietary restrictions.  (Of course, it might result in the host making a meal in which most guests can only have a few - but not all - of the dishes.)

Lynda_34

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Re: Vegetarian Guest
« Reply #31 on: September 23, 2007, 02:04:43 AM »
Etiquette's official stance on this is that the host is obligated to ask the guest if they have dietary restrictions and should work around them.  Not all hosts do this.  When a guest is in a situation where the host has failed to ask, they're supposed to feign not being hungry.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  Etiquette is supposed to make social interactions easier and less stressful for all parties involved.  I just don't see how this rule accomplishes that.  I think vegetarians, allergic people, etc. should speak up.

I've never asked, always depended on being told.  I don't mind cooking vegetarian, kosher isn't going to happen, (my kitchen isn't kosher) but I can get or prepare things that might be ok for them to eat, I always cook with minimal salt but I will add cream to milk based dishes, (my feelilng is if you're behaving my little bit of fat isn't going to hurt), vegan might be difficult for me,(just don't know the rules) same with celiac issues.  Allergies are easy to avoid.
I'd never expect anyone to take meat out of a dish, what I usually do is prepare the food, (lasagna is easy) and at the last step add meat to one dish and keep the other meat free.  If there were dairy issues they might just get lasagna and tomato sauce, I might add some broccoli or carrots just for variety.

falconryfan

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Re: Vegetarian Guest
« Reply #32 on: September 23, 2007, 06:34:26 AM »
I used to be vegetarian and that is exactly the problem I ran into. I never understood why people don't think fish is meat.

Part of the reason that people don't think fish is meat is because some so called vegetarians tell people that they are vegetarian but eat fish.

If you eat flesh in any form,you are not a vegetarian,I'm not one myself but it annoys me when people who eat fish call themselves vegetarians,it makes dining out much more difficult for true vegetarians, as they are often offered a fish dish and the waiter/host is often suprised that they won't touch the fish.

I once saw a baked potato place in a food court offering tuna on their list of vegetarian options. >:(

This is a major pet peeve for me. 

artk2002

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Re: Vegetarian Guest
« Reply #33 on: September 23, 2007, 01:08:53 PM »
Part of the reason that people don't think fish is meat is because some so called vegetarians tell people that they are vegetarian but eat fish.

That's because they don't like being called piscaterians.   ;D
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

auntiem

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Re: Vegetarian Guest
« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2007, 03:12:11 PM »
I was vegitarian because of the whole "diet for a small planet" theory, so technically I could have eaten fish (because they are swimming around eating other fish and not plant products that could be feeding people) but I didn't for that exact reason - it just confuses people more. And I felt it made people who are vegitarians because they don't "eat anything with a face" have an even tougher battle.
And really, what hostess wants to hear the theory behind your dietary choices?

LyanneB1

  • Guest
Re: Vegetarian Guest
« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2007, 06:35:03 PM »
Etiquette's official stance on this is that the host is obligated to ask the guest if they have dietary restrictions and should work around them.  Not all hosts do this.  When a guest is in a situation where the host has failed to ask, they're supposed to feign not being hungry.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  Etiquette is supposed to make social interactions easier and less stressful for all parties involved.  I just don't see how this rule accomplishes that.  I think vegetarians, allergic people, etc. should speak up.


I'm going to do dairy & egg free quiche next time they're round.



I'm having trouble envisioning quiche with no eggs or dairy     :-\  :)
I'm all for speaking up.  NotCinderell makes an excellent point about why etiquette exists in the first place.  As long as a guest wasn't bratty about it, I would want them to tell me anything that they simply couldn't bring themselves to eat, even to be polite.  I'm sure we all have foods we don't like but can tolerate (I can eat around the mushrooms in pasta sauce, for instance), and also a few foods that we really don't like, even if we're not allergic (I'm sorry, if you serve me fish, I just won't eat it), and I wouldn't want to host a party where my guests couldn't eat the food!  Many people aren't aware of the specific dictates of formal etiquette, and they just don't know that as host, they're supposed to ask.  They mean well, but they just don't know.  I think they'd be thankful if you told them, nicely, that you were a vegetarian/allergic to soy/couldn't stand to eat one specific item (I'd be annoyed if there was a list as long as my arm, but I'll accept one or two items).


 ;) It actually works surprisingly well - I either use tofu instead of milk & eggs & whizz it up in the food processor, or do a fairly thick white sauce.  You need to season it well & I think it works best with lots of onion & garlic.  I've seen a suggestion for using ratatouille but I wouldn't use that becasue I really don't eat courgettes or aubergines.

RainhaDoTexugo

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Re: Vegetarian Guest
« Reply #36 on: September 27, 2007, 09:25:08 PM »

I'm going to do dairy & egg free quiche next time they're round.


I'm having trouble envisioning quiche with no eggs or dairy     :-\  :)



 ;) It actually works surprisingly well - I either use tofu instead of milk & eggs & whizz it up in the food processor, or do a fairly thick white sauce.  You need to season it well & I think it works best with lots of onion & garlic.  I've seen a suggestion for using ratatouille but I wouldn't use that becasue I really don't eat courgettes or aubergines.

Ah, I suppose that makes sense.  It just seems like such a strange idea, you know? :)  Everything works best with lots of garlic, IMHO   ;D

blarg314

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Re: Vegetarian Guest
« Reply #37 on: September 28, 2007, 03:27:40 AM »

I ask about restrictions when I invite people, but I get peeved when people get overly enthusiastic when replying.

Basically, I'm happy to try to accomodate ethical, religious restrictions, or those based on medical sensitivities or allergies, although there are some variants I would not be able to manage (e.g. kosher, severe peanut allergies).

However, when I ask about dietary restrictions I don't want to hear about how they're on the Atkins diet, they only eat free-range chicken purchased directly from the farm, they don't like orange vegetables, they've given up desserts for Lent, mushrooms make them gag, they don't like "Asian food", beans give them gas, or other information of that nature. Basically, I'll accomodate serious restrictions, but am less likely to cater to likes and dislikes.

There are logistical problems when you start planning meals for more than about six people as well. If you're planning a dinner party and one person announces that they are vegan, another is lactose intolerant another has celiac disease, another won't eat vegetables or fruit, another is on a starch free diet, and another has allergies to peanuts and soy products you end up serving water.





tapperjockey

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Re: Vegetarian Guest
« Reply #38 on: September 28, 2007, 04:28:07 AM »
What I've taken to doing when I invite people for dinner, is tell them what I plan on serving when I invite them (by phone, if it were written, I'd mention when they RSVP).  So I'll say "Hi Mary, would you like to come over Friday for a dinner party. I'm having rack of lamb, mushroom wild rice, asparagus and Cherry Cheesecake".. Then they can mention any problems before hand.   But I don't know any vegetarians, anyone whom is allergic to dairy or peanuts, anyone whom keeps Kosher, or anyone that has a gluten allergy that I've ever invited to dinner.. and I'd never serve meat on a Friday, or during Lent unless it was a certain day (i.e. St Patrick's Day) that my Catholic friends could "feast" on. (I'm not Catholic, but since my mom is, I grew up observing most of the feast days, etc.). 

Kendo_Bunny

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Re: Vegetarian Guest
« Reply #39 on: September 29, 2007, 01:39:04 AM »
If I've given up a food for Lent, I try not to let it be a big issue. I try to just politely decline (sweets usually), and I'd never expect anyone else to give up their dessert or not serve dessert. IMO, if you give up something for Lent, then insist no one around you tempt you with it at all, you're not really making much of a sacrifice.

livluvlaf

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Re: Vegetarian Guest
« Reply #40 on: October 05, 2007, 12:34:53 PM »
When I became vegetarian, my parents made me feel terrible about "insulting the cook" by refusing what others have prepared for you, even if it included meat. I would blunder through it, usually picking bits of meat out. So now I usually speak with the host about bringing a dish, under the guise of helping. And if we're staying at someone's house overnight, I always bring something surplus in my luggage (nuts, power bars, protein shakes) as I dont want the focus of my host's weekend to be preoccupied about my dietary restrictions.

Someone who takes their special diet seriously is used to working around other people's meals plans - they usually dont want you to go out of their way for them. It is appreciated when an effort is made, but not necessary.

I am keen about the host to pre-announce the menu, as it gives guests time to plan.

caranfin

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Re: Vegetarian Guest
« Reply #41 on: October 06, 2007, 02:20:13 PM »
I can see where it would work when you're only having a few people over.  I think KeenReader might be referring to parties in which there are 10+ people, and each one has a litany of foods they can't eat, for whatever reason.

In my experience, very few people actually have a litany of foods they can't eat. Allergies/intolerances, religious restrictions - those are people who can't eat things. People who insist on free range chicken, or don't like seafood? That's things they won't eat.
He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways.

waterwren

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Re: Vegetarian Guest
« Reply #42 on: October 06, 2007, 09:54:09 PM »
I  usually tell folks the menu. and I don't deviate from the planned menu. At all. The reason for this is Mal, who thinks he should be able to dictate things, including last minute wholesale changes. Now we all know he's allergic to raisins, and we don't serve those around him...BUT I will not tolerate Mal coming over and saying " We have to have this, that and the other thing, because I don't feel like that, that and that" His family tolerates this, His friends have started refusing to. I never did.
 I don't do vegetarian either, and it's only come up once, when three of us threw a baby shower for a friend..and one of her intended guests said she would not come if there was anything non vegan served. We told her she'd be missed.
 I have to wonder if vegetarians would be so accommodating to meat eaters as they want meta eaters to be to them. 

StarFaerie

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Re: Vegetarian Guest
« Reply #43 on: October 07, 2007, 12:21:10 AM »
I would prefer to be told. If someone turned up at my dinner and then announced they were a vegetarian and couldn't eat anything I had cooked, I'd call a restaurant and order something for them or get in the car and get it from the shops. And I wouldn't take no for an answer.

About having lots of people with different requirements, I have dinner parties with 10 or so friends of whom 1 is gluten intolerant, 1 is vegetarian but eats eggs and milk (but not tofu), one is a vegan and one has multiple allergies, plus I'm lactose intolerant. I just cook several dishes giving each a choice of dishes/side dishes that they can eat to allow for it all rather than cooking a few large dishes. (ie about 5-8 dishes all up). For the gluten intolerant and multiple allergy sufferer I make separate single dishes just for them. It is possible with planning.

LissaR1

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Re: Vegetarian Guest
« Reply #44 on: October 07, 2007, 01:15:12 PM »
I usually ask, but if I forgot, I'd be very grateful to be told!  Like others, I would be mortified to serve steak to a vegetarian. 

For hostessing, if I'm having a small party (like one other couple), I will most certainly take into account likes and dislikes.  Hubby's best friend hates mayo?  We avoid anything with mayo.  My stepfather hates cream sauce?  No problem (well, sort of, because I love cream sauces).  But when you're only catering to a couple of people, it's easy.  For big dinners, like Thanksgiving, I cater in that if I know a lot of people won't eat a dish I won't make much of it, or whatever.  We have one vegetarian that attends, and it's pretty easy to make her a main dish that others will eat as a side (last year it was a mushroom strudel), and make sure several sides don't have animal products.  (Mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and sweet potatoes all fit the bill, aside from the salad.  She said she was stuffed when she left, so...)  But I rarely host a larger party that isn't a buffet, so it's usually fairly easy to work with people's tastes.

I'm a relatively picky eater and I've done the diet thing, but I find both very easy to handle.  For example, if someone asks about dietary restrictions, the only thing I tell them is that I don't care for seafood.  I only mention that one because it's the main dish, and I REALLY don't like it.  But I don't bore them with my litany of other things I don't care for- worst case I can either eat a little or quietly not take the food.