Author Topic: Must I Accommadate? How Much?  (Read 4596 times)

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NOVA Lady

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Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« on: March 19, 2007, 09:48:01 PM »
OK so here is the short story. We have invited several people for dinner on Wednesday evening. Invited are a couple and a single male friend. Today single male friend decided to take me up on my offer to "invite a date if you'd like" and let me know via email that he has decided to bring a girl he has recently started seeing. This is not the problem. The issue is...she is a vegan. The menu I planned:

Surf and Turf (Steak and stuffed shrimp)- she can't eat it.
Ceasar Salad- She cannot eat
Home made biscuit rolls- She cannot eat it
Beef Carpaccio (appetizer)- she cannot eat it
A mini tier cake- She cannot eat

is not vegan at all. What do I do?????

:) I don't really want to change my menu....should I make her a side dish and main dish of her own? I am serving it as a plated diner so I am unsure.

duhrich

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2007, 09:58:35 PM »
Boy, that is a really hard one. The salad - well I guess you could hold out some of the greens and find a salad dressing she can eat. What is it about the biscuits and cake she can't eat? (sorry - I don't know the ins and outs of vegan eating/cooking). I think you are kind of stuck since you told him he could invite a guest. Maybe there is a restaurant in town at which you could pick up a vegan entree to serve her (just plate it with the rest)..  For dessert, you could serve her some cut up fruit in a nice bowl/plate with mint sprigs or something.  Hope this helps.

sparksals

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2007, 10:04:41 PM »
I think you should email the guy and tell him that the meal you planned is not vegan friendly.  You would love to be able to entertain her at some point, but you are unable to change your menu at this time. 

It is rude for someone to expect accommodations in this type of situation.  You don't know her and I think the guy you invited is clueless as to the menu nightmare this can cause for you.

BTW, the menu sounds fab!

sammycat

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2007, 10:11:05 PM »
That menu sounds yummy!!!  Can I come too?!  If there are any leftovers send them my way...

Personally I wouldn't go creating a new menu, as you have plenty of people who are perfectly capable of eating it.  Maybe make some of the salad vegan (is this even possible? - I have no idea what vegans can eat), and perhaps an extra dessert, either a single serving for her, or let the guests have a choice of 2.  As for the main meal, if may just be easier to get a single serving of something from a shop.

The other option is just to let your friend know that the menu is not vegan friendly (and why would it have been if no other vegans were coming up until this point), and let him tell his friend so that she can then make a decision as to whether she still wants to come.  She may volunteer to bring a dish or her own meal.  Either way, I certainly wouldn't go changing an entire menu just for the sake of one person (life threatening allergies excepted).

MadMadge43

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2007, 10:17:38 PM »
The poor clueless guy that has no clue as to what goes into a dinner party and finds nothing wrong with inviting a vegan at the last minute will never understand why this is putting you out.

What I would do, if you really want to help this guy out is, stir fry some vegetables in olive oil while you're finishing the rest of the meal and have some fruit for her for desert.

I might, if I was feeling really generous put some crackers out for the appetizer for her too. She's probably used to dealing with her restrictions, so I'm sure she's not expecting a full on vegan meal at the last moment and will just be appreciative that you went the extra mile for her.

MadMadge43

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2007, 10:19:10 PM »
Quote
What is it about the biscuits and cake she can't eat?

They were probably made with butter or eggs. Not on the vegan diet.

NOVA Lady

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2007, 11:10:26 PM »
Quote
What is it about the biscuits and cake she can't eat?

They were probably made with butter or eggs. Not on the vegan diet.

Thats exactly the problem :) Thanks!

I really liked your earlier suggestions. While there is no way (that I can think of that would taste good) to make my home made ceasar dressing and salad vegan, but buying a bunch of spring greens, dried cranberries, whatever for a fun salad plus maybe whipping up some sort of portebello or eggplant (or what else?????) dish in a single serving size and plating it for her to eat with our maind dishes.

I don't want to seem unwelcoming, but I am not really all that open to changing menu or modifying it for everyone else. But, I do want to do something so that, if she choses to come (I told him that my meal was not even close to vegan friendly) she will have a veggie/starch/protien like everyone else and wont feel out of place.

Jaywalker

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2007, 11:16:37 PM »
two things

let him know the menu is not vegan

if she is coming anyway -- go to a local whole foods, wild oats or whatever type deli in grocery store -- and purchase a vegan entree and salad -- and have fruit for dessert


Buffy2424

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2007, 05:00:12 AM »
I don't feel that you have to, but it's a nice thing to do. 

Carr's table wafers are vegan, I believe (I am not a vegan, or even a serious vegetarian myself, but I remember that from PETA).  Everyone likes grapes.

Have you ever seen frozen Boca stuff in your grocery freezer?  Some (not all) of these and "Amy's" products are vegan. 

So if you want to be accomodating, it could be as easy as selecting & heating up a burger.


Edited because I'm an Editor, and cannot resist even when I'm supposed to be taking a break.

Nonsequitur

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2007, 09:33:25 AM »
I don't think hosts have an obligation to alter a menu planned in advance for a last-minute guest with dietary restrictions, but if I were in your shoes I'd probably try to do something. For example, you might look up some vegan Caesar-type dressing recipes and have a bowl of that salad handy. Make more, as it's the only thing she'll be eating.

The vegans I know are used to having scant offerings at dinner parties and eating lots of salad, and since her invitation is last minute, she should understand.  If she doesn't, she'll probably hate you and refuse to attend future dinners you host, solving future menu problems for you.  Offer her a friendly apology that you don't have many items for her to eat, but you'll try next time to have a bit more.

If I were in your friend's shoes last week, I'd have asked what the menu was, then not invited her when I knew there were no dishes a vegan would eat (though maybe he didn't know that Caesar dressing has meat in it).

edited to add: And you need to put deadlines on the "invite a friend" permission to prevent future surprises.  And Buffy, I hate grapes.  They freak me out.

« Last Edit: March 20, 2007, 09:35:35 AM by Nonsequitur »

Twik

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2007, 09:49:15 AM »
Nonsequitur, I don't believe there is such a thing as a vegan Caesar salad. You may have a salad with oil and garlic, but it's not a Caesar salad. If it were me, I'd far rather change to some other type of salad than force all my guests to eat something that I have to tell them, "You almost can't tell the difference!", because you can.

Edited to add - it doesn't have meat in it, unless you use anchovies, but eggs and parmesan cheese are standard ingredients. I'm assuming as a vegan she would not eat those.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2007, 10:00:03 AM by Twik »
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twinkletoes

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2007, 09:59:26 AM »
Is it possible to put the dressing on the side?  There are those who hate that particular dressing, anyway, so if the OP offered the salad "plain" and had her dressing (and an oil-based dressing) on the side, it's no harm, no foul.

I don't know that I'd try making a vegan version of the dressing, as it might not be nearly as good and might taste 'off.'  I also don't know if one should start experimenting with new recipes like that for a dinner party. 

If it's not too much, can you offer a dessert of fruit as well?  For some, cake is just too sweet, or maybe they're on a diet.  A bowl of fresh fruit is always welcome - and it doesn't make the girlfriend 'stick out.' 

For what it's worth, I once attended a dinner party where one of the guests had a dietary restriction (can't remember what it was - I think they may have been a vegetarian).  The hostess prepared a special meal for that guest, and I think it looked better than what she had prepared for the rest of us!

Sterling

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2007, 10:24:55 AM »
I second going to a local Whole Foods or even a Natural foods store of some type.  My town is pretty small but we have one.  They almost always have some type of a deli or lunch counter.  You can get a side and entree there for your gust and since you are plating i the kitchen and not at the table you can just bring in out.

I would let him know about the menu though.  And cross your fingers that she isn't one who pointsfingers at meat eaters. 

I will warn you vegan cooking can be really hard.  Its not just animal products but a lot of times they will not eat sugar, honey, or other items because they are grown and processed using animals.  Its much more political than most diets.
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Twik

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2007, 10:27:31 AM »
It would be a nice accommodation as well if the girlfriend offered to bring a vegan dish (even a side) so there would be a little more for her, and a chance for other people to learn more about vegan cooking.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Lisbeth

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Re: Must I Accommadate? How Much?
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2007, 10:43:44 AM »
Without eliminating any non-vegan dishes from your menu, can you add one for this girl?

Otherwise, I agree that you should tell her boyfriend that you can't accommodate her.
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