Can I Bring My Own Food???

agnesdDecember 16, 2005

I'm sort of fed up with those guests who state , "I really don't eat .......(turkey, pork etc.), would it be all right if I brought such & such for myself. I know if I go to someone for dinner, I never even mention I don't eat something. I just work around the item. I think it's tacky for the other guests, who may prefer something else as well. I thought I would answer them with this reply. That would be fine as long as you bring enough for everyone. Would this be tacky? I think that would be fair to my other guests.

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I've never had anyone say that to me, I find it quite rude! Generally I ask my guests (first timers) if they have any serious dislikes or allergies and then cook around that.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 1:48PM
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I'm also happy to avoid cooking a particular food, or cook additional foods, if my guest isn't into it for whatever reason. I also always ask about allergies and preferences. But at a large gathering there's usually plenty to to choose from and they could easily avoid a food and still be fine.

My only exception is a friend that brings food for her son who has a lot of allergies. I've offered to cook things that he'll be able to eat, but his diet is extrememly limited and she's very afraid of cross contamination from other utensils.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 4:21PM
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My MIL brought a ribeye steak to my home for Thanksgiving because Dad doesn't like turkey. With all I had to do, she expected me to make a steak for him. My husband took care of the situation. FIL, also, demanded to eat at 12 noon. What I really want to know is if asked, would it be impolite to I say no.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 7:13PM
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Dang Agnesd, I hope that is not a sign of things to come. I also hope that your DH willing to tell his dad to mellow out (in a nice way).

I remember as a child my (late) uncle's childhood/high school friend came to visit my parents. My parents, uncle and this friend grew up together in a meat and potatoes type of town, NON-COASTAL. At the time my parents had already lived in L.A. for about 10 years and my parents had not seen this friend in about 15 years.

To make a long story short my mother served oysters and mussels raw on the half shell with a variety of dipping sauces our guest thought were strange. I also think that my parents served smoked duck (asian style) with the head still on (one of their favorites)

After seeing our company's disgust, my mother immediately went to the store to buy, MEAT aka Beef and I assume potatoes.

I learned a vaulable lesson that day. Never serve anything on the extreme side of the menu without knowing that your guest like it.

In my case, my husband doesn't like fish nor mussels, scallops, etc. My parents (after learning their lesson with my uncle's friend), always accommodate my DH.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 1:44AM
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Yeah! Yeah ! Yeah!....
But I have several times had people over for a meal for the first time. And I ask.....what do you like or dislike? And the answer is "Oh! We're easy.....we eat everything" Yeah! Right!....So I buy a lovely boneless leg of lamb and plan to serve it butterflied and grilled.....
Sure..."Anything BUT lamb".....and the spinach stuffed roulade...."Anything BUT spinach"....or curry or food with jalapenos....etc!
I find the best bet is to say I am serving a lamb, pesto spinach dish with raw clams on the side to really find out if my menu is OK! LOL!!
People say they eat anything....but when you say "how about leg of lamb".....then the truth comes out!
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 11:39PM
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Hi Linda,

I am not a lamb eater. Because I was not raised eating lamb, never in a million years would I think that someone I know would invite me over to eat lamb. I guess out of sight, out of mind. So I think you are right. You need to ask, "How about leg of lamb?" Just out of curiosity, I wonder what percentage of Americans were raised eating lamb (whether they liked it or not).

Unlike my parents I do not eat raw shellfish or duck. If I had guest over, I would never assume that they would desire to eat raw shellfish or duck at my house.

It's amazing how our palettes work. When I was a child, I remember my Grandma (mom's mom) making beef tongue in the crock pot. Double yuck. Even worse, I had a babysitter that would make chitlings...Triple yuck.

I think that if you are inviting someone over for dinner for the first time, you should always start off with something classic/mainstream like beef or chicken. They are always a safe bet. The same with veggies, for the first dinner start off with a basic salad with mashed potatoes or rice and simple dessert.

I use a lot of herbs and spices when I cook (cumin, wasabi, cilantro, thyme, dill, lemongrass, curry, etc). I made what I thought was a delight full chicken with cilantro for a co-worker. Well guess what, she said that ever since she was a child she hated cilantro. To her, cilantro tastes like dish soap. Go figure.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 2:01AM
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I always ask when I invite others over. In fact I usually tell them what I'm having. Now that I think about it. My problem usually involves Thanksgiving where the meal is sort of predefined. I think on the holiday there is more than enough veggies and side dishes to forgo the turkey and not bring your own. Or if you are having several guests over and have someone who doesn't eat "anything". They usually are the problems.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 8:40AM
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To me, lamb is mainstream.
I know people who say outright..."I don't like fish!"....Now deep fried catfish is very different from cold poached salmon, or fillet of sole stuffed with crab.....and all are fish. Grilled halibut or brook trout sauteed in butter with but different!
Ask!......and sometimes you have to ask will you eat tomatoes in your salad? Mushrooms? blue cheese crumbles? If I put sour cream in the mashed potatoes.....will you gag? If I serve glazed pecans on the salad will you pick them out? If the marinated vegetable salad contains sliced olives, will you be able to stand it?
I belong to a group where I am hostess for lunch once a year for the group. One woman eats no onions in anything.....she says she gets sick if there is even onion in soup ( but I have seen her eat some of my soups and be fine!) Another doesn't eat lamb....nor liver, nor anything but beef, pork and chicken.....without curry or any hot spice.
Anyhow....I start planning early!
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 11:08AM
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Wow. I don't even remember lamb being sold at the local grocery stores. Usually, the local stores have a large pork, poultry (chicken/turkey), beef and a small seafood section. Maybe it's a regional thing. I live in California. I have heard of people bbqing sheep and goat, but they usually need to go to a specialty market or butchers.

Veal is popular out here. I remember having meatballs at a party that I thought were beef, but they were veal. I absolutely loved them. Then about 2 am, I threw them up. I spoke with my doctor about this. He said that veal has a higher fat content that some people just cannot digest. So now, I cannot eat veal.

As far as veggies are concerned, I will eat anything. I think that most people should be polite and have an open mind with veggies. They should try what you made without any prejudgements.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 12:13PM
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Agnes, I can understand your dilemma. I have one friend that's vegan and another that won't eat fruit, veggies or fish. Her husband is allergic to shell beans. Another friend is allergic to strawberries, one is lactose intolerant and lastly yet another friend who is allergic to peanuts. So that leaves bread for everyone to eat! By all means bring what you like and bring enough to share!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 10:07AM
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Littlebear.....your Dr is dead wrong! Veal contains much less fat than if you threw up the meatballs it was either something else in the meatballs, they had not been properly refrigerated.....or the stomach flu.
In my small town in Iowa, there are not always lamb chops in the grocery meal cooler....but is larger towns, there are always chops, or boneless leg or stew meat or....or.
My mother lived in the LA area for a while and there was always lamb in the grocery store.
Try veal marsala just's wonderful! And sheep and lamb are very different tastes....

But back to the topic....I have a friend who is allergic to nothing with wheat.....and that can include amny things like some bottled corn and no rye nor oats. So when I have them for menu must consist of grilled meats ( no dredging in flour before cooking!) and potatoes and salad and veggie. But her husband is not much for most veggies....likes his salad quite sweet....and without strong cheese in it.
Stir fried chicken and veggies are a good choice....but no soy sauce nor thickening with corn starch.....but rice is OK....lots of rice!!! LOL!
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 10:55AM
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Just a note on the lamb issue...

In the west, folks did not eat much, if any, lamb. There was a huge 'Hatfields & McCoys' thing between cattle ranchers and the sheep herders. Cattle ranchers claimed the sheep ruined the grazing land. At times, shots were even fired.

Things calmed down after WWII but lamb remained an unspoken "no no" at the dinner table for many westerners. During the decade I spent in Colorado...1980's...I once had a guest and his wife leave our dinner party 'cause lamb was on the menu! His g-father had been a cattle rancher in the 1920's.

So, to at least some's a regional thing.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 11:22AM
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I was born and raised in the east.....aas I said, lamb was main stream.
In 1957 I married and moved to Iowa.....there was no lamb in the grocery store....but lots and lots of market lambs were raised. I asked where all those lambs went if not to the local market.....and was told to "the Citys" Chicago, Minneapolis, Etc.
It seems that farmers have/had an aversion to eating a young animal....veal, lamb, broilers etc......and older lamb becomes mutton and is very strong and gamey.
If there was a residual of the old "sheep herders versis cattlemen" thing....I suspect it was very minimas and very isolated.
I suspect if it is regional, it's just because of the ethnicity of parts of the mid-west. Brits and Scots are lamb/mutton are Spanish, and Mexicans. The Swedes, Dutch and Germans are not into lamb....but more lovers of beef, pork and fish ( Weiner schnitzel not withstanding!! LOL!) the last 20 years or so.....there is lots of lamb sold in the midwest
I love lamb!....There are some tiny rib chops in the freezer.......maybe dinner tomorrow!
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 11:42PM
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I am third Generartion Mexican on my Mom's side. My dad's side is from the Gila River Indian Community in Sacaton, AZ on Grandma's side and Spanish on Grandfather's side from northern AZ and Albequeque, NM. On dad side we only ate beef and on very rare occassion chicken (not the norm). On mom's, chicken, beef and every type of seafood was the norm. On rare occassion we ate pork (ribs, carnitas, adovada). Being raised in L.A., I did have neighbors that would go to a butcher house to buy a whole pig, goat or sheep.

I tried lamb by accident at at an Indian Casino by accident. My husband told me that I must try the prime rib. Well, I had never eaten prime rib so I did not know what it looked like. Apparently, the lamb was mislabeled with the prime rib label. I bit into it and wow, it was the strongest tasting meat that I had ever eaten. Per the waiter, the lamb was served more like Mouton. I guess that is an older lamb. Perhaps, I will give it a try sometime.

Linda. Thanks for the advice about the veal. I don't remember what else I ate that night or if I was starting to get sick. I was about 16-18 then; I am now 33. Maybe, I give veal another try.

I have an aunt that always complained about what was being served where daughter was a little girl. She would get mad/annoyed if there wasn't any non-fat milk. Her daughter was not allowed (at the age of four) to drink juice, soda, ice tea or any type of milk aside from non-fat. She would not let her eat pizza (even cheese), mashed potatoes or anything else fun. Did my cousin have allergies or any other medical problems? NO. She just wanted to watch the intake of everything she ate. According to my aunt tea stained daughters teeth, juice raised her sugar, 2 percent (and higher) milk taught her daughter that fat was okay. We finally stopped inviting her over.

Okay now for the ironic part of the story. The same aunt had 4 kids starting at the age of 15-23. Those kids had chocolate syrup and candy bars for breakfast. Sometimes they did not eat all day during the summer. They all ended up okay. The little "princess" that she tried so hard to protect was from an affair at the age of 36...She finally ended up leaving my uncle and having a second daughter and marrying the guy. She was/is the same way with the other youngest daughter (who is now 14, oldest 16 or 17). She still scolds the girls about what they eat at family events. They girls are beautiful and very slim. I just hope they don't end up with an eating disorder.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 12:35AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I have gone so far as to present several menus to guests. They can choose whatever appeals to them. My MIL is one of those " Oh, I love everything" which actually means the food she grew up with in the thirties on a rural southern farm. Which also means, she eats nothing we eat!

We have friends who eat no vegetables except iceberg lettuce salad and only french dressing.
Once, when they were over with their two children, I pulled a homemade blueberry and peach cobbler from the oven for dessert. ALL of them said, "No, thank you" very politely!
Dh and I were amazed that anybody could be so picky. And miss out on so much.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 2:34PM
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We had a little 8 year old boy join us for T-Day a few years ago. I won't go into the history of this little boy but the story is both funny & sad.

He came into the kitchen to see when dinner would be ready. I was just starting to mash the potatoes. He asked what they were. Dumbfounded, I said, "Potatoes, I'm getting ready to mash them." He responded, "No, those are NOT potatoes! Potatoes come in a red box. You are just trying to get me to eat vegetables, aren't you?" Well, I didn't know quite what to say so just let it slide.

At dinner, he wouldn't eat the mashed potatoes. He wouldn't eat the butternut squash w/brown sugar & butter. He wouldn't eat the green beans. We let it all slide since he was a guest in our home.

Finally, it was time for dessert. The little boy started getting hyper (probably, from hunger!) and asked for a huge piece of pumpkin pie. I couldn't contain myself, and didn't try very hard....I responded, "Eric, I'm not going to waste this yummy pumpkin pie on you because you won't eat squash!" His face actually froze. He looked at his mother and asked if pumpkin pie was squash. She meekly nodded in the positive. He declined the pie and sat there totally dejected while we had dessert.

This T-Day was at our DS & DIL's house so we had to drive home later in the day. On the way, little Eric asked if we could stop at McDonald's...he was hungry. My DH was furious and started to say, "NO!" but I nudged him and he turned towards McDonald's. They were, of course, not open on T-Day. So, Eric hadn't eaten any dinner or dessert.

I often wonder if he's changed his eating habits. He'll have a hard time in life if things don't change at least a little.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 3:36PM
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I grew up eating lamb and like it a lot, but I know many people have never eaten it. My husband had never eaten it, but he likes it now.

I always try to find out what my guest like before inviting them to dinner. I would never serve anything unusual like lamb or curry(another favorite) unless I knew it was liked. Raw seafood...that seems a very strange thing to serve guests.

I recently had my husband's boss to dinner. I served chicken marsala. Turns out he doesn't like mushrooms so I just didn't give him any.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 10:18PM
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It is rude for a guest to complain about your meal. If they want to bring something that's fine but they are on their own preparing it etc. Having you prepare it was also rude. I try to prepare a varied menu so there is something to please everyone. Buffets work well and also potluck dinners are fun because then everyone feels like they are contributing. If a guest asks if they can bring something around Christmas I tell them there will be plenty but if they would like thats fine. If they ask about the menu I will share- other than that forget it!!!!! They can go home and eat!!!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 8:00AM
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Boy, I never realized how lucky I am.....we have a huge blended family and lots of company, and I've never had any food refused! If it isn't bolted to something, they'll eat it!!! I'll have to tell them how great they are!! :^)

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 12:37PM
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Hmmm...I almost forgot Grandpa. He is so funny. He always carries a couple of jalapenos or serranos in his pocket "just in case we are going to eat". I love Tabasco and Tapatio. I always have both on hand. Grandpa is so funny. I can take him to the nicest steak house, Italian, Greek or French restaurant and he will still ask for both Tapatio and Tabasco. Go figure.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2005 at 1:35AM
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It is so true that (other than allergies, religious restrictions, and vegetarianism) everyone says, "Oh, I eat everything." We had several house guests this year, and they ALL said that, and they all meant it, but it is NEVER true. It's just that everyone is only thinking of "everything" as "all the foods on the list of foods I would think of having in my own house." The above lamb discussion is the PERFECT example. The foods that these "I eat everything" house guests wouldn't touch included: fish, lettuce, eggs, mustard, rye bread, peanut butter -- oh, and anything even slightly spicy.

I think the polite thing to do for a guest with allergies/religious/vegetarian/etc. restrictions depends upon the event in question. If it is a big event, like a wedding reception or even a pretty big birthday party, or an event with a sort of traditional menu (like turkey at Thanksgiving or burgers and hot dogs on July 4th), I think you just keep your mouth shut and eat those parts of the meal that you can. Probably no one will even notice what you are and aren't eating anyway. I would not bring my own food, though (maybe as a houseguest, but not when invited for a meal). I think that's rather rude; too pointed a rejection of what the hosts offer. Eat before you come if you must.

But what drives me CRAZY is when I invite someone over for dinner, NOT as part of a big party, maybe even as the only guests, and they don't tell me that they are, for example, vegetarian, until dinner time. "Oh, don't worry, we'll be very happy with the side dishes. We didn't tell you because we didn't want you to go to any trouble."

But -- I DID go to a lot of trouble! And now it's all for nothing -- they aren't eating it, and they are the only guests. Do they really think my husband and I will feel comfortable eating the main dish all by ourselves? I know lots of wonderful vegetarian dinners that I would have been very happy to make and serve instead. Do they think that I prefer working just as hard (and spending money) on something that they won't eat? Hosts LIKE to go to some "trouble," if that's what you must call effort, for their guests -- that's the fun of entertaining. It's only "trouble" if it's WASTED effort. In my opinion, polite guests try to be good sports and try things, or, if for reasons of health or principle they simply cannot, they are discreet about it when possible (like in a big group), and pre-emptive, by warning the hosts in advance, when their abstaining will be painfully obvious.

So now, when I give a dinner party, I ASK the guests, "Is there anything you won't eat?" if I haven't planned the menu yet, or something like "I'm thinking of serving a dish with coconut in it; do you like coconut?" I TREASURE the guests who "get it" and have said things like, "my husband can't eat tomatoes, but he can easily eat around them if you're serving something with tomatoes in it," or "We don't eat meat, but we are very happy with side dishes, so please don't do anything special on our account." I appreciate that SO much. No one is directing or even asking me to change my plans. But it's so easy to tweak the menu, and I'd always rather do that.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 10:28PM
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I am with guests are all family, usually at the holidays (sometimes Superbowl, July 4th, etc). They really mean it when they say they'll eat everything!
Usually they bring stuff....with or without me asking. Lots of time it's the things they know we don't keep on hand. Have a BIL & SIL that drink beer, but we don't....they know to bring their own!!

I guess I just prefer to spend time with people I know better and care about. Luckily, I am not in a position where I have to entertain bosses, spouses friends, etc.

Never spent much time thinking about it...I am happy to be where I am!!!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2006 at 6:09PM
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I was brought up eating lamb chops most nights and roast lamb leg on Sundays. Only on odd occasions did mum cook different, a mild curry made with mince (ground beef). Here in Australia lamb was a mainstay and cheap, steak was way too expensive. Now it's different there's a wide range of variety and lamb is getting pricier.

My husband is a very fussy eater but when you ask him he says "I'm easy". His mother and I both say to him that he is anything but easy.

I have learnt to turn up to parties at any of my inlaws places with desserts that have no alcohol in them. To have toddlers who aren't allowed to eat any of the desserts is heartrenching. The problem then is getting to those desserts first to get the kids some because the adults head straight for those ones first.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 10:58PM
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I would feel really bad as well being your guest to tell you that i would not eat lamb at all and the raw seafood was not anything I would eat either. It would be great to make a much more simpler dinner and enjoy the company and get to know everyone before passing judgement. That was a good question.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 2:13AM
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Our SIL is always on some crazy diet. Raw month, where nothing can be cooked, no wheat month, fish only month, etc.. She brings her own food to dinners. Used to drive me crazy, but now I realize that she won't change and is just rude. She actually brought her own food to a restaurant where we were hosting a party. She also will only drink her own water. I do not know what is special about her water, she bottles her own, but she carries it everywhere, even into restaurants!!


    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 12:38PM
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I can't get over how accomodating you all are. If I know of someone's food aversions in advance, I will try my best to work around them - within reason.

I have a few vegetarian and vegan friends who always bring a dish to pass so they know there will be something for them to eat. If I have invited them over, I do try to have a full meal's worth of veggie & vegan options, but I think that is a good strategy for anyone who's diet is particularly strict.

I was raised to try whatever was offered - we weren't allowed to say we didn't like something we had never eaten. I can't understand these kids that travel everywhere with their own macaroni and cheese and hotdogs.

And if there is something being served that I don't care for, I don't eat it. You won't starve if you skip a single meal or need to hit the drive-thru on the way home. If I have overnight or longer-term guests, then by all means they won't go hungry. But they might be having peanut butter & jelly while the rest of us enjoy Thanksgiving dinner because they aren't going to dictate my entire menu.

I'm not running a restaurant here. (okay, end rant)

Here is a link that might be useful: craftfetish blog

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 1:32PM
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This has been a very interesting thread! Growing up we had to at least TRY everything that was served. If we didn't like it, fine, but we HAD to try it. I'm willing to try just about anything, but I will not promise I will like it.

My cousins were VERY picky eaters growing up. My aunt wouldn't make them try ANYTHING. When they came over, my mother would get so upset b/c they didn't want what she had spent so much time preparing. She finally gave up and told them where the bread, peanut butter and jelly was. Now (at age 16), he comes in and immediatley makes himself a PB&J WITHOUT SEEING WHAT'S FOR DINNER. I just don't get it.

I've never been asked if guests can bring their own food, but I did invite a couple over and I was glad when they told me they were very picky eaters and only liked "American" food. I asked them specifically what they wanted and then made! It was easier than what I would have made, but yummier than take out and they were happy. I guess if the guests are happy and it required less work for me, I'm happy to.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 12:02PM
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I'm one of those guests who are often in an awkward position, because I have some really strange food allergies. I can't eat basil, oregano, parsley, thyme, mint, rosemary, lemongrass, chives.... the list goes on and on. Do you know how MANY prepared food items contain parsley??? It's insane! Even chili powder often contains a bit of parsley, and it only takes a little bit of any of those herbs for me to end up in excruciating barely-able-to-breathe pain for hours on end. It doesn't send me to the hospital, but it does make me wish I were dead, several times over. My saving grace is that there's a much more immediate reaction that predicts the pain, and I can then take medicine to stop the reaction.

Right now, most people who know me know that I'm allergic to these things. I haven't had to bring my own food, except for the pizza parties, and those are usually huge affairs with 50 people from my church. But still, I look weird sitting there with my hamburger from Sonic.

I was wondering if you guys might have any advice for me. What do I say if I'm invited to dinner with someone who doesn't know my allergies? This crap is in nearly every prepackaged sauce you can buy, including most salad dressings, box mixes, frozen foods, everywhere. In order for me to be safe, I would have to read every label of every ingredient. It's as pervasive as a peanut allergy! So which is less rude--always declining such invitations, asking lots of questions about ingredients, or bringing my own food? Of course I'm willing to explain why I would decline the invitation, but so many people will say "oh, but we can make something special for you," and then they use something seemingly innocent, like chili powder, not realizing there's parsley in it.

It's not all that bad now, when I'm still hanging around the college and post-college crowd. We're all casual here. But how do I deal with the possible future problem of in-laws and so forth? Someone is always going to think I'm a princess about the whole thing. I need an Ann Landers-inspired quip!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2006 at 3:36PM
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I wouldn't use a "quip." If I had invited you, and got some supposedly cute or clever answer instead of a polite one, I'd think you were being rude -- why are you putting me on the defensive when all I did was invite you to dinner? Plus, I still wouldn't have my answer, so I'd have to ask you again, and you're back to your problem.

As I wrote in my earlier post, I think you are doing the right thing in alerting your hosts before you get there, at least when it is a small enough group that it will be noticed that you aren't eating. Of course, you CAN'T eat this stuff just to be polite -- but on the other hand, if you don't warn your hosts in advance, you are setting them up for disappointment and embarrassment. A gracious guest helps the hosts succeed and feel that they are pleasing their guests.

You really are in a tough spot. Your allergies are pervasive, dangerous, and tricky because they are unfamiliar -- count me among those who never knew chili powder has parsley in it, for example. But as a host, I still want to entertain you well, and I certainly don't want to endanger you!

So consider: what is a dinner invitation all about? Both food AND company. I agree, it will be really hard for you to help a host avoid all your allergies without it being pretty complicated. But you don't want to miss out on every party, and your friends want you there. Surely this situation has already arisen several times. What have you said that seemed to work well?

How would you feel about saying something like, "Thank you so much for inviting me -- I have to tell you, though, I have serious allergies to lots of different herbs, and they are present in so many common ingredients, you wouldn't believe it. So I'm almost impossible to cook for, and I don't want to make you try -- believe me, this isn't as simple as accommodating a vegetarian or something. But I really do want to see you. [Depending on occasion:] How about if we go out to a restaurant instead?/Would you understand if I ate before I came?/Would it be a problem if I brought my own sandwich?" As a host, that would help me understand the problem, save me the embarrassment of serving you stuff you can't eat, and forestall my driving you nuts by playing 20 questions with you trying to figure out a way to cook for you.

I wouldn't worry about your future in-laws. I presume your family has already learned how to cook for you, right? So will your new family.

Good luck! I hope that someday your allergies go away.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 11:34AM
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Thanks, Gellchom, for a very thoughtful reply. "Quip" was the wrong sort of response, I agree. I was looking for just the sort of response you provided--one that doesn't go into all of the gory details but does indicate the seriousness and difficulty of the situation.

My family doesn't really cook for me, as my mom just doesn't like to cook much and we usually eat out when we're together. Much to the detriment of my waistline, "junk" food is safe for me!

On the other hand, the couple that leads my church group has learned to cook for me. Anytime she makes something questionable, she makes a little "safe" dish, just for me. She also does that for our vegetarian and the girl who is lactose intolerant. I might have to ask for some of her recipes. She's a great cook, and I have a roommate coming this fall who is a total foodie. I have a feeling I will be finding out exactly what is on the "bad" list this fall!

Thanks again for the advice.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 11:29AM
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I certainly would NOT be offended if I invited you to dinner and you explained your allergy issues. In fact, I prefer that people tell me if they have allergies. Example: My first Christmas to meet my in-laws (b/f we were married), I made a big plate of Christmas goodies and took as a hostess gift. No one informed me that my FBIL was highly allergic to nuts. I had made a tray that included chocolate peanut clusters, pecan bars, etc. There were a few items that didn't contain nuts, but they were on the same plate and he couldn't eat any of it. I will NEVER forget the sad look on his face (he was only 14 at the time). I felt terrible. I really wish they had told me ahead of time (DH didn't even tell me and he knew!!!)

So, I don't mind if a guest tells me they have an allergy I certainly don't mind...what I dislike is when guests refuse to try something because they *might* not like it.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2006 at 10:24PM
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Parhelia- I wouldn't worry about your future family. My family has restrictive diets. My father has celiac disease and he can not have anything with gluten. (includes wheat, corn, rye, and many prepared things such as soy sauce) My Father-in-law is a prediabetic and eats low glycemic foods. My husband eats low fat. I love cooking for all of them. I find it a challange. I'll make a little side dish of my dessert with splenda for my father-in law. I've found wheat-free soy and use it in recipes. I love them all and it is my pleasure to cook for them. I'm sure your family will feel the same.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2006 at 1:41PM
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