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Spin-Off from RSVP Etiquette: Do You Accommodate? - Page 3

Poll Results: How do you accommodate special diets? Check all that apply.

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 10% (39)
    I ask them to notify me of special diets on the invitation.
  • 19% (75)
    I will make at least one modified main dish, or an extra filling side dish, for guests with dietary restrictions.
  • 11% (46)
    I generally assume that there may be vegetarians in groups of over five guests, and plan accordingly.
  • 17% (69)
    I order more than one kind of pizza for guests, as a matter of course. You never know!
  • 11% (43)
    I do not serve pork if practicing Jews or Muslims will be present.
  • 3% (14)
    I do not serve meat if vegetarians, religious or otherwise, will be present.
  • 0% (3)
    We only have potlucks so this does not apply to me.
  • 1% (7)
    I never invite guests over so this does not apply to me.
  • 0% (2)
    I think it's not a big deal and people should eat what they are served.
  • 18% (70)
    I know my friends well enough that I can plan meals around their preferences and needs without having to ask.
  • 0% (0)
    I'll accommodate for religious or ethical reasons, but not health ones.
  • 0% (1)
    I'll accommodate for health reasons but not religious or ethical ones.
  • 0% (0)
    I just lie and tell them it meets their standards. They'll never know.
  • 0% (1)
    Everybody likes chicken!
  • 3% (14)
    Other
384 Total Votes  
post #41 of 54

I checked that I don't serve meat when I have vegetarian guests -- but I shoudl clarify that I dont' serve meat as a main course when a vegetarian is a main guest.

 

Except on Thanksgiving, when the first time we had our favorite vegetarian over, he got invited by another friend after I'd already bought a turkey!  That has evolved to a tradition in which I always make sides vegetarian and have one richer dish that can be a main course for him.

 

If its a larger party (a barbecue or our annual tamalada) I have veggie and non-veggie options: I do a pot of beans and a pot of meat for burritos, I have veg and non-veg appetizers, etc.   

 

If someone tells me about a food allergy I *will* accomodate it as best I can (we aren't a nut-free house, but I will clean a prep area, do extra cleaning on all utensils, not have nuts as part of the meal, etc. 

post #42 of 54

 

Quote:

She may just be a LO-vegetarian, but feel that if she doesn't call herself vegan, that you will use non-vegetarian animal products such as chicken stock and chicken fat or lard.  Many non-veg*ns have trouble understanding what types of animal products are acceptable to a LO-vegetarian and what isn't.  I have a feeling from the way you listed both acceptable and not acceptable items together that you might not quite understand why some are acceptable and others aren't.

 

BTW, vegetarian vegetable broth can add that missing flavor to rice and other similar dishes.  This brand is really good, but a bit expensive:  http://www.pacificfoods.com/our-foods/broths/organic-vegetable-broth.  We stock up (didn't intend the pun, but I kind of like it) when it's on sale.

She's neither a vegan nor a lacto-ovo vegetarian, nor a strict vegetarian. She's... changeable. I know there are things she definitely won't eat, like large lumps of meat; but she varies wildly on things like dairy and eggs. Basically, she'll eat eggs, butter and even (regular, non-vegetarian) cheese when she feels like it, but if she doesn't want to that day will play the vegan card and be offended that I made something with butter in it. It's infuriating, but fortunately she lives in another city and doesn't eat with us very often. (And no, she doesn't just eat dairy-laden stuff at my house to be polite - I've made vegan options and had her eat that and the regular pie or cookies, and she does it at restaurants too.) I don't exactly mind her compromising her principles - they're her principles to compromise - but I wish she'd give me a heads-up when she plans to so I can save myself a ton of effort. :p

 

I do sub vegetable broth if necessary, but it still doesn't have the taste of a good homemade chicken stock. :) Plus, several brands of veggie stock (and meat stocks, which is why I don't buy 'em) have HVP or MSG in 'em, which I don't eat.

post #43 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post

I hosted a party and asked everyone about allergies ahead of time and was really sad when two guests didn't tell me about a strawberry allergy... the whole cake was covered in strawberries.  :(


Awww.....

 

I'm allergic to strawberries, along with a LONG list of other uncooked fruits/veggies.   I usually don't mention it to hosts.  People I know very well already know, and I choose not to get into the intricacies of my annoying (but non-life threatening) allergies with more casual friends.  I just scrape off what I can not eat, and eat what I can.  I wouldn't want anyone to feel sad, though!  Maybe they are like me, and REALLY want you to make/serve what makes you happy, and we will eat what we can :)


I do ask about allergies when I am hosting children.  I don't tend to ask about adults, but the truth is I rarely host adults that I don't know very, very well.  Those friends that have dietary restrictions--of course I accomodate!

post #44 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post

I hosted a party and asked everyone about allergies ahead of time and was really sad when two guests didn't tell me about a strawberry allergy... the whole cake was covered in strawberries.  :(



Awww... probably they just didn't expect that you'd do a strawberry cake & so didn't think to warn you. I am allergic to mango, kiwi, & cashews, but since they aren't usually staples in people's dishes, I don't tell them that, just that I'm vegan & GF. I figure it is easy enough to avoid the one dish that has mango...

post #45 of 54

I have kids with food allergies.  I never expect others to accommodate them.  I always have meal options along for them and if there happens to be foods they can enjoy at a gathering then it's a bonus.  One is allergic to 8 foods so it would never work to plan an entire meal around her.  I love it when people have fresh fruit and veggies because she can have that with the meal I bring.

 

post #46 of 54
Thread Starter 

I don't think we have had anything you could actually eat in the past month.  o_O

 

We're kind of new to our friends... only here for a year, so I guess her allergy never came up.  Oh well.  At least I had some other foods.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post





Awww... probably they just didn't expect that you'd do a strawberry cake & so didn't think to warn you. I am allergic to mango, kiwi, & cashews, but since they aren't usually staples in people's dishes, I don't tell them that, just that I'm vegan & GF. I figure it is easy enough to avoid the one dish that has mango...

post #47 of 54

I try to accommodate but I won't go all out either. I tend to put the responsibility on the person to inform me of allergies. If they don't let me know then thats on them. I will ask if its a small setting and ask what are likes and dislikes but thats about as far as it goes. I have a semi special diet and when we go to places I just bring my own stuff or don't eat or just nibble. I also make a variety of dishes so people can choose and not feel on the spot if they are the only ones not eating type of thing. 

post #48 of 54

I never really have parties so serving to a crowd is not really something i need to worry about.  When I do have a party I usually just serve treats, fresh fruits and veggies.  maybe meat and cheese tray.  I am serving at church on Sunday and everything will be vegan because we are fasting.  Not everyone fasts to the same level so I always accommodate the strictest fasts.   In that sort of situation though I just expect people to fend for themselves.  When I was vegan I always did.  I never expected anyone to make accommodations for me.

 

If I am having a guests over it is for the purpose of cater to their needs and making a meal they will find enjoyable.  It is about serving them.  So of course I will cater to to any ethical, religious or health choice.  If I think they are just annoying when it comes to food or if I feel like I cannot graciously accommodate them I will likely find something else to do besides invite them over for food.  

 

I would never invite someone over to my house with the attitude of "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit".  That is not hospitality.  

 

And if my kids had allergies chances are I would just provide for them.  Especially if they were life threatening allergies I simply wouldn't trust even the most gracious hostess with the best intentions.  You just can't be to sure.  And if my friends child had allergies I would tell them what we were having and ask if they could bring something for their child because honestly, I wouldn't even trust myself not to cross contaminate or whatever.  With health issues it is a big complicated deal and it is better that the person in charge stays in charge.

post #49 of 54

I was vegan for about six years. I always took food with me when we went places, because I didn't expect people to accomodate my dietary choices.

post #50 of 54

We eat strictly kosher and when someone not kosher invites us they usually order from a kosher restaurant but that rarely comes up and we are happy just enjoying someones company. Everyone we know respects our religious choices.

 

We are also nut free and fish free because of anaphylactic allergies and DH always tells people when we are invited out and everyone has always been very accommodating.

 

I hate when I invite people over and then find out they are vegetarian but i usually only cook one meat dish and a lot of sides just in case. I would still have one meat dish but would make a point to have a main course like vegetarian dish. 

 

My b-i-l is dairy free because he is anaphylactic to milk (on top of nuts & fish) and we eat a lot of dairy and very little meat so I always try to make him a dairy free version of whatever we are having or change my menu to fit.

post #51 of 54

Dd has an intolerance to pretty much all highly processed foods (if it is processed but contains whole, real ingredients, it's fine, but when it's made with a laundry list of chemicals it causes many problems, including night terrors, agitation, and severe eczema).  I find that this is the, THE most complicated restriction to explain and have anyone accommodate.  If someone asks, "are crackers O.K." the answer is not a simple yes or no.  For that reason, I really try to do what I can for others, but never expect others to accommodate us.  "Homemade from scratch" to others often means chicken and cream of chemical soup in a crockpot, and "homemade from scratch" means something vastly different for us!  Luckily, many people we socially interact with know what we mean by "from scratch" and we don't have issues for dd.  So, obviously it can be difficult to have real clarification, but I think it's worth it to ask the guests.

 

For allergies... I try to really ask for details because I find that the term "allergy" is used SO often for "I don't like" or what is actually an intolerance.  For one, cross-contamination is very important and in the other, cross-contamination is not a risk.  I have a true food allergy, but I just break out in hives and wheeze a little.  It's not life-threatening, but serious to me.  Still, I wouldn't ask anyone to avoid that ingredient when cooking.  Finding if things are truly an allergy and their severity is important, but again, can be difficult to know the details.

 

Religious accommodations... I may or may not be able to.  For example, dh is from the middle east... I cannot provide halal meat because of where I live (we have no halal butchers within reasonable driving distance).  In this case, I serve whatever meat I'm going to serve and make sure I have plenty of sides that can come together to make up for the lack of meat. 

 

My favorite way of entertaining, though, is a cocktail party where I don't have to make a full meal and can have a great variety of cold and hot hors d'ouevres.  It's also easy to avoid cross-contamination.  With this game plan, I can almost *always* accommodate everyone.  TBH, entertaining was much, much easier 20 years ago... I don't remember anybody ever having allergies and few dietary restrictions (veg*an being, actually, the only one I ever remember having to address back then).

post #52 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
My favorite way of entertaining, though, is a cocktail party where I don't have to make a full meal and can have a great variety of cold and hot hors d'ouevres.  It's also easy to avoid cross-contamination.  With this game plan, I can almost *always* accommodate everyone. 


Totally this! My family actually did this for Christmas one year and it was a raving success.

post #53 of 54

If I'm hosting a get-together or party, I generally make it a potluck where the guests all bring something to eat. I do have strict food rules for my parties, (if they're at my house or summer house), and that is "no meat allowed." I won't cook it and I won't have it brought into my space for someone else to eat or cook. I will tolerate some dairy if someone orders a pizza or something similar but again, I won't cook with it in my house or allow anyone else to cook with dairy in my house. I always make sure to have plenty of snacks and a variety of food on hand and so far, no one has ever gone hungry at my parties.

 

If I'm going to a food-centric gathering then I will always prepare before hand by eating something light before I go, (in case there is nothing I can eat), or by bringing something yummy for myself and with extra to share. If an invite doesn't specify what will be served or doesn't ask about dietary restrictions then I'll usually just mention something like, "I'm not sure if you're aware but I'm a strict vegetarian and if you don't mind, would be more than happy to bring something I can add to the meal." I don't expect people to accommodate me since I refuse to accommodate for meat eaters and not everyone is comfortable cooking for a vegan. 

post #54 of 54

 

"If anyone in the room would be offended by the presences of something they do not eat, then they are not the sort that I would associate with anyway. They can chose to be polite and not eat what is served. But if they want to walk off because the menu offends them, too bad."

 

Exactly. I eat with kosher-keepers all the time, often vegan as well, and sometimes they are strict to the point where they bring their own stuff rather than navigate my trayf, but I've never once been made uncomfortable by it. Probably because the same culture that produced the concept of kosher also produced all the "don't criticize what you're served!" and "criticizing food is ungrateful to God!" rhetoric that I've so deeply internalized. orngtongue.gif

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