[Sca-cooks] food dislikes, cultural mores and being polite. was Re: Re: P B & J

Judith Epstein judith at ipstenu.org
Wed Aug 26 14:40:51 PDT 2009

On Aug 26, 2009, at 4:20 PM, Anne-Marie Rousseau wrote:

> I guess I'm reading this whole thread and thinking what a sad state  
> of affairs we live in taht someone cant
> just say "no thank you" and have it taken at face value.
> why I say no? isnt actually anyones business but mine. it doesnt  
> have to be a good reason, because its MY
> reason.

No, but it does help a potential hostess. There are a lot of reasons  
to say no.

"I have dietary restrictions that are too complicated to ask you to  
cater to them just for one meal." That can't be worked around, but an  
understanding host will certainly realize that you aren't snubbing  
HER, or her cooking, just protecting your interests.

"I'm violently allergic to the things that are in the air in your  
home." Whether it's a gluten intolerance that's really that bad, or  
animal dander, or a mold problem, that's another one that's very easy  
to understand. Again, it's impossible to work around it, but at least  
the host knows it's not about HIM but about the environment.

"I'm gluten intolerant/allergic to nuts/lactose intolerant." The  
specific ingredients can be avoided, and you can still get together  
and have fun.

"I'd love to eat with you, but I notice that you bring a lot of things  
with nuts to work. I'm not allergic to nuts, but I really hate the  
texture of them." That means either the host can cook without nuts, or  
can grind them up to a fine paste or powder so that the texture isn't  
an issue. It can be worked around.

"I love you to pieces, but your neighbors (or children, or animals, or  
traffic outside) are so noisy that it's hard to hold a conversation at  
your house." With creativity, that can be worked around.

"Yes, I love brisket. I just am really uncomfortable around your  
spouse." Delicate, but it can be worked around.

"I've been in your home, and it's so dirty that I think I'd be a  
little ill eating there." (If someone is honest enough to tell you  
that, clean up. Please.)

"That meal looks delicious, but my doctor told me to avoid that right  
now." That means that at some point in the future, when the person is  
in a healthier state, they may be able to eat that dish after all.

"I'm watching my weight." Really? I'm a Weight Watcher too! This is  
only X calories per serving. Would a half-portion fit within your  
nutritional plan?

There are a lot of reasons. Sure, the reasons are valid because  
they're yours, but if you're good enough friends to be sharing a meal,  
doesn't your friend deserve to know whether you're objecting to  
something they might be able to fix, so that you can enjoy one  
another's company over a nice plate of food?


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