[Sca-cooks] P B & J

Antonia Calvo ladyadele at paradise.net.nz
Wed Aug 26 15:29:57 PDT 2009

Judith Epstein wrote:
> On Aug 26, 2009, at 5:02 PM, Antonia Calvo wrote:
>> Judith Epstein wrote:
>>> On Aug 26, 2009, at 4:11 PM, Antonia Calvo wrote:
>>>> Judith Epstein wrote:
>>>>> When I invite you over, that's the time to tell me, "I'd love to 
>>>>> come, but I should tell you that I can't eat onions." Okay, then, 
>>>>> that helps me! For that, I will go out of my way to give you an 
>>>>> amazing meal that doesn't involve onions. Or blueberries, or 
>>>>> whatever it is that you can't eat for any reason whatsoever.
>>>> No thank you.  I hate bell peppers with the fire of a thousand suns 
>>>> and I won't eat them to please anyone, not even you.
>>> Remind me again, if I invite you to dinner.
>> The thing is, I'd be cringing with embarrassment if you quizzed me 
>> about "why" I didn't eat something, and it's wildly unlikely I'd say 
>> any such thing. I might be willing to have that kind of conversation 
>> with my close friends, but that's *it*.  If someone grilled me about 
>> what I did and didn't eat at a meal, I'd be reluctant to dine with 
>> that person again.
> As a host, it's very difficult to invite someone to dinner, but have 
> them give me no help at all in making them a meal they can enjoy. I 
> don't need to know everything about your life. Just tell me "I can't 
> eat members of the onion family or the pepper family." I don't need to 
> know why, I don't need to hear the novel of your life. Just help me to 
> make sure that when you get to my house, you'll be presented with a 
> meal that you can eat, instead of having to go hungry.
It is wildly unlikely that I'd go hungry.  I've been eating in other 
people's homes essentially forever, and I have not encountered a meal I 
couldn't (or wouldn't) eat.  At most, there has been an occasional dish 
that I haven't eaten. 

> Of course, if you don't tell me in advance what you can't eat, and I 
> cook something and you can't eat it, it's your own fault for not being 
> up front with me -- but I'm not going to feel bad about that in the 
> least, because I NEVER ask someone over without also asking them about 
> their restrictions. And if you don't tell me what they are, and then 
> you can't eat what I give you (or won't; I'm assuming you won't 
> enlighten me as to why you haven't touched your dinner, since you 
> didn't warn me about your dietary needs)... well, you won't get asked 
> back for a meal. 

I don't have "restrictions" or particular "needs"- I just have a modest 
number of dislikes.  I might make more of it if I were actually allergic 
or something.  As it is, I'm not the least bit bothered that I don't 
like *every* dish at *every* meal; I certainly never go hungry because 
of it. I wouldn't dream of suggesting that my hosts forego cooking 
something they (or other guests) like because I don't care for it.  I 
don't know why you're so wound up about it.

Antonia di Benedetto Calvo

Habeo metrum - musicamque,
hominem meam. Expectat alium quid?
-Georgeus Gershwinus

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