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

Judith Epstein judith at ipstenu.org
Thu Aug 27 05:16:54 PDT 2009

On Aug 26, 2009, at 9:41 PM, David Friedman wrote:

>> It occurs to me that one part of the question that hasn't been  
>> discussed is the nature of the dinner. If we're inviting one other  
>> couple over and making one main dish--as we would if cooking for  
>> ourselves--then someone not eating that dish is a substantial  
>> problem. If we are having a dinner party with, say, six guests, and  
>> making two or three main dishes, in part because we're doing  
>> medieval cooking and want our guests to experience a range of it,  
>> then someone who doesn't eat one dish eats something else and there  
>> is no problem.
> Antonia writes:
>> 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.
> I wonder if part of the problem is that you are imagining a dinner  
> party with lots of guests and lots of dishes, Judith a more intimate  
> occasion with one or two guests and a much smaller range of dishes.

Yes, of course I'm imagining one person or couple coming to my home,  
not a whole army. My table seats four -- six, if two or three are  
children. Even if I could serve a dozen at a time, though, I make one  
to three entrees (that is, the salad or soup with which you 'enter'  
the meal), one main dish, one dessert. This isn't a restaurant, it's  
my home. When you eat by me, you're family. That's why it's important  
that I know what people can't eat. If I don't know that one person  
hates peppers, one is allergic to nuts, one throws up or gets a rash  
from curry, and one is taking medication that may interact adversely  
with dairy products, I may wind up making a dish that involves all  
four items, and nobody will be able to eat anything but salad and ice  
cream. They'll leave my table unsatisfied, making me a very poor host  
for not caring enough to ask the questions earlier that will make it  
easier for the guests to enjoy my bounty.


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