Monday, December 10, 2012

Do You Eat What I Eat?


Dear Helen Hartman,
You’ve probably answered this before but here goes – we are hosting a holiday dinner party for my husband’s coworkers and it’s making me batty. There must be eight different dietary needs/preferences and I don’t know how many faiths/philosophies represented in the group. I want to be a respectful and conscientious hostess but am wondering how to make everyone happy without losing what’s left of my holiday cheer.

Dear Loved One,
Seems like every holiday/hostessing season Helen gets this question.

Here's ANOTHER one who doesn't know her bass from her elbow macaroni!

I’d like to tell you that my answers is always the same but that would require me to go back and look and see what I said before. Who has the time?

Or the interest. Really, I'm Cissy Gregg, for Pete's sake! I have no idea who this is by I love her instantly and isn't finding pics of things I love a more productive use of my time?

So Helen will just do what she does best, make you do the work. Ask yourself – what is your role in this party?

To keep the drinks spiked? When you buy 6 you serve 12, if you add enough booze!  

To make your guests feel at home.

Lolly told Eugene to make himself feel at home in her house and he immediately sat on her counter, started criticizing her cooking and helped himself to all the cash she had in her cookie jar.

You cannot please everyone.

Yes, I'm sure that's very interesting but look at the time - it's I don't give a hoot o'clock.

But you can be kind to everyone. Oh, quit whining, it won’t kill you. Make an effort. Include a note with the invite asking people to contact you in advance if they have special dietary needs. Of course I know your friends and family and some goofball will wait until the last minute so plan to have some things that seem generally non lethal. In other words, actual food. For example:

Not This:
Chicken, grapes, avocado, pineapple and bananas - the fact that it's sauced makes it a party chicken.
Or This:

I HAVE NO IDEA - Sorry for the blurry pics but it's an old newsprint book and they kinda started out blurry - and it still didn't make the food look better!!!

The fewer ingredients the better. 

At first glance it looks... um... but it's a turkey breast stuffed with veggies with fruit, nuts and veggies on the side . Who says good food has to LOOK good?

As for not offending many faiths or lack thereof.  First, Helen simply would not invite anyone into her home who would be offended by Helen’s décor and it’s reflection of her life.

Look at 'em coming up the walk like we're going to actually let them inside!

I do invite people who might be offended by Helen herself.

I have a whole dishwasher full of  dishes but I just need  this one glass full of gin to get my party started. 

 Hey, even the hostess deserves some fun.

If a work party is not being held in a ‘neutral’ place then there is no need to be neutral. You are, in essence, inviting people to share in your celebration. 

Remember as always the best way to have a good time is to relax... and let others do the heavy lifting.





   

34 comments:

  1. Dear Helen, If I invited someone who wasn't into Christmas, the decor , or whatever..they come, if they do not like something,the polite thing is for them to bite their tongue. Our home is just that ,ours. I would repect others' ways of celebrating. I love reading your blog. Smiles,xo,Susie

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I agree, if I was invited into a home of someone I would love the idea of seeing how they decorate and learning about their celebrations.

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  2. Your post is adorable, as always! I wanted to invite you to our new store, "Elsie Mae on Market" we would love to have you visit. It is across from the Victorian Lady Tea Room in Mabank!
    Lezlee

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    1. Your shop looks AMAZING - liked you on Facebook to keep up.

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  3. I always come over here for a good laugh. I'm not sure anyone would be able to keep up with all those dietary preferences. I think a hostess just has to go ahead and make whatever she wants to make. A guest with a serious, life threatening food allergy is probably going to eat before they come or ask you if they can bring something. And those who are just on the latest fad food diet... they can figure it out themselves or starve. ;-)

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    1. LOL - like your two choices for dinner, ear or go hungry attitude!

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  4. There is something wrong with my brain because whenever I read your posts I feel hungry. *LOL*

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    1. OH, my, that is bad. Are you craving bacon and bananas? One day I plan to actually make some of this stuff!

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  5. Let's get this party started! You forgot to include the exact time and your address! I'm shopping for a party dress and I'll bring the punch! teehee!

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    1. Don't wear anything dark - we have 2 light colored dogs and 1 light cat. Don't wear anything light, we have a black dog and a black cat.

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    2. Well....that sounds like a question for Dear Helen...what should I wear to the party? heeheehee!

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  6. Why...I ask again like a broken record...does vintage food look so disgusting? Why is every thing jiggling in aspic? Combinations of foods that if mixed in your digestive tract would send you to the ER. Even worse are the War Time recipes for rationing. I have to admit I laughed myself silly over this one! =D

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    1. Thanks - quite an eye opening when I looked closely at the turkey thing, thinking it was gag inducing to find it was good food. HUH?

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  7. Oh, don't you know I'm the crazy one with the dietary restrictions... But it can come in handy when a jello mold of meat appears!!!

    :)

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    1. LOL - I am, in fact, a pickey eater. No restrictions so much as I just don't like it.

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  8. I love it- Cindy can't eat beef and her husband ONLY eats steak. Salad dressings? 14 kinds but where is the one with the peppercorns? oh- yeah...I hear you! xo Diana

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    1. Oh yea, the vegans and the no carbers almost come to blows. But that can be fun too.

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  9. You know, this never works in reverse. You never hear of a vegetarian making someone a steak if they're not a vegetarian. Just a thought. A pretty profound one if I do say so myself!

    Silly me, my mother taught me to have manners, and appreciate someone actually cooking for me. Tsk, tsk.

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    1. LOL _ so true. All my vegetarian friends always want me to 'try new dishes'. I hate new dishes.

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  10. I was just making my food list today. Can't wait to put the old feed bag on. :) I will be sure not to make the food on those ad's. :)

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    1. Are you sure - I have a recipe for a salmon/banana salad you might enjoy serving.

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  11. ha!

    my giveaway is open internationally, so it would be a pleasure to welcome you to it: http://hellolovelyinc.blogspot.com/2012/12/personalized-lovely-giveaway.html

    i hope you win!

    smiles.

    michele

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  12. Those are amazing giveaways! Your blog is always lovely.

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  13. This was great, Helen. My folks are coming from Denver this year, but I like them and don't have to worry about offending strangers that way - I suppose it might be telling that I laid in more alcohol than usual on my trip to the grocery store, yesterday. Laughing, thinking it might be fun to serve at least one of the dishes up above, just to watch my dad's face...salmon/banana salad - I just threw up in my mouth a bit! Thanks for the laughs, Helen - I love this blog!

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    1. Thanks! How can I have forgotten - more booze often smooths over the lack of having all the right food! Uh...maybe not?

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  14. You always make me laugh! I remember one time when we had several inlaws over for a BBQ, I cleaned house from top to bottom. We ate outside and no one even stepped foot in the house! They didn't even offer to help with the cleanup or carry anything back inside. What a waste of time! (And food..ha ha!)

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    1. It's always that way. You clean the bathroom so it sparkles and no one goes. You mop the kitchen floor and no one eats off it.

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  15. LOL - I would not ask (if you did) about what they like or can eat. Have fun. PS I eat everything - except coconut.

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    1. Well, I eat coconut so I'd just take yours. Perfect.

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  16. Ha, I like Diane from Lavender Dreams comment. What time is the party? I'm on my way :)

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  17. The guy in the first picture looks like he's been using wifes eyebrow pencil,lipstick and powder.

    The guy in the fourth picture looks like San Antonio's goofy mayor.

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