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How To Make Your Guests, With Dietary Restrictions, Happy This Thanksgiving

November 15, 2010

I was just a little girl, but I can remember the horror on the faces of  hostesses, when my family showed up for dinner.

It was not because I was  ill-mannered. It was not because I told bawdy jokes. It was not because I sang the theme to Barney. No, it was not a chorus of “I love you, you love me,” that did it.

My vegetarianism was behind the  trepidation. My Seventh Day Adventist  family was veggie before veggie was cool.

Our home cooks were used to dealing with the carnivores and panicked at the thought of feeding plant eaters.

They nervously passed plates of  broccoli and pasta and hoped that it was enough.

It was most of the time. Not so much, if the broccoli and pasta were flavored with chicken or beef stock.

It wasn’t that the hostesses were  trying to sabotage our diets.  They just didn’t put it together. Some would figure that meat was bad, but meat by-products were okay.

There really was no reason to shake, unless applying a panko coating to a tofu cutlet.

It’s not that hard to serve vegetarians and other folks with dietary restrictions, and serve them well.

I recently saw a celebrity cook complaining about having guests who didn’t eat everything from meat to wheat.

I may not cook as well as this foodie but I personally find it a kick to cook for the person who can’t eat everything. It’s an opportunity for my skills to shine.

If you were coming over, and you wanted to veg out, I would serve you this eggplant tartin recipe I came up with. If you were eating gluten-free, I’d make either a crustless quiche or a quinoa-based crust.

No matter how you slice it, I’d come up with something we would both enjoy, even if our forks did not follow the same path.

This week I’ll be sharing a series of tips designed to help you serve Thanksgiving guests with diet restrictions, with a smile.

To that child who made cooks cower, this one’s for you.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 23, 2010 5:17 am


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