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Guests' Dietary Restrictions/Preferences


mdt
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Ground chuck (bad parts removed)

Diced sirloin (bad parts removed)

No pork (kosher party guest)

...

Onions and serranos sweated in bacon fat (don't tell kosher guy) and the beef drippings.

...

Salt pork (don't tell kosher guy)

Please tell me you did not really feed pork products to a kosher party guest and that this was just an attempt at humor. Because if you did, that would be rather low. :D:P

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Please tell me you did not really feed pork products to a kosher party guest and that this was just an attempt at humor. Because if you did, that would be rather low. :D:P

The party guest cannot be kosher. I know plenty of people who follow the dietary rules somewhat. As for feeding the guest pork without his knowledge....that's just no respect.

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Please tell me you did not really feed pork products to a kosher party guest and that this was just an attempt at humor. Because if you did, that would be rather low. :D:P
I wouldn't say an "attempt" at humor. I'd say it was a successful zinger!

I also put chicken stock in the vegetarian chili. That was accidental, but since the veggie is so not out of moral reasons, I felt no compunction to redo three hours of simmering.

I'm not going to diminish a great chili (and thus the enjoyment of thirty other party guests) to serve the needs of one. Especially if that one hasn't even been inside a synagogue since his bar mitzvah and doesn't eat pork because he doesn't like the taste (he's a horribly picky eater), but to appear "connected" says it's because he's keeping kosher (even though he eats plenty of shellfish and cheeseburgers and would eat pork if he actually liked it).

He also doesn't drink alcohol or carbonated beverages because he doesn't like the taste, although he'll wolf down my vodka pasta like nobody's business (which contains pork sausage - he just eats around them, but trust me, there are pork molecules in what he does eat).

Geez, touchy subject. There have been far worse things put into chili.

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I wouldn't say an "attempt" at humor. I'd say it was a successful zinger!

I also put chicken stock in the vegetarian chili. That was accidental, but since the veggie is so not out of moral reasons, I felt no compunction to redo three hours of simmering.

I'm not going to diminish a great chili (and thus the enjoyment of thirty other party guests) to serve the needs of one. Especially if that one hasn't even been inside a synagogue since his bar mitzvah and doesn't eat pork because he doesn't like the taste (he's a horribly picky eater), but to appear "connected" says it's because he's keeping kosher (even though he eats plenty of shellfish and cheeseburgers and would eat pork if he actually liked it).

He also doesn't drink alcohol or carbonated beverages because he doesn't like the taste, although he'll wolf down my vodka pasta like nobody's business (which contains pork sausage - he just eats around them, but trust me, there are pork molecules in what he does eat).

Geez, touchy subject. There have been far worse things put into chili.

You really didn't think that serving a kosher guest pork was a touchy subject? Granted your guest does not qualify...

Without knowing the details of your "special" buddy, it did read like you were sneaking some pork in there in keeping with your thinking of "...not going to diminish a great chili (and thus the enjoyment of thirty other party guests) to serve the needs of one."

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I also put chicken stock in the vegetarian chili. That was accidental, but since the veggie is so not out of moral reasons, I felt no compunction to redo three hours of simmering.
I hate it when I slip up and do something like that. Was the vegetarian okay with it when you told him/her, or did s/he just miss out on chili?
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I have a deep dislike of picky guests, but sneaking pork into a dish -- regardless of why the guest doesn't dig on swine -- seems very ungracious to me, especially when it's just as easy to throw everything but the bacon into a small pot cooked separately while preserving the larger share for them as eats chili properly. Philemon and Baucis would not have approved. Nor, I suspect, would Miss Manners.

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You really didn't think that serving a kosher guest pork was a touchy subject? Granted your guest does not qualify...

I don't think this should be treated as a touchy subject because there are no moral/religious aspects to the guest's picky eating. It appears clear from Dan's description that his friend is not observing kashrut if he is coming to eat what is coming out of a kitchen not under rabbinical supervision (and is known to eat shellfish and cheeseburgers). Dan has already said that he considers his guest to be a picky eater. Why respect what is essentially the guest making up his own version of Judaism? Dan also considers the vegetarian to be so as a dietary preference. Therefore, I would treat the situation as one where the host feels that it is his duty not to serve food that would make his guests aware that they were eating bacon or meat. If the guests are not aware of the presence of those ingredients, then there is no harm. Perhaps it is bad manners as observed above, but that judgment appears to require more knowledge of the social interactions between Dan and his guest :P .

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I don't think this should be treated as a touchy subject because there are no moral/religious aspects to the guest's picky eating. It appears clear from Dan's description that his friend is not observing kashrut if he is coming to eat what is coming out of a kitchen not under rabbinical supervision (and is known to eat shellfish and cheeseburgers). Dan has already said that he considers his guest to be a picky eater. Why respect what is essentially the guest making up his own version of Judaism? Dan also considers the vegetarian to be so as a dietary preference. Therefore, I would treat the situation as one where the host feels that it is his duty not to serve food that would make his guests aware that they were eating bacon or meat. If the guests are not aware of the presence of those ingredients, then there is no harm. Perhaps it is bad manners as observed above, but that judgment appears to require more knowledge of the social interactions between Dan and his guest :P .
regardless of the reasons why someone chose not to consume something, knowingly serving them whatever they choose not to eat and not telling them is a total dick move.
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Well, Dan-o, it seems that you were blithely skipping along there, having fun, yukking it up and expecting the crowd to be entertained as usual...and then you tripped and fell into an ethical gravel pit. But you didn't specify in your first post that you know that this friend's "keeping kosher" is just his explanation for not eating pork because he doesn't want to come out and say he doesn't like it, an analogous tactic to the one other picky eaters use, of saying that they are allergic to things that they merely don't like to eat. So it is understandable that many people reading your first post were not amused. They are right that it is really not okay knowingly and surreptitiously to feed people food that they are proscribed from eating because of reasons that may be religious, medical or arising from personal conviction. In the case of the vegetable chili with chicken stock in it, I probably would have taken the vegetarian guest(s) aside, one at a time and owned up: "I screwed up and put some chicken stock in the chili. I wanted to let you know so that you can decide whether or not you want to eat it." And leave it at that. Maybe they won't care, or will decide to eat it anyway. Or maybe they'll stick to their guns and just eat chips and salsa. I believe in the principle that it doesn't necessarily kill people to experience the consequences of their choices or their limits. It's important to be honest with your dinner guests, even though it may mean that someone is disappointed or upset. Even if there is nothing that they can eat that you have prepared, you can find something in your pantry or refrigerator, in consultation with them, that they can eat. I was once invited to dinner at the home of Russian friends and neglected to remind them that I was allergic to apples and walnuts. Every dish they served had one or the other, or both: Waldorf salad, Georgian chicken with walnut sauce, apple tart. So, I ate bread and butter and drank wine. I survived.

On the other hand, knowing the person well may allow for some liberties to be taken. My daughter is a "pescaterian"--she eats fish and shellfish but not meat or poultry. However, this does not seem to stem from deep ethical considerations, like the folks who won't eat anything that has a face. She decided that she doesn't want to eat meat. Okay. She makes an exception when it comes to the presence of lard in certain Mexican dishes, like refried beans and tamales. She says that she loves them too much to forego homemade beans and tamales. And she loves the marrow in osso buco--not the veal, however, just the marrow. She doesn't seem to care if a vegetable soup, either minestrone or a pureed soup, is made with chicken stock, as long as there are no chunks of meat in the soup and it doesn't taste primarily of the stock. So, with her, I know what I can and can't do without asking her. If any of her vegetarian friends come to dine with us, I am more strict about avoiding meat, unless she has told me in advance something like: "Erin doesn't care about chicken stock." Before she went to live with a family in Cuenca, Ecuador, she decided that it would be an unacceptable burden to expect them to make separate vegetarian meals for her, and that while she was there, she would make an effort to eat what they served for family meals. Which turned out to be boiled chicken, potatoes and moté (giant corn kernels) almost every night. After she returned, however, she resumed her previous eating preferences.

My cousin, a clinical psychologist, brought his college-age vegan daughter along to a family reunion I was organizing, with a catered meal at a hotel. I discussed the available menu options with him, all of which had eggs, dairy or meat in them. Should I try to arrange for a special vegan entree to be brought in for her? He nixed the idea: "She can eat bread and salad. When you limit your diet like that, there are consequences." Tough love, but reasonable parenting.

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Well, Dan-o, it seems that you were blithely skipping along there, having fun, yukking it up and expecting the crowd to be entertained as usual...and then you tripped and fell into an ethical gravel pit. But you didn't specify in your first post that you know that this friend's "keeping kosher" is just his explanation for not eating pork because he doesn't want to come out and say he doesn't like it, an analogous tactic to the one other picky eaters use, of saying that they are allergic to things that they merely don't like to eat. So it is understandable that many people reading your first post were not amused. They are right that it is really not okay knowingly and surreptitiously to feed people food that they are proscribed from eating because of reasons that may be religious, medical or arising from personal conviction. In the case of the vegetable chili with chicken stock in it, I probably would have taken the vegetarian guest(s) aside, one at a time and owned up: "I screwed up and put some chicken stock in the chili. I wanted to let you know so that you can decide whether or not you want to eat it." And leave it at that. Maybe they won't care, or will decide to eat it anyway. Or maybe they'll stick to their guns and just eat chips and salsa. I believe in the principle that it doesn't necessarily kill people to experience the consequences of their choices or their limits. It's important to be honest with your dinner guests, even though it may mean that someone is disappointed or upset. Even if there is nothing that they can eat that you have prepared, you can find something in your pantry or refrigerator, in consultation with them, that they can eat. I was once invited to dinner at the home of Russian friends and neglected to remind them that I was allergic to apples and walnuts. Every dish they served had one or the other, or both: Waldorf salad, Georgian chicken with walnut sauce, apple tart. So, I ate bread and butter and drank wine. I survived.

On the other hand, knowing the person well may allow for some liberties to be taken. My daughter is a "pescaterian"--she eats fish and shellfish but not meat or poultry. However, this does not seem to stem from deep ethical considerations, like the folks who won't eat anything that has a face. She decided that she doesn't want to eat meat. Okay. She makes an exception when it comes to the presence of lard in certain Mexican dishes, like refried beans and tamales. She says that she loves them too much to forego homemade beans and tamales. And she loves the marrow in osso buco--not the veal, however, just the marrow. She doesn't seem to care if a vegetable soup, either minestrone or a pureed soup, is made with chicken stock, as long as there are no chunks of meat in the soup and it doesn't taste primarily of the stock. So, with her, I know what I can and can't do without asking her. If any of her vegetarian friends come to dine with us, I am more strict about avoiding meat, unless she has told me in advance something like: "Erin doesn't care about chicken stock." Before she went to live with a family in Cuenca, Ecuador, she decided that it would be an unacceptable burden to expect them to make separate vegetarian meals for her, and that while she was there, she would make an effort to eat what they served for family meals. Which turned out to be boiled chicken, potatoes and moté (giant corn kernels) almost every night. After she returned, however, she resumed her previous eating preferences.

My cousin, a clinical psychologist, brought his college-age vegan daughter along to a family reunion I was organizing, with a catered meal at a hotel. I discussed the available menu options with him, all of which had eggs, dairy or meat in them. Should I try to arrange for a special vegan entree to be brought in for her? He nixed the idea: "She can eat bread and salad. When you limit your diet like that, there are consequences." Tough love, but reasonable parenting.

Well said. Maybe all the Laphroaig and Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds he eats have gotten to his head. :P

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Well said. Maybe all the Laphroaig and Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds he eats have gotten to his head. :P
Here's a question. How come when I serve vegetarians, I have to make them a non-meat alternative, but when I go over to a vegetarian's house, they don't have to cook me a steak?

If you have a "How Seriously Should I Take Things" knob in your brain, dial it waaaaaaaaaaay down when listening to anything I say or do.

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Here's a question. How come when I serve vegetarians, I have to make them a non-meat alternative, but when I go over to a vegetarian's house, they don't have to cook me a steak?

I think they should only cook you a steak if you were a meatatarian and didn't eat vegetables.

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