Friday, November 29, 2013

an epiphany of thanksgiving

I had an epiphany this year for Thanksgiving. It has to do with the nature of feasting, feeding people, and being a guest. You see, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner this year. It was nearly a pot luck, in the very best sense of a pot luck.

Carl volunteered to cook the turkey. He knew what he wanted to do with it, and what he wanted to eat, and he wasn't taking requests. No one else's dietary restrictions or preferences were going to be taken into account. Anyone who wanted to eat what he was cooking was welcome to come have some, but if you wanted something else, you should bring it.

There are people who would be very offended by that, but truly? Why should they be? It is no ruder to cook what you want, to put your time and effort and money into the dish you want than it is to require someone cook a meal to your specifications. That, gets done all the time, though, doesn't it. In fact some people - are very loud and specific with their dietary "needs" when they are a guest at a meal.

Now, don't get me wrong. I understand that everyone has their food preferences. There are food allergies, and sensitivites, and some are quite serious. There are dietary choices that we all make, often for good reason. There just isn't always good reason to impose those dietary needs on a whole company of people. I certainly want to know if someone is so allergic to nuts that having them in the house might cause a serious  reaction (by the way, if you ARE that person, you probably don't want to come to my house) but don't get angry because I made pecan pie and you can't have any. If it makes that much difference, perhaps you should bring something that you CAN have. Made from a recipe that you really like. To share with others who might like to try it too. If you are a vegetarian, don't make a big deal of it, just don't eat the meat. It doesn't take a snooty, superior comment with added huff. Bring one of your favorite dishes to share instead.

Just don't demand the cook to prepare the meal by your requirements alone. If you are that picky, the wrong person is preparing the meal. YOU should be bellying up to the stove. We were taught as children, to taste everything, be quiet about what you don't like, and say "Thank you." Our dinner was delicious. We all tried everything, were quiet about what we didn't like, and were thankful for our wonderful Thanksgiving dinner.

1 comment:

Fran Fuller said...

Well said!

One of my colleagues is so allergic to peanuts that she can't be in the same room with them. She'll never come to my house, and I'll never take peanuts to hers. Respect runs both ways, I figure.

I'm so glad you all had a great Thanksgiving!