HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >

Discussion

People's weird idea of "dinner"

LOCKED DISCUSSION

So, my daughter and I were asked to a friend's for dinner. I wasn't expecting anything fancy, but I brought a bottle of wine. Lo and behold, she served a family-size frozen entrée, Asian-style orange chicken or something, with some canned Mandarin oranges as like a garnish. It was awful. And there wasn't enough. No appetizer. No salad. No bread.

In addition, while they have a dining room, I was sitting in her living room drinking a glass of aforementioned wine (she didn't plan on a wine with this meal) and she started bringing this stuff out on plates and served it on the coffee table! With one fork per person and no napkins! In fact, her daughter and mine were playing Wii and she brought plates of this 'food' out to them! My daughter looked at me very confused, but I sort of motioned to her to eat. I didn't know what else to do. We're pretty good friends, but I was a bit stunned. It was also planned and not like an impromptu thing. This is a fairly well educated woman with a fairly well equipped kitchen. We have had dinner with them a number of times, and while it's never been great, at least it's been REAL.

I have even been known to serve very casual in the living room, IF it's snacks, pizza delivered or sandwiches and we're watching a movie or a game or presidential candidate debate, with THAT as the focus. But I don't believe I have ever asked someone over for a frozen dinner and I have always made more than enough. Even if it's THAT casual, there's been some organization and set up and SOME kind of starter, even if it's cheese and crackers or guacamole or something.

As it is girl scout cookie season, guess what dessert was? Which was a blessing because everyone was still hungry. The evening itself was nice after that and I of course thanked her and told her everything was great. But MAN was it bizarre.

So, am I overly-sensitive, a snob or what?

  1. Makes you wonder what some people are thinking doesn't it? Sure you can always say it's more about being with people you like than the food, but it always irks me when people don't make enough food! Forget the fact that it was a frozen dinner with next to no effort, she couldn't have made two of them!?

    10 Replies
    1. re: Rick

      I think it's always fascinating to eat at someone else's house. You can learn a whole lot about a person that way.

      I had a friend who would have me, or both me and DH over for dinner and make the same amount of food she made for her and her husband! One night four of us got to share a 12" pizza between us. I/we always left starved. That said, I'm sure when she came over to my home to eat she left thinking I made an over abundance of food!

      There was always another component to dinner at this friends house - a cat (or two) up on the dining room table - during the meal. Now, nobody loves cats more than I do, but....

      1. re: Rick

        Two frozen dinners would have been worse because those things are loaded with sodium and HFCS! Do you think it would have been rude to ask her friend for some boiled pasta with butter because you and your child are still hungry? This woman is a close friend, right? And it was an extremely casual dinner. I think the child would have been okay with it if you asked, even if the answer was "no".

        1. re: neverlate

          Well, no, the child was able to eat cookies and as such was quite happy :)

          1. re: Whosyerkitty

            Thanks for your reply, Kitty. While it didn't hurt the child to fill up on cookies, I would have told my friend I was still hungry and could I have some plain pasta with butter. I could even fix it myself. We could then go in the kitchen and see what was there... Rude of me, the guest?

            1. re: neverlate

              Kind of rude, yes. I mean, if you were dining haute, would you tell the chef "I'm still hungry" or would make the pasta yourself, at your own home, when you got there?

              1. re: shanagain

                I'm not sure what you mean by "dining haute" and "chef". If you mean chef in a restaurant, I would simply order more food. If you mean private chef in a home, there would have been more food. Or were you saying it would be rude if I ran home, fixed myself some pasta, and came back to pick up my daughter? I'm still hungry, shanagain!

                1. re: neverlate

                  Oh, I admit, you've got me laughing. Are we talking "I'm feeling quite faint, as I haven't eaten in three days in anticipation of this repast" or are we talking "damn, I think Claim Jumper's portions are rubbing off on me"? (It is CJ I hear everyone mention around here, right?) Point being, for the sake of all that's good, and yes, polite, if you're so darned hungry stop at 7-11 on the way home and get a freaking Slim Jim.

                  Actually, to be honest about it, if you're a guest in my home, I will do everything possible to ensure your comfort & meet your needs. Your wants... those are trickier. And might depend upon how much I like you. ;)

                  1. re: shanagain

                    shanagain, that was incredible! You were channeling Ms. Orange Chicken -- now we know what she was thinking! I'm glad to hear you're so hospitable....and so ...mysterious.

                    1. re: neverlate

                      It could be the wine, but I'm seriously laughing out loud.

                      That was... awesome.

                      1. re: shanagain

                        Best to you, shanagain.... and good luck with "wants"!

      2. Yeah, you are overly sensitive, but rightly so. Some folks just aren't like us, Mork! Deal with it. If you like the folks, you make do with the food. If you like the food, you make do with the folks. Not everyone is haute cuisine or even versed in the basics of entertaining. You don't have to go back. It doesn't make them any worse people than those that serve you sea urchin raw followed by scum-foamed tripe on toast. Learn to be gracious.

        27 Replies
        1. re: FriedClamFanatic

          Well, that's pretty harsh. What gives you the idea that the OP wasn't gracious, or that s/he's implying that the hostess was a subpar person?

          Not everyone has the means or the will or the talent to create a fine dining experience, it's true. And that dinner would've made me confused and sad. But perhaps, Whosyerkitty, your friend is strapped for cash and/or time but still craves company. And she wanted to hang with you even though she couldn't feed you that well. Bad meals happen to good people, sometimes.

          1. re: small h

            I agree small h, I hate to see threads where the original poster gets a lecture instead of some empathy from fellow hounds. I don't think you are being over-sensitive or a snob at all kitty. Some of those family-sized entrees are pretty pricey. I have no way of knowing of course but my gut tells me the answer to what was your "hostess" thinking, is: she simply wasn't. The only good spin I can put on this is that you got to teach your daughter a great lesson in how to be a gracious guest. Seriously, you can't buy that kind of hands-on teaching by example, and I bet it will serve her well someday. Also she sounds like a smart, aware child so I'm also betting she got some extra appreciation for the meals you provide for her.

              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                Thanks Sam! I am going through the worst days so far in my life, and your kind words mean a lot to me. I remember you were very kind on another thread too, about unappreciated effort.

                1. re: givemecarbs

                  Really hope things get better soon!

              2. re: givemecarbs

                My first thought that there was some personal problem in the hostess's life that day that she didn't feel like sharing, but prevented her (or perhaps made her forget) from serving a better dinner. She arrives home fretting about whatever, her daughter reminds her they have guests coming, and she freaks out inside. She grabs the nicest thing she has at hand, tries to dress it up a bit with the garnish, but doesn't have the fixings for a salad. She thinks it would look stupid to have everyone sit down at the dinner table for such meagre fare (which would embarrass her even more), so she tries to make light of it by serving it on paper plates in the living room. I don't doubt the hostess was mortified, but as the Brits say "Stiff upper lip". I think Kitty behaved correctly by not making a fuss about it, and saving her wonderment for this board. She did say she's had dinners there before, and they've always been "real", so it really sounds like exceptional circumstances were at play here.

              3. re: small h

                It's not a money issue, although I understand what you're saying. But, it's also cheaper to sautee a few chicken breasts and bake a few potatoes than buy a family style frozen dinner. I think. I've never bought one. Frankly, I think it's a lack of taste (the mouth kind) and LAZINESS.

                I should also note that now, the next time we have THEM over, I'm going to have to keep it low key as I don't want it to seem like one upmanship or something.

                1. re: Whosyerkitty

                  Not that you're judging, or anything. By the way, what's with the one fork comment? Do you prefer your mandarin oranges with a separate one?

                  1. re: shanagain

                    I think OP meant no knife was supplied

                    1. re: NellyNel

                      Nope, what the OP said was "With one fork per person and no napkins!" as if a salad or fish fork should have also been provided. Sorry to extend this somewhat ridiculous tangent.

                      1. re: small h

                        Yep, absolutely. Personally, I'd be affronted at the lack of finger bowls. But you know, that's just me.

                        1. re: small h

                          What's ridiculous about it?

                          She wants to know if she's being a snob, and there's your answer. She's expressing shock and distaste at only having been given one fork to eat dinner with--a dinner she's looking down her nose at to begin with, even though she also sees fit to complain about the portion size. That isn't just snobby, it's like a caricature of an overprivileged person.

                          1. re: FuzzyDunlop

                            The OP is neither snobby nor overprivileged, just bewildered.

                            1. re: dty

                              Ignoring the tone of her posts, she put quote marks around the words 'food' and 'dinner', which I'm fairly sure were meant to indicate contempt, not that she literally didn't understand that she was being served real food meant to be eaten for dinner. Because that's a ridiculous idea.

                              1. re: FuzzyDunlop

                                I don't see contempt in OP's post AT ALL. I wouldn't have used quotes around the word food myself, but she is certainly right to question whether the amount of food served was enough for "dinner" for four.

                                1. re: dty

                                  Why? A "family size" dinner should easily feed four. (It has occurred to me that perhaps their friendship isn't as "close" as she "thought.")

                            2. re: FuzzyDunlop

                              Over privileged? hahahahahahahahaaaa!
                              That is indeed funny. A knife. You have dinner with a knife. Or chop sticks.

                              1. re: Whosyerkitty

                                I don't understand why more than one fork would be necessary.

                                Seeing as the OP made it clear that there was neither starter nor salad.

                                I mean, in my house we eat these things with the same fork.

                                We sometimes even use paper napkins. But shhh, don't tell.

                                  1. re: Halie

                                    I think the OP wanted to have a fork AND a knife.

                                    1. re: roxlet

                                      I can see that. Depends on how that chicken dish was configured. If in strips/small pieces, a fork is just fine & she comes off sounding snobby. If whole breasts, then just a fork was odd.

                                      Just as with a lot of these OPs, where everyone pounds on the poster for being rude/stupid/silly/snobby/whatever, it's tough to give a fair assesment unless you were there.

                                      1. re: PattiCakes

                                        How can she expect any of us to give a fair assessment, though? None of us, besides her, were there.

                                        1. re: PattiCakes

                                          Hi. OP here. It was blobs. Blobs O' Chicken. In sticky sweet orange stuff. Kinda like jelly. With rice. And some sort of vegetable matter I believe. That normally one may use a knife for assistance with one's fork. Or somebody might sometime even want to cut this so called chicken. That is all. Carry on.

                                          1. re: Whosyerkitty

                                            I thought you handled it well so no excuses - CH is the best place to deal with the drama/trauma of the amazing things that people will eat or serve. And I still wonder who cooked her previous 'company' meals.

                                            1. re: Whosyerkitty

                                              If you actually wanted a knife, why did you write "With one fork per person"?

                                              I don't think I'm taking crazy pills, but that sounds distinctly like a demand for a second fork to me.

                                              1. re: FuzzyDunlop

                                                Geez, don't jump down her throat. I was the one who brought up the knife as I was thinking out loud. We all need to get a life.

                      2. It does seem odd, but I'd give her the benefit of the doubt. It seems like something else must be going on behind the scenes and she doesn't want to burden you with the details. She may be strapped for cash at the moment, had something come up last minute making it hard for her to cook, or perhaps what she planned to make ended up turning out so bad she had to toss it.

                        I don't consider starters to be a requirement either. Usually if it's just another family/person coming over, in my experience starters are not the norm.

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: queencru

                          exactly........although cheese and crackers is usually a minimum..........or nuts

                          1. re: queencru

                            I'm torn on this. I would of been shocked. I would never have done that ... but obviously things happen ...I had to buy pre cooked eggs to make my crab deviled eggs because I was caught at work and my ex husband bugged out again ... Not as good but ... best I could do. I just never said anything. Maybe something came up last minute ..

                            Appetizer or starter, I do ... but most I know don't unless a formal party. It is hard and she maybe just was trying to something quick and friendly. Dont be too hard on you.

                            I went over to a friends a few weeks ago and she ordered pizza, really bad pizza and I eat just about anything. and that was dinner. No complaints, but we were all adults and it would of been fun to make pizza even with pre made pizza crusts quick and easy and probably a lot less. She had mushrooms, peppers, cheese, everything except sauce. But that is just me. I was still gracious and still hungry. I went home and had a fried egg sandwich.

                            1. re: kchurchill5

                              HA! on the fried egg sand saving the day YET AGAIN.

                              We've gone/invited people specifically to order pizza, in which case you order the salad from them, too. But buy LOTS of beer.

                              1. re: Whosyerkitty

                                If there was good pizza and enough and a salad I would of been happy. They ordered 2 cheese and 2 pepperone, from a horrible place and no salad or anything ... I too ordered pizza one ... however it was good pizza, not gourmet by any means just descent. This was from a new tiny place who just opened and they had coupons and they had the worst pizza I ever had. Soft crust, mushy too much soft. OMG, and I eat almost everything. I thought they would of at least asked what everyone likes when we got there but it was already delivered, cold and soggy.

                                My friends and I do a pizza and game night. Can be a lot of fun.

                                1. re: kchurchill5

                                  We live in Pizza Land, you know.
                                  I like those casual nights. There's a few families we hang out with that rotate those once in awhile and the kids get thrown in the basement or their room to watch movies or do Wii (WHAT did we do without that thing?). Everyone pretty much contributes, beer/wine, dessert, splitting the bill, whatever. So, hey maybe I'm not a snob.

                                  1. re: Whosyerkitty

                                    Naa, pizza (good pizza) is a great thing. I'd be lost without my dose.

                                  2. re: kchurchill5

                                    pizza is never my favorite, but you really need to give your friend a break! You say the place was new: maybe she hadn't tried it before and didn't know it was awful! Or maybe she didn't think it was awful! I think even the best pizza is only just ok, so I know there must be folks out there who view it very differently from me.

                                    And I have always been told that a hostess should not apologize for her meal: some even think it is almost as rude as the guest complaining...so you really don't know if your friend didn't like the pizza either or not..

                                    1. re: susancinsf

                                      It was FROZEN. From the grocery store.

                                      1. re: Whosyerkitty

                                        I was fresh, never asked what we liked, cheese and pepperoni and she likes that ... not the kids or husband, she always gets what she likes. Too much soft, it arrived 30 minutes before we even arrived, she nuked it, no salad or anything. We were all starved, even the kids. She just seemed to be in her own world and didn't care. She held another party very similar. Mini hotdogs, crackers and cheeze whiz and 2 or 3 pre bought dips. Now she invites all of us who belong to a cooking club, she belongs too. We all offer, she doesn't allow us. We all find it a bit amusing. And she claims she loves to cook and entertain.

                                      2. re: susancinsf

                                        No, she isn't a great cook and she apparently used this place several times ... even her kids hated it and said so. I asked er if she was ok and she said yes. She is just one who doesn't like anything gourmet or unique and doesn't care what anyone thinks. I just think if she was inviting several who she knows cooks very well she would try to make it just a bit more interesting. Nothing wrong with pizza, but even the family hated it. I agree I should be more tolerant, but this was definitely an exception.

                                2. re: queencru

                                  Not burdening with the details....strapped for cash...last minute issue that prevents her from cooking a meal....meal turned out bad she had to toss it.
                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                  Again - this was a *friend* of the OP, and their daughters are friends (don't know how close Whosyerkitty is with this woman - best friends? Passing acquaintances because their daughters are friends?). But if I'm reading the OP's original post correctly, she's been invited over before and had dinner there before. So it sounds like this situation is completely out of the ordinary for this woman.

                                  But if this is a food friend, that friend should have been able to tell Whosyerkitty (without providing details if she didn't want to do so), that "something came up, and I wasn't able to cook something - do you mind if we order pizza or cheap Chinese? I'd love to just sit and chit-chat with you while the girls play Wii, and that would make it easy all around!"

                                  Or if a friend, she should be able to say "you are SO not going to believe this! I put the lasagna in the oven, and when I went to take it out, I realized I had completely forgotten the ricotta! So how about some pizza?"

                                  I guess a bit of clarification on Whosyerkitty's part would be needed to determine the depth of the friendship.

                                3. I don't think any harm was intended, but it appears that your friend may have been a bit frazzled with thoughts elsewhere--including possibly forgetting about the planned meal until the last minute and making do with what she had on hand, dressing it up as well as possible.

                                  Not knowing what the back story is (obviously you don't either, hence the confusion), if it were my friend, I'd probably call and check to see if everything is okay (when the kids aren't around).

                                  1. My only question to your host, why not serve take out pizza?

                                    It's great, casual and fun to have without the stress of cooking.

                                    I don't think you are being overly-sensitive, or a snob. But, in today's hurry up world, I am not surprised that is how some people eat dinner. However, her choice of dinner doesn't sound appealing or fun either.

                                    You have won the "grin and bear it" award though. Being kind to you friend is important, I believe. Not everyone knows how to cook, or give dinner parties.

                                    But, when you invite her to your place, you can open a whole new world for her!

                                    1. while i might be bugged by the food choices (or lack thereof) and the amount of food served, i would not be bothered by the coffee table thing. She is showing you that she is comfortable enough with you to treat you like family. My close friends know i have a saying - if you are being treated like a guest, then something is wrong.... SHe was comfortable enough to eat with you informally, like a family, like a real friend, that is a compliment.

                                      I am not sure what her education level has to do with it - that line did sound a bit snobbish

                                      i'm also not sure why you would say that everything was great if you didn't feel that way.

                                      1. I won't add anything to the many good responses you've already gotten, but here's something that might make you chuckle: Good friends once invited my husband and me for dinner at their home, and when we arrived, we learned that they had made (drum roll, please) RESERVATIONS! No explanation, no apology, no offer to treat us. We were somewhat in shock, but went along with the plan.

                                        19 Replies
                                        1. re: phoebek

                                          Fairly typical in SF and NYC. I'd be amazed if I actually ate in someone's home. And in NY, it would have to be served on the coffee table - the only table found in most places.

                                          1. re: alwayscooking

                                            OK, so I have a friend who has an in at Per Se, and people are always asking her to help with reservations. So one friend of hers suggested that they all have dinner together at Per Se, and she made the reservation, they had a fabulous meal, and the friends never even reached for the check. How's that?

                                              1. re: kchurchill5

                                                That IS wrong. And weird. Maybe they thought the in was so in that it was comped. But it should have been clarified and if that was the case, should have been the ones to tip.

                                                ANYWAY, yes I am good friends enough with this woman that if there was an issue, she could have told me. I'd have picked UP carry out or driven to dinner or stayed home. Her cooking is okay but not great, but she always seemed to enjoy it and has some knowledge.

                                                I think that's why I was blown away.

                                                I think the point is that people EAT this stuff? And not just on a daily basis, but with guests? We eat in the dining room, usually, never with TV, let alone Wii (although music or NPR--hey! I guess I AM a snob) and I cook or at least reheat from "scratch" daily. That's the way I was raised and that's the way vowed I'd raise my child. Sometimes it's a drag whether you like to cook or not. If I was having somebody over, I'd make myself do it, regardless of who it was.

                                                1. re: Whosyerkitty

                                                  What did your daughter say after the dinner?

                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                    She had her best Wii night EVER. She was happy!

                                                    1. re: Whosyerkitty

                                                      Well, that certainly is a good thing! And something that your friend had a lot to do with.

                                                  2. re: Whosyerkitty

                                                    I think she had some hidden agenda, like having you over to pump you for information about someone else, and really didn't want you to stay too long. Maybe she had a date later on or was expecting an important phone call. But she had to have you over so she would get invited to your house. It was all about her.

                                                    1. re: Whosyerkitty

                                                      It's possible she sees you as snobby/haughty about food and did not feel comfortable mentioning that a dish she'd planned on making had failed at the last minute. If this was a weekday, maybe she got held over at work later than expected and couldn't make her dish in time. She probably had the frozen dinners lying around because that's what she eats for lunch and didn't have anything else that would serve enough people. Not everyone has the time or inclination to eat homemade food on a regular basis for lunch and dinner and there's nothing wrong with having a backup.

                                                      1. re: Whosyerkitty

                                                        No, they knew it wasn't comped because they saw my friend's husband being presented with the check, take out a credit card, add a tip, add it up and then sign the chit. No way that could have been confused with being comped!

                                                    2. re: roxlet

                                                      Rude and tacky. But it's happened to me too often not to clarify before I go. I wrote in an earlier thread of the worst of of my experiences:

                                                      Just out of college and newly working, a 'friend' who owned a moderately upscale SF restaurant invited 5 couples to have dinner with her and her BF. She ordered the appetizers, made suggestions for the entrees, selected the wines, and even had dessert and aperitifs. When the bill came (!) for the entire dinner, she divvied the bill among the couples. It was significantly more than our average food bill for the month at that time. We charged our portion with tip, we drew a frown from her, and left with a couple of the other couples. We were all shell-shocked.

                                                      So now, if I don't plan on paying for everything at dinner, I'll ask before I go.

                                                      1. re: alwayscooking

                                                        what happened to roxlet and alwayscooking was simply wrong.

                                                        Just because you know someone doesn't mean it's a free meal.

                                                        I've had comped dinners (as well as some highly reduced due to restaurant connections) and minimally, you tip based on the original price. That includes splitting the costs with other guests. It's tacky not to offer, and the "guests" reminded me of Mooch and Hooch from Janet from Richmond's post:
                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/589079

                                                      2. re: alwayscooking

                                                        I have to disagree with this. I've lived in the SF bay area for most of my life and have never had someone invite me over for dinner and then proceeded to tell me that we're going out for dinner when I arrive. To be fair, we definitely meet friends for dinner at restaurants more often than homes, but if someone invites me over, I assume we're eating at their house.

                                                        1. re: Hunicsz

                                                          Hmm - different set of friends. Most of mine lived in the city.

                                                          1. re: alwayscooking

                                                            In SF, we had friends over regularly for dinner and parties, as did our friends. Neighborhoods included the Mission, Dogpatch, Castro, Bernal Heights--I would consider those places in the city; we also had friends in Berkeley and Oakland. Some people had dining rooms and tables, others had people eating from any location, some in studios and others lofts. Ditto with NY (Manhattan), Paris, Rome, & Chicago (again, city proper)

                                                            Edit: only in Madrid and Tokyo did we not have any meals at our friends' places. In all of the cities, we've met friends out as well as at one another's places; it depended on whether anyone actually knew how to cook or not (or had a kitchen). I was simply clarifying that in the "city" actually meant the city, and not a suburb. This has been true for as long as I could remember, with friends from all walks of life, ages, situations, and backgrounds.

                                                            1. re: Caralien

                                                              Again - different set of friends. While home dinners occasionally occurred, more often than not in NY (Soho, East and West Villages) and SF (Nob Hill, Telegraph Hill, Cow Hollow, and the Mission), we'd meet for cocktails and apps and then go to a neighborhood restaurant. In LA, Boston, Florida, and Hawaii, dining in seemed to be more prevalent. Could be just different sets of people at different times of life.

                                                              1. re: alwayscooking

                                                                I'm still curious though---did your friends just invite you over, and then tell you that you were going out? Or when they invited you was it clear that the plan was to go out? The latter happens regularly with us, and the former never has.

                                                                We currently are buying a house in Oakland, but have lived in the city too.

                                                                1. re: Hunicsz

                                                                  Can't really answer now that I think about it. 'Let's do dinner on Saturday' or 'Come on over' - but, yes, usually, 'There's a great new place that opened' so I suppose I knew what would happen. The default, though, was out and it was always explicitly stated that someone was COOKING if at home.

                                                    3. Wonder who cooked the previous dinners?

                                                      Does sound like she was distracted and I agree with others who says that it's a great teaching moment for you child. If this continues in the future, eat before you go, stuff your pockets with tissues, and enjoy the conversation.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: alwayscooking

                                                        You can always decline dinner and get together for a play date. Eat before you go, and hang out with your friend while the children play.

                                                      2. 1) We were once invited to dinner which turned out to be one chicken wing per person as entree. 2) We were once invited to a Thanksgiving dinner where there was no table and no seating. The roast turkey was left on the kitchen table and people were meant to wander by and pick off a bit to gnaw on.No side dishes, no pumpkin pie, nada.3) We once attended a wedding reception that was supposed to be a sit-down dinner but we sat and sat for two hours before the caterer showed up with the food. Meanwhile a few people snuck out to McDonalds and came back with fries which they passed around under the table.

                                                        8 Replies
                                                        1. re: Querencia

                                                          I wonder if she got caught short -- as in she forgot you were coming or forgot to get something for dinner & improvised with the frozen entree. Or she tried making something, it was a total bomb & the frozen thing was a desparation fall-back? Could be she thought that something "home cooked" was better than ordering pizza? Whatever -- sometimes it's just not worth trying to figure out; sometimes things just are what they are.

                                                          I like givemecarbs' response: very good learning opportunity for your daughter. And yes, when you have this woman over to your place you'll have to low-key it.

                                                          1. re: PattiCakes

                                                            " And yes, when you have this woman over to your place you'll have to low-key it."

                                                            why?

                                                            1. re: thew

                                                              Because you don't want to seem like you're trying to show people up.

                                                              I love these answers. I think some of you are a lot more thoughtful than me--late getting home, forgot to shop, ruined other entrée, etc. Things I wouldn't think of or would have had been honest about OR ASKED for. I've forgotten things and called and asked people to pick it up, better than a ruined meal.

                                                              Me, I think it's a difference in standards and laziness. And visual media during dinner, nothwithstanding national election seasons or NFL playoffs weirds me out.

                                                              1. re: Whosyerkitty

                                                                " I think some of you are a lot more thoughtful than me...."

                                                                Well, we have the benefit of hindsight, and we were not put in your awkward position. You (Kitty) are usually pretty thoughtful when you respond to other poster's dilemas. It's a whole different ballgame when you are IN the situation -- something I think many responders forget when they jump down the OP's throat for not doing this or not doing that.

                                                                1. re: Whosyerkitty

                                                                  if it was my friend, i would want to give them the best i could, or at least of quality i enjoy. what i would not do is base what i gave them on what they gave me, whether they gave me the best of worst meal of my life.

                                                                  1. re: thew

                                                                    Why not? The woman loves frozen orange chicken -- make her happy!

                                                            2. re: Querencia

                                                              Don't think you can compare #3 to the others....wedding couple was probably mortified that it took caterers two hours to show up. Or maybe they were off taking pictures and didn't even realize it!

                                                              I once went to a wedding reception in Sausalito (Marin County near San Francisco), a place where the temperature rarely exceeds 80 degrees and many public buildings (churches etc) are not air-conditioned. Only problem was, this was the only day of the year (maybe of the decade!) where the temps there were in triple digits. Neither the church NOR the wedding hall were air-conditioned. However, the caterer had a strict rule: no drinks served until the wedding couple arrives. Only they were back at the church taking pictures (and no doubt fixing the bride's melting makeup between shots....) and were totally unaware of this rule. Meanwhile, back at the hall the drinking fountains were broken. People were drinking from the bathroom sinks just to get a bit of water...and many left after over an hour passed. It must have been 90 degrees in that room. And not a drop to drink. Finally the bride's father arrived; chewed out the caterer, and started passing out cold beers to those of us who had stuck it out......

                                                              1. re: janetofreno

                                                                The caterers were wrong in this instance. When we were married (Monterey), we knew there would be a long delay following the ceremony, and directed the caterers to start serving immediately! Chilled water, as well as beer and wine. The wedding planner (bride or otherwise) should have provided for this.

                                                            3. This sounds to jfood as another parent just trying to have an extremely casual supper with a friend and have the daughters play a little Wii. Maybe she brought the plates to the FR since the girls were playing and did not want to disturb the mojo. Jfood has forgotten napkins at times as well, that's usually followed by a oops. Likewise some people have a difficult time with portion control. Maybe the box had "serves 4" on it. Maybe she was a little taken aback by the wine? Did you discuss bringing it beforehand? Did you ask to open it? And it seems that this entree may not be different in some people's eyes than the pizza or sandwiches you may serve at some of you evenings as you mentioned. Are you sure the hostess and daughter were still hungry?

                                                              It just seems like a lot of assumptions, maybe some miscommunications, maybe a little over expectations, and some comparing to what might be served in your home is in play.

                                                              Are you being over-sensitive or a snob, jfood does not think so. But it appears that you may need a greater understanding of what others think are acceptable in their homes and not be so judgemental.

                                                              13 Replies
                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                I didn't get "judgemental" from the OP at all. I got surprised and HUNGRY.

                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                  I must disagree, roxlet.

                                                                  OP has mentioned several times her disappointment that a fairly educated women would serve an entree that was previously FROZEN (emphasis hers in a post above, not mine) and in the manner in which it was served on the coffee table. Clearly, it was not only hunger that motivated her response. Food from the grocery store frozen food section served on a coffee table can alleviate hunger just fine. Just go do a search on these boards for hounds favorite frozen pot pies, quick entrees or whatever....I've certainly eaten a frozen entree in front of the TV many times myself.

                                                                  In fact, when rworange does something very similar, the hounds applaud:

                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/594491

                                                                  (some of those meals rely on FROZEN entrees).

                                                                  (although apologies to rw, I have no idea if she eats those meals on the coffee table :-))

                                                                  1. re: roxlet

                                                                    ditto. I tend to assume that people with whom I'm come-over-for-dinner-with-your-child friendly generally have similar habit/ways of doing things to mine. Silly assumption, of course. I think kitty's expectations conflicted so much with the reality of the situation that she was taken aback, and left scratching her head & hungry.

                                                                    We often join my daughter's in-laws at their house for dinner on Sunday. They have a large extended family, and like to have everyone gather together for Sunday dinner. I come from a family where we always make enough food so that, should a bus full of people get lost & pull up outside our house, there will be enough. Plus left-overs. Not so with my daughter's in-laws. There is always enough to eat, but just enough. You need to think twice about taking seconds because you don't want to take away from someone else. My family tends to go heavy on the apps; theirs serves hardly any. The 2 families just do things differently.

                                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                                      Here are the examples of judgmental:

                                                                      1- Lo and behold, she served a family-size frozen entrée, Asian-style orange chicken or something,
                                                                      2 - It was awful. And there wasn't enough.
                                                                      3 - No appetizer.
                                                                      4 - No salad.
                                                                      5 - No bread.
                                                                      6 - served it on the coffee table!
                                                                      7 - With one fork per person and no napkins!
                                                                      8 - but I was a bit stunned.
                                                                      9 - It was also planned and not like an impromptu thing.
                                                                      10 - This is a fairly well educated woman with a fairly well equipped kitchen. 11 - at least it's been REAL.
                                                                      12 - with THAT as the focus.
                                                                      13 - But I don't believe I have ever asked someone over for a frozen dinner
                                                                      14 - I have always made more than enough.
                                                                      15 - SOME kind of starter, even if it's cheese and crackers or guacamole or something.
                                                                      16 - because everyone was still hungry.
                                                                      17 - nice after that
                                                                      18 - But MAN was it bizarre.

                                                                      And even OP recognized the potential by asking if others thought her the "snob".

                                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                                        Well, then! There you have it.

                                                                        1. re: Whosyerkitty

                                                                          not to beat up on the kitty, but you did ask if you were being a snob. sorta opened the issue by you thinking maybe there was a not such a great internal reaction.

                                                                          And to be fair you soft stepped the menu you have served stating the TV or the debate was the major focus. Major your friend thought the girls and the Wii were the main focus. Where others might have had a similar reaction that you did to the frozen entree, maybe others have snickered at sandwiches for dinner that you served.

                                                                          But the kicker in your OP for jfood was the "napkin" comment. If that level of dissection of a friend's dinner is important enough to point out then jfood thinks might want to refocus on why she invited you. And as you said in a follow up post, your daughter had a great game of Wii. Isn;t it more important to be with friends than worry about a napkin on the coffee table?

                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                            Oh no, I need both.
                                                                            What exactly is soft stepped?
                                                                            Further it should be noted that Wii is a constant whereas Barack Obama kicking John McCain's ass in debate is a rare event. I'd give up my napkin to see it again.

                                                                            1. re: Whosyerkitty

                                                                              soft step sorta relates to the tone of the paragraph where it was OK for you to serve pizza and watch the debates.

                                                                              if BO could just do some kickin' now that he is in, jfood would eat that frozen dinner for a month and wipe his mouth on his forearm.

                                                                        2. re: jfood

                                                                          jfood, I'll give you

                                                                          1 - 1/2 point for the 'lo and behold'
                                                                          2 - 1/2 point for 'it was awful
                                                                          6 - 1/2 point for the exclamation
                                                                          7 - 1/2 point for the exclamation
                                                                          13 - full point
                                                                          15 1/2 point for the capitals
                                                                          18 - full point (although it WAS bizarre)

                                                                          Rest seem rather as statements of fact. So six points overall, yep a tad judgmental but geez, I'd walk away amused by the experience.

                                                                          1. re: alwayscooking

                                                                            oh c'mon the ALL CAPS are worth a 1/2 point at least.

                                                                            1. re: jfood

                                                                              oh? one should lower case 'nfl'? don't think so....
                                                                              don't underestimate the barack. i am grateful i don't do your wash.

                                                                      2. re: jfood

                                                                        I like your perspective on this.

                                                                        One thing I learned when I once or twice tried family sized frozen entrees -- they are really small. The box may say "Pot Roast - Serves 4" -- but it really serves two in my house. She probably never made it before and didn't know. what the portion size was. it is really tricky with those larger entrees.

                                                                        1. re: RGC1982

                                                                          I'm going to second that. I keep these around for my fiance when I don't have time to cook or I'm eating something so healthy he won't touch it. Anyway, he's a huge eater (runs a lot), but the "family size" usually just feeds him, barely.

                                                                      3. I would've had a similar reaction, kitty, but chalked it up to experience. People really are that different in their food habits. I was invited to a girlfriend's house for dinner when I was visiting my hometown, several states away. She served delivery pizza on the living room floor, no salad, no plates or utensils, no dessert, and water in plastic cups to drink. I tried not to let it phase me, though it really took me by surprise.

                                                                        When I was in college with this same roommate, she served lovely, well planned meals. In fact, there were five of us roommates, and we made an arrangement that each of us would provide dinner once a week, Monday through Friday. I can remember that she and I were appalled when one of the guys plopped five microwaved sweet potatoes on a cutting board with a tub of margarine one evening. We objected, since we'd both served an entree, salad, bread, and dessert with drinks the two previous evenings. So, I was befuddled by the delivery pizza for an out of town guest, but hey, people never cease to amaze me.

                                                                        1. 'there wasn't enough" - that's never happened to me. It's a known fact I cook for invisible throngs of guests...even if it's just thrown together in 30 minutes, there will be abundance if it kills me! Having a well stocked kitchen helps-some don't or can't.

                                                                          I've had some odd meals like this. A friend had me over for lunch, which consisted of me picking a can of soup I liked. Hey, I had my own box of crackers too, which was nice.

                                                                          Once we were invited to a friends for a BBQ-some food was laid out on the table, and the family sat down around the table to eat together while everyone else STOOD! That was wacky.

                                                                          But it's all a good time. I don't think I would dumb down a meal if I had her back to your place. Be yourself (or make that 'YERself') and you'll never look back with regret, kitty.

                                                                          1. Invite her back for Big John TV dinners and see what happens. Video taped? YouTube?

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                              1. An employee invited me & the exec chef over for dinner, we told her we'd come around 7:30 and did. She put out three dishes, some fried eggplant, a chili and cheese sort of salsa-type mix (more of a condiment than a dish), and a meat stir-fry. We weren't sure if these were appetizers or dinner or what, there was no rice, and rice is ALWAYS served with dinner in Bhutan, but neither of us wanted to ask and be rude, so we ate what was there. So after eating that, hanging out drinking for a few hours, we say thanks and get ready to leave. Of course, that is the magic signal to bring out the other dishes and the rice. I've been to other Bhutanese dinner parties that consist of drinking too much and eating a few small snacks, meanwhile waiting around three hours for any real food, but by that time I am too full of beer and just want to go home. I am sure it is a cultural thing, but it kind of drives me nuts. If you invited me over for dinner at 7, why are we waiting until 10 to eat? I get to the point where I just want to go home but am too hungry not to stay and wait for dinner. I guess I'll have to have a proper American dinner party, where we have drinks and appetizers for a short period, eat before bedtime, then can drink more after dinner if desired.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: babette feasts

                                                                                  The first time I went out with guys from the Ministry of Agriculture (including the Minister) for archery, we staarted in the morning, but I didn't know that is was an all day affair with a trip back into the center of town for lunch and then back out for four more hours to the archery field. For those who don't know, archery there is with compound bows, even teams, each person shoots two arrows over about 120 yards at a small rectangular target, then everyone crosses the field to shoot at a similar target back in the other direction. Lots of joking and slightly rude banter all day. It gets people to really know one another, let their hair down, and is culturally quite important. The long dinner into the night is, I think, for similar reasons.

                                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                    For me, after working with people for nine hours a day six days a week, after I've convinced myself that an evening social obligation with the same people won't kill me, I don't need another three hours to get to know them. But I do appreciate your insight, even after 18 months Bhutan continues to be a mystery to me. Clearly I need to learn to stay home and eat something and show up late and skip the three hours of awkwardness. No such thing as a hurry there after all, might as well hang out all night.

                                                                                2. I think we hounds take entertaining more seriously than others...even if it's take out pizza we're going to make sure it's enough and good quality. My big peeve is when there is not enough food.

                                                                                  Years ago we used to have a Saturday Night Social...and I'd cook for 10-14 people. It was expensive and it was hard work. One weekend one of the ladies offered to make the entree if I would make the side. I thought "great" and she wanted to make meatloaf. I made mashed potatoes, peas and green beans, bought rolls from a bakery, made a few dips, etc. I had called her mid week with a head count of 14. She arrives with one average size meatloaf (from a 9 in or so loaf pan) to feed 14 people, several (including her Dh) who are big eaters. Thankfully I had just purchased a spiral ham and it was able to save the day, but that was the last time I depended on anyone for such a vital part of the meal and the Saturday Night Social Club thankfully died a natural death.

                                                                                  1. I just remembered another incident...when Hurricane Isabell hit in 2003, we were displaced for several days. We stayed at a lodge which is part of the golf club Dh belongs to and has a nice central area for entertaining with a large stone fireplace, big tables, etc.

                                                                                    A friend suggested we take the opportunity to entertain and he'd bring Chinese takeout and invite a few people. He invited about a dozen or so people and the Chinese food he brought consisted of 3 or 4 entrees, 4 egg rolls and one order of fried rice. We still give Mike a hard time about this :-)

                                                                                    1. A high school friend of hubs appeared out of no where one day and invited the old gang over one summer for dinner. There were 9 adults and 1 child. He made a salmon on the bbq grill, just 8 pieces of salmon, 6 corns (there were 9 of us), salad brought by one of the guests, both beer and wine brought over by other guests. Desserts brought by two different guests including myself and only one dessert was served leaving my home made mango mousse not eaten. I was pretty peeved they decided not to serve it and when we were getting ready to go, they wanted to keep my bowl. I told them I needed it back and the wife plays dumb, not knowing how to transfer it to another container. Seriously, are you kidding me??? I flipped the bowl into another container and she just placed my bowl into a plastic bag to take home, didn't even bother to rinse it out. And no it was not a potluck event. If the guests didn't bring any food or wine/beer, barely anything would of been enough.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: gourmet wife

                                                                                        It's possible that the husband invited the gang without the little woman's approval & she basically did a "screw you buddy; they're your friends & you invited them. You feed them & you clean up after them." It happens. On the other hand, there are a lot of people out there with huge gaps in their social skills development. Let's all hope that we Chowsers have raised out kids differently and can remain gracefully serene in the face of these dinner faux pas.

                                                                                      2. I love these stories. Truly, take them away as life lessons.

                                                                                        Here's a jaw-dropper that didn't even happen to me, but I always remember it. A friend's family of six--two parents and four kids--was invited to dinner with a family of four, two parents and two kids. There were probably four teenagers total. The host and hostess served one of those baby one-pound canned hams...and cut it with an electric knife. Well, you would need paper-thin slices--1.6 ounces each!

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: Angela Roberta

                                                                                          This reminds me of one of my aunts. Her family was husband and 4 children, our family was my mom and dad and 2 children, other aunt had only one child. My aunt made good food, but not ever enough of it. One of her favorites was chicken and noodles--one chicken and about a pound of homemade noodles to serve 12 people. You could always count on leaving her house hungry. I don't think she did it on purpose--just didn't know how much to cook for that many people.

                                                                                        2. I am the offspring of a woman who would have been totally capable of providing the same meal that is described by OP, right down to the canned oranges (that would have been haute cuisine for my mother). She simply was not in the least bit interested in food and couldn't imagine why anyone else could be. She was a passionately good bridge player, a warm and loving wife, a talented business person, a beautiful and elegantly dressed woman and the best, most dedicated mom ever. She just didn't 'get' food.

                                                                                          My greatest act of teenage rebellion was learning to cook-even taking cooking lessons at age 14. She admired me for my ability and interest, but in the same way she might have if I'd decided to study spiders.

                                                                                          OP's friendship presumably is based on more than what she gets to eat from her friend. That was certainly the case for my mother and was attested to by the packed church when she died last year at 90 and the tributes paid to this warm, loving, indvidualistic and witty lady.

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: LJS

                                                                                            That was beautifully expressed. I just teared up!

                                                                                            1. re: JamieK

                                                                                              Thank you kindly, she deserved every bit of praise going and I will toast her with every bite of indifferent food I ever encounter!

                                                                                              1. re: LJS

                                                                                                So many replies are focused on the chow part of the night and try to explain what occurred as maybe late getting home, forgot to shop, ruined some other entrée, and also a difference in standards and laziness. I liked the response by jfood, “This sounds to jfood as another parent just trying to have an extremely casual supper with a friend and have the daughters play a little Wii.” Those words "supper" and “friend” really stand out. I concur. The first reply by Rick also acknowledged this obvious fact, “Sure you can always say it's more about being with people you like than the food,…” However, he added, “but it always irks me when people don't make enough food!” Wait, the food was not liked, yet there was not enough of it? I wonder which of the Twelve Apostles might have complained that the pieces of bread they were given for Supper was of poor quality and there was not enough of it? Such a complaint would have missed the whole, "Do this in remembrance of me."

                                                                                                I think your story about your wonderful mother really put the value of the night of friends with their daughters getting together in perspective. How, “She simply was not in the least bit interested in food and couldn't imagine why anyone else could be.” Yet because of her high value for spending time with friends during her life, that upon her death her church was packed. You continued with “I will toast her with every bite of indifferent food I ever encounter!” It is proper that you do this in remembrance of her.

                                                                                                1. re: JeetJet

                                                                                                  Thank you, JeetJet...very thoughtful repsonse, capturing 'the other side' of the story!

                                                                                          2. The drift is definitely in the direction your friend went. It probably started in the 50s with those fried chicken and turkey and Salisbury steak TV dinners on TV trays. But it's really in force now.

                                                                                            I noticed at a local grocery story this week that the butcher section was virtually the same size as the pre-prepared refrigerated entree section. What does that tell you about people's expectations and their pre-conceived notions about what is appropriate?
                                                                                            The lack of napkins leaves me a bit baffled: I would have expected you to get at least a paper towel square.

                                                                                            My inclination is to note that we're going to hell in a handbasket. But for sure, I'm not prepared for this kind of "food." I guess there's nothing to do but give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she forgot or had a rough day or something. Many of us it seems are on overload these days and just can't get it together to create actual food.

                                                                                            I remember making a salad at my in-laws and my father-in-law being upset with the size of it -- "We'll never eat all that!" -- and wondering how my husband turned out essentially human and generous.

                                                                                            On the other side of the coin, I once attended a wedding at the Short Hills, a wedding chapel (read factory) in New Jersey. After the ceremony we were ushered into a huge room with every kind of food and drink imaginable. "Oh," I thought, "it's a buffet." After gorging myself, a wall opened up into a six-course sit-down dinner with dancing. oops.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: chicgail

                                                                                              That reminds me of a party where I was a guest of honour and so not included in the food plans. We arrived early along with a few other guests, including one who brought pate - 6 kinds of it! "Oh," I thought, "it's a picnic-y, cheese and crackers kind of dinner - lovely!", especially since we were sitting outside and I happen to love pate. So I gorged myself on pate, all 6 kinds, only to notice many more guest arriving with salads, a poached salmon, etc, ect. The pate was just the beginning.

                                                                                            2. Weird story about the orange food, but I don't think Roxlet is a snob for telling us, I think she was just puzzled. Sort of like if you know a friend is a great knitter and has knit gorgeous sweaters for you, and then for your birthday gives you a tacky store sweater. Doesn't mean she's snobby about the sweater, just that she's puzzled. There's probably a reason, but if you still want to be friends in that situation, just go on and don't worry about it. I love that my friends mostly know how to cook, but there isn't a test.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: rememberme

                                                                                                Do you mean whosyerkitty not roxlet???? whosyerkitty is the op.

                                                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                                                  Yikes -- very sorry to have impugned you, Roxlet! I meant whoseyerkitty. I was eating while reading, thus distracted. Many apologies.

                                                                                              2. Oh, this took me back to a "birthday dinner party" that I attended many years ago - a time of hard partying and lots of booze. I was invited to a friend's to celebrate another's birthday. I was told numerous time NOT to eat since food would be served. Back then, knowing I'd be imbibing rather heavily, I would usually always eat before hand, but with the numerous reminders, I didn't on this occasion. I arrived at the dinner and cubes of cheddar cheese and the little chedder "goldfish" crackers were setting around at appropriate places. After about an hour, seeing nor smelling any evidence of "dinner", I asked about "the food". The cheese and crackers were IT.

                                                                                                Over the years, my liquid consumption has dimimished considerably, but that memory still conjurs up a lot of pain, so I always nibble a bit prior to going to any more "dinners".

                                                                                                1. I would have weirded out, too. Perhaps I and some of you are really aliens...
                                                                                                  Almost every time I go to the grocery store I pass by the frozen food aisles and my mind is boggled. There are two or three of them. I only venture down the one with ice cream.
                                                                                                  I often wonder, "who buys all that stuff"? Somebody does and, in a long ago past life, I occasionally used to. Now, I don't consider it real. It is alien.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                    I have friendships with "processed-food people" and "spartans", my personal terms for people such as in the stories above. It's my preference to have them over often, and when I do go to their homes (not often), I bring something to share with the whole group. Once you know their m.o. why suffer a hungry evening again and again? I do value their friendship -- I also need to eat!

                                                                                                  2. I wouldn't say that you're a snob Whosyerkitty. The experience sounds gross. I would be pretty disapointed if the same had happened to me. All I can say is maybe you didn't know your friend as well as you thought. Maybe that was her favourite family size frozen entree!

                                                                                                    1. This reminds me of a lecture given by a law professor to students on their first day at law school. The professor welcomed the students to a "very elite club" which requires a whole new way of thinking – “Thinking like a lawyer.” Beyond being suspicious, it was said, a lawyer must use quick analytical and logical reasoning skills to spot the issue, know the rules, apply the proper rule of law to the facts at hand, and then argue a conclusion based upon their expert analysis. The professor then taught the first rule to the students saying, “Never think like a lawyer when spending time with friends or family members who are not lawyers.” The professor warned that if the students ignore that rule they likely will not have friends or family members much longer.

                                                                                                      Being a chowhound has several similarities to being a lawyer. We are an elite club who thinks in terms of what is the issue, knowing the rules, applying the rules and having a conclusion for our every meal. Our standards for appropriate ambiance, settings, service, courses, presentation, smell, flavor, quality, price, and even the ease of parking all demonstrate our sophistication for food. I plead guilty for sometimes driving my friends and family nuts when I draw a line on where I will not eat (Red Lobster for example). In the end there is another similarity to being a lawyer that Chowhounds must acknowledge – Never think like a Chowhound when spending time with friends or family members who are not Chowhounds. Friends and family live in a whole different world of thinking (much like emotion vs. knowledge) which lacks practical comparison , thus the matter is moot.

                                                                                                      14 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: JeetJet

                                                                                                        JJ - once a CH always one - you just can't turn it off! And we are a self-selected group here. The OP didn't seem to offend the hostess, she only came home to the loving, safe arms of other CH's and said OMG!!!! That's acceptable since her experience would amaze most of us.

                                                                                                        1. re: alwayscooking

                                                                                                          Friend, we have insufficient evidence to reasonably conclude the hostess was not wise to the result. The rule of logic is “Absence of proof is not proof of absence.” All we have is the testimony of the OP and a total absence of evidence from the hostess to chew on. If once a Chowhound always one is correct then we might reasonably conclude by a relative likelihood that feelings would probably show and the hostess would know. About those “loving, safe arms of other CH's,” eh, have you really read this discussion? And the argument, “That's acceptable since her experience would amaze most of us.” Even if most are amazed, that line of reasoning is a logical fallacy known as “Appeal to Common Practice.” For example, “Some people buy into eating at those small Chowhound places. However, we all know that the big food chains are the choice for most people. Since most people eat at the chains it must be good." See how nuts it is to try mixing logical thinking with family and friends? You risk sounding like a total jackass. The same is true with mixing Chowhound sophistication with friends and family.The issue is moot.

                                                                                                          1. re: JeetJet

                                                                                                            Perhaps the OP has a better ability to be sincerely polite, gracious and accept any situation that comes her way . . . without a grimace.

                                                                                                            Granted even in Chow, there is a wide range of accepted cooking and entertaining approaches and decisions (how DID you miss the great debate over on Site Talk!?), but there are some here who share in her wonderment. I don't believe that you've ever been surprised at the offerings at some party or dinner. Nor do I believe you divorce yourself from judging and being amused by the logic of others outside the office . . .

                                                                                                            Lastly, never enter a discussion with an unknown attorney because - the issue is moot!

                                                                                                            1. re: JeetJet

                                                                                                              Yea... Why don't you weigh in elsewhere with someone your own size? Sheesh,
                                                                                                              I'm not going to argue with you. I want to hire you!

                                                                                                              1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                Scargod - you're going to hire JJ? Are you in some kind of trouble?

                                                                                                                  1. re: Scargod

                                                                                                                    I have trouble with the mods myself. Maybe they are related to us, close friends, or something like that.

                                                                                                              2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                Er, Sam, see jfood's post below...... we're required to make jackasses of ourselves, membership requirement.....goes with the neighborhood..... Welcome aboard, JeetJet! Always liked your chow name!

                                                                                                            2. re: JeetJet

                                                                                                              I disagree JJ. Whether a lawyer or Chowhound, there's no need to dumb yourself down. Let your light shine always. Lawyers and Chowhounds can do their families and friends a lot of good, bring a lot of joy into their lives, be loved and admired. But if you talk too much or need to have the last word always, that's another thing!

                                                                                                              1. re: neverlate

                                                                                                                OH NO!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                                                                Next it will Shakespeare who says, "First thing we do is kill all the Chowhounds."

                                                                                                                Being a Chowhound, a lawyer, or any other hobby or profession requires one to get out of character in certain situations. It's called being a member of your surroundings. If one goes somewhere with a haughty attitude, expect the attitude back to be just as cold (See First Law of Physics).

                                                                                                                Never...this is not directed at you but the idea that one needs to maintain the raison d'etre on Chowhoundom is not jfood's opinion. Jfood was once told that as soon as you start believing your own press you are doomed to failure.

                                                                                                                Enjoy life, friends and food, in that order. If you reverse them you will have a lot on wonderful meals alone in front of the TV.

                                                                                                                1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                  jfood, I think I'm being misunderstood, but no problem. Made you scream, though, and pontificate......(bow to you).....lol.....

                                                                                                                  1. re: neverlate

                                                                                                                    it was not to you at all never, but once jfood started writing he did not know where to post, so bang, it came on yours.

                                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                      Isn't Chowhound wonderful; where, among friends, regardless of our station, we can wax poetic. Good night!

                                                                                                              2. re: JeetJet

                                                                                                                I thought we were all missionaries for The Food God; destined to turn chains into wine.

                                                                                                              3. It seems like everything that can be said on this thread has been, and it's growing increasingly testy. We're going to close it now.