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Strawberry etiquette question

  • k

I recently brought a plentiful fruit salad to a picnic with friends and both families picked out strawberries only to give to their children. Full plates of them (which weren't even eaten, but who's counting!)

To be clear, there was nothing wrong with the rest of the fruit. Pineapple, ripe honeydew, green and red grapes, blueberries and kumquats. It was not cheap or store bought fruit salad, it was fresh and good.

I was surprised by this. First, my child eats all of the fruits that were in the bowl. There is no fruit that he doesn't eat. But if he only ate strawberries I might fish out a few but not a plateful.

These are our dear friends. If they fish out every strawberry i serve them for the rest of our days, I will continue to overlook it. But I do think that it is both strange and rude.

What do you think?

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  1. I think it is extremely bad manners, and strictly antagonistic to all codes of etiquette, to observe and comment upon the dietary habits of others, especially one's dear friends.

    2 Replies
    1. re: PSZaas

      When I am antagonistic, I feel it's important to bring a sense of strict discipline to the table.

      So is this something that you would do? What if a host served a tossed salad with artichokes? Would you fish out every one and put them on your plate?

      1. re: PSZaas

        Of course it is, but w/ that said, I think it is extremely bad manners to pick out the items you like from a mixed dish/salad/whatever on a buffet. Would you take all the pepperoni off a pizza leaving the ripped off pieces for others or pull all the whipped cream off a trifle?

        Since they are your dear friends, I would wait until a good time came up and then try to approach the subject in a light hearted way. If you wait 2 years fine, you love them, but if you see an opening bring it up. Your friends are doing something they see as nice for their child, but teaching your child to take only their favorite things and leave the rest for others (dear friends) is not a good lesson.

        I understand not wanting to have parenting fight w/ close friends btu when iti comes down to it you want your friends' kids to be cool. Time is on your side

      2. It is a bit rude but not so strange when you check the price of strawberries against the price of other fruits. They probably don't spend the money on strawberries even though their kids REALLY love them. Since this board IS often about observing and commenting upon the dietary habits of others, even dear friends I don't know why it is bad manners or antagonistic. JMHO

        5 Replies
        1. re: Linda VH

          My 3 year old daughter loves strawberries and I buy them year round (against my CH principles!). They are not what I would consider expensive even in the middle of winter. At parties these days, most people seem to have fruit trays rather than salad. But I honestly might pick out a few strawberries from a fruit salad because she wouldn't eat the other fruit so why not leave it to other people? She does eat many fruits, but not melons. When faced with a fruit tray I do generally try to include at least one fruit that I am hoping she will acquire a taste for. This actually worked with pineapple last week but that was the first time in quite a while that she condescended to try something new. I am generally quite aware of what she will and won't eat and would rather not look rude by having an plate full of rejected food. But in light of this thread, I will try to be more considerate of what hosts without small children might be thinking - I suspect most of my friends understand however, as I see them go through the same selection process for their own kids.

          1. re: julesrules

            Just to let you know, our children are all the same age.

            1. re: Kater

              I was replying more to Linda VH. I just doubt that your friends are too cheap to buy strawberries. They are pretty cheap these days, year-round. And while I don't exactly excuse picking through a fruit salad, I was trying to explain why a parent may choose, at a party, to present their kid with foods they like. I don't feel the need to fight the food battles in public at what is supposed to be a happy occasion.

              1. re: julesrules

                But picking out a "few" strawberries for your child and removing ALL of them, as Kater had said happened, are two different things.

                1. re: julesrules

                  they are not too cheap to buy strawberries - but they indulge their children in ways that I find really nuts!

          2. I'm with you, Kater, in thinking this is quite rude towards you but, also, it's not helpful to teach the kids that they can have anything they want, especially when they are in the company of other people. I remember that I went through long phases of disliking many things when I was younger but a golden rule was to eat whatever was put in front of you.

            The whole point of sharing food is actually sharing and that should apply both to adults and kids, in my opinion.

            1. I honestly thought, when I opened this thread, that I was going to find some humorous riff on the earlier "Blackberry etiquette question" thread.

              'Course that was the phone, not the fruit.

              Sorry, I'll slink back into the shadows now.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Monch

                I opened the Blackberry thread earnestly expecting to learn that someone had fished the blackberries out of her fruit salad.

                I was so let down that I made a thread of my own.

                1. re: Monch

                  haha, me too.

                  the proper thing for the parents to do is make the kids a plate of the salad. if the kids THEN choose only to eat the strawberries, so be it.

                2. I have friends who exhibit similar behavior. I find it disturbing, esp when the kids don't eat what was picked out for them. :(

                  1. I would end the friendship right now. There is no telling what unspeakable evils these people are capable of.

                    1. It's probably not the most polite thing to do, but I don't think the offenders realize how much their behavior is bothering you (and others). I'm guessing their children really like strawberries and it may be the only fruit they would eat. Some children are very picky eaters and while this might be a great opportunity to introduce them to something new, the parents might not want to upset them or deal with the hassle at a gathering. Would it be better if they took a big scoop of the entire salad and the rest of the fruit went to waste? I don't like most melons so I'll admit to attempting to scoop from a region of the bowl with more of the fruits I do like. I wouldn't take a whole plate of just one type, but I still am picky.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: pollymerase

                        You know, it just dawned on me.

                        These kids grew up to be the guests that pick the sausage chunks from the jambalaya at our annual New Orleans party!

                        Even with adults, this behavior is frustrating, but all you can do is laugh at how oblivious they are to the connotations of their actions.

                        Picky is as picky does.

                        1. re: Monch

                          I once catered a large-ish party for a club, and some lout stood at the table (holding up the line) while he fished out all the shrimp from the gumbo. I was shocked. Perhaps he was too dim to realize what he was doing to his image.

                        2. re: pollymerase

                          The children in question have very limited diets so that is not going to change at the picnic. If I were in control of my friends, I would like to see them scoop a small portion of the fruit salad onto their children's plates. If the child refuses to even try the other fruits I would be a bit embarassed for them but not at all upset about the waste. If you never even ask your child to try something 'new' then your are actively teaching them poor eating habits and bad manners.

                          But the child would get the number of strawberries that come in a normal portion of fruit salad. They might choose to waste the rest of their fruit, but they would not take it upon themselves to appropriate an entire bowls' worth of berries onto four plates. My child and the rest of the adults didn't even get any.

                          1. re: Kater

                            The parent *could* take a normal serving onto their plate, give the kid the strawberries, and "sacrifice" by eating the rest themselves. Or better, give the kid the fruit salad as is, hope they eat it all, then eat the leftovers.

                            1. re: DGresh

                              Which is similar to what I'd have done: give the kids the fruit salad as is, hope they DON'T eat it all and eat the leftovers.

                        3. I'd go medieval on them....they sound terrible.

                          1. It's extremely rude. Perhaps a solution for next time is to bring a separate smaller bowl of *just* strawberries for those families next time, in addition to bringing a bowl of mixed fruit. Tell them that others like the strawberries and didn't get any last time as they were all removed from the mixed salad and that you and others would appreciate if they'd just eat from the strawberry-alone bowl.

                            Not subtle, I know. But sometimes you gotta bop people over the head to make them realize. And if they're good friends, they shouldn't be offended, especially since you and others also like strawberries!

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              That is a good idea. Somewhat akin to just bringing two pans of brownies.

                              1. re: julesrules

                                :::I'm not going there, I'm not going there:::::: ;-)

                              2. re: LindaWhit

                                I just don't want to set that precedent. It's such a bad example for the children.

                                1. re: Kater

                                  Fair enough. Then if these are good friends, perhaps it's just the right time to say something directly to the adults who are doing the strawberry-fishing for their own children. It can be done gently, quietly, and with humor, but it *should* be done, IMO.

                                2. re: LindaWhit

                                  If the children are that picky, I guess the easy thing to do would be bring some food to the picnic they know their children will eat.

                                3. Extremely RUDE, self-centered, morally bankrupt, stupid, senseless, and anti-social. Bad parenting passing on the wrong messages to the kids. I think most Asians would rather pull out their eyeballs, dunk their heads in acid, set their hair on fire, and jump over a cliff (to paraphrase Bourdain) than engage in such shameless behavior.

                                  And I, too, was expecting a hilarious follow-on to the blackberry query.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                    I am sorry my dilemma was not funny ; (

                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                      My Asian mother would've bopped me silly if I ever asked for *just* the strawberries!!

                                      1. re: pinkprimp

                                        Definitely. My BIL (married into the family) picks the best of what he wants from every plate to the extent that he even cut the center out of a cake and left the edges, picks the best pieces of lobster out, has actually asked someone to pass him a roll but make sure it's not one of the dented ones, etc. My in-laws just shake their heads. I wonder if his parents picked out strawberries for him when he was growing up.

                                          1. re: chowser

                                            My condolences to your sister. Can this marriage be saved? I hope not.

                                      2. I would be happier if they scooped out spoonfuls of the salad and then only ate the strawberries from their plate. Pick out what you want from your own plate if you have issues, but don't cherry pick from the common serving bowl.

                                        Maybe they do not know what a salad is..groups of foods mixed together designed to be eaten together. Not just a handy way to serve random items of food.

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: rochfood

                                          I would find it more offensive for someone to take food and not eat it than to take just the food they want to eat. Picking out the strawberries? Discourteous? Yes. Extremely rude? Overreaction.

                                          1. re: LJBTampa

                                            If I had served pizza and they liked pepperoni but not sauce, cheese or crust, would you be fine with them picking it all off so as not to waste?

                                            1. re: Kater

                                              No, I would not be fine with that. Pizza is a very different example. If someone picks off pepperoni from a slice of pizza, what does that leave for other guests? Food that has been touched. But, they could use a spoon to pick out strawberries without affecting what others would eat.

                                              1. re: LJBTampa

                                                But it does affect those that also like strawberries when all of them are picked out of a *mixed* fruit salad. If the *mixed* fruit salad comes with strawberries and one person takes all of them - that affects others who also want them. Kater's example is perfectly correct. (Pepperoni can be taken off a pizza without using your fingers, so the "touching with your fingers" issue doesn't have to factor into it.)

                                                1. re: LJBTampa

                                                  They took *All* of the strawberries.

                                                  Then didn't eat them.

                                                  It wasn't rude, it was tacky.

                                                  1. re: Cathy

                                                    Calling that "tacky" is like calling Osama Bin Laden "passive aggressive".

                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                      ROFL! Read it a second time and still laughing!

                                          2. Hi Kater, I'm sorry this picnic was so unpleasant for you but I honestly don't understand why you are as upset as you are. If you don't mind could you clarify how you expect people to behave at a picnic. I am honestly curious because I thought picnics were rather causal affairs. I had no idea this would be considered such a faux pas. If I was with a friend at a picnic is it equally offensive to eat the tomatoes she does not care for from the mixed green salad? I am truly curious and anxious for your answer. Thank you!

                                            12 Replies
                                            1. re: enbell

                                              I am not upset in the least.

                                              I expect people not to cherry pick a fruit salad because it i inconsiderate.

                                              I asked what you think about it. It sounds like it's OK with you, is that correct?

                                              You're so worked up it's really hard to tell what you're trying to say.

                                              1. re: Kater

                                                Oh my! I am far from upset, seriously. Maybe I am in shock of my lack of manners. I just never thought this would be an issue. Really, I am not upset in the least. I was only looking for further clarification, sorry for any misunderstanding. I read your post as parents taking the berries from their plates and giving them to their children. Is that what happened?

                                                1. re: enbell

                                                  Kater, I re-read carefully and realize that the strawberries were being removed from the communal bowl thus altering the original dish for everyone. My initial understanding of the situation was incorrect. I understand your frustration as the parents were inconsiderate. Apologies for the confusion.

                                                  1. re: enbell

                                                    oh good - I know it's not a big deal any way you slice it but now that you see what I mean I think we see it in a similar way!

                                                    1. re: Kater

                                                      Sure do. I didn't notice the age of the young ones until my second read either, wow.

                                              2. re: enbell

                                                enbell, what I got from the OP, was that these parents, took out ALL the strawberries from the salad to give them to children, who ended up not eating them. And since they did this first, NO one else was able to have them.
                                                To use your example, what if the person took all the tomatoes from the salad, leaving none for anyone else? is that social, nice, ok? If you were another guest and wanted a tomato in your salad, how woudl you feel about that guest? And if after you saw that plate of tomatoes, left uneaten except for a bite or two?

                                                I am sorry, but sharing a meal, being invited to share a meal, to me, is part of a social contract, I treat my guests well, they behave well.And they treat other guests as equal. Sure your kid is special, but when you suck up all the strawberries on a platter and leave none for mine to have...we *gotta* talk!

                                                Alot of people have issues with food and need to hoard, get the special bits so no one else can, even if they end up not eating them. And those folks rather than, dealing with the issues, rationlize them..."Why wait what I won't eat...I'll just take what I will eat." They did not learn how to share in Kindergarden.

                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                    :-) Sam

                                                    I am starting to wonder if people with emotional food issues, are ducking, rationizing, enabling themselves, by saying they are *foodies*. It's OK for me to do this, since I have a fine palate..when they turn their nose up at an offered dish to share, or take all of something, "so not to waste what I will not (or my child) not eat" geesh louise!

                                                    1. re: Quine

                                                      Hey, Quine, long time, thanks.

                                                      I guess I really can't see straight on this one. Messing up your kids, not thinking about your lovely hosts, and wasting food! I just can't see straight on this one.

                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                        nor can I
                                                        entitled,pampered,pandered to and enabled has gone way over the edge
                                                        like when a 7 year old has a birthday party that could pass for a mini coronation or worse
                                                        wasteful as hell,costly in too many ways

                                                  2. re: Quine

                                                    some people jfood have run into are still there

                                                    1. re: Quine

                                                      After a more diligent re-read I found I mis-read the first time around. It is not okay to alter the communal dish so that one person gets whatever he/she wants in a way that permanently alters the original integrity of the dish. I agree with you. It is unacceptable for the person in your example to take all the tomatoes from the salad. It would be even worse if someone took them all, then didn't even eat them (which is what essentially happened with the berries). Apparently they were easily removed because of their stem length! The kicker is that these children were not so young after all.

                                                  3. Were the children well-behaved? Pleasant? Good guests? If the answer is yes, who cares about the strawberries?! You don’t know if the kids were having a good day or a bad day. Did Sally get her nap? Who knows? Were the parents perhaps catering to their children in order to INSURE GOOD BEHAVIOR? You bet they were. Because if they didn’t, they could have ruined your party.

                                                    As the parent of the most mellow 3 year old in the universe who already says please and thank you and uses flatware, I still work really, really hard whenever out in public or in a social situation to make sure that he’s happy and isn’t interfering with others. It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes events conspire to create the least optimum situation and sometimes when that strawberry is touching that melon, it’s the last straw.

                                                    Finally, although my child does eat most fruit, he tends to concentrate on them one at a time. This week it’s blueberries, last week it was pineapple, the week before it was cantaloupe. But there are a few things that he’ll eat no matter what, strawberries happen to be one of them.

                                                    I’m sorry they didn’t eat the rest of your salad, but does it really matter? Really?

                                                    10 Replies
                                                    1. re: sebetti

                                                      But then they didn't even eat those strawberries....if the parents had just given the chidren those few, and when those were gone, went back to get more/all, at least there would not have been a waste and a few other people woud have gotten some.

                                                      I think it was very strange behavior and have never seen anything like that. My friends are different . I am unsure how I would handle it. I always bring what is in season as well as something I would eat if there are leftovers...

                                                      1. re: Cathy

                                                        But you NEVER know what your child is going to eat. They were probably trying to choose the 'most likely to succeed scenario'.

                                                        Personally, I would have picked the strawberries from my own plate and given them to my child but you never know when you're going to hear the phrase "All by myself!" (or always be able to judge the level resolve behind that strong statement)

                                                        You wouldn't do it. I wouldn't do it. But again, does it really matter? Was it a party destroying action? Did it possible prevent a party destroying situation? Maybe. We'll never know.

                                                        1. re: sebetti

                                                          I always know what my child is going to eat because he puts it on his plate and eats it and he knows he can't fish out all the croutons from the salad or all the strawberries from the fruit.

                                                          But if you were talking about little kids with some sort of fickle eating behavior, would you really give them two cups of strawberries at a time?

                                                          1. re: sebetti

                                                            If you are removing ingredients from a communal dish to the point where it alters that dish, hell yeah you are being rude. Remember that scene in "You've Got Mail" where she takes him to task for eating the caviar from around a mousse or something? It was funny because her reaction was so over the top and self-righteous, yet on the other hand it was a bonehead thing to do. There is little more icky than eating food someone has picked over in that way. I hate watching my aunt work a bowl of nuts, eating only the almonds while blabbing about how good almonds are for you. We always throw away the bowl when she is not looking. Picking a lot of food out and then not eating it? That's just gross and wasteful. If these people's kids are so delicate they have to be fed like baby birds, they should be doing it a few strawberries at a time. Then there would be no problem. This would annoy me enough that I would probably hand the parents a plate with a couple of berries on it jut to give them a hint that they don't have to take them all at once.

                                                            In answer to the question whether it matters: no, such things ultimately don't. It's not like they are bringing a gun to the party and opening fire.

                                                        2. re: sebetti

                                                          Well no, they are pretty bad. They are well past napping age - they are in the double digits.

                                                          I put two quarts of strawberries into a salad for eleven people along with six other fruits. It's doesn't really matter that they took them all and put them on two plates for children who didn't eat them but I think it is pretty rude.

                                                          No big deal.

                                                          1. re: Kater

                                                            I have to admit that I assumed that because the parents were preparing the plates that the children were not old enough to serve themselves. I apologize.

                                                            It also sounds like they also picked out every single strawberry, again, I assumed the simply took a lot but not all.

                                                            My apologies but I was envisioning a much different scenario.

                                                            1. re: sebetti

                                                              It's pretty unbelievable which is why I just had to write about it when I saw the blackberry etiquette thread!

                                                              We really like these people and I can't say this particular choice w/r/t the children is really out of character, but we know one couple better than the other and seeing two families do something so out of bounds in my book/upbringing made me feel like maybe I was being punked!

                                                            2. re: Kater

                                                              Okay... the little brats are old enough to know better and all other comments should be erased. Why are their parents still catering to them at that age anyway? You carefully select the food for your five year-old, not an almost-teenager. They're just being rude. (shakes head)

                                                              1. re: Kater

                                                                They are in the double digits?!

                                                                Wooow. I had thought these were toddlers or something. This behaviour is inexcusable for young adults!

                                                                1. re: pinkprimp

                                                                  These kids are going to be really fun teenagers.

                                                            3. I'm really surprised at some of the responses to this post. It adds to my surprise at responses to to other etiquette issues.

                                                              I find it really crass and rude for a parent - let alone a child - to have picked out all the strawberries, and worse that they weren't eaten. But many of you say, no big deal.

                                                              On the other hand, many hounds get their knickers in a twist when a guest brings a dish or some wine and expects it to be served. That doesn't bother me at all, ever. Many find the idea of dining family style (e.g., in a Basque restaurant) to be beyond the horrors of comprehension. I don't mind at all. Many don't want kids at parties. My parties can manage kids or no kids. Of course I don't have any friends who pick out the strawberries from the fruit salad for their kids.

                                                              1. It's bad parenting, period. How will these kids learn? It reminds me of a teenager at a Chinese restaurant picking out all the shrimp for herself before passing the dish along. It made a terrible impression and seemed insanely selfish, but maybe the poor girl didn't know any better.

                                                                1. From a fruit-salad provider's point of view, it's just not that big a deal. I'd let it go. Which is not the same thing as condoning it but it's just not a battle worth fighting--you'll just look petty.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: glowworm

                                                                    Definitely not a battle, you're absolutely right. But as soon as they pulled away my poor husband had to listen to me go on about it!

                                                                  2. I have to agree with those who say this behavoir is rude, a bit lighter than scooping all the frosting off othe communal cake, but still bad.

                                                                    But I also think that most likely, the offenders were oblivious to their own rudeness. And I find it difficult to hold people accountable for actions if they have not been made aware of their mistake.
                                                                    Should you be in a similar situation again, can you confront these people in some way? Perhaps just by playfully saying something like "would you like to lick the frosting off the cake too?" or "leave some strawberries for the rest of us!" and then laughing? I don't know your relationship with the offenders, but if you could point this out to them, you might be helping them in the long run...
                                                                    Or they might throw hot dogs at your head... you never know : )

                                                                    1. Maybe their kids only like strawberries? If they dished their kids a full plate of fruit salad and they didn't eat anything except the strawberries and left the rest of their plate to go to waste would you be complaining about that?

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Kajikit

                                                                        The kids did not eat the strawberries!!!!!!!!

                                                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                          what bothered me most was that I ran out of strawberries - I just can't stand the idea of seeming like an ungenerous host. I bought so many of them. I know that people like strawberries and would never ever make some cheap ass fruit salad with a pint of strawberries mixed in for color.

                                                                      2. Whether your child eats all the fruit or not may have influenced your response and jfood is sure that your kids, like all kids, have some dislikes when it comes to food.

                                                                        Here was the other mom's choices:

                                                                        1 - do as she did and have this thread to discuss.
                                                                        2 - Take a plate of fruit and eat onlythe strawberries and then we have a thread "Would you believe my friend took a whole plateof fruit and her kids only ate the strawberries

                                                                        But your friend took "1" to the extreme. It is not so much that she took ONLY strawberries but that she took ALL the strawberries. If she would have taken 3-4 for her kid would you have cared? Probably not.

                                                                        So to the answer, taking strawberries only is OK, taking all of them is not. Once again it is manners and consideration that comes into play.

                                                                        BTW - jfood thought it was another cracken-black-blue-straw-berry thread as well.

                                                                        15 Replies
                                                                        1. re: jfood

                                                                          The kids did not eat the frickin' strawberries!!!!!!!!

                                                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                            if the OP places that data point in parentheticals, and then states who's counting, jfood ain't.

                                                                            And is a frickin' strawberry one with a stem or one without. (please note no smiley face here).

                                                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                              Sam, calm down! I can see the vein on your forehead from here!

                                                                              1. re: weezycom

                                                                                jfood just wrote his response in another tread...let's see if sammy can find it on his treasure hunt.

                                                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                                                    weezy & jfood, this one really does pull my chain: clueless inconsiderate parents setting bad examples for their kids and food waste all in one!

                                                                                    I'll go have a rum and take care of that forehead vein!

                                                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                      "So to the answer, taking strawberries only is OK, taking all of them is not. "

                                                                                      Sam...jfood agreed with you. He did not say taking the strawberries was OK.

                                                                                      1. re: jfood

                                                                                        Yes I could have lived with taking strawberries only but the truth is I still would have done an internal eye roll because I would not let my child do that when he was three because it is a poor dining habit and not good guest behavior. Still it would have been fine.

                                                                              2. re: jfood

                                                                                Personally, while I don't condone encouraging pickiness in kids, I would take the "family unit" solution. I would take a "representative" sampling and give my kids the strawberries and I would eat the rest. I think it is rude to pick and choose (beyond a careful scooping in a direction which looks particularly promising, which we may all admit to on occasion, as long as it's not "all the crunch stuff on top").

                                                                                1. re: DGresh

                                                                                  what is frickin rude about taking 3 frickin strabwrries and giving them to the frickin kids so the frickin parents can drink the frickin beer and only take the frickin tomato on the frickin hamburger and not the frickin hot dog. Boy this is frickin exhausting.

                                                                                  do you have any grey poupon? :-))

                                                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                                                    Three or so berries, frickin or not, is one thing and would probably go un-noticed. It can be done discreetly. But, picking through the whole bowl, enough to get people's attention, is another. Then again, I've been criticized on this board for passing on a potluck velveeta cheese and hormel chili appetizer because you're supposed to try all the food so who knows?

                                                                                    1. re: chowser

                                                                                      Since when are you supposed to try ALL the food at a potluck? Take what you want, leave the rest.

                                                                                      1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                        That's what I was admonished for doing. Who would notice? And, do I care what someone who would notice what everyone is eating thinks? Oh, this was at a family potluck, not a huge potluck. I just realized what an odd looking word potluck is.

                                                                                        1. re: chowser

                                                                                          I'm stunned at the admonishment for not trying everything at a a potluck. Potlucks, by definitely mean a 'hodgepodge" of a lot of different foods - meaning there's a bit of everything for everyone. But it doesn't mean that you're required to try EVERYTHING that everyone has brought! What if 3 people brought 3 different potato salads - one that wasn't mayo-based, but you only like potato salads with mayo? Or a pasta salad that had olives - but you don't like the taste of olives? Or a hot dog/string bean/parmesan cheese casserole - but you don't eat hot dogs?

                                                                                          Just doesn't make sense. You say that happened here on CH?

                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                            Well, to be fair, it was a family potluck, where one person brings appetizers, one brings salad, etc. As in-law gatherings go, it's become rote: one SIL brings green bean casserole, one brings Jiffy corn bread pudding, one brings hormel and velveeta cheese w/ nachos. IIRC, it's been years, but the topic was on whether you need to eat all the food at dinner and I said I didn't at family meals like that, and was told that it was rude and that I needed to eat everything. Honestly, even at a small dinner get together, I'm not offended if someone doesn't try everything I make.

                                                                              3. Okay, I have a solution for the future. No strawberries in future fruit salads - frickin' or otherwise. BTW, jfood they're the ones WITH the stem.

                                                                                1. OK, I guess I've been responding as a parent thinking of my daughter, Dana Zsofia. I really want her to be a person who thinks of others as well or before herself, who sees and appreciates the efforts of others, who doesn't waste food or any of the other limited resouces of our planet, and who knows how to be a member of reasonably polite society. She's doing very well along these lines. I guess, since she's always happy!

                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                    Okay, so how one treats the strawberries (or any other fruit for that matter) in a larger bowl of fruit salad is a function of their social consciousness? Okay, I could go with that. Nice tie-in.

                                                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                      nice job...

                                                                                      isn;t it great when you see all those discussions turn into a beautiful young lady. Little jfood is spending two weeks photographing how NOLA has returned to its pre-Katrina glory.

                                                                                      it's a project that you do not know the end results for 20 years. The me-now generation just does not know the beauty of patience.

                                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                        I just know she is a beautiful person from the inside out who is an amazing person in this world. Just like little jfood. Raised by people who are totally knowing they are not the only ones who live here on this planet...

                                                                                        1. re: Quine

                                                                                          Thanks Quine and jfood. Yes! Its just that in 15 - 20 years I want to cry with happiness and joy (as I do now) and not with grief and frustration. And may I please be here in 15 - 20 years.

                                                                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                            and continue to be rewarded for the time and effort you invested to teach
                                                                                            turning out good adults with character,manners,honesty etc is a process best begun young and enforced by example

                                                                                        2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                          " Its just that in 15 - 20 years I want to cry with happiness and joy (as I do now) and not with grief and frustration."

                                                                                          I am going to save this!

                                                                                        3. Strawberries must be more poular than Blackberry's.....twice as many responses to this thread over the "Blackberry etiquette question" thread.

                                                                                          1. Picking through food, for any reason is rude. If the kids dont like the other fruit in the mixture then no fruit salad for them.

                                                                                            1. It is surprising how many people, adults included, do not understand the simple concept of Fair Share. I'm more grateful all the time to have had the parents I did! These folks aren't doing their kids any favors.

                                                                                              1. Am I the only one who's brain went to that scene in Sleepless in Seatle (I think), where Meg Ryan is chastising Tom Hanks for overdoing it on the caviar. 'It's a GARNISH !!!"...following which, he scoops the whole works up in one fell swoop. lol.

                                                                                                Funny in movies, not so funny if you're hosting a party. Any dolt knows that a mixed type dish of any sort is not free license to pick all the good bits out, no matter how tempting. It might fly at a restaurant buffet, but in someone's home, you're being greedy, and disturbing the ratio and presentation of the dish. It's same for a bowl of nuts, fruit salad, pasta salad with shrimp, or the caviar garnish noted above. Doesn't mean platefuls of waste fruits just so you can get a couple of strawberries. If you can't eat what's in there, pass on it. Want a full bowl of strawberries? eat at home.

                                                                                                And for those who are saying "what's the big deal??", boo to you. You're sending the kids a bad message indeed.

                                                                                                also: I haven't been around in a few weeks, must go check that Blackberry thread !! I am no fan of the crackberry. woot !

                                                                                                15 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                  You mean I can't pick all the cashews out of the mixed nuts???? Dang!

                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                    How about take only the frosting off of a cake?

                                                                                                    1. re: Alica

                                                                                                      Since I don't like cake or frosting, that's no temptation for me, thank goodness.

                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                        Or eating only the chocolate half on a black & white cookie!

                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                          happens all the time at casa jfood with mrs jfood going over to the dark side.

                                                                                                          1. re: jfood

                                                                                                            But how on earth can she stop eating before the entire cookie is gone? I cannot imagine having it in my hand and then actually putting it down. Never happens. I love that cookie.

                                                                                                            1. re: fern

                                                                                                              My precious niece (5 yrs) has gone home with a ziplock bag full of 1/2 cookies after tearing thru the "dark side" numerous times. I think she believes it's a fun game she and her Auntie get to play! I can't bark at her, she's got my heart strings, but one day it's going to make for a great story I tell her (future) husband.

                                                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                Oh, I understand, Auntie HillJ. I have some young heart string pluckers myself. When you tell her husband about it one day, she'll be remembering those days with her sweet Aunt H and how you let her eat her favorite part. :)

                                                                                                        2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                          Send your unwanted other nuts, cakes and frosting to me... :)

                                                                                                          1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                            That will include filberts/hazelnuts.

                                                                                                      2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                        I am going to come to your house and drink all the broth from your soup.

                                                                                                        1. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                          You're welcome to eat or drink anything at my home. And we have extra bedrooms too.

                                                                                                      3. re: im_nomad

                                                                                                        That was a scene from "You've Got Mail", not SIS.

                                                                                                        Good reference though.

                                                                                                        1. re: ginael

                                                                                                          bingo! I am not up on my Meg / Tom trivia it seems :)

                                                                                                      4. RUDE, yes.
                                                                                                        I would of given him a small plate of all the fruit. If he was that picky of a eater, may taken out 3 or 4 maybe off my plate and given it to them. And if he or she wanted more they should try something else. I never let my son do that at parties. He tried a little of everything.

                                                                                                        However ... I would ignore it. Parents like that don't change. Even if they are my best friends. I don't agree with it, but if he or she is really a good friend I try to avoid the controversary. They are the parent just as they wouldn't tell me what to do with my kids, so I stay clear of the whole thing.

                                                                                                        Maybe in a quiet moment just between adults I may mention something but not during the party. As a parent and a adult they should of known better manners. But unfortunately, many don't know what is right or wrong and honestly have no clue

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: kchurchill5

                                                                                                          You're absolutely right - while I was obviously taken aback I was not the least bit surprised by this choice! Then again there was a glimmer of hope over the weekend when this couple had a bit of a tiff over permissive parenting during a sporting event. But I'm still taking your advice and putting this on the Accepted Cons list opposite a much longer list of reasons that we'll remain friends!

                                                                                                        2. i'm not the most experienced person on this board, having just turned 25, but if i was at a potluck with my parents 10 or so years ago, i'd have a scoop of whatever, no picking out of ingredients!!! That just seems incredibly rude to me.... thats like going to a sushi buffet and eating all the fish off of the nagari (sp?)

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: kubasd

                                                                                                            I can picture a tray of lonely lumps of sushi rice! That is a particularly apt analogy.

                                                                                                          2. Hm. If they had brought the fruit salad and you or anyone else had picked out all of the strawberries, do you have any idea how they would feel? Just asking...

                                                                                                            16 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: sophie fox

                                                                                                              I really don't know. I don't think they would think this is acceptable for them or not for others but they certainly would think it is the particular province of children to have every demand met instantly with the expectation that all other adults (and kids actually) will move heaven and earth to make it so!

                                                                                                              1. re: Kater

                                                                                                                Yeah, I think that's the problem, and it's not doing their kids any favors either. IMAGINE what happens to these urchins in the big old world out there when someone uses the word "no" to them. Not pretty.
                                                                                                                That said, I don't think there's much you can do, if they're good enough friends and you feel that you can tolerate the cons.

                                                                                                                1. re: sophie fox

                                                                                                                  Their children really struggle at school and beyond but they never make the association.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Kater

                                                                                                                    Man, that is too bad. As a teacher, I can certainly attest that children who struggle in school are very often extremely spoiled at home.

                                                                                                                2. re: Kater

                                                                                                                  Since you say you are friends, as well as "dear", I imagine that they do not realize how much they are taking (literally) advantage. I am sorry to say, sometimes the only way folks like this, feel the consequences of their actions, is when they really must. So ideas:
                                                                                                                  Since you say this was a picnic and I gather, all brought a dish or so...next time...bring the dish, minus the "goodies". After all sit to eat, unwrap and serve only to your family, the "stash".. When they get all huffy, as I expect they will, flutter your eyelases so endearingly and say..."Jonnie dearest here SO loves strawberries, last time he did not get any they were gone." Flutter Flutter
                                                                                                                  Or if they have a party, let them catch you taking "goodies" out of the whole dish before it is "served" Again, the "flutter" This time say something on the order of "I know you *SO!* understand that jonnie dearest is SO fussy and he loves these, I want to make sure he doesn't miss out on them and goes hungry. Just like you made sure that your darling Sue had all the strawberries, Us mothers what we have to do to make sure our children are not going hungry." Flutter

                                                                                                                  He he he trust me, it will make them adjust their habits....if only to bring "special dishes" for their little dearest!

                                                                                                                  Or you can next time, after they serve themselves, recall that you had the "special" ingredient , packed separately and you forgot to add it....

                                                                                                                  Sometimes covert is so much more effective that overt.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Quine

                                                                                                                    I really, really want you to be joking about these possible scenarios. If they are "dear friends," then isn't it kinder to say "I love you dearly and you may not even be aware of this but your kids got basically all the strawberries from the salad last time. Maybe next time they could wait til others have served themselves and then not pick and choose. Does that sound like something that would work for your family?"

                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                      Did ya read the other posts? And yeah they HAD to be aware of it, since they, the Parents did all the taking the "special" fruit out of the entire dish!, for their "precious".

                                                                                                                      "they are not too cheap to buy strawberries - but they indulge their children in ways that I find really nuts!"
                                                                                                                      "The children in question have very limited diets so that is not going to change at the picnic. "
                                                                                                                      "My child and the rest of the adults didn't even get any."
                                                                                                                      "If I had served pizza and they liked pepperoni but not sauce, cheese or crust, would you be fine with them picking it all off so as not to waste?"
                                                                                                                      "Well no, they are pretty bad. They are well past napping age - they are in the double digits.

                                                                                                                      I put two quarts of strawberries into a salad for eleven people along with six other fruits. It's doesn't really matter that they took them all and put them on two plates for children who didn't eat them but I think it is pretty rude."

                                                                                                                      "I really don't know. I don't think they would think this is acceptable for them or not for others but they certainly would think it is the particular province of children to have every demand met instantly with the expectation that all other adults (and kids actually) will move heaven and earth to make it so!"

                                                                                                                      "Their children really struggle at school and beyond but they never make the association."

                                                                                                                      1. re: Quine

                                                                                                                        This sage advice wouldn't fly with me, my dear friends or my family. Why? Because its mean. Children don't understand passive agressive behavior; but they understand mean. Parents aren't asking for advice, they are usually asking for understanding. Something friends offer each other over a great meal. But hey, that's just one gals take on etiquette. Would I lose good friends over strawberries, not on your life.

                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                          "Children don't understand passive agressive behavior but they understand mean.' True, if they were toddlers in a new food and social interact may haps the parents erred on the side of learning. Alas they were older, old eniugh to be able to serve their own food, Did said older than 9 y,o children understand the meanness of the parents' actions on their behalf?

                                                                                                                          1. re: Quine

                                                                                                                            but Kater was the host. Impeccable in manners and confused by a guests behavior. It happens. If they are dear friends, the rest, although frustrating, is life. Again, being counterpoint mean over fruit salad just isn't necessary. Humor is another alternative. Laugh.

                                                                                                                        2. re: Quine

                                                                                                                          I read ALL the posts and my suggestion was a little different take on toe-in-the-sand, flutter/flutter. Yours was rather passive-aggressive, don't you think?

                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                            I wholly agree that the strawberry stealers/hoarders were definitely passive agressive.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Quine

                                                                                                                              I guess I don't see the passive part. Seemed damned aggressive to me.

                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                I agree! It was VERY aggressive for the parents to act like that! They surely,with knowledge took EVERY strawberry out of the dish to serve to their pretty old kids.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Quine

                                                                                                                                  I really, really don't think that the way to react (vs respond) to aggressive / uncivil behavior is to be more aggressive / uncivil or worse yet, passive aggressive as you suggest. How's that working for you?

                                                                                                                      2. re: Quine

                                                                                                                        Definitely rude, makes me cringe in embarrassment for them. I certainly have moments that I can't relive without squeezing my eyes shut. If they did it spitefully to hurt their friend/host, maybe such creative and colorful humiliation would be understandable, but I would cringe right down through my seat if I saw anyone doing as you suggest in this situation.

                                                                                                                  2. Here's the conversation I might have had (if I were quick-witted, which I confess I am not):

                                                                                                                    (The scene: parents picking all the strawberries out of the fruit salad bowl)
                                                                                                                    ME: Oh, no, is there something wrong with the strawberries?
                                                                                                                    THEM: Uh, no.
                                                                                                                    ME: Oh. (Pause.) Then is there something wrong with the rest of the fruit?
                                                                                                                    THEM: No, but my little Joey only likes strawberries.
                                                                                                                    ME: Oh. . . . . . . . . . . . .(long pause). I know that Aunt Mary likes strawberries, too. I sure hope she gets some.

                                                                                                                    1. Choosing certain foods only from a serving dish at a party?
                                                                                                                      1. Rude
                                                                                                                      2. Crude
                                                                                                                      3. Unexceptable
                                                                                                                      4. The worst example to give young people
                                                                                                                      5. Creates rude, crude, spoiled children---->adults.

                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                            You just mentioned my absolutely least favorite word in the English language. It is the one thing that absolutely drives me up the wall every time. I spend a good deal of time up the wall. :-)

                                                                                                                            1. re: sophie fox

                                                                                                                              Jfood placed a post last year calling this group Generation-E.

                                                                                                                              Couldn't agree more.

                                                                                                                              1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                Generation-E - second and third that. If Dante were still alive, he'd add another ring on his version of Hell just for these folks...

                                                                                                                          2. yes, it is inappropriate. and no, there really isn't/wasn't much you could do about it. perhaps ask one of the parents if you could steal a strawberry or two for your own serving.

                                                                                                                            i tend to cherry pick a bit at a fruit salad as I am alergic to mellon. if some ends up on my plate I just leave it there, but I hate to take it when I know I am going to have to waste it, and I know others will be able to enjoy it. most of my friends know of my allergy and they are considerate. actually I end up not taking much of what I can eat and it has no doubt absorbed some of the juice of the mellons anyhow, but a little bit I seem to be able to deal with.

                                                                                                                            1. I think you're scraping the bottom of the barrel if your "dear friends" are like that, but I also think you must be more tolerant than me. I sure wouldn't have friends that behave that way, on so many levels that have already been discussed at length.

                                                                                                                              Friends aren't relatives, you can ditch them if you find them too selfish, clueless, boorish etc.

                                                                                                                              1. Yes, extremely rude. Of course, there is a simple solution to this and sorry if someone has brought this up already; haven't read every response: don't use strawberries next time!

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: soniabegonia

                                                                                                                                  My solution for the next fruit salad: No Strawberries!