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Pass (On) The Avocados, Please July 25, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure, Vegetarian Recipes.
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Six days a week, Greg and Katherine serve up enticing tidbits and refreshing libations on Rufus’ Food & Spirits Guide.

Like Blueberry Bramble:

On the seventh day, they take a break from culinary endeavors and create a Sunday Supper menu from past posts.

Like Spinach Ricotta Fritters:

There is always something on the menu that appeals to me.

Well . . . almost always.

Last Sunday, I scrolled down the Sunday Suppers: Tapas Night menu and found nothing to drool over:

Lamb Meatballs
Mushroom, Capers, and Anchovies
Calamari Salad
Marinated Eggplant
Stuffed Mushrooms

What!?  No dessert?

The bread accompanying one of the dishes looked good.  But nothing else held any appeal.

Greg and Katherine enticed me back the next night with a delicious Scottish dessert ~ Cranachan (Whipped Cream, Berries, and Whisky!):

That’s the nice thing about cyber entertaining.  Greg and Katherine never have to worry about guests going away hungry.

But their recent Sunday Suppers: Tapas Night menu reminded me of a get-together planned a few years ago with someone I hadn’t seen since childhood.

Our hostess, Gwen, the daughter of one of my mother’s closest friends from college, grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  She moved to St. Thomas in her twenties.  Our paths converged on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Gwen owns a home in Sarasota (about 30 minutes from our villa) but is rarely there.  As a traveling nurse, she accepts assignments for six month stretches throughout the continental United States and beyond.  Her assignments have included Alaska (in the winter!) followed by a stay on a Native American Indian Reservation in New Mexico (or Arizona, I can’t recall which).

Anyway, Gwen e-mailed to say that she would be home for a week and wanted to get together for dinner at her house.  We knew she was a vegetarian but knew nothing else about her food preferences.  Nor she, ours.

Our (somewhat) short list of verboten vegetarian items we do not want in our mouths or bellies includes:  mushrooms, eggs, eggplant, and avocados.

Standard fare for many.

After accepting her invitation and asking what we could bring, I decided to give her a heads up about these four foods we do not wish to eat . . . ever.  Not even if invited to do so by, say, the Queen of England at Buckingham Palace.

At the precise moment I tossed out our list of dislikes via e-mail to Gwen, I received an incoming e-mail from her, giving us directions to her house and asking about food preferences:

I was thinking I would make an avocado salad I love and not sure what else @ this point. Any allergies or hates?

LOL!  I replied back:

That’s funny ~ I just sent you a short list of things we do not like to eat.   Unfortunately, avocados are on that list!

We settled on a menu which did not include avocados, mushrooms, eggs, or eggplant.  I’m glad I spoke up.  If I had remained mum, the menu might have looked something like this:

Mushroom Omelette (or Quiche)
Eggplant Caponata
Avocado Salad with chopped Eggs

{{Shudders at the very thought}}

Here’s to good times, good friends, and . . . GOOD food!  Cheers!

Aah . . . that’s better!

What say you?  Any extreme dining likes and dislikes?  Do you speak up and share your preferences with others . . . or hope for the best?

Or do you eat a snack before you dine with someone new . . . just in case?

Comments»

1. SuziCate - July 25, 2013

I used to have an aversion to avocados as well but now I absolutely love them! I absolutely hate chick peas, alone,in hummus, or however! I actually gag on those…don’t think I feel that way about any other food except liver!
So glad you spoke up and had an enjoyable meal with your friend.

nrhatch - July 25, 2013

Most items on our list are things that evoke intense feelings of like or dislike ~ people either LOVE avocados or pass on them.

I love chick peas ~ whole in salads or smashed up in hummus.

But when you and Dirt Man come for dinner, we’ll omit chickpea tabbouli and indulge in Pecan Praline ice cream sundaes! :mrgreen:

2. Crowing Crone Joss - July 25, 2013

oh mushrooms in any form or variety are top of my favourite lists. Eggplant should just be left to rot in the ground however!

nrhatch - July 25, 2013

Two more foods that evoke intense feelings!

I ate a poisonous mushroom as a child and had to have my stomach pumped. I am not able to swallow mushrooms now. Not even teeny tiny chopped up bits of mushrooms. Eggplant is my least favorite vegetable ~ I will eat Eggplant Parmigiana if it has lots of C~H~E~E~S~E! :mrgreen:

When you get to France, you are going to have such FUN eating all that delicious bread, cheese, wine, and chocolate!!!

3. Andra Watkins - July 25, 2013

In general, I am so grateful for an invitation to another person’s house that I shut up and eat whatever they give me. The invites are so rare anymore.

nrhatch - July 25, 2013

Before we adopted a vegetarian diet, we took our chances, but so many people substitute mushrooms for meat in vegetarian dishes that we started to speak up.

And most of our hosts and hostesses continue to invite us back so they must not think we’re too picky. 😛

But I think you’re right about the fact that fewer people throw dinner parties these days. I hope it doesn’t become a lost art. It’s so much nicer to dine in someone’s house than it is to meet at a crowded and noisy restaurant.

4. sufilight - July 25, 2013

I hate mushrooms and slimy veggies such as eggplant except for avocados. Good idea to exchange a list of foods that you are not comfortable with; makes the time spent together during a meal more enjoyable.

nrhatch - July 25, 2013

Marie, have I told you today that you’re my favorite?! :mrgreen:

I’m not a fan of avocado . . . but I had some fantastic guacamole at a party once. Probably because it had tons of garlic and crushed red pepper in it, so it was too spicy to taste the base.

sufilight - July 25, 2013

Now I know, thanks! 8)

nrhatch - July 25, 2013

You’re welcome. 😀

5. Don - July 25, 2013

I’m also a great fan of avocado. A certain of the year here we have an abundance of them growing on trees. Houses are full of avocados.

nrhatch - July 25, 2013

We looked at a house that had an avocado tree in the yard . . . it had HUNDREDS of avocados on it. And it surprised me because I didn’t realize they grew on trees.

We didn’t buy that house . . . but that wasn’t the reason. :mrgreen:

6. katecrimmins - July 25, 2013

We have a vegan relative. One time we had a party and I made sure there was a mushroom dish for him. Ha! He hates mushrooms too. He eats a lot of Indian food so we always suggest he bring a casserole.

nrhatch - July 25, 2013

My sister in law made a vegetarian dish for us once, loaded with hard-boiled egg. I felt bad, but not bad enough to eat it. 😛

When we go to dinner parties, we often offer to bring a dish so we know that there will be something to eat that we love. It’s also why I love Potluck Dinners . . . everyone brings something and there is always something YUMMY.

7. diannegray - July 25, 2013

I have two avocado trees and they’re my absolute favourites! (They get a lot of attention and watering from me and I get get lovely rewards back) 😉

nrhatch - July 25, 2013

If we had an avocado tree, I would try to get over my aversion because it’s so cool to go outside and pick lunch.

We have a lime tree and it’s great when I’m cooking and realize I need lemon or lime juice. I walk 4 feet out the front door, pick one, and continue cooking.

8. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide - July 25, 2013

Thanks for the kind words. In looking at that menu again, I realize we did pick a lot of acquired tastes. And then to follow up with chicken livers! Funny story too!

nrhatch - July 25, 2013

I love your blog . . . you and Katherine are funny, creative, and oh, so, versatile in the kitchen.

Even if some of your dishes hold more appeal than others. 😛

9. Nancy Curteman - July 25, 2013

I’m ready to taste these gourmet delights. I’ll begin with the Spinach Ricotta Fritters and end with the to-die-for Cranachan. I’ll be in Scotland, maybe I’ll taste it there.

Thanks for putting my book cover on your site. 🙂

nrhatch - July 25, 2013

I’d never heard of Cranachan but thought it sounded AWESOME. 😀

That’s cool that your book cover is on my site . . . but I didn’t put it there (and can’t see it). Maybe WP added it because I swung by Amazon to check it out.

I’ll post it here for folks to check out:

http://www.amazon.com/Murder-Casts-A-Spell-ebook/dp/B00E3WI8Q4/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1374728920&sr=8-3&keywords=nancy+curteman

10. Pix Under the Oaks - July 26, 2013

What Andra said up there in comment #3.. 🙂 The only thing I don’t want to eat is anchovy anything and generally when invited to dinner there are enough different things to make dinner work. I have to say those spinach ricotta fritters look awesome!

nrhatch - July 26, 2013

We’ve rarely had a problem when dining with friends, but we would have had a tough time at the Tapas Supper. Now, if Greg and Katherine had added spinach ricotta fritters to the menu that night, we would have been all set. MANGIA! :mrgreen:

11. Booksphotographsandartwork - July 26, 2013

Eggplant, disgusting. I wouldn’t go near liver for anything. Not going to eat broccoli anymore. I just hate it. I love brussel sprouts though. And as you well know I don’t think we should be eating anything that has eyeballs! Oh and I hate Kale. Oh man that stuff is bad.

nrhatch - July 26, 2013

I’ll make a deal with you . . . I’ll give you my brussel sprouts in trade for your broccoli and kale.

We’ll give the liver to the dog. 😛

Booksphotographsandartwork - July 31, 2013

Oh yes!!!!!

nrhatch - July 31, 2013

Deal!

12. kateshrewsday - July 26, 2013

There are some things I am not keen on; but here we are brought up from an early age to eat politely what is put in fornt of one. I found it hard when I was a child, but it is second nature these days, Nancy.

nrhatch - July 26, 2013

We were brought up that way as well ~ my parents introduced us to all sorts of “interesting” items. After I became a vegetarian, I decided I was no longer going to eat things just because someone placed them in front of me. :mrgreen:

kateshrewsday - July 26, 2013

That makes perfect sense. A natural progression.

nrhatch - July 26, 2013

Like much of life, it’s a balancing act. We want to be open-minded enough to try new things . . . but also “brave” enough to honor our own preferences once we discover what they are.

Too many people go through life accommodating others rather than following their inner voice to see where it leads.

13. bluebee - July 27, 2013

At school, I had a good friend whose German parents were extremely health conscious, and served up the weirdest unidentifiable food & drink at mealtimes – stay-overs there were always a nightmare for me from a food perspective because I was such a terribly unadventurous eater, and wanted to retch at the sight of vegetables until I was about 18.

I will always eat food served by a host without saying anything, even if it contains gluten, which is something I don’t eat for health reasons. Thankfully, most people ask beforehand, so it’s usually not a problem. I think that these days it’s bad manners not to ask. I want people to relax in my home (as well as not die from food I’ve served them 😯 )

nrhatch - July 27, 2013

My mother has an extreme allergy to nuts. Even a small piece, causes her throat to swell which impairs her ability to breathe. And stay alive. She alerted folks of her allergy when accepting invitations. Makes sense to me ~> who wants a dead dinner guest at the dinner after serving a bunch of nuts? :mrgreen:

At large gatherings, I serve a wide variety of food, buffet style, so everyone can help themselves to what they want to eat.

When I invite a single couple over for lunch, cocktails, or dinner, I discuss the menu with them in advance and make necessary adjustments, if needed. I invite people into my home because I like them and want to enjoy a meal together . . . not to show off my culinary prowess.

My sister is Gluten Free, Vegan, Sugar Free, Corn Free, and a few other things. All for health reasons. I often cook something just for her. If I’m making Ziti for everyone . . . I make hers with GF noodles and no cheese.

14. Three Well Beings - July 27, 2013

I’m very partial to avocados, but I have many friends who do not. I think it’s always best to ask when having guests which foods are really not enjoyable to them, for any reason! I sometimes have quite a time when entertaining, however. I have very opinionated friends–and that includes food choices. 🙂 I’m glad you thought ahead and took the need to be uncomfortable “off the table.” ox

nrhatch - July 27, 2013

Entertaining large groups is often easier than small intimate gatherings ~> since I need more food, I serve a wider variety so most people can find something they enjoy.

If it’s just a couple coming over, I always ask about food allergies and preferences. It eliminates the worry factor for me.

15. shreejacob - July 29, 2013

Ah…it’s so important to remember that it really is alright to inform of our preferences, especially in small groups! I can’t take liver…eww.
Otherwise I’m up for most things..just not too exotic!

The food photos your put in this post looks yummy!!! 😀

If you like watching cooking videos that is this channel called Cook with April. She does really simple recipes. Not many vegetarian foods though but lots of desserts!

nrhatch - July 29, 2013

Thanks, Shree. I understand why “good parents” encourage their kids to be adventurous, try everything once, and be polite.

But, once we are grown, we should give ourselves permission to turn our nose up at things we tried over and over again without developing an affinity.

We can’t please everyone . . . but we can please ourselves. 😀


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