Eating what I’m served.

During my visitation, I try to be an agreeable guest when in the homes of my family and friends.  Although I am known to be a picky eater, I do eat what I am served unless I know it will make me sick.

That means I eat a lot of food I would never eat at home, which is not a bad thing.

“Would you like a grilled cheese sandwich?”

I so rarely eat in other people’s homes now that I forget that they use white bread and American cheese when they make a grilled cheese sandwich.  I don’t think I have ever purchased American cheese or white bread, although at least one of my children wishes we’d been a white bread family.  It might have been a bland sandwich, if my friend hadn’t also offered tomatoes.
Farm Fresh Tomatoes
This summer, the local farm stand tomatoes are delicious, bright red to their center, juicy, and flavorful.  I’d almost forgotten what a real tomato tastes like.  No wonder I rarely buy them at the grocer’s.

“I know you don’t eat meat, so I made chicken.”

I always tell people not to plan meals around me.  I am quite happy eating the veggies and skipping the meat course of a meal; it’s what I do at home when I cook for my family.  When people tell me they made chicken especially for me, though, I am flummoxed.

Should I explain that chicken is meat?  It seems rude, so I eat a small a portion and hope my digestive tract doesn’t hate me for the next couple days.  I would not know if it did, Cupcake made with lovebecause my entire body is hating me right now for sitting it in a car for hours every day and eating dessert everywhere I go.

I can’t help it.  I’m special occasion to everyone, and they all make dessert for me.  Homemade.  It would be heartless to say, “No, thank you,” to a cupcake loving made and decorated by an eight year old.

“I forgot you don’t eat this.”

Until I arrived, my mother in law forgot that I can’t eat mayo (it does make me sick), so her beautiful luncheon of chicken and tuna salads was out of the question for me.  I was so happy when, without a fuss, she offered to scramble eggs for me.

I never realized she added condensed milk to her eggs before.  No wonder they taste so creamy.  I should try that for guests at my house.

I did remember that my in laws eat cool whip.

Pretzel Delight, the jello dish of my husband's childhoodThe only time I’ve bought cool whip was to make the very dessert she served:  pretzel delight.  I made it for my book club once, when we’d read Bill Bryson’s Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, which mentioned his memories of the many jello salads served during his childhood.  Pretzel Delight was the jello dish of my husband’s childhood.

I am not a fan of jello, or cool whip, and could happily scrape those layers away and eat the entire tray of pretzel, butter, and sugar crust.  I don’t, of course.  I eat a neatly cut square.

As I write about it, I am wondering what non-jello, non-cool whip concoctions I could place atop a pretzel crust.  I’m going to experiment with this when I get back to Colorado.  I’m thinking tart apples and a caramel sauce.  Or berries with slightly sweetened cream cheese.  Or peanut butter mousse and dark chocolate.

I’ll let you know if anything works out, because, if you’ve never had it, you need to try a pretzel crust.

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15 thoughts on “Eating what I’m served.

  1. LOVE Pretzel delight! My very very dear (late) stepMom’s family made that, often, and it is just so very delicious. Would love alternate topping/upper layer ideas if you have success with that!

    And, I can so relate to the “eat what’s served” thing. I’m not an especially picky eater, but when we go visiting family, yes, we’re a special guest, so it’s a special occasion, so they load us up with all our “favorite” items. I only recently was able to explain that the soft drink I loved before we moved away, to where that drink doesn’t exist, is now too sweet for my palette. When ’tis bought just for you, you just smile and drink up.

    Although, I am sorry the people in your life don’t grasp that chicken is also meat….we have several friends with assorted dietary restrictions (no pork; no meat; completely vegan; gluten free; etc…) and I work very hard to offer hearty, yet diet-appropriate, choices when we have them over for food. Hopefully your chicken-servers will have a realization soon….

  2. I find it stressful eating in other people’s homes, but I take more or less the same approach you do. My idea is to eat a little of whatever’s offered, and hope they don’t notice I don’t go for seconds.

    As for grilled cheese sandwiches, we grew up on white bread and Velveeta (still gives me mild nausea to think about it)–our mother had grown up very poor, and to her, at that time, these were “high class” foods. Odd how these things shift over the years, isn’t it?

  3. my kids didn’t realise that the grilled cheese sandwich was cheese – thought it was just the name :) I have a vegetarian friend who told me her mother had served shepherds pie – ‘as then you can’t see the meat it is under the potatoes’ :lol:

    We have the same difficulty when we visit family in the US, I’ve more than once offered to cook just to ensure we get some vegetables.

  4. Hi Ginger! Thank you so much for coming by my blog today. I knew we would be good friends when I saw your sidebar about aging. “Odds are against me” made me laugh!

    It sure sounds to me like you are a great guest. And how do people not know that chicken is meat?? You hang in there, dear. Hope your GI tract does too!

    So fun to meet you. I hope you stop by again. It will be fun to get to know you! I don’t see a ‘join’ button here? (I have a blogger blog.) So I’ll follow you with bloglovin’. Fun!

    Happy Tuesday!
    Ceil

  5. Pretzel crust sounds delicious. I laughed so hard about your chicken is a meat part. My sister is a vegetarian and has been for over a decade now. My Grandmother always makes chicken for her. I guess some people don’t think chicken is a meat. I am glad we are not the only people confused by this. I usually eat whatever people serve and try to be polite too.

  6. Add this to your pretzel crust: peanut butter mixed with chocolate syrup. If it sounds too much like dessert then take out the chocolate. Goat cheese on pretzels is also divine. My favorite pretzel topping, however is chicken! You should definitely give it try….HA! Just kidding;).

  7. All the combinations you mention sound better than the jello and cool whip – I’ll have the tart apples with caramel sauce, and can you add some dark chocolate drizzle too? And let me know when is a good time to visit :)

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