Post # 1
My husband and I are probably going to host Thanksgiving for the first time this year. It will be our immediate families plus an uncle and cousin, a total of 8 family members. The cousin is dating this girl who claims to have over 20 different allergies including gluten, dairy, soy, fish (but not shellfish!), and corn. I generally try to be respectful of people’s dietary restrictions, but her list is so long that she cannot eat a majority of normal foods. We barely know her and to be honest we’re not especially impressed with his choice of girlfriend, but our cousin will probably be bringing her along to our holiday meal. They have been dating for about 4-5 months.
My question is: Should we bother to address her dietary issues with our cousin in advance? Or should we just let them show up and hope/assume that she will find something she can eat from the standard Thanksgiving spread? There is also a reasonable likelihood that she might just bring her own food. I don’t really want to open this can of worms because the menu is already a little daunting to manage as it is. If she only had one or two issues (e.g., vegetarian, gluten free, kosher style, whatever) I would definitely figure something out but it seems like I’ll be entering a mine field.
Post # 3
Tell your cousin that you will do your best to accomodate her, but she will probably be most comfortable if she can bring her own meal. Or you should suggest that she and your cousin bring a dish that fits her restrictions.
Post # 4
I would definitely find out about her allergies, and make sure at least a few of the items you’re offering are without them. I would guess it would be fairly easy to make a turkey while avoiding her allergens, for example. Perhaps you could ask your cousin & his Girlfriend to bring a favorite dish to share, as well (especially if you’re asking other people to bring a thing or two). Also, I doubt she simply “claims” to have allergens she doesn’t have, you may want to re-evaluate your attitude towards this girl before Thanksgiving. We can’t always pick who our family members date, but I think accusing her of faking allergies, or insinuating she has too many & is an inconvenience to you is pretty low.
Post # 5
I would ask your cousin to get an idea of what she typically eats on Thanksgiving Day.
Post # 6
I have a gluten allergy so if I’m going to someone else’s house, I always either eat first or bring something that I know that I can eat that I can also share wtih everyone else. I bring gluten free polenta stuffing to Thanksgiving.
I don’t think that you need to accommodate her; I’ve NEVER taken offense to a host not making sure an entire meal (let alone a holiday meal) is suitable for my own special snowflake dietary needs. I also don’t poke at everything I see and ask the host for ingredients; if I have a doubt, I just don’t eat it and I stick with what I know.
She’ll be able to eat turkey, and any unprocessed vegetables or salad sans dressing. Maybe let her know that she’s welcome to bring a dish to share.
Post # 7
@les105: “Also, I doubt she simply “claims” to have allergens she doesn’t have, you may want to re-evaluate your attitude towards this girl before Thanksgiving. We can’t always pick who our family members date, but I think accusing her of faking allergies, or insinuating she has too many & is an inconvenience to you is pretty low.”
I called our cousin last week to ask what we should do about her Thanksgiving menu. He said that she’s “crazy” (his word, not mine) and has been ignoring her “allergies” lately and eating whatever she wants. ‘Nuff said.
Post # 8
I would make a dish or two she CAN have. No biggie. I would make sure there is something she can have. Those actually are not that out there, and lots of whole foods cooking does not use those ingredients.
Post # 9
@cbee: “I would make a dish or two she CAN have. No biggie. I would make sure there is something she can have. Those actually are not that out there, and lots of whole foods cooking does not use those ingredients.”
Thanks, when I asked about it recently when we were planning the menu, my cousin said not to worry about it because she doesn’t follow her diet consistently anyway.