My husband often invites new employees that have moved here from out of state over for dinner. We haven't done it for a while, mainly because DH doesn't want to. He's gotten really "funny" about entertaining, because he thinks it's too much trouble. That in itself is funny, because the "trouble" is almost all mine! I do make him clean up his own paper junk (mail, work stuff, magazines, etc), but the real work, including cooking, shopping, and cleaning, is done by yours truly.
He wants to invite a new person & spouse over for coffee and dessert.....no dinner. I know it used to be acceptable, but now I think it's dinner or nothing.
I need your opinions, either way. Thanks!
edited to add: Going out is not a real option, as we usually do this when they are here house hunting. Not to brag, but our home is pretty unusual, and people tend to like to come here and poke around.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Annon,
I would probably insist on it being dinner -- if he doesn't want to clean up his own paper junk -- just get a bin big enough to hold everything, find a place to put it in a closet and do it yourself -- that way it's gone and then when they're gone, you can bring the bin out and put it back on the desk.
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My DH loves to clean up. He is not much for sitting around talking. But we have never entertained in a business way.
Maybe what he is saying is something different. Maybe it isn't so much the work but that he is begrudging the responsibility of doing this for a business obligation.
If your husband doesn't want to commit to dinner, I think having guests for wine and nibbles seems more logical than coffee and dessert.
I'm on the "must be dinner" side of the fence.
It seems to me that wine and nibbles would be fine if you were going on to another event or activity afterwards. Same with dessert. Having dessert after an event or activity seems fine to me. But if I were the guest, and I were going to get dressed and go all the way over to your house for the evening, without another event involved, it would seem kind of weird to be served just starters or dessert.
I think it seems like a kind thing to do to share a meal with people who are new and not yet settled.
My vote is a meal. It doesn't have to be a big deal dinner, maybe more a supper type menu would be just a nice but not too labor intensive. What wrong with grilling some great burgers?
I think that finger foods / appetizers and wine or drinks - is a perfectly acceptable way to entertain newcomers. Out here in the Seattle area, a dinner is usually a more formal affair - and more than one couple would be invited. But if it's just one couple, then a more informal occasions would be more comfortable for the newcomers. Of course, we also eat later out here - so having appetizers and drinks right after work would fit into most schedules.
I think having people over for coffee and dessert is an idea that's fading out. I remember my parents having a few neighbors over for cake and coffee on a Friday but it was a very casual thing, if they were outside and see some of their friends my dad would always say something like, come over around 8 and we'll have some of my wife's German Chocolate Cake or ... fill in the blank.
I'm in the dinner camp, like someone else posted, it seems a little odd to go out specifically for a dessert and coffee, but that's just me. And I do agree, it doesn't have to be fancy, especially during the summer. Nice cold salad, piece of fresh fish on the grill with some grilled vegetables and crusty bread, and some wine, fresh fruit or whatever for dessert.
I guess I already knew the answer....you're all right! Thank you.
LOS, you hit the nail on the head, we're both getting tired of doing this and were looking for an easier way. It will be just one couple this time, which is a little more difficult to keep conversation going. I think I'll find another couple or two for dinner. It's really the same amount of effort put forth.
I have resorted to the "grocery bag" cleaning method many times. Right now I have two still in the hall closet from months ago. I guess that shows how important all the stuff is! In the winter when I need the coat closet I've put his stuff in his car. The joy of living with a saver......
On the other hand, (I'm not going to do the dessert thing, don't worry) remember how uncomplicated it was having friends over for dessert? We didn't have to worry much about vegetarians, vegans, gluten free, and other special diets. It's really hard to plan a meal when you have something in mind, and everyone informs you of their special needs and desires. I usually plan my menu to consider ease of preparation and serving, as well as timing. When you throw in all the other considerations it's almost impossible to make dinner.
Annon, Glad you already decided to forego the dessert and coffee idea ~ my personal reaction was "No" so I'm glad that others posted first!
And I do have to agree with you about the MANY, MANY dietary restrictionss individuals insist on now days. Makes it very difficult to enjoy inviting others over to share a meal, some conversation and, hopefully, a good time when everyone is so focused on the latest fads....
My two bits? Other than serious, proven allergies such as shellfish/peanuts which all of us have learned NOT to serve, the rest are just grandstanding and, I'm sorry, but if you are a guest going to a dinner at someone's elses home, how in the world do you get the nerve to require that anything you are served should be gluten-free, organic and/or vegan/vegetarian?
No wonder people don't feel free to entertain others as in days gone by when a casual invitation to share a meal was just that! A time to share time with others and talk - the food was just an accessory. Nowdays, it seems other wise, I don't blame your dh, Annon, for wanting to avoid the whole situation.
I agree with you. I have a relative that is allergic to wheat, and must avoid it. Of course we all work with it for him. So it is particularly annoying to me when people are just following a fad. I'm sure these same people never entertain, or understand what it's like to truly have to avoid certain foods.
This message has been edited. Last edited by: Annon,
I don't let the allegic diets hamper my menu.
If one is allergic to nuts of any kind, I can leave a portion without nuts or bake one serving without in a different dish.
I do think the gluten intolerant is just as serious, so for instance, instead of dredging a cut of meat in flour before I fried or baked, I could skip that step.
There should always be enough on the table to get full even if those who are allergic can't eat one or two dishes.
Just pay attention to your menu, not every dish needs nuts, certainly the veggies and salads can be without flour for gluten free diets, etc.
I think the most curious and difficult are those who can't tolerate fructose.
I've not run into the fructose allergy. Is that very common?
It really has gotten difficult to cook for others. I was dreading the 2nd set of steps and children coming because they are more complicated with meals. I'm not really sure what they eat other than chicken fingers.
As for all the special needs - even gluten intolerant people would know not to eat the bread, concentrate on veggies and if the meat is chicken fried steak or fried chicken - pull the crust off and eat the meat. If you know in advance of a gluten intolerance you can always grill the meat and use a homemade marinade and sauce that doesn't contain glutens.
My vote - it is one other couple, take them to a popular local restaurant. Then invite them back for a glass of wine or coffee and desert.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Charming,
Idaho, I'm with you about grandstanding! If these people are SO allergic, I have to wonder how they can risk eating ANYWHERE but their own homes--and perhaps that's where they SHOULD be eating. If I have to work my way through a landmine just to serve dinner to someone, it may not be worth it!!!
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