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Feeding People with Special Dietary Needs and Challenging Personalities


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20 minutes ago, patti said:

Let me add that in fifteen years, that was the only time I blessed anyone’s heart (out loud and to their faces). And one of only maybe three times that I showed what might be considered a negative reaction.  It was my job to be gracious.

 

You're a better woman than me. Well, I'm not a woman at all, but you know what I mean.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, patti said:

Ah.  Gluten-free.  To everyone who truly requires a gluten free diet, let me say that I would’ve been more than happy to accommodate your needs. But this story is about someone who just wanted attention. She’d made requirements clear beforehand, so I made sure the hotel prepared her meal.  
 

Dinner started with a salad, and she asked me to identify the ingredients in every dressing choice.  This was my first sign.  Any previous gluten-free people knew which dressing to order or request, depending on the severity of their issues. The kitchen manager helped her with this one, since I didn’t know the ingredients. Then came her main. “This is my meal? You couldn’t come up with anything more special than that?!” I was ready to point out her ingratitude, but again, someone from the kitchen who was nicer than I, offered an alternative.  
 

Thus began the week, where every meal, except breakfast, was a drama meant to call attention to her needs. I called ahead to a diner to ask about what was in some of the menu items, then relayed that info to her. Not good enough. Once we were there she wanted someone from the staff to come out and relay the same info I’d already told her, making her the center of attention. At some point, I stopped worrying or paying attention to it, until lunch on the last full day of the program.  She was seated several seats away from me when someone asked her what health issues caused her to go gluten-free. “Oh, none. I just thought I’d try it. This is only my second week and I feel better already!”

 

 

I'm thinking we need a super-sized "Pissed Off" emoji for this topic.  This is where you need someone with the power to say, "OUT!  Out, out, out!  Here's your refund and a ticket home.  OUT!!!".  Wow.

 

And re: the first story - please know that spouses/family members/friends are often cringing at their antics.  Substitute “Italian” for “Jewish” and add some patronizing “sweetness” and you have my maternal family. 

Edited by Kim Shook (log)
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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Kim Shook said:

I'm thinking we need a super-sized "Pissed Off" emoji for this topic.  This is where you need someone with the power to say, "OUT!  Out, out, out!  Here's your refund and a ticket home.  OUT!!!".  Wow.


I didn’t know it the first few years, but I did have the power to send someone home if they were disruptive to the program. I did it once.  I’m not sure I can tell the story in this forum, because it wasn’t about food.  But most of it took place in a restaurant and the theme of that week’s program was Cooking in Cajun Country. Four mornings in a university cooking lab with a different chef instructor each day.  Participants made the chef’s recipes and that was their lunch. 

Edited by patti (log)
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Dear Food: I hate myself for loving you.

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3 minutes ago, patti said:


I didn’t know it the first few years, but I did have the power to send someone home if they were disruptive to the program. I did it once.  I’m not sure I can tell the story in this forum, because it wasn’t about food.  But most of it took place in a restaurant and the theme of that week’s program was Cooking in Cajun Country. Four mornings in a university cooking lab with a different chef instructor each day.  Participants made the chef’s recipes and that was their lunch. 

I'd say go for it.  If it is deemed inappropriate, they'll let you know.

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@Kim ShookI’ll save for later. It will take some time to compose. Too bad I can’t do audio clips as I imitate her speech patterns! 

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29 minutes ago, patti said:

Too bad I can’t do audio clips as I imitate her speech patterns! 

 

Can you record your audio clips and upload them elsewhere, then give us the link? I did that before on eG when I was asked how to pronounce 'liuzhou'.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

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21 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

Can you record your audio clips and upload them elsewhere, then give us the link? I did that before on eG when I was asked how to pronounce 'liuzhou'.


I’ll give that some thought!

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Dear Food: I hate myself for loving you.

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Just now, Margaret Pilgrim said:

It's unfortunate that HRH hid behind the ingenuous guise of a cartoon New Yorker.   (She actually would have made a good New Yorker cartoon!)   Her sense of entitlement knows no territorial boundaries and unfairly besmirches most New Yorkers.    She's more a Hyacinth Bucket.

 

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eGullet member #80.

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Lost this post twice- not irritated at all ;)

not to drag this into psych analysis land - the women scream eating disorders. Addiction comes with control issues, lying, hiding, manipulation, desperation. My son has had many eating disordered patients (juveniles) and the stories are funny on the surface like burrito under pillow, but really just super sad.

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Posted (edited)

Just a short, quick one, and not about a complainer. 
 

Hamburger steaks are common around here. I didn’t realize that the term might be regional until after I’d been asked a few times what they were. I was still caught by surprise during one lunch, when a woman pointed to our bus driver’s hamburger steak and asked, “How much of that is steak, and how much of that is hamburger?” 🤔😂

 

The bus driver and I just looked at each other, not sure if she was serious or not. I managed to respond with a straight face, but by the hardest.

 

ETA: Another surprise were the people who’d never heard of black-eyed peas.  I know that they’re popular in the south, but was surprised when people asked what they were, after seeing them on a menu.  And why are they called black-eyed peas.

Edited by patti (log)
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34 minutes ago, patti said:

ETA: Another surprise were the people who’d never heard of black-eyed peas.  I know that they’re popular in the south, but was surprised when people asked what they were, after seeing them on a menu.  And why are they called black-eyed peas.

That is really odd to me as around New Years if a person has any food interest they would have seen black eyed peas as part of the good luck thang wherever they live.  Fresh ones even in L.A. are in our markets. 

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Posted (edited)

@heidihThe black-eyed peas questioners have been from the US and maybe one from Canada. 
 

@Kim ShookMost have not questioned hamburger steaks, but enough have to make me wonder about it. Again, US citizens.  The woman who asked how much was steak and how much of it was hamburger was from Connecticut.

Edited by patti (log)
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Dear Food: I hate myself for loving you.

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52 minutes ago, heidih said:

That is really odd to me as around New Years if a person has any food interest they would have seen black eyed peas as part of the good luck thang wherever they live.  Fresh ones even in L.A. are in our markets. 

 

32 minutes ago, Kim Shook said:

Hamburger steaks are not common elsewhere in the US?  Or were the queries from people "from away"?  

 

Realize that eG has a pretty broad readership.    Regional Americans can have limited exposure to what we consider mainstream, or as having mainstream recognition.    And some self-proclaimed foodies tend to take pride in not "getting" down-market foods.  

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1 hour ago, Kim Shook said:

Hamburger steaks are not common elsewhere in the US?  Or were the queries from people "from away"?  

We have Minute Steaks in my area. They're run through a machine tenderizer and eat like a burger but aren't really ground meat.

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“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

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Posted (edited)

Hamburger steaks are news to me... Not a thing in the part of Pennsylvania I live in, nor were they a thing in NYC, nor were they a thing in Austin... I presume they're a patty of ground meat served with a steak-y sauce and no bun.  Or are they a pummeled-rather-than-ground meat thing that gets turned into a "Swiss Steak" round abouts where I live? 

 

edit to add: The not ground but pummeled meat around here is sold as "cube steak"... 

Edited by cdh (log)
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Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

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3 hours ago, patti said:

Just a short, quick one, and not about a complainer. 
 

Hamburger steaks are common around here. I didn’t realize that the term might be regional until after I’d been asked a few times what they were. I was still caught by surprise during one lunch, when a woman pointed to our bus driver’s hamburger steak and asked, “How much of that is steak, and how much of that is hamburger?” 🤔😂

 

The bus driver and I just looked at each other, not sure if she was serious or not. I managed to respond with a straight face, but by the hardest.

 

ETA: Another surprise were the people who’d never heard of black-eyed peas.  I know that they’re popular in the south, but was surprised when people asked what they were, after seeing them on a menu.  And why are they called black-eyed peas.

 

So what are they?

 

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, cdh said:

Hamburger steaks are news to me... Not a thing in the part of Pennsylvania I live in, nor were they a thing in NYC, nor were they a thing in Austin... I presume they're a patty of ground meat served with a steak-y sauce and no bun.  Or are they a pummeled-rather-than-ground meat thing that gets turned into a "Swiss Steak" round abouts where I live? 

In my ken, they were a mid-Century diner food, aka Salisbury steak    A larger than bunned portion of ground beef, oblong, served as part of a main plate, with or without gravy.    Well done.    Maybe still available as a frozen dinner entree.  

1242016956_ScreenShot2021-05-21at6_10_23PM.png.d8af5e7292c6410fdf817f90c48c832e.png

Edited by Margaret Pilgrim (log)
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Posted (edited)

Yes, like @Margaret Pilgrimsaid. When I make them, they are made of ground beef and slightly larger than a burger patty and topped with some kind of brown gravy or sauce and they can be topped with grilled onions, mushrooms and maybe cheese. No fillers or anything. 
 

ETA: Here is one I posted in the dinner thread a few months ago. Unfortunately, the toppings hide it!
 

image.jpeg.31ab1e8336a4bee24392a26a7082c228.jpeg

 

Edited by patti (log)
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Dear Food: I hate myself for loving you.

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1 hour ago, Toliver said:

We have Minute Steaks in my area. They're run through a machine tenderizer and eat like a burger but aren't really ground meat.

 

'Minute steaks' are common throughout the UK and Ireland as well as Australia.

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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20 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

'Minute steaks' are common throughout the UK and Ireland as well as Australia.

They were a thing here at least in Los Angeles when I was a child. Usually put into a soft bun with some type of sauce. Not my thing.

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1 hour ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

In my ken, they were a mid-Century diner food, aka Salisbury steak    A larger than bunned portion of ground beef, oblong, served as part of a main plate, with or without gravy.    Well done.    Maybe still available as a frozen dinner entree.  

1242016956_ScreenShot2021-05-21at6_10_23PM.png.d8af5e7292c6410fdf817f90c48c832e.png

 

My youth had been scarred by Salisbury steak.  Never heard of it called hamburger steak.

 

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"Challenging personalities" are absolutely the worst part of my job. I imagine it must be the worst part of everyone's work. We lost something important as a civilization when we lost the freedom to tell these people to go away and leave us in peace. Other choices of words were available too.

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