Simply Being POLITE

I had a party at my home on Saturday and something occurred that gave me fuel for this article.

My adult son, an Executive Chef, asked me if he could bring over some friends to watch the Cardinals game. He asked me to make food and have a little party. I am still his personal favorite cook. We invited some of our friends, he brought over some friends, and I cooked all day as usual. I don’t mind doing it - I love homemade junk food. I made wings, taco potatoes, sausages with peppers and onions, homemade onion rings, chips and fresh dips.

I cook for people with love. When I walked out and offered my son and his friends a sample of the first wings, my son and two of his friends ooohed and ahhhed, bringing a smile to my face, but one of his friends refused them, stating he already ate before he came. Here lies my problem! How rude!

Manners are important when it pertains to food and someone’s hospitality. I encounter bad etiquette all the time in my business. Whatever happened to simply being polite? My mother and grandmother would never decline something a hostess slaved all day making for them. They would take one nibble on it like a bird and discreetly discard anything they didn’t eat as not to offend. What happened to that sense of appreciation? If we were invited to someone’s home for dinner, we ate what they served; we would never tell a hostess that we don’t eat meat or don’t like carrots, etc. -- and I would never say I’m not hungry or I just ate. You put some on your plate eat it graciously and thank them for having you. Unless you are deathly allergic to something, what is the harm? Try it if it’s offered. Say something nice. If you don’t care for something you just tried, you can pay the compliment in another manner, like “how nice of you to spend so much time making this for us. I can tell you put a lot of effort into making it.”

I personally don’t eat beef or pork anymore but I assure you if you’re kind enough to have me in your home and that’s what you’re serving, I will put some on my plate. Just a little and more of the other items that I do eat. There is way too much honesty going around these days. I don’t eat meat, I am gluten free, and I don’t like dairy, blah blah blah. Again, if there’s a medical reason, I get it. Same goes for dessert. Take a small piece and show your appreciation.

My aunt started bringing deviled eggs to our family gatherings years ago. My son, the chef, always ate them and told my aunt how much he loved her eggs. Just recently when I offered to make them for him he told me he didn’t like deviled eggs. All these years he raved about them because Aunt Shirl seemed so happy that he liked them. That is simply good manners. As my three-year-old grandson would say, “it’s not going to kill ya.”