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Don’t you hate it when you feed people and they don’t acknowledge it?
It really doesn’t make any difference whether you spend the entire day in the kitchen or not, when one prepares food for someone else, a complimentary word or two, and/or thanks, is always appreciated.
“The salad is lovely”
“Wonderful crust on the lamb, what herbs did you use?”
Nothing complicated here, no lengthy dissertations required, just a quietly mumbled ‘phrase of praise’.
“That was absolutely the best meal I’ve ever had in my entire life!”
Closed eyes while wearing a beatific smile and moaning “mmm, mmmm, mmmmm”.
Both are nice, but only if one’s efforts truly excelled.
If the dinner was abysmal, a catastrophe, a total failure, well, you shouldn’t serve it (duh!) ….take’em out for dinner….
But, if it’s still edible, and it’s snowing out so you eat it anyway, a proper guest should still find something nice to say.
But no lies. Lies are not good; as cooks, we may pretend it’s good, but we DO know better.
“Interesting flavors” (They don’t necessarily belong together, but they are interesting.)
“I love a creamy sauce” (I’m not saying yours is good, just that it is creamy, and I like that aspect of it)
There is a large empty void created by guests who say nothing. Conversation may be animated, wine flowing and everyone having a marvelous time, but the cook feels invisible. All the work, all the planning, all the creativity, was for nothing; no one noticed, no one cared… or so we feel.
I will admit that there have been occasions when, the morning after I have been a guest, I wonder if I was properly appreciative. Sometimes we get carried away by whatever argument we are provoking at the time and forget our manners (Notice the use of the ‘Royal We’). While not as good, the lapse can still be fixed during the obligatory ‘morning after Thank You call’.
You do make one, don’t you? At a reasonable hour (please), the following morning you call to say thank you. (More properly one should hand write and mail, snail mail, a thank you note but… get real!) At that time a quick run-through of which dishes you particularly liked, a request for a recipe (not a demand), etc. can correct any lack from the night before. Not as good, mind you, but better than nothing.
What brought this all up? Our friend from Spain (who, with his 3 dogs, has been here all week) has never, ever, complimented me on my cooking. I know he likes the food I serve… he always eats lots and often will call (months later) to ask for a recipe or preparation technique, but never a compliment. In all fairness, if you looked up ‘curmudgeon’ in the dictionary you would see his picture…. and yet, we like him, he’s been a friend for years… still…
While I’m at it, here are the two things a dinner guest can say/do that I hate most:
“I had a huge, late lunch so I’m not very hungry.” Come on, I invited you over a week ago, so why pick today to have your ‘huge, late lunch’ ? Worried that I wouldn’t feed you properly? And even if you did, do you have to tell me about it?
Apply salt, liberally, to everything on the plate before tasting it. Or after tasting it, for that matter….
It’s one meal, shut-up, behave and eat it…and don’t forget the praise…lavish praise….
Started by the lovely Kalyn, of Kalyn’s Kitchen and hosted this week by the talented Katerina, of Daily Unadventures in Cooking, WHB is now in it’s 100th week. Be warned: there will be a big ‘2nd Anniversary Celebration’ in just
2 4 more weeks. (Try to control yourselves!)
Chickpeas. Garbanzo beans. Ceci beans. They have a lot of names, but then, humans have been growing them for the last 11,000 years and eating them for a few thousand years before that! The domesticated chickpea is more nutritious than the wild and is a good source of amino acid tryptophan, a precursor of serotonin. In other words, eating chickpeas made our ancestors feel good, so they started growing them! Scientists think that they were a major contributor to the rise of civilization in the fertile crescent of Mesopotamia. They are also high in protein, fiber and minerals. And they’re delicious.
Chickpea, Egg and Herb Salad with Parmesan Crisps
Boil eggs. Drain and rinse chick peas. Snip the herbs. Put chickpeas and herbs in a small bowl. Add tapenade, olive oil and mix well. When eggs are done, rinse with cold water, peel and chop. Add to bowl and mix lightly. Divide between 2 small plates, garnish with Parmesan Crisps and serve, remaining Crisps on a plate for further munching.
Parmesan Crisps What to do with leftover scraps of puff pastry…
puff pastry sheet, roughly 10 X 6 (25 X 15cm)
1 – 2 tsp olive oil
2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese I used the stuff in the can rather than fresh for this
Lightly drizzle 1 – 2 tsp olive oil over the pastry. Sprinkle 2 tbs of Parmesan evenly over the top. Make a mental note (or mark it) of where the middle of the pastry is. Starting at the short ends, roll the puff pastry to the middle until the two rolls meet. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate until used. It should be chilled at least an hour and can be made 2 days ahead. Remove from fridge and slice 1/4″ thick (.6cm). Lay on ungreased baking sheet and bake for 8 – 12 minutes, until pastry is golden and cheese is a bit darker. Remove and serve immediately or allow to cool and store in airtight container.
If you have a 15oz (450gr) can of chickpeas, use the other half in the pasta recipe, along with the rest of the tapenade, that I gave in my PPN post (2 posts ago).
Check in with Katerina, Daily Unadventures in Cooking, on Monday for the complete round-up!
And remember, even if the food is atrocious, suck it up, tuck in, eat, swallow with copious amounts of wine if needed, force a smile and say something nice. You can throw up later; but your hosts will be happy and invite you back…That is what you want, isn’t it?