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Reasonable or being precious?

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#1 Faradaye

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:47 PM

My DH and I used to host a weekly family dinner.

Attendees were DH and I, our two girls, my mum (who would travel up once a week from 1.5 hours away) and my brother and his wife (who live locally).

Some of the time my SIL was doing a special program at the gym and so was following a special diet.  When she was on the program she would bring her own meal, a microwave bag of vegetables and a tin of tuna.

My DH does most of the cooking and as this was a weekly casual family dinner it wasn't like he was cooking a three course gourmet meal each week.  Regular meals included stuff like lasagna or spaghetti bolognaise or a curry.  Things our kids like and as my mum was undergoing chemo DH used to send leftovers home with her.

My brother and his wife stopped coming to the meals and I found out it was because he completely cracked it with us for not serving more healthy meals.  He never mentioned it, or offered to bring a salad or anything (he used to bring a bottle of wine each week but no other contribution).

He felt our meals were excluding his wife and we weren't making enough effort to cater for her.

He has now stated he wants a commitment from DH and I that if we invite him to our house for a meal we must provide either vegetables or a salad, suitably healthy, as part of the meal, or he will again be dreadfully offended by our selfishness.

I personally feel if you are a guest at someone's house you eat what you are given without complaining as the menu is secondary to actually spending time with friends / family.

My brother's quote about it was 'there has to be more effort made than you just get what you get.'

Is my brother being precious?  Or am I being selfish and unreasonable in thinking my standard family meals should be fine?

#2 cinnabubble

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:49 PM

I think he's being ridiculous. He can host dinner if he feels that strongly about it.

#3 JRA

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:51 PM

I think there is a bit of both. I would find it odd to have every meal without vegies or a salad. So yes, I think it is odd what you were feeding every week,=.

On the other side, I suppose why didn't the others suggest - can we bring a salad, or something like that.


Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:51 PM

I think your brother is being extremely rude! If they aren't interested in eating what you cook and spending time with your family, they can bugger off and eat at home mad.gif

#5 Still-here!

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:52 PM


I don't think I'd want to be the one to cook each week, why not take turns?

#6 mocha444

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:53 PM

Ask them to bring along a salad each week instead of wine.

#7 Mamabug

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:53 PM

I think you are both being a bit stubborn.

You knew your SIL was eating healthy, yet couldn't even throw together a salad or serve of veg for her? Sure, it is her lifestyle choice, but you are family, you take that into consideration.

He however is a pillock for being offended, but also being too much of a git to speak up about it.

#8 Mamacass2

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:53 PM

He is being unreasonable. Whenever I have been on a strict diet or lite n easy or whatever I have either taken my own to people's houses or eaten what I am given. You are being generous providing the food they have no right to complain.

#9 kiwi-girl

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:54 PM

It really annoys me when  people throw a tantrum when they could have raised an issue in a reasonable manner. Why not make future dinners pot luck so everyone contributes or take turns to host? It sounds like you have been really generous with a weekly family dinner.

#10 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:54 PM

I think he could have brought something healthier than a bottle of wine.  Like a huge salad or a huge vege dish that his wife could eat.

#11 kadoodle

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:54 PM

QUOTE (cinnabubble @ 02/01/2013, 09:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think he's being ridiculous. He can host dinner if he feels that strongly about it.


What's so unhealthy about what you were cooking?  Spag bol and lasagne are meat, veg and pasta with some cheese on top.  What's wrong with that?  

Salad and a tin of tuna is unsustainable IME.  Your SIL needs to pull her head out her a*se.

#12 mum201

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:55 PM

Your brother is being rude. When you go to someone's house you eat what is served, don't go or byo if family and they understand your strict regime. But on the other hand surely you would make some sort of veggies to go with dinner?

#13 Mootmoot

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:55 PM

I'd have a problem with people coming to my house and making demands - and giving me an ultimatum about it.

However, a couple of years ago I did a weightloss program and really appreciated my friends and family who helped me out with it.

Perhaps you could compromise that every second week they could bring a salad or bowl of steamed veg for everyone?  And you could look at making sure your meals are fairly healthy and low-fat - that would benefit everyone.

#14 credence

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:55 PM

It wouldn't kill you to do some veggies or a nice salad.

YES - he's being a bit of a brat, but looking at the big picture, it would just be easier to say, "OK brother, I didn't realise I was being rude, of course I'll include a healthy option."

#15 casime

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:56 PM

I generally say eat what you get, but if I regularly had someone coming who was on a very stright diet, then I'd probably make an effort to provide a salad or somethingbthey (and everyone else) can eat, just like I would with allergies, or even food prefernces.  Even if I were serving lasagne or spaghetti, it's not hard to throw a salad on the table, even if it's a prepackaged woolies version.

Have you asked him and sil to provide a salad for the table each week? That would seem like the most logical solution.

#16 laridae

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:57 PM

So you guys were footing the bill for the dinners every week & doing the cooking?  And he's complaining about what you serve?

Well, easy answer is, everyone (who can), provides a dish to share, that will split the costs, and everyone has something they like to eat.  Otherwise, alternate who hosts.
Sounds like its their turn for quite a few weeks...

#17 Ange

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:57 PM

I think tone and the right choice of words could have made this situation a hell of a lot better.

I can understand where the brother is coming from, I get that he wants to have the opportunity to eat a salad/vegies with his meal but he could have gone about it in a polite way.

He could bring a salad to share as you stated.

I know if I was trying to stay off carbs and every week was served lasagne, spaghetti and other carb heavy meals I would prob offer to bring something too.

For the sake of the family, I wouldn't cause a rift between you and your brother over a salad.

Yes he is being a little rude, but if it were me, I'd keep the peace and try to accomodate and make a salad original.gif

#18 i-candi

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:58 PM

Just tell him that one week will be at his house where he can serve all the vegetables and salad he wants and one week at your house where you can serve what you want.

Although every week without a vegetable or salad??? I find that unusual and my kids would love it if I didn't serve it but I do and they eat it.

#19 Funwith3

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:58 PM

A bit of both....he could have offered to bring a salad if it was going to be a deal breaker to the weekly dinners.

However, I think you need to make allowances for your guests if you really want them to come (and I assume you want them to enjoy their meal). If you know they're trying to be very healthy, and if you know they specifically want veggies or salad with their meal, is it that hard for you to accommodate their wishes?

Don't make a big deal of it. Just put together a salad.

#20 Faradaye

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:58 PM

QUOTE (JRA @ 02/01/2013, 09:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think there is a bit of both. I would find it odd to have every meal without vegies or a salad. So yes, I think it is odd what you were feeding every week,=.

On the other side, I suppose why didn't the others suggest - can we bring a salad, or something like that.

Fair point but perhaps I wasn't clear.  We eat plenty of vegetables.  Bolognaise will have grated carrot and zucchini in it, our curries are full of vegies, and sometimes we absolutely served the old meat and three veg meals.

I guess for my DH cooking for a larger group he found it easier to make a big pot of something so it did tend to be that sort of thing.

#21 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 02 January 2013 - 08:59 PM

QUOTE (JRA @ 02/01/2013, 06:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think there is a bit of both. I would find it odd to have every meal without vegies or a salad. So yes, I think it is odd what you were feeding every week,=.

On the other side, I suppose why didn't the others suggest - can we bring a salad, or something like that.

Yep, this..

I've been doing a low-carb thing for a while, and have lost a fair bit of weight, so I'm motivated and trying to stick to it.  A good friend has lost a lot with weight watchers.  When she comes over, I always put together a plate of veges,dips etc that she and I both like.  And the kids love it too.  When I go there, she will accommodate me to.

We both find we are able feed our families together, and have choices for both of us.  

If your standard family means no regular vegetables/salads etc, then you are doing them a disservice, not to mention your brother/sil.  

But they need to chill out a bit too, an offer to bring something to share/contribute.

Really not worth a family war, though.

#22 Mootmoot

Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:02 PM

QUOTE (kadoodle @ 02/01/2013, 09:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

What's so unhealthy about what you were cooking?  Spag bol and lasagne are meat, veg and pasta with some cheese on top.  What's wrong with that?  

Salad and a tin of tuna is unsustainable IME.  Your SIL needs to pull her head out her a*se.

Depends how you make it, really.  We now make a pretty healty lasagne with loads of vegies and low-fat mince and low-fat ricotta instead of white sauce and very little cheese, and have it with a green salad.  But we used to make one chock full of meat and cheese and white sauce and have it with garlic bread.  There's a reason I used to be over 30kg heavier!  It doesn't hurt anyone to have healthier options available.

#23 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:02 PM


Edited by lifehacker, 13 January 2013 - 11:34 AM.

#24 AnnBB

Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:02 PM

Your brother carrying on and making demands is rude. I have no  problems with him wanting more healthy options though and I have no problems if he were to raise it politely with you. Shame he didn't do this though and instead made a 'thing' out of it.
Why don't you try to mix up the dinners a little bit and let them know in advance what you are having and they can bring a suitable side dish to share?

#25 FeralProudSwahili

Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:05 PM

Your brother is being a gronk.

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