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Old 12-08-2011, 07:51 AM   #1
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help! Picky in-laws coming

So, my husband comes from a family of extremely picky eaters. Which is super annoying for me b/c I love to eat/cook everything. But anyway, my SIL and her husband are coming and have a 12 hr + layover flight and a 7 hr time difference so I wanted to have some dinner in the fridge for them that they can eat when they come or if they are awake and hungry at like 2 am - something they can heat up easy/eat cold. Problem is: My husband does not eat fish, dairy, or vegetables (besides pepper, onions, lettuce, tomato, and peas), my SIL is gluten intolerant (no wheat) and wont eat fish and anything spicy at all. I don't know about her husband (no fish I think). HELP!!! I can't think of what to make. I may have to make one for husband and one for SIL.

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Old 12-08-2011, 08:43 AM   #2
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You can make stir fries with your meat of choice, veggies that they will eat, and sauced with a chicken broth thickened with corn starch, with a touch of sugar added. Serve with rice, or rice pilaf.

Stew would be great, again with a cornstarch based gravy.

Meatloaf, made with 2 parts ground beef, 1 part Itallian Sausage, an egg, maybe some chopped sweet peppers .

Various soups, such as egg drop, or hot & sour, not to mention beef barley, bean soup, pea soup, lentil soup, veggie soup, etc.

Thinly sliced roast beef with gravy, served with rice.

Pepper steak, made with sweet onion and sweet peppers, with cornstarch based gravy.

burgers and fries.

Roasted Chicken with rice or some type of potato, with fresh peas.

That should get you thinking of things that would be great to make and eat, that still satisfy the limitations you have to work with. Just take this time period as a challenge to get creative with the foods they can eat. Make a batch of flour-free peanut butter cookies. Peanunt butter, sugar, and eggs are the only ingredients.

Make up some flan, or rice pudding. There are a host of custards you can make, or even lemon curd (depending if eggs are considered as dairy by your picky group).

You can set out sausage trays (salami, pepperoni, summer sausage, etc.) along with various kinds of olives, pickles, celery sticks (think ants ona log), etc.

Or, if you're ambitious, you can make seperate items that will work with the individual food needs of your guests.

Or if all else fails, give them gift certificates to Denny's.

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Old 12-08-2011, 09:18 AM   #3
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Boil a chicken and make some of into chicken salad and some into chicken/rice soup. Or make ham salad and split pea or lentil soup.
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:23 AM   #4
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At 2:00AM they are going to be tired and maybe hungry. Have a variety of sandwich meats/cold cuts, cheese and some good bread or rolls. They can make a quick sandwich and hop into bed.
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:50 AM   #5
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Cooking for picky eaters is a pain in the butt. Picky eaters are a pain in the butt.

Well done Roast beef with no seasonings, plain mashed potatoes, with no butter or gravy. (I'd rather be shot)

Have them make you a list of foods they like and dislike. Otherwise you're setting yourself up for failure and disappointment.
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:53 AM   #6
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Fruit? I always draw a blank with this question. ("Oops, I forgot to tell you, citric acid upsets my stomach.") There's never a good answer. One way to cover a few bases is to have options of dips/sauces/condiments. ("I hate broccoli, but they're yummy drenched in cheese.") Especially during these family holidays, it's good to have the perspective that food service is inherently an imbalance of power. Impossible to win, whether picky or not. So, I just cook my best and hope likewise. My "if all else fails" suggestion -- liquor!
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:00 AM   #7
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It's similar to cooking for three year-olds. Chicken nuggets and tater tots.
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:03 AM   #8
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Thanks for your help. I think I am leaning towards a stew of some sort...Perhaps a cholent with kishka on the side and carrots finely grated so no one will know or maybe beef sofrito with rice.
Its funny a lot of things you guys mentioned don't work b/c of another food dislike that i forgot to mention (there are so many! hard to remember all!). Chicken salad? great idea! wait MAYO is disgusting for my husband! Flan? eww....so milky and jiggly - icky texture! Sausage has no place in meatloaf! Asian stir frys? eww...ethnic! Gosh, What I put up with for love....
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:04 AM   #9
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Bacon and eggs.
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aunt Bea View Post
Bacon and eggs.
Picky eater: "I'm so sorry, I'm watching my fat intake and I don't eat eggs. They *are* baby chickens you know!"

I think I've heard them all. There is no pleasing a picky eater unless you are armed with a list of their likes and dislikes.

Plain unseasoned foods with no flavor enhancers.

When people come to my house, they eat what I fix or go hungry. When they say "I don't like that", I say "Just push it aside and eat what you like". If they don't like anything in the meal, then they just finished eating. Too bad, so sad. I can only imagine that they've never been *really hungry* in their life.
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Picky eater: "I'm so sorry, I'm watching my fat intake and I don't eat eggs. They *are* baby chickens you know!"

I would leave the lights out and lock the door!
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:45 PM   #12
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I probably would be looking for new in-laws...
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Old 12-08-2011, 01:00 PM   #13
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A 7 hour time difference? It sound like they are coming from a different country. Perhaps the foods you prepare are just unfamiliar to them. Maybe for their arrival night, something familiar to them might solve the problem. Then in the morning when everyone's rested, you can get that list of likes/dislikes.
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Old 12-08-2011, 01:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silversage View Post
A 7 hour time difference? It sound like they are coming from a different country. Perhaps the foods you prepare are just unfamiliar to them. Maybe for their arrival night, something familiar to them might solve the problem. Then in the morning when everyone's rested, you can get that list of likes/dislikes.
Now that's very sound advice, Silversage! Great thinking!
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Old 12-08-2011, 01:43 PM   #15
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Potato soup. You can make it with either vegetable or chicken broth. Add whatever veg they will eat. Start with onion, garlic and bacon (if they eat that). I have made it for vegetarians without and it's still great. The best thing about potato soup is that it is warm, hearty and easy to eat late at night. It is also extremely easy to improvise with whatever is in the cupboard and fridge, or in your case what is on the limited picky eaters list.
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Old 12-08-2011, 03:08 PM   #16
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a 7 hour time difference means they're probably coming from europe ( 7 hours the other way and you'd be swimming a lot), and 2am translates to 9am their time.

at 9am, i'd be thinking about breakfast. eggs, bacon, ham, and so on.
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Old 12-08-2011, 03:52 PM   #17
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Yep, give 'em gift certificates for all night restaurants. Let them pick what they want to eat. Or better yet, give them directions to the nearest grocery store. There comes a point where you just have to say, "Purchase what you're willing to eat and make your own; because normal people eat the foods that I make." Show them where the pots and pans are, and where the stove and fridge is.

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Old 12-08-2011, 04:47 PM   #18
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Thanks guys. They are actually coming from the middle east (Europe was a close guess!). They are coming in some time friday afternoon but last time I went to their homeland I woke up at 2 am and couldnt sleep and was starving while everyone else was sleeping, me and my husband werent married yet and it was only the 2nd time I met his parents so I felt weird raiding their fridge at 2 am. So I just wanted to make sure I had some extra food in case it happens to them.
I am pretty good at making middle eastern food and I decided on sofrito!
Its pretty much beef stew with some cumin and coriander for spice. Will make rice. BORING but everyone will eat it.
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:53 PM   #19
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Good grief, Siegal! What an ordeal, to stress out over all your picky eaters! Glad you figured out a solution! (though I'd be inclined to use CWS's or Chief Longwind's second solution....)
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Old 12-08-2011, 08:34 PM   #20
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please send some of that kishka this way....I haven't had that in many a year.....yum
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