Every time I’m in charge of the food for a family event, the following scenario occurs.
1. I pick some kind of uniting theme, think about how much food we’ll realistically need for the amount of people we’re expecting, take the budget into account, consider what kinds of foods and food groups I love to see at parties, and plan the menu accordingly.
2. I make a grocery list.
3. My mom looks over said grocery list.
4. The questions begin.
5. I answer the questions (somewhat) patiently, and we go to the store. To my mind, there are no more questions. But somehow, when we’re standing in the bakery section of the grocery store, the questions begin again.
“Are you going to make those bacon-wrapped dates again this year?”
“Well did you think about having those spinach and cheese puffs?”
“Are you going to make that popcorn mixture with the white chocolate that you made last year? That was so yummy.”
No, no, and no. Because while those bacon-wrapped dates are amazing, they aren’t on the menu. We are going to have plenty of food, and I kinda had a thing going with what I’m planning to serve. I don’t want to just add to it for the hell of it. So we go back and forth; I insist that we don’t need that extra food and she insists that we do. And eventually, she gives me her go-to defense for all the stuff she’s throwing in my cart: “People want options.” “But we don’t need shrimp cocktail. I have all these other appetizers,” I say, removing the shrimp from my cart.
The day of the event, she’ll run out to pick up an ingredient we need and come home with three more appetizers that weren’t on the menu. When I get annoyed, she does it again. “Well, people like to have spinach dip,” she says. ”WHAT PEOPLE?” I finally demand, elbow deep in the buttercream I’m making for the new recipe I’ve decided to try and sweating bullets. “These aren’t strangers showing up to our house in an hour. Stop saying ‘people’ when we literally have five people coming over and we can just name all of them.” Continue reading The People Want Options