Dear Hallee: Real Food & Visiting Family

dear hallee notebookDear Hallee:
I have really been trying to feed my family better. We’ve recently switched to mainly organic foods, when we can afford them. My question comes in an upcoming trip to visit family. We’ll be there around 3 nights and they don’t really eat the way we do. When you travel, how do you eat? Do you just eat what the host fixes, regardless of what’s in it? Do you take food and possibly offend the host? I’m stuck in the fact that I really don’t want to mess up our newly established eating habits, but I also don’t want to offend anybody either. Signed, Traveling Mama

Dear Traveling Mama:

We eat what is offered in hospitality, without exception. If something is offered that doesn’t fit the Levitcal Diet (pork, etc.) and we can avoid eating it without appearing rude, we avoid it (and sometimes that’s not always possible).  But otherwise, we bless the food with a thankful heart.

My kids love eating at my mom’s house. They get Apple Jacks, those gummy fruit snacks, and doughnut holes.  But my mom also buys them beef hot dogs and turkey bacon because she loves us and respects our desire to follow a Biblical diet.  Fresh fruit is in abundance, good yogurt in the fridge, and whole wheat bread is a standard there.

ThanksgivingFeastLong ago, when I was married to Kaylee’s dad, we lived in the same town as his entire, extended, real-food eating family. We didn’t eat that way. But, I was a good cook with my “SAD” (standard American diet) diet and was proud of my culinary skills (think of the woman who does the show “Semi Homemade”). The last year we were married, it was my turn to host Thanksgiving. They all called and asked if they could bring anything, and I told them I would do the cooking and they didn’t need to bring anything.

I cooked all day – turkey, stuffing (Stove Top), two kinds of potatoes, gravy (homemade), breads (probably refrigerated dough, if I remember correctly), pies, cakes, veggies. I had a big beautiful spread laid out.

They ALL showed up with their own food (including a turkey) and my food was barely touched. I was humiliated and left to feel unaccomplished, less-than, and unworthy.

I wouldn’t ever bring my own food to a host’s home — even family.  Ever.  Unless the hostess asks me to bring something.  Never.



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