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20-40-60 Etiquette: What's on dinner party menu for food-challenged pals?

20-40-60 Etiquette:I would like to have some friends over to my house for dinner, but everyone has their own food preferences. Should I find new friends who might like what I like to cook?
Oklahoman Published: March 10, 2014

HELEN’S ANSWER: What a challenge! If you have special dishes that you love to cook for guests, go ahead and cook them. Make sure you have a wonderful salad filled with vegetables for an optional choice for friends who might rather have that. If you know what others might prefer, fix it too.

People can make their own decisions on whether they would rather stay home because a host might serve something they cannot eat. It is bad manners for guests to point out what they can and cannot have for dinner. They should choose what they can eat and politely refrain from discussing it. Or they can offer to bring a dish that suits their diet and bring enough so they can share it with the others.

GUEST’S ANSWER: Dave Cathey, Food Editor, The Oklahoman: Find new friends for dinner parties. Invite the friends with all the special dietary needs to a cocktail party with a selection of light appetizers, which are easier to prepare for vegans, celiacs and gluten-freers.

Callie Gordon is 20-something, Lillie-Beth Brinkman is in her 40s, and social columnist Helen Ford Wallace is 60-plus. To ask an etiquette question, email

by Helen Ford Wallace
Society Editor
Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for...
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by Lillie-Beth Brinkman
Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman
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by Callie Gordon
Freelance Writer
Callie Gordon, a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, is working at Chesapeake Energy in the Environment, Health, and Safety Department. She was previously an event coordinator for Chesapeake Energy.
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