Couple of my friends cannot take certain food. One cannot take beef, another has intolerance to animal fat.
When I invite them for home makans (meals), I will plan before hand – like replaced the beef with GR (Gordon Ramsay) crispy salmon once previously, which I then proceeded to dish out an undercooked version no thanks to another friend buzzing in my ears offering unsolicited coaching. 🙂 Another time I replaced the beef with 3 pan-seared hokkaido scallops, this rather successfully. And in place of belly pork spaghetti or crab linguine in pink sauce (creamy tomatoes), I had a specially made single portion of seafood alio olio for the friend.
All my friends are by nature very “kek ki” (客气) & “automatic” – easy-going & accepting/non-demanding and not wanting to trouble others. 🙂 I am mostly of the same disposition, I might add, hahaha…
For myself as the person cooking, the perspective though is somewhat different. I understand now that I cook, that it is not about the thing you cook but about what makes your guests (family or friends) enjoy the food & relax & make that a memorable experience for everyone, that is important. So the person cooking will naturally want to find out what the guests need, and to plan the meal accordingly. It would not make sense for someone to cook (however special he might think the food to be) which did not suit the guests’ palette – the whole exercise would be quite meaningless. So it is no trouble at all to find out, and to plan accordingly!
I am sure it must be true though it still sounds corny to me that great dishes only come with love in the heart (from Korean soap operas) 🙂 but I know for sure that cooking is most fun when you turn out a nice dish according to plan (which is itself most pleasurable) or be it pleasantly surprised; and those sharing it truly enjoy it!
One thing I realised after I started cooking (which is not so long ago) is the importance of planning – I guess like all things else! And if you plan & get the things together & the sequences right, everything come together “magically” and you won’t be stressed, distressed & dis-oriented!
Here’s for more stressless, fun cooking, eating & hanging out!