CHOW's resident etiquette expert, Helena Echlin, addresses perplexing food etiquette dilemmas in her column Table Manners. We've helped her out with questions in the past, like this one about kicking guests out of the kitchen.
Now she has another question for you. It's from a reader (and food-lover) who has a dating dilemma: Should she continue on with an otherwise Mr. Perfect who doesn't care at all about food?
Q: I'm going to be sharing an apartment with someone for the first time this year. What is a good way to handle food?
I've thought about a "food money jar" where we both put in and buy as we need things, but I'm very frugal and I don't know if he is. I've also thought about buying food separately, but then how do you handle sharing dinners?
Q: How do couples share responsibilities for food in a relationship? I get the sense that my boyfriend expects me to be almost 100% responsible: purchasing, preparing, clean-up — yet he eats three times as much as I do. I love to cook and share, but spending $20 each night on dinner (a very conservative figure) adds up to something unaffordable over the long term. He doesn't have as much money as I do, but I'm still a student and besides I think it's unfair. I don't know how to broach the subject without hurting feelings.
Given that most of us come to this site because we love food, it’s probably safe to assume that we all love to sample new dishes and ingredients while traveling. That might mean clam chowder in Boston or it might mean scorpion skewers in Beijing. But we all have our limits! What’s your approach to trying new foods and where do you draw the line?
It's July and most farmers' markets across the nation are in full swing. I just returned from a visit to the lovely Marin County Farmers' Market in California, which besides being lovely was also rather hot and jam-packed. It occurred to me that we all could use a few helpful hints on how to navigate the crowds and share the market.
You can do everything right - great food, great music, great ambiance. But what if your guests just...don't talk to each other? Crickets. Uncomfortable pauses. Wind whistling in the eaves. Any tips for creating good dinner table conversation?
Have you ever been in a situation where you don't know the social rules and have made a major error so off-the-mark that you want to just crawl under the table and disappear? Or maybe you've had someone come into your life who has no idea how to behave and you find yourself judging and distancing from them, even if you don't want to? Please and thank you, bows and handshakes, who goes first, cellphones at the dinner table: does proper etiquette really matter?
The date is set, the menu is planned, the guests have all been invited - so is it necessary to send out reminders? Personally, we like a reminder - mostly because our own lives are so hectic that we can almost always use a little check-in! What do you think: are reminders helpful...or annoying?!