Planning another shin-dig

Last month, we had some people from my husband’s office over for a party. I think the food turned out well. Next month, he wants to invite a different group of people over.

“Hmmm, I wonder what I should make,” said I.

“Make the same thing you did last time,” he suggested. I rewarded him with a blank stare. The same thing? Why?


“Hey, Mikey, whatcha doing, staring at that hunk of rock?”

“I’m thinking about carving a statue out of it.”

“Yeah? Why doncha make another one a them Davids? That was cool.”


The great thing about my husband is that he is so very easy to please. I know some husbands who are a bit…finicky…with what they will eat. No breakfast food for dinner…ever. No fruit (sauces, garnishes, etc) with meat. Not Bill. He will eat what I serve him without complaint.

He did complain – once – early in our marriage, but the cast iron skillet seemed to knock some sense into him.

But the difficult thing about my husband is that he is so very easy to please. If time, money, and nutrition were no concern, this would be his daily menu:

Breakfast: western omelet, coffee (black) and possible add-ons of rye toast, hash browns, bacon and OJ.

Lunch: turkey and provolone on a hard roll with a bit of Dijon mustard, Dr. Pepper, maybe some chips.

Dinner: whatever I make him.

And he would eat this, without variety, every day for weeks and weeks and weeks. I can’t do that.

My friend’s husband recently came home on R&R from Afghanistan. He had a long list of favorite foods that he wanted her to make. When Bill came home last December, I made some things that I knew he would like, but none of them were by his request (despite repeated interrogations).

And despite knowing this man for nearly 21 years, I only learned last spring that chocolate cake isn’t his favorite; he prefers vanilla.

Every year I ask, “What would you like me to make for your birthday?”

“Oh, whatever…”

“O-kaaaay…” So I’d make chocolate cake…because everybody loves chocolate, right? He doesn’t understand how much it bothers me to think I’ve been disappointing him for 20 years. Of course, he’s probably not disappointed. He’s just happy there’s good food magically appearing in front of him every night.

Apparently, I have a much greater attachment to food than he does. My hips attest to this fact. Food is art. Food is hospitality. Food is love.

So, no, I can’t make the same menu that I did for the last party. And since my wonderful husband is no help in the planning department, I’m soliciting suggestions. One thought I had was to have burgers, but to provide a very large selection of toppings…or to have different types of burgers (have you had burgers with bleu cheese? – yum). I’m definitely casting about for some sort of theme. The tequila is almost gone, so that’s out. Any ideas?

8 thoughts on “Planning another shin-dig

  1. I swear this reminds me of the time my mil and I were sitting in her kitchen and my fil was looking for a snack in the pantry. He was griping, because all the snacks she had were chocolate based. “You KNOW I don't like chocolate!” She looked at me in complete bafflement and said, “We've been married 35 years. This is the first time I've EVER heard him say he doesn't like chocolate.”

    I also like the fact that you're calling it a “shin-dig”. Sounds like home. The other southern saying for it is “a big 'ol hoo ha”. Really.

  2. We made homemade tamales..YUM! My husband and I were sampling them and I said that if these are not how tamales are supposed to taste, then the Mexicans are doing it wrong. He also made gyro meat and the sauce which was again YUM. International food party, there is my suggestion.

  3. If you go the different kinds of hamburgers route, let me know. We make Mexican hamburgers with a green chili that everyone seems to like!

  4. Different burgers sounds good. I have a great Mexican turkey burger recipe. You could do what another poster did and have “international” night and do it with burgers. That would be cool.

  5. you could try doing pulled pork bbq sandwiches with cole slaw.

  6. I shall have to practice using “big 'ol hoo ha” in order to incoprporate it into my daily language.

    Homemade tamales…HOT. If I lived in Alaska, parhaps…I've had homemade tamales, Barb, and they are very good.

    I might do the burgers another time…my girlfriend suggested RUM AND COKE CUPCAKES. How awesome is that? So, I'm thinking of a Carribean theme…found a recipe for Jamaican Rum Chicken that looks good. And pulled pork would go well with that…and I can use my crockpot so my house isn't hot.

  7. My wife sounds like your husband. We've had heated arguments (and I'm not proud of this) because I didn't feel like deciding what to cook.

    Caribbean sounds like a fun theme. Maybe add shrimp skewered on sugar cane, so you have a meat, a poulty and a seafood.

    Burgers have tons of potential too. In addition to having the traditional beef you could have buffalo (would pair nicely with bleu cheese and bacon), lamb (with Mediterranean seasonings and maybe some feta?), crab cake “burgers” with a red pepper aioli, and so on. I would probably do them as sliders, so people could try a few different types without overeating.

  8. Call me boring, but if it's a different set of people, I'd totally have the same menu, as long as it keeps you and the house cool.

    We keep it much cooler here, but I can see I just want less food, and cool stuff to eat.

    It's been a long time since I've had sangria. But a lemon type drink (adult lemonade) or cider sounds yummy.

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