This might seem petty or childish to some but I'm just being REAL, you can't eat every one's food this holiday season (or EVER actually)! With the holiday party invitations rolling in, it might put some of you (like me) in a compromising position on WTH are you going to eat at these parties???
I've never been a fan of eating other people's food unless I really know the person and how they live. The truth of the matter is I've seen and heard of some outlandish things happen to people when they've tried to eat someone else's food that they "know" (i.e. food poisoning, animal hair, human hair etc.). Honestly, we all take a risk everyday when we dine outside of our homes but the difference is you could actually sue an establishment, right a bad review (Thank God for Yelp!) and report them for not being sanitary but how do you sue a friend or coworker? You can't really without it getting messy and awkward.
Here are some survival tips for any occasion where questionable food is served:
1) Eat something before you go. If you have to "question" the menu of this invitation, then eat a nice meal or heavy snack before you go. This way, you aren't obligated to full out dine when you get there and you can always use the excuse, "I had a big lunch," take the food to-go and toss it when you get home! Keep snacks in the car or in your purse in case you get hungry.
2) Listen to your gut.- If you have to play a guessing game of "what is that?" or if the label doesn't match the visual presentation of the food, don't do it! Save yourself and your stomach the agony and walk away. You'll thank me later.
3) Follow your nose.- Again, if it doesn't smell appetizing to you than you are better off skipping it all together. There is no sense in wasting food that someone else could enjoy.
4) Look at what's been eaten the most.- If you notice something that a lot of folks are digging, it could be an indicator that this is something safe to eat. However, there is always a chance of disappointment so don't pile it on your plate until you've sampled it. If you like it, come back for more while supplies last.
5) When it doubt, fruit, cheese and veggie it out. People really CAN'T mess up a veggie/fruit/cheese tray especially if they were prepared by the grocery store. These are always safe staples at any holiday party so load up on those if you find yourself challenged. Crackers are good too! They'll hold you over until you make your escape.
6) Volunteer to bring something! If nothing else seems appetizing to you, at least you'll know you can eat on whatever you bought. I'm sure the host will appreciate the gesture. After all, this is the season of giving and cheer right? This goes for drinks as well. If you're not a fan of eggnog (I hate EGGNOG with a passion), you could always bring your own booze or sip on something non-alcoholic like soda or water.
I hope these tips were helpful! Have fun folks.
Photo Courtesy of Flickr.com/By Guowen Wang