The Menu

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, retirees, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after retirement. Her public lecture on this subject is titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Classis available by clicking here Click here for her website:

Now, on to my blog:

Dinner TableIt was only supposed to be a fun gathering at my place. I had recently moved to a new condo four hundred miles from my longtime home to live closer to family members. I decided to have them over for dinner to show off my new digs.

I sent out the email invitation to about a dozen recipients. Without a thought, I added a line at the last minute: let me know if you have any food issues. Wrong! Close to half had considerations of one type or another dealing with what they were or were not willing to ingest.

I kept thinking up dish after dish, only to discard it when I realized that my son, granddaughter, cousin, cousin’s husband, and a few more wouldn’t eat it. I was trolling recipes on the Internet, pondering the matter in the middle of sleepless nights, and generally experiencing a rise in my stress level.

Of course, I’m aware that these many food challenges are spread across the population, not just in my family. However, I don’t remember all this stuff when I was younger. Maybe it has to do with bounty and plenty. When food is scarce, you eat what’s put in front of you, and you’re grateful for it.

My crowd runs the gamut: vegan, vegetarian, lactose intolerant, gluten free, on a diet, red meat averse, Kosher, low salt, low fat, high protein, organic, nut allergies, shellfish issues, pescatarian, heart healthy oils, and the list goes on ad nauseam. There’s also the “wine with dinner” matter. I have never acquired a taste for alcohol, so I don’t drink any. Truth be told, I don’t understand the big fuss about it all: which wine goes with which dish, how to choose it, sniff the cork, the year, the bouquet, the color, the right glass, yadda, yadda, yadda. However, I seem to be a minority of one. So, I just tell my guests to bring whatever wine they want as I’m not serving any, and that I can probably scare up some small glasses and maybe a corkscrew.

As you’ve probably deduced by now, cooking is not my strong point. To reduce my anxiety, my new motto is to disclose the menu in advance right down to the water I’m serving (tap, filtered, spring, purified, distilled, sparkling, infused–I have a headache).

Although I don’t have any food allergies, I do have dislikes. So, don’t serve me: lamb, shrimp, sushi, cilantro… Oh, and sorry about my lack of aptitude and flair in the kitchen. However, I really do have other talents.


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Photo credit: futureshape on / CC BY


Filed under active seniors, Baby boomers, gerontology, healthy aging, longevity, reinvention, retirement, senior citizens, seniors, successful aging

2 responses to “The Menu

  1. Patricia Spiegel

    This is so true! Your plan is such a good one. A guest can always ch9oose to bring their own.

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