Question for a local

Feb 28th, 2007, 03:39 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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repeat after me: "the land lady doesn't want any gifts from Texas (or anywhere else)" - - - "the flight crew doesn't want and gifts from Texas (or anywhere else)"

They want to do their jobs. They want you to enjoy your trip. That's it - no more no less. Neither will have the space to store little gifts from any/all of the folks they serve every day. You are not friends, you are paying customers.
janisj is online now  
Feb 28th, 2007, 11:12 PM
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Oh, dear, please put your hackles back down. I think we all think that these are very kind thoughts but we are just trying to say that it won't necessarily go down as well as you hoped in England. True, the idea of a little gift box plus recipe is completely different to the idea of suddenly springing 'I want to cook' on your landlady. If you really want to do this,you could, you won't be laughed at (not to your face anyway), but bear in mind that she may not like Tex-Mex food.

A dish that is either the same or very similar is quite common over here now and yes, it is very nice indeed. You get it at a lot of places, not just Tex-Mex ones. You'll find it in a lot of pubs as well as restaurants. We don't called it Queso but it sounds pretty much identical.

We tend to call it something along the lines of 'loaded tortillas' and it is a big plate of warm tortilla chips with a topping of tomato salsa, melted cheese (don't know what type) and chopped up chillies.

So, if your landlady does like Tex-Mex food, you won't really be introducing her to anything new. And if she hasn't ever had it, it would be because she doesn't want to try it, it really is that common here now.
nona1 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2007, 11:15 PM
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Oh and it usually has a good dollop of sour cream and guacamole on the plate as well. You all just grab a tortilla chip and dig in, scooping up the bits of salsa/cheese/chillis/sour cream/salsa that you fancy.

Is this pretty much the same thing as Queso?
nona1 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2007, 12:22 AM
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Nona1 is quite right. People are giving you good advice.
Your idea is very kind, but gifts to landladies are not really done unless you have stayed with someone several times and have become friends.
On the other hand, Americans are known for being exuberant and friendly, so a small gift might be accepted in the manner in which it is offered.
B and Bs are rather strange beasts.
They are not hotels, so you wouldn't do something like ordering iced water in your room or sending your breakfast back to the kitchen.
On the other hand, although you are a paying guest, you are not a friend, but a customer.
I can't remember who it was who objected to my remark about the tears.
Can't you remember your first hot dish, be it chilli or curry?
MissPrism is offline  
Mar 1st, 2007, 04:33 AM
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Hi AT,

Your thought of leaving a recipe and the ingredients is very nice, as is your idea of leaving something for the flight crew.

However, without meaning to, you are invading their space by being too friendly.

A gift to your B&B hostess is appropriate only after you have been there a few times and have developed an acquaintanceship.

Should she, in the course of your visit, express an interest in Queso you could ship her the ingredients after you return home.

ira is offline  
Mar 1st, 2007, 11:33 AM
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This question is a wind up, it must be. Please let it be.

A present for the flight crew? Are you out of your mind? Why on earth would you do that? They will undoubtedly take the pee out of you and have a good laugh at your expense (if they are not American that is). Do you tip the train driver too?

Why give a landlady grotty old processed cheese? She can buy Kraft cheese slices if she wants that. It's insulting and embarrassing, can't you see that? It's like saying I don't like what you have cooked! If she wanted to eat Texan food then she'd go to Texas.

Still think it's a wind up anyway. Why don't Americans just understand that we are not interested in their culture. Fair enough in the US, but not here please!

Where on earth are you staying anyway? Was too amazed by the question - I may have missed the location.
Charley1965 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2007, 12:00 PM
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People here are just being a little too cranky. Everyone likes little thoughtful gifts, in my experience, no matter where they live.

I remember the time we rented a villa in Tuscany -- we brought the owners (who lived next door) little gifts from where we are from. They were absolutely delighted. It really broke the ice with them. They ended up inviting us over for cocktails one night and dinner another, and then a year later, sent us an invitation to their daughter's wedding. Were these things a result of the gift? Who can say. But I felt happy about sharing my home with them, and they clearly felt happy enough with us to include them.

We live in such an impersonal world these days, that little gestures can mean a great deal. Atlertx, your ideas sound lovely, and more power to you.

PS: In general, Velveeta is gross and disgusting and I would never buy it ever. But, I have to say, I am really really happy when I go to a party and discover that someone has brought Texas-style Queso with Velveeta and Rotel. It is truly a guilty pleasure!
Eleni is offline  
Mar 1st, 2007, 01:42 PM
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" Why don't Americans just understand that we are not interested in their culture. Fair enough in the US, but not here please!"

No need for such remarks Charley. It shows your ignorance.
freeman0819 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2007, 11:01 PM
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True, I'm interested in where people come from - even America ;-)

But I still don't think this is worth the effort of dragging the food over here, I don't think it'll be as appreciated as you hope. USe that space in your suitcase for something useful.
nona1 is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 02:02 AM
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"Everyone likes little thoughtful gifts, in my experience, no matter where they live."

Maybe. But think if all 300+ people in the plane brought the crew a gift. That would be a serious waste problem.

B&B hostess is running a business like people have already said. Most likely she wants to keep it friendly and nice but neutral.
elina is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 02:37 AM
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To be fair to Charlie

You go to another country to absorb the culture, enjoy the local food etc.
No doubt, visitors to the US might enjoy the Velveeta concoction as part of the experience.
However, your idea could smack slightly of "bringing our culture to the natives".
Enjoy your stay at the B and B.
If the landlady has obviously gone out of her way to give you special service, then you could buy her a bunch of flowers. Even that would not be expected.
You are obviously a nice friendly soul, but as others have said, over-friendliness is not really appreciated in the UK.
Josser is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 03:03 AM
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Having no idea what Rotel tomatoes were, I did a Google search, and then one thing led to another.

I like the way the Ro*tel (sic) website starts "RO*TEL has been a tradition in the southwest since the early 1940's". Over in Europe, we like our traditions to be little older than that, and to have started spontaneously, rather than be created commercially. My second thought was the Europe had rather more on its mind (and less on its plate) in the 1940s. That reminded me how shocked I was on my first visit to the U.S. to find all those public buildings (museums, libraries, theatres, etc) which were opened in the early 1940s. Ours were being destroyed by Hitler's bombs at about that time. The other shock was the long lists of casualties for the Vietnam War, while for us the long lists date from the First World War.

Then I realised that Ro*tel tomatoes were actually tinned tomatoes, and I though they were an American no-no. In Britain, lukewarm tinned tomatoes are a staple of every school and works canteen menu. And my American relatives turn up their noses at fried red tomatoes, leaving them on the side of the plate, when they are one of the best parts of a cooked breakfast.

Now what gift would an Easyjet crew member really appreciate?
chartley is online now  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 03:23 AM
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Hi Atlertx.

I have a friend from Austria, and she always returns home with recipes from her visits.

The problem, of course, is obtaining the ingredients once the supply she has taken back home are gone.

I wonder if you could find a recipe that she would be able to make multiple times if she liked it. Salsa is something that comes to mind as everyone has tomatoes.

I don't presume to know much about TexMex food, but this is a suggestion.

I think it is a nice gesture. Enjoy your trip.
Sher is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 03:27 AM
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Atlertx, you are a kind and thoughful person. I agree with others that the best gift you can give your b&b hostess is to pay your bill and leave your room reasonably tidy. I can only add that she would probably appreciate your not lounging around the room too long during the day. She may have to go out for shopping and other errands.

As for the flight crew, do you really think they would eat candy given to them by a stranger? Sadly, in this day and age, it would more likely go straight in the bin.
Heimdall is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 03:45 AM
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Why don't Americans just understand that we are not interested in their culture. Fair enough in the US, but not here please!


your assertion is absurd

look what's on my tele...
friends, CSI, law and order, NYPD blue, everybody loves raymond, ugly betty, the simpsons...i can go on and on.

look what's in my cinema....
mostly hollywood movies that are dripping in US culture

look what's on my high street...
pizza hut, KFC, McDs, starbucks

look what the business culture trends are in UK businesses....
almost entirely american

our health service is even borrowing many ideas from the US model (who would have ever thunk that?)

US-style celebration of halloween...we got it.

no-smoking -- we are following you.

for better or worse, the interest in US culture is alive and kicking in britain. in fact, by far, the UK adopts more from the US than anywhere else. not making any statement of whether this is good or bad...just that it IS.
walkinaround is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 04:02 AM
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I'm sorry I love working with Americans and taking part in fodors but please is there any way you could keep this "culture" stuff in Texas?
bilboburgler is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 04:56 AM
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What a perfect illustration of cultural differences! I only wanted to add; don't put the Velveeta in your handluggage. I'm not absolutely sure what the texture of it is, but think it could be mistaken for semtex.
Tulips is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 05:10 AM
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I've always called Velveeta and Ro-Tel "Chile con Queso" (chiles with cheese). I love the stuff.

But I think you might need to take tortilla chips too. It wouldn't be as good with crisps.
BoniseA is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 06:48 AM
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Jeez, you can get tortilla chips, processed cheese and tinned tomatoes over here you know, in any supermarket.

Why ro-tel brand tomatoes specifically? I would have thought any tinned tomatoes were pretty much the same but everyone is specifying ro-tel? Are they different to normal tinned tomatoes?

(trying to imagine salsa made with tinned tomatoes instead of fresh...yuk?)
nona1 is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2007, 07:17 AM
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nona--we have "loaded tortillas" also, but we call them nachos. Queso is a big dish of the cheese part, with the chips on the side for dipping. So, same neighborhood.

And gifts for someone who owns a rented cottage you're staying at is different from gifts for a b & b owner. Although it's hardly necessary. When renting a cottage, you're the only ones there for a week, and a certain intimacy can be sort of expected. The b & b owner, on the other hand, has many more people coming and going and is probably going to be less inclined to "make friends" with any of them.

And while I can understand liking queso, it does fall into the category of, as someone called it, a guilty pleasure. Something to enjoy at home, but not to cross oceans with, as though it were some kind of delicacy.
Cimbrone is offline  

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