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WWYD If your dinner guests...

Came to dinner 1 hour late because the husband decided to go out sailing. Then, once arrived, the wife decided you didn't have enough potatoes (4 very large) to make mashed potatoes (for 4 people) and you should also make rice. THEN, told you that you didn't put enough butter in the mashed potatoes, AND you made a cucumber salad, but it "didn't have enough mayo" Now... what if this dinner guest was your mother?

I recently had a baby, so my mother obviously wants me to visit her often. Usually it is easier for us if they come to me...obviously, I have a 3month old and she has a lot of crap that generally comes along with her.
However, I hate that dinner has to be mom's way, even at my house.
I know this may seem like a "Mom" rant, but seriously?? We usually try to meet up over the weekends, and we (DH and I) can't always afford to eat out, at least not right now since I'm not working and I don't want my parents to feel like they should pay if we eat out.

So, how should I handle having my parents as dinner guests? Note that Dad said that dinner was awesome and he was not the least bit difficult and also, even though he was late due to sailing, he was doing me a favor this time by bringing a piece of furniture.

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  1. Unfortunately, this one isn't really a food issue....its a mother issue. Until you wrote that this was your mother, I was thinking "why on earth would you let such a person back in your house?" As its your mother...at this point you either have to just tell her its your house, your food and you're happy to have her but she'll have to keep her comments to herself.....or, figure its just not worth the effort and either roll with it or suggest that she should go ahead and do the cooking. Maybe it'd even give you a break. Good luck and congratulations on the new kiddo.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ccbweb

      totally agree that this is a mother issue not dinner guest issue.

    2. Either serve something which you can completely prepare in advance or ask her to do the honors. Could also request her help with something which would keep her out of the kitchen. Or call her on it & point out you are both adults with differing methods but still have lots of love & respect. I finally asked my mother to reflect back on her capacities at my age (10 yrs ago) and she has been very good since then!

      1. You should be asking Ann Landers.

        Speaking of Ann Landers, do you notice how many people write her with difficulty standing up for themselves, people who can't say "no"? This seems similar.

        The question really is: what do you want to achieve? Do you want her/them to like what you do and respect your efforts? Or do you simply want to avoid arguments? In either case, you'll have to make a decision and back it up with diplomatic but firm action.

        Your point about eating out may be the key - go ahead and eat out (someplace humble) and let 'em pay, and be sure to say how much you appreciate that they're helping a tired new mother with an evening out now and then. (Solving the babysitting problem is up to you).

        Alternatively, let them bring dinner. Or order in pizza (I have it on good authority that pizza and a beer really cheer up many new mums - it certainly did for my wife).

        1. It's your mom. It all depends on what your relationship is like. If it was my mom, I'd talk to her when we were alone and tell her that she's hurting my feelings and that I'm proud of the kind of food I cook, and just leave my kitchen to me. She'd be fine with that. But I have met some mothers who just have to be right, and it's easier to keep quiet and laugh about it later over drinks with the hubby.

          1. How do the words "as long as you are under my roof, you will eat what I serve you." sound. I'm sure you heard some variation of them growing up.

            1. How about:

              1) If you don't like the way something is prepared, don't eat it. But don't complain about it.

              2) If your potatoes don't have enough butter, add some butter to yours at the table. The potatoes are fine for the rest of us.

              3) If this doesn't suit you, fix what you want while the rest of us get on with enjoying this perfectly fine meal.

              I'm pretty sure this ain't about yur cookin'.

              1. I learned to cook in my mother's kitchen. I grew up tasting as she cooked. As I became more experienced as a cook, Mom would ask me if I thought a certain dish needed more of something, etc. When I had my own kitchen, Mom would always hang out there and cook with me. I didn't always agree with her opinion, but if she said something needed tweaking, I was happy to do it. I miss her.

                1 Reply
                1. re: pikawicca

                  OMGoodness this could have been my exact post, to the letter!
                  I have a terrific photo someone took while we were preparing dinner years ago. I'm at the sink and Mother's walking behind me with a raised knife. It looks ominous until you realize she was peeling garlic and was bringing them to me. I think.

                  To the OP: The suggestion above from 'mojoeater' that you have a private talk with your mother is a good one.

                2. Its your mom, just grin and bear it.

                  I am a relatively accomplished cook, and my mom still has "advise", or questions my cooking methods, and menu planning.

                  My wife is the one I feel sorry for, she has to deal with all the "advise" my mom gives on how to take care of our 9 month old baby.

                  1. If this is way it's always been, you either need to accept it or develop a backbone and tell Mom that you're not a child any longer and she needs to stop criticizing you over issues of preference.

                    One time, I told my FIL if he didn't like it at our house, he could leave. It made things fairly tense for the rest of their visit, but ever since I drew that line in the sand, his behavior has been much better.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ricepad

                      Why not let your Mother do the cooking. Ask her what she'd like to make and you'll buy the ingredients (even ask brand as you KNOW you'll get the wrong kind lol!!!) or else tell her you're ordering in. This way it doesn't matter WHAT time they show up. Have some apps prepared to munch while you help HER cook (or watch - my Mother didn't let anyone else cook while she was cooking - even made her crazy when it was my Father's night to cook). JMHO, Linda

                    2. What would I do? "I think you would be more comfortable at home. Call to let me know you got there safely."

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: marmite

                        Kick your mother out of your house? Wow there some big unresolved issues there. Mom is mom. Just take a breath and say whatever.

                        1. re: PeterL

                          No, nothing unresolved. I expect to be respected in my home, just as I respect her in hers and everyone else in theirs. Clearly if she's complaining that much, she's unhappy, and isn't eating dinner together supposed to be fun?
                          That being said, my mother would never behave like the mother in question, so it would never come to that.

                      2. Marmite, I think I may use that one!
                        The funny thing is, Mom just called to tell me how wonderful dinner was and that my brother grabbed the crabcakes and mashed potatoes I sent home as soon as they got home and devoured them!
                        I know it's more of a Mom issue, but it bugged me obviously. I just kept thinking, what if a "regular" dinner guest did this?
                        Thanks for letting me vent and I will definitely be having a chat with her the next time I plan on doing the cooking!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: SweetPea914

                          What would your mother do if you printed out your original post and sent it to her to read?

                        2. Parents spend 15-20 years dealing with their children and the antics that may arise. I think that adults can be a little forgiving when their parents get hard to handle. Be glad it's just potatoes and rice that upsets you. And look on the bright side, they saved you the inconvenience of visiting them and they brought you a piece of furniture.

                          1. SweetPea

                            Congrats on your baby and remember in 25 years you will be on the other side of this argument. Only advice jfood has is suck it up and relax.

                            Jfood's FIL INSISTS that his steak be served piping hot. Not matter how many times jfood has explained about resting, does not matter. Hot steak for FIL. So jfood starts that steak a few minutes later, takes the rest of the family's off the grill to rest then when jfood serves the rested steaks the FIL's comes off the grill.

                            If MIL, FIL want to offer some advice, hey it's only a meal. What's the big deal? They will not be here forever. If they want more mayo in the cuc salad (having a conceptual problem ith the recipe) then add it, some more butter in the mashed, hey never too much butter in mashed potatoes, only want half a sandwich, grab a knife and cut it in half, doesn;t like leafy lettuce only iceberg, grab a head in the grocer.

                            To those posters that post to tell her to go home, SHAME, SHAME, SHAME. Talk about the self-important Me-Generation, ungrateful brats. If little jfoods treated jfood like that, not only would the younger generation get a good what-for, but jfood would feel that he failed in raising the little jfoods with values, consideration and respect.

                            1. Welcome to my life (minus the kiddo). You need to buy Deborah Tannen's book "You're Wearing That? Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation." Read it, and then make your mom read it.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Megiac

                                Yes, I remember hearing about this a while ago. I think I need to pull up Amazon!

                                1. re: SweetPea914

                                  Here's a link to a story about that book: http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=1... I have it permanently bookmarked, because it hit home so much.

                                  I feel your pain SweetPea, because my mother is the queen of unsolicited advice. It was more often directed to how I was caring for my son, but it has entered the food arena too. I don't have any magical answer, because I certainly haven't fixed the issue beyond getting mad over the constant advice, but you have my sympathies.

                              2. This really isn't about food. Repeat after me, "Is this a hill to die on?" otherwise known as "Choose your battles carefully". This will be great advice while you parent your own child - things that seem important in the moment often aren't when seen the in the great scheme of life. Besting your mom on meals isn't about food and being right can often mean being dead right. She's a new grandma, cut her some slack. You're a new mom, be kind to yourself. This is pretty scary turf for everyone.

                                Having the loving "Mom, I'm so glad that we're over the Parent-Child thing and can now be Adult-Adult" talk is a good idea, sometime. Don't do it when you're steamed or feeling hurt. Have The Chat when you're feeling in control and powerful. Meantime, have some wonderful food with DH and enjoy your new baby.

                                1. How about leaving an item for your mother to cook. When she arrives tell her you have almost everything done but need her help making the mashed potatoes or whatever. Keep her occupied and serve dinner right as she is finished.

                                  1. Invite them over and order pizza.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: OCAnn

                                      I have a 24-year-old son so the dynamic is probably different, but, honestly, I would cut out my tongue before I criticised his cooking. There may be times I want to criticise other things, but I just bite my tongue really hard and keep my mouth shut. Like Sherri says, choose your battles.

                                    2. One thing jumped out at me from your post. You have both parents living and able to come see you and even bring you furniture. My Mom died 13 years ago and my Dad 33 years ago. While, my Mom (who died when I was 29) could get on my last nerve like no other, I'd give up years of my own life to have one last dinner with her at my home and her telling me my food was too spicy. They are your parents, not your guests. That means they have the right to pluck your nerves. Believe me, one day you will wish more than anything that your parents were there for dinner.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                        I'm with you. My Mother died when I was 14 and Dad when I was 16. I don;t think people a ppreciate their parents enough, even if they are a pain. Re the not wanting your parents to pay for dinner- please let them. We take our kids and thier families out all the time and I cook for them all the time and never regret the gobs of money we spend or the hours in the kitchen. The only thing we ask in return is a little appreciation and an email of phone call on some regular basis. Also, I would never criticize their cooking- although I must say my boys are great cooks and their wives do ok too. Biting your tongue is an excellent habit when dealing with kids and their wives1

                                        1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                          i thought something similar. i'd love to be able to have my dad over for dinner, or ever to have had the privilege of meeting my dh's mom. lots and lots of people never get to meet their grandchildren.

                                          it does sound like the op's mom seems to think that she has all the time in the world to be critical of her daughter as well, though. maybe this family needs to take the birth of this new baby as the joyful occasion that it is, & be grateful that they all are together, healthy enough to go sailing etc. guess what, it sucks when the last words you spoke to someone were critical or quarrelsome, and that is that.

                                          1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                            Not to disrespect you or your point, but ... not necessarily. That's so individual.

                                            My mother made it quite clear every time she was invited that my wife would always be inadequate and every decision we made was wrong. After a few years of subjecting my wife to this while trying to better the situation, I decided that is my mother was so unhappy with things when she visited, she could just stay home. Suited her, suited me.

                                            I never made a more healthy decision than the day I decided to cut the apron strings. As for my kids, if I can't behave with respect in their house, I wouldn't expect them to tolerate such behavior. The upbringing is free - they aren't required to pay for it by smiling through my bashing.

                                            1. re: wayne keyser

                                              Very well put. You have put into words what I could not.

                                            2. re: Janet from Richmond

                                              I lost my Mom prematurely too. I loved her to pieces and miss her every day. However, I don't regret having sometimes put my foot down to establish my own boundaries and to discuss things so we could all spend time together in a mutually respectful way. They're parents; they're not babbling idiots or social incompetents (if we're lucky).

                                            3. Thanks everyone for the great advice and the congrats on lil sweetpea.
                                              First of all, so you all know, I would never actually kick mom out of my house. I liked what Marmite said 'cause it's sort of my sense of humor. I could say something to that effect and mom would know that A- I didn't real mean for her to leave and that B- what I really mean is "Back off your bugging me".

                                              Yes I know it's only a meal, and I should be lucky that this was my biggest problem yesterday. But I like to spend quality time with my family (or friends or whoever is invited over). I also, as many do, have my way of doing things, especially in MY Kitchen. I had everything set and ready to go so I could spend time with my family, instead we were in the kitchen the whole time because of the menu changes/additions. Did I mention I now have 3 cups of rice and 1 cup of potatoes as left overs? So I really didn't need to make an extra dish at the last second!

                                              Instead of being treated like a 35 year old I was made to feel 15 in my own home.

                                              Also my husband didn't even eat his cucmber sald because it had "too much Mayo" Mom is no Chowhound. DH and I still occasionally laugh about the Thanksgiving where my mom asked me to make the salad. I did and it looked pretty good if I do say so myself, DH said it was the best salad he'd ever seen. Well, I was told I didn't put enough "Iceberg lettuce, because everyone LOVES iceberg lettuce" She proceeded to take apart my salad to add more iceberg lettuce to it :-(
                                              Again, I know I should have bigger problems, I just felt that the whole thing was incredibly rude!

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: SweetPea914

                                                Let your parents take you out if they can afford it: it gives them pleasure to treat you, it allows them to show off the baby and it gives you a rest (let your mom hold the baby while you eat!). Even though it can be annoying, I think your mother is trying to be helpful in the only way she knows. At least she has a sense of humor!

                                                1. re: SweetPea914

                                                  SweetPea if you can find HUMOR in any awkward moment you're ahead. We all need to laugh more and scrutinize less about everyday stuff. Sadly, we won't remember the meal but we will the hurt...so--HUMOR, laugh, get silly...chances are good you'll avoid indigestion too!

                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                    "Sadly, we won't remember the meal but we will the hurt"

                                                    This is so true, the only thing I do remeber from that Thanksgiving is that I was trying to help and got yelled at over some iceberg lettuce! At least today we find the whole thing funny! And if I were to mention it to my mom she would have no idea what I was talking about.

                                                2. I can't beleive how few postings there are from parents who might be able to offer advice from the other side of the coin. Most of us know you really don't want to drive us out of our tree when you visit - Its just what parents do, have done, and will continue to do. But how do we deal with you? We love you, we will miss you terribly when you are gone, but how do we make it easier in the mean time (and "just do as I say" is not the answer....LOL)

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                    That's because I don't think they realize what they are doing (smile). My mother used to be a bit of a pain - a great cook but one who hasn't cooked for years now, and while her advice may be good, at this point in my cooking life, I know what I'm doing, and when I've offered to cook meals in her kitchen (many of which I freeze so she has lots of left overs when I'm gone), I really don't appreciate her advice, but enjoy chatting with her about other things while I'm cooking. That's not meant to sound snarky, just the way I feel about it. Though if added a baby to the mix, I might actually be snarky. Fortunately, she's figured that out and all is well.

                                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                      KaimukiMan, I'll offer some advice from a parent, even though my eldest is just a year out of the parental home. Parents: be nice. Remember that you were also young and strapped for time or cash/less experienced/less skilled.

                                                      My college aged son likes to cook for himself, lives in a situation where he can, and does a reasonable job of it. Do I agree with all of his choices? No. That's because we are two different people. Still, I will treat him like the adult he is, i.e., one who makes choices and is seemingly proud of those he makes.

                                                      I was recently at his house to deal with some University paperwork. As we were working, he excused himself to the kitchen and came back with some Hawaiian-Punch-sort-of-drink on ice, and a plate of Pizza Rolls. College guy snack plate. Not exactly my bag, but I offered my (sincere) thanks and we snacked and worked on the task. When he asked me if he could get me anything else ( a refill? more Pizza Rolls?), he seemed to have such pride that he could host his mom. I thanked him for the lovely appetizers as I was leaving. The next day he called me to ask what he should do with a couple of chicken thighs he wanted to take to a group grill-out. I gave him my opinion and some instructions. He called a few days later to thank me for the info. No battles from either side.

                                                      So? Parents, when your adult child makes an effort, THANK THEM, don't criticize. They will find you a much more comfortable person to talk to when they DO need advice. When asked for that advice, give it, adult to adult. Don't patronize, and don't assume they want to do things exactly as you did them. My son loves some things I find icky. He thinks I love garlic too much. We always find middle ground and respect.

                                                      And that's what parents should teach their kids, IMHO, rather than criticism and overbearing.

                                                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                        lol....I was just wondering if my kids would ever grow up to the point where they would invite me to dinner.....

                                                        (son's girlfriend has cooked for me before, but at my house...and when I visited her apartment once I saw why...its barely big enough for her.) The food was good, btw: home-style Japanese....she is a foreign student from Japan... Since I had no idea how to cook it, I couldn't criticize it even if I wanted to.....

                                                        My mother was never one to meddle in my kitchen, but then again, my mother was never much of a cook or an eater..... Still, I'd love to have the chance to have her come to one more Thanksgiving....

                                                      2. This is a mother issue. My guess is that mon was ticked off at dad for going sailing, agaisnt her better judgement.

                                                        We have 2 kids, and we dine with my folks at our house once a week, generally on Wednesday's. Wednesday's are half days in our school district, so parents pick up kids and spend the day with them.

                                                        Usually my mom brings dinner in. Sometimes it consists of two roated chix from Costco, or something that she made earlier and we warm at the house.

                                                        1. When mom and dad come for a visit, give mom "Grannie Duty". Ask her to take care of, love on, and spoil the baby in some room other than the kitchen while you tend to the last minute dinner details. That will keep mom busy, empower you in your own kitchen, and give baby some extra attention. Everybody is happy!

                                                          1. I don't care if she is my mother, she needs to respect me in my home as much as I respect her in hers. Advise is one thing, but ruining the cucumber salad is another. I would figure out the right way to explain this to her. To just "suck it up" might actually interfere with your ability to appreciate your mother while you still have her. The tactful approach is the best way to go unless you are certain she will take great offense and never see her grandbaby again.

                                                            1. Why is there mayo in your cucumber salad?

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: slacker

                                                                It's an Eastern European thing...sliced cukes, mayo, vinegar, dill.

                                                              2. Going out won't solve anything--I went out to lunch with my mother (me 55, she 77) and ordered a steak. When the waitress asked me what kind of potato I would like as a side, my mother said "the french fries" before I could open my mouth...

                                                                1. Remember to be grateful that your mom is still alive to get on your nerves (mine is too). Also, being blessed enough to also still have a living Gramma, I can tell you that it will be a sad day when she DOESN'T tell you what to do and how to do it. I've been watching my mom and gram battle it out in the kitchen for as long as I've been on this earth, and I can tell you it's one of the most beautiful things I've seen. Ever. Appreciate it now because you'll miss it when it's gone.

                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                  1. re: diablo

                                                                    that is so NOT true for many people.

                                                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                      Thank you!
                                                                      I love my mom, but she can be incredibly passive aggressive. There's a reason I live 40 min. away. And EVERY day I am reminded that I didn't move close enough to her. Now with my daughter though I would like to do a regular Sunday dinner. I would also like to keep doing it here so I don't have to travel. Please note I also go to visit her about once a week and when we go on Sundays to her house she finds ways to make us stay later than we wanted.
                                                                      I just want us all to get along!

                                                                      1. re: SweetPea914

                                                                        I'm thinking about ways to smooth things over for you....I wonder if talking with her through the week about the menu and recipes would help? Ie, is she online? Could you hunt down recipes together or something? It sounds like you're a pretty good cook and most of the people you're cooking for like most of the things you make. I don't know if you'd be opening yourself up to "you didn't make it right" criticisms....but maybe setting a menu together could work?

                                                                        All depends on how you and your mom communicate generally I suppose...sometimes things like that can be smooth and something they create more issues. Perhaps something to think about though.
                                                                        Good luck!

                                                                        1. re: ccbweb

                                                                          Thank you also, I so appreciate all the advice.

                                                                          I actually do this all the time. She can be very picky about certain things so I always say ahead of time, what do you think if we have X, Y and Z. Part of the problem is her portion distorion, she never thinks I'm making enough or providing enough options. She always cooks like she's feeding an army! Although I was criticized for not making enough, I had enough letovers to send her some crabcakes, mashed potatoes and my husband and I just had a dinner of crabcakes again!
                                                                          I think the other problem this week was I made 2 things she is good at. She often makes mashed potatoes and uses an electric beater, I use a masher, yes this was also an issue (I rarely use my beaters and so couldn't find them). Then the Hungarian cucumbers I made, also her recipe, but I was trying to do something I knew she would like!
                                                                          I think in the future, you are right we need to better plan the menu. The issues don't arise so much if she isn't familiar with the recipes but I give her something she does know to do. Although even then she is peering over my shoulder making sure I'm not adding in anything "crazy" like cilantro or mushrooms or "gasp", olive oil.
                                                                          I should also leave one thing up to her to keep her busy. Usually I have her play with the baby, but this time she had just gone down for a much needed nap.

                                                                          1. re: SweetPea914

                                                                            I am of Hungarian background as well and still can't get over mayo in the cucumber salad. I guess we are from a different part of Hungary or Jewish Hungarian as our cuke salad is sweet/sour with vinegar, salt, sugar, water & dillweek.

                                                                            Anyway, I have been married for almost 25 years and my mother still doesn't hesitate to come into my kitchen and criticize the dishes, the portions, the seasonings. Used to really bug me. When my father passed away 6 years ago, the criticism seemed to escalate. Then I had an epiphany (aha!): no longer are holiday dinners or family celebrations at her house, she feels a little resentful and a little lonely at seeing my daughters and I conducting our kitchen ballet without her. So now, I invite her to come an hour before our guests are due and put her to work. I always loved her cooking, it was the meddling I didn't like. She feels important again and is happy. When your daughter is a little older, cooking with Grandma will be a favorite memory.

                                                                  2. A friend said this last night:

                                                                    If you don't pick up the rope, you can't have a tug of war.

                                                                    Don't pick up the rope.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Jennalynn

                                                                      LOL The only thing I picked up was a drink. It helps me hold my tongue, to a point. It definitely helped with my bood pressure. She is certaintly the type of person where it's easier to say "ok Mom" then do what you want anyway. However, if these dinners are to continue something has to change!

                                                                      1. re: SweetPea914

                                                                        I'm so sorry, she sounds quite unpleasant. I'm inclined to side with Marmite et al, because you seem to be doing all the relationship work here, and she sounds like a desperate control-seeker. I hope it isn't that bad and that you manage to work it out eventually.

                                                                        1. re: SweetPea914

                                                                          This may be overly simplistic, but is it possible that the next time you are on the phone w/ your Mom you could say something like

                                                                          "I know you didn't mean to, but you kinda hurt my feelings last Sunday when you were telling me what I did wrong in the kitchen. I know you're just trying to help, but I think I'm a good cook and it makes me feel bad when you don't seem to think so."

                                                                          If it were my Mom, she'd back off, although I know she would talk about how poor Danna can't cook when she got home (like she does now about certain relatives that shall remain nameless)

                                                                          1. re: danna

                                                                            That's a fine way to go, but you took all the positive assertiveness out of it with things like: "you kinda hurt my feelings" and "I think I'm a good cook".

                                                                            Go with: "You hurt my feelings" and "I am a good cook".

                                                                            It's not harsh, it's being true to yourself and your feelings.

                                                                      2. You are going to hate my reply...my mom is dead. I would give anything to have her back and able to b**ch at me about what I was fixing while she was over to visit her grandbaby. And boy, could my mom b**ch!

                                                                        I am not saying be a doormat because she might be gone someday, but what I am saying is to maybe pick your battles.

                                                                        She's there, she loves you, she loves her grandbaby, life sounds very good.

                                                                        1. The biggest fight of my life was with my mother over a cucumber I had picked out to make a salad that night. Of course, it wasn't about the cucumber. It never is.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: thatfarmgirl

                                                                            I think you've written the smartest reply by far. It never is about the cucumber. There's the top of the argument - the cucumber. And there's the bottom of the argument - something else entirely.

                                                                            If you're bold enough, you can say "what's really bothering you Mom? Surely it cannot be about my choice of cucumber. That would be so silly." It would probably stun her. But it might make her think.

                                                                            And to the OP: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. A simple "This is the way I make it in MY house," might make her stop with the nonesense.

                                                                          2. Your mother sounds exactly like mine. I can tell it's actually hard for her not to point it out if she thinks I'm doing something wrong. Never mind that I'm a much better cook than she is. My husband picked up on this early on and preempts her by saying things like "she's making my favorite (fill in the blank) tonight" or "this is so delicious" once we've started eating. This keeps her comments to the minimum and she actually tries everything and ends up liking a lot of it.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: JFla

                                                                              You know, that might work. My mom treats the men in her life VERY differently than she does me. My husband can practically do no wrong, and if he mentioned how much he loved something, she would never argue with him. Next wekend I'll try that, in addition to having a conversation.
                                                                              And I hate to say it, but I also am the better cook, so I really feel I don't typically need her advice.
                                                                              Thanks for the tip!

                                                                              1. re: SweetPea914

                                                                                Oh, dear, that sounds like my mother. My poor sister takes it in the neck all the time, and I (the son) pretty much get a free pass. All of us in the family are quite good cooks, each with our own preferred style. Part of my sister's problem, is that, unlike me, she never lost her temper and told mum to f* off, as I did on one occasion. That certainly lost me Son of the Year Award, but it had to be done. (I soon apologised.) Some years later, at Christmas dinner, mum said to me, "You need more gravy on that!" and started to reach for the gravy boat. I said, "Yes, I'm 27, but do you want to cut my meat for me, as well?" The point was taken. You can love your mother and still set some 'rules' by pointing out that you might be her daughter, but you are an adult, and deserve according respect. Just avoid my moment of vulgarity.

                                                                            2. Like other posters, I agree that this isn't really a food issue. Is your child the first grandchild? Sounds as if your mother has some unresolved issues about your transition to adulthood; having your own child now rubs your adulthood in her face.

                                                                              This may have been a particularly tricky meal for your mother because you were preparing two family favorites in ways that differ from her own preparation. At some level, she may have seen that as a rejection of your family traditions. She may even have felt that you were trying to distance your child from the family traditions.

                                                                              You should have a talk with her. Whatever the real problem is, you should diffuse it now, before it creates a rift in the family that distances your child from her grandparents or shows your daughter a poor model of how adult children interact with their parents.

                                                                              I think it would be fair to ask your mother whether her own cooking is identical to her mother's. That should help resolve the family tradition issue, because chances are that either Mom made some changes OR Mom chafed under her own mother's insistence that everything be "just so." And assuming it's true, tell your mother that you look forward to watching her teach your daughter how to make some of the family recipes. Again, if "keeping the family traditions alive" is part of Mom's set of issues, this will go a long way toward resolution.

                                                                              1. I'd tell her exactly how I felt about the issue... if it pisses you off, then tell her. You shouldn't be made to feel bad in your home own over a lovely dinner you've taken the time to prepare, esp with a new baby in the house.