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Oct 11, 2007 01:29 PM

My Friend Thinks She's A Good Cook

One of my best friends graciously always brings a dish to get togethers, such as our monthly book club meeting. But every time I've tasted the dish, something's been horribly wrong with it.

Twice, she brought lemon squares...there was no lemon taste. The 2nd time she brought them, there still was no lemon taste, and they were burnt on the bottom.

The next get together, she brought mocha brownies. Sounds good, right? Well, she put finely ground coffee grinds in the recipe, so the brownies had a horribly burnt flavor, yuck!

Then she made a curry rice dish, with very mushy rice & way too much curry.

Even though she's a good friend, I just can't tell her that her cooking leaves much to be desired. I don't want to insult her.

At the book club, each person brings a snack or dessert...

Should I continue to graciously accept and serve what she brings, and just hope others don't think I made it? What would you do? I can't tell her not to bring something, because each person brings something to eat and everything gets served.


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  1. Why would other people think you made it, if everybody brings something?

    Yes, graciously accept and serve what she brings. You never know, some people probably like their lemon squares flavorless (it would explain a lot about some things you can buy at the supermarket.) Do people eat what she brings? If not, she might eventually notice. If they do, then where's the problem? I can't imagine what the point of telling her her food is bad would be.

    1 Reply
    1. re: curiousbaker

      Completely agreed Curious. You have no choice but to put it out. If everyone is bringing something they have no reason to think you made it anyway. However, even if that were not the case, you still would need to put it out. I wouldn't say anything to her at all about her cooking either.

    2. Maybe your next book club book should be a cook book.

      1. I agree with curiousbaker. If you refuse to serve what she brings, it might hurt feelings and be very awkward for both you and her. And who knows, maybe there are those folks who actually like it. If other folks are eating it, no problem.

        If her dish remains untouched... well, I don't know. But I still wouldn't turn it away or ask her not to bring something.

        Maybe sometime you could suggest preparing something together, collaborating on a dish. If she's a good friend, you will enjoy the quality time spent together. Don't make it like you're going to "teach" her how to cook; just cook something together for the sake of cooking something together and if your collaboration produces something really tasty for all to enjoy, all the better.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tachis

          I don't believe there is a tactful way to tell this to your friend if you still want her to remain your friend.

        2. That's a tough one. I have a friend who also thinks she can cook, and she can, but it's just not very good. Yet I eat it and thank her every single time! The reason I do this is that one time I took a chocolate cake to a church potluck supper. There were a lot of desserts there, but a lot of people as well. On the way there I had to brake suddenly and the cake got messed up. I did my best to make it look pretty again, but it looked messy. As desserts dwindled down, I kept waiting for my cake to appear. It didn't. Then I went in the kitchen and hear a woman say that she wasn't even going to bother to put this mess on the table. I marched over, picked it up and left the supper. The next day my family and I enjoyed one of the best cakes I had made - messy looking and all! So, now, I go out of my way to eat the least eaten dish on the buffet. It may be bad, but it's the thought that counts!

          1 Reply
          1. I have many friends who believe they are great cooks. They always want to invite us over for dinner, when they smoke a chicken (like leather) fajitas (steamed chicken, my favorite) or easter dinner with cold store bought ham, soupy green bean casserole(I did not know you could actually mess up making this dish) or potato casserole with velveeta. We try to suggest going out, ordering in or I make sure that I bring something edible as a gracious guest. Or if I am having people to my house and they insist on bringing something I always have a menu planned and make a suggestion on what they should bring, keeping it simple. I don't ever want to hurt anyones feelings but I also don't want to eat anything they bring.

            3 Replies
            1. re: travelchow

              Like you, we always have "no fail" requests that we ask people to bring. Things like olives.

              1. re: Terrieltr

                wow, i would never ask them to bring olives unless i specify what store to buy them at. Some of the cheap stuff out there is simply inedible. Yuck.

                1. re: hala

                  hala, i think *that* would be offputting to a friend. it makes it sort of obvious that they can't do anything right in your eyes.