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Oct 30, 2007 07:20 PM

eating other people's cooking - like it or not?

sometimes i'm completely uninterested and skeptical of eating other people's cooking

totally sounds arrogrant but i don't trust that other people can cook food as well as i can (i know i'm such a snob!!)

what to do? how do i get over this? what do i do when someone offers me bottled dressing?? how about being served heated-up frozen appetizers?

pls tell me i'm not alone and just plain ol' mean...

(but on a postive note on this subject, tonight my husband did made me a great dinner - glazed pork chops, roasted carrots and potatoes, asparagus - i taught him well ;)

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  1. It's easy. Before you go anywhere where someone else is cooking say to yourself: people are more important than food. Then remind yourself that they're feeding you, taking you into their home or wherever and trying to be nice. There's no downside there.

    You're only mean if you say something to them about their food other than "thank you." Otherwise, I don't think it's bad to think "ugh, this dressing is awful."

    1 Reply
    1. re: ccbweb

      I concur- it is polite, and very human, to be thankful for any gift.

    2. Reasons like this evening remind me why I dont like to eat anyone elses cooking...I was at my long time friend considered familys house this evening and she took on the task of changing around some kitchen cabinets. As I was getting ready to toss the sweetened condensed milk that expired in 01, the Heinz gravy that was due in 02 and the baking powder that kicked over in 00, she said they were all still good. And they wonder why all of their baked goods stink! Blech. No thanks!

      2 Replies
      1. re: chelleyd01

        I don't know about the 'gravy', but condensed milk doesn't really expire - it just goes a darker colour and it's still perfectly good unless the can is rusty or damaged. And baking powder is good forever as long as it stays dry. There are some things that really need to be disposed of in good time, and others that only have a sell-by date on them for the benefit of the store.

        1. re: Kajikit

          Amen. I grew up in a household where food was stored for years and years. I'm horrified by some of the things in my parents' house (ever had a Coke that tasted of the can? If you wait over twenty years to drink it, it will), but I did learn that a lot of "expiration" dates just encourage people to waste perfectly good food and spend more money. I think the real point is that Heinz gravy never tasted good and never will.

      2. I second what ccbweb said- people are more important than food. I try to remember that not everyone has the interest in food and cooking/baking that I do, but that they want to be hospitable nonetheless. I would much rather enjoy the company of friends (and be a gracious guest) than think that the pressure of a home-cooked meal prevented them from extending an invite in the first place. I might however, if the opportunity presents itself, take the opportunity to share of my own chow tips in a friendly way- for example, as I accept their bottled dressing say, "I recently discovered this great dressing at the store the other day-you should try it- you'd love it!" If I knew they had an interest in cooking (again, not everyone does), I might mention the incredibly easy app that I recently brought to a potluck (or whatever) and that I'd happily share the recipe if they demonstrated an interest in it. Again, the tone wouldn't be pushy or imply that their effort is sub-standard in any way- just sharing a chow tip with a frined (in the spirit of this site!)

        2 Replies
        1. re: sweet ginger

          I have never been able to master that non-pushy tone. My suggestions always come off as criticism. If the food is sub-par I try to limit myself to statements like "Thanks for making dinner.". If the company kept doesn't make up for sub-par food there is always ketchup.

          1. re: Romanmk

            How about just accepting that the person put themselves out to make you a home-cooked meal? I used to have to eat dinner at my old boss' house and his wife was a terrible, really awful cook. Food was burned, rice was crunchy, seasonings and spices were non-existent, but I did it. Even her kids were running for the frozen dinners once they saw that she had the cookbook out on the counter (she always tried new recipes on me!). I always genuinely thanked her for thinking of me while I was all alone, on the road and staying in a hotel, and feeding me a nice home-cooked meal. I could also bring myself to say things like "I LOVE pork chops" without lying. Sometimes you just have to smile and be nice. It is not nice to feel so superior. It is not a cooking contest and IMO you need to be gracious. The cook may have their suspicions about their own lack of skill, so only make a fuss about the food being good if it is credible.

        2. <<what to do? how do i get over this? >>

          I think that you should not make plans to eat other people's cooking. Stay away from the whole thing. Decline invitations that may put you in this position.

          1. I am confused. I always thought the first rule of being a good guest was to say thank you and eat what you are served, or at least make a polite attempt. To the best of my knowledge no one has died recently from eating bottled thousand island dressing or totinos pizza rolls or whatever. If you think it is going to be that horrible, I agree with the posters who said that you would probably be happiest making an excuse and declining the invitation.

            No, I don't think you are mean, and probably not alone, but surely in a minority. And what on earth does your husband's cooking have to do with going to parties?