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Jan 29, 2009 11:32 AM

Do You Get All Fussy?

Most of us have access and have become accustomed to beer, food and wine that our parents and grandparents couldn’t imagine and yet at the same time I’ve noticed that fortunately we don’t get all fussy over it. Why?

I’m a Gen X’er. I recall being maybe fifteen and having to attend a birthday party thrown for my grandaunt by some of her girlfriends. They served things like Swedish meatballs, quiche, cucumber and watercress sandwiches and other dishes that I think of as “their” era (circa 1950-60s). And you could tell by the way they ate and served themselves and others that it wasn’t just about enjoying a meal (i.e. nobody talked about the food except me [I remember the meatballs being good]); the food that they served I think for them helped define their class.

With our generation though, although we can at times make an impression upon others with our “foodiness”, making an impression is never the goal; as I think it was at times with some of the older generation when it came to their choices of food. Do you agree? And if so, what changed?

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  1. I'm probably closer to that 'older generation' than I'd like to think but have no personal experience upon which to agree with you. It's probably true that older people may not have had as much exposure to 'foodie' menu items or possibly are just at a point in their lives where they simply prefer what they're more accustomed to. I'd be more likely to ascribe "making an impression" through food to specific personalities than to age groups. Just my $.02.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Midlife

      I'm a Gen-Xer, too, and agree with your $.02 100 percent. I'd say "making an impression" through food (or jewelry or fill in the blank with your pleasure) has a whole lot more to do with specific personalities than it does with anyone's age.

      "We are always the same age inside."
      --Gertrude Stein

    2. I think totally the opposite. Sorry!

      1. In my family, the older generation are more into food then my younger cousins. I'm in the middle and I'm just as passionate about food as my aunts and uncles. I think it depends on your family, friends and life style (meaning what's available to you)

        1. "making an impression is never the goal"

          Completely disagree. I was born in the late 60's. Just about every single meal that I serve (whether it be to a house full of company for a holiday, a weeknight dinner for me, my husband and 2 kids, or a lunch that goes into my 4 year old daughter's lunch box) is well thought out. I hate wasting any meal on crap. Sometimes it can't be helped, but most of the time it can.

          My mother, while still a decent cook, wouldn't hesitate to serve Stove Top Stuffing on Thanksgiving. Over my dead body would that go on my holiday table!

          5 Replies
          1. re: valerie

            I probably wasn't clear but often with the older generation (on my dad's side) they often seemed to choose a menu based upon what people of a certain background were "supposed" to enjoy. Now what the meal actually tasted like and if anyone really enjoyed it was secondary. With many in our generation it's the opposite I think. We'll create a menu from any region or country (high or low brow) and try and do it justice. And if we get it right that's the thrill for us. For some in the older generation though I think that by preparing certain meals it was like trying to feel like a Kennedy or something.

            1. re: Chinon00

              Gosh - r u just ageist or elitist? Nope, you're a young foodie. You just haven't realized that in this world there are foodies and non-foodies. It doesn't matter how old they are or what background they have or even how much they earn - they just really like food. So when you're a tad older you can invite the other side of the family (tbd) to some great times talking, planning, cooking, and eating food.

              From someone not of your gen - I really like food too and have been exploring it all of my life.

              1. re: alwayscooking

                My parents, always put a good meal on the table but they didn't care one way or the other. I'm a early 60's baby and food was always everything to me. My grandma loved to cook, but back then there were not all the resources like today. She was more adventurous than my mom and Dad. Yes alwayscooking. I don't think it is age specific, just weather or not you enjoy food. I love it ever since I was little. And stove top dressing as someone quoted earlier for turkey day NO I agree however one year we were selling our home and moving. Well lets just say limited cooking abilities. But rather than all store bought or going out. We still had turkey day. Stove top yes, altered with fresh mushrooms, scallions, fresh stock, celery cranberries, etc. You can still make store bought descent at times. Mom ... would of just served it.

                Some of us just love to cook and some don't

              2. re: Chinon00

                Perhaps the mistake is making an uber-generalization based on your own family history. Impression management is not the domain of a single (i.e., older) generation, as far as I can see. It may be true, however, that one's notion of a "nice meal" for company was more limited for a previous generation of Americans than it is today. The reasons are social-historical-cultural - and not necessarily because one generation has more interest in serving something impressive than another generation.

              3. re: valerie

                not serving crap is not the same as making an impression as the primary goal

                im nearing 50. i';m never using food to make an impression, just to please

              4. "With our generation though, although we can at times make an impression upon others with our “foodiness”, " - if we have, then we have failed as a human being.

                Upon jfood's death he hopes that the eulogies focus on other items than his ability to enjoy a bacon cheeseburger.

                1 Reply
                1. re: jfood

                  hmmm...whosyerkitty hopes that she DIES eating a bacon cheeseburger.