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Do You Feel This Way Too After Cooking a Big Meal?

After cooking a huge Christmas lunch, I was sick of looking at it and really didn't want to eat any of it. Has anyone else ever felt this way too?

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  1. Yes, I've had that experience. Not so much after a holiday meal, which for me is now almost on autopilot. But a special dinner, especially with one or two new recipes I haven't tried before, when I've been tasting, and tasting, and tasting to make sure all the seasonings are exactly a point. By the time I get to sit down at the table I've had enough. I can only judge the success of the dish by the reaction of my guests since I can no longer discriminate. I do, however, pray for leftovers--when I can really sit down and enjoy it all by myself.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JoanN

      You took the exact words out of my mouth!

    2. for me, it's everything. i can't really ever truly enjoy any meal i cook. it's sad. other people like it. i can't really taste anything.

      1. Too funny to read the responses as I feel the same way. The planning, the shopping, the gathering all the mise en place, and finally the cooking. And it isn't as if I'm tasting everything all day long... just when I need to at the near end to see if seasoning has to be adjusted. I think our eyes are definitely bigger than our stomachs.

        1. YES! Usually, it's from total exhaustion, all I want to have is a glass of wine (or good spiked eggnog!) and a NAP. I'm just too tired to really enjoy the food.

          1. Same here on what everyone else said. I'm always so excited about the planning, shopping, cooking when I entertain and then I never even eat the meal...but I love my leftovers. In fact, there is a dish (apple matzoh kugel) that I have made for the past 2 years on Passover. This year, I purposely doubled the recipe so I would have leftovers!

            1. Totally! I don't know if it's from exhaustion or having smelled everything for hours beforehand. The first time I noticed this was in university having made my lasagna; everyone raved about it and I just wasn't tasting anything. Until the next day. And it's been like that every since. Thank goodness for leftovers.

              1. The problem for cooks is that by the time we get to the table, our senses of taste and smell are exhausted! What I do is put just enough food on my plate so that others are reassured it's not poisoned (g), then relax and enjoy my wine while my guests enjoy the food. Then I tuck plastic wrap around my plate and stick it in the fridge to nuke later that night after everyone has gone home and my taste and smell are recovered enough to enjoy it. Works every time!

                3 Replies
                1. re: Caroline1

                  Excellent idea. I'll try that. And by the time they go home, I AM ready for that meal. You're so smart :)

                  1. re: Caroline1

                    I have to agree. I really enjoy the menu planning, shopping, prep, setting a lovely table.... and then beginning... and then that's about it. making sure everything is doing fine and on schedule and all the rest, well too often i've noticed that when we say grace, i have a dirty dishtowel over my left shoulder and no shoes. i'm pretty done with everything before i taste it and all I care about is how it looks! if it's pretty and they eat it, then I'm ok. but once I noticed I hadn't tasted something and then that became a real bad habit. I just had to stop doing dinner parties for a while.

                    1. re: Caroline1

                      I agree completely. In cooking a large or intricate meal, by the time I'm done, I'm usually exhausted and my senses are overwhelmed from smelling and tasting every step in the process. The last thing I can fathom is eating what I've prepared, unfortunately; that being said, I still vastly enjoy the process and the sharing of food with others, and like you mentioned, my share later on after I'm relaxed and resensitized.

                    2. Ive discussed this with friends and family and this was also the topic of discussion among people that I cooked with. We all agreed that the last thing that you want to do after cooking a meal is to eat it. It isn't that you cant cook but you have spent a few hours preparing the meal and between tasting it for seasoning and smelling it you are unable to enjoy it.

                      This is why you will see chefs/cooks/bakers gather at dive bars and diners after they close the restaurant for the night because they want someone to cook for them.

                      1. NO! NO! NO!

                        I enjoy planning meals. I enjoy cooking meals. I enjoy tasting as I prep. And I love sitting down to see if it comes together on the plate the way it did in my imagination. The only downside is that with these special holiday meals that take a week of prep from planning to plating, it's all over too fast.

                        Wishing you more pleasure with the next one. ;>

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: rainey

                          I completely agree, I enjoy it all, except maybe the cleanup.
                          Without eating the complete meal, the whole process seems like a waste. Eating the final dish is where all the elements laboriously worked on come to light and either make complete sense, or don't.
                          Also, there is something very satisfying about digging into a delicious meal after hours of anticipation and hard work on it.

                          However, I must say that there are some times I am so tired that I just want to rush through and eat the meal without stopping to process all the flavors and such.

                          1. re: AndrewK512

                            I sometimes think that being a guest and sitting down to the meal already prepared would be a treat. But then I think that the whole sense of accomplishment would be gone. In the end, I very much choose to do the work and have the ownership as well as the gustatory pleasure. Even clean up is not sufficient downside to ever give it up.

                            Of course, I don't do this all the time: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, birthdays, a couple odd events through the year. I can do it and I'd miss it terribly if I didn't get to. I can concede that it could be different if someone had to do it more or began with less of a sense of getting to display the skills developed over a lifetime of refining skills.

                            Glad to hear that there are some that can get off on it too. I must say I'm genuinely surprised at the number of people who get shortchanged the triumph and pleasure. For you guys, I have to say that I think you're fabulous and your families and friends very lucky to have you go to maximum effort for their delight when you have less of it yourselves. That's dedication and love! I hope you get it back in other areas of your life and celebrations.

                          2. It depends. If the meal has many elements that I've cooked ahead of time, then I can enjoy it. But if I've just come off several hours of cooking, hard to really relax and enjoy.

                            On the 23rd, we had our neighborhood Festivus party and I, as usual, was responsible for latkes. Ten pounds of potatoes. In addition to smelling like a fried potato, I was unable to eat a single one at the party. Of course, I did feel compelled to eat many a broken latke as they emerged from the oil.

                            1. I'm my own harshest critic, so by the time I sit down to the big meal I'm already cataloging the things I want ot do differently next time. I've already eaten or at least tasted some of everything on the table and I'm not that hungry, I prep a plate for appearances sake but usually don't finish it.

                              The sense of accomplishment when everything comes off perfectly is pretty sweet though.

                              1. Yes. Let me start by saying that I now eat most of what I cook very enthusiastically, but if it was a big effort, I often find myself picking at the salad, just the pasta, or the veggies. When I was skinnier, I used to be able to bake dozens of cookies and not desire a single one because the taste was somehow ... just not going to surprise me. I think that I use my senses when cooking, and by the time the food is done, I have already experienced the flavors and smells. This seems to happen most when the food takes a long time to prepare. As an example, I really don't look forward to things like roast turkey. After four or five hours, I am done with it before I even carve it.

                                If I am cooking something quickly, say, brocolli rabe quickly sauteed in a pan with EVOO and garlic, or a steak on the grill, I am so interested in the food that it is a miracle that the food survives long enough to be served. I also look forward to most seafood and fish for this reason.

                                1. I was going to post the exact same question. Echoing what others have said, if the cooking time was not extensive, or if a lot of the work was done ahead of time, then I can totally enjoy the meal. But Christmas Eve dinner was exhausting for many reasons, and by the time we sat down to eat, I just didn't care. Everyone else enjoyed, but I barely ate anything. And oddly I didn't even want leftovers. Actually, my appetite still hasn't returned. I hate when a meal goes like that! Then I swear I am going to let someone else take over next time, but of course that won't happen ;)

                                  1. I notice that after spending a day in the kitchen my nose and palate have, for lack of a better word, acclimated to the smells and flavors of the meal. If you're surrounded by the smell of roasting turkey for three hours, the first bite of roast turkey just doesn't have the "wow" factor that it does when you walk in to the dining room with a clean palate and dig in.

                                    1. I'm pretty sure with me that it isn't the amount of work involved, but the actual smell and sight of the dish. It's natural that you physically stop wanting what you have a surfeit of--temporarily. There's a saying-- "Guard the senses and life will be ever full."

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: BangorDin

                                        Exactly- when I put the meal out on the sideboard and everyone was filling up their plates, I felt physcially sick to my stomach. Everyone asked me why I wasn't eating and I didn't want to tell them my food made me feel sick.

                                      2. Happens all the time.
                                        I've always heard it called " chef's syndrome".

                                        1. I'm usually the only one at my table not eating any of the food. After shopping, cooking, cleaning, and serving the food - the last thing that I want to do is eat my food. I usually just pick at the crudites and salads.

                                          1. for me there's an anti-climatic element about it to me. i know every element of what the meal is and/or should be. so there's no element of surprise in it for me anymore, which leaves me essentially feeling "over it." like others, i'm already thinking about "the next time."

                                            it's like trying to read a book or script you wrote, that you spent a lot of time with in the creation, know all the secrets, the ins and outs, the tweaks you put in to catch, direct or mislead the reader... there's just no discovery process left by the time it's all said and done.

                                            now, give it a couple of days, and then i can come back with fresh eyes/(taste)buds.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. don't i wish. after all that work, even all the testing and tasting, i want to enjoy it with those i prepared it for. i may not eat all that much, but i definitely want to have a decent portion. sometimes life would be simpler if i didn't enjoy my own cooking so much.

                                              1. Always--I usually taste and nibble while I cook and have had a martini or wine or something. So by the time the food hits the table I have about 3 bites and want a nap.

                                                1. Baked goods don't appeal to me. I'm just not interested in tasting the final product. One night last week I made 15dz oatmeal cookies to give as gifts... and I didn't taste one. It's not the quantity.. but lack of interest.

                                                  But when I stir fry veggies, I have to walk away from the stove so I don't eat the whole pan before they're on the table. When I prep veggies, I usually snack on them as I cook. I get home from work starving... and some veggies with a spoonful or two of hummus usually keeps me satisfied till dinner is on the table.

                                                  1. I've had it the last few big holidays. I eat lightly after that. My mom always said that happened, but I never experienced it until I passed the age of 50.

                                                    1. Thankfully I love to eat as much as I love to cook, so no I've never had this problem. Even this Thanksgiving when I baked and cooked for two days straight to have 18 people for Thanksgiving dinner. It all tasted pretty darn good to me. The only time I have a problem is if it's too hot in the dining room when I finally sit down to eat. A ceiling fan in the eating area is a necessity for me.

                                                      1. Every time I cook Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners I'm usually to exhausted to eat afterwards. But like most people I do put some food on my plate and move it around a bit. I just use the time to sit back have some wine and watch my guests enjoy their meal. Except I do eat the stuffing; love my stuffing. Can't really tell you the recipe because it's made by look and feel. It involves steel cut oats, apples, celery, onion, sausage, bread cubes and lot's of herbs.

                                                        When I make a more simple (i.e. less time consuming) meal, I enjoy the fruits of my labors much more. There's something to be said about sensory overload; because that's what it feels like.

                                                        1. I am typically eager to eat, but I also tend to be fairly self-critical. Many times I have trouble keeping my thoughts to myself when a guest says "This chicken is wonderful" or "I love the salmon!" when I think the dish is unimpressive or, even worse (and on very rare occasions) total crap. After getting into discussions with certain guests about how my food could be better, I realized that the majority of my friends honestly enjoy just about anything I make and they don't want to hear me whine about how it could have been better. I just make a few notes and hope to wow them even more the next time they come over.

                                                          When things turn out well, I love eating and enjoying the conversation with friends, but I loathe the clean-up!

                                                            1. re: westsidegal

                                                              I agree. It's so anti-climactic. All the cleaning, the shopping, the prep work -- then it's over in 30 minutes. Then you have to clear the table and clean up.