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Intimidating Food?

Most of us here actually enjoy making foods, so I ask:, do you find that people who have tried your foods are sometimes reluctant to have you over in return, because they think you expect something extreme or whatever?

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  1. Yep, to an extent.

    We're friends with a couple who had us for dinner on Tuesdays for like six consecutive weeks We only brought the beer or wine or whatever.

    So after the venue for our dinners didn't have to be their place anymore we finally had them over. I had tried a delicious bacon-jalapeno popper (with panko breading-yum) at a new pub in town, and decided to recreate it at home. I also did beer-battered kielbasa-and-veg kabobs. All turned out very well, and they loved it. They made comments about having to step up their game and I felt kinda...bad.

    It ended up being fine, we've still been bouncing back and forth and they seem to have taken it as a friendly challenge.

    So yeah, I just really love cooking and eating and all things food. Not outdoing my friends. :) I hope they all understand that by now.

    1. My boyfriend is actually intimated to cook in front of me. (So he says.) I would never in a million years critique a meal made for me, but since I have a culinary degree he won't cook. We have made things together but if I tell him all the stuff is in the fridge. He will never go up and cook it even when he is starving. He will just go out and buy something.

      It's weird.

      1. Yes, that happens all the time, most recently after my stunt with radish jello and butter rocks. Or that they think they need to make an 11-course tasting menu for me because that's the way I like to cook.

        I don't mind whatever someone makes (except maybe Indian and something with lots of yogurt and raisins, but I won't say anything), it's just a matter of convincing them that it's more fun just to sit around and shoot the breeze over a plate and a glass.

        1 Reply
        1. Yes - I don't do extreme food, but I'm into food, write about food, appreciate great food, enjoy cooking and thus several of our friends say that they worry about what they might produce for a dinner where I'm a guest. But I love all kinds of food and I love not having to cook . . . and what's more, the company is important to me, too! I'm not into fussy, and I'm not fussy. But there is an indimidation factor, I think, esp. for those folks who hate to cook and don't do it very often. Pizza or burgers/dogs on the grill are great, seriously!


          2 Replies
          1. re: gansu girl

            Agreed - I think true foodies are able to enjoy all kinds of food, though I must admit there is a bit of a showoff factor in making fancy food for guests, when I usually cook really simple food when it's just me.

            1. My really close friends aren't touchy about it. They just make fun of my food obsessions and enjoy the dinner parties.
              But I've noticed that other people assume I am judging their abilities or food habits when I'm not at all! So they may not feel they have to up their game, but they anticipate judgment. Which is unfortunate. As others on this thread are saying, I love everyday food as much as more complicated creations.

              1. Thanks for the responses. I am glad not to be alone in this feeling!

                1. I'm a foodie. I love food of all kinds, but my cooking style is very much home cooking. I have a friend who will have five course meals that perfectly timed and could rival many of the restaurants in town.

                  I get so nervous when I have her over. Last time I couldn't stop apologizing. I know she doesn't care how fancy my food is and that she just wants to spend time with me, but I can't help being a little intimidated.

                  1. Yes, some people are intimidated. My sister -in-law for an example. She's like nervous to give me a glass of water because it might not be good enough or something.

                    Most of my friends and I eat out together and dine in together, so they have a good idea that not only do I like good foods but I like having good times sharing foods. That great food becomes wonderful when shared with good friends.

                    I like to theme my entertaining; July in January, beach hats, flip flops, burgers on the grill..with the snow, Thanksgiving in August. White trash night etc. One thing I do to include people is make it part pot luck. I state what I am making as the main course and ask guest to bring the other dishes. This allows everyone to participate and be drawn out when others compliment their dishes.

                    If I decide on something more formal, I am usually picking a dinner menu that I want to execute then theme the guest choice. Or If I want a certain group, I usually theme the dinner menu to their likes.

                    1. Yes - my husband and I are both foodies. I very much enjoy trying out new recipes, using exotic ingredients, and preparing elaborate plates. I don't do it to impress others - I do it because I enjoy doing it.

                      When I have company over it's because I really do enjoy their company and not because I'm looking to impress them with culinary skills.

                      1. I have basically stopped hosting dinner parties, as no one has reciprocated in the past 2 years. Guests love the food and the company (so they say), but never issue an invitation. I've had it. I'd rather go cook at the community kitchen than continue to feed mannerless deadbeats.

                        2 Replies
                          1. re: mrbigshotno.1

                            I've seen this non-reciprocating with a few people, and while it does feel like an affront, I really do think that some people just stress out about cooking. It's a bigger hurdle for them than for us. Imagine the reverse: if some friend of mine arranged an activity that I just don't do, I might well accept the invite, but I can't really "reciprocate" without going far out of my comfort zone, and I'm not sure the friend would expect me to do so, either. Now, "friends" usually understand each other this well, so I bet this issue looms larger with casual acquaintances.

                        1. I like making cakes. Fancy ones. Ones that take me days just to do the gumpaste. I love doing them for family and friends, and don't do it professionally at all. But people act (and say that they are) very nervous if they have to serve me dessert. My friends threw me a surprise baby shower, and I can't tell you how many apologies I heard for the cake. Are you kidding me? It's cake! For me! That was a surprise! That I didn't have to make! I'm guaranteed to love it!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: modthyrth

                            Well put. And I don't even know what gumpaste is...

                          2. No, but most of my friends are not that into food (thank goodness, though they know I am) and I always serve stuff without comment, never talking about where I got the ingredients and how I prepared it. If people ask about the food then I answer and change the subject. I get cooked for lots : )

                            1. Yep...came as a total surprise. Happened recently at our cooking club night... When I heard it I responded with something like "me? omg no one should be intimidated cooking for me" and explained I'm just in to food like some people are into hockey or a rock band... and I like everything from a really good hot dog from a cart to 5 star cuisine and everything in between.