HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >


Food Torture

When my husband and I first got engaged he was travelling a lot with work while I was finishing my degree. We both enjoy food and I envied the fantastic food he would be telling me about while I was stuck at home on prac for uni.

But one night he took the gentle teasing to new heights of torture when he told me he would be heading out to a restaurant that I had been dying to go to for years, but never had the opportunity. That night, while I was working, my husband would send intermittant messages with photos attached. The first photo was of his plate as it was brought to the table. The second photo would come soon after, of the plate empty after he had finished. He did this for all courses!

I was stuck between laughing at what he was doing and wanting to cry for what I was missing out on. Thankfully, this weekened just past, he took me out to dinner at this restaurant for my first time. We recalled what he had done to me the last time he was there and he absolutely professes to me that he had no idea I had wanted to go so badly (Yeah, right!). The food was as amazing as I had imagined and it was a wonderful evening, so I thought it was time to forgive to food torture my husband had put my through. Has your SO/friend/family ever put you through a cheeky food incident?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. We joke that my Mom (perpetual dieter) would rather have my Dad tell her he kissed another woman than he had a chocolate chip cookie at lunch...
    Your hubby probably didn't realize the extent of his "torture", thinking he was sharing the experience with you!

    1. I don't know about cheeky . . . clueless, maybe.

      Last year, when my boyfriend and I were both in the cafe business, he had to go to New Orleans. I kind of have this thing for New Orleans, and it was killing me that he was going without me. For weeks before the trip, I said, "I can't BELIEVE you're going to New Orleans without me!" on average, 4.5 times a day.

      He asked me what I would like him to bring back for me. "Something *food*" I said. I asked him to talk to people, to cooks, waiters, busboys and little old ladies getting their weekly grocery shopping done. I wanted him to scour the markets for something local and amazing (a spice mix, a crab boil, a recipe), something specialized and sworn by the people in New Orleans as being important to have in their kitchens.

      He brought me a can of chicory. I looked at the can in his hand, and then at the six pounds of coffee we already had at home, and said, "You brought me . . . coffee?" Please understand, I know the difference between chicory and coffee, but we were both in the business, and had more coffee than we could drink in six weeks times. I thought I was going to get some genuine bit of regional magic. And I got coffee.

      "Well, the can is *very* pretty." I said finally, before I started giggling. He admitted that he had grabbed the can as he had breakfast before his flight home that morning. The Cafe Du Monde really does have nice packaging, though. I keep the can on my desk. It has pens in it.

      1. As silly as it sounds, I have a bit of an addiction to a certain fast food chicken, but there are no locations within 200 miles of where I live. Generally I'd only get to eat it on trips to Vegas. Last year my SO went to Vegas without me and planned to grab the chicken for a quick meal before getting on the plane back. I was so jealous but said "ok, but make sure to bring some back for me!" I spent a week fantasizing about the chicken and was super excited when I went to pick him up at the airport. I mean, I know it wouldn't be as good as fresh, but it's still better than nothing right? Well, you can see where this is going. SO thought I had been joking and didn't bring any back for me. Very disappointing.

        1. Yes, my husband does this to my daughters and me all the time. Just a couple of examples: If he goes to Vegas, he'll tell us at least twice a day he's eating at In n Out Burger. If he goes to Denver, he brags about how he's going to go to our favorite place for Spumoni ice cream. Then when he gets there he'll send us pictures of the food before & after.
          So, so mean!!!!!!

          1. When I was in high school, I loved KFC and we never got it. My mom decided, the day I got four impacted wisdom teeth out, that she'd splurge and get it. It was awful smelling it and not being able to have some.

            1. Closely related to chowser's experience:
              Right before Christmas the first year I was in university I had a ferocious colic attack due to gallbladder stones. The problem had been ongoing for over a year, mostly controlled by medication but this time it was way bad. Afterwards if I ate anything with any amount of fat in it another attack would occur. Fun times.

              So I was living on Jello and non-fat pudding (if I remember correctly) until the day after Christmas when I could get into hospital for surgery (this was before they were doing laparoscopy to get the gallbladder out).

              Meanwhile, my parents had invited a whole slew of people over for Christmas (as usual) and didn't want to cancel out of them. They went ahead with the dinner and I sat there with my sad little plate of Jello and pudding while they ate turkey with the trimmings (stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, probably some Greek dishes too) and, worst of all, a lovely bone-in ham.

              P.S. My parents made it up to me by making a ham just for me some months later after I'd recovered.

              1. What a fantastic idea for a post Huntress! I used to play World of Warcraft online with my friend John. Once he was on a big diet because a hot friend was getting out of the service very soon and he wanted to look leaner. In the game you can send "tells" much like instant messages from your character to another. He would ask me questions about leveling spots and crafting supplies and I would answer him but slip in little comments about the yummy dinner I had eaten or a snack I was munching on. For some reason he logged off right when I was telling him about the great breakfast I was planning for the next day. Later he told me that he had gone downstairs and cooked and devoured a whole big frozen supermarket pizza just because of me. :)

                1 Reply
                1. re: givemecarbs

                  Nice one Carbs. I inadvertently did this myself a few weeks ago now that I think about it. I posted on Facebook that I was stealing chocolate chip ice cream out of the freezer while I was cooking dinner. Not only did it stimulate debate on the merits of stealing ice cream and forbidden fruit, it had my friend living in a remote area making the trip to the only place in town that was open to forage for some herself. I believe she may have finished the carton.

                2. Oh dear... I actually am the torturER on most occasions. I grew up in a small town where my family still live, and every time I have sushi, Indian, or Thai, absolutely none of which they have access to within two hours' drive, I call or text to tell them. They do the same to me whenever they go to one of the many delicious and authentic Mexican places in my hometown! :)

                  All in good fun, though!

                  1. Can't say as I have ever done that to anyone as overtly, though I used to give my wife detailed accounts of great meals I'd had while traveling around the world on business. I guess she vicariously enjoyed them, but maybe not.

                    Off topic, though.............. I see you're from Australia and just have to ask about the phrase "prac for uni". I would guess that "uni" is University, but "prac"???? I'm always curious about language and Australia seems to have a whole lot of colloquialisms. I Googled and got several uses of the phrase, but nothing that would really give me the definition of "prac".

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Midlife

                      Ah, glorious Australian slang - I forget that not everyone is so unrefined *grin*. Yes, uni is university and prac means practical. I was studying nursing, so basically it meant working for free in hospitals, under the supervision of health professionals, to gain practical nursing experience. I hope that clarifies it for you. I must say that I always have vicariously enjoyed my husbands food adventures, but that one was very tortuous as I desperately wanted to be there, but was doing a particularly gruelling night shift (unpaid) in Emergency. The only trade off was that the hospital canteen actually did a really excellent carrot cake that they sold in giant slabs and I consoled myself with that.

                    2. I moved to another country from the USA, and let me tell you, suddenly the simple things become torture. No grape jelly. No Rice Krispies. No Philly cheesesteaks. Cheddar cheese is always white, costs the earth, and just ain't the same as back home. My mom or friends back in the States will occasionally mention something they're eating that I simply cannot get here. No wonder I gain a few pounds in just a week back home.

                      1. I did do this for my Mum when she was too ill to really go to restaurants anymore. I'd tell her about the places I'd been too, everything from some of the old school places, to latest and greatest new places. I'd show her pics I'd taken from my phone and describe what I had had. And, of course, add any sort of snarky comments i had about the experience.

                        It was a bit like storytelling, and she really did enjoy it. She was happy that I was able to go out and have fab (or not so fab meals). But I could tell that she missed being able to go out and experience herself. But she did enjoy my stories, and she was happy that she could tell her friends where the "cool" spots were to eat and how good, or not good, they were. She felt she had an inside track.

                        Fortunately, at some of the really good ones, I managed to convince them to make up some special "to go" meals for her. Places that don't normally have "to go" menus. I can be very charming sometimes. Thus giving her a chance to have some really nice meals. I'd rush them to her house and immediately plate them for her. She loved them, or sometimes not, but she enjoyed the experience. Unfortunately, she never did get well enough to go to some of the places she heard of, which makes me sad, but I still think of how i would describe the meal to her, and I can at least mentally tell her the snarky comments I may have, thus keeping the waiter, or what have you safe from from me ;)

                        I guess what this kind of says is that a memory, or a story of a good meal can be almost as good as the real thing, if told properly.

                        13 Replies
                        1. re: cosmogrrl

                          that's really sweet cosmogrrl.

                          personally I torture myself by hitting sites like this as I'm living in the middle of nowhere at the moment.

                            1. re: just_M

                              j_m yeah. sigh. 2 hours into STL for me, (I just glanced at your profile) so nothing much in that Oregon town that does the Shakespeare festival? (blanking on the name)

                              1. re: hill food

                                That town is Ashland, and its got plenty as its a university town but is about 4 hrs from me. I live on the coast and crossing the mountains takes several hours, plus I'm probably an hour from any crossing point. OTOH I do get to catch wild salmon in the front yard :-) I really should get to that festival before we decide to move again.

                                1. re: just_M

                                  Ashland right, attractive place, didn't realize how far it was from the coast (I've only skidded up/down I-5)

                                  catch your own salmon? I'll trade you wild MO catfish...

                              2. re: just_M

                                I feel your pain. Although we live North of you J_M, my children live in SW Oregon and when we visit, there is just very slim pickings for going out to eat.

                                1. re: boyzoma

                                  ok - I win on the small and remote deal. Winnemucca Nevada.

                                  1. re: nvcook

                                    well, Winnemucca does have a few things many other places can't boast.

                                  2. re: boyzoma

                                    Yes they are sadly slim. Food torture of the worst sort! Perfectly good looking restaurants with perfectly pathetic food. :-(

                                    1. re: just_M

                                      Well, heck: I'm surrounded by cornfields and it's almost three hours to that great cosmopolitan city, Omaha, Nebraska. LOL!

                                      1. re: Beckyleach

                                        Ahh, the joys and tribulations of rural living. Beckyleach, please tell me you have not landed in the ultimate food torture chamber?!! The rural person surrounded by luscious looking fields that are all meant for animal feed. With quaint little restaurants that taste like Denny's or worse and possibly friends/coworkers or neighbors that haven't a clue that anything is missing? Oh and maybe a friend or loved one whom you love to talk food and sometimes it feels like "come on baby make it hurt so good" as your living vicariously.....honestly on day's like this I fantasize about writing useless snot mail to my local paper and letting them all having it! For goodness sake, alls I want is a decent meal! Thankfully I don't take myself that seriously or I'd be run out of town on a rail or more likely a jet boat ;-P

                                        1. re: just_M

                                          Just, you have nailed it. You must be my neighbor in "Li'l Smokies are great food!" Hell. :-)

                            2. My mother had a very queasy morning stomach...in true 50's housewife style, she couldn't face much of anything till she'd had her second cuppa Joe and a cig or two. My father would--on occasion--offer to make her breakfast in bed....BUT he'd add food coloring to the food, bringing out a delightful platter of blue pancakes, or green scrambled eggs, or red oatmeal.

                              That was all it took to make us kids giggle ourselves half to death: seeing the look on my mother's face as she pretended to toss that food back at my grinning father's head. :-D

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Beckyleach

                                Oh, I should add: he always then gave the weird food to we kids--who thought it was fantastic--and went back to the kitchen and presented her with the *normal* variation, he'd kept back.

                                1. re: Beckyleach

                                  ok that's not torture. I like the story, I like it a LOT. but it's not torture. what fun!