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Do you ever get tired of making the same dish?

  • gaffk Dec 19, 2010 04:33 PM
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For every holiday and celebration, I am expected to make the deviled eggs. My mom used to make them, but one year (about 20 years ago) she deviated from our traditional family recipe, and my oldest sister appointed me the deviled egg maker. Now, all nieces and nephews, sisters and BILs, cousins, etc. claim mine are the best and I must make them. They have even all purchased me deviled egg dishes for every occasion; and I do mean every. Funny thing is, I don't even like deviled eggs--I eschew all things with mayo.

Today, I found myself making toffee. I love a good butter toffee with almonds and chocolate. Most years I make a batch before T'Giving and one before Christmas and enjoy the process. But this year has been hectic, both at work and at home, and toffee making is time consuming and exacting. And yet, if I don't make it, family, friends, coworkers will bitch (I know, I skipped the Thanksgiving batch, and they're all talking).

So I was wondering, is there any particular dish you make every year or every holiday, that you would like to omit from your repertoire? Deviled eggs that bore you or toffee that takes too much time?

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  1. Crab Dip. Made the mistake of making this for my ex girlfriend's housewarming party and now for the past 5 years, I am constantly harrassed to make it for any kind of gathering. I finally got tired of it, and printed out recipes for those who asked about it. want crab dip? make it yourself!!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Antonio Montana

      would you be willing to share the Crab Dip recipe with your fellow Hounds as well?

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Folks, we split that crab dip recipe into a new topic on the Home Cooking board. You can find that post here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/754640

    2. Turkey at Christmas. If it were up to me, I'd never make it again.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Indirect Heat

        +1 on the "traditional" turkey.

        1. re: Harters

          Same here. If I never have to make another Thanksgiving turkey, I'll die a happy woman.

          On the other hand, my family loves my mashed potatoes. I enjoy eating them too and am happy to receive their adoration.

        2. re: Indirect Heat

          turkey at thanksgiving, roast beef at christmas, ham at new years!

        3. i never get tired of making my grandmothers cucumber salad..even tho it takes 2 days to make...

          she died in 2008 and it always reminds me of her and memories of summers when i was a kid and she would make it for us

          3 Replies
          1. re: srsone

            I would love to know the recipe if you are so inclined . . .

            1. re: guilty

              slice peeled cucumbers very thin (i use a mandolin) layer them in a bowl covering each layer in kosher salt..let them sit over night or a day...drain the water and gently squeeze any remaining water from the cucumber slices...
              then mix heavy cream and vinegar and sugar together in a bowl..
              i use a small pint of heavy cream and usually a tablespoon or two of vinegar and a couple of spoons of sugar... i have a copy of my grandmothers recipe somewhere in my books if u want exact amounts...
              but now i just do it by taste until it tastes like hers did...
              then u mix the cucumbers and cream mix and then let that sit over night again
              and re mix again before serving...

              1. re: srsone

                I do a variation on this with sour cream and sliced onions. Slice the cucs very thin, soak in water and dry then mix in the sour cream and onions - yum!

          2. I make sausage rolls that are widely acclaimed and celebrated (I have been greeted at a door of a party with "here are the sausage rolls" rather than "Hi Beth"). People were always asking me to bring sausage rolls to their parties etc. A few years ago I got so tired of making them for every single thing I was invited too that I proclaimed a "sausage roll moratorium" - I did not make them for a year. During this time, I happily contributed other offerings to events where the host/ess accepted my offer for a contribution - which was lovely, because I could actually make things I thought were even yummier than the previously ubiquitous sausage rolls. When the moratorium ended, people were much more open to having me bring other things, though everyone was pleased to have their first post mortorium sausage roll! I think people are a little less demanding now because they are frightened of another moratorium being declared ;)

            6 Replies
            1. re: AussieBeth

              any chance of the recipe?

              1. re: AussieBeth

                For me it's the whitetrash cousin (I assume, anyway, that your rolls are classier) - sausage balls. Yes, they're yummy on a cold morning. But they're boring, a pita to mix, and require zero skill or care, just a strong back to work bisquik into sausage and cheese.

                1. re: shanagain

                  This is why a just and benevolent Deity ensured that I should have a KitchenAid stand mixer, just to handle ungodly chores such as mixing heavy, sticky ingredients for sausage balls, though those are only once a year.

                  No such labor-saving device exists for making deviled eggs, however. Is there anything else both so easy and so tiresome to do? Unlike the OP, I *ADORE* deviled eggs, especially the ones I make, but I wish they weren't such a PITA!

                  1. re: Will Owen

                    I.. I have a KA. I not once, ever, considered using it for sausage balls. If that isn't the dumbest CH admission ever I don't know what could, or would, be.

                    1. re: shanagain

                      This is one of those moments when CH needs a like button like FB. There is nothing more that needs to be said except that this comment made my night.

                    2. re: Will Owen

                      Exactly, I have serious hand cramps after making those damned eggs. The worst was when my niece (the one who *especially* loves those eggs and whom I dearly love) asked me to make them for a party of 50+. I was devilling for an entire day.

                2. the chili-lime tortilla chips that accompany my spicy black bean dip. if i ever showed up to an occasion without that dip, the sky would fall...and everyone always wants the homemade chips to accompany it. they're so easy to do, but it's incredibly tedious & time-consuming to make enough for a crowd...particularly when that crowd is going to inhale a double or triple batch of the dip!

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    similar.. pita chips and hummus. Doesn't matter how much I make, but both always finish. The chips are simple to prepare, but I can only fit two trays in my oven, so it takes an hour or more to bake them all. The hummus is easy, but squeezing all those lemons is not fun...

                    1. re: cheesecake17

                      yes, the tray/oven situation is what makes it so difficult! particularly because i rotate the trays AND flip each individual chip to ensure even toasting.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        exactly.. so it really is standing over the oven for at least an hour. storebought pita chips don't compare to homemade..

                        1. re: cheesecake17

                          yeah, corn tortilla chips are a bit more forgiving than pita chips in terms of store-bought being an acceptable substitute :)

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            I've made my own corn and flour tortilla chips.. similar recipe to yours. Takes time... and way better than storebought! Storebought may be ok.. but the homemade are much tastier.

                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      What?! -- There are special chips to go with your awesome dip?? I'm assuming you've posted it on the site somewhere so I will do a search!

                      1. re: Niblet

                        We've split a recipe or spiced chili-lime tortilla chips to the Home Cooking board. You can find it here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/754641

                        If folks have more recipes to share, please post them on the Home Cooking board, rather than in this thread.

                    3. YES! As I see it, If I am not happy making it, It will not taste good and/or I will not be as careful when making it and possibly screw it up.

                      1. If the family likes your touch, why not accommodate them.....especially with a dish that's so inexpensive to make...everything takes time to make, so we can't omit that from the equation.

                        Your dilemma is a lot cheaper than the requests my family expects from me......

                        7-Bone Prime Rib
                        Lobsters
                        Shrimp
                        King Crab
                        Crab Cakes
                        Fresh Oysters
                        Baked Clams or Clams Casino

                        You get the idea

                        :0)

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: fourunder

                          That's starting to sound like my parent's Christmas Eve dinner. This is the last year. we have gone from 8 people to 30 people in 18 years. My parents also have a Christmas party 2 weeks prior with many of the same guests. I told them to scale back not to bother making the baked stuffed shrimp but everyone expects it.

                          Personally I am sick of being told to bring things like I don't know how to cook anything. I am always given veggie tray, fruit tray, lettuce, tomato, onion plate for the Labor Day party (where the people grilling think that if juice is coming out of your food that it is underdone, hockey puck burgers). This year I told them I would bring potato salad and everyone raved about it (so I'll probably be bringing that until I put my foot down). Once a friend told be to buy a jar of queso dip and then emailed me back saying something along the lines of "wait you know how to cook" and let me choose whatever from that genre. I wish my boyfriend's grandparents would let me do something other than baked beans which must be the following recipe or they won't eat it: 2 cans Campbells pork and beans, 1/2 cup king syrup (like dark corn syrup) and 1/2 cup brown sugar baked on 350 for 30 minutes.

                          1. re: melpy

                            Personally I am sick of being told to bring things like I don't know how to cook anything.
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                            Fight back and bring what you want to make.....just try not to duplicate what anyone else has been asked to bring.

                            An Italian Inspired Seafood Salad is what I always bring to my friend's Christmas Eve Seven Fishes Feast.......no one has ever complained.

                            1. re: melpy

                              "No" can be a very hard thing to say to grandparents. Any way you can get them to compromise on the recipe at least?

                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                None whatsoever, if it doesn't look just the same they won't even try it.
                                Mine looked a little watery because the condensation on the lid of my casserole dish had leaked into the mix and they were like: that's ok better luck next time.

                            2. re: fourunder

                              You could consider passing the hat.

                              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                That's true, but not likely......to their credit, most everyone contributes something.....only one deadbeat brother does not..

                            3. Christmas candy. My aunt began teaching me how to make it when I was 10, I'm - cough, cough - considerably older than that now. I've been making these same candy recipes for far too many years and not only do they bore me to death, I am sick truly of them. I got designated the official family candy maker years ago and now detest the task.

                              1. Yes. My husband guilted me into making tres leche for a party we were hosting a few weeks ago. My SIL just requested that I bring it to our Christmas Eve gathering. This is 4 years in a row, and I am refusing next year, they all have the recipe. For my part, I would love to have something different.

                                1. Stuffing! My family always expects me to make the stuffing, no matter what. It doesn't matter who is cooking the turkey either! One year we had dinner at my son-in-laws parent's house. My daughter got me up at 5:30 in the morning to drive me over to her MIL's house to make and stuff the turkey. (SIL's mom does not make stuffing OR gravy). I'd happily turn this chore over to someone else (and tutor appropriately).

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: boyzoma

                                    I would make the stuffing at any time of day a million times over... I just don't like other family members' stuffings!

                                  2. During my first marriage, I was put upon to make the brisket for every family holiday gathering. Now I love brisket, and make it at least every three weeks, but enough was enough. It wasn't that the out-laws were bad cooks, they were very good, both immigrants from middle Europe and a B-I-L who was a Culinary Institute of America Grad and an executive chef.

                                    Why was I stuck making the brisket? Because my ex's family was too cheap to make anything more expensive than chicken leg quarters or hot dogs.

                                    New wife, new relatives, I get to make what I wish....

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: bagelman01

                                      Stubborn RCs . . . never a new wife\husband. And money never an object--tradition (cue Fiddler On the Roof's "Tradition" song ;) We are assigned dishes and it is what it is.

                                    2. hmmmm... I made 6 regular size cheesecakes and 36 individual ones in the last week and a half.. If I never see another cheesecake it will be ok with me.

                                      1. buckeyes, cold stuffed grape leaves (vegetarian). None of the little old Armenian ladies want to make the grape leaves anymore...

                                        1. Homemade cranberry sauce - the only kind I like. They always request I bring it because they know I am going to anyway. No one likes it but me, so I get to bring most of it back home. :-)

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: condie

                                            That has to be like the easiest dish known to mankind though, at least as far as the ratio of deliciousness to effort. Yum!

                                          2. You do that forgetting thing 2 years in a row, they forget and magically the bitching turns to fond remembrance.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                              That may work with the deviled eggs as the nieces and nephews age. Unfortunately, the family & friends are addicted to the toffee. My sister and her family showed up this year and, after greetings, said they had been looking forward to the toffee. Guess I'll just take it as a compliment and move on. (As it is, I have convinced them it cannot be made in the humidity of summer.)

                                            2. I rarely get annoyed when people request something. The only thing that gets on my nerves is that sometimes some people want something like my croissants and expect me to provide them as if they were an afterthought. Like they are something I manufacture them from a popped open can and a bit of roll up and into the oven they go. When they call me the night before I say I will have to pick them up from Costco and they make it out like I am lazy or somehow do not have the heart or care to make them. But - you cannot very well go into what it takes. Nobody cares.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                Well I am enjoying this post, but have to admit that this old Italian Grandfather takes much pleasure in cooking for my kids. Although I am expected to make the Turkey and stufffing, Fettucine Alfredo, French toast and bacon...at various holidays, I take great pleasure in doing so...and at least I don't have to clean up! (Although I suspect someone probably really resents being expected to do that!)

                                              2. Re: deviled eggs...do you put the yolks, etc. in the food processor? That makes it a bit easier.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: walker

                                                  I was thinking how I'd streamline the d. eggs too...
                                                  I like to push the yolks through a sieve, so the filling is light, but you could use a big strainer maybe...and a piping bag really speeds things up too.

                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                    Having kids to peel eggs helps a lot too, but is kind of expensive in the long run what with college and such. But relative slave-labor seemed like a good plan at the time. ;)

                                                  2. re: walker

                                                    No, I have a processor, but the deviled eggs are hand made on the morning of the event. Again, cue "Tradition."

                                                  3. Folks, we'd like to ask everyone to keep the focus on the question being asked: "is there any particular dish you make every year or every holiday, that you would like to omit from your repertoire?". We've removed some responses that were more focused on relationship advice. This isn't the board for that sort of discussion, especially since that type of discussion doesn't usually go well. We'd really like to see this thread stay focused on just the food so we don't end up having to lock it. Thanks.

                                                    1. Ugh. Apparently, I make really good guacamole. Guacamole? Are you kidding me? It's like 6 ingredients, max. I am SO sick of making it lol. I think my friends are just lazy college students and never make anything homemade, so they don't realize how easy it is. That's what I'e decided anyway. At any rate, I just stopped making it and subbed in a few other things at a couple parties until they forgot about the guacamole.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: mlipps

                                                        I was once asked to make guacamole for a party of about 30- beacuse mine was "awesome." Bought tons of avocados, fresh limes, made my own tortilla chips. Well, turns out, the host also assigned the guacamole another guest... and that guest brought a few bags of tostitos and a giant tub of the premade stuff- like the kind you buy in the supermarket that's got avocado as the last ingredient.

                                                        Well.. guess which version finished? I picked up my untouched bowl and repacked the chips and took it all home. Ate the stuff for a loong time till it turned black.

                                                        1. re: cheesecake17

                                                          That's just wrong, on so many levels.

                                                          1. re: cheesecake17

                                                            I would have eatern your guac! :(

                                                            1. re: melpy

                                                              Do not make Christmas tortellini/agnolotti (seasoned rosemary roasted pork loin, prosciutto, mortadella and parmesan) EVER. It will haunt you for the rest of your life and nobody ever seems to be around when you need to stuff and twist the pasta.

                                                              A close second is pate a choux gnocchi. My relatives seem to think it grows in my freezer.