Why I am trying to feed you? Because I love you!
I love cooking and eating. My twin soul ideally would want me to cook for them and love every bite I serve them. I cook for people I love, and want to I win over. My 'suitors', friends and family. It's very hard to get anyone to eat my food though. I work so hard and make it from the best ingredients and it's damned good. But no one eats it with the gusto I prepare it with. Anyone else in the same boat? I did get to cook for my Dad. And he declared me a great cook.
I do get this. I live alone--so around holidays and occasions, I tend to make a ton of things for the loved ones that I am around. I somewhat store up recipes that I want to try, therefore, when I finally have people around, then I want to get their opinions about the recipes. I think part of it is that I tend to bake sugary treats.. and the people around me are people that like to stay healthy and avoid sugar. Therefore, they think I am trying to compromise their strict ways.
Additionally, although I eat a ton of sugar, I am skinny--which does not help my case. In fact, I was told by the owner of a well-known cupcakery in Chicago that she would--even though she had just met me--"[...] never eat [my] cupcakes because [I] was a skinny baker and they are not to be trusted." I will never be eating cupcakes at her place again, despite that it has a following, because of that comment and because her cupcakes were horrible!
I basically gave up cooking for others because as you noted, no one appreciates it--which is deadening because the career I just started (teaching) takes all of my time anyway and no one appreciates that either. I hope you do not give up, you just find people who appreciate it.
It could be that you are not being as thoughtful about your loved ones food choices as you could be? Maybe you are making things that *you* like or that take talent and creativity....not what they would like to eat.
I say this as someone who just received many beautiful Christmas cookies and candies!!! They were sooooo beautiful and baked with love. I am sure they tasted exceptional. I either threw them out or "re-gifted" them. I don't eat sugar. I haven't eaten sugar in YEARS. I have no clue why my "gift givers" didn't "remember" that about me. It was not like I just now decided not to eat sugar. I think they got caught up in giving what THEY wanted to give.
You are much safer in giving healthy food -and knowing (for certain) just WHAT your gift receiver would like.
Yes, if someone is giving food as a gift, I would definitely agree that one should give only what the individual could eat. I agree 100% that someone should be attentive to the gift-receiver's allergies, food choices, and tastes are.
But I think if it is just a general cooking-occasion, like Thanksgiving or Easter, that people could stand to be more appreciative for homemade items.
Is it because your food is exotic, or spicy, maybe just too "adventurous" for a lot of people?
i'm lucky - i have a boyfriend, many friends, and family who like my food and request me to make things. I can't say everyone loves every bite of everything i make, but they're always appreciative of the effort. Maybe you could join or form some kind of cooking group, so you could be cooking for people who care about food as you do.
I take into consideration what my family wants, but I also want to take them beyond the "safe" food. That's hard. How would you introduce something different without them jeering and declaring it's not fit for eating when they haven't even tried it?
For Thanksgiving, I made fantastic pies and a ginger cake. I ended up having to take them all home (minus the cake) because I assumed my newly immigrated relatives would enjoy them. I was sooo disappointed that I was made to take them home. Such a slap in the face! I took this as a challenge, so for Christmas, I decided to bake sweets that would challenge me and that would also be enjoyed by my family. Being Vietnamese, they are very familiar with French pastries. I made strawberry Mille Feuille with my own puff pastry. That was fun. I finally also ventured into using agar agar to make layered Asian jello, and found out it wasn't as scary as it seemed. I made other stuff too that were well received, but I was really proud of the puff pastry.
I like mariacarmen's idea of joining a cooking group. Maybe you can find one on meetup.com. I looked for one specifically for baking, but there isn't one in my area. There are a number of potluck groups.
Welcome to my life. I have been told over and over again that I am an accomplished, adventure-some, handy, and diverse home cook. People ask me to bring things over, I've helped others with their own cooking, shared recipes, etc etc.
My husband hates my food. He would rather eat mac & cheese with hot dogs (boiled) than my Indian curry, homemade pizza, or even a fried egg sandwich! So, I'm "done." I cook for ME, for my friends who appreciate it.
For him and on weeknights, we do basic, cheap food. Chicken, rice, and veggies. The end! :(