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Ewww.. I have to cook that!?

Any tips on how to make a dish that you personally can not stand to eat. For example , I hate seafood (wish I didn't) and have the hardest time preparing it because tasting is out the window.

I am not sure if there is any real help, just wanted to get some others opinions. My latest challenge making pickels

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  1. I have a few things my dad loves that I cook for him despite finding them slightly repulsive (he is 90...I figure if he has lived this long he deserves some perks). Split pea soup is something he loves that I just do not care for. I am sure I could find a way to make it palatable to eat myself, but then it wouldn't be the split pea soup that he loves.

    I just think of it as a labor of love and something I am doing special for him. Same thing for my vegetarian husband when I would rather be making beef stroganoff instead of beef-less stroganoff.

    1. If you are offering to make something that the individual is known to love, you have to suck it up and make the effort to produce something to that person's expectations (e.g. jihinwa's pea soup example).

      if you are inviting someone to a meal, apart from accounting for food allergies and religious dietary restrictions, the menu is yours to control. In this context if you pick something that you personally detest, then it`s your own damn fault for putting it on your menu.

      1. My husband loves Tuna Casserole but I loathe canned tuna. I just bite the bullet & make it. I obviously don't taste it, but I ask him how it is or if it needs something, then I adjust it next time. I have a pretty good working recipe & now my daughter helps me make it. (She doesn't like it either)

        1 Reply
        1. re: jcattles

          This is exactly what I do. My husband likes a plethora of things I do not, but I cook them for him and cook something along side for myself. Or if an acceptable substitute is found for the particular detested ingredient he doesn't mind that I swap it out ie greek yogurt instead of mayo. He actually liked the chicken salad made with the yogurt better than the mayo.

        2. Pickles are so universally available, I wouldn't bother making them. If the canned varieties aren't suitable, you can get just about any type you might want at various delicatessens.

          My father-in-law, a West Virginia native, likes some foods that I find objectionable. But I bite the bullet and sample it because he's 93 and it makes him happy. If I were in your place, cooking for a family member and needing a taster, I'd simply use that person to do the tasting. But I have to agree with wattacetti; it's your call when you control the menu.

          1. I live alone and there's no one I cook for. When I cooked for a living, I would usually trade off with someone when it came to something like hard-boiled eggs, which to me, are no different than ****.

            I guess my way of dealing with it is just not to cook anything I don't like.

            Why, if I may ask, are you making pickles?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jay F

              Oh Jay F my friend, its amazing what you will do for the mystical powers of the opposite sex. hahaha.

            2. Well done steak. lol. No tips. Suck it up and do it :(

              1. I like hearing everyone take on this, makes my day seeing feedback. I enjoy cooking for friends and family and typically will stick with what i am good at and like to eat. However once in awhile you hit a snag.

                arrentran87-- we seem to be on same page... :(

                1. Our church does a community dinner for low income people about once a quarter. Apparently we are famous for our meatloaf, which is just about the stinkiest, vilest meatloaf you can imagine. When it's my turn to make a loaf, I just mix it together quickly (it has powdered onion soup mix in it, among other things), shove it in the oven, open a window if it's not winter, and leave the kitchen. Once I've delivered my loaf, I come home and nuke orange peel and water to get rid of the smell.

                  Sometimes you really do just have to suck it up and deal, esp if it makes other people happy.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Isolda

                    You are a good person, Isolda. I would be so tempted to mess with the recipe a bit.

                    Our church has an Easter breakfast every year and people bring different food items. A breakfast casserole is the main dish. There is someone who has a recipe near and dear to their heart that they foist upon everyone who signs up to bring a casserole. I just can't do it and every year end up bringing a warm pastry item or fresh fruit instead!

                  2. I really don't want someone cooking something for me that they don't like. A big part of the fun is enjoying the food together. That's home cooking - of course.

                    It would be rare that I cook something that I don't like either. There are few foods that I don't like, and I can't think of anyone that might cook for that would not like something that I cook.

                    If I had to do foods at a restaurant or for a dinner where there were favorites that had to be cooked, then I guess I would request solid directions and just follow them. That's never come up.

                    It's not that I have any issues with someone liking something that I don't. It's just hard to nail it when I don't cook it usually and don't enjoy tasting it. My son loves mac and cheese, and I really don't. I tried to make it a couple of times per my Mom's recipe which involved a lot of "taste it" etc. Now, I just let my Mom do that dish, and I do others that I do well that he loves. My son doesn't get it real often, but when he does . . . it's spot on for him.

                    1. I'm vegetarian and my boyfriend is a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy. I've cooked chicken dinners for him, or pork chops, or bacon-heavy breakfasts. I can't taste it, but I know how to cook it. I just keep the seasoning pretty simple (or non-existent for the bacon).

                      He also loves really sweet desserts, like pie, whereas I'm more of a bread person. But I enjoy making pie, so it's nice to have someone around who'll eat it. Otherwise, I'd have no reason to ever make sweets.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: piccola

                        If I were required to make something that I personally would never eat but that someone else loved, I'd do my best to try to make it the best way possible. I'm a little averse to cooked fish but not so much that I couldn't stand to handle it, debone it, whatever. My sister, who loves ground beef, won't even touch it because it's well, "ewww." You have to get past the "ewww" factor and just try to do something you've never done. That's how I came to love sushi. I just said F-you to the "eww" factor, plunged right in and developed an enormous taste for it.

                        I have lines, though. Insects will never cross my cutting board.

                        1. re: tonbo0422

                          I have lines too. I would never cook lobster for anyone, not because it's gross, but because I couldn't bring myself to kill it.

                          1. re: piccola

                            no problem. Put the lobster in a big pot with cold water, then turn the burner on - they're lulled to sleep by the warm water and expire at 100F/35C.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              Doesn't matter. The whole reason I'm veg is that I can't kill animals. So while I'll sometimes go as far as cooking meat for someone else, I'm sure as hell not killing anything.

                              1. re: piccola

                                sorry, missed the upthread comment that you're veg.

                      2. I used to make greens (mustard or turnip) and cheese grits that were, apparently, as good as Mom's (the BIG test for a Southern boy) and I was actually pretty well-known for them, despite the fact that I'd have to be desperately hungry before I'd willingly eat either of them.

                        I'm not married to him anymore, so I don't have to make them any more, either! :)

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: sunshine842

                          Could you share those recipes, so the rest of us can enjoy them? ;)

                          1. re: ChristinaMason

                            Not much to it --

                            Greens
                            Rinse the greens three times, swishing them in the water, then changing the water each time to eliminate as much sand as possible (the more water, the better) Tear or cut the tough stem out of each leaf. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and add a smoked ham hock. When the water returns to a boil, add the greens, reduce to a simmer, and stew until the meat is falling off of the bone of the ham hock, and the greens are tender. (a couple of hours - best if it's a nice day, so you can have the windows open -- cooking greens *stink*) Debone and shred the meat and add it back to the greens. Season with pepper (they're probably salty from the ham) and Tabasco, then serve with white vinegar.

                            Cheese grits: Cook the grits according to the package directions, stirring constantly -- add cubed Velveeta (sorry!) and lots of Tabasco, then pour into an 8" x 8" baking dish. Bake at 375 until golden, bubbly, and starting to set up.

                            Not much to it -- but for some reason everyone loved them. (erg)

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              Thanks! That's pretty much how I make greens. Other people's always taste better for some reason. :)

                              And who doesn't secretly love Velveeta?

                              1. re: ChristinaMason

                                ...true...and it's not like Cheese Grits are ever going to be elevated to gourmet!

                        2. Invite a helper to keep you company and be your taste tester.

                          Is this a specific dish you have to make? If not, try a recipe where you can taste test some of the components before final assembly.

                          1. I enjoy egg drop soup, a drink consisting of raw egg, cream/milk, sugar, and seasonings, yet I cannot stand either hard-boiled or scrambled or other "eggy" dishes. Somehow though, because cooking eggs is mostly a texture thing, I am good at it (and actually enjoy the process quite a bit).

                            There are some other things that I make for my husband that are more flavour-dependent that I don't like, and in those cases I have been successful so far with just taking extra careful sniffs of what I am making, and following my nose. Often when I can't stand a food, I can still take a few good smells and determine what I should do/add.

                            1. No help at all, but you have my sympathy- one of the things that turned me away from the notion of cooking professionally these many years ago. I mean, ALL those dead chickens- I just can't take it...I cook for a 90 (well. 88) year old dad, too- he eats practically anything but cilantro, but likes to come into the kitchen 15 min. before dinner and stand in front of things; all in all a small price to pay.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: oldunc

                                This just made me smile. I wish you many more good times of gently shooing your dad around the kitchen. :)

                              2. I used to cook kidneys for my English stepfather's breakfast. They smelled like pee.

                                1. My wife will readily assist in the prepping of tripe for menudo, but there's no way in hell she's going to eat it. She says it's a texture thing.

                                  1. I have zero interest in chocolate but make chocolate desserts for others because they love it.

                                    I will not cook white meat pork or organ meats. They taste like poison to me no matter who makes them or how they are done.