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Old November 27 2013, 12:39 AM   #1
bountifulboxesjeg
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How do you tell a loved one they can't cook?

In my case, how would you tell your mother "You can't cook"? Thanksgiving's coming up and my mother is hosting it. I always dread holiday at my mother's house because she loves to cook but doesn't know how to. It took until I moved out to discover all of the food I've been eating tastes better. Am I destined to always eat her nasty food because of the unwritten rule that you can't tell a loved one they can't cook?

Last edited by bountifulboxesjeg; November 27 2013 at 06:04 AM.
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Old November 27 2013, 12:43 AM   #2
Poinsettia
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Re: How do you tell a loved one they can't cook?

Offer to cook for her.
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Old November 27 2013, 12:46 AM   #3
auntiehill
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Re: How do you tell a loved one they can't cook?

Yes, tell her it's your gift to her to take some of the work off her hands. If you're not wiling to do that, you could always have it catered and pay for it yourself.
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Old November 27 2013, 12:46 AM   #4
Lumos Ziyal
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Re: How do you tell a loved one they can't cook?

What Pondwater said: offer to bring some of the food.
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Old November 27 2013, 12:49 AM   #5
teacake
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Re: How do you tell a loved one they can't cook?

Also while eating the awful food form amusing anecdotes in your mind to tell others later about it. This always helps. I have amusing anecdotes about deplorable food I ate 20 years ago.

I would not tell her her cooking is bad. That's like spitting on all her years of feeding you.
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Old November 27 2013, 12:53 AM   #6
Timewalker
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Re: How do you tell a loved one they can't cook?

bbjeg wrote: View Post
In my case, how would you tell your mother "You can't cook"? Thanksgiving coming up and my mother is hosting it. I always dread holiday at my mother's house because she loves to cook but doesn't know how to. It took until I moved out to discover all of the food I've been eating tastes better. Am I destined to always eat her nasty food because of the unwritten rule that you can't tell a loved one they can't cook?
Is all of her cooking terrible? Or just some kinds of food?

My grandmother was a genius at preparing freshly-caught fish, but she couldn't do vegetables to save her life.
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Old November 27 2013, 01:10 AM   #7
iguana_tonante
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Re: How do you tell a loved one they can't cook?

As others have suggested, if you don't like the cooking, do the cooking yourself. Also, of course you can tell people they can't cook. Just don't be rude.

In my family, the men always did most of the cooking. My mother never liked to cook, and while her cooking was adequate, it was never exceptional. My father, on the other hand, is a fantastic cook. I always liked to cook myself (even tho I don't have much time for it nowadays), and my partner is more than happy to let me do it most of the time.
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Old November 27 2013, 01:10 AM   #8
bountifulboxesjeg
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Re: How do you tell a loved one they can't cook?

Timewalker wrote: View Post
bbjeg wrote: View Post
In my case, how would you tell your mother "You can't cook"? Thanksgiving coming up and my mother is hosting it. I always dread holiday at my mother's house because she loves to cook but doesn't know how to. It took until I moved out to discover all of the food I've been eating tastes better. Am I destined to always eat her nasty food because of the unwritten rule that you can't tell a loved one they can't cook?
Is all of her cooking terrible? Or just some kinds of food?

My grandmother was a genius at preparing freshly-caught fish, but she couldn't do vegetables to save her life.
Most foods really.

I work part time while I go to school. I can't afford to cater nor am I a good cook myself.

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Old November 27 2013, 01:25 AM   #9
Timewalker
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Re: How do you tell a loved one they can't cook?

Then the only suggestion I can offer is to have her prepare whatever she does well and ask family members to divvy up the rest of it.
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Old November 27 2013, 02:00 AM   #10
mari
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Re: How do you tell a loved one they can't cook?

For Christmas, you could give her a couple cooking classes (local adult ed or something?) and say, "because you love cooking so much, I thought you'd like to learn some fancy new recipes from a real chef"... and then the teacher can explain how she's doing it wrong. That way it doesn't come from you, exactly.

My mom can cook a lot of things well, but she murders vegetables. It's taken a lot of effort for me to explain green beans do not always come in a can, and they ought to still be green when you take them off the heat. Fortunately, she can learn and is open to criticism, especially when I have the entire Food Network backing me up.
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Old November 27 2013, 02:15 AM   #11
JarodRussell
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Re: How do you tell a loved one they can't cook?

Cook together, taste it together, discuss it together.

But then again, there might be no such thing as a bad cook. You cook it how you think it tastes good.
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Old November 27 2013, 02:41 AM   #12
nureintier
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Re: How do you tell a loved one they can't cook?

I think helping is probably the best way, but if you can't do that (and if other people who are going can't either) then you might just be stuck with bad food this year.

Though a cookbook could be a good gift and might help in the future, but you can't really count on it unless you're in there yourself, helping with the preparation.

I wouldn't tell her it's bad, but I would be likely to cook something myself and take it along, that way I could eat mostly my own food if I can't stomach the rest. Thankfully, my uncle is a chef and he always ends up cooking for my mom, grandparents, and other relatives so I haven't really been in this situation.
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Old November 27 2013, 02:43 AM   #13
JarodRussell
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Re: How do you tell a loved one they can't cook?

Just to clarify, is it really THAT bad that you can't eat it? Or is it just like a “hm, could be better“ first world problem?
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Old November 27 2013, 05:22 AM   #14
Kestra
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Re: How do you tell a loved one they can't cook?

I can't imagine telling a loved one that they can't cook. I mean maybe I'd give constructive advice if they asked, but otherwise I keep my mouth shut and eat what's put in front of me.
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Old November 27 2013, 05:28 AM   #15
teacake
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Re: How do you tell a loved one they can't cook?

People have told me I cannot butter toast properly which got them to get off their asses and do their own damn toast which was a success
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