How do you tell a loved one they can't cook?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by bbjeg, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    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: Nov 27, 2013
  2. Pondwater

    Pondwater Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Offer to cook for her.
     
  3. auntiehill

    auntiehill Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  4. Tora Ziyal

    Tora Ziyal Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What Pondwater said: offer to bring some of the food.
     
  5. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  6. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    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.
     
  7. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  8. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013
  9. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    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.
     
  10. mari

    mari Captain Captain

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    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.
     
  11. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  12. nureintier

    nureintier Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  13. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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?
     
  14. Kestra

    Kestra Admiral Premium Member

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    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.
     
  15. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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 :techman:
     
  16. bbjeg

    bbjeg Admiral Admiral

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    ^Every now and then one of my brothers host it and we convince my mother that she doesn't have to make anything, but that generally turns into "Next holiday, I'll make everything".
    That's a good idea. She'd probably enjoy that.
    That was my Plan A, I'm bringing homemade mashed potatoes.
    Every other holiday a family member...
    throws up. The top three food mishaps are; homemade gravy that became "gravy loaf", it was bready; the salt content is generally up there but one particular year the lid fell off the shaker when adding it to her potatoes, where after serving, she explained she tried to get as much out as she could; and a few years ago she wanted to deep fry the turkey, it was undercooked, and everyone got sick.
    She puts her heart in it, so it's not like I could show disgust, especially this far in life.

    Same here. Basically, I swallow it and hope for the best.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013
  17. Peach Wookiee

    Peach Wookiee Cuddly Mod of Doom Moderator

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    My aunt makes a couple of things well. The rest... well, she murders Hamburger Helper...
     
  18. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    Yikes. Maybe your family should consider a new tradition... like everybody chipping in for pizza. It works for the Quartermains on General Hospital for the annual Thanksgiving episode...
     
  19. Leviathan

    Leviathan Captain Captain

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    I find dying of starvation gets the message across.
     
  20. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah there's always the, "it's so much work for you! We want to get it catered this year, so you can just sit back and enjoy it.." of course that's expensive.