Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Cooking For Others?

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takeheart:
Background: MIL came over to visit. I was in the middle of making bacon wrapped stuff jalapenos, so we invited her to stay since she loves spicy foods. She agreed to stay. After baking for a while, they were ready. MIL began to take the bacon off of the jalapenos. DH asked if she had stopped eating bacon. She replied, "No, I still eat bacon." Long story short, she prefers her bacon extra extra extra crispy. The bacon was cooked, but not the way she prefers. She commented that she's 'weird' about her meats and that she can only eat pork and chicken if it's practically burnt. I asked if she wanted me to put a few in the oven a while long. She declined, which was fine because I love bacon. This made me realize why every time we have dinner at her house, her fried porkchops and baked chicken are so dry and so burnt that it's very difficult to eat. We have declined invitations to her house for dinner because of this reason.

My question is when cooking for others, do you cook how you prefer it cooked or how most people would prefer it cooked? I'm not picky, but dry, burnt, or too salty foods are the only reason I would leave a table hungry.

Outdoor Girl:
I cook things how I like to eat them.  I like my pork and chicken cooked through but I try not to overcook them.  I like my beef still pink in the centre but if it is a roast, there should be lots of outside bits that are more cooked for those who prefer it that way.  If it is steaks, it is easy enough to throw one on a little sooner for those who like well done.

So I will try to tailor a little bit to my guests.  But I won't serve something I feel is unsafe, like a rare burger.  If I had a friend who wanted their burger that way, I wouldn't ever serve burgers again if that friend was coming over.

DavidH:
I agree with Outdoor Girl.  For an item like a burger, I'd ask or put it back if the person wanted it very well done.  For a roast, I'd cook it how I thought most people would like it or a compromise, like medium rather than very rare or very well done.  Similarly, i like vegetable soup made with chicken stock for flavor, but I'd make it with a vegetable stock if I were inviting a vegetarian or someone who wouldn't eat chicken.

Hmmmmm:
It depends.  My sister likes a lot more salt on her food than I do, so I cook the way I like and let her add more salt.  Her DH is not a big seafood eater so if I'm making gumbo and they are visiting, I'll make a chicken/sausage version instead of a seafood gumbo.  I made chili on Sunday and made it a little milder than normal because my aunt was visiting and I know she can't tolerate heat like she once could. 

Bacon is one of those things I do think people are picking about so I usually try to have an assortment of well done to a little less crispy. 

I do not like any well done protein.  FIL used to grill chicken so well done that it was inedible to me so I always made sure to fill up on sides.  MIL assumed for years that I didn't eat chicken. 

Giggity:

--- Quote from: takeheart on October 30, 2012, 11:17:44 AM ---My question is when cooking for others, do you cook how you prefer it cooked or how most people would prefer it cooked? I'm not picky, but dry, burnt, or too salty foods are the only reason I would leave a table hungry.
--- End quote ---

I cook my food so it's good. I wouldn't burn or over-salt something just to please someone else, because that's not preparing food, that's messing it up. If you want to burn your food in your own home, more power to you, but I think that's one of those - I guess "quirks" is the word that doesn't need catering to.

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