Author Topic: Cooking For Others?  (Read 3621 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

takeheart

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 209
Cooking For Others?
« on: October 30, 2012, 11:17:44 AM »
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

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 13999
Re: Cooking For Others?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2012, 11:53:32 AM »
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.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

DavidH

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1776
Re: Cooking For Others?
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2012, 12:08:40 PM »
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

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6558
Re: Cooking For Others?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2012, 12:20:32 PM »
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

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8622
Re: Cooking For Others?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2012, 12:26:25 PM »
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.

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.
Words mean things.

Jaelle

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1509
Re: Cooking For Others?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2012, 06:01:28 PM »
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.

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.

"So it's good" is subjective. To me, like the OP's MIL, bacon is "good" when it's very crispy, even burnt by some standards.  (So are most meats, to be honest. That's why I don't usually eat meat.)

That said, I think you cook things to a medium sort of taste and adapt a bit to either side if you can. I would probably do just the OP's MIL did -- take the bacon off -- but I wouldn't expect everyone to want it that way. And I wouldn't complain. (But it doesn't sound like MIL did, either.)
“She was already learning that if you ignore the rules people will, half the time, quietly rewrite them so that they don't apply to you.”
― Terry Pratchett, Equal Rites

Zilla

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6506
    • Cooking
Re: Cooking For Others?
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2012, 06:20:15 PM »
My mil used to say chicken was ready when the skirt is pulled back on the drumsticks. Um no, that was overcooked!  However if she was coming over, I would go ahead and cook hers a bit more well done after removing ours.  Same with your mil, now that you know, next time when you are making delicious bacon wrapped jalopenoes.  Leave some in the oven for her a bit longer till how she likes them.

sparksals

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 17372
Re: Cooking For Others?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2012, 07:50:52 PM »
This was recently discussed not too long ago, maybe in the summer when it was grilling season.  Someone posted they grill steaks without asking how guests would like them.  In the case of steak, preferences vary between people, that proper hosting would ask the guest how they like their steak.   Everything else, as long as it is not burnt, overdone etc., I think it is fine.. although, I would not serve blood rare meat to people unless I know they like it that way.

blarg314

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8506
Re: Cooking For Others?
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2012, 09:45:45 PM »

It depends a lot on circumstances.

Something like steak, or burgers, or eggs, I can ask how people like them, and adapt. If I'm inviting a few people over and I know that someone has a strong preference, I'll likely work with it, within reason (if a person's quirks are "Only boneless meat, no skin, so sauces, nothing on the plate can touch, nothing orange, all vegetables must be cooked to mush, I'll probably socialize with them in a non food setting).

For family members and close friends I'll generally be more accommodating than casual social contacts.

For larger meals - multi-guest dinners, parties, etc - then individual preferences get a lot less weight, beyond the vegetarian option level.  I'm not burning the roast because one guest will only eat meat cooked to the consistency of leather, and I'm not restricting myself to sauceless boneless skinless chicken breasts because that's the only thing one of the guests won't eat.

I will adjust my own preferences when I know they're outside the norm in the group I'm entertain. I know my fondness for garlic and hot peppers aren't necessarily common, and a lot of people don't share my enthusiasm for things like organ meats.

cicero

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 17768
Re: Cooking For Others?
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2012, 03:17:11 AM »
I do consider my guests' preferences but i agree with blarg - it depends.

I wouldn't undercook an entire chicken, for example (i actually like crispy "almost burnt" food so i am using the undercooked direction in my example), just because someone prefers it that way. if my MIL likes burnt bacon, and I am cooking bacon, i would probably over cook a few pieces. and like blarg - if i am making scrambled eggs or steak - then i ask

I like spicy food - but i tone it down when i have guests unless i know they are like me. Or i'll make sure that i have a mixture of over and under spicy.

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Weight Loss Tools

SoCalVal

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2512
Re: Cooking For Others?
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2012, 03:09:05 PM »
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.

How much to season or cook something can really be subjective.  DF likes his veggies really overcooked; I don't.  I cook mine until they are done to my preference and leave his to cook much much longer.  What I learned in professional cooking classes from my instructor is that, in her experience, it is really presumptuous to feel you know how seasoned someone's food should be so to always set the table with salt and pepper (we students kept neglecting to do that).  I agree with that view.  I certainly don't want someone else to determine for me what is good food to me; I expect to do the same with them.  I like my cookie edges to be crispy, but a friend of mine considers that burnt (they're not).  OTOH, he prefers his cookies to be underdone and feels they are just right.

For guests, I will go with a normal standard for how cooked something should be (not individual items, like steaks or burgers) so I'd never cook veggies for a group how DF likes them (until they are wet dishrags, essentially).



mj

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 574
Re: Cooking For Others?
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2012, 04:31:44 PM »
It depends on what it is, if it's something I just won't do to food than I won't serve it and go with another meal to cook. 

But, I've also had the experience of banging my head against a wall to find something to cook that everyone can enjoy just because of one persons strong and many food preferences -- so when it gets to that point, dinner is in a restaurant.

takeheart

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 209
Re: Cooking For Others?
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2012, 04:42:47 PM »
With the exception of MIL liking her bacon extra extra crispy (which would have burned the jalapenos and melted the cream cheese now that I think about it), I cook everything somewhere in the middle. I prefer not to salt a lot of foods if I can avoid it, but I don't get offended when people ask for the salt either. I cook chicken and pork well, but not burnt. I guess there's not really a way to ask MIL to not burn her chicken or pork or to not add salt to everything?

julianna

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 145
Re: Cooking For Others?
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2012, 05:14:40 PM »
I think you could politely ask her not to add salt, because if you say something generic about "watching your sodium intake," then it sounds like a health-related issue (as opposed to a "your cooking is not pleasing to my tastebuds" issue).  I can't think of any polite way to ask someone to cook chicken and pork to a level they consider "undercooked," even if it's not.  Although I guess if she's doing it for food safety issues, maybe you could get her a fancy thermometer for Christmas and see if it makes any difference?  As long as you never, ever make any comments about overcooking stuff, and kitchen gadgets are the type of gift you might get her normally, then I don't think that would be rude.


Diane AKA Traska

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4611
  • Or you can just call me Diane. (NE USA EHellion)
Re: Cooking For Others?
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2012, 05:50:58 PM »
On the flip side... my mother used to salt everything I cooked, even before she tasted it!  Which drove me MAD, because that meant she never tried a single meal I'd prepared... she tried an altered version.  Every single meal.  I don't care if you want extra salt once you try a bite, but to put salt on without even sampling it is, in my opinion, rude to the cook. 
Location:
Philadelphia, PA