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Cooking to show off


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OK, we all love to cook because it's nuturing, because we love it, because we are concerned about the quality of our food, etc. etc. ...but how many folks will admit to cooking just to show off. :shock:

I will admit to being the mom you don't want to see at the bake sale. Sometimes I make things from scratch just because no one else will make the effort and I want to show them up. I never take short cuts for dinner parties or potlucks, and want my stuff to be gone before everyone else's. My kid's teachers get home-baked treats and their birthday cakes are homemade mostly because every other mom I know buys them at the grocery store.

Recent conversation:

Friend: "Your sugar cookies are delicious! Mine are never this good."

Heather's "out-loud" voice: "Thanks! They're really easy"

Heather's inner snark voice: "Of course they are you dink, they only have five ingredients, unlike the slice and bake crap."

Anyone else? 'Fess up!

Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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I think cooking to show off is a major motivator for senior chefs these days, too. This is not necessarily an entirely bad thing.

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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Not me. Nope, never.

But I do have a mental list of certain perfectly boring everyday stuff that can be made a little more showy -- on a special occasion -- by, say, lighting it on fire just before serving. Or presenting it in a chinese soup spoon. Or referring to it only by its French name even though I know perfectly well that it's called "red mullet," in English. :laugh:

But othe than that, nothing.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Ha ha ha... I swear, hear someone say 'rouget' and it's almost certain they're in the trade.

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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I don't show off. It's impolite.

But earlier this week we had a potluck at work. Everyone brought great food and whatnot. I wasn't trying to show off, mind you. However, I did get in a little earlier than usual and set up a smoker in the parking lot so I could freshly smoke a few racks of ribs for the people. That wasn't showing off, mind you... but it did get me accused of such (albeit mainly from a small, but vocal, contingent that got no ribs).

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Me? Show off? Never!

I would never bring my signature black bean and mango salsa to a party with the thought in mind of showing up those that bring the jar of stuff.

I would never bring my smothered cabbage to a New Year's Day party with the thought in mind of the participants hovering over the big pot snarfing it up like pigs at a trough. And, God Forbid that I should accompany the cabbage with my black eyed peas.

There are other dishes that I would never bring along to humiliate the Velveeta coated masses. (Well, except for Tex-Mex.)

BWAHHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Me? Show off? Never!

I would never bring my signature black bean and mango salsa to a party with the thought in mind of showing up those that bring the jar of stuff.

Love it! That's exactly what I'm talking about. :laugh:

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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I am certainly guilty of this, as are many of my friends & usually it's all fun & games: I make cassoulet, my friend David does a 7 course blow-out feast every New-Years, my friend Holly used to make art out of marzipan, etc.

but what I don't like is when it becomes a big competitive ego thing along the lines of "YOU aren't allowed to make cassoulet - we all know that I'M the fabulous cassoulet maker around here". In a reverse of showing off I will actually avoid mentioning to people that I've been cooking certain types of foods that are "their" specialty, because I just don't want to get into it :hmmm:

what a waste of energy to feel threatened because someone else is cooking something well that you also cook well...

Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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what a waste of energy to feel threatened because someone else is cooking something well that you also cook well...

Usually happens because said individual knows that your version is as good or more likely (considerably) better than his/hers.

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Hell yes, I do. There's no better venue than a potluck or bake sale, since everything else is most likely going to be packaged or "semi-homemade". I'm making up samosas tomorrow to take to a party when I *know* there will be perhaps a spinach dip in a bread loaf as competition. Buahahaaa :cool:

Edited by tejon (log)

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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Guilty. I've obsessed for the past few days about a dinner party for six on the 28th for God's sake. I'm pirating ideas from Keller, Batali and the River Cafe and attempting to reform their stuff into my stuff. The seven or eight courses change hourly.

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:cool: show off?

moi?

i'm only a leo and born in the the year of the dragon!!!

:biggrin: hahaha!!

hopefully be on my 3rd cooking show by the end of the year :wink:

me show off??

never!!

:raz: haha!!

actually i do believe that the majority of men that can cook

do it because they know they get kudos :wink:

why do you think men hog the bbq grill?

"so tell me how do you bone a chicken?"

"tastes so good makes you want to slap your mamma!!"

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OK-- yes, I'll admit that sometimes I do make chocolate chip cookies for less than admirable reasons! It's no big secret-- just the recipe on the bag (you know the one I mean) and I do follow the recipe, but so many people rave over them! Or they say theirs never turn out as good. Yes, I do like to hear the raves, and see how quickly they disappear. But I just don't understand-- what do other people do to theirs that they don't turn out the same?

"Fat is money." (Per a cracklings maker shown on Dirty Jobs.)
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Oh, this is so me. I'm actually in the process of preparing a meal for tonight's Bunco. Here's the link.

I think last month's host brought in Chinese...

I also take great pride in my daughter's lunches. Her teacher tells me that she has the most varied lunch menu of any kid in the school. I love that! :wub:

And, I get so upset with Dylan when she wants some Annie's Spaghetti-O's, b/c it makes me look bad!

Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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In spite of all due humility and the raves or justified praise you give someone else's cooking, does anyone feel that invitations have decreased specifically because of your name or your prowess in the kitchen?

Does anyone ever say they're afraid/shy/timid about cooking for any occasion where you'll be present? Or that your talent is intimidating? And do you care?

edited because my punctuation wanders even more than my feeble mind

Edited by racheld (log)
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I admit to an element of showing off for potlucks or my own parties. But I think more than the kudos, which I DO thoroughly enjoy, I like to compete with myself. I love when friends cook smashingly for me -- in fact, I'll be picking up a dish of a friend's spanakopita with homemade phyllo tomorrow evening. I also sometimes get annoyed with the Velveeta set. I mean it REALLY isn't that hard to offer something of high quality. Buying a hunk of nice cheese is much less work than opening a can of refried beans (and olives, etc.) for 7-layer-dip. It reminds me of another foodie friend who said incredulously of a neighbor once "She's forty years old and she's never baked a cake from scratch!"

Bridget Avila

My Blog

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In spite of all due humility and the raves or justified praise you give someone else's cooking, does anyone feel that invitations have decreased specifically because of your name or your prowess in the kitchen?

Does anyone ever say they're afraid/shy/timid about cooking for any occasion where you'll be present?  Or that your talent is intimidating?  And do you care?

edited because my punctuation wanders even more than my feeble mind

Check out this thread.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Hell yes, I do.  There's no better venue than a potluck or bake sale, since everything else is most likely going to be packaged or "semi-homemade". I'm making up samosas tomorrow to take to a party when I *know* there will be perhaps a spinach dip in a bread loaf as competition. Buahahaaa  :cool:

I don't care how good your stuff is, I'm still gonna hit that dip!!! :laugh:

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It's not showing off it's educational :raz: . I made 80 bbq potatoes on the weekend for our annual trapshoot. peel, chop in half, add slice of onion, season, wrap in foil, add butter and tbsp of water, cook on bbq till done, they went over great! Well worth the 3.5 hours of preparation.

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Ooooh, I thought only my hubby knew this about me! Scary! And I'm a LIBRA for cripes sake! Though that just means I'm super nice and I don't say how crappy I think it is that one of the ladies brought pasta salad from Safeway (you know how snarky I was on the inside though!!!)

I was in heaven when I got to plan my husband's graduation party and he just wanted small bites. Oh yeah, THAT'S what I'm talking about my friends. Not just a meal but 8 different mini creations to get pats for.

When the ladies and I get together for potluck, I'm amazed at how far presentation goes. Just a simple salad with my secret-recipe chicken on it but it is PUT TOGETHER! Not in a tub, not just thrown in a bowl but ASSEMBLED. How hard is that? Decorate...garnish...do something to make it look appetizing. I didn't just toss the salad together, I assemble the greens and put the accompaniements like chicken, avacado slices, grape tomatoes all in a pleasing manner on top. They could do this with store bought stuff to rather than the ever-so-gracious bucket or jar of something which says: "Yeah, I picked this up on the way, you all weren't really worth much effort." (whoa, where did that rant come from????) :shock:

edited to add: Isn't that part of what we are all on here for? To show pix and discuss our achievements as well as learn from others???

Edited by Genny (log)
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Not me.  Nope, never. 

But I do have a mental list of certain perfectly boring everyday stuff that can be made a little more showy -- on a special occasion -- by, say, lighting it on fire just before serving.

"Doesn't everyone do that at home? We do that all the time."

(she says innocently... :laugh: )

Edited by hjshorter (log)

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Hell yes, I do.  There's no better venue than a potluck or bake sale, since everything else is most likely going to be packaged or "semi-homemade". I'm making up samosas tomorrow to take to a party when I *know* there will be perhaps a spinach dip in a bread loaf as competition. Buahahaaa  :cool:

I cook from scratch at home, I don't see why I should start buying crappy macaroni salad when we're invited somewhere. If it makes someone feel inadequate then it's their problem, not mine.

Having said that, I occasionally have avoided a certain ingredient because it was featured in a guests' menu when we were at their home. Mainly because I know my version is better and I don't want to come off as being too obnoxious...

Erm, humility seems not to be one of my stronger qualities today.

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I would never leave work early, make homemade pate brise then fill the darling mini tarts with leek and pancetta filling and garnish them with edible flowers on a beautiful French porcelain patter to take to a party when they told me they were having cheese and crackers to show off, I was just being nice :blush:

ok, short answer......HELL YES!

Edited by little ms foodie (log)
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