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Can You Let Go of Your Food Sensibilities?


jgm
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About once a month, I fix food for an open house that a friend has in her retail business. It's a favor I do (mainly an excuse to cook) and not a paid job. And I often work to the point of exhaustion, because I have to do everything myself.

When planning what I'll take, I cannot make myself get practical and use a store-bought item or two. One recipe calls for fig jam; evidently I'm going to have to make the jam, because I can't bring myself to use storebought. I haven't even tasted it. Who knows, it might even be better than what I'll be able to make.

I'm often pressed for time - I do this in the evenings, after work - but I can't bring myself to use a good brand of lemon curd for little tartlets; no, I "have to" make my own. Truth be told, the brand of lemon curd that's available to me is really pretty good.

Thank God I don't know how to make cheese, and don't have the equipment. :wacko:

I'm equally bad about holidays. Um, "anal" might be the word. About the only thing I can bring myself to purchase is French bread; my schedule just doesn't allow me to make it myself, and two bakeries in town have very good bread.

Are you as bad, or even worse, as I am? What does it take to make you not push yourself to nearly ridiculous lengths? Do I need a 12-step group? :biggrin:

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Are you as bad, or even worse, as I am?  What does it take to make you not push yourself to nearly ridiculous lengths?  Do I need a 12-step group?  :biggrin:

I think you have me beat here, but I think we all have our "things." For instance, I'm more than happy to serve store-bought hummous (Eli's Garlic is one of my faves), but I would never buy pre-made guacamole or salsa. I'll serve bakery-bought bread to my guests, but never a dessert that isn't homemade. And so on. We all have our sticking points.

If what you do brings you joy (rather than pain), then I say forget about therapy and bring on the artisanal goodness! :wink:

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Mostly, I have a really hard time letting other people help me. I usually give in after a long struggle, either with myself, or my boyfriend, or my mom. I have a future mother-in-law that insists on helping, and if I insist on her not helping, she usually brings something or lots of things anyway! I'm getting to the point where I just assign something to whomever is doing the insisting... it's usually something I don't care as much about.

I do take help from the grocery store, from time to time. This comes from me being a really, really, really slow cook! It doesn't matter how often I cook or what I cook, I just am slow. I think I just enjoy the process so much, that I take my time doing everything, and it just goes downhill from there! If I did everything that I wanted to do, we would be eating dinner at 10 pm or later! And if I did the same for entertaining, I would have to prepare 10 hours in advance, or probably even more! So, I will buy the occasional lemon curd, salsa, etc... I have to! I can't do it all, and you certainly can't either... it would be different if it were your job!

Edited by Katie Nell (log)

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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I can only get my hands on cheap fresh figs here, in august. So I do make my own, but only then. That so not the point, I'll just say that it's a lot of factors. Ease (making cream of mushroom soup, for example, is too easy..see Les Halles cookbook), economics (do I want to make fig preserves from imported figs and spend a fortune, or use local canned? local canned.). Do I make lemon curd. Yes, but only if it's part of something else freshly homemade. I have a jar on the shelf though, to serve with the Dassant gingerbread mix that I keep for quick desserts.

somedays though...I just call Domino's.

I'm flexable.

2xtuesdays. great deal.

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There is something extremely satisfying (though exhausting) about looking at a table laden with an array of dishes which you have crafted yourself ...without using any "convenience foods". The effort is usually worth it but you do have to have the time to prepare especially if you insist on creating elabourate dishes, and having large dinner parties.

It usually takes me a day or two to recover :wacko:

Consider it an act of Love *lol*

Edited by Jacqui Ingledew (log)
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It usually takes me a day or two to recover :wacko:

And I usually don't feel like eating after I've slaved all day either!

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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Thank God I don't know how to make cheese, and don't have the equipment.  :wacko:

You use store-bought cheese? What a slacker! :raz:

You may need therapy but, once again, it will be group therapy (probably the same gang from the tableware support group, give or take one or two).

Mostly, I have a really hard time letting other people help me. I usually give in after a long struggle, either with myself, or my boyfriend, or my mom

I grudgingly let the s.o. make a salad last night (yes, SALAD...raw vegetables) and I'm still shaking my head over it. Not that I'm anal retentive or anything, but who would cut all of these ingredients this way? There aren't even words to describe it! Naturally it tastes funny because it's misshapen. :hmmm:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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I grudgingly let the s.o. make a salad last night (yes, SALAD...raw vegetables) and I'm still shaking my head over it.  Not that I'm anal retentive or anything, but who would cut all of these ingredients this way?  There aren't even words to describe it!  Naturally it tastes funny because it's misshapen.  :hmmm:

That is so true, though - I always find salad to be one of the weirder things to eat at someone else's house. Maybe because we always had a tossed salad with dinner growing up, but I have very particular expectations about what goes in (at least lettuce, some form of onion, and preferably cukes and tomatoes), what doesn't (carrots, celery, mushrooms), and how it should all be cut, that I sometimes get freaked out eating someone else's salad. I mean, it's not an issue, and I usually end up really enjoying it, but it's a lot stranger to me than, say, eating steak that someone else grilled.

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Funny. I had an experience last Thanksgiving that brought all this home to me. I was sick with a bad stomach ON THANKSGIVING DAY of all days. I had purchased everything needed and had a plan in mind, but could literally do nothing but lay on the couch.

Hubby, daughter and stepdaughter did everything at my direction from the couch of course, and followed all the parameters laid out. It was actually fun for them, and a huge relief for me. It brought the whole family unit together to, as they were all pitching in and taking care of me for a change. They felt good, I felt good, and everybody ate good.

I reflected upon it later, and realized that my mother had never, ever, ever let me help in the kitchen. I had to train myself later, relearn some basics I should have picked up as a teenager, and rack my brain trying to remember how mom or grandma did something. Good thing I was a counter monkey as a kid!

But, my stepdaughter was so excited that she can now make deviled eggs that are just as good as mine. Daughter found out how to make giblet gravy like HER mother and grandmother made it. And everyone had a good time. Hubby didn't get the dressing right, but oh well. Next time he might listen to me!

:biggrin:

I guess the whole point is to share the knowledge you have with others. It was a good day, and a memorable holiday.

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I won't let mine in the kitchen. He has to set the table ... Its good to know that I'm not alone  :biggrin:

I'd let my hubby in the kitchen more often if he did things correctly (translation: my way). I'm such a control freak. But I do take short cuts on more than one occasion.

But, just because we sometimes take short cuts I don't think that make us Sandra Lee.

Edited by I_call_the_duck (log)

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

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If I caved, I would have to cave on other things... like being the grammar police, being the spelling police, and being the definition police... and possibly even being reasonable at quantum mechanics...

I would sooner openly cry. <-- impossible for American males.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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I guess I am pretty easy going about the whole thing and can switch modes pretty easily.

A really good convenience product, like a lemon curd as good or better than I could make myself, I consider a worthy addition to my kitchen because I was such a talented shopper to find it. :raz:

That doesn't mean that I don't get snarky about things like a project . . . think cassoulet or gumbo. Don't mess with me or my cooking. But I will gladly let someone else mess with the sides and serve the drinks.

One thing I really hate to do and I can't figure out why . . . make salad. I always have hated that. I have no clue. Luckily, when my son lived with me, he was willing to be Salad-Man. I will give that job away in a heartbeat. :laugh:

Other than that, the most fun I have in the kitchen is when there are several of us in there together, trading tasks, discussing the progress and learning from each other. For me, that experience is much more fulfilling than saying that I did it all myself.

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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I guess the whole point is to share the knowledge you have with others. It was a good day, and a memorable holiday.

You are, of course, right. And that's why I bit my tongue last night and figured a lumpy, odd salad wouldn't kill me. It's just a control thing. Have to learn to let it go (but don't have to learn to like it!)

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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One thing I really hate to do and I can't figure out why . . . make salad. I always have hated that. I have no clue. Luckily, when my son lived with me, he was willing to be Salad-Man. I will give that job away in a heartbeat. :laugh:

My mom says salads always taste better when someone else makes it, and I'm beginning to believe that!

(I really hate to grate cheese... I will give that job away in a heartbeat!

Other than that, the most fun I have in the kitchen is when there are several of us in there together, trading tasks, discussing the progress and learning from each other. For me, that experience is much more fulfilling than saying that I did it all myself.

To me, having someone in the kitchen with me, helping me, (now, it does depend on who though :wink: ) is completely different! I really enjoy cooking with my boyfriend and my parents, but when someone else brings something, that's when I start to get territorial!

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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. . . . .

. . . but when someone else brings something, that's when I start to get territorial!

Oh . . . I agree with that one. Unless it is pre-arranged. Please do not dump any surprises into my kitchen.

And my nephew has finally learned not to add anything or "adjust" anything without discussing it first. It took a few beatings with a wooden spoon but I think I finally trained him.

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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jgm: new word for you: way + anal = waynal. This is the tem we use for my father in law who is fond of spreadsheets and scheduled fun. Embrace it for it is you.

Nope, I have no hang-ups about having to make 100% of the ingrediants. JAM?!? Fugetaboudit. I'll take the stuff from the pros. OK, granted it is likely the most expensive or organic type, but I'm still not making it myself.

I do let my husband in the kitchen. He's been cooking far longer than I have and is a mean griller but we sometimes do have conflict when I try to "help" him cook (I study cooking method, etc. he just cooks) but I don't get so defensive when he asks me questions about my cooking.

My downfall: I hate it when someone wants to hug me or whatever while I've got a knife in my hand or I'm in the middle of getting the final preps done (making the pan sauce, carving the meat, etc.) At Thanksgiving it was all I could do to not scream for everyone to leave me alone for the final frantic moments of prep. Oh, and puh-leez don't think you are getting a damn hug while I'm up to my elbows in the turkey's ass rubbing butter under the skin or stuffing the cavity :blink:

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One thing I really hate to do and I can't figure out why . . . make salad. I always have hated that. I have no clue. Luckily, when my son lived with me, he was willing to be Salad-Man. I will give that job away in a heartbeat. :laugh:

I love making salad, but HATE washing the lettuce. It's always the first job I give away to unsuspecting volunteers.

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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jgm: new word for you: way + anal = waynal.  This is the tem we use for my father in law who is fond of spreadsheets and scheduled fun. Embrace it for it is you.

I am sitting here laughing my butt off! One of my co-workers actually said, a few months ago, that given the choice of shoe shopping or putting together a new spreadsheet, I'd choose the spreadsheet. And they were right! :laugh: But scheduled fun? For me, that's a restaurant reservation.

Here's how far the waynal thing goes: I visited a food vendor over the weekend, and was offered a sample of their freshly-made chili. No thanks, I told them, I like my husband's chili. When they pressed further, I had to admit that I couldn't, because that would seem adulterous to me. They looked at me strangely. I understood why. But I still didn't try their chili. :rolleyes:

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Spreadsheets? Did someone say spreadsheets?

When I was trying to get a gumbo teaching recipe written down, I came up with my Chicken & Sausage Gumbo. The measurements and ratios of oil/flour, trinity, liquid and meat is the result of, you guessed it, a spreadsheet. I surveyed about 40 gumbo recipes from trusted sources, entered the quantities for each component, looked at the statistics, plotted the bell curves and came out with what you see there.

It was a slow week at the office. :laugh:

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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Uh, this is why when I have 14 guests for dinner in 2 weeks they will arrive with 6 bottles of wine and 1 chocolate cake. I dont have room for 16 people in my house, but I can cook so I am hosting this ...thing...all out of fear of having 1 bad meal at one of their homes.

that is Wanal

tracey

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Maxine

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jgm: new word for you: way + anal = waynal.  This is the tem we use for my father in law who is fond of spreadsheets and scheduled fun. Embrace it for it is you.

Nope, I have no hang-ups about having to make 100% of the ingrediants. JAM?!? Fugetaboudit.  I'll take the stuff from the pros.  OK, granted it is likely the most expensive or organic type, but I'm still not making it myself.

I do let my husband in the kitchen.  He's been cooking far longer than I have and is a mean griller but we sometimes do have conflict when I try to "help" him cook (I study cooking method, etc. he just cooks) but I don't get so defensive when he asks me questions about my cooking.

My downfall: I hate it when someone wants to hug me or whatever while I've got a knife in my hand or I'm in the middle of getting the final preps done (making the pan sauce, carving the meat, etc.)  At Thanksgiving it was all I could do to not scream for everyone to leave me alone for the final frantic moments of prep.  Oh, and puh-leez don't think you are getting a damn hug while I'm up to my elbows in the turkey's ass rubbing butter under the skin or stuffing the cavity :blink:

Oh, I am right there with you. My darling hubby, who I love and would walk the ends of the earth at his direction, somehow thinks it is cute to feel me up while I am in the middle of some critical point of putting the dinner together. I don't know if it turns him on watching me stir the roux and waiting to pounce with the broth when it is absolutely perfect, or what.

That is when he gets the wooden spoon treatment. Don't get frisky while I'm making the gravy please dear. That's for AFTER dinner.

He still does it, and giggles when I get mad. Oh well, I love him anyway, but boy is it infuriating. I guess he knows I am too distracted to stay mad for long, and he'll have time to make it up to me. And he always does. And then he does it AGAIN.

:wub:

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jgm: new word for you: way + anal = waynal.  This is the tem we use for my father in law who is fond of spreadsheets and scheduled fun. Embrace it for it is you.

Nope, I have no hang-ups about having to make 100% of the ingrediants. JAM?!? Fugetaboudit.  I'll take the stuff from the pros.  OK, granted it is likely the most expensive or organic type, but I'm still not making it myself.

I do let my husband in the kitchen.  He's been cooking far longer than I have and is a mean griller but we sometimes do have conflict when I try to "help" him cook (I study cooking method, etc. he just cooks) but I don't get so defensive when he asks me questions about my cooking.

My downfall: I hate it when someone wants to hug me or whatever while I've got a knife in my hand or I'm in the middle of getting the final preps done (making the pan sauce, carving the meat, etc.)  At Thanksgiving it was all I could do to not scream for everyone to leave me alone for the final frantic moments of prep.  Oh, and puh-leez don't think you are getting a damn hug while I'm up to my elbows in the turkey's ass rubbing butter under the skin or stuffing the cavity :blink:

Oh, I am right there with you. My darling hubby, who I love and would walk the ends of the earth at his direction, somehow thinks it is cute to feel me up while I am in the middle of some critical point of putting the dinner together. I don't know if it turns him on watching me stir the roux and waiting to pounce with the broth when it is absolutely perfect, or what.

That is when he gets the wooden spoon treatment. Don't get frisky while I'm making the gravy please dear. That's for AFTER dinner.

He still does it, and giggles when I get mad. Oh well, I love him anyway, but boy is it infuriating. I guess he knows I am too distracted to stay mad for long, and he'll have time to make it up to me. And he always does. And then he does it AGAIN.

:wub:

:laugh:

Me too !!

I feel the same way, I don't know if it gets him all worked up watching all the stirring and chopping or what. But it can be so maddening when I pause for a second to think of something and he will sneak up behind me and goose me. Of course I don't stay mad for too long either, too busy cooking.

He will sometimes do this 3-4 times in a night, if I didn't love him so much.....

Today is going to be one of those days.....

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jgm: new word for you: way + anal = waynal.  This is the tem we use for my father in law who is fond of spreadsheets and scheduled fun. Embrace it for it is you.

Nope, I have no hang-ups about having to make 100% of the ingrediants. JAM?!? Fugetaboudit.  I'll take the stuff from the pros.  OK, granted it is likely the most expensive or organic type, but I'm still not making it myself.

I do let my husband in the kitchen.  He's been cooking far longer than I have and is a mean griller but we sometimes do have conflict when I try to "help" him cook (I study cooking method, etc. he just cooks) but I don't get so defensive when he asks me questions about my cooking.

My downfall: I hate it when someone wants to hug me or whatever while I've got a knife in my hand or I'm in the middle of getting the final preps done (making the pan sauce, carving the meat, etc.)  At Thanksgiving it was all I could do to not scream for everyone to leave me alone for the final frantic moments of prep.  Oh, and puh-leez don't think you are getting a damn hug while I'm up to my elbows in the turkey's ass rubbing butter under the skin or stuffing the cavity :blink:

Oh, I am right there with you. My darling hubby, who I love and would walk the ends of the earth at his direction, somehow thinks it is cute to feel me up while I am in the middle of some critical point of putting the dinner together. I don't know if it turns him on watching me stir the roux and waiting to pounce with the broth when it is absolutely perfect, or what.

That is when he gets the wooden spoon treatment. Don't get frisky while I'm making the gravy please dear. That's for AFTER dinner.

He still does it, and giggles when I get mad. Oh well, I love him anyway, but boy is it infuriating. I guess he knows I am too distracted to stay mad for long, and he'll have time to make it up to me. And he always does. And then he does it AGAIN.

:wub:

:laugh:

Me too !!

I feel the same way, I don't know if it gets him all worked up watching all the stirring and chopping or what. But it can be so maddening when I pause for a second to think of something and he will sneak up behind me and goose me. Of course I don't stay mad for too long either, too busy cooking.

He will sometimes do this 3-4 times in a night, if I didn't love him so much.....

Me three! (Probably TMI at this point!) Must be the apron! :wink:

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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That is when he gets the wooden spoon treatment. Don't get frisky while I'm making the gravy please dear. That's for AFTER dinner.

. . . And then he does it AGAIN.

:wub:

He must really, really like that wooden spoon treatment! :wink:

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