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POLL RESULTS: She doesn't do her best cooking in the kitchen: (12 comments)

POLL: She doesn't do her best cooking in the kitchen

Friday, March 02, 2012 - 12:05 AM


Q: I've been dating a woman for about a year now and we're headed toward marriage. Everything is nearly perfect except in one area: Cooking. My love enjoys cooking but is terrible at it. Even when she uses cookbooks the meal comes out near inedible. I have suffered in silence, it's usually only once a week, but if we marry I can't imagine spending my life with her cooking. I'm not very good myself, but I can make meals that I can eat at least. She really enjoys being in the kitchen and I know she'd be crushed if I told her how bad her cooking is. I don't want to mess this up. Any solutions?

POLL: What should he do?
 
1% (26) A guy's gotta eat. Ditch her.
 
95% (2139) Aw, come on! Take a cooking class together!
 
1% (37) Learn to live with it.
 
2% (47) There's always one thing she can make: Reservations.
2249 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
rorirose
Lover

Posts: 26

Registered:
Jan 2011
Re: POLL: She doesn't do her best cooking in the k (Score: 0)
posted Friday, March 02, 2012 - 12:21 AM (#61164)

If you don't get this out of the way before the marriage, think how big this is going to turn after. Her feelings are going to be beyond hurt because you didn't have the confidence to bring it up before everything went down. Suggest helping her in the kitchen more often as a means of being close to her there, too. Tell her you want to make a meal for her from time to time, even. And above all ... take those cooking classes so she can learn what she's doing wrong!!!


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CaptainSmokeblower
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Posts: 58

Registered:
Nov 2009
Re: POLL: She doesn't do her best cooking in the k (Score: 0)
posted Friday, March 02, 2012 - 07:03 AM (#61166)

What does she think of her cooking?
What do her family and friends think of her cooking?
Has anyone told you that you are a finicky eater?
Are the two of you from different areas of the country such that your food preferences clash, i.e., one of you loving midwest bland, the other craving southwest spicy?
Besides taking a cooking class together, ensure the problem isn't in your head . . . or gut.


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DanialArin
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Posts: 92

Registered:
Apr 2009
Re: POLL: She doesn't do her best cooking in the k (Score: 0)
posted Friday, March 02, 2012 - 09:56 AM (#61168)

I second the cooking class together. But, regardless of whether a cooking class results in any improvement in either of your kitchen performances, you need to tell her that her kitchen work is not coming out the way it should be. Somehow. As diplomatically as possible. And not while in the kitchen.

If stuff done from recipes is coming out inedible, that results from either a wrong quantity of something, whether it be an ingredient, time, or heat.

And after that, take a look at the Alton Brown cookbooks; some of them explain how a lot of usual factors affect things, including cooking time and temperatures, chemical reactions among ingredients, etc.

You guys are getting married. A small fib to spare someone's feelings may seem convenient, but if it's significant enough that you're writing to an advice column about it, this is no small fib. Lies and secrets damage marriages. Lies and secrets that survive the dating and engagement phases through to the wedding, turn into minefields and nuclear missiles.


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ClaudeTheWonderCat
Lover

Posts: 3

Registered:
Mar 2012
Re: POLL: She doesn't do her best cooking in the k (Score: 0)
posted Friday, March 02, 2012 - 05:37 PM (#61170)

Not an original thought, but I strongly agree with this :
"Between a girl who's good cook and a girl good in the sack, marry the one who is good in the sack. 'Cuz a girl good in the sack CAN learn to cook, but one who is only a good cook will never learn to be good in the sack."


--
Have fun out there, y'all :)
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bobb123
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Posts: 7

Registered:
Feb 2012
Re: POLL: She doesn't do her best cooking in the k (Score: 0)
posted Friday, March 02, 2012 - 07:17 PM (#61171)

Do what I did...my wife is from a foreign country that eats such delicacies as squid, octopus and other interesting creatures. I'm a first generation Irish guy livin in the states. Slowly but surely I took over the cookn while she does other stuff around the house ( told her I dont clean well, so Id cook to be "fair") Now I cook very well and even learned to cook some of her favorite stuff...on occasional, very occasional,holidays.


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Bruceski
Lover

Posts: 6

Registered:
May 2011
Re: POLL: She doesn't do her best cooking in the k (Score: 0)
posted Saturday, March 03, 2012 - 04:24 AM (#61173)

If nobody tells us where our faults lie, how can we ever improve them? I've been in that situation before and it's annoying. "How come you never realized that's annoying?" "Because everyone's been too polite to tell me it's annoying."


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guillaumedep
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Posts: 2

Registered:
Mar 2012
Re: POLL: She doesn't do her best cooking in the k (Score: 0)
posted Saturday, March 03, 2012 - 08:40 AM (#61174)

First, if you cannot talk with your lady about this, how are you going to talk to her about other things? You need to work out how to talk with each other now rather than waiting until you are married and have kids to find out that you cannot get along after all.

Second, if this is something she really enjoys, you should encourage her to do it... well. Cooking classes are a good start, but don't stop there. Most of all, give feedback and be honest. Sooner or later, you will want to entertain and she will want to provide the food. How do you think she is going to feel about you when your guests let her know the food she made was bad and she realizes you were being dishonest with her? Even if it is a simple difference in tastes, the problem is not with the food, but with the communication.


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delzoup
Lover

Posts: 8

Registered:
Jan 2010
Re: POLL: She doesn't do her best cooking in the k (Score: 0)
posted Saturday, March 03, 2012 - 11:28 PM (#61175)

I would think you'd be a long way from getting married if you can't tell her you think her cooking sucks as constructive criticism. No one is perfect, and no couple is a perfect fit for eachother without some work. At some point being married you are going to think some rather unflattering things about the other person--and if you can't work it out, than you're likely to not be married for long.
Every person's communication style is different, but I think the best thing to do is to keep in mind that you're far from perfect either, and to work in how much you love her and want to make your marriage work--and how flexible you're willing to be but still be honest.


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tparadox
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Posts: 4

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Apr 2007
Re: POLL: She doesn't do her best cooking in the k (Score: 0)
posted Monday, March 05, 2012 - 09:26 PM (#61177)

My mother learned everything she knows about cooking from my father. Her parents were so protective they didn't allow her to even bake cookies until she was 16.


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NunyaBidness
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Posts: 83

Registered:
Apr 2008
Re: POLL: She doesn't do her best cooking in the k (Score: 0)
posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - 12:20 AM (#61178)

My wife never learned to cook, and just sort of threw stuff into a pot. I politely interceded (She'd been living with me two weeks) and started advising on ethnic spice combinations, asking her what she liked, etc. I do most of the cooking, but she's gotten very good at desserts and baked entrees.

If you can't talk about this, the relationship is doomed. If you can't do it diplomatically, you are doomed.


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Matato
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Posts: 4

Registered:
Jun 2011
Re: POLL: She doesn't do her best cooking in the k (Score: 0)
posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - 07:47 AM (#61179)

Oh please, one year in and the worst problem you have is you don't like her cooking? And, evidently, her worst problem is a boyfriend who really cares about her and doesn't want to hurt her feelings. You're doomed, DOOMED I tell you! Well, you are if you listen to anyone who tells you you are. All long-term relationships reach the "This might be the one... uh oh!" stage, where you start noticing everything and amplifying it times THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!!! Next comes the warts-and-all phase when you realize little of that matters in the big picture, or the regret it forever phase when you realize you've ended a good relationship over something superficial. That said, if you can't suck it up and pretend to like her cooking, going on a diet "for health reasons" could be an easy way to get her to learn new ways of cooking while sparing her feelings. Vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic or Mediterranean diets all require a different set of cooking skills, seasonings etc. Who knows? You just might wind up with a healthier lifestyle and a healthier relationship!


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Walker
Lover

Posts: 2

Registered:
Mar 2012
Re: POLL: She doesn't do her best cooking in the k (Score: 0)
posted Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - 09:03 AM (#61180)

One of the things we are missing here is what is wrong with the cooking? Is it burned, raw, over salted,incorrectly seasoninged, or does she cook food (midwestern vs southwestern, Vinegar vs tomato based BBQ) you are not used to, etc.

If it's over or under cooked, one of the biggest reasons is timing. It can take years for someone with no formal training to start getting the timing of multiple dishes down. It might also be because of bad prep-work. Knife skills are important in cooking, especially getting the pieces all the same size so they cook evenly. If it's seasoning, is she using the correct measures (aka, a t of salt vs a T of salt.)

If the food is just different, give it a try, you might actually learn to like it.

As almost everyone else has said, take a cooking class together,or... just let her learn over time. When I first started cooking 25 years ago, the only thing I could do was spaghetti and meat sauce, and even that wasn't very good. Now I can cook or bake almost anything I want, including holiday meals for 10 or more people.

If you can't deal with her cooking...YOU are doomed. No one is a great cook early in life. Just smile and tell her how much you appreciate what she does and choke it down. It will get better with 3-5 years of practice.


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