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Cooking dilemma

Should JNL keep sharing cooking?

  • Keep sharing

    Votes: 6 24.0%
  • Go your own way

    Votes: 13 52.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 6 24.0%

  • Total voters
    25
  • Poll closed .
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Not open for further replies.

JNL

Cyburbian
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2,449
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25
I have a dilemma that the Throbbing Brain of Cyburbia might be able to help with.

I moved into a new place a few weeks ago that I share with 2 guys. They are a lot of fun and we get on really well and do stuff together socially. Sharing with them is great, and I have almost no complaints, except.... sharing cooking.

We share cooking and I like doing this because it is a social thing, it saves money and energy, and means we put a bit more effort in to what we cook. I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes.

Here's the problem: one of the boys doesn't like mushrooms, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, olives, spicy food, fish etc etc - all things I love to cook with! The number of dishes I can cook from my repertoire is drastically reduced. He flat out will not eat these things.

Last night I cooked Black Pepper Beef - strips of beef, red capsicum, bamboo shoots, and onion in a black pepper sauce, served on rice. I really liked it and so did my other flatmate, but Fussy Boy didn't like it much (IGNORANT FOOL!).

His "signature dish" is barbecue sausages - precooked sausages chopped up and smothered in barbecue sauce out of a bottle. And the only veges he cooks are frozen mixed veges. The other flatties cooking skills are of a similar standard.

So, after my long story, here's the question: do I keep sharing cooking, and try to eat their 'sausage surprise' type creations when sometimes I'd rather eat toast, or do I do my own thing? They will likely be annoyed, but I want to eat better and healthier than they currently cook.

I guess I know I should/will keep sharing, it's good for flat 'cohesion'. Currently, I'm trying to lead by example, by cooking simple yummy things that they will enjoy, and then telling them how easy they were to make. It's just that I miss mushrooms etc and will scream if I have to eat another dish made with sausages!

Hmm something in my favour is that I do the grocery shopping.... maybe I can slowly alter the available ingredients.

What would you do???
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
I would find my own version of bbq sausage and cook it over and over until they died of boredom. But that's just my warped personality peeking out.

Give picky boy a basic cookbook and tell him in no uncertain terms that he has to find a dozen new recipes that look good to him; you'll cook a couple, he'll cook some, and together you'll find some new dishes to serve. He'll try a new ingredient, you'll try a new one. If he balks, throw out all his bbq sauce and tell him he now gets to do the grocery shopping.
 

JNL

Cyburbian
Messages
2,449
Points
25
Maybe I could get him to cook up a big lot of his sausage dish since he likes it so much, then freeze portions, and he can eat sausages while we dine on parmesan-coated fresh fish and mushrooms and other fresh veges! :-D

It's kind of funny. He is sort of trying. The other night he branched out and made pasta with a tin of tomatoes, cheese, and double-cheese SAUSAGES mixed in. He was so proud, and it wasn't too bad, but he was going on about how it was so great and better than my black pepper beef! :-{

I've tried the simple cookbook route - he's flipped through them a couple of times then dismissed them. Too many weird things in the recipes, according to him.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
JNL said:
I've tried the simple cookbook route - he's flipped through them a couple of times then dismissed them. Too many weird things in the recipes, according to him.
This guy has some major phobias, or some big control issues. Everyone has some sort of foodie aversion, I won't eat fish or OKRA, but geez, he's too picky.
 

Trail Nazi

Cyburbian
Messages
2,779
Points
24
In college, I had a similar situation. My one roommate and I would could more interesting things like you would cook and the other would not eat anything remotely like that, so we decided to keep cooking our way until the third roommate figured she'd better eat something of ours or starve since money was so limited. She began to like new foods or at least bare it.

Check out allrecipes.com since you can sort through recipes and eliminate certain ingredients that you do not want and the ones you do want. It is one of my favorite websites for food.
 
Messages
7,649
Points
29
Okay, first let me say that I am coming down off of a drug I took for 3 years and it is bottoming out my blood pressure (the mods ought to all hate me/ keep an eye on me for, oh, 2 weeks or so). So if I sound rude, I surely do not mean to be.

I would be the one getting not so cute labels like "Fussy Boy" -- who may have food allergies or other issues that have never been ID'd. I was accused of being difficult, etc, my whole life. Being picky about what I ate helped keep me alive and functioning. My digestive system is abnormal, I have some food sensitivities and other allergies and trying new foods can be quite a crisis. Socializing over food is a difficult thing for me. It can be quite a crisis in fact -- health-wise. It can mean I sit there and starve in order to avoid a worse fate and this puts my blood-sugar into a downward spiral, which is hard to stop and reverse because I don't digest food very well and ... it is a very serious matter for me. But I tend to get given hell for my "anti-social" behavior.

That may not be why he is like that. And TN's approach might work -- some folks are merely pigheaded and spoiled. But if he does have unidentified food sensitivities, he and you may never know. Also, and I hate to say it because I hate to manbash, but some men DO act all controlling and such when it comes to food as a means to force the issue and get out of cooking, get everything their way, etc. The roll of women cooking and men being waited on by a woman at the table is something a lot of men grew up with, don't want to give up, and refuse to see how nasty and oppressive it is for the woman. It is often not a conscious thing and they haven't really thought it through. They just deeply resent losing their status and don't even want to analyze it rationally. (and I wish I were in better shape to say that with more compassion because even in cases where they are real Jerks, I have compassion, etc, for their subjective experience of it. Sigh.)

Anyway, if he is real intractable, it might be better to cook with the other individual and let "Fussy Boy" do his own thing. If he is doing this out of Cromagnon Man Syndrome, IMO, it isn't your job to Fix him. I just wouldn't recommend falling in love and marrying the oaf. If he is doing it for undiagnosed metabolic reasons, the degree to which he can become more adaptable may be severely limited. If it were me, I would focus on solving MY part of the problem and leave it up to him to decide what to do with his end of things. I really loathe trying to manipulate someone and do such things only as a last resort. I would be disinclined to give him more cookbooks, suggestions on how to handle it, etc. I would say something like "This is what I need to do for me and if you change your mind and decide that you actually want to learn to cook differently, I would be happy to work with you on it. Otherwise: it is your life." (But nicer, if possible -- preferably on a day when I wasn't crabby and freezing to death from low blood pressure.)
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
JNL... maybe one of your side lines is to expand the culinary horizons of fussy boy. I think the leftover thing for FB is a good idea....just have him make extra portions the day before you do your fabulous food creations. And on another note... when is dinner?
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
13,887
Points
56
I like TN's reply. That sounds good.

Also, if he is adamant about his preferences, then also go with the option of making him make huge batch of his sausage stuff and freeze it.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
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Moderator
Messages
28,640
Points
71
the short answer IMHO......go ahead and keep cooking but I wouldn't give a thought to Fussy Boy's self-imposed dilemma. Sounds like an attitude problem on his part being unwilling to try new things. You are under no obligation to improve or change him and in situations where attitude adjustments are in order the 'changer' needs to want to change - and I don't see that happening here. Have fun, though, keep cooking and those willing to try will no doubt stand much to gain in the new cuisine department. You would certainly be demonstrating reciprocity by eating their well-intended if not exactly edible 'sausage surprise' (oh, how bad can it really be? :-# ):-D
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,945
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40
Always have a leftover back-up for FB.....and continue making your meals as you are....if he don't like 'em, he can go for leftovers of his stuff.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,549
Points
25
I would continue to cook your stuff and tell him he can eat it or make something himself. It drives me nuts when people won’t at least try something (provided they aren’t allergic to it). I have a couple of friends that flat out refuse to try anything out of the ordinary because they are so stubborn. I have a rule that I will try anything at least once, that way if it is nasty I can say that I have tried it and can’t stand it (i.e. corned beef hash). I completely disagree with MZ’s ridiculous sociological rant about why he won’t eat anything good. The likely verdict is that he is stubborn. His parents probably always made only stuff that he liked and that is what he expects now. I would just be aggressive with him, but in a humorous way. Maybe refuse to do any cooking or cleaning until he at least tries one bite and if he doesn’t like it, then leave him alone about that item. Try this with each of your dinners and I guarantee that he will like at least a few of them. If he doesn’t like mushrooms, make the dish and have an extra pot where you put his dinner w/o mushrooms. Use the flavors and items that he likes to gauge what ingredients he likes and find some new recipes that utilize them. If that fails, put some laxative in his sausage. His taste for them will probably be gone after a night of running to the bathroom every 15 minutes.

I used to be stubborn about lots of foods that I now love. This includes olives, spinach, bleu, feta, goat, and gorgonzola cheese, squid, mussels, tofu, pork chops, squash, sweet potatoes, onions, lamb, etc. The reason that I didn’t like many of these items is because for most of my life they were prepared poorly or in the case of the cheese, it smelled funny. I absolutely hated sweet potatoes after seeing the nasty brown sugar coated crap at thanksgiving. Then I had some oven roasted ones and some sweet potato fries and I now love them (though I still won’t touch the crappy thanksgiving kind).
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,915
Points
36
I'd keep making what I like to make, maybe making a few modifications but not pandering too much to Fussy Boy's palate. As long as two of the three of you enjoy your creations, FB is outvoted and can either like it or start eating out of a can over the sink.

btw - you can cook whatever you like for Mrs. Tranplanner and me :)
 

Dragon

Cyburbian
Messages
750
Points
21
FB could always make a sandwich if he doesn’t like what you cook :p .

My current roommate likes to cook with mushrooms and such. I don’t like mushrooms personally, but if they are done right, like chopped into tiny bits to wear I don’t have one large portion on mushroom in my mouth, I’ll eat them no problem.

It could also be a matter of trying something. I cook some things my roommate doesn’t think she likes, but I insist on her trying them, and when she does sometimes she goes “Oh, this is good!!” :cool: That backfired on Eel sushi though…. :-0 :-#
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,889
Points
26
I say.. Tough S***. If he doesn't like the food, he can cook his own. I enjoy cooking for groups. My wife and I have been eating at our parents quite a bit lately due to our current no house, insane job change living arrangements. Our parents don't know how to eat unless there is a slab of meat on one side of the plate, a pile of potatoes on the other, a smattering of canned veggies on the other corner...EVERY STINKING DINNER.

My wife and I are frequently preparing a much tastier, unique, and healthy meal for us two while they eat their classic midwestern diet. They won't touch our stuff... they don't know what they're missing.
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
Sounds a bit like my brother-in-law. His parents didn't cook so he grew up liking only the high fat, deep fried taste of take out, frozen dinners and macaroni and cheese. But, not wanting to go hungry and not being able to cook much himself, he would eat just about anything... as long as he didn't know what was in it. Once he found out a dish had a "weird ingredient" he just assumed he wouldn't like it and wouldn't eat. My sister has gotten around this by just cooking and not telling him what's in the dish, even when he ask. I would suggest doing the same, and if your your flatmate still refuses to eat or even try your cooking just tell him to get some sausages out of the freezer and make his own dinner.
 

Plannerbabs

Cyburbian
Messages
1,037
Points
23
I agree with the others. Keep on cooking, and he'll either come around and become quite the gourmet, or just start making his own dinners from frozen kits or something. My husband was like that--didn't want anything different at all, preferred fast food and pizza---and it was because his (ahem) mother was not (ahem) a good cook. He'd had vegetables boiled to mush, casseroles galore, etc, and didn't trust different food. After much cajoling, and a bribe of McDonald's, he tried Japanese food--and now he's competely hooked, will try almost anything once, etc. (to his mom's credit, she does make good chocolate chip cookies...) So perhaps you could bribe him with something familiar to get him to try something new, and see where that goes.
 

Rumpy Tunanator

Cyburbian
Messages
4,473
Points
25
Dragon said:
and when she does sometimes she goes “Oh, this is good!!” :cool: That backfired on Eel sushi though…. :-0 :-#
Eel sushi is yum yum :p

I would just make an extra helping of whatever your cooking and if he doesn't like it, looks like you have something to eat for lunch the next day. You guys have a McDonalds there, he'll be allright;)
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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Messages
18,698
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69
As a somewhat picky eater, the few times I've been in a roommate situation, I've always bought my own groceries and cooked meals for and by myself, except on special occasions. It would spare my roomies the aggravation of remembering and considering the quirks of my diet.

If you want to seriously piss off a picky eater, constantly remind them of it; point out why their plates look so different than others, or pressure them into eating something that they normally wouldn't touch. You wouldn't do this to a vegetarian or observant Hindu, Jew or Muslim, would you? "C'mon, Herschel, some pork barbecue and bacon won't hurt you. It's Passover ... nosh!" "Hey, Sanjay, that steak won't bite back, and it's probably not your great grandfather anyhow. Eat up!" "Halal schlamel, Achmed! Just bite into it!" "Doesn't that burger look good, Mooncloud?"

I think being a picky eater is a generic trait that is more difficult to overcome than just cowboying up and swallowing something that's not normally a part of your diet. It took me years to overcome my aversion to many foods, and there will be others that I simply can't eat. I'll explain more when we meet in Chicago or Toronto.
 

Dragon

Cyburbian
Messages
750
Points
21
[OT]
Rumpy Tunanator said:
Eel sushi is yum yum :p
It is good. Sorta tastes like a Krystal's Burger...in a weird twisted way B-) [/OT]


He doesn't like fish prepared in any way? Or did he try it one way and decide fish isn't for him? My roommate doesn't like fish, but she likes fishsticks...go figure.
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
I lived with a few buddies of varying tastes. We set it up so that there were just 1 or 2 meals a week that we shared cooking. The rest of the time it was on your own.
 

Big Easy King

Cyburbian
Messages
1,361
Points
23
FB should appreciate that you're trying to expand his palate. If he continues to whine about your cuisine, you should give him the BBQ sauce and tell him to handle his own business.

What time's dinner so that Planderella and I can enjoy? :p :-D
 

Lee Nellis

Cyburbian
Messages
1,369
Points
29
As someone who grew up in a household where you ate what was there AND were thankful for it or did without, I have zero tolerance for picky eaters. I do know that some folks (including me) have genuine food sensitivities that must be respected.

But the odds that someone whose favorite food is sausage is suffering from food sensitivities are pretty low (unless this individual is already obese, broken out in rashes, arthritic, or unable to breathe and can't figure out why, in which case it would be the sausage and he needs to be eating 'shrooms instead). I'm with the majority. Cook what you like. He can figure it out.
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
Planderella said:
Go your own way. Why are you bothering with them in the first place?
I think I love you.

I used to cook for a a huge group of my college boyfriend's friends. I ended up deciding it was easier for me to not prepare so much food and really, they're big guys, they can fend for themselves.

Perhaps you could eat a large salad on the night he "cooks"? Hardly any prep and very healthy.
 

GeogPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,433
Points
25
NHPlanner said:
Always have a leftover back-up for FB.....and continue making your meals as you are....if he don't like 'em, he can go for leftovers of his stuff.
here, here! i'm a fussy eater and this is what i do. if someone makes something i won't eat, its my job to make myself something else...like a fluffernutter!
 

JNL

Cyburbian
Messages
2,449
Points
25
Thanks everyone! :) I kind of had an idea about how I wanted to handle it, but I wanted to check if I was being unreasonable or not. Thanks for all the support!

There are some good ideas here and I think I will adopt a combination. When he cooks, he can make extra for other meals for himself. I will cook with 'weird stuff' and not tell him till afterwards (I've already done that a couple of times with some success). Last week I tried making a Thai Green Curry with chicken and everyone liked it.

Lee - I was raised the same way. And Repo Man - yep, he said his parents policy was 'If you don't like it you don't have to eat it'.

STTG - let me know when you've got all the immigration details sorted :-D

boiker - LOL re every stinking dinner - I lived with my ex-fiance's parents for 2.5 years and every stinking dinner was like that too! I kept quiet because I didn't have time to cook and I gradually introduced onions, tomato sauce, soy sauce and a few other things (I thought were standard) to their household...

and BEK - when am I coming to visit again??
 
Last edited:

JNL

Cyburbian
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2,449
Points
25
michaelskis said:
Now for the real question, will you be cooking at the laefest?
I think not, but I will cook for those who have me to stay ;)
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,155
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51
JNL said:
I think not, but I will cook for those who have me to stay ;)
YES!


I will let you help me cook dinner one night... I enjoy cooking too much to let someone else have all the fun.
 
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7,649
Points
29
Repo Man said:
I completely disagree with MZ’s ridiculous sociological rant about why he won’t eat anything good.
a) I cited several possible explanations.
b) My "ridiculous sociological rant" is based in part on an abundance of research published in numerous books and articles such as "More Work for Mother" (a 300 year history of technological innovation in housework and how innovation has tended to shift more and more household chores on to women) and "The Second Shift" as well psychological research proving the human tendency towards "self-serving bias". My most recent readings that touched on "self serving bias" was this past week, as part of my class work. Nonetheless, I would be thrilled if you could point me to the latest research proving that this longstanding historical fact and global phenomenon and human tendency has evaporated overnight while I wasn't looking. :)

Dan thanks for your comments. I know how much other people are inconvenienced by picky eaters but I generally find that being totally intolerant of their preferences is not the way to improve things.

Everyone else: thanks for not flaming me when I failed to be at my most diplomatic during drug withdrawal. I am feeling substantially better this evening.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
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2,549
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25
JNL said:
And Repo Man - yep, he said his parents policy was 'If you don't like it you don't have to eat it'.
MZ - As you can see. usually the most simple answer is the correct one. It is not like this guy wasn't cooking and demanding that JNL cooked everything. He was trying to cook it just was a meal that wasn't appealing to the other roommates.

As for the years of research, I will agree that women have been burdened with the brunt of household chores and that is rooted in the housewife tradition. As more women started working some husbands still wanted the housewife benefits, like having all of the cooking, cleaning, and child care done by the woman. However, we are at the point in society where man and women should share household chores equally. If the man does 20 percent and the woman does 80 percent, the woman should have thought twice about marrying someone like that or stand up for herself. So many women (and men too) enter into a marriage thinking, "Oh he/she will change once we get married” The thing is, most people don't change. I am so sick of people playing the victim card every time their life doesn't go the way that they want. I wish people would stand up for themselves instead of dumping the blame on everything and everyone but themselves. . My recommendation to women who have to do all of this housework - if your hubby is a sexist pig and refuses to help out anymore, leave him. Why people stay in marriages that make them miserable is beyond me. Money and security are usually the culprit but if given the choice I would take happiness over either of 'em.
 

yaff

Cyburbian
Messages
108
Points
6
JNL, after reading these posts I just wanted to throw one other suggestion into the mix. It is very difficult to change other's eating and cooking habits. It can be done, but not easily. A more comfortable solution could be to suggest that two nights a week are group cooking nights and the other nights you cook for yourself. That way, when it is "group" night, you tolerate whatever you are given and on the other nights you can cook as creatively or simply as you choose. This also preserves the group bonding and cohesion purpose to a fair extent. Good Luck! P.S. I am very sorry to be missing you all in Chicago. You had to wait until after I left didn't you? (sniff, sniff) Hope you all enjoy Chicago laefest.
 
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7,649
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29
Repo Man said:
MZ - As you can see. usually the most simple answer is the correct one. It is not like this guy wasn't cooking and demanding that JNL cooked everything. He was trying to cook it just was a meal that wasn't appealing to the other roommates.
Hey, if it came across as a "ridiculous rant" it was undoubtedly due to the state I was in. I don't want to hi-jack this thread with a lengthy discussion of our views on such things. That is the only thing that irritated me -- not that you felt that was irrellevent to JNL's issue. You could have stated your opinion that my sociological comments were likely irrellevent to this particular situation without what amounts to "kicking someone while they are down". Peace, okay?
 
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