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(Slate)   "My mother-in-law constantly insists on cooking, and while you'd think that would be great, it isn't because she sucks at cooking. Like it's completely inedible. How can I tell her to improve her cooking or stop altogether?"   (slate.com) divider line
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307 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 12 Apr 2021 at 6:55 AM (4 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



19 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2021-04-12 3:35:04 AM  
Do what we did to get my Nana to stop cooking for the family after she lost her sense of taste and smell. Don't have dinner at her place and when she comes over to your place ask her to make whatever one dish she can still cook without messing it up and bring that. Then rave about how glad you are when she brings it so she doesn't feel like she's old and useless and you don't have to tell her that her cooking sucks.
 
2021-04-12 5:36:55 AM  
Send your MIL to a farm upstate
 
2021-04-12 6:39:30 AM  
Become a chef.

Seriously. It means that you do all the cooking for holidays and parties. Even at friends' homes. Unless you are visiting other cooks and chefs, which means you ALL fight to cook for one another. The one thing that the pandemic has done for me, has made my holidays less busy so I can sit in my fat pants and watch some holiday specials with a beer in hand, instead of being back in the kitchen whipping up stuff for the extended family.
 
2021-04-12 7:11:09 AM  
I had a somewhat opposite problem.  My ex-MIL is a fantastic cook.  Thing is, she, my ex-wife, and SIL would hold the entire house captive via the kitchen. They would promise the house a fantastic meal, but when the three of them would get together, they'd binge-watch something like Downton Abby and lose track of time.  Meanwhile, my ADHD kids would lose their farking minds because they'd get off schedule.  I unloaded on them once, told them to stop watching the f*cking TV, stop holding us hostage via the kitchen, and make food for their children.

My brother-in-law laughed his ass off.  I'd punch all of them in the face, given the chance..
 
2021-04-12 7:16:41 AM  
Some people take the role of cook/provider as their persona, as their only use to their family.  They equate feeding with love.  It doesn't matter if they're actually good at it or not, if they serve nutritious/healthy/flavorful food.  If you suggest "this needs more salt" all that they hear is "you're a terrible mom and you don't love your family."

I was in the same situation pre-pandemic, when I cared for my elderly dad and evil stepmother, driving them across the country twice a year, spending about a month total with them each year.  Hell if I know how to handle it.

If I convinced her to let me cook a meal, my dad would compliment me on the meal, and she'd get angry and take it out on him, "but you like mine more, right?" to him,. .and "your father doesn't like his meat rare!" to me. (He does, and his empty plate agrees with me.)  Then later she'd take out her anger at me, on my dad.

My dad's solution was to suggest going out to eat every night.  Then she'd complain about that.  If she just cooked every night, she'd complain about that as well, but not letting anyone help her.  Presumably she just wanted to be loved and worshipped and told what a wonderful caregiver she was.  By her actions and anger at the whole thing, she made herself a terrible caregiver.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯  I pretty much just ate small portions of her bad food, and would grab better meals on the sly.
 
2021-04-12 7:28:43 AM  

Ker_Thwap: Some people take the role of cook/provider as their persona, as their only use to their family.  They equate feeding with love.  It doesn't matter if they're actually good at it or not, if they serve nutritious/healthy/flavorful food.  If you suggest "this needs more salt" all that they hear is "you're a terrible mom and you don't love your family."

I was in the same situation pre-pandemic, when I cared for my elderly dad and evil stepmother, driving them across the country twice a year, spending about a month total with them each year.  Hell if I know how to handle it.

If I convinced her to let me cook a meal, my dad would compliment me on the meal, and she'd get angry and take it out on him, "but you like mine more, right?" to him,. .and "your father doesn't like his meat rare!" to me. (He does, and his empty plate agrees with me.)  Then later she'd take out her anger at me, on my dad.

My dad's solution was to suggest going out to eat every night.  Then she'd complain about that.  If she just cooked every night, she'd complain about that as well, but not letting anyone help her.  Presumably she just wanted to be loved and worshipped and told what a wonderful caregiver she was.  By her actions and anger at the whole thing, she made herself a terrible caregiver.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯  I pretty much just ate small portions of her bad food, and would grab better meals on the sly.


I can relate.

My mom is a pretty good cook (but IMHO, I'm better).  And I have a well-stocked pantry and fridge.  But when she comes to visit, she brings food.  Like this last time, a can of frozen concentrated orange juice (I always have OJ in the fridge, and a backup half-gallon in the freezer), string cheese (I've got a half-dozen different cheeses in their own dedicated drawer of the fridge), etc.

When I lived in the DC suburbs, and she and dad drove 8 hours with a ham in a cooler in the back of the car, my sarcastic housemate said "Gee, thanks Mrs. File.  We don't get ham here in Virginia."
 
2021-04-12 7:40:27 AM  
There's a youtube channel for that.

Breakfast Sandwich: Bacon Tomato Melt - You Suck at Cooking (episode 118)
Youtube bh4JyH29M2s
 
2021-04-12 7:49:01 AM  
if you're afraid to do a puppet show with your food i have the sympathy. toss some damn spices here and there on your plate. it's okay to find your flavor.
 
2021-04-12 8:01:37 AM  

Ker_Thwap: Some people take the role of cook/provider as their persona, as their only use to their family.  They equate feeding with love.  It doesn't matter if they're actually good at it or not, if they serve nutritious/healthy/flavorful food.  If you suggest "this needs more salt" all that they hear is "you're a terrible mom and you don't love your family."

I was in the same situation pre-pandemic, when I cared for my elderly dad and evil stepmother, driving them across the country twice a year, spending about a month total with them each year.  Hell if I know how to handle it.

If I convinced her to let me cook a meal, my dad would compliment me on the meal, and she'd get angry and take it out on him, "but you like mine more, right?" to him,. .and "your father doesn't like his meat rare!" to me. (He does, and his empty plate agrees with me.)  Then later she'd take out her anger at me, on my dad.

My dad's solution was to suggest going out to eat every night.  Then she'd complain about that.  If she just cooked every night, she'd complain about that as well, but not letting anyone help her.  Presumably she just wanted to be loved and worshipped and told what a wonderful caregiver she was.  By her actions and anger at the whole thing, she made herself a terrible caregiver.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯  I pretty much just ate small portions of her bad food, and would grab better meals on the sly.


My mom recognizes that all three of her children are better cooks than her, one by professional training, two by hobby interest. She's happy not only to let us cook ("I cooked for you ungrateful kids for 20 years; I deserve a break,") but brags about us to her friends. She's still a decent cook, but we take family time to try to one up one another.
 
2021-04-12 8:18:15 AM  

foo monkey: I had a somewhat opposite problem.  My ex-MIL is a fantastic cook.  Thing is, she, my ex-wife, and SIL would hold the entire house captive via the kitchen. They would promise the house a fantastic meal, but when the three of them would get together, they'd binge-watch something like Downton Abby and lose track of time.  Meanwhile, my ADHD kids would lose their farking minds because they'd get off schedule.  I unloaded on them once, told them to stop watching the f*cking TV, stop holding us hostage via the kitchen, and make food for their children.

My brother-in-law laughed his ass off.  I'd punch all of them in the face, given the chance..


I've never been so happy to hear that someone was divorced.

/I'm sure your blood pressure has gone down an incredible amount
//I would have grabbed the kids and gone to a drive-thru window
 
2021-04-12 10:09:47 AM  

mekkab: foo monkey: I had a somewhat opposite problem.  My ex-MIL is a fantastic cook.  Thing is, she, my ex-wife, and SIL would hold the entire house captive via the kitchen. They would promise the house a fantastic meal, but when the three of them would get together, they'd binge-watch something like Downton Abby and lose track of time.  Meanwhile, my ADHD kids would lose their farking minds because they'd get off schedule.  I unloaded on them once, told them to stop watching the f*cking TV, stop holding us hostage via the kitchen, and make food for their children.

My brother-in-law laughed his ass off.  I'd punch all of them in the face, given the chance..

I've never been so happy to hear that someone was divorced.

/I'm sure your blood pressure has gone down an incredible amount
//I would have grabbed the kids and gone to a drive-thru window


Aw, thank you so much!  Unfortunately, my blood pressure is incredibly high.  I should probably be in a hospital. If I stop posting or a few weeks, assume I'm dead.
 
2021-04-12 11:19:12 AM  
1) Have You Ever Went Over To A Friend's House To Eat And The Food Just Ain't No Good?: It's unlikely your MiL is going to really improve without her wanting to.  If she's not wowed by when you cook and asking how she can improve, I see no reason a confrontation is going to help.  So offer to cook more or STFU and GTHOI.

2) But Girls Of The World Ain't Nothing But Trouble: STFU and MYOB.

3) She Blinded Me With Science: The thing about facts are they don't change because the person who discovered them is a bigot.  I expect the content here is vague because specifics would be a dead giveaway, but you would do a great disservice to the field to not properly cite previous research. GTHOI.
 
2021-04-12 11:25:45 AM  
My Mother-In-Law Makes Tacos and Stouffer's Lasagna, and I Hate Her For It:  _Divorce your husband.  Let him find someone better.

I'd Like to Get Into My Ex-Wife's Business:_  Dude, she's gone.  LET HER GO.

This Important Person Believes There Are Only Two Genders!  Where Does He/She/Other Get Off?_  Well.  Good luck with all that.

My Mommy Wanted a Grandson, and It Makes Me and My Husband Cry!_  I don't know you, but I really, really hate you and your husband.  Really.
 
2021-04-12 11:29:18 AM  

Ker_Thwap: Some people take the role of cook/provider as their persona, as their only use to their family.  They equate feeding with love.  It doesn't matter if they're actually good at it or not, if they serve nutritious/healthy/flavorful food.  If you suggest "this needs more salt" all that they hear is "you're a terrible mom and you don't love your family."

I was in the same situation pre-pandemic, when I cared for my elderly dad and evil stepmother, driving them across the country twice a year, spending about a month total with them each year.  Hell if I know how to handle it.

If I convinced her to let me cook a meal, my dad would compliment me on the meal, and she'd get angry and take it out on him, "but you like mine more, right?" to him,. .and "your father doesn't like his meat rare!" to me. (He does, and his empty plate agrees with me.)  Then later she'd take out her anger at me, on my dad.

My dad's solution was to suggest going out to eat every night.  Then she'd complain about that.  If she just cooked every night, she'd complain about that as well, but not letting anyone help her.  Presumably she just wanted to be loved and worshipped and told what a wonderful caregiver she was.  By her actions and anger at the whole thing, she made herself a terrible caregiver.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯  I pretty much just ate small portions of her bad food, and would grab better meals on the sly.


Are we related?  This sounds exactly like my folks.

Dad was Italian (excellent cook), Mom was American/British - she could burn water.  How exactly does one burn water?  Well, you start with a metal tea pot, two inches of water, and the highest flame setting on the burner.  Then, with a stroke of utter genius, decide the flower garden needs weeding ("it will only take 10 minutes, and I'll hear the kettle whistle").  Then, while displaying powers of multi-tasking that makes the gods weep, she's see a neighbor, then another neighbor, and viola, two hours later, molten metal on the burner.  When microwaves were first invented, Dad bought Mom one, took away her FOURTH teapot (yes, three separate meltdowns), and forbade her from ever having another one.  "You want hot water, microwave it!"

Non-protein food stuff was boiled to the point that mercy killing was too late (flavorless mush).  Protein had to be charred on both sides ("that's how you tell it's done!").  Deglaze the pan - for the love of anything holy - NO - the pan had to be immediately immersed in soapy water (still sizzling) for two hours until the charred bits could be scrapped off with a Brillo pad.

You want flavor - here's the salt and pepper.

I took over the cooking when Mom got a new job and was coming home later than 5pm (Dad's dinner time).  His Italian mother taught me to cook, so yeah, edible food.  He'd greet Mom at the door - "Oh, wait until you taste what your daughter whipped up!  Thank God my mother taught her to cook!"   Mom would give me the fuzzy eyeball, then eat every morsel on her plate, complaining all the time ("this is overcooked, this could have used another two minutes on the stove, what on earth did you put into this?").

¯\_(ツ)_/¯  I pretty much just ate small portions of her bad food, and would grab better meals on the sly.  And plenty of Pepto!!!
 
2021-04-12 11:30:07 AM  

foo monkey: I had a somewhat opposite problem.  My ex-MIL is a fantastic cook.  Thing is, she, my ex-wife, and SIL would hold the entire house captive via the kitchen. They would promise the house a fantastic meal, but when the three of them would get together, they'd binge-watch something like Downton Abby and lose track of time.  Meanwhile, my ADHD kids would lose their farking minds because they'd get off schedule.  I unloaded on them once, told them to stop watching the f*cking TV, stop holding us hostage via the kitchen, and make food for their children.



Because ordering a pizza or making the kids a sandwich wasn't an option?
 
2021-04-12 11:53:59 AM  
How can I tell her to improve her cooking or stop
 
2021-04-12 12:52:54 PM  

Ixnay on the ottenray: How exactly does one burn water?


My mom did this once as well.  IIRC she answered a phone call making tea.
 
2021-04-12 2:12:41 PM  

foo monkey: I had a somewhat opposite problem.  My ex-MIL is a fantastic cook.  Thing is, she, my ex-wife, and SIL would hold the entire house captive via the kitchen. They would promise the house a fantastic meal, but when the three of them would get together, they'd binge-watch something like Downton Abby and lose track of time.  Meanwhile, my ADHD kids would lose their farking minds because they'd get off schedule.  I unloaded on them once, told them to stop watching the f*cking TV, stop holding us hostage via the kitchen, and make food for their children.

My brother-in-law laughed his ass off.  I'd punch all of them in the face, given the chance..


You should have ordered a pizza, delivered, once you realized there was no food to be had any time before midnight.
 
2021-04-12 2:19:05 PM  
As for the complaining letter writer, it sounds like the cook in question was bad per se, but just made bland, but edible food, which is a bit different than it being completely inedible, IMHO, and easier to just suck up and eat.
 
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