Re: Mallory Ortberg Has A Flaw

1

but my stuff wasn't the way she'd have made it, and she prefers her way

That makes it sound like she's just picky to the point of rudeness/you will have problems living together if she's like this about anything but food.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:09 AM
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I think Ortberg got it right. If there were no leftovers in the house and she insisted on doing her own cooking, that would suggest another problem (like maybe he's unsanitary or an awful cook.)

But if he's she is not unhappy and he is able to shrug it off, that's the way to go. He's trying to help her, but if she doesn't think he's helping, she should be permitted to see it the way she sees it.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:10 AM
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She hates him and is planning her escape.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:12 AM
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2: Except when you split up household duties, I don't think you get to unilaterally say "Cooking is mine because I only like to eat my own food. Your contribution can be two other things from the list on the fridge."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:19 AM
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4: Right, this too. There's a bit of "Don't think you get any credit for pulling your weight in the household by making me dinner," about it. As if he's being set up to either be the useless asshole who doesn't do anything domestic, or in trouble for not doing all of whatever tasks they both hate.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:22 AM
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Love is a battlefield.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:28 AM
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In unrelated news, references to The Genealogy of Morals are, apparently, not appreciated in minor domestic bickering.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:33 AM
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He could always take a class to improve his cooking skills. OTOH the wife sounds kind of unpleasant.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:34 AM
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9

"Take this 'Beyond Good and Evil' to the garbage chute because the packaging from raw chicken will stink before tomorrow morning."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:36 AM
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10

I also think they should just go ahead and murder the cat.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:40 AM
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11

The wife is being rude: if someone makes you dinner (whether they are there when you eat it or not), you should at least eat some of it. That's just basic good manners, isn't it?

Then, later, you say something tactful like "thanks for making me dinner yesterday but you really don't need to bother, I don't like to have a full meal that late at night anyway because it stops me getting to sleep easily (or similar excuse), I'll just have some leftovers next time."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:42 AM
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LB is right. The only thing I can think of that would make the wife's behavior acceptable is if they had had a conversation ahead of time where she said "please don't bother to cook; let's just eat leftovers" and then he ignored her. Otherwise, being polite and friendly about things people make/do for you is part of not being five years old any more.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:42 AM
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No one's ever going to buy your screenplay.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:42 AM
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IME about 20% of problems in relationships are the result of people not being honest with each other and about 75% are the result of people being too honest with each other.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:43 AM
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14 to 13! 13 to 10?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:44 AM
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13 is going on my bumper if I ever go to Los Angeles.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:45 AM
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Eh, I have to go with Mallory on this one.

But maybe that's b/c I've lived with Dr. Skull for (yikes, can this be true?) 25 years now. He's a much better cook than I am, and we both know it. He will eat what I cook to be *polite*; but yeah, given any kind of choice, he'd rather eat his own cooking, even if that means eating leftovers.

And if he had to eat my cooking, night after night, especially after working long days at work, it would be a true hardship.

I'm not a terrible cook, mind you. I'm a perfectly okay cook. I make a fine meatloaf, and my beans and rice are lovely. But he does cooking like other people do art.


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:01 AM
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OK, I'm a picky eater, and until recently, I did almost all the household cooking. I think that having this go on for weeks is the problem, not the eating leftovers. He wants to give her a gift that isn't her thing. Why keep forcing it? I think the right answer was probably to eat the food politely the first time and the second time, but one the wife realized that this was now going to become the routine for evenings when she gets home late, it doesn't seem so awful to say that she'd prefer leftovers. This is a bit different from being a guest in someone else's home, where a polite picky eater manages to swallow some portion of the food and politely push the remainder around the plate and make nice conversation. How many meals that she doesn't really enjoy does she need to eat to be polite in her own home?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:03 AM
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19

OTOH, yes, have a conversation about it. Don't let him cook for you and keep on cooking for you. Jeez.


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:03 AM
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20

In the building on campus with the most smokers sitting outside on the step?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:03 AM
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20 to 17.last.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:04 AM
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Or what ydnew said!


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:04 AM
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4,5 - The query makes no mention of the division of labor. He doesn't think that's the problem, nor does he attribute that sentiment to his wife.

He's saying very straightforwardly: I am trying to do this nice thing for my wife. I enjoy doing it. She knows that I'm trying and appreciates the thought, but doesn't actually like the result.

If this was a sex question, then the answer would be obvious: Stop doing stuff she doesn't like, no matter how gratifying you find it. If a particular kind of sex is essential to you and you can't figure out a way to do it that she likes, then you don't belong together.

But maybe cooking for someone is less essential. One perfectly reasonable alternative is to just not be offended, if he can manage that. That solves everybody's problem.

To 11 and 12: She wasn't the one looking for advice, but now that she's done basically as you advise (she's made her preference clear), what should he do?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:06 AM
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24

It probably was a sex question, sublimated.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:08 AM
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25

And the cat was a metaphor for a Sanders/Clinton argument.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:10 AM
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I reject any rule that requires people to eat stuff they don't want to eat. It behooves you to express gratitude for a gift from a loved one, but you have no obligation to put that gift in your mouth.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:12 AM
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She wasn't the one looking for advice, but now that she's done basically as you advise (she's made her preference clear), what should he do?

Well, he should stop doing it. But that wasn't the question. What his original question was is a bit vague ("Thoughts?") LB's question was "does this seem a bit rude and unpleasant to you?"

24 is of course right. READ THE SUBTEXT PEOPLE. HE IS ASKING FOR PERMISSION TO "COOK DINNER" FOR SOMEONE ELSE BECAUSE HE THINKS THAT WHEN HE "COOKS DINNER" FOR HIS WIFE SHE IS "EATING LEFTOVERS" INSTEAD.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:12 AM
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Taken in isolation, the cat answer seems perfectly reasonable, but is it really a coincidence that her position always seems to be: "The pet must die!"


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:13 AM
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It probably was a sex question, sublimated.

ZIS IS TRUE OFF ALL QUESTIONS!


Posted by: OPINIONATED SIGMUND FREUD | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:13 AM
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I'm just so happy she told somebody they can steal a dog.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:13 AM
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17, 18: Huh. I have a really visceral reaction to this. Not so much 17 -- you and Dr. Skull have it worked so your feelings aren't hurt, so whatever the communication was worked, and you're fine.

But generally -- if you're too picky to eat reasonably competently produced food that a loved one has made for you, I think you're being strange, and wanting that preference to be accommodated is something that should be negotiated apologetically, with the recognition that it would be perceived by a reasonable person as cold and insulting. Getting to a place where you don't have to eat what you don't want is okay, but if to get there you have to reject your spouse's desire to cook for you, I do think you should recognize and acknowledge that you're calling in a certain amount of marital slack and that you're kind of being a jerk.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:14 AM
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I think the right answer was probably to eat the food politely the first time and the second time, but one the wife realized that this was now going to become the routine for evenings when she gets home late, it doesn't seem so awful to say that she'd prefer leftovers. This is a bit different from being a guest in someone else's home, where a polite picky eater manages to swallow some portion of the food and politely push the remainder around the plate and make nice conversation. How many meals that she doesn't really enjoy does she need to eat to be polite in her own home?

I think this is the key distinction. I'm with Delegar/Ydnew/pf.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:17 AM
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33

Same with the laundry - if one spouse regularly does the laundry reasonably well, and the other spouse is super picky about the details, then that person should remove their clothes that require extra attention from the laundry stream and do them on their own. The laundry spouse was offering to do a nice thing, but shouldn't get their feelings hurt.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:19 AM
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If this was a sex question, then the answer would be obvious: Stop doing stuff she doesn't like, no matter how gratifying you find it. If a particular kind of sex is essential to you and you can't figure out a way to do it that she likes, then you don't belong together.

Heh. "When my wife gets home from work, she's usually horny, but also tired. I'd like to have sex in some way that relaxes her and gets her off, but she really prefers just masturbating without having me involved. Thoughts?"

I mean, yes, they shouldn't be having sex if she doesn't want to. But I'd still think there was something lousy going on, relationship-wise.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:20 AM
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I'm thinking if he decides to clean up the living room, she'll be unhappy with where he puts stuff. Eventually, he'll be driven to a "man cave" to eat corn nuts and drink PBR while the upstairs of his house is filled with collectable plates and books about how to make your marriage stronger.

Subtext again.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:21 AM
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36

A version of this comes up in our household, where Jammies finds it super unpleasant to explain the right way of doing things - he doesn't enjoy articulating himself generally and he has lots of picky details about how things must be done right and he doesn't mind that much doing them himself. Plus he needs less sleep than me (or E). The upshot is that things are routinely very unfair and I carry around mild guilt.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:21 AM
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37

I would go so far as to say that I consider people's attempts to force me to eat the dessert/unhealthy food they've prepared to be actively rude. Debase your temple for my gratification! Come on, don't be a stick in the mud.


Posted by: torque | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:21 AM
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33: I apparently have food-related emotions. I would think that anyone getting even a little bit bent out of shape by their spouse's laundry preferences would be insane. Food, on the other hand, is important.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:21 AM
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39

But I'd still think there was something lousy going on, relationship-wise.

My personal suspicion is that the subtext is weight and dieting - she's got her food intake rigidly controlled, and maybe she hasn't fully explained that to him, and maybe he teases her or she's embarrassed when the subject comes up, so this is how she's handling it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:23 AM
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40

37: That's the waitress's job.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:23 AM
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41

I have a bit of a similar situation at home - I do most of the menu planning and all of the shopping. My spouse can cook, but when left to their own devices, they will plan simple menus that do not appeal to me (e.g. store bought tortellini with pesto, frozen pizza - fine one in a while, but not once a week). Appeals to "please include a vegetable" are met with a shrug or the response that "a potato is a vegetable".

I would love to split cooking 50/50 (and spouse is willing, provided I leave them to their own menu planning), but I want to eat reasonably healthy food. Not sure how to play this one.


Posted by: Herr Fritz Honegger | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:25 AM
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42

38: yes, I thought your reaction was (though not wrong; I agree, see 11) stronger than I would have expected.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:25 AM
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41: My son would enjoy your spouse's meal planning, except he wants regular sauce and not pesto.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:27 AM
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44

I also want to know why LB has decided that the anonymous husband's name is Clarence.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:28 AM
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There are situations where the wife's attitude is arguably acceptable and some where arguably not, and it's not possible to decide which given the information. Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen, usw, usw.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:31 AM
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It does seem rude and there may or not be relationship issues underpinning this behaviour, but I can't get past "Why are you cooking more food when you still have leftovers?"


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:31 AM
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47

46 is also a good point. Personally I seem to exist mostly on leftovers, which I generally forget to label. So there's always a moment of uncertainty as I start to defrost the latest frozen block of whatever it is: "Is this chicken curry? Stew? Bolognese sauce? Roast vegetable soup?" So far I've been lucky that the answer has never turned out to be "ice cream".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:33 AM
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Picky eaters are fine and easy to accommodate if you've only got one around. The problem comes if you get two or three. If you have picky spouse and then you get a picky kid, you can't eat. For example, there are not enough foods that are vegan and gluten free and don't taste like shit to make a meal.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:35 AM
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49

In conclusion, everybody should be O.K. with chicken wings so long as there is also celery and blue cheese.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:36 AM
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41: I can think of a couple of things to do here: (1) lighten up about the vegetables. You can have a big salad for lunch -- you don't need every meal to be healthy; (2) positive reinforcement for anything the spouse makes that meets your standards. Is there any menu they come up with you don't mind? Be enthusiastic about it; and then (3) calibrate how often they cook to how often you can stand their cooking, and if the split is uneven, work it out elsewhere in the household.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:38 AM
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The husband should eat the leftovers himself before the wife gets home. If there are too many leftovers to eat, throw them out and claim they went bad. Then there will be nothing to eat except the meal he has lovingly prepared, which by default will have to be good enough for her (unless she wants to go hungry). Everyone wins.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:39 AM
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46 is what I was going to suggest- if he wants to do something in the kitchen, and she wants to eat leftovers, how about he heats up and prettifies the leftovers for her when she gets home?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:40 AM
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53

Or just hide the leftovers in his slippers under the table, if he also doesn't like pea soup.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:41 AM
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54

Advice columnists can only give advice to the person asking for advice, not their spouse. In that setting I think this is good advice, as it's something that could help and which is under his control. The wife is kind of being a jerk, but it's simplest to just avoid the situation than to force her to be less of a jerk in that situation.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:44 AM
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My cooking issue is that I'm responsible for weekends and we have a fairly routine three week rotation for weeknights which are easier to prepare. However I'm not supposed to make anything on the weekends that is too similar to what's in the rotation, and since the rotation covers a) most things we know the kids like and b) most types of food (pastas, soups, salads, casseroles), I either have trouble coming up with ideas on weekends or I end up doing something fancy that takes hours of prep.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:45 AM
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56

If you have a grill, fish tacos are easy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:49 AM
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33: This is a good description of the laundry situation in my household. I would be feeling all virtuous for having done laundry, and expect a medal for exemplary husbanding, and instead my wife would be furious with me for having ruined one of her precious articles of clothing. I would stumble off into a corner, and wonder if this was how Jesus felt on the cross.

Eventually, I figured out (because my wife told me) there were certain of my wife's clothes that I should not attempt to launder, and if I was in any doubt it was safer to leave the article of clothing alone. Domestic harmony is (for the most part) restored!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:49 AM
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Meh. I think food is not sex, though, pace Freud. (Laundry is also not sex.) So refusing to eat the food your sweetie made for you isn't, in some bizarre way, an act equivalent to sexual betrayal.

It's just a Thing. We all have Things, and in long-term relationships, if you're *going* to have a long-term relationship, you know, you accept one another's Things.

I enjoy it very much when Dr. Skull cooks for me; I love his fancy meals (even if I can't remember one single name for any of them -- they're all in French, because of course they are). OTOH, I am perfectly happy to eat peanut butter out of the jar and diet Dr. Pepper for dinner.

But he's so not, and this is the crucial difference. He cares about food in a way I just don't.

I too have Things. Like, it matters to me that the dishes are really clean. Not just half-assed clean. (Dr. Skull never washes the *outsides* of things, oh my God.) So either I do the dishes, or we have a fight about it when he's done them.

Mostly I do them. Because seriously, it really matters to me. Jesus, I hate taking a glass from the cupboard and it's gritty on the outside. Holy hell.

But him, yeah, so what, it's clean on the inside, isn't it?



Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:50 AM
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Take cheap fish, soak in olive oil and lime juice and mixed with some onions and leaves (cilantro?) and probably some salt. While fish is soaking, slice cabbage (which, helpfully, looks nothing like cilantro) very thin and toss with salt and lime juice. Drink two beers at normal pace and then put the fish on the grill.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:51 AM
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42, 54: Yeah, I don't have better advice for the letter writer. I think what drove the strength of my reaction was just thinking he was due some recognition that his feelings weren't idiosyncraticly oversensitive, and his wife was genuinely being a bit of a jerk to him. Skipping that acknowledgment set me off.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:52 AM
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And you have to put a bit of oil on a paper towel and run it over the grill's grate if you want to be able to get the fish off.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:55 AM
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59: Moby is the best advice columnist.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:56 AM
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63

To be honest, I mostly just do the grilling part.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:59 AM
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64

Vegetarians.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 6:59 AM
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In a few years, they'll have vat-grown fish protein bits.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 7:00 AM
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66

Because I guess we're that kind of people, somebody just up and gave us the latest cookbook from Gwyneth Paltrow. The falafel recipe looks promising and, unlike about 95% of her stuff, doesn't require you to buy strange stuff that you'll use once and then have sit in your pantry for five years until you can throw it away.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 7:06 AM
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67

I'm a little bit like the picky spouse in the OP. I don't particularly like a lot of the food my wife makes. Some things are great, but some things, I'd rather not bother. She gets a bit grumpy about it sometimes, and I do eat quite a bit of what she makes, but I'm the primary cook in the house and prefer it that way. It's not that I flat out refuse to eat it, but I might not eat a huge portion with visible relish, and that's a minor problem.

She basically doesn't do 'umami'. She never uses stock, or bouillon, or much fat in cooking, or even many spices, and she does't reduce things to intensify flavour, etc. Everything basically tastes thinly of nothing.

There's certain dishes where that works great -- light summer soups, or things that rely on the flavour of a particular fresh combination of vegetables, say -- but for a lot of other things, meh.

So, I alternate between genuinely enjoying some things, or munching miserably through just enough of something I really don't like not to cause maximum offence. Criticism doesn't go down well.

So yeah, that's a Thing (as per comments above). Not a big thing, but a minor piece if grit in the marital oyster.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 7:14 AM
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The vat grown flesh has been a debate in our house. My wife and the kids who are vegetarian eat milk and eggs but she considers sushi with fish eggs to be fish not eggs, although that might just be a taste thing. So the question of flesh not actually from an animal is still open.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 7:29 AM
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Criticism doesn't go down well
If you simmer to reduce to concentrated seething it's more flavorful.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 7:30 AM
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The vat grown flesh has been a debate in our house.

Ours also. Apparently, the vat smells bad enough that I can't even keep it in the garage.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 7:33 AM
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It's just a Thing. We all have Things

Yeah, this. Husband's desire to cook is a Thing, and wife's desire not to eat unexceptional cooking is a Thing. There's no moral valence to any of this. One perfectly legitimate way to resolve this is simply for him to give up his Thing.

And since his alleged purpose is to please her, he needs to give it up. In the alternative, he needs to understand that he's not doing her a favor; he's asking her to do something for him. But presumably, that would take the joy out of it for him.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 7:37 AM
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He says he also likes to cook. You can't ask somebody not to cook in their own house even if you can ask them not to serve it to you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 7:40 AM
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There's certain dishes where that works great -- light summer soups, or things that rely on the flavour of a particular fresh combination of vegetables, say -- but for a lot of other things, meh.

Not using stock works great in soups?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 7:44 AM
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71: Boy, this sounds unexceptionable in the abstract. In the concrete -- you get someone a birthday present, and they look at it, explain that it's really not something they'd ever wear because you have bad taste, and toss it to one side. You try again, and the same thing happens. On the one hand -- sure, the goal was to please the person you're buying for, and if it doesn't work, and they're not pleased, you should stop. And maybe your gifts are objectively ugly.

But wouldn't you feel maltreated under those circumstances?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 7:46 AM
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re: 73

Some things, yeah. Seasoned with salt and pepper, maybe some fresh herbs, and tasting predominantly of veg. Or, Cz style soups, which often have dried mushrooms in, and get seasoned at the table with a bit of Maggi.

But yeah, everything tends to be a bit insipid. In other ways, it's good. Vegetables tend to be cooked to just the right texture, nothing is burnt or turned into mush, or whatever.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 7:47 AM
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76

I though turning vegetables into mush was a thing in Knife Crime Island.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 7:48 AM
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73: I think he's thinking of cool summer soups, like a cucumber soup, where stock makes less sense.


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 7:49 AM
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78

Isn't cucumber soup just another name for the juice in the pickle jar?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 7:49 AM
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67: Yeah, that sort of thing is annoying. On the other hand, it doesn't sound like you're being a jerk about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 7:50 AM
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re: 74

Maybe try to work out why you are buying the wrong clothes, say?

I've certainly been there myself. There's certain classes of things that I don't buy as presents* because I can't trust my own taste to coincide with my wife's taste, and where I can't clearly articulate what she does like in ways that are a reliable indicator. So, I just steer clear of those kinds of things. Other things, I've asked, and now I think I know enough to reliable choose.

* perfume would be like this. While I pretty much always like the things she would choose for herself, I can't reliably predict what those might be, and i know my own preferences overlap imperfectly.


Posted by: n | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 7:52 AM
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re: 76

You are thinking of olden dayes Knifecrimea. I still have to be wary of this, because if I'm cooking for my grandfather* I know he'll moan if I don't cook the carrots more than I would for myself.

* 102!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 7:53 AM
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I also like carrots cooked to near mush.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 7:54 AM
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Underneath a chicken, because schmaltz.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 7:54 AM
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80: Sure -- if you're trying to please someone, your responsibility is to do your level best to be pleasing. And if they're not pleased, they're not pleased. But there's some obligation on the recipient's end.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 7:55 AM
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re: 79

I'm moderately a jerk about it, I suspect. But we've largely worked out an accommodation. So, if she's cooked something, when I'm at work, she'll usually text and let me know what is, and give me an 'out' to get something else if it's something I may not choose to eat. Or where I might eat it out of politeness.

I do 95% of the cooking, anyway, so it's not like it's an issue that crops up more than once or twice a month.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 7:55 AM
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82: I just found (well, it was in a cookbook I've had forever, but just made for the first time) the most amazing overcooked carrot recipe -- it's Italian, Marcella Hazan. Roughly, you slice carrots into thickish coins, and layer them one deep in a couple of big skillets, add water to not quite cover with half a stick of butter between the two skillets. And then simmer for an incredibly long time (an hour and a half? Two hours? You need to be hanging around all afternoon), adding more water bit by bit as it boils off. They end up sort of brownish and much smaller, you end up consolidating into one pan near the end. When they're brown and wrinkly and soft, you stop adding water until the pan mostly dries up, and then toss with grated Parmesan. They're fantastic.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 7:59 AM
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I guess pf is banned for the sex analogy, but in this case I think it's really on point.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:00 AM
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Salt, pepper -- there's like a quarter teaspoon of sugar that I don't believe has any real effect, but I'm not arguing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:00 AM
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We have that book. I'll have to try it. Seems more of a fall thing because of the big carrots.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:01 AM
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Which book? Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking?


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:02 AM
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Here it is online, for anyone who doesn't have the book. And yeah, it's a fall/winter feeling kind of thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:03 AM
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90: Mmmmmaybe? I don't remember which Hazan cookbook I have.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:04 AM
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re: 86

I like the French thing (Carottes braisées au beurre?)where they are sweated in a little butter and chicken stock (or water) for about 20-30 minutes. Not a huge amount of liquid, and it gradually reduces so you get a nice glaze and the carrots are quite soft on the outside but still have a little crunch in the middle. That often has a pinch of sugar. Not quite as long as the Hazan thing, but the results are great.


Posted by: n | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:06 AM
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The book title is mentioned in the link.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:07 AM
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93: I cook that regularly (I just call them glazed carrots), though I'd use more than a pinch of sugar.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:11 AM
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glazed carrots

IYKWIMAITYD.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:14 AM
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Her advice column is not even close to the level of her other writing. Very blah.

I like Ask Polly.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:16 AM
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I only like raw carrots, eaten whole, gnashed down by my giant molars.

Yeah, let whichever one cares most about cooking do the cooking, at *least* 95% of the time.

Passover is Friday. Dr. Skull started cooking last week.


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:18 AM
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How do people stand being humored politely? I find it pretty devastating. If I had gone to the trouble of cooking the meal, only to find myself humored, you can damn well bet I'd never do it again.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:20 AM
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I don't think you can teach college students unless you thrive on being politely humored.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:22 AM
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But that's just playing into the hands of the people who humored you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:22 AM
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100

That's not actually polite humoring for most of them. It's more like a big game. And it's frustrating, but I don't care personally about all those students. A spouse is presumably different. Or maybe it's not and I'm a silly idealist.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:27 AM
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My ex was an appalling cook because she couldn't follow a simple recipe. She'd always modify it and add different ingredients because she wanted to see how it would work. It usually didn't. She simply didn't have the experience as a cook to know what goes with what, and she was a Dunning-Kreuger case study when it came to cooking.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:28 AM
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In the concrete -- you get someone a birthday present, and they look at it, explain that it's really not something they'd ever wear because you have bad taste, and toss it to one side. You try again, and the same thing happens. On the one hand -- sure, the goal was to please the person you're buying for, and if it doesn't work, and they're not pleased, you should stop. And maybe your gifts are objectively ugly.
But wouldn't you feel maltreated under those circumstances?

My wife's 7.5 year old macbook was in dire need of replacement, and she was constantly grumbling about it, so I suggested we get her a new one for this past Christmas. With the caveat that I really thought she should pick out what she wanted since it's something that she uses every single day and I wanted to make sure she is happy with what she gets. But she absolutely insists that she wants nothing to do with picking it out and that I should just get her what I think she wants. This causes a bit of tension pre-Christmas because I think this is a terrible idea, but eventually I just said fine, and then spent a REALLY LONG TIME reading different reviews of various models and thinking about her typical usage profiles and what would best suite her needs, etc., eventually deciding on the new macbook (as opposed to pro or air), which has well-acknowledged pluses and minuses but those pluses all seemed like really exactly what she needs and the minuses all seemed like things that really wouldn't matter much if at all given the way in which she typically uses her computer. Predictably, she was visibly disappointed on Christmas (when I immediately said "look if you don't like it, let's just not open it and return it" (which was still an option)), but she insisted that she really liked it and was just bad at adjusting to change and so anything different freaked her out at first but she would adapt. Well now here we are in April and she still won't stop talking about how disappointed she is with this laptop (which, for the record, is awesome... she's insane). It makes me fucking furious. I TOLD YOU TO PICK OUT YOUR OWN LAPTOP. I DID MY BEST. SHUT THE HELL UP ABOUT IT.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:29 AM
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You didn't get the Retina one, did you?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:35 AM
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Sorry that was maybe a slight digression.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:35 AM
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You could have left her equally disappointed for about $600 less with a Windows machine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:41 AM
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Maybe you should cook her dinner?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:42 AM
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I generally favor things grilled over things battered and fried, but grilled fish tacos are some bullshit.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:44 AM
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104: I feel your pain, urple.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:46 AM
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I had the laundry fight with my boyfriend after he laundered two pairs of tights and a cold wash/line dry shirt on warm and dried them on hot. Our solution is we now have 5 laundry bins, two are for warm wash/hot dry lights and darks and the other three bins are cold/hand wash lights/darks/colors. My bf carries on doing laundry as he always has, and I take responsibility for the more fiddly laundry.

For cooking, we split it roughly 60/40, I would say. He didn't cook until I informed him that cooking was going to be split 50/50, and now he can prepare 5 dishes. Four of them are pasta sauces, and the other one is a fritatta, which I am not really enthusiastic about. He can only prepare the pasta sauces in industrial quantities, so any sauce he makes would feed two people for almost a month. We do tend to freeze it or have people over, but I would say I eat way more pasta than I would prefer. I do slightly more of the cooking now because I am better at throwing dinners together and I also want to eat less pasta. Both of us eat the same thing for dinner, even if we're not thrilled with the food or the other person's cooking (I tend to use far more kale than my bf thinks is appropriate in a food dish).

In couples therapy with my ex, our therapist told us that the person doing the chore had a right to do the chore however they wanted, within reason (like, not purposely fucking it up to get out of it, or doing it in a dangerous way), and the pickier person has to be ok with that or if not then they have to do it themselves. [My ex was the controlling and picky one, who wanted me to clean but do it exactly the way his mom did it.]


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 8:58 AM
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I'm constantly torn between lusting after the new macbook and being annoyed at how hard it is to make a laptop with only one port work. (For example, when traveling, I only have one adaptor and so need to charge my computer while charging my phone and ipad off of the computer.) Why couldn't they just do two ports?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:03 AM
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I've asked the same question.


Posted by: Opinionated Hen | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:04 AM
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I agree with the OP that this Prudence answer was offputting, and I agree with 97 that I find Ortberg to not be even close to Yoffe in doing the advice column genre.*

I probably have an extreme sense of food as social, so I see the wife's rejection as being quite rude/uncaring. A better answer might be to have the husband and wife cook together one day so the husband can see what the wife does/learn from her. If he can get a few dishes down to his wife's liking (and it really depends on what's wrong with his food vs. what the wife likes. We don't know if his food is atrocious or if she's a health nut or just insanely picky), he could agree to make those for dinner the nights she works late.

The answer also rubbed me the wrong way because he said he enjoyed cooking. I don't think he should be forced to give up something he likes or be pigenoholed in the "bad cook" category when it's something he could very likely get much better at with practice.


*The other ones I find off really putting are when someone's saying they're thinking about kids but are unsure, and her response is always "Don't do it, there's no upside and only downsides." I feel like it's such a profoundly wrong answer that could only be given by a childless 20-something who hasn't ever spent time around kids. Not saying these people should have kids, but it's a tough choice that deserves more than a flippant "kidz suk" sort of response.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:06 AM
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You guys, this is why not living with anyone is so nice! Except I live with three children who are plenty vocal about all they dislike, so not all problems are actually solved.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:07 AM
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E. Messily is an excellent cook.

The children all turn up their noses and act like jerks, but they also constantly brag to other people about what a good cook she is. Lose-win!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:12 AM
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I am an efficient and minimalist cook, and the food was usually passable.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:12 AM
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Fiber helps.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:13 AM
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*The other ones I find off really putting are when someone's saying they're thinking about kids but are unsure, and her response is always "Don't do it, there's no upside and only downsides."

That, I have a certain amount of sympathy for. Not that it's right, exactly, but that the upsides are all "I really want kids. Having kids will make me happier because I want them." There's no good argument for having them that's not available through introspection. So for someone who's asking for advice, emphasizing the downsides seems right.

To put it another way, I don't think anyone should be talked into having kids, and some people should be talked out. Only people who really want them should have them, and they don't need to be talked into it. And some people might want them but shouldn't have them for practical reasons, and they should maybe be talked out of it. (There's probably an exception for someone who really wants kids, but believes there's a prohibitive practical problem and is wrong about that. They should be talked past their concerns, maybe. But no one else.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:15 AM
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I think analogizing cooking to laundry and other household chores misses the point a little bit. There's a real pleasure and comfort in preparing food for someone you love and having them enjoy it. It seems really mean to consistently refuse to eat food your partner has made for you.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:17 AM
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re. kids -- I haven't read Ortberg's columns where she talks about kids, but I experience so much unrelenting, judgmental and shameless pressure (from family, friends, virtual strangers) to have kids that I really appreciate getting a counterbalancing opinion.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:20 AM
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116: lesson: manage a moderately successful blog, ensnare a helpless commenter, gain a household slave. I only wish I'd gotten there first.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:23 AM
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Mrs Salmond and I would very much like another child. Can't afford it, though.* Which is crazy making considering how much I/we earn.

* as in my salary, plus Mrs Salmond's maternity pay** won't actually cover the bills.

** basically a 75% pay cut.


Posted by: Alex Salmond | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:26 AM
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Though Unfogged isn't really the place to get a truly satisfying indentured servant. I'd much rather have eg "Joe From Lowell" doing my laundry and sweeping my floors for the next 20 years.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:27 AM
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||
The Long Day's Dying, 1968. Watch or don't watch?
|>


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:27 AM
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120: Jms gets me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:32 AM
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123: Have you considered going into debt?

But really, that's awful, and I'm so sorry.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:33 AM
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I'm constantly torn between lusting after the new macbook and being annoyed at how hard it is to make a laptop with only one port work. (For example, when traveling, I only have one adaptor and so need to charge my computer while charging my phone and ipad off of the computer.) Why couldn't they just do two ports?

You could just bring another adapter. I usually travel with two or three.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:42 AM
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re: 127

Did that last time. Not actually out of debt, yet, although getting there, it's nothing unmanageable or putting us financially at risk, but we would be pushing it a bit if we, say, doubled it.

We may still end up doing that, but then that's basically a matter of deciding we are (probably) never going to own a place to live.


Posted by: Alex Salmond | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:42 AM
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Unless, maybe, we move away from Oligarchopolis.


Posted by: Alex Salmond | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:43 AM
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Many years before I had kids, I remember an Ellen Goodman newspaper column that took the form of a review of a book that purported to answer the question: What factors should I consider in making the decision to have children?

The book was full of sensible advice about the personal qualities that parents should have and the life circumstances that are appropriate for child-having.

Taken as a whole, though, Goodman said, the book's advice would lead almost everybody to skip having kids. The decision for modern Americans to have children, she said, is almost never rational in a cost-benefit sort of way. Having kids is fundamentally about desire, she said. The rational considerations weigh against it.

I thought that was wise.

Also: Research that shows that people without children are happier seems intuitively reasonable to me.

Me, I always wanted kids and am quite fond of the two that I've got.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:44 AM
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I'm with jms and LB! Breaking bread isn't like washing undies!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:45 AM
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Though I'm also in the "why is he cooking in the first place if there are leftovers in the fridge" camp.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:46 AM
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That is, admittedly, underexplained.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:50 AM
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Having/not having kids makes sense but as we've talked about here ad nauseum is not something that you're ever really going to "decide" to do based on cost benefit analysis. Which isn't to say that financial consoderations like the ones Ttam is (extraordinarily ridiculously, fuck major cities these days) aren't relevant, just that at the end of the day it's not a decision anyone makes by adding up pluses and minuses in a ledger. I question the value of "advice"'in this area at all, except for the kind of advice that's about helping people figure out their own desires.

The only unacceptable answers are (a) "you will never be truly happy without children" and (b) "I don't want to have children because I believe in protecting the environment." Both of those get slaps in the face.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:53 AM
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She was very unsympathetic to the woman who didn't want her husband picking up hitchhikers. "You're misinformed about the risk." But -- I can see "It scares me shitless that you do this and I really wish you'd stop" being a reasonable marital conversation to have.

In general, I've been finding Ortberg a bit more morally . . . arch than Emily Yoffe. Yoffe answered questions like, "I slept with someone on a business trip and I am sick about it and it will never happen again. Should I tell my partner?" with "Why make them sick over this too?" Ortberg goes with, "You really have to." [I don't defend one answer over the over! I imagine it's a generational thing. Boomers going with don't-ask-don't-tell and millennials with openness-of-relationship-needs-to-be-spelled-out.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:53 AM
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132: Feigning pleasure with a loved one is unhelpful to your partner if that partner wishes to provide pleasure.

The banned analogy is left for the reader to deduce.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:53 AM
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You really enjoy washing underwear.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:54 AM
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137: On the other hand, engaging in a collaborative process through which you might come to take pleasure in their efforts seems like the least you could to. Responding to their attempts with "Well, that didn't work for me" seems, perhaps, unproductive, and it's not surprising they'd feel hurt.

I'm still talking about food. I don't know what you're thinking.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:57 AM
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136.1: I agree with her there and I never pick-up hitchhikers except the once when it was some guy with his wife and six kids and a flat tire in the middle of Indiana.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:58 AM
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She was very unsympathetic to the woman who didn't want her husband picking up hitchhikers. "You're misinformed about the risk."

To make her point about risk, Ortberg linked to a phenomenally stupid analysis.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:59 AM
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Sharing food is a uniquely powerful kind of human interaction, as maybe some anthropologist here can confirm. It's the refusal to share in that experience which is maybe kind of a problem. OTOH maybe his cooking the food isn't as important if they figure out other ways to enjoy eating together.

The sex analogy seems sort of reasonable. Pretending forever to like something you don't out of politeness isn't the answer. OTOH just telling your partner not to bother because they suck at something isn't the answer either and is cruel.

In any case it doesn't seem to call for a flippant "eh don't worry about it" answer.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:01 AM
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To be clear, I didn't take the whole family. Just the guy and his older (maybe 12) son. And their tire. I had a pickup, as was the style at the time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:01 AM
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Wow that's bad.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:03 AM
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141 is so bad it reads like a parody.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:04 AM
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Although sometimes her perspective leads to great things, by and large I think the advice column is just not the format that brings out the best in MO. She is best when more orthogonal to the everyday.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:05 AM
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137. Does the letter-writer suffer from some condition that makes it impossible to learn to cook food his partner likes?

Look, the first meal my partner ever made for me was, I kid you not, sliced canned corned beef boiled in like an inch of oil, served with ketchup and sliced bread. I could barely even look at it, let alone eat it.

But after several years of his good faith efforts plus my enthusiastic praise of anything I found remotely acceptable, he now can make two or three dishes that I genuinely like! This is great. It means that I have to be okay with eating these dishes over and over (and I insist on having a veg with every meal, so this means a lot of steamed broccoli, because it's easy for him). But I'm okay with that! He makes dinner once a week. He's happy that I like what he makes, and I'm completely delighted to have dinner cooked for me.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:06 AM
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There was a time in my marriage where I would cook perfectly good (following the recipe dishes) and my wife would not eat it. It was a sign of trouble in my marriage. Basically, she wanted to preserve the option of being disappointed in me.

--Though I'm also in the "why is he cooking in the first place if there are leftovers in the fridge" camp.--

Maybe only enough leftovers for 1?


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:06 AM
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136: On that kind of fear, I do sort of think that there's a real value between "Things that I am reasonably frightened of, and you should do things my way because I'm being sensible and you're being crazy" and "Things that I'm phobic about, and you should do things my way because it freaks me out and it's no big deal for you." And the letter writer thought fear of hitchhikers was in the first class, and Mallory pointed out she was wrong about that. But yeah, that letter could have used a "But if even knowing the stats doesn't make you feel comfortable with it, you should talk to your husband about quitting just to make you happy."

Come to think, sort of the same problem with both of those answers: "A rational robot person would not have your problem. Be a rational robot person!" And normally I'm a robot-sympathizer, but maybe not in the context of an advice column.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:06 AM
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Yeah, 120 is pretty right.

I really think it's hard to separate the issue from the "objective" quality of Clarence's cooking. There are all sorts of shortfalls where I'd think her in the right: he won't accommodate dietary needs ("What do you mean eggs aren't vegan?"), he won't take constructive criticism ("I'll put in as much damn salt as I like"), he cooks entirely to his own tastes ("Whaddya mean you don't like peanut butter and natto sandwiches?"), he simply sucks ("Doesn't Jello normally require a steak knife?"). In the first three of those categories, he's actively in the wrong, and in the fourth, it's up to her to communicate clearly, even at the risk of his feelings (and if he ignores her, he's back in the active wrong).

But beyond those categories, I really have little sympathy for her. I basically am her in our marriage, and I find her behavior appalling. Her palate is too fucking precious to pass her husband's food once a week? Fuck you, snob.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:09 AM
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146: She makes me think of Colbert. Both are perfectly acceptable in their current format, but neither is as amazing as we know they can be.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:15 AM
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93/95- that's one of the things in our rotation, can do it with brown sugar or use a splash of condensed apple juice.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:17 AM
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I think her column would be better if she looked for letters where she could go sort of insanely sideways in response. I think this would usually be unhelpfully unsympathetic, though, which is probably not what Slate's looking for.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:17 AM
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149.1: I'm not sure you can assume the hitchhiking is no big deal for him. Going by somebody in need when you could easily help and not helping is painful for some people. And aspiring serial killers need to practice so they can look natural.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:20 AM
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151 seems exactly right, earning pf the rare and coveted "two excellent on-point analogies in one thread" award. Its illegality makes the award thay much more meaningful.


Posted by: R Tigre | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:22 AM
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IDK, maybe it's my issues with being forced to eat food I hated as a kid, but I'm not with guilting people into eating.

I came up in the kind of house where you ate what was put in front of you, and you smiled while you did it, or Else. Complaining, or even asking not to have that one dish served to you -- God, I hated canned spinach and canned stewed tomatoes, and OMG, canned sauerkraut, also, my mother was the world's worst cook -- even mildly requesting a smaller serving was right out.

So yeah, you know, I know other people have their issues too.

But sure. Eat your sweetie's cooking once or twice, no harm no foul, even if they're a crap cook. But eat it endlessly, because that's your job?

I don't think it *is* your job. I think it's your job to say, how about I cook? How about you don't, because this is my skillset, and you're much better at fixing the computers, or, you know, whatever the other person *is* better at?

I think it's the job of people in a marriage to negotiate, in other words. Speak about what's bothering them. Use your words, as I sometimes (no kidding) actually say to Dr. Skull.

(In our marriage, I'm the one who bakes the bread, and takes the kid and the dogs to the dog park, and handles negotiations with the landlord. I'm also good at driving, especially long distance. [Dr. Skull drives in cities.] These are my skillsets. But you know. Find your own!)


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:23 AM
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One of the things I've learned from reading about long distance hiking (in addition to that it is easier than doing long distance hiking) is that hikers must be the last group of grown adults that make plans based on being able to thumb a ride.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:23 AM
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I don't think it *is* your job. I think it's your job to say, how about I cook? How about you don't, because this is my skillset, and you're much better at fixing the computers, or, you know, whatever the other person *is* better at?

In this specific case, though, they've had that negotiation, and when she can cook, she does and he's not arguing about that. She's better at it, he's worse, it's not a competition. When she can't, for timing reasons, cook herself, is what they're talking about.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:27 AM
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Man, so much to respond to.

she considers sushi with fish eggs to be fish not eggs

Possibly because you have to slit the fish open to get the roe?

ttaM, I was going to suggest post-cooking umami with a fat pat of butter, but it sounds like you've thought of that.

her response is always "Don't do it, there's no upside and only downsides."

I don't remember an overall trend, but this last time she said 'your letter lists downsides but no upside'. If the letter writer doesn't include a single upside (like, I've always wanted to buy tiny hoodies), that's a good clue about their feelings towards kids.

On the OP, I agree with LB. I think the wife is being substantially rude. She and the husband should talk to each other about food preferences. I will also think she is unreasonable if her food preference is 'I only like my fiddly food'. She could ask him to perfect a few regular meals, and let him work on that.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:30 AM
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IDK, maybe it's my issues with being forced to eat food I hated as a kid, but I'm not with guilting people into eating.

I may have issues the other way. I get that some kids eat more or less reasonable food without any kind of guilt or pressure, but I don't have that kind of kid.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:31 AM
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Possibly because you have to slit the fish open to get the roe?

Can't you just press really hard on the fish?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:33 AM
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That technique might still bother a vegetarian.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:36 AM
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The whole process of getting eggs doesn't seem that pleasant for the hen either.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:46 AM
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141: Oh wow. Yeah. I didn't even click the link, but -- that is sure dumb.

I know someone who was jumped by the hitchhikers he picked up -- well, it was a college friend's grandfather. In Montana.

Also, it's like she's never even SEEN that episode of Six Feet Under.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:48 AM
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I think Ortberg's response is about as good as it could be given that she's talking to the husband, and that she has only his account of what's going on. Maybe the wife is being unconscionably rude, but my first thought was that maybe he's new to cooking and just making a mess of it. It sounds from the snippet like he's trying to cook the same things she normally does, and it's not turning out according to her. And they *have* talked about it -- so maybe she's trying (and failing) to get him not to cook without having to say "your cooking is really bad." by insisting she's fine with leftovers.



Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:48 AM
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Bad partner! Bad advice columnist!

I hate self-promotion more than life itself, but I think I can fairly claim to be a good cook. My ex-wife (who is in other ways a lovely person &c) is the gustatory analogue to the princess in The Princess and the Pea, so while I thrilled everyone from my children to their friends to large gatherings of people, she would often have something other than what I made for dinner. It was incredibly frustrating, and no small factor in the erosion of our marriage.

Dissatisfied person: coach your partner in cooking if they lack skill! Leave a fucking recipe! Plan your meals! Cooking for someone is a meaningful act!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:50 AM
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Can't you just press really hard on the fish?

I think high-pressure working environments do more harm than good. Let them go home for the day regardless of how many eggs they've laid.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:55 AM
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Okay but say you're dating someone who cooks competent but bland and poorly-timed food, at what point do you bother saying something?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:56 AM
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Does "poorly-timed" mean under/over- cooked or like breakfast is ready after you had to leave for the bus?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:57 AM
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168: I'm keeping these sort of things in a long list to be read at my funeral.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 11:00 AM
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The latter, and it's just symptomatic of general time management messiness probably. I've solved it by saying, "Well, since you wanted to cook lunch but I have to be at school in X hours and you haven't begun, why don't you let me buy us lunch and be done with it?" or that sort of thing. I don't really want to be grumpy about this on the blog, though, now that I think about it. It's an okay-enough relationship that will only last another year anyway and so adequate with annoying parts is fine. I could put a better spin on it than that most days, too.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 11:01 AM
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168: Maybe you work with them on a plan, or teach them to cook better. Or maybe it's an insoluble problem. But I made really great food!


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 11:02 AM
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I had a friend in college who was a bit of a food snob on a college-student budget. For his birthday, his girlfriend had saved up her money to surprise him with a dinner out at a local Benihana. When they got there, he took one look, and told her "Oh, honey, not a chain restaurant."

I think that was a pretty awful response, myself - it's not like he had been taking her out to fancy gourmet restaurants, or she had taken him to McDonald's or something like that. Go in, enjoy the fancy cooking theatrics, tell the chef about any dietary restrictions you have, and at least sample the food. At least appreciate the effort that she made to do something nice for you. If you want to offer suggestions of a restaurant you would appreciate more next time, do that later. But he took it as a demonstration of how naive her tastes were, and felt he had to explain that to her right away.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 11:04 AM
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Don't worry, Jesus, I have every reason to believe your food is fantastic!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 11:08 AM
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It's an okay-enough relationship that will only last another year anyway

You are hilariously slow to end relationships. (I mean, maybe this is just right!)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 11:09 AM
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It's not EXACTLY like that, heebie! I know I should ATM or something. But we only see each other monthly-ish? Every two weeks at the most, probably. If I thought we'd ever live together or this was going to be something serious and deeply meaningful, I'd want things to be different. But if it's nice to be able to support someone when she's sending texts about stressful school or friend stuff and to have someone who understands a lot of what I'm going through, that doesn't seem like something worth jettisoning just because some of the rest of it is blah. I've at least managed to make a friend.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 11:13 AM
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But it's definitely a problem that I've never really dated in the past, just fallen into relationships with friends and mostly friends I wasn't even attracted to, and thus would have no idea what the hell I was doing even if I didn't try to do it while juggling three kids and ex stuff and just regular life.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 11:14 AM
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I bought my wife a laptop for her birthday once and it did not go well. I am still reminded of it occasionally. Basically we never do presents of any significant value because things work out better if one person says "I'd like X" and other person says "that makes sense" then whoever knows more about it researches and buys X.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 11:16 AM
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I think that was a pretty awful response

That is awful. It's also (related to) a form of awful behavior which is fairly common among college students -- a combination of snobbery and prizing expertise ("I've spent a lot of time figuring out how to _best_ use my food budget") over social graces.

I know that I was occasionally awful about being a little too proud of whatever new thing I was learning*. Which isn't to excuse him, the quoted comment is terrible.

* There's a gendered element to this as well. A couple months ago I was eating lunch at a restaurant and I noticed a twenty-something couple in which the man was talking about 85% of the time, and it was painful. In part because I know that there was definitely a period of time in my life when, if somebody was willing to listen, I would just keep blathering on. I don't think it reflected any profound personality defects, just cluelessness.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 11:16 AM
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I am very torn on this one, as (predictably) there is both no way I would insist that anyone eat my mediocre cooking, no matter how hard I'd worked on it, and no way I would be so rude as to refuse a dish that someone else had made for me in good faith and with reasonable skill. I'm neither a decent cook nor a food snob, however.

I also can't seem to get from "99% sure I don't want any more kids" to "100% sure I don't want any more kids." (What's the difference, you ask? Surgery, I guess?) Maybe I'm too constitutionally enamored of last-minute reversals.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 11:16 AM
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142

I thought about writing something about the sociality of cooking and sharing food, but figured it would sound pretentious.

But absolutely, cooking and eating is more than simply doing chores or getting sustenance, and "don't do it" isn't really an adequate answer to having a partner who won't eat your food, IF you enjoy cooking.

Maybe a better analogy would be, I love to paint, but I'm kind of mediocre about it. My wife is a better artist, and she refuses to let me hang the art up anywhere but the garage. Here it's easier to see how the, "you suck and your wife is better so let her do all the artwork" is kind of a shitty answer.

With kids, I grew up being forced to eat foods I didn't like on a regular basis, and now I can eat pretty much anything without gagging, so YMMV.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 11:32 AM
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I hate self-promotion more than life itself

I DON'T HATE ANYTHING *THAT* MUCH.


Posted by: OPINIONATED CTHULHU | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 11:35 AM
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Like, as a kid I didn't like potatoes but had to eat them several times a week. Now I like them well enough, though maybe it's just Stockholm syndrome.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 11:35 AM
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A friend of the family whose just a really nice guy used to hitch hike in the 60s and would also pick up hitch hikers all the time. Then one time he picked up this woman, and he said she just stared at him the entire 3-4 hour drive without speaking. He was sufficiently creeped out that that was the last time he picked up anyone.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 11:38 AM
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As a kid and even into my teens, I hated broad beans.* Mysteriously, my parents made me and my sister eat them, even though I hated them unto gagging. And I was a totally unfussy eater. I can't remember anything else I disliked.

Thankfully, xelA will more or less eat anything. I think the baby-led weaning definitely had a part to play there, plus he's greedy.

* do they have a special snowflake American name? Gazongo peas? Godzilla lentils? Oh yeah, googling, fava beans.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 11:39 AM
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Someone who stayed with us for a while in NM picked up a hitchhiker who peed in the car. That has to be up there with being stabbed and left in a ditch as far as bad outcomes go. I picked up a few, never had any trouble beyond mild annoyance at the old drunk guy who told me to drive faster.

As for the OP, the real issue, as ever, is not the issue, but whether you can reach an accommodation. If not, that's a bad sign. My wife and I have basically parallel food lives these days, and it's a small bummer, but sometimes she'll eat what I've made and sometimes I'll eat what she's made, and it's fine.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 11:48 AM
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This still sounds like a really strange situation to me. The best I can think of is that it's either that she genuinely hates his awful food but is too polite to just flat out say "you are a horrible cook who should not be left unattended in the kitchen at any time"*, or there is (to her) some kind of basic spousal agreement that makes sense of why she would act that way that he's not really appreciating.

It's possible she's working from what she assumes is an agreement that when they're eating together she's the cook, but they can't always do that so some evenings it's "everyone does what they want". (That was the pattern when it came to parents/kids in my family growing up, though not between my parents both of whom cooked. There were nights when neither of them was up to cooking or up to ordering pizza and they just kind of went "everyone eat what you want".) In that case showing up when he's already made something and, not wanting to bother making something yourself, grabbing leftovers out of the fridge would make sense, and that could also go along with his being kind of a poor cook. But it also seems like the sort of thing miscommunication that can be cleared up without too much complicated work or needing to send a letter to an advice columnist.

*Which could be true, I guess? And Dunning-Kruger stuff can happen with cooking. But I'm not clear on how it would happen if he eats food made by someone who is way better at it most of the time and appreciates that it is in fact way better, or at least not to the extent that the food he makes is actively repulsive as opposed to just kind of "eating is for survival" blandness that is perfectly ok if you toss a bit more salt/hot sauce/whatever on top.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 11:54 AM
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Oh yeah, googling, fava beans.

Key ingredient in probably the most famous recipe in a movie.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 11:54 AM
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Maybe I'm being clueless, but it seems simple to coach a person to make food you're willing to eat.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:00 PM
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I stopped seeing the lady previously mentioned, for anyone keeping track. It was petering out generally, the physical separation of 30+ miles not canceled out by any great spark/chemistry.

Back to OKC! I have since been told that it helps for you to answer a lot of questions publicly so they can better screen.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:00 PM
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185: We could like to hire you as a consultant.


Posted by: Opinionated Godzilla Lentil Marking Board | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:01 PM
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We also need an copy editor.


Posted by: Opinionated Godzilla Lentil Marking Board | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:03 PM
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We used to have "leftover night" once a week, where my mother would get out all the leftovers and we would have sort of a leftover smorgasbord. Later, my mother never would order pizza when she was too tired to cook because she was too cheap to spend money on takeout, so we would end up eating bread and cheese on those nights.

With the husband, I think it would be worth it to first talk to his wife about why she won't eat is cooking before just giving up, because as lots of people have pointed out there could be several reasons she won't eat his food, most of which have solutions. To me, having the wife pick 3-4 recipes that she likes, and walk through making them with him would be a good start. Also, if the problem is the writer is bad but not atrocious, he'll probably get better with time and effort. He could take a cooking class, or they could spend a day in the kitchen together.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:04 PM
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I can't remember anything else I disliked.

Brown rice, butternut squash, pumpkin?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:04 PM
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"Fava" would just be the italian word for the bean, rather than "broad" in the UK which can't stand the idea of using foreign words it can't mispronounce in comical ways...

I think my biggest confusion about this case is really that I just don't understand how functional adults who don't know how to cook can actually exist. Cooking in fancy-restaurant ways or in detailed subtle stuff is one thing and it's really only something people who take it up as a hobby have any reason to be able to do. But just normal home cooking is such a basic life skill that when people talk about significant others not being able to cook it sounds to me exactly like they're talking about how their husband/wife doesn't know how to tie their shoes so they have to do it for them. It's not a complicated thing to know how to do - being able to feed yourself without someone else's assistance isn't that hard! ("Take [thing], put in hot [oil/water]. Also put [onion/garlic/salt/(other)vegetable(s)/seasoning] in there with it. Check every few minutes until it has the right texture. Put on top of [grain product].")

I blame a complete failure of home economics in highschool for this, both for failing to teach basic cooking skills, for making cooking look complicated or tricky, and for invariably making the results of cooking unappealing.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:06 PM
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I think my biggest confusion about this case is really that I just don't understand how functional adults who don't know how to cook can actually exist

"Know how to cook" covers a whole lot of ground. Obviously the husband knows how to cook well enough to feed himself.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:10 PM
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Ok, you don't understand how they can exist, but you're surely aware thatL they exist, right? There are lots of them.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:10 PM
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We didn't even have home ec as an offering.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:10 PM
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Did many of you have any cooking instruction in high school? I didn't.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:11 PM
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Very small bit in middle school home ec.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:12 PM
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186- Did he at least use an empty juice bottle?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:13 PM
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Or she, I hear that can be done too with a bit more effort.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:13 PM
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Not having it as a possibility seems to me to be as much a failure as having an awful one*.


*We had one - required! - at my highschool. (We also had one at my elementary school, but that was a different country and etc.) There was some cooking involved, kind of, but nearly half of it seemed to be about things like watching filmstrips on how to properly set places at a dinner table. It was clear that no one involved had even the slightest interest in anyone learning anything.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:16 PM
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195: Unless the letter writer is really self-deluded, he's at least a functional cook. He says he's okay, he says he loves cooking, he's claiming to have served dinner rather than talking sheepishly about total failures that his wife should have eaten anyway.

But on people who can't cook at all, it happens when they've really never been exposed to people cooking food from uncooked ingredients. I had a college roommate who was somehow completely puzzled in the kitchen - she was trying, but, e.g., hadn't seen the necessary technique for breaking an egg without just sort of smashing it and picking the bits of shell out. (Yeah, I know. I had a hard time believing it myself.) There's a surprising amount of background information that takes time to pick up if you never saw food being cooked as a child.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:17 PM
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181: "I grew up being forced to eat foods I didn't like on a regular basis, and now I can eat pretty much anything without gagging"

God, I can't. Even the thought of certain foods makes me queasy. Dr. Skull knows better than to put chunks of tomato in *anything*, for instance, due to the stewed tomatoes of my childhood. (He purees them first.)

I seriously can't see what the problem is, in the OP. Can't the guy just cook for himself? I mean, I like meatloaf, a lot. Dr. Skull hates it. So now and then I cook one, and I eat it, and the kid eats it, and he eats leftovers that night. What's the issue?

Also dumpcake! Dr. Skull hates dumpcake. Which I love. So again, I make one, now and then, and the kid and I have a nice evening, and he just ignores the whole event.

Why force his wife to eat food she's not enjoying?


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:18 PM
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Except, I guess, which direction the knife had to be facing (edge towards the plate), and how to wrap a pre-cut piece of canned biscuit dough around half a hotdog, bake it for a few minutes, and claim that it was edible.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:18 PM
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203.1 to 201.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:18 PM
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I do not ever want to eat breakfast. I would be annoyed if my spouse cooked elaborate breakfasts on weekends with the expectation that I'd eat it. (In fact, Jammies does a big pancake breakfast on Sunday mornings and I never join in.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:23 PM
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Why force his wife to eat food she's not enjoying?

We're going in circles here, so I'm not going to convince you. But the combination of food being socially special, and the general obligation to accept attempted caretaking from your spouse graciously if you can do it without too much hardship doesn't get you there?

I mean, if what he's serving her is genuinely repulsive, she shouldn't have to choke it down. But under the assumption that it's fairly normal, non-horrifying food... not every meal has to be a peak experience, and no matter how good a cook you are, reheated leftovers aren't going to be a peak experience either.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:25 PM
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188: Not to be a little bitch, but dish rather than recipe. And the timpano in Big Night is a contender for the title.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:25 PM
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Key ingredient in probably the most famous recipe in a movie.

Butter?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:31 PM
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My ex wouldn't cook. She was a damned surgeon and she never learned to cook. Not because she lacked the capability, but because she lacked the desire. It was just simply something she had absolutely zero interest in learning how to do.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:43 PM
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WTF is dumpcake?

*googles*

WTF would anyone do that?


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:46 PM
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211: Liver of a census worker.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:46 PM
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"For some reason, nearly every dump cake recipe insists that the ingredients are not to be stirred. (In fact, most recipes add extra emphasis to this instruction by writing it in all-caps: DO NOT STIR!!!) The result of this laissez-faire approach is a half-baked cake. The portion of the yellow cake mix that touches liquid, either the fruit or the soda, bakes through, while the rest sits in unbaked, floury clumps on top.

And the mouthfuls of dusty, raw cake mix is just one of dump cake's problems."

What? Why?


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:47 PM
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213: Performing whiteness.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:47 PM
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https://www.duncanhines.com/recipes/cakes/Duncan%20Hines%C2%AE/dump-cake/

Come on! This looks simple and delicious!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:52 PM
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The children all turn up their noses and act like jerks

Really only one of the children acts like a jerk, about this specific issue at least.

I think the advice to the letter writer guy should have included "you need to talk to your wife and come to an agreement about this." I think it is insane that it took "a couple of weeks" before there was any discussion, and that the discussion doesn't seem to have resulted in any agreement about who's going to do what in the future.

I also think eating together is a bigger deal than some people here seem to, though, so that's probably the underlying source of disagreement- I think of dinnertime as primarily a social/cultural bonding ritual, with the ingestion of nutrition as a secondary benefit.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:53 PM
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208: That happens to me too. I appreciate that my husband likes making and eating pancakes but I kind of resent he makes it a celebration because then my politeness kicks in ('oh yum, so great you put in the effort!') when I really want to sleep in and then read for several hours with a cup of coffee before lunch.

Also, I'm definitely more like the woman in the question. Coming home to a fancy dinner is less ideal than coming home for some puttering around time and then a casual assortment of stuff for supper. My husband is a great cook and happily modifies dishes for my sometimes weird preferences but having dinner made for me turns it into a production that I have to deal with - am I praising it enough? Too much? How much do I have to eat even though I'm not super hungry? Why are the fork and knife on the same side? How come there are no glasses of water on the table? It's basically my control issues coming out and those get worse when I'm stressed at work and that tends to correlate to working late.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:54 PM
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Duncan Hines Comstock® Country Cherry

Is it just me or does that sound like a pre-Griswold trade name for birth control?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 12:54 PM
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re: 194

Heh, yeah. Those are adult things, rather than child/teenage things. I don't think we had squash, ever, and maybe pumpkin only once. Squash would have been impossibly exotic in 1970s/80s council estate Scotland. Like telling people you were eating dormouse, or something.

I do basically abominate the entire squash and gourd family, though, apart from marrow and zucchini/courgette and, to be honest, I have no especial love for those either, although I like them in the occasional recipe.

Brown rice, I now quite like, but it took ages to come up with a method I liked for cooking it. Which maybe was a recommendation from someone here? Even you, nosflow, maybe? I can't remember.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 1:04 PM
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We're having zucchini* tonight and I have to eat some or I'm a bad example.

* or as I call it "Hitler cucumber"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 1:10 PM
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211: Liver of a census worker.

We must be thinking of different dishes.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 1:14 PM
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208/219: Aw, I kind of sympathize with with the folks who like big breakfast on the weekends. The boyfriend does not like big meals in the morning, and there's something else I don't quite get about baked goods vs oatmeal or cereal. Our solution is that I just like breakfast food, but I don't care what time we eat it, so we have breakfast for dinner every few weeks. He'd feel weird if I made myself an elaborate breakfast and ate it by myself, although that would be fine with me.

Also, for the folks suggesting that the pickier cook teach the less picky cook how to make things their way, that's kind of fraught too, right? Everybody loves being micromanaged!


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 1:15 PM
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Key ingredient in probably the most famous recipe in a movie.

People!


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 1:16 PM
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209 and others:

LB was obviously raised right.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 1:19 PM
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I also think eating together is a bigger deal than some people here seem to, though, so that's probably the underlying source of disagreement- I think of dinnertime as primarily a social/cultural bonding ritual, with the ingestion of nutrition as a secondary benefit.

I think this is ambiguous in the OP. Is she getting home right at 7:30, when they like to eat, or is she getting home at 9 pm? I had been thinking she was getting home at 9 pm, and I was sympathetic to her just wanting to do her thing for the last hour before bed. But if she's coming home to a set table at 7:30, and his cooking would enable their normal evening routine, then I'm more tempted to switch to LB's side.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 1:20 PM
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I like the idea of a big breakfast on weekends.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 1:22 PM
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Oh, true. I was reading it that way, and would flip if the expectation is that she's eating alone. If they're not eating together, then expecting her to eat what he's cooked her rather than foraging for leftovers does seem unreasonable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 1:23 PM
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Also coming home to a hot meal which is all ready to dish on your plate is a super wonderful feeling.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 1:27 PM
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There's a fairly well known guideline for hiring chemists, never trust one who can't cook. Or at least brew. Seriously, there's a significant correlation there. I know several former chemists who opened breweries.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 1:29 PM
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Yes! I had AWB over for dinner last night, and somehow what I had intended as hospitality turned into her coming over before I got home and making us gumbo and fried okra. Which was awesome, and coming home to a house that smells amazing but not like anything I usually cook was particularly awesome.

In short, AWB? The best.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 1:30 PM
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Can she handle a role in the feature presentation?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 1:38 PM
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"Don't hire chemists who can't mix things together and end up with something useful"?


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 1:50 PM
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Yes, that's why it intuitively makes sense.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 1:57 PM
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My only sibling that was a chemist is also my only sibling that brews beer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 2:03 PM
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In short, AWB? The best.

Seconded.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 2:06 PM
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227/229- comity, then. It hadn't occurred to me that they were eating separately. If they are, then it is bonkers of the husband to care what the wife eats.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 2:07 PM
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I'm a terrible cook, and a reasonable person could consider me uncoachable. I much prefer to make myself a sandwich.

Speaking of meals, though, is it just me or did Chief Justice Roberts totally eat Justice Ginsberg's lunch in today's Iranian bank case? If you were in the Saudi finance ministry, after reading this decision, wouldn't you be telling the minister that asset holdings in the US ought to be reduced by 80% or so over the next few years?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 2:14 PM
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e/u


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 2:16 PM
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231: I lost a position over this once and am still bitter. The question was whether I cooked following a recipe or just threw things together. I usually follow recipes, although once I know how the recipe works as written, I'll modify it. I also baked more than I cooked at the time, so relied more on recipes. That was the wrong answer because it meant I'd never be able to creatively solve problems.

In short, screw that guy.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 2:28 PM
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that smells amazing but not like anything I usually cook

Oh man. My boyfriend and I are both solid cooks, and both ridiculously happy when either makes something that doesn't taste like our usual (good) flavor profile.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 2:30 PM
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I think you mentioned that to me at a meetup once. Cute correlation, stupid to use as an actual interview question.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 2:30 PM
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Every Carolyn Hax column ever:

My fiance is great but there's this one little thing

Hax: If s/he doesn't change then the relationship is over.


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 3:00 PM
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We're having zucchini* tonight and I have to eat some or I'm a bad example.

Or you could refuse it for being out of season and be a good example.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 3:07 PM
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221. I'm usually not crazy about them, but have found a) curry spice blends with plenty of garlic and b) butternut squash especially, bake and the next day make into a cream soup with sage and a little bacon. Two other squashes have responded well to this.

The usual recommendations with butter and sugar do not work for me at all.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 3:10 PM
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244. Many of Hax's correspondents (at least the ones that make it into the column) lean too optimistic.

The "one little thing" is often not that little, but instead of asking the letter writer whether this is only the most recent in a chain of disastrous alliances, hmmm, Hax just addresses the mcdonalds bag filled with Pari-mutuel tix.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 3:15 PM
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245: If that works, how long can I put off eating Hitler cucumbers?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 3:20 PM
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no matter how good a cook you are, reheated leftovers aren't going to be a peak experience either.

I was going to bring this up earlier. I mean, to be clear, leftovers of a great dish will be better than the fresh version of something mediocre, but the delta shrinks pretty rapidly.

Another thing I wanted to mention, which isn't strictly relevant but speaks to eg 187*: we have friends who have roughly simpatico tastes and a history of kitchen competence, but years of varying dietary restrictions and choices (gluten free, green machines for breakfast, various hippie-tending things) seem to have completely screwed up their abilities/standards, to the point where I no longer have any confidence that a meal at their house will be a good one. Part of it is that, in addition to the diet stuff, I think there's a semi-conscious choice to lower the priority on cooking effort relative to other things in their (pretty busy) lives. Satisficing with a vengeance, so to speak.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 3:23 PM
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248: baby Hitlers until July, full grown until late August.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 3:25 PM
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no matter how good a cook you are, reheated leftovers aren't going to be a peak experience either.

Unless it's, like, chili.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 3:26 PM
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Spring time with no Hitlers here for me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 3:35 PM
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Not even for his birthday?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 3:59 PM
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Lee left her grill when she moved and bought a new one for her apartment, so I'm now learning to grill. The prior division of labor was an extreme version of what Moby seemed to describe, where one person drinks beer and stays at the grill while the other does food prep and cleanup. My tuna steak tonight got overdone because I had to go break up a disagreement in the front yard, but the girls invited a neighbor friend over for a picnic with sausages and corn and they were all happy. It's a start.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 4:00 PM
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Did he at least use an empty juice bottle?

She and nope. Right through her clothes onto the cloth seat.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 4:00 PM
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221: what is squash here? I thought that squash meant orange juice in British English.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 4:04 PM
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a semi-conscious choice to lower the priority on cooking effort

I hope that we haven't yet sacrificed flavor, but I am definitely noodling around on this. I used to think that I would have to be an entirely different person to not-make a cooked dinner from scratch.

Now maybe I am a totally different person, because I am wondering whether I can legit make a dinner out of crudites/cold meats once a week. Obviously I would grow the tomatoes I slice and the zucchinis I pan-sear. Obviously those would be locally sourced meats, cooked earlier in the week. But maybe now this version of me wants to spend an extra 15 minutes at the park, and not cook dinner and still be recognizable as myself. So I am trying to lower the priority on cooking.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 4:06 PM
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253: I got him some pot, but it was all stems.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 4:25 PM
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an extreme version of what Moby seemed to describe

I didn't even have beer tonight. Just wine. Stupid bees.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 4:28 PM
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Well, see, now, dumpcake is a perfect example. I love it. I make the recipe* that was taught to me by one of my best friends, and -- to me! -- it's delicious. (The kid loves it also!)

But to Dr. Skull, who has had bakers in his family for five generations (true story: Albert Einstein loved their pumpernickel), it's an abomination. He reacts to it more or less like F did, above.

*You take one large can of crushed pineapple in heavy syrup. Dump it in a 9X12 pan. Then 2 cans of pie filling, any kind. I like cherry or blueberry. Dump those in. Stir, just a little. On top of that, two boxes of Jiffy White Cake mix. Spread out good. On top of that, slice pretty thinly an entire stick of real butter. If you don't mind nuts, scatter some crushed salted nuts on top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Eat with real whipped cream.


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 4:41 PM
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But my POINT was, what if I tried to make Dr. Skull, or F, or whatever, eat dumpcake, just because I'd made it for them?

Wouldn't that be the opposite of kind?


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 4:42 PM
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I personally would eat dump cake if you made it, but I would also like some pumpernickel. Ideally with a bunch of brie.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 4:44 PM
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||

OT, but posted in this thread because of Mallory Ortberg: this seems like one of the most perfect subjects for a Toast article -- People In Tiny Houses Can't Have Sex

|>


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 4:45 PM
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251: Granted.

Although, as you may know, J Kenji Alt-Lopez did a test, and found that dishes like chili* that reputedly improve with age do not, in fact, do so. His report is that they basically maintain quality for a few days, and that there is some non-bad change in character, but that changes are subtle at best, and certainly nothing that you'd go to extra effort (by cooking in advance for no other reason) to achieve.

*I think beef stew was his test dish?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 4:55 PM
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The moral is not don't pick up hitchhikers, the moral is always invest in leather.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 4:56 PM
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But my POINT was, what if I tried to make Dr. Skull, or F, or whatever, eat dumpcake, just because I'd made it for them?

But dump cake is just one of the categories of 150.2. It's no more a substitute for homemade cake (pie? whatever) than Lipton soup packets in boiling water are for French onion soup. Nobody here thinks that the wife is obliged to eat any garbage* that Clarence prepares, but he avers, and we take as given, that he's making stuff in the same category (competent, more or less from scratch, flavor profiles more interesting than 1950s American) as she is, just less fussily/well.

*all due, uh, respect to dump cake.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:00 PM
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Not everyone who likes leather is into water sports.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:01 PM
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Dr. Skull makes an amazing pumpernickel, Moby.

Also an amazing rye bread. But I make better bagels.


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:03 PM
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As near as I can tell, dump cake is just cobbler with a bad press agent and a slightly elevated risk of Type II diabetes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:04 PM
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257.2 is so different from what I was getting at as to be unrecognizable. Simple, low effort meals--especially ones focused on fresh, seasonal produce--are always* welcome. I'm talking about reducing steps and components of a recipe purely to save effort, with little consideration of lost flavor/texture/etc.

I mean, it's a natural instinct for 2-income family with 2 kids, and not always a recipe (ha!) for bad dishes, but combined with the other restrictions, you end up with crappy casseroles and such. It's just clear that taste has moved way down the hierarchy, with texture even farther down.

*well, not every night


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:05 PM
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I don't think I've known anybody to try to make bagels at home. You need a really big pot if you wanted to make more than a few at a time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:07 PM
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I don't think I've liked canned fruit filling in any context ever, and Jiffy mix is certainly not going to be the exception. The nuts are just the thing-I-don't-like* topping on the things-I-don't-like cake.

When I was a kid I thought I hated pie, because I only ever encountered it with canned filling (no bakers in my family). Now I make pie all the fucking time.

If Clarence were mad because I wouldn't eat his dump cake, he'd be the jerk. If he's mad because I won't eat his pork-and-beef meatballs because I only like pork-and-veal-and-beef meatballs (with gelatin for extra moist mouthfeel), then I'm the jerk. The greatest chefs in the world also enjoy street food and other ordinary offerings, but Clarence's wife has too refined a palate? NFW.

*in this context. Most other ones either, but never this one.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:12 PM
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You should try canned cherry topping. It's fine just straight from the can. Get the lower sugar version, for the amusement value of seeing how much sugar it in it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:15 PM
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I should be clear here: I'm sure, if you grow up liking it, dump cake is fine, I like plenty of disreputable things because I've always eaten them. But I feel very comfortable saying that I would hate it. I've been to way too many pot lucks and such to believe that that sort of thing is my thing. With sweets in particular, I would always rather do without than have something like that.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:15 PM
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Somehow I ended up with a can of what looks to be high quality cherry pie filling, and one of these days I intend to bake with it. With homemade crust, I expect it'll be fine. But, unlike with fresh cherries, it has to be a high crust:filling ratio.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:17 PM
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And now I must go heat leftovers because AB cooked tonightthis evening's schedule went to hell.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:18 PM
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With cherry pie and canned filling, the secret is a touch of almond extract.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:19 PM
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Moby, I think the first thing Punchy ever made for me (or, in this case, made and gave me some of) was a batch of bagels. They were okay but I was glad I had the girls to feed them to rather than feeling obligated to eat them all myself. Ditto the English muffins we made, although those were good because they're jam-conveyance devices, and the chicken soup. Though actually feeding my kids is probably a better expression of love than feeding me and definitely improves my life more, so maybe I'm just a total ingrate.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:20 PM
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MALLORY ORTBERG HAS A MUTUAL FUND


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:22 PM
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My son insists on buttering his bagels. I don't know how to fix that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:22 PM
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They sell that bitter stuff to make dogs not chew on things, just put some of that in the butter he uses on bagels.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:42 PM
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263: it says at the bottom that the author does in fact write for the toast.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:45 PM
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Oh I'm dumb. That WAS the toast. I thought the point was, "this would have been a perfect fit for them."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 5:46 PM
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What I project on to the advice question is that the wife is slammed enough by her newly long job that she doesn't want to be around anyone or make nice when she gets home. Its dreadful to turn away from a home cooked meal - I would maybe get the leftovers in addition, if I needed more flavor - but I've sure needed solitude at the end of a day.

Wrong and not useful to blame it on the food, but she might not know, actually.

I have been remembering for decades a family specialty at a wedding that was strawberry Jello and salty pretzels and ?whipped topping? and one other solid thing - tiny bits of toffee? Really good, much better than most back - of- the-package assemblages, and doable in huge quantities. Minimart trifle, basically.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 9:46 PM
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I'd much rather have eg "Joe From Lowell" doing my laundry and sweeping my floors for the next 20 years.

Clearly RT relishes a household filled with constant debate. That or his sexual fantasies run to being ceaselessly browbeaten by relentless vacuuming men.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-20-16 10:37 PM
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211/214: Was that a Last Tango in Paris reference?

I was a pretty awful practical chemist / cook during my degree, but I've become a lot better at cooking (I'd now rate myself as "upper mediocre").

I remain very pleased that I didn't pursue chemistry as a career, for any number of reasons.


Posted by: Seeds | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 1:31 AM
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284.1/2 seem wise.

I have to say that turning down flat anything that has been cooked for you by your partner is beyond my comprehension, unless there are guidelines that have been made explicit in the past. That said, I don't deal with fussy eaters in a culinary context, with exceptions for principles like vegetarianism, and genuine contraindicators like coeliac disease. Nothing personal against fussy eaters, they're welcome to run their lives how they want, but I don't want to eat with them. If I or Mrs y had been picky, I would guess the relationship would have lasted one meal and terminated by mutual agreement.

But from Clarence's narrative, Isabel isn't even a fussy eater per se; she just wants to ignore his good will. I would be interested to hear Isabel's take on this. Would she say that that she actually finds Clarence's cooking inedible, but she can just about neck it out of courtesy when she isn't dog tired. That would be a reasonable position, but then why not say something?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 2:39 AM
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67:She basically doesn't do 'umami'. She never uses stock, or bouillon, or much fat in cooking, or even many spices, and she does't reduce things to intensify flavour, etc. Everything basically tastes thinly of nothing.

This is a continental European thing - I've lost count of the times I've been offered soup, all the French/Italian/German people go "yay! soup!", and the soup turns out to be water tasting vaguely of packet soup, with floating chunks of undercooked vegetable. If you're lucky, it's a starter and there will be an actual meal.

The weird bit is that everyone else pretends it's the best thing ever.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 3:32 AM
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Guy is writing to an advice columnist hoping for a ruling that he's right and she's wrong: by definition he's a jerk.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 3:52 AM
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Right now I am eating a hearty chicken and ham and egg soup in Spain. Plenty of body to it.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 4:55 AM
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no matter how good a cook you are, reheated leftovers aren't going to be a peak experience either.
Unless it's, like, chili.


Or baked ziti.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 5:57 AM
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I'm not a fan of baked ziti. It's not bad or anything, but it's just lasagna made by lazy people without sausage.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 6:00 AM
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I have been remembering for decades a family specialty at a wedding that was strawberry Jello and salty pretzels and ?whipped topping? and one other solid thing - tiny bits of toffee? Really good, much better than most back - of- the-package assemblages, and doable in huge quantities. Minimart trifle, basically.

I had heard of that but never tried it until a fairly recent party at a fellow parent's house. I was already miserable*, so I gave it a shot, and it was almost-quite-good. IIRC it was a touch too sweet and the crust had sogged down a bit, but it was easy to imagine it being actually yummy with tweaks (and/or getting there a bit sooner).

IMO the trouble with a lot of those types of foods is that they basically trade on being vehicles for big, pleasurable flavors (fatty/salty/sweet), and so it's hard for people to discern which ones are better and worse, especially since they tend to be social foods. How bad does a fatty/salty/sweet dish have to be to let you down at a party? But some of them really have more going on than that, even before tweaks that can improve quality 50% with 10% more effort.

*wasn't feeling sociable, no one there I would ever really choose to socialize with, tiny house with 5 kids/sq. ft., etc. First time in ages I've just gone off to a couch to read.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 6:41 AM
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just lasagna made by lazy people without sausage.

Ah, but sometimes it does have sausage....

Some people freaking love the bits of pasta that overcook at the edges, which I've never understood. I get the textural variation pleasure, but those bits tend to be either so dry they're like hardtack or kind of unpleasantly chewy. De gustibus, of course, but that's part of the allure of ziti I think.

Actually, some 15 years ago the Williams-Sonoma catalogue had a recipe for what they called pasta rustica, which was basically a baked ziti, but with spicy sausage, 3-4 cheeses, and a better sauce:pasta ratio than most zitis I've have. Still one of our go-to dishes.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 6:46 AM
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286.1: I think 211 was a Last Tango in Paris reference, but I'm certain 214 was not.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 6:56 AM
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I've never seen "Last Tango in Paris," but I think it has something about butts in it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 6:57 AM
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296: Butts and butter! That's what it's all about!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 6:58 AM
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Some people freaking love the bits of pasta that overcook at the edges, which I've never understood. I get the textural variation pleasure, but those bits tend to be either so dry they're like hardtack or kind of unpleasantly chewy.

This is the most amazing part of any pasta dish. I would exclusively eat that part if I could.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 7:00 AM
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Have you tried making baked ziti in one of those pans designed to make brownies with all edge pieces?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 7:01 AM
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A salted caramel milkshake is the closest thing I've come to of a perfect fat/salt/sugar delivery vehicle. Every sip pushed all three buttons in perfect proportion. Brain says "yep, this is the perfect fuel, buddy, keep drinking it until it runs out".


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 7:05 AM
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IMO the trouble with a lot of those types of foods is that they basically trade on being vehicles for big, pleasurable flavors (fatty/salty/sweet), and so it's hard for people to discern which ones are better and worse, especially since they tend to be social foods

This is the kind of insane thing foodies tend to say. The problem with this food is that it tastes really good and it takes no special skill to make it and no special discernment to appreciate it. It's an abomination!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 7:10 AM
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300: yes.

I was deeply disappointed yesterday by ice cream. Awhile ago the store had a sale on these tiny, single-serving Haagen Daz containers, so I bought a couple. I finally pulled one out yesterday, caramel cone, with chocolate as well. The cone had no crunch, the caramel was wan... it was just blah. Granted, I'm getting over the flu, so I can't swear I wasn't missing some flavors, but in general my palate seems fine. I don't think it was secretly amazing. Oh well.

The problem with this food is that it tastes really good

But the point is that there are food pleasures beyond salty/fatty/sweet bombs. The other day Texas sheet cake came up. At its best, it's rich and chocolatey with the textural pleasure of lighter cake and richer frosting. At its worst, it's tooth-achingly sweet with hardly any chocolate flavor--if it weren't brown, you wouldn't necessarily think "chocolate". But, because it's fatty/sweet (no salty), it's pleasurable enough that (many) people don't discern whether or not the specific cake they've had is any fucking good.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 7:39 AM
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To me the wives of seamen loved to tell
What storms endangered men esteem so well
Of wondrous things in realms through which they passage
Lands without bounds, and people without sausage


Posted by: OPINIONATED GEORGE CRABBE | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 7:59 AM
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To me the wives of seamen loved to tell
What storms endangered men esteem so well
Of wondrous things in realms through which they passage
Lands without bounds, and people without sausage


Posted by: OPINIONATED GEORGE CRABBE | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 7:59 AM
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303/4:

If Opiniotated GC is English, that will rhyme because of the broad a pronunciation of passage, as if to American ears it were written "possage"

If American, then sausage is given the old Chicago-Italisn pronunciation, "sass-adje"


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 8:07 AM
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But, because it's fatty/sweet (no salty), it's pleasurable enough that (many) people don't discern whether or not the specific cake they've had is any fucking good.

I'm with JRoth on this one. I recently referenced Fuzzy Pink Niven's Law, which seems right to me -- if you're eating something purely because it's delicious (not because of any nutritional value), then it should be as delicious as possible. Bad brownies or poor pie crust, or bland cakes are still probably tastier than anything else on the table, but they aren't delicious, and so it feels like a waste.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 8:13 AM
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Or was it a Kipling reference?

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
Such boastings as in
Gentile usage,
(Lesser breeds without the Sausage) -
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget--lest we forget!


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 8:24 AM
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Of course, in that case it'd probably be to the more common variant, with a different rhyme scheme:

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Sau--
Sage, Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget--lest we forget!


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 9:01 AM
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If Opiniotated GC is English, that will rhyme because of the broad a pronunciation of passage, as if to American ears it were written "possage"

I don't think "passage" rhymes with "sausage" in any British dialect I've heard.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 9:09 AM
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306: It's funny, because that's not a prime motivator for me (more than it used to be, but still), but I still thought about bringing it up: a dessert is going to be 10-15% of your calories for the day, it should achieve more than the bare minimum that you'd get from a Hostess cupcake* or whatever.

I dunno, though, I'm not sure it's mostly about the dietary impact of desserts (although that magnifies the effect). There's not really any meal/dish where I'm undiscerning. Whatever the context, I'm trying to figure out the best/most satisfying available X.

*actually, those are a minor weakness of mine. In fact, I can't think of any other chocolate-based, mass-produced baked good that I eat. Because, again, most of them aren't that good.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 9:16 AM
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Hostess cupcakes are great. So are gobs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 9:19 AM
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309:

Maybe so; I may be both trying too hard to make it rhyme and exaggerating the broadness of English As to my ears. I was thinking of both first syllables sounding like "sauce," but I'll except that passage never has that broad an A.

Reminds me of the "toney" way, during the sixties, that many people pronounced Viet Nam, as if the second word should be pronounced just like the French word for name.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 9:25 AM
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305, 309, 312: Gentlemen, gentlemen - was not the intention clearly a slant rhyme?


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 9:34 AM
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314

124

Would you jello wrestle Joe from Lowell?*

*I'm drunk.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 8:29 PM
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**I'll probably regret commenting when I'm sober.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 8:30 PM
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You've never commented sober before?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 8:50 PM
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I really like drinking, but I try to be sober like 20 to 22 hours every day.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 9:18 PM
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318

EVERY day?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 9:20 PM
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If everyone only commented drunk that would be interesting.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 9:51 PM
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Btock style!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 04-21-16 11:46 PM
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I'm so old I remember when we called it Becks-style.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 04-22-16 12:30 AM
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If everyone only commented drunk that would be interesting.

Especially interesting for those of us in different time zones.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-22-16 2:25 AM
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But, yes, definitely worth arranging. Orange post title!

ObMitchell and Webb: "The Inebriati".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-22-16 2:26 AM
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318: It's a goal, not a guarantee.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-22-16 4:53 AM
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What is so stupid about that "phenomenally stupid" link she provided?


Posted by: Big Jim's Thumb | Link to this comment | 05-10-16 9:47 PM
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And to 164...

"Oh wow. Yeah. I didn't even click the link, but -- that is sure dumb."

So you didn't read something that you no is "sure dumb". Boy, that sure is bright of you, what with yer higher end upper education and fast typing keyboardin'.

"I know someone who was jumped by the hitchhikers he picked up -- well, it was a college friend's grandfather. In Montana."

Well of course, everyone in Montana is a jumper. They have a whole school for it there, and they tend to do it over smoke. I also knew a guy who accidentally stuck himself in the eye with a fork. Forks are crazy dangerous.

"Also, it's like she's never even SEEN that episode of Six Feet Under."

TV is awesome! I am killing my neighbors right now after watching Walking Dead!


Posted by: Big Jim's Brother's Thumb | Link to this comment | 05-10-16 9:51 PM
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