Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I know you are shocked and appalled to learn that things are a little crazy on the Jet Set Front. Quel surprise!

For one, the food wars between me and Other Half have reached an almost impasse. Seriously, guys, I'm not a bad cook.

Things I have cooked lately that Other Half has turned up his nose to:

Peanut Sesame Noodles (see above)
Lettuce Wraps (just like PF Changs)
Chicken in green chiles and tomatillo sauce
Mac & Cheese (homemade)
Provençale chicken stew

That's just the tip of the iceberg, folks, just what I can recall at 12:57am on a Tuesday morning.

I made the lettuce wraps a few weeks ago. We'd happily eaten them as a family several times in the past. This time, Other Half wrinkled up his nose (uh-oh) and said, "What's in these?"
I said, "What has been in them every other time."
"Yeah, but what?"
"Chicken, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots...and I hesitate to even tell you this but since you asked and you've eaten them in this dish before, mushrooms."
"I'm not eating these"
"BUT the ingredients are the same, you've eaten the finely diced mushrooms and been FINE with them EVERY OTHER TIME."

Both he and El Guille turned up their noses. I was so angry that I threw whatever piece of crockery I had in my hand onto the table, took the crying baby, and went to my bedroom to chill. Later, I emerged to eat my meal in piece and quiet. I ignored the philistines in the living room and ate at the table, by myself.

Sorry, still upset about that one.

Today it was the Provençale chicken stew. Chicken thighs, potatoes, canned tomatoes in juice, fresh veggies including peppers, basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, and 1/4 c. of red wine. Simmer in crock pot for 5-8 hours. Serve with crusty bread for mopping up. Very delicious.

"What's in this?"
"Chicken, veggies, you can pick out the tomatoes because I left them in large chunks..."
"It smells funny. I just don't like it, it tastes weird."
"...and a little of the red wine that Hope is Power gifted us."
"The sooner you stop cooking with wine, the better, I don't like the way it tastes."

Macaroni with cheese: imported Italian elbow pasta, cheddar cheese, Gruyere (this time I used Fontina) cheese, a little bit of onion to flavor the roux.
"There's something wrong with this mac & cheese."
"Oh? I used Fontina instead of Gruyere this time."
"Yeah, I don't like it."
"But you liked Fontina the other night when I used it on our mini-pizzas!"
"I don't like it."
"Ok, so you'd prefer that I go back to Gruyere"
"Well, I've been meaning to talk to you about that. How about we have mac and cheese with just cheddar?"
"Plus, there's too much onion. We need to lay off the onion"

Onions? ONIONS are going on the "bad" list now? I just can't deal...

I am thisclose to giving up completely.

I can cook for me, everyone else in the house can starve for all I care.

They can eat their...I DON'T KNOW what they will eat since everything is off limits. It makes me want to make a meal from sour cream and blue cheese covered in ketchup, mustard, with balsamic dressing, mushrooms, and vegetables.
I've gotten so tired of it, I've even filled up the kitchen table with mail and various other to-be-sorted items. I don't even want to set a table if I'm going to get grief out of it.

There's a scene in She's Having A Baby where Newlywed Elizabeth McGovern has made dinner out of several different types of fish. Kevin Bacon kind of pushes the fish around on his plate. She didn't know what kind of fish he liked, so she just made a bunch of them. Kevin Bacon pokes at one piece in particular and asks what it is. "Grouper. It's grouper," she says.
I remember watching this scene with my dad years ago. "Just eat it," Dad whispered at the screen. Kevin Bacon moved more fish around on the plate. "JUST EAT IT," Dad nearly roared, trying to stop the on-screen couple from descending into the precipice of a marital spat.

That's what I want, I want people to just eat it. JUST EAT IT.

Do you ever get tired of cooking?
For one? For two? For seven?

I wish we could live by bread alone, it might go down night after night as a smashingly successful meal.


Johnna said...

You're brilliant. I sentence your family to two weeks of meals, which they must cook without your help, using only the ingredients in the Food Storage. You'll be in Italy on a chef vacation while they do this.

Onions turn Mac 'n Cheese into food.

I want recipes.

Lindsey said...


What the? It seems we have the same problem. Only Fred isn't super picky about food in general, just certain experiments I do or when I do something easy--like a Mormon casserole. And he doesn't like chicken. WHO DOESN'T LIKE CHICKEN???

Cheddar over Gruyere?! I'm going to cry. Don't even....

When I move to Utah (hopefully soon!) can I come eat at your house?

compulsive writer said...

I saw the writing on the wall when my grandmother, at the age of 85 or something, spent a week at the hospital. She HATES being in the hospital. But this time when she came home she told me how nice it was to have hospital food so she didn't have to worry about what to fix for dinner.

Is it a bad thing that some days I actually find myself watching her choose her menu over at the Jamestown with a little bit of envy?

And I'm sorry. Mac-n-Cheese must have onions, no matter what kind of cheese you use.

(Can I have your recipe for lettuce wraps? I've tried them before with one from Top Secret recipes, but I'd love to try yours.)

Mrs. Dub said...

i hear ya. some of mr. dub's least favorite foods are my favorites. (olives? who doesn't love olives?)

but i must admit, if he didn't love onions, our marriage would be over.

best o' luck!

Mary said...

I feel your pain! My husband is actually great about eating what I cook, but the kids are terrible and it hurts my feelings and makes me mad way out of proportion of the offense. They are 3 and 1, so really, I should be able to handle the rejection, but seriously, JUST EAT IT!

Your meals sound wonderful. I would totally let you cook for me and then I would clean my plate just to show how scrumptious the feast was. :)

sue-donym said...

Send OH over to my house for a week. He will be BEGGING to come home to onions, homemade Mac n Cheese, and Fontina.

If he doesn't, he can live with Richard and I will come live with you. You can cook, I will clean and all will be right with the world.

Amy said...

You make me hungry. I think you should keep cooking the way you do and let OH know that he can always make himself a PBJ sandwich. The only trick is getting him not to taint the kids. Hm.

My husband has several food phobias, including anything with a mysterious ingredient he calls, "scaries," whatever those are. We now have a list of recipes that I make when he is out of town, and I can enjoy all by myself. This list includes hummus, Italian egg drop soup, and anything with pork, (all those things have "scaries" in them).

Suzie1 said...

Oh my gosh, that all sounds AWESOME!!! Kick the other half and the two kiddies out for the night and invite Suzie, Kiki, and me over for dinner. We'll eat every last bite and gush over you as God intended.

~cari~ said...

Oh, I hear ya! My husband goes through these little stages. One time he declared himself a vegetarian and I wasn't to use meat. Another time he said he was tired of "crap food" and I had no idea what he meant by that. It turned out he was tired of eating like we were starving students and he wanted real meals and I told him to earn more money and I'd cook "real meals". He's also gone through no dairy stages, carnivore stages, and no salt stages. I finally told him and my "I want a bowl of cereal for dinner" kids that our home is not a restaurant and I am not their personal chef. I will provide good, healthy meals and if they choose not to eat them then they can go hungry. Needless-to-say no one's starving over here!

Julie said...

Okay, "scaries" made me snort my breakfast. That's hilarious.

Oh Azucar.....your food looks and sounds AMAZING! Can I come eat at your house? I'm drooling over that first picture....

When I was growing up, if we didn't like what was on the table, we had to either tough it out (EAT IT...JUST EAT IT) or make our own food. Since none of us wanted to make our own food, we learned to like what Mom cooked. Drives me absolutely crazy to go over to my parents' house for dinner and have Mom offer to fix something different for my kids if they don't want what's on the menu. (GRRRR!)

I'm very glad that Phil will eat anything I make. My oldest has turned into a fairly decent eater, so I guess I can still hope for my other two. However, I've told my kids that I'm not a short order cook. (I figure if they get hungry enough, they'll eventually eat what I fix.) If they don't like what's on the menu, they have to find their own food. There's cereal in the cupboard, Easy Mac downstairs (yeah, I know--nasty--but they can make it themselves), and sandwich makings in the fridge. I have no patience for picky eaters.

Other Half needs to make dinner. Then you can start complaining how his food lacks flavor and nutrition. No harm in turning the (dinner)table, is there?

La Yen said...

Peanut Butter and Jelly. That would be my response. There is bread and peanut butter and jelly. Enjoy. Have a vitamin to go with it. I am eating my dinner. You can eat peanut butter and jelly for the rest of your life, I don't care. Then I would stop buying all kinds of other sandwich fixings and all kinds of tasty cereal. Leave them PB&J and Kashi. And don't make OH cook--that will be punishment for you. Gilly is big enough to smear some PB. And OH is big enough to help him. And I would refuse to make anything that they ask for--be like the Little Red Hen. Or La Llorona.

Azúcar said...

I want to clarify, I don't make them anything else, if they don't eat it, they don't eat anything else. However, I HATE to see food wasted. I can't eat all the leftovers by myself. Not to mention the expense of two meals. Grr.

This morning for breakfast I had a perfectly ripe pear from my dad's tree, a few squares of Edam cheese, and a mug of cocoa that I made fresh (you know, with unsweetened cocoa, p. sugar, and milk.)
I offered El Guille a square of cheese. He looked at me and said, "Cheese? But we have cake."

True, but you're not having it for breakfast.

Jennifer B. said...

I would like for there to be a talk in the Priesthood session of General Conference about GRATITUDE. It would be titled, "Just Eat It and Say Thank You!"

Wish I could come for dinner.

Kalli Ko said...

Paul considers himself a gourmet cook and I swear he looks down his nose on half the stuff I make. And he gets mad at me for cooking healthy and then complains about his "weight problem".

you reap what you sow my dear husband...

Let them eat PB&J I say. I'll eat your food anytime.

Mrs. Bryant said...

When I was dating my life away in culinary school, I met a boy who could NOT care less if I made him a PB&J or my finest culinary masterpiece. He just didn't care about food. I didn't get it . . . and he didn't get me. I knew I could never be married to someone like that.

Luckily, my husband loves and appreciates food as much as I do. I actually liked him immediately for that. He likes to cook and loves almost everything - except RAW onions. I feel very blessed. I have to say though, screw 'em all if they don't like your amazing food. Cook what you want or you will have children who won't try anything. Rock on, Sugar. Rock on.

Queen Scarlett said...

Wow... I'll move in - we can move the the dull palates out. I don't even know what to say. I grew up where we ate whatever was placed before us - and were taught to be grateful... course...if you didn't eat it for dinner - guess what would greet you the next morning. ;-)

I'm actually lucky that my hubby is a foodie like me... so we like to be adventurous and try yummy recipes. By the way... What you made... sounds DELISH! I want recipes and would love to make them.

Your boys have no idea how lucky they are.

Marie said...

I don't want to add fuel to your marital spat, but food pickiness just really really really is like my BIIIIIGEST pet peeve. And when the food being rejected is gourmet? Sounds like hubby needs a Namibia. That'll loosen up his palate. The horror of finely minced mushrooms will pale in comparison to fried cockroaches and/or outright starvation.

It's not the disliking of the food that I dislike -- everyone has their unique tastes -- but the refusing to eat it anyway. I've come to love so many formerly loathed foods this way.

So was your husband raised in a household that didn't go with the "eat this or go hungry" policy? This is a policy I fully approve of (though hard to enforce upon an adult, I'll admit).

Let us all heed the wise words of Weird Al: "If you don't like it, you can't send it back, just EAT IT!"

La Yen said...

Just bring the leftovers to work. Your other boys will eat them there. And they will tell you how awesome you are. And then you will get your love. And then you can throw around phrases like "Bob at work really likes this dish." and "That's ok if you don't like it, more for Bob! He LOVES when I bring him food"

And that should make J start to think...

wendysue said...

Ugh. I Hate that. You slave over a meal that you know is fantastic and you get. . .hmm. . .I'm not eating this.

Maybe he needs the mantra that was more than once declared at our dinner table. . ."you have to try everything, if you like it you can have some more, and #1--NO bad-mouthing the food!!"

I'm with you on the no other option thing, especially if it's something they've eaten before. Maybe an option for the kids, but not the adult. My kids do this ALL the time, they snarf down something one week, then the next week declare that it's poison. Sorry kids, this is it.

My hubby has his list of no-no's, but he's learned that just because he doesn't like the "texture" or whatever, doesn't mean I'm leaving them out, so he'll have to pick around his food to eat. There's not much of anything I won't at least try. Seriously, build a bridge, guys.

Build a bridge and GET OVER IT!

Engineer: martha griffiths; Conductor: j. bradley griffiths; Restless Riders: norah corinna, lucia louise, j. abram; On the Caboose: tequila the foxdog said...

I'm angry for you. Your meals sound divine. Children are one thing, but husbands?
And mushrooms? Mushrooms rock.

RC Cola! said...

I broke up with my last boyfriend solely because he refused to eat certain things.

No, really.

You're meals sound heavenly. This pisses me off that they aren't enjoying such fine cuisine. Grrr.

RC Cola! said...

Man, this is the second time I've written something addressed to you, Azúcar, and I've used the incorrect "your"...hurts my heart.

By the way, just the other night I found an awesome recipe for Lettuce wraps, I was craving them oh so badly. How dare someone turn that deliciousness down!

Clyde said...

1 - I think I counted about 10 ladies for a "Yipee!-dinner-at-Azucar-tonigth-and-tomorrow-and-on-and-on..." list. I'm in too. I'll bring a bag of rolls to clean the plates afterwords. :)

2 - Cereal and milk for your boys. Buy tons of different (flavors, colors, textures, etc.) cereals and if they get bored of it, you just offer them to try cereal WITH coke, water, orange juice... you name it. They'll be cure of their peaky-eater disorder in less than a month. (Add evil laugh here.)

3 - Recipes. Recipes. Recipes, please!... PF Chang letucce wrap is divine. Pretty please!

Christy said...

I have had your mac and cheese, sort of. Catheryn gave me the recipe and I am OBSESSED. My life was changed by the Carina Mac. It has brought light to my lfe.
Therefore I now have a personal beef with your ungrateful other half.
Beau wants only to have roast beef and potatoes, or hot dogs, or steak.
I would never tire of cooking if the mister were as excited by new things, creative ingredients, and cheese as much as I am.
As things are now, yeah . . . it gets old.
What is it with men and boring food?

Christy said...

life, not lfe

Lucky Red Hen said...

I'm with ya... my family doesn't appreciate the fine stuff either. I got out of cooking because of that... food is from the heart and if you deny me you break it a little. Mmm, cheese.

Olivia said...

I can't believe you cook--like really cook, not from a box or disguising takeout. This ALONE should tell your man he has it good. I can't believe he has the audacity to make demands when SOMEONE ELSE IS MAKING HIS FOOD AND HE IS AN ADULT! Maybe I should come over and make my specialty: Get ityourself a la Olivia. Maybe then he'd just eat it.

p.s.My verification word is uudooo, I think that's some sort of Finnish pickled seal delicacy. Make him eat that.

Sue said...

In our family, my husband does the cooking. I can't imagine complaining about what he prepares. If I want to complain about what he's made for us, then I should get my butt into the kitchen to do the cooking.

(He also does the laundry. Yes, feel free to hate me.)

Zanitta said...

Okay, I thought I was done tagging people but they sound too good to miss.

Tag, you're it! Post a recipe and get some people to do the same!

Tell your family to make their own dinners from now on and cook whatever you like.

Rynell said...

I had been feeling alone in this dilemma.
Just this morning...a little rant incurred over kids' lunch box fare. I don't want to send them processed junk. And so I go out of my way to make it good for them and yummy, where does that get me? Yep, you guessed it.

Recently, we've "discussed" onions, whole wheat tortillas, Pad Thai & (beloved) lettuce wraps...

I joined a cooking group in our ward run by a chef. Nice respite. Until now. The chef no longer runs it and the cooking group now specializes in Food Storage recipes. Great.

Geo said...

I think you'll feel a lot better if you submit this to a magazine and get paid for being the voice of an epidemic, 'cause that's what it is.

Can I come to dinner too?

rebrob said...

My mouth waters as you describe and post pictures of your homemade delicacies. You're truly an artist. YUM! Open a restaurant and people will BUY your food!! Then you can use the money to buy lots of artwork with the subject of mushrooms and onions for in-house display.

fijiangirl said...

The rule is our house is you eat what has been put on your plate or don't eat at all! This is my husband's rule because he doesn't want picky eaters.

b. said...

and the wraps.
and da'stew.
I've never had Mac & Cheese with onions. I want some of those too.

Ditto everybody else, cereal and pb and j's.

Danny said...

Clean the plate - I'll lick the plate clean! Your foods sound and look delicious. I will gladly be your food disposal and bring over some plastic containers to devour your leftovers if you can't handle them on your own.

Ryan and Susie said...

Just call me if that ever happens again. I'll come eat your food. Those dishes sound yummy.

The Rookie said...

I currently sit at the computer eating a Black Bean and Pepper Salad in a homemade Lime Vinaigrette. My roommate looked at it and, let me just say that, if the girl were playing poker, she'd have lost! I asked her to take a bite and a 25 year old turned into a 4 year old faced with the burden of Brussel Sprouts.

I'm pawning off the half of it to the land lady now because it will go bad eventually and I can't eat it all by myself.

I'm with you...JUST EAT IT!

Johanna said...


This one rocked me from long lurkerhood. I'm with Geo--you need to submit this somewhere.

(ps: When I married I agreed to give up garlic if he gave up TV. Only his true love could induce me to give up that other true love...)

Chemical Billy said...

Look at this, a sisterhood I never knew about!

My husband's list of "won't eats" is longer than his list of "will eats". He won't eat food he doesn't understand (e.g. cheesecake. Is it cheese or is it cake? Too risky), and he'll reject food on a conceptual level (e.g. shellfish. They're just giant bugs).

I cook something homemade maybe twice a month. Beyond that, it's pasta (plus greens for me), mac and cheese from a box (plus greens for me), cereal or pb & j for him (sauteed greens for me).

Your homemade mac & cheese sounds stellar. Hubby might even eat the onions.