I don’t know about you, but cooking is an important way that I show the people I love that I care about them. But just because something is made with love doesn’t mean that the person eating it is going to love it, too.
“Thanksgiving had been at my in-laws for years. My mother-in-law usually made the main dish, and the kids all pitched in with the sides and desserts. One year, she didn’t feel up to it, and everyone else bowed out, didn’t want to host, or had other plans. So, we invited mother-in-law and father-in-law over and said I’d make everything and to just bring themselves. All of the siblings invited themselves over once they heard I was hosting. So, I ended up making a traditional turkey dinner spread for about 15+ people on short notice. Mother-in-law brought chicken gravy. No one else helped in any way.
“I spent hours making a low sugar peach cobbler from scratch for my borderline dietetic dad on Christmas. He has a huge sweet tooth, so he really took it hard when they told him to take it out of his diet. He ate one spoonful, told me he didn’t like the cinnamon, then threw it in the trash in front of everyone there.”
“I had an amazing cake from Milk Bar for my wedding. It was a chocolate chip cake with passionfruit curd and coffee frosting. My mom loved it, and in the last months of her life (she had stage 4 lung cancer), I recreated my wedding cake so she could enjoy it while she still had an appetite. Because I was also taking care of my mom, it took me several days to make all the components and then assemble the cake. When I presented it at the dinner table for my family, my dad said, ‘Why did it take you so long to make this?’ I have not cooked or baked a thing for my father since. My mom enjoyed the cake, though, and that’s what really matters.”
“I no longer make super time-intensive and special recipes to share with one of my best friends. I used to cook and bring food over to her house a few times a month, but she either wouldn’t like it or even try it, or she would talk about how it tasted weird compared to some version she had at a chain/fast food restaurant. It’s totally her prerogative to feel that way, but I won’t go through the effort of making dishes that are special to me to share with someone who thinks fast food is the best-tasting food you can eat. I once made a bolognese sauce that simmered for four hours and brought it over, and she had one teaspoon of the sauce on an entire plate full of noodles. Like, you can eat it however you want! But I won’t go through the effort of making it for someone that won’t enjoy it with me.”
“When we were dating, my husband told me he loved Mexican wedding cookies, so I tested a couple of recipes and made them for him. A couple of months later, his cute coworker handed out bags of Mexican wedding cookies for Christmas. He told me hers were better. I never made them again.”
“My parents were coming back from a long trip, and I know that’s hard for them. I made turkey tetrazzini after roasting a turkey breast, and made one for them, too, and left it in their fridge as a nice meal when they got back. Mom told me a week later she tried it, but she doesn’t like ground turkey, so she threw it away. My dish had chopped roasted turkey. She lied like a rug, and I will never cook one more thing for her.”
“I threw a Christmas party for my siblings and their families and told them all I was making chili. I made two huge vats, and every single one of them stopped and ate on the way. Then, one of their wives asked me for one of the huge (untouched) pots to take home with her so she wouldn’t have to cook dinner for the kids. That was the last time.”
“I had a coworker ask for some food from me. My husband brags about my food, but we were struggling hard financially at the time, and I made some struggle dumplings. I begged him not to give them to her, but he did anyway. She TORE me APART with criticism. I’m actually a pretty decent cook, but we had just had a baby, and I just didn’t have any money for barely anything. She’s asked me several times after we got back on our feet to make her something, and I’ve always glossed it over with ‘Sure, babe! When I’ve got the time!’ I’ll never feed her.”
“Made red beans and rice by request for a dude I briefly dated. He came into the kitchen, and without tasting anything, he added A CUP OF SUGAR to the whole pot of beans, then took the lid off the rice half way through cooking and added sugar to that, too, in one dump of the measuring cup without even distributing it evenly. I’m a personal cook.”
“My (adult) brother seems to have a new self-imposed dietary restriction every month, which is randomly enforced. I love him, but last time I was home, I wanted to strangle him. We all attended a family gathering where I watched him consume all sorts of carbs — bread, cookies, bbq sauce, etc. We also went out to eat, and he ordered himself a dish with carbs when there were many other carb-free options. I was going to cook dinner for part of the family, about eight people, the following day, and my brother declared to me that he will no longer be eating carbs. I pointed out all of the carbs he had just consumed and said I really wanted to make a pasta dish since that’s easy to prepare for a crowd. He said if I made pasta, he wouldn’t come to dinner, and I needed to make something with little to no carbs, or he wouldn’t come.
“Made my now ex’s work lunch for his first day of work after we moved in together. He told me that his mom did a better job wrapping the carrot sticks. I never made his lunch again.”
“I make my whipped cream with heavy cream, sugar, and bourbon. My uncle came over and told me that I should make it with powdered sugar and salt instead. My mom came over and told me that she and Grandma thought there was too much bourbon last time. Then, my aunt came over and said that she didn’t want any alcohol at all (she’s not an alcoholic), but then afterward, my cousin asked if I could add more bourbon next time, and also said he didn’t like the powdered sugar as much as the regular. By this point, I was really pissed. The next year, I made two desserts, but refused all requests to make whipped cream.”
“I once made a small batch of some sweet dessert for my mom. I had gotten some frozen bread dough and flattened the center and stuffed it with apples, cinnamon, and sugar. I didn’t have a recipe (I was 14). For some reason, they turned out really beautiful and were delicious. My mom refused to believe I made them. Not in the cute flattering way, but in a really accusatory way where she essentially called me a liar. I’m not sure I ever baked anything for her again.”
“I cooked for the week while my ex was away. I came home from work, and she had given it away (bar the crust of a lasagne, knowing it was my pet peeve for people to leave) because she felt I didn’t take her side in a petty fight with her sister. The lasagne had a six-hour sauce in it that I had babied all day. I made it at the request of my son, who loved it. I came home from a long shitty day at work the next day looking forward to dinner with my family, and it was gone. It was an act of spite. A final one for me. I left her.”
“I made a very nice coconut chicken soup with plenty of veggies for a date. I was super proud of how it turned out. I watched him fish out all of the vegetables because he didn’t like them. Now, I only date people who eat their veggies.”
“My old roommate asked me to make him dinner as he was running late for something. Later on, I asked for help with the dishes and the food. The response was, ‘Well, you made the mess, why would I need to clean it?’ I never did anything, at all, for him. Fucking dick.”
“My husband told me that frozen dinners tasted better than my home cooking. He has been eating frozen dinners or fast food for many years.”
“I work in a medical office of about 13 people. I don’t have a lot of money, so when birthdays come around, I bake a cake as my ‘present.’ There were a few small incidents that I ignored, like throwing away my homemade chocolate chip cookies in front of me because they didn’t like them, until the last one. I made an orange cake with fresh oranges and orange cream frosting. It was decorated and everything. Usually, everyone sings happy birthday and gives gifts/cake during lunch. I come out of a patient’s room to find the office had sung happy birthday and everyone ate the cupcakes without me. They didn’t even ask if it was okay if I wasn’t there. Never again. Only family and my best friend get my baked goods from now on.”
“I made my parents a wonderful, filling vermicelli salad. It had a lot of stuff in it. My first time making anything with vermicelli, so I took my time in the kitchen with it. It ended up being pretty fucking good, and I’d probably make it these days if I could. My dad had a bowl of it, and pretty well immediately grabbed a takeout menu afterward, asking what we (myself and my mother) wanted. I had never in my life felt such emotion involving food and cooking. Needless to say, I was upset.”
“I hosted a Passover Seder dinner a couple of years back to support my fiancé with a few friends and other couples. One of the attendees had pretty severe dietary restrictions and allergies (celiac disease and allergic to onions). With this in mind, I made sure to get gluten-free matzos, left onion out of many of the dishes, and even prepared a gluten-free cheesecake for him so he had a dessert. I spent HOURS in the kitchen cooking (no joke, probably 9 hours total). Instead of being thankful, he complained about how ‘crumbly’ the matzos were, said the cheesecake was ‘no good,’ and barely ate any of the food that was prepared. I was so livid I had to leave mid-meal and take a walk outside. I never invited him over for dinner again.”
“I think I was 27 or so and had invited my mom, aunt, uncle, cousin, his wife, and my grandmother down for Thanksgiving. Add me and my wife, that makes 8. We did a late lunch around two, with snacks and such starting around noon. I made the whole goddamn meal: dressing, casseroles, green beans, snacks, and the best fucking turkey I’ve ever smoked. It was glorious when it came off the smoker at just a few minutes past 2:00. They didn’t show up until after 4:00, the skin was rubbery because it had sat covered for so long, I tossed it in the oven to warm up, but the skin was not salvageable and the meat dried out. I had one goddamned bite of that bird when it was perfect! Then, they had the fucking audacity to complain about it to my face! I just said, ‘It was much better when it came off the smoker at 2:00,’ and I’ve not cooked for any of them since.”
“I made tonkotsu ramen from scratch for the in-laws. They ate the toppings and left the soup.”
“I traveled to my in-laws’ for Christmas. They are from New Jersey and literally cannot cook to save their lives and were going to get a tray of Publix deli sandwiches for Christmas Eve dinner. I offered to cook instead. I made an amazing pot roast and sides. They DEVOURED it, raved about how good it was, and ate every bite. Two hours after dinner, my husband said the words ‘cream of mushroom’ casually. Cue panic. “MUSHROOMS?!?!? OMG Disgusting!!” Full freakout, went on and on and on and on how they don’t eat that, how gross, etc. Total assholes. After, I saw them use their rolls to wipe their plate clean.”
“I cooked some steaks for my mates. One of them wanted well done, no worries. I checked to see that it was when he cut into it. Perfect. No hint of pink at all, but still moist. He went, ‘Sorry, mate, I wanted well done.’ ‘What?’ I said, ‘But it is, there’s no pink at all.’ He then proceeded to show me how to cook a steak and said, ‘You need to stab it with a knife to get the juice out.’ Yep, no more steaks from me for you. He also showed me how to cook spaghetti. Apparently, it takes about 40 minutes, so that it gets nice and thick ‘like out of the cans.'”
“My niece asked me to make Thanksgiving dinner for the family. I did. It was great. None of the family showed. I can’t remember what their excuse was, but I will never cook for them again.”
Have you ever cooked a meal for someone that did not get the respect it deserved? Tell me about it in the comments!