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person A doesn't like to cook.   makes beef bourguignon.  

person B loves to cook, says they really like it, and since is has so much sauce they add more meat (which requires removing soilds to cook the new meat in the broth before adding everything back together.

how do you respond?

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Person B shouldn't be putting work on Person A.  If Person B wants to take over, fine, but why didn't Person B just make dinner in the first place? 

I've totally given The Look over crap like that. 

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If person B did that to me, I would walk off and probably take myself out to dinner somewhere. I have a “Person B” at my house, and I have had to learn to stand up for myself and say “no” to him sometimes. He has learned to ask before he “helps” most of the time.

Now, if we are talking leftovers, that would be a different story. I would welcome someone making an effort to repurposed or just eat the leftovers.

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Person A and Person B have different feelings about natural-feeling collaboration vs. accepting a kind offering and respecting the personal nature of personal projects.

Person A could say, "Hey, B, I know that you enjoyed getting involved and helping out at the end of when I was cooking the beef, but I really felt stepped on. I wanted to manage that project myself, and even if it wasn't as good as we could have done it together because I don't have all the skills yet, I would have been happier. If it happens again, try to remember that I'm thinking of it like I'm making a gift. I don't want you to fix it up before you accept it."

And / or Person B could say, "Hey, A, I love cooking together with you. It felt really good to have it in common, especially because I enjoy cooking so much. I was so impressed with (specific good stuff about the meal, the recipe, or the effort), but I'm questioning: was my feedback helpful at the end? I think I might have gotten carried away because I felt good about us working together."

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4 minutes ago, Danae said:

Is this before the dish has been served for the first time? If so, I’d be appalled.
 

If the dish has already been served and the leftovers are mostly sauce, then I wouldn’t have a problem with Person B adding more meat for the next iteration. 

 

This.

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I’m person A in this scenario. Person B added their two cents way too often. Person B is now our primary cook. It works out well for us - going on seven years or so with this arrangement. 

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I am confused about two things.  First, like the others, I am not sure if this is before the dinner is finished cooking, or after? 

The second thing I am confused about is why the solids (I assume this means veggies?) have to be removed in order to add more meat?  Is it so they don't overcook?

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Pretty simple.  I'd say, "Great idea, let's do that next time.  This time the recipe is made as written, which is what I always do before making adjustments.  We'll eat it this way this time, and then decide whether to adjust next time."  That way I'm saying yes but I'm saying no, which is a good way to keep the peace AND to personally feel peaceful, and also it does not delay the meal which in my world is not a great thing to do.

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This is the reason that I point blank refuse to make salad. Person B here has a very set idea on how salad should be made. Doesn't matter that there are multiple salad recipes, that person A cannot stand slimy salad cultural differences etc. If person A attempts to make salad, person B will give the third degree how much oil, how much garlic, did you stir before adding radish etc. I - I mean person A after 27 years has had enough. If person B won't make the salad I will just serve straight lettuce. I have not the energy or desire to be interrogated over salad 4 times a week

Of course person B doesn't understand this at all. And thinks person A just won't learn or try hard enough and if they only gave them more of the 3rd degree they would see light. 

Person A does all the cooking 

 

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I hate cooking.  Dh does more of it than I do.  He can takeover any time he pleases. Usually tastes better that way. 

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1 hour ago, Danae said:

Is this before the dish has been served for the first time? If so, I’d be appalled.
 

If the dish has already been served and the leftovers are mostly sauce, then I wouldn’t have a problem with Person B adding more meat for the next iteration. 

If this is the case then I would say thank you to person B. 

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Yes - I'm A.  Dh is B.

Yes it was leftover from yesterday - but this reheats well and you serve over fresh potatoes or noodles.  He took the other meat and veggies out so they wouldn't over cook as he shoved it back in the oven with more meat and more onions in the broth.   the state of my dutch oven isn't pretty either.  can you say: baked. on.?  Maybe he fished out the meat while eating it last night.  (but it was a good sized chunk and fairly lean.)  My health isn't the greatest, and I can put all my energy into cooking and literally be too tired to eat when I'm done.   I didn't eat much at dinner last night because I had to go lay down before finishing what was on my plate.

I would love to never cook again - but  person B only cooks if he feels like it, and no one would ever call his meals "nutritionally balanced".   

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As a leftover bonus...It wouldn't bother me, unless I specifically wanted the extra broth for something like a topping on rice. I'm not crazy about plain rice or noodles, so I plan a saucy dinner when I make them. 

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I don't think I've ever been so happy DH will happily eat things I think are terrible, and never takes over unless it involves his grill.

The kids, OTOH, some days I'm happy they eat anything at all.

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If it is done with the leftovers, I would take it as a compliment.  Person B liked it so much that he was willing to did some work to be able to enjoy even more of it.  

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I don't think I'd give it much thought? This isn't him "correcting" what you made. He decided to make more of it. I'd just be happy that someone other than me made food.  If you are too sick to clean the dutch oven, then tell him "Sweetheart, I'm too worn out to clean the dutch oven and need you to do it". 🤷‍♂️

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I'd say "Yay! I don't have to cook tomorrow!" The dutch oven can sit and soak.

Sounds like you need to find ways to spend less effort on cooking though, so you'll have energy left over for eating.

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With it being leftovers I'd be thrilled they were taking initiative to stretch them and take the load off of me. 

Now, if this was done the first night I cooked it, I'd be annoyed but not in this scenario.

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12 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

Yes - I'm A.  Dh is B.

Yes it was leftover from yesterday - but this reheats well and you serve over fresh potatoes or noodles.  He took the other meat and veggies out so they wouldn't over cook as he shoved it back in the oven with more meat and more onions in the broth.   the state of my dutch oven isn't pretty either.  can you say: baked. on.?  Maybe he fished out the meat while eating it last night.  (but it was a good sized chunk and fairly lean.)  My health isn't the greatest, and I can put all my energy into cooking and literally be too tired to eat when I'm done.   I didn't eat much at dinner last night because I had to go lay down before finishing what was on my plate.

I would love to never cook again - but  person B only cooks if he feels like it, and no one would ever call his meals "nutritionally balanced".   

In that situation, I would have said something like "Oh honey, thanks for taking over dinner tonight.  It was a lot of work for me yesterday so thanks for the break.  I am gonna go lay down while you finish that up."

And then walked away and left him to do whatever he was doing with it.  I would feel like it was a compliment to the meal I had made the night before.

As for the dutch oven, yeah, I would have been really irritated if he had messed up one of my cooking pans.

Overall, I would like to suggest that you have a talk with your DH and make up a plan where you aren't cooking every night, and he's cooking with some sort of regularity, and with some sort of healthy balance in mind, even if he doesn't feel like it that much.  If your health is such that cooking drains you that much, he absolutely should be stepping up to that plate, especially if he "loves" to cook.  Maybe something like he cooks on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays, you guys order take out on Saturday.  That way you only have to worry about Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Or whatever, you get the idea.  

Edited by happysmileylady
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I'm still a bit confused by the situation but sounds like the fiddling was done with leftovers, so I would be happy  with B's modifications.  I'd also expect him to clean up the pan, maybe with direction so it's not wrecked (if needed - in my house, I'm the one more likely to wreck a pan with aggressive cleaning). 

If B loves to cook, and cooking exhausts you, why not have him take over more?  And/or, stop making complicated and/or time-consuming dishes.  

I love cooking but my work schedule just doesn't permit me to make the meals I'd like to be making (well, that and $$$!). So, meals are simpler. Other people in the house are doing more. It's an adjustment but it's working out.  I take care to be sure there are vegetables and other healthful things that I like so even if dinner is frozen pizza and ice cream, no veg no fruit, I can add a salad or whatever.

Edited by marbel
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If I was feeling sensitive, it would bother me.  

I don't like to cook but get stuck with the majority of it.  DH will make suggestions with absolutely no ill will, but it still bugs me.  I don't want suggestions.  I don't even want to have to be cooking.  I'll usually just stop making that dish and let him do it when it's his night.

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This sounds like a communication problem, not a kitchen problem.  

I don't see anything wrong with someone wanting to perk up leftovers with some modifications, but if person A was actively cooking at the time (as opposed to person B fishing the leftovers out of the back of the fridge to use up), person B should have asked.  And if the result of person B's modifications is a hard-to-clean pot, person B should also do the clean-up, regardless of whose chore it usually is.  

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I'm not going to go into how's and why's of how "cooking" works around here, and I don't foresee much changing.   

I don't do complicated dishes very often -   I was the one who wanted it.   (I really don't like how he does a pot roast.  it's boring, and no one will eat it the next day. he gnaws on the meat.)  Some things do make good leftover's.  e.g. pastichio, and that I can do in stages. people will eat that for days until it's gone.  same with a spanakopita.  they reheat well.

Maybe I should stick with greek cooking (which I love) - dh never, ever tries/offers to help with that.

I've done the "walk out of the kitchen and tell him he's in charge" when he starts making too may suggestions.  Now I just tell him to leave.   He hadn't meant to thicken it up so much it's more the stiffness of a very thick chile than how it's supposed to be.  That's part of what had me so irritated.  There's supposed to be broth, there isn't any anymore.

He started working from home years ago, so he's here to wander in.

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13 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

Yes - I'm A.  Dh is B.

Yes it was leftover from yesterday - but this reheats well and you serve over fresh potatoes or noodles.  He took the other meat and veggies out so they wouldn't over cook as he shoved it back in the oven with more meat and more onions in the broth.   the state of my dutch oven isn't pretty either.  can you say: baked. on.? 

Person B needs to acquire understanding of pot cleaning 😄 .  

13 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

 

Maybe he fished out the meat while eating it last night.  (but it was a good sized chunk and fairly lean.)  My health isn't the greatest, and I can put all my energy into cooking and literally be too tired to eat when I'm done.   I didn't eat much at dinner last night because I had to go lay down before finishing what was on my plate.

I would love to never cook again - but  person B only cooks if he feels like it, and no one would ever call his meals "nutritionally balanced".   

 

Energy  seems critical factor.  

Person A made a two day meal / meal base, that got changed and made more tiring, and fatiguing re clean up. 

Does person A have an instant pot? 

If so, person A could make simple nutritious big meals that last several days, like soups and stews in IP.    And these are meals that allow a nap between when the food is put to cook and eating time. (Ask me how I know 😉)

when tired of that, person B could do more fancy possibly less nutritious cooking from start through clean up. And A could relax and enjoy those. 

 

Maybe a discussion needed?  Acknowledging different energy levels etc? 

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4 minutes ago, gardenmom5 said:

I'm not going to go into how's and why's of how "cooking" works around here, and I don't foresee much changing.   

I don't do complicated dishes very often -   I was the one who wanted it.   (I really don't like how he does a pot roast.  it's boring, and no one will eat it the next day. he gnaws on the meat.)  Some things do make good leftover's.  e.g. pastichio, and that I can do in stages. people will eat that for days until it's gone.  same with a spanakopita.  they reheat well.

Maybe I should stick with greek cooking (which I love) - dh never, ever tries/offers to help with that.

I've done the "walk out of the kitchen and tell him he's in charge" when he starts making too may suggestions.  Now I just tell him to leave.   He hadn't meant to thicken it up so much it's more the stiffness of a very thick chile than how it's supposed to be.  That's part of what had me so irritated.  There's supposed to be broth, there isn't any anymore.

He started working from home years ago, so he's here to wander in.

 

Frustrating.

Especially since you were particularly looking forward to it the way you wanted it.

 

Could the thick stuff have water or other liquid added to make more broth?  

 

 

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I think it depends on family culture. Around here, people can do whatever they want with leftovers. It wouldn't be unusual at all for leftovers to be added to, turned into a casserole, or made into a sandwich. If I wanted the leftover sauce for something in particular, I would definitely have to say so. So, my first instinct is to think it's fine and he wasn't being thoughtless, especially as he went to the trouble of taking already done meat out so as not to overcook it. If it's been a point of contention before, he should know to ask. 

It sounds like the overall cooking situation is pretty annoying. You only have one left at home, right? I'd probably just do a lot less cooking. Switch to a lot more salads and sandwiches, with fresh fruit and fresh or frozen veggies readily available. No need to cook more than twice a week at most - one dish that will provide leftovers for a couple of days, one piece of meat that can be used for salads and sandwiches. Person B's  cooking can just be a bonus. If they only cook occasionally, I wouldn't worry at all about it being  nutritionally balanced or not. 

There's nothing inherently more healthy about having a different cooked meal each day, so save your energy for better things. People who cook when they feel like it have no idea how much more of a chore it is to cook because dinner needs to be on the table. If he wants a hot meal on the table more often, he can put it there. 

I do get how the obliviousness can be annoying, lol. dh, who is very considerate most of the time, used to think nothing of saying, "eh, this isn't my favorite, I like it better when you do xyz with it" and I had to say (more times than seems strictly necessary), "it's one of my favorites, sometimes dinner is actually going to be what feel like eating" lol. 

And the next time I made this particular dish, I'd probably make a point of doing it when dh wasn't home, just so I could it enjoy it thoroughly 😄 

 

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24 minutes ago, katilac said:

 

I do get how the obliviousness can be annoying, lol. dh, who is very considerate most of the time, used to think nothing of saying, "eh, this isn't my favorite, I like it better when you do xyz with it" and I had to say (more times than seems strictly necessary), "it's one of my favorites, sometimes dinner is actually going to be what feel like eating" lol. 

Lol.  yeah, my DH has done that more than once.  And I do enjoy trying new recipes, so I don't have a problem really with him saying something critical about a new recipe, sometimes they just don't work out and that's ok.

But if it's something I like, and he eats but doesn't *LOVE* and he wants to complain about it, I just tell him that I hate tuna casserole.  That usually ends it.  Tuna casserole is DH's favorite dish of all time ever.  I hate it.

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If he is a good cook, I'd let him do his thing, and we've have more for leftovers. It would only bother me if he messed it up somehow, or if he was "fixing" it because he didn't think I'd done a good enough job. YMMV

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5 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

 

I've done the "walk out of the kitchen and tell him he's in charge" when he starts making too may suggestions.  Now I just tell him to leave.   He hadn't meant to thicken it up so much it's more the stiffness of a very thick chile than how it's supposed to be.  That's part of what had me so irritated.  There's supposed to be broth, there isn't any anymore.

 

I'd tell him that he ruined it for me, and that I resent that because I put a lot of work and time and anticipation into it.  I'd say it calmly, but I'd make sure I was *really* heard.

Also, about the more general thing, I think I would back off in another way, at least once a week.  Like, I'd have a lot of cold cuts around and if asked what's for dinner I'd say, I'm pulling out things to nosh on and making a salad.  That's not complete abdication, but it's more of a DIY meal than something cooked on the stove from scratch.  

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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I personally would have thought it was a good idea and why didn't I think of doing that. But my dh is pretty gracious with other people's cooking and wouldn't be trying to be mean about it, which it sounds like maybe was the case for you. Mind you, as with all of us, dh has his share of other faults!

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24 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I'd tell him that he ruined it for me, and that I resent that because I put a lot of work and time and anticipation into it.  I'd say it calmly, but I'd make sure I was *really* heard.

Also, about the more general thing, I think I would back off in another way, at least once a week.  Like, I'd have a lot of cold cuts around and if asked what's for dinner I'd say, I'm pulling out things to nosh on and making a salad.  That's not complete abdication, but it's more of a DIY meal than something cooked on the stove from scratch.  

I kind of agree with this.  I would probably word it something like "Oh man, I was really looking forward to having these leftovers, it's one of my favorite things and I worked so hard on it yesterday.  Next time you decide to change things up, can you please pull my portion out first.  Then you can do whatever you want with the rest."

OR, for something specific like this specific dish that I am looking forward to leftovers for, some thing I will do is set my leftovers aside in a separate container.  I do this for DH very often when I make something he really likes, and I am planning to change up the leftovers.

I will also say though, as I think about it more....this would probably be something that might irritate me, but I would work to just let go.  In my house at least, it's not something that would happen very often, so ultimately it wouldn't be wroth the discussion for me.  

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I would also consider intent. If the intention is to make life easier for me, it's all fine even if it's not done the way I would like it. I have a good memory for stuff like this, so I would file that away in my brain and next time I made that particular thing, I would say something about the leftovers and my desires/plans for them.  Like happysmileylady says  above - something like "hey, last time I made this you did something with the leftovers; I'd like to enjoy this again tomorrow exactly as it is, so can you leave me some?" Or even better, maybe "I set aside some leftovers for myself for tomorrow, so if you want to mess around with this portion to make it more to your liking, go for it."  

 

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