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Old 03-25-2011, 05:52 PM   #11
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WOW! I swear I had no idea he was married! LOL

Thanks for the advice guys. The main problem is that while I like many different foods, I don't eat very much. I'm the adult that orders off the kid's menu because those are the only portions small enough. so when I cook for two, I'm counting on him to eat for one and a half :) I wouldn't mind cooking separate dishes for each of us, because I love to cook, but I detest wasting food! For example, If I buy a few tomatoes, they will go bad before I eat them by myself, no matter how hard I try.

Also, Its not so much about tricking him as it is getting him to realize that the things he didn't like as a kid probably taste ok now... I mean, I wouldn't blame him if he didn't want to eat anchovies or sushi, but goodness sakes, I just want to be able to cook something besides meat and potatoes! No celery, no tomatoes, no lettuce, no apples, no citrus fruits, no cucumbers, the list goes on forever....

I don't remember who asked, but as far as restaurants go, if I want to eat anything but good ol americana, it will be a table for one. No ethnic or seafood for him either.

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Old 03-25-2011, 08:57 PM   #12
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I well remember our first Thanksgiving. We went "home" to be with family and brought back some leftover turkey. I made a great turkey ala king with pimentos, pepper, celery and onions. We sat down to eat. He took one look at the red bits of pimento and the black pepper and took his plate directly to the kitchen and flushed it down the garbage disposal. Needless to say he didn't get anything to eat that night. I didn't now he didn't like pepper or pimentos! In the 28 years since, he's mellowed and I've learned what he likes. He swears he doesn't like mushrooms yet I can make some dishes with cream of mushroom soup that he loves. I can add green peppers to my chili but can't put them on a salad. One other suggestion would be to give him the task of cooking at least once a week. Maybe if he gets into the kitchen, he'll become more adventurous.

I could give up chocolate but I'm no quitter!
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:54 PM   #13
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Shared meals shouldn't be a power struggle over creative license or staunch finickiness. While a parent may feel free to expose a child to food experiences (and actually, I have had the best luck with letting them smell herbs and spices rather than taste things with textures), spouses and other adults do grave harm when mealtime becomes a battle ground between them. Buy one tomato, not several. Oven fry his potatoes with rosemary, garlic and paprika, then do the same thing to chicken a few nights later, adding a few slices of lemon. Lead him along familiar paths by preparing his favorites exceptionally well and incorporating your favorites as an integral part of the meal. Seek a middle ground where you can both eat.

Adults almost never are making their food choices out of some passive aggressive need to make you please them by suffering: maybe his mom was a dreadful cook; maybe he had some swallowing/texture issues as a kid; who knows? Family meals should be about love and common joy.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:57 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by NoraC View Post
Shared meals shouldn't be a power struggle over creative license or staunch finickiness. While a parent may feel free to expose a child to food experiences (and actually, I have had the best luck with letting them smell herbs and spices rather than taste things with textures), spouses and other adults do grave harm when mealtime becomes a battle ground between them. Buy one tomato, not several. Oven fry his potatoes with rosemary, garlic and paprika, then do the same thing to chicken a few nights later, adding a few slices of lemon. Lead him along familiar paths by preparing his favorites exceptionally well and incorporating your favorites as an integral part of the meal. Seek a middle ground where you can both eat.

Adults almost never are making their food choices out of some passive aggressive need to make you please them by suffering: maybe his mom was a dreadful cook; maybe he had some swallowing/texture issues as a kid; who knows? Family meals should be about love and common joy.
Now in my opinion most picky eaters ARE being passive agressive, if not toward their spouse perhaps toward some unfortunate cook from days past. But since there is no pleasing them I figure I might as well just cook to please myself and if they don't like it tough cookies. (Pun intended!) Now I do make some exceptions to that general rule, for birthdays or other individual and special occasions. For instance if dd has a great report card or is having a particularly tough day or has been especially cooperative I may reward her with a meal of ..oh.. say fried chicken with corn and mashed potatoes (How boring) without any special additions. Just fat and carbs with a little protein thrown in to pretend there is some nutrition in the meal. I do struggle to try to please them still but after all of these years those times become fewer and further in between. It's just not worth the heartache.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:25 AM   #15
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Mine and Craig's son-in-law doesn't like cheesy or creamy things, yet he'll eat pizza, cheese doodles (and no I don't know how to spell it), and cheese whiz (or this either) out of the squirt can, even those preservative-laden, premade, Christmas-time cheese balls on occasion, as well as ice cream. But no cheesy casseroles, no lasagna, no hamburger stroganoff, which our daughter loves, no creamy pasta sauces, no cheeseburgers, etc, etc. The only veges he will eat are carrots once in a while and broccoli once in a while that has to be cooked just perfectly the way he likes it or he won't eat it.

They lived with us for a short while after they transferred from another city and I figured out ways of cooking for the 3 of us - Craig, me, and our daughter - as well as making something he'd eat without cooking 2 completely different meals. If we were having a protein with a cream sauce, I'd start out with the same basic elements but pull some out at the appropriate time and continue with a tomato or a wine sauce for him. It would take some thought but usually I ended up only using 1 extra, sometimes 2 extra pots.

Of course though I'd already had some practice with our daughter. She went thru phases of not eating pork, even though she'd still eat bacon - loved it in fact, and she refuses to eat veal to this day, so I'd have to cook chicken for her. She also had a few other quirks/dislikes that contrasted with things Craig and I liked, just nothing on the scale of the son-in-law's food issues.

You just have to think on it for a while and you'll come up with things that aren't too much extra effort or mess.

As far as "hiding" veges in things, I do use a mirepoix of carrots, celery, and onions in most of my pot roast type dishes, even some chicken dishes and you can use an immersion/hand blender to zap them and they thicken the liquid. In my case, I'm not trying to "hide" them, we just like the way they make the gravy/sauce taste with the added benefit of not having to use flour or cornstarch to thicken.

My girlfriend, on the other hand, has to hide veges in the things she makes as her husband and son just will not eat veges and the son has a medical condition that requires him to get good nutrition. She grates zucchini/yellow squash and puts it in meatloaf, also in chocolate cakes. She also puts zucchini/yellow squash in her tomato sauce, as well as carrots and the obvious onions, then blends to a smooth sauce so they won't see the veges. She's actually quite a genius at getting them they're veges without them knowing it. If it was just her hubby then I don't think she'd do it but her son needs the veges so she does what she has to.

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Old 03-26-2011, 09:55 AM   #16
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I am fortunate--my DH eats everything except liver and kidney. But that's okay, I don't eat kidney and only eat chicken liver once in a while. He will eat anything I make. I am probably his picky eater-LOL-I prefer my spaghetti sauce over his, I prefer my dill pickles over his, my salsa over his, and my B&B pickles over is. I will eat his--but if I'm the one making the B&Bs, I use my recipe. If he's the one making the B&Bs, he uses his recipe. When we "team" to make salsa, we make it my way. We both cook. His cooking is more "functional" (although he did plate the roast turkey he made this week very nicely <g>), and I'm more into the flavour profile and appearance.

My father is a picky eater. His mother was terrible cook. He was in the Navy for years, ate mess food. Married my mom (who hates to cook) and we grew up with the "rotating 7-day menu" (if it's Monday, it must be sphagetti, tossed salad, garlic bread). To this day, he will only eat about 15 different meals if my mother is cooking. He won't eat mashed potatoes ("poor people eat mashed potatoes"), but will eat baked potatoes with steak. Yet, when I go there, he will eat anything I make as long as it isn't too "spicy." I think there is some truth in the passive-aggressive aspect. I think there is also some truth in the fact that a person might not have been exposed to certain foods and so won't try them. I don't eat bananas or pears. I hate the smell of bananas, and I detest the texture of pears. And, I probably won't be making kasha again <g>. We have a lot more variety of food available then when we were growing up. The only time I had fresh pineapple growing up was when my father brought some back from Hawaii. The only time we had fresh lobster is when my uncle or father brought it back from the East coast, the same for shrimp--only when my dad came back from New Orleans.

If I had a picky eater husband, I'd try to find out why he is a picky eater. And I'd probably suggest taking a cooking class together as a "couples" activity (followed by ballroom danicng or something to work off the extra calories!) Unless a person has allergies, a lot of food adversions are because a person hasn't developed a taste for the food. Or, the only time they've tried it, it wasn't well made--trust me, my granny's potroast was HORRIBLE. I like my potroast. It took a long time to realize all potroast wasn't like my granny's. Or because the parents put the idea in their heads "that's not good for you." (My MIL hates it that I make waffles every once in a while--my DH's family [and mine] have a history of heart disease). Waffles are a treat--most of the time we cook heart friendly. Of course, all she eats is lettuce, turkey, tomatoes, and baked potatoes. I don't think she eats hardly anything else except toast and no butter--butter is bad for you. No eggs, they're bad for you. Thankfully my DH doesn't have all of his mother's attitudes about food--he does think butter is bad for you and only one or two eggs a week...and he's not fond of melons, but that's okay. Or, the person doesn't like change (I suspect that is part of my father's issue--he wants things to be the same as they were--Christmas at his grandmother's had 7 cookies and three types of meat on the table...things, Sunday was always roast beef...).

If a person finds the texture or odor offensive of something, leave it at that. I didn't cook ham for years--it was the smell of it cooking in the house that got me. I could use the bone for soup, eat it in salad or at someone else's house, but would not cook it. I've gotten past that--I've been cooking ham again since 2008.

A adult should be able to decide not to eat something, but to make the decision without trying it is not having a sense of adventure. It also is somewhat disrespectful of the time the person preparing the meal has put into the meal. I love cooking for my DH because he compliments the meal, enjoys it, asks me to make certain things again, and I like that he enjoys what I cook. "Feeding s/one is an expression of love."

The other approach, do the "you're turn to cook and grocery shop this week, mine is next." My DH didn't cook when we first met--he does now.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:20 AM   #17
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I love that quote "Feeding someone is an expression of love." I don't think my bf realizes so much that although I like to cook, I love cooking for him. Luckily he is not a picky eater. He does have some ideas about how certain things should be cooked, which is annoying, because sometimes I do things his way, but sometimes I want to do them my way (like mashed potatoes and gravy, vs cut up potatoes cooked with the roast). I would probably handle a picky eater the same way. Cook what he likes sometimes, and sometimes cook what you like. Maybe you could make a deal with him that most of the time you will cook what he likes (maybe with something extra for you that he doesn't have to eat), if he agrees to at least try what you make when it's something different and exciting. That's how my bf and I handle just about everything ("If you take out the garbage and recycling-and you have to actually do it, not just say you are going to- I will start hanging up your shirts when I do laundry.") Bartering gives us both what we want
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:47 AM   #18
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My picky eater is Ok with things such as carrots and onions added for flavor if you blend them like babyfood first. It is amazing how much he likes these veggies in his gravy when you can't see them or bite them. he also thinks that carrot cake and chocolate zucchini cake are great too. He will eat banana bread too of it has chocolate chips instead PF nuts. At someones house he will eat some fruit cooked into things too. If you don't force it he is OK with a fruit or veggie once in a blue moon. I just make my veggies on the side and stir them in later. With some things he just picks out the veggies for me. I guess after 30 years we have just put up with his eating style and mine being different and made the best of it.
No matter where I serve my guests, it seems they like my kitchen best!
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:23 AM   #19
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My first husband, who not too much later became my only "ex," thought himself quite the gourmet. However, he had some very definite dislikes, one of which was onions. Now, how can one cook many delicious savory dishes without onion? At any rate, I tried my best to conceal onions in my dishes. He detected them every time. I couldn't even use onion powder!!

I spent many, many hours in the kitchen trying to create/prepare meals he would eat and, in the end, I simply wound up cooking mostly mediocre recipes. He came from a midwest country family but he had traveled and spent time in the military outside of this country experiencing other cultures/foods. Go figure.

I grew up in this area. My daddy was a true poor country boy and grew up with very spartan meals. His father was a coal miner and things weren't good in those days. My mother came from a fairly well-off family up north and was used to "high falutin'" food. How those two ever got together I'll never understand.

My mother was a very good "basic" cook, but wasn't very adventuresome. Her steaks were legendary. Just suffice it to say, you could shingle a roof with them. Daddy LOVED to eat and would try darn near anything. The only time he was able to do that was when he ate out or traveled. Ironically, his favorite thing was a rare grilled steak.

Mother had some peculiar attitudes/opinions about foods. She wouldn't eat white corn because corn was SUPPOSED to be yellow. Ditto for wax beans. Beans are GREEN. Everyone knows that. Forget about tomatoes that were any color but red. She wouldn't even try some of the regional foods here because they were "peasant" food and below her. Huh?

At any rate, because of an assortment of issues, I became the cook for the family when I was about 8. That seemed fine with me as I loved being in the kitchen and, by the time I was 13, I was quite an accomplished cook.

After I split with my first husband, I met Buck and was in cooking heaven. He would eat anything. Well, just about anything. I cooked rabbit for him once, not exactly telling him what it was. Let's just say I evaded the question of, "What's this?"

He liked it but I finally had to 'fess up and tell him it was rabbit. His response, "Oh, no, Thumper!!!" I was afraid of such a reaction, which is why I was evasive with my answer to what he was eating. He would never consider eating it again.

I'm married to Glenn now and he will eat practically anything. I'm still learning about his likes and dislikes but, when I do prepare something he's not wild about, he'll at least eat the meal and then tell me if he doesn't care for it and why.

So far, he's not crazy about any type of liver, but is willing to try a recipe for chicken liver I've described to him. Fair enough. I like liver, but it's certainly not a deal breaker.

He's not too wild about "white" stuff. Ranch dressing, creamy casseroles and the like. He's not especially fond of casseroles in general. He prefers his food "separate" and not smooshed together.

The only real disappointment, if it can be called that, is he doesn't much care for chocolate. As far as I'm concerned, chocolate is a FOOD GROUP. At any rate, I'm managing and have gently gotten him to eat a bit of chocolate for dessert in the form of chocolate-zucchini cake.

As for any other picky-like eating, I raised 8 children and lived with the pickiness of one or more of them. All but one of them detested liver and onions, which I understood. But, on the days when all of them but Ryan were gone, he and I would pig out on liver and onions.

I learned through my children to just go with the flow and make sure there was enough on the table to nutritionally satisfy them. Five of the eight were boys, so I learned early on to cook in quantity if nothing else.

My philosophy is that life's too short to argue or fuss over what to eat. There is so much out there, it really doesn't matter in the end.
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:31 AM   #20
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As I said before, I cook for me. Shrek is the one with Diabetes. It took me a while to realize that it is HIS responsibility to eat correctly for his health, not mine. He attended all the nutrition classes, he understands and he chooses to ignore it...that's his right.

My problem was, I was looking at it as a failure on my part as a wife and a nurse. It took discussion with a therapist to find out it wasn't my problem. It hasn't stopped me caring, but it has stopped the conflict and my feelings of anger and despair.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” - Albert Einstein
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