Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Yet Another A-ha Moment

You'd think at my age I would have a lot of self-knowledge. After all, I've hung out with myself for years and years! But there still are a lot of those a-ha moments and yesterday was one.

I had brought the two small loaves of cranberry bread to work for the staff meeting. Only the Boss and her second-in-command also remembered to bring bread. It's a good thing we didn't have a contest like the Boss had wanted or I would have come in last. Funny thing but who you are makes more difference than the actual product when it comes to popularity. My bread was barely touched. I think two guys each had a piece of it none of the women had any but ate the 1st and 2nd bread instead. So we didn't need to take a vote on it. Even if a person doesn't say a word, with cooking eating or not eating it is the vote yea or nay!

Even though it was a "quick" bread I had gone to some trouble, squeezing fresh oranges, grating the rind, breaking up the walnuts, etc. and brought a quarter of real butter to spread on it. I had a piece of my own forlorn bread later in the day--and it was delicious. It had turned out very well and (I think) far better than the other two. It was sort of embarrassing, hurtful and even made me a bit angry. I certainly didn't expect my little bread to be the belle of the ball but I thought people would eat it, at least. Just about any free food gets eaten up during a day at the office.

I brought the remains home to son, who devoured it with appreciation. And I also vowed to "forget" to bring food to work again! But as I finished the laundry and did things around the house, I kept thinking about it. How much I hate cooking, and realized that yesterday was exactly WHY I hate cooking (or baking). I hate being judged on it. It's like doing a favor for someone and having them criticize it instead of being grateful. It's an icky feeling for me.

Food tastes are such a personal thing yet I was raised to appreciate the cooking and the food that was placed before us. I just find it rather harsh and rude when (most) people don't. In "Ann Landers" or somewhere I read that a hostess should call and talk to her guests about their food likes and dislikes. To me that's going too far, he/she isn't a restaurant to be cooking up special foods on demand! I was raised to politely push food around on my plate and say I wasn't hungry rather than whine about onions and pick them out, or other such impolite actions. To me good manners is eat the food offered, if at all possible, and try to find something nice to say about it.

On the other hand, if I know a person doesn't like a particular food, I will avoid cooking with it, of course. I think family members and those who eat regularly probably should let the cook know their likes and dislikes--but if they are really really picky about their food, just maybe they ought to do at least some of the cooking themselves rather than continue to be the food critic!

OK, this has turned into a bit of a rant but it was interesting to discover why I hate cooking so much! What are your thoughts on cooking special foods for guests and eating/not eating foods other people have cooked for you?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I bookmarked your blog a little while ago and I stop in now and then. I wanted to tell you that I certainly would've loved to try your bread!

I empathise in that when I bring food to work, I get a lot of "hairy eyeballs." Part may be popularity and part is I'm definitely seen as a weirdo at work (one part geek, one part snooty--college educated and I travel, and one part Hillbilly). All of these things are true and it confuses people. It's a huge joke from 10 years ago when I brought HOMEMADE hummus (no one knew what it was) and another time a lovely frittata (also, no one knew what it was). The one person who "dared" to eat it told me they were great. It's definitely "putting yourself out there" and not getting a big return. I have my own "revenge": For Christmas, they all get homebaked goods. Only.
: )

7:53 AM  
Blogger deni said...

You must work with some really weird people, who ever heard of not eating free goodies.

Your bread sounds yummy.

7:55 AM  
Blogger Happy and Blue 2 said...

The people where you work must be huge suckups..Pffft.
I am a really picky eater so I usually just say I'm not hungry if I'm out. If I have to eat I just eat whatever is there.
And I could care less if someone liked my meals. If they don't want it they can go hungry or make something else..

8:06 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

It's hard to credit that people would actually be so small as to choose food on the basis of work status.

I don't like some food but I appreciate the effort involved. Today, I'm cooking meat loaf pie for a potluck.

9:43 AM  
Blogger BikerCandy said...

Wow, I can't believe that no one touched your bread. That's just rude. I swear if we have any free food around here the guys don't care who made it, it's gone!

I love to cook so in return I love to cook for others. I have, in the past, refrained from using onions because I know the person doesn't like them but that's about as far as my accomodating goes. Normally I fix whatever I planned and people can either eat it or not. Usually the food gets eaten...even if I do put the onions in it.

I think your bread sounds really good though and I'm sorry you work with such petty snots.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Dale said...

I couldn't agree with you more. It's rude to turn your nose up at food prepared and offered for you. Disgraceful!

I wouldn't bring any more food to such ingrates.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Aims said...

I hate when people don't appreciate the food you've worked hard on. As a veggie I know I can be a pain but I always tell people before I go for a meal, and I more often than not have people at mine rather than eat at their places cos it's easier (hubby wont eat vegetables!). I'd have loved your bread hun, it sounds gorgeous. Ignore the meanies!

2:57 PM  
Blogger sumo said...

I'm sure I know what that cranberry orange quick bread is...and it is wonderful. I've eaten it and looked forward when others made it at the holidays for many years now. It is a common holiday food afterall. Happy is right...the others were sucking up to BZ and whomever to make points. They are the jerks...not you. Don't take anything next time...let BZ be the one to take care of all the arrangements. Afterall...is it in your job description that you should provide the office jerks holiday treats?! If not...to heck with them. I didn't blog this year about Thanksgiving...you're lucky that I didn't. Now...MIL has a real fun deal going for X-mas...and I think I'll just pass on it. What is it with really old people???

4:24 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

Free homebaked food ..Are they nuts! I'm sure it was d-lish!

5:45 PM  
Blogger BarbaraMG said...

I can totally relate to this post. Whenever I bring food to parties it gets looked over. I don't understand it. Most of the time I just buy something now instead.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Monkey Migraine said...

Yeah, I routinely "forget" to bring stuff for potlucks at work. Or bring chips.

I'm sure it wasn't the bread itself that was the problem. People don't want to experiment at potlucks, they just want to chow down on what they're familiar with.

10:16 PM  
Blogger glomgold said...

I am pretty much similar to you in terms of attitude about food given to me.
I also hear that experiences like your office one are why it's a pain in the ass to become a chef.

2:41 PM  

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