How many do you cook for?

When gathering with friends I tend to be asked to lead the food coordination - if we’re hosting, then I do all and ask guests to bring drinks if they like (we’re a “dry” household for the most part).

Gatherings with immediate family (parents, siblings), it depends on who is hosting: most are decent to excellent home cooks and some have professional experience, so we eat well. (And all but one of us are veg/vegan, which makes creating the menu a breeze.)

Extended family gatherings are more complex, due to numbers, ages, dietary concerns, etc. Most often a family unit (say an aunt /uncle and their adult kids) will be assigned a meal and they’ll provide food for the lot of us; runs the gamut of everything from home cooked feasts to cold cuts. Most is very good.

Our extended family used to gather at the Central Oregon Coast for a week-long camping/fishing/crabbing event. We ate extremely well, with fresh crab most nights, plus fresh breads, vegetables from family gardens, and desserts from a (now passed) pastry chef family member. It was a semi-potluck arrangement and everyone helped with prep and cleanup. Lots of laughter around the campfires and always full bellies!


Me, Myself, and I.

So I can screw it up, toss it, and eat a bowl of cereal, and I only have to listen to myself bitch at myself for wasting ingredients. :wink:

And like @shrinkrap, I help but am not the primary cook at larger gatherings.


I cook for 4, me, H and 2 teen sons. Typically it is fend for yourself B and L, and I cook dinner. 95% of the time. 5% of the time one of those 3 cooks, and older son helps with kp daily. We’ll do takeout 1-2x/wk. We are on borrowed time with older son, since he was supposed to start college and move out last Aug, but for covid and online learning, which isn’t a great value for the money IMO. College tuition is nuts, w/ or w/o covid. We have talked about all the things we will be able to eat often when he’s gone. Seafood. Cooked tomatoes. Squash of all kinds. Eggplant. Nuts. Cinnamon! He’s a picky one. But we will miss him terribly too :frowning:

Have not gotten together with anyone - family or friends - to entertain in SO long. When it’s been family for holidays and such, it’s almost always small. 6-10 at most. Small families on both sides. I do a lot of it because I am the most adept in the kitchen.

As far as entertaining, I don’t know if it is a function of the place or not, because I didn’t entertain much before when we lived in SoCal. But here in the PNW, it is potluck this and potluck that. Rarely does a person invite a bunch of people and feed them all. At least not among the people I know. The host usually has a main and drinks, and then all the guests bring salads, sides, desserts, chips, wine, etc.


Depends on how many people are eating. :smile:

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Moi. As a widow of a 39 year marriage I still sometimes cook for two and freeze half, depending on what I am making. I like having meals in the freezer. On the rare occasions that I entertain or have family visit, I do all the cooking. Or if I am visiting family, I always pitch in. I love to cook.


Two cooks and eaters here, yet we almost never cook two portions only. We cook for planned overs, lunches, and to feed the freezer. Sometimes we feed other people’s freezers too. There are exceptions of course, when we’re having something like filets, lobster tails, or other premium proteins. Sometimes there will be only two portions of that. H does most of the cleanup these days, by choice. He’s possessive and territorial over the kitchen, which he considers his turf! This is A OK with me actually. Pre Covid, we occasionally had parties of around 30, and would cook together for these, or, at times, cook for about that number, and transport the food. This would be for special occasions, like college graduations or pre wedding type functions.
If we vacation or stay with others, we’ll often take a night to cook for others, or jump in if they wish. This seems to work out well, and if we do cook, others clean up, or vice versa. At the Carolina beach house, we’d take a night, buy shrimp off the boat, do the sides, and I’d make a couple Key Lime Pies or something. The younger generation in these cases would spring up afterwards and clean up, refusing our offers to help. Worked out really well.
When I vacation with the Oregon sisterhood, everyone is an excellent cook, so we take turns. However, my friend L is always the kitchen boss, no matter where we are, or whose kitchen it is! She was here recently, and I let her take over. Go for it girl! But actually, I really don’t like people to clean up in my (I mean H’s!) kitchen, but don’t mind them cooking.


Day in and day out, I cook for three: dh and I + one portion planned over for his lunch. When son’s family joins us, it’s 7 of us. Dinner parties -> usually 8.
DH doesn’t cook. We shop together, then I cook what we have collected. I normally pull a protein out of fridge or freezer early in the day, then decide what to do with it about an hour before dinner. Fill in with veg and starch as appropriate.
Dinner parties are totally on me, but dh is a stellar busboy and wine steward, so I plate course by course and he serves and retrieves. Works well. No confusion or stepping on each others’ toes.
I’ve been cooking so long that i’m on automatic pilot most of the time.


Normally two at home when not lunching or dining out.

When we have our two grandsons spend the weekend, the four of us when not going out for Pizza, their favorite.

Company, on occasion for a celebration and so we share the chef duties and prep.


We share meal prep/cooking for 2. I used to do all of the cooking, early in our marriage but a long series of health issues flattened me and my husband took up the mantel and has become a good cook. He could do all of the cooking now as far as I’m concerned but I pitch in to make things equitable . My meals tend to be simple and familiar at this point in time. I rarely have the energy to put into it. He cooks more elaborate dishes. Breakfast and lunch are frequently on our own, he will usually eat leftovers from the night before. I nibble. We are more likely to go out for lunch, which was our habit pre-Covid.


Great thread idea!

I cook for myself and my husband. My 4 year old usually picks at it or eats all the parts while I’m actually cooking. Unless it’s any sort of pasta!

I do nearly all cooking and food shopping. My husband will do eggs and potatoes or grill but I can count on 2 fingers the numbers of dinners he made during Covid. Certainly better this way, I like having control over this and asking him to cook is usually more frustrating for me. Also, if it were up to him we would be eating red meat several times a week with rice. I prefer a lot more veggies and have been trying to phase out as much red meat as possible! I plan it so we both usually have something for lunch. I nearly always eat some version of a salad for lunch incorporating whatever bits from the previous nights dinner. The kiddo is either at school or at my in-laws during the work week so brown bag lunches for her. Working from home has saved lots of money. He used to buy breakfast and usually lunch in NYC 3-4x a week!


I cook for 2.25, which consists of me, my husband, and a dog obsessed with having a taste of whatever we’re having. Hence the .25 — the pup gets just a taste.

I do all the cooking and food shopping because of my husband’s relentless work schedule. My husband likes to joke that he does “cook”: by ordering takeout so I can have breaks.

We eat a lot of vegetables because we enjoy them. Also I try to have a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share as much of the year as practical. Though I’m not keen on the winter months. Winter presents way too many storage beets and I do not care for them, no matter how they are prepared.

P.S. The dog gets a pup-appropriate diet but is highly interested in tasting vegetables, fruit, dairy, seafood, and carbs. (I make sure they are plain and dog-safe.) No one could be more interested in my activities in the kitchen. Oh my, the drool. :laughing:


grin Clearly wrong. Potatoes with red meat. Rice with chicken.

I crack myself up.

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HA! More broadly: red meat with any white carb (pasta, rice, potatoes!) would be his choice! Fortunately for him (his waist and his heart), he has me to feed him lentils, whole grains and tons of veggies!


Thank you for recognizing my sense of humor.

My wife tries to look after me similarly with varying degrees of success. I eat red meat perhaps a dozen times a year so that isn’t much of an issue. I like most but not all veggies. She’d prefer I ate more zucchini, squash, and eggplant as much for her likes as my health. grin She has managed to increase my intake of legumes but I quite draw the line at lentils. Can’t abide the things. She’d like me to eat more fish and I’d like her to eat more chicken. Whole grains are generally easy (bread for example) but I have another line I draw at quinoa. It tastes like soggy cardboard to me. grin

We do agree that in the normal course of life we eat the same meals. The are rare occasions when we differ - on my recent birthday I had a steak and she had scallops. The exception that rather proves the rule. On her upcoming birthday I plan confit byaldi (aforementioned zucchini, squash, and eggplant all in one dish). One of her favorites that I cook and I’ll manage to eat.

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Whoa. Do you have a recipe?? That sounds amazing!

I will dig it out. It’s really simple - I’ll annotate where I have drifted from Thomas Keller’s original.


Four to six. 3 people are served dinner, so I make enough for seconds or a small amount of leftovers.