Who(m) do you cook for?

I would love to have that for background noise. My wife and I live just on the edge of a good sized historic cemetery and beyond that is the Monmouth Battlefield (she is a Presbyterian pastor, and currently serving the Old Tennent Church), so we get plenty of critters (and I’m pretty sure some ghosts, too), but I’m jealous of your coyotes.


They are pretty comical when the ten-o’clock curfew siren goes off in town. Their voices just carry. Same when an emergency vehicle siren is heard. Woke up to Sandhill cranes again this morning.


The sandhills are chuckling to each other outside my window as I type this

Where do you live where there is a 10 o’clock curfew siren?

Have been thinking about this thread on and off as whom I cook for changes and what we eat transforms and adapts.

This year alone, it’s been just me, 3 adults, 4 adults, 5 adults, maxed out at 6 adults and 2 teens :joy:.

(@hungryonion might be interesting / useful to pin or link this to the introduction thread. It’s always an interesting question, informs how we cook and eat, but also informs how others interpret what we share.)


Somewhat related - Do you have a rotating set dinner menu/framework?


I live alone so I mostly cook for myself. Post my wife dying and covid, I am starting to cook for the occasional guest(s). I also cook for my office about 6-10 times a year, so those are meals for 10-20 people. I had 8 siblings so cooking for a ton of people is my forte, I feel like I am still learning to cook for 1 (it’s been almost 5 years), luckily I eat and/or freeze leftovers!


I cook for two always practically. It’s just me and my partner but I love cooking for more people, I just don’t have the opportunity. My partner is a little picky but I get around most things by chopping veg really small and not serving any meat on the bone. He only likes chicken breast, mince of most meats and sausages, occasionally I’ll get away with a beef stew if it’s very tender. He also doesn’t eat seafood of any kind.

I eat anything though so when I get a craving for something he won’t eat I’ll just cook him something else.


This sounds a lot like my kiddo. You may have heard that sensory sensitivities/neurodiversity (a friend calls it “neurospicy” :joy:) can be the root cause of some of those types of aversions.


Lately and for 1 more year: husband, teen son, and occasionally visiting college son. First 2 more adventurous than last, who tends to be picky.

College son is the only one with allergies, so I am very mindful. No peanuts, no any kind of tree nuts except almonds. Weird. But we only learned he wasn’t allergic to almonds about 5 yrs ago, so he doesn’t like them (didn’t ever develop a taste).

Husband likes most things, and always wants a lot of veg. He doesn’t abide by warm cheese except on pizza, and he doesn’t like a lot of cream or dairy in his food.

My “little” who is 17 lol will have about anything, but has a small appetite. Of the boys, he has shown the most interest in food, and is eager to try new things and even to do a little bit of cooking.

We have never “babied” the kids from day 1. Never made special meals, never given them kid food. They’ve always eaten what we’ve eaten, or portions, or grabbed themselves toast or cereal if it wasn’t to their taste. But I’ve also learned what everyone likes/tolerates and what they don’t, and I tend not to cook much of the latter.

Since food is my love language, then purposely making things they don’t like is very counter. But that means that sometimes I don’t get much of what I like. C’est la vie.


BlockquoteI cook for two always practically. It’s just me and my partner but I love cooking for more people, I just don’t have the opportunity. My partner is a little picky but I get around most things by chopping veg really small and not serving any meat on the bone. He only likes chicken breast, mince of most meats and sausages, occasionally I’ll get away with a beef stew if it’s …

…very lean.

OMG! If not for your avatar I’d have thought I’d written that!


We are out there. I like “chewing the fat” but not chewing the fat, if you know what I mean.

I have, yeah. Hopefully your kiddo grows out of it bit by bit. My partner was even worse before we got together so I’m actually grateful that he’s opened up to trying new things more. Strangely he’s more comfortable trying new vegetables and flavours but not meats. He used to be ok with most things as a kid actually and grew up to be pickier over time but it’s as you say, there is a mental aspect to it.

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Yes! I did one and left a little fat for moisture. It was very tender but he still didn’t tolerate the melty fat texture :grin:

It’s just my partner and I, with the occasional friend or two. He’ll eat anything I make, and he’s a decent cook himself, too. No complaints.


I cook for my wife and myself, friends, houseguests, househosts and my social fraternity.

The dishes for the latter, which can run to >100 servings, are set in advance, e.g., “steak night” and don’t challenge members’ preferences much.

We are lucky insofar as few of those we cook for have hard or onerous restrictions. We have one regular guest who won’t eat pork, and one occasional one who has convinced herself that she doesn’t like ANY seafood. The “no seafood” would be onerous if we often cooked for her along with us, but we go along.

Wahine prefers to eat gluten free, but that preferece waxes and wanes.

For myself, I have a strong preference for including some meat or fish when I cook. When I’m hosted and served all-vegetarian food, I eat and usually enjoy it, but I’m secretly planning a postprandial meat/fish fix.


I’ve said it before (many, MANY times on CH), and I’ll say it again: cooking is my love language. Most days it’s just Mrs. ricepad and me. Spawn2 and spouse visit for the weekend every 4-6 weeks, and I will almost always ask them what they want to eat while they’re home (and I always refer to their returning as “coming home”, but that’s another issue entirely), where it’s a favorite from childhood or a recent exotic experiment or splurge meal. Spawn1 gets the same treatment, except he comes home perhaps once a year (usually for about a week).

I guess I’m lucky that nobody for whom I cook is picky. There are likes and dislikes, of course - sadly, Mrs. ricepad developed a distaste for strong anise flavors while pregnant with one of the spawns (I don’t remember which one), so I don’t make my typical tongue recipe more than once every 2-3 years. Mrs. ricepad and I are like the gender-reversed Spratts, too: she prefers lean meats, I love the fat, gristle, and cartilage. She usually passes me her chicken bones to gnaw away at the crunchewy bits until they look like they were coughed up by an owl.


I cook for myself and BF. He’s not picky and will eat pretty much anything, outside of raw banana, honeydew, and cantaloupe (gets itchy mouth reactions from the enzymes) or offal (I can get away with heart and tongue). My mom usually comes for the bigger holidays, so I cook for her then too. She tends to be of the school that meat needs to be included or it wasn’t really a meal, so I take that into account for her visits. On our own, my cooking tends to be omnivorous, tending toward fish, seafood, and vegetables, with some meat on weekends or special occasions.


Sounds familiar. For so long now I’ve been cooking routinely for 6 daily. Me, my wife, and 4 kids.
And up to 8 on weekends if the in-laws came over, which was generally once a month or so (with us at their house also 1-2 weekend nights a month).

But with the 4 kids moving out over the last few years, it’s really changed. This year in January for a week I was cooking dinners for 9 adults, then this dropped to 5-7 on weekends and 3-4 weeknights. Then for about a couple of weeks over the summer I was cooking daily for 6-7 again.

But right now I’m at 2 most weeknights unless I can get the MIL to come over (she accepts about half the days I offer), and 2-6 for weekend dinners depending on which kids decide to come home.

I’m finding that I really kind of suck at making small meals. I mean, if I think about it I can do it, but mostly I cook on autopilot when it comes to buying and portioning out the raw materials.

Old dog, new tricks, and all that. OTOH with my wife and I both here most days for lunch, the leftovers do get eaten.

As far as eating habits and preferences go, my wife was fairly picky when we married, but has really expanded and now eats most everything and every type of cuisine, except she still can’t abide lamb (unless mixed/spiced, like in gyro meat) and is still afraid to eat sashimi. The kids have never been picky about anything and enjoy a broad range of food types. Except as a mid-teen, daughter #2 started refusing meats and eventually fish as well (just a personal decision for her). Then we found out she has an autoimmune condition, and gluten really whips up the inflammation so she steers clear of gluten.

The in-laws were always “eat just about anything” types except my FIL was a bit set in his ways and I’d have to dumb-down (or Americanize) some types of food for him.

And I, of course, am The Ultimate Consumer as my wife nicknamed me a long time ago. As far as I am concerned, if I can get calories out of it, it’s good food.


My family is who I feed, but my kids are semi out of the house. My son just went back to college. His absolute favorite to eat, is among the most boring for me to make: just boring-ass baked, salt/pepper chicken. Two eggs, sunny side up, with ham or bacon, is another. He eats all of his veg raw. My daughter on the other hand loves lamb larb. ajvar, any kind of kabab, fricken’ menudo, damn near anything. My wife’s favorites are : Polish chop suey, stroganoff, steak and shrimp, gnocchi w/red, homemade bread and turkey tetrazzini.

Still we all get along just great and can always find happy mediums. My daughter and I can cook, whereas my son and wife could burn water.

Every year, I go through this cycle when I’m used to both my kids being around, or, at least, in and out, Then, the boy goes back to college (last year, this year) and things quiet down again.