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To not want to eat my DMs cooking

(50 Posts)
Sidhe79 Thu 14-Dec-17 15:01:24

Basically, my Mum cannot cook. She microwaves everything, and disregards use by and best before dates. My sister has just messaged me to say that Mum is cooking what we refer to as one of our specialities for dinner, which is chicken that she's defrosted in the microwave, left to sit on the counter while she's out, then cooked in the microwave before pouring a jar of (unheated) curry sauce over it.

I've grown up to be what most people would call a picky eater. I'm getting braver with the foods I will try, but have realised in recent years that several of the foods I thought I didn't like actually just aren't supposed to taste the way they do when my Mum cooks them!

The problem is that I'm about to spend two weeks at my parent's house over Christmas. They live in a different country, so it's costing quite a lot to get there, but I don't mind that too much because it is Christmas. However I also suffer from anxiety, and can already feel the dread setting in at the thought of dealing with Mum's cooking (what if I can’t eat it, what if I get sick, what if she gets upset etc). If it was one meal, or for a weekend, I'd eat what I could and have a bigger meal when I got home, or squirrel away a packet of biscuits so that I didn't go hungry, but I can't do that for two weeks.

We've tried offering to cook, or help with the cooking, but she no longer allows this. We've tried suggesting that we go out for a meal, or order take-away (which we'd pay for), but she doesn't want to do that because, as she sees it, there is perfectly good food at home. We know that catering for us is at least partly her way of showing that she cares, and something she feels she can still do for her grown up children, but it also stresses her out, and she gets annoyed and upset if we aren't tremendously grateful for her efforts.

Any suggestions as to how to deal with this? I don't want to upset my Mum, particularly over Christmas. My sister also has two small children and doesn’t want to risk them getting poorly if they’re eating out of date food.

Redken24 Thu 14-Dec-17 15:04:11

Tell them your gluten free or something

Chrys2017 Thu 14-Dec-17 15:06:33

Did your mother ever poison you while you were growing up?

Santasbigredbobblehat Thu 14-Dec-17 15:08:25

Go vegan/gluten free.

Blackteadrinker77 Thu 14-Dec-17 15:09:08

Best before dates don't matter. The food can never make you sick, only use by.

Why can't you just say Mum I love you but your cooking sucks, let us help you? I know my kids would (Read do)
Say it with a huge smile on your face and give her a hug. I doubt any Mum would really mind, they just want to see you and spend time with you.
Don't let this over shadow your visit.

LilyDisney Thu 14-Dec-17 15:09:33

Oh goodness. I don't know what I'd do at all!

I certainly would say no to any out of date meat! Like check the packets yourself. Thank at least it's the food and not her you're turning down.

But microwaved/left out chicken? Have you told her how dangerous that is or do you just stay quiet?

LilyDisney Thu 14-Dec-17 15:09:56

Also to add - my mum is a pretty bad cook - but thankfully she's vegetarian!

Foreverunsure Thu 14-Dec-17 15:10:05

Goodness OP do you mean your mum doesn't know that she can't cook? All those years no one has ever said anything? Or does she know it but chooses to deny it?
If there were no children involved, you could've said both you and your sister have turned vegeterian, so at least out of date veggies won't be as bad as out of date or raw meat.
But since there are children, one of you has to find the strength to tell her they can't eat what she's cooking. Why doesn't she allow you to cook?

Sidhe79 Thu 14-Dec-17 15:10:50

Not poison as such, but as an example she did give me food poisoning two days before my sister's wedding by marinating chicken in sauce that was over a decade past its best before date

Foreverunsure Thu 14-Dec-17 15:12:55

This can't be real surely.

Trinity66 Thu 14-Dec-17 15:13:16

Oh what a dilemma, I think I'd have to be straight with her tbh

Chowmum Thu 14-Dec-17 15:13:34

Chrys2017 That's setting a pretty low bar for the OP. You don't have to be poisoned by your DM to develop some pretty major food issues. Gluten free/Vegetarian might be the way to go. Vegan might make the fortnight very difficult!

curryforbreakfast Thu 14-Dec-17 15:15:08

Tell her you're vegan now.

Or just be honest and tell her that her cooking is atrocious and you're worrried she will kill you all?

QuestionableMouse Thu 14-Dec-17 15:15:47

Tell her you've recently had food poisoning and so need to be very careful what you eat. Do tell her how unsafe it is to cook chicken as you describe. Combine both ideas if needed.

Go through the fridge and chuck anything out of date. Take her shopping and replace with fresh stuff.

Also didn't you recently win a few vouchers for eating out that you can use in her area?

MsGameandWatching Thu 14-Dec-17 15:18:25

This is my worst nightmare. My Mum isn’t a bad cook but very unapproachable eg flouncing around when I asked her not to salt toddler ds’s food. I’d tell her straight and deal with the wrath or just not not go.

MrTrebus Thu 14-Dec-17 15:18:46

A decade?? Come on OP.

glueandstick Thu 14-Dec-17 15:18:50

I feel you. My mother tried to use a homemade jam with a date of summer 92 on it. I’m lax with use by etc, but not to the tune of nearly 3 decades.

ijustwannadance Thu 14-Dec-17 15:19:12

When you arrive can you and your sister go shopping for fresh supplies?

Tell your mother you/sis will cook. Let her strop.

pallisers Thu 14-Dec-17 15:19:38

My sister and I would just have said to our mother "mum your cooking is awful - come on, you don't even like cooking. Let us do it for you instead or let's buy some ready meals or take out". And then we'd insist. Once we grew up we related to our parents as adults with whom they were very intimate/close. She might be a bit upset but surely you can make a joke out of it with her.

I could not eat crap food for 2 weeks (if I had a choice) still less wondering if I was about to get sick every time I bit into a piece of chicken.

Sidhe79 Thu 14-Dec-17 15:21:13

Blackteadrinker77 - that might actually be a plan!

Redken24 & Santasbigredbobblehat - my sister and her side of the family actually are gluten free!

LilyDisney - we've tried a few times, but she just dismisses it. Suspect we might need to be more forceful with that one. I should say, I'm not exactly Nigella myself!

Foreverunsure - I suspect she's choosing to deny it. She will regularly see us picking at a meal and ask if we're not enjoying it. The snag is that she's also very sensitive so we don't want to actually say as much for fear of offending her and causing an argument. I once "ruined Christmas" by not liking a present she'd bought me, and not managing to hide it (I didn't actually say I didn't like it!).

Foreverunsure Thu 14-Dec-17 15:25:32

But this is different from not liking a present OP. This is something that can actually make you ill, and the children too. I'm not great at confrontation so I can understand the anxiety in having to tell her, but maybe once it's out there, she'll be upset and then it will blow over? Just the thought of having to eat uncooked/out of date chicken envy Not envy

PinkHeart5914 Thu 14-Dec-17 15:26:45

Who cooks chicken in a microwave? I mean seriously who doesn’t know how to cook some chicken to put in a jar sauce. It’s no wonder you grew up a fussy eater tbh

Your mother is an awful cook, why suffer eating her food? Say you and sis are cooking, let her sulk if it comes to it tell the woman she is a bloody awful cook. It doesn’t matter if your not nigella yourself, anyone can follow and recipe it’s just reading

Tinselistacky Thu 14-Dec-17 15:27:59

Is she named on your life insurance? Has she got a shed she could hide a body in cement in?
Google some take aways locally and order - your treat?
Or create a new fangled diet that includes your favourite stuff so you better do the cooking -
Are all your siblings accounted for these day?
Aged relatives?

crackerjacket Thu 14-Dec-17 15:30:54

Not poison as such, but as an example she did give me food poisoning two days before my sister's wedding by marinating chicken in sauce that was over a decade past its best before date


This is actually impressive. A decade!!!

Sidhe79 Thu 14-Dec-17 15:32:34

Questionablemouse - I like the vouchers idea! The recent food poisoning's not a bad plan either

MsGameandWatching - my Mum is also a fan of flouncing at the slightest criticism, but as you say, I suspect I may have to just deal with the wrath...!

MrTrebus - I really wish I was kidding. As they moved only a few years ago I've learned that anything with a British supermarket label on it needs the date checking.

glueandstick - I'm by no means a stickler for best before dates, but there is a definite limit!

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