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Birthday weekend ready meals - OK or not?

(105 Posts)
whiskyowl Fri 16-Mar-18 16:38:11

MIL has one of those birthdays coming up with a '0' on the end.

DH and BIL are paying for a weekend away for six of us to celebrate. This involves hire of a cottage, a special activity for a day (£200), and we are also paying all food and booze. We've made a huge cake, too.
Obviously, the costs here are quite high.

We will all help cook one meal on two of the evenings. However, this means cooking after the all-day activity, when we will all be pretty tired.

I suggested that instead of cooking from scratch on that night, we got some ready meals in from that posh frozen place, Cook. We could then just bung them in the oven and chill out.

This idea was met with horror from BIL and partner on the grounds that it 'sends the wrong message' and 'wouldn't be spoiling MIL'.

I've never really thought of high-end ready meals as inferior, and I'd never judge someone who served me one. (I'm generally just grateful to be served any food at all!) But I am very definitely not as posh as the rest of them.

Would you be offended at being served high-end ready meals in this situation?

hippy1952 Fri 16-Mar-18 16:43:56


sidewayswithatescotrolley Fri 16-Mar-18 16:45:56

Just call a takeaway fgs, what's with the angst?

NoSquirrels Fri 16-Mar-18 16:46:30

Tell them you’ll cook from scratch at home but freeze it ready for cooking on the day.

But it all from Cook and decant into your usual ovenware.

KJE2017 Fri 16-Mar-18 16:46:33

If you and your DH are paying for half of everything then why not get some frozen meals. They should appreciate it and you all need to chill out cooking would be a faf on!

Newtothis2017 Fri 16-Mar-18 16:46:51

Not at all. Or you could make them at home, freeze them and bring them with you. Then you only need sides and to defrost and reheat

walkingthroughdarkness Fri 16-Mar-18 16:47:33

What's a high end ready meal? Where from?

TheWitchwithNoName Fri 16-Mar-18 16:47:35

Cook would be way posher and more expensive than a takeaway

Ubercornsdiscoball Fri 16-Mar-18 16:48:46

Do any of you have a slow cooker? Put a curry, bolognase or chilli in at the start of the day - come back and it’s all cooked. Sorted!

whiskyowl Fri 16-Mar-18 16:49:22

Nosquirrels - I like the way you think grin

I am making something in advance to take for the Friday night - it's the Saturday that's in question. It won't be a problem whatever happens - I was just wondering whether readymeals are a complete no-no in middle class life!

PaperdollCartoon Fri 16-Mar-18 16:49:45

Cook is posh ready meals. I think this is fine. Get a bottle of champers to go with it. But depends on your MIL what she would like I guess.

MiddleClassProblem Fri 16-Mar-18 16:50:13

No. We go to plenty of celebrations where you have shove in the oven party food too. Cook food is decent.

Having said that, if her son wants something homemade/ more special sand they are happy to help or cook it themselves then I wouldn’t argue. If you’re expected to cook it on your own then they have no right to complain either.

PaperdollCartoon Fri 16-Mar-18 16:50:50

Cook only have shops in posh areas, it’s definitely middle class.

mrsm43s Fri 16-Mar-18 16:51:26

I don't think there's anything wrong with Cook! tbh.

However, I'd probably make some homemade lasagnes at home, freeze them and take them there frozen. Leave them to defrost during the day, and then bung in the oven when you get home from the activity. Serve with a bag or two of bagged green salad. Easy peasy.

CapnHaddock Fri 16-Mar-18 16:51:54

Stuff from Cook is basically like you make at home but frozen. If your BIL thinks that isn't good enough for his mother, he can cook smile

whiskyowl Fri 16-Mar-18 16:52:21

It will be fine on labour - BIL and his partner are amazing at cooking and we all pitch in. There's no-one who shirks their share, which will make life easier.

Please don't worry about coming up with solutions - it will be fine! It's just that I am a bit confused about whether it's socially OK to serve posh readymeals or not! I hadn't considered before now that some people might see them as a real no-no.

Oblomov18 Fri 16-Mar-18 17:00:26

I've never eaten cook food. Is it good?

unintentionalthreadkiller Fri 16-Mar-18 17:13:11

I really don't rate the stuff from cook.

M&S or Waitrose entertaining meals are oven ready and much better imo and I'd have no problem with that at all.

Or hire a chef to come in and cook, we did that recently and it wasn't crazy expensive and they did all the clearing up too.

sidewayswithatescotrolley Fri 16-Mar-18 17:14:30

Am I the only one who doesn't give a shit if its dairylea triangles on toast as long as a)I don't have to make it and b) it comes with wine?

MamaDuckling Fri 16-Mar-18 17:29:34

<<Cook sell their own oven ware so you can decant frozen lasagne into it an no one will ever know you didn't lovingly trim your lasagne sheets to size>>>

Shhhhh wink

whiskyowl Sat 17-Mar-18 09:40:40

sideways - that is absolutely how I feel. Which is why I was really blindsided by the idea that using readymeals showed a lack of effort/care. As long as the food is yummy, does it really matter if it's hand-prepared or not?

One of the reasons I'm asking is that it's our turn to host the Christmas celebration for DH's family this year, and I was planning on doing one Cook readymeal, but now I feel like this will be seen as a lack of effort/care and really poor hosting - it will be yet another sign of how "common" I am. sad

CompleteAisling Sat 17-Mar-18 12:22:12

If they really think that about you, then fuck them anyway. If they are determined to find fault, they will, no matter what you do. So just do whatever suits you, let them have at it and tell yourself its not your problem, its theirs.
Anyone who complains about a meal bought and prepared for them is a total tool.

bridgetreilly Sat 17-Mar-18 12:23:59

I admit, I would be a bit disappointed with a ready meal in that situation. I don't quite know why, though. Home cooking is what I want for a family celebration.

candyloves Sat 17-Mar-18 12:26:55

Could you get some nice buffet type stuff from m+s instead ?

BeanFobbedOff Sat 17-Mar-18 12:27:59

Could you do something that combines high and low, like fish and chips served at at a beautifully set table, with nice drinks and flowers?

I don't think Cook is common, but perhaps they are a family who show care by 'making an effort' at meals, and that would fall into the bracket (for them) of Not An Effort?

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