Excuse Me, In What Aisle Can I Find &Quot&#59;Whatever&Quot&#59;? - The Sensibly Organic Cook Blog at Allrecipes.com - 186337

The Sensibly Organic Cook

Excuse me, in what aisle can I find "whatever"? 
Jul. 19, 2010 11:32 am 
Updated: Aug. 16, 2010 10:17 am
Yes, I really am trying to find the "whatever" my family keeps telling me to serve.  It has to exist and I want to buy it, take it home and be able to fix it for lunch or dinner.  Let me be clearer, I want to find their (DH and teen's) idea of "whatever".  Whenever I fix my idea of "whatever" I end up with too many leftovers.  That does give me something for lunch for several days, but sometimes a change would be nice.  I have resorted to sharing the extras with three overworked friends who don't have time to cook.  Sometimes I feel I shouldn't just in case my "whatever leftovers" aren't as good as I think they are.  Although, my friends always thank me and return my containers neatly cleaned.  The two busiest friends brought back extra containers last time.  An oversight on their part, I'm sure.  Good thing their names were clearly written on them so I can return them.  Hope they don't mind if I throw in some focaccia and herbed cheese spread when I do.  I don't need the extra calories and the guys didn't like either recipe.

Now, once before I did ask this same question on the Recipe Exchange.  Got some great answers too, but I have decided to revisit this topic to share with the others also trying to serve "whatever".  For those that don't mind being told to fix "whatever" because it allows them free reign of  meal preparation and those whose families know better than to give  that response because they might get a peanut butter sandwich with a glare, I commend you.  I really, really do.  Either those you fix meals for are easy to please and willing to try new things or early and proper training of the family has circumvented the problem.  One that I now seem to face on a daily basis.  Am I on a rant or a weep about my culinary dilemma?  Nope.  I want to share with others facing similar meal procurement issues my 2 plans to find and fix "whatever".  Mind you, these plans were conceived while working long hot hours in the gardens.  Yes, that is plural on the gardens.  After being sunburned, stung by sweat bees, stabbed by stinging nettles while weeding, moving 15 yards of mulch, pulling a muscle during mulch moving, seeing a snake pop up 3 inches in the water garden 1" from my submerged hand, adding a new memorial garden for our sadly and suddenly deceased dog, and lastly the surprisingly painful total toe tip sanding with a large hidden pumice stone while staking up some stupid Shasta daisies, I came up with these plans I will now share.

Ok, so the first plan was executed during the middle of all my fun in the sun so its failure shouldn't have been unexpected.  However, it might actually work for someone else. So I thought I should still share it anyway.  I fearlessly took them (DH and teen) with me to the grocery store so they could show me the somethings they think is "whatever".  I told them what I was putting in the cart and asked them to please add whichever items of their choosing to it.  Surely, I could find recipes on AR utilizing our combined choices.  Alas, I must report they got stuck between aisle's "I don't know" and "I don't care".  This resulted in no selections being made on their part.  I suspect taking both of them may have been my downfall, but someone else might be able to tweak this plan into functioning form.

Ah, here we are at my second plan.  I feel it might have better success even though the concept came at day's end while surveying my laborious landscaping accomplishments.  At that moment while sitting in the shade with my teen, the idea sprang forth.  DIVIDE AND CONQUER!!!!  Ha!!  Brilliant!!!!  The teen's father will soon be working long and odd hours negating the need to fix his lunch or dinner.  I will give the teen the golden opportunity to fix his own meals!!!!  Perhaps the heat was putting me in a daze, but I decided this simple plan might have a chance.  With only one palate to please how could this idea go wrong!?  So as to not let the child know of my scheming supper idea, I gently prodded and pried into his preferred palate pleasers.  Here are my gleefully gleaned findings; asparagus, bacon, catfish, Mom's baked spicy hot wings, onions raw or cooked, spinach, pepperjack cheese and pepperoni are LIKES.  He is sure he hates everything else.  Evidently, despite my best efforts, his taste buds have decided to give a whole new meaning to picky and my Mother's earliest wish for me to have a child just like me has finally come true!  At least there are ingredients to work with here and this might just be fun.  Odd, I thought I just heard laughter!  I apologize for not waiting for a successful report before posting the blog, but I'm too excited.  The teen did try and like the Fusion Confusion cheesecake stuffed grape leaf served on a homemade graham cracker drizzled with a red wine and homemade grape jelly sauce (that's his hand in the picture on his 3rd piece, I'm yelling wait let me get this photo!).  So there is hope for him to expand his palate.  And in my favor, I have the full array of AR in my food fixing arsenal.  Plus, the teen will be leaving for college next year and this might be my last chance for quality kitchen time with him.  Till next time, wish me luck and may all of you have happy cooking times too!!!!

Thought I'd drop in my "guideline/recipe" for hot & spicy baked wings.  I know we will have them while DH is gone since he won't eat anything that isn't boneless.  Plus, a few garden photos for something to look at!

Cat's Baked Hot Wings Version #5 or 6

Rinse and drain 2 pkgs(I do 2 since I'm going to the trouble and this is a treat for us) chicken wings- seperate wing and drumstick (save the tips to make broth).
Use a fork to pierce the skin, this seems to get the spice in better.
Place in a large plastic bowl with good sealing lid.
Using your favorite hot sauce-coat chicken pieces.  I usually use Tabasco or Louisiana brand, whichever happens is on sale.
We like them hot and spicy so I add liberal amounts of red pepper flakes, fresh ground black pepper and a little kosher salt to the hot sauce.
Cover with lid and shake to coat pieces well.  Put in the refrigerator to marinate.  I leave mine in the fridge at least 2 days and shake them around daily to make sure all pieces are well coated.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 450 and bake 25 to 35 minutes depending on size of pieces.  I also bake mine on a rack to insure maximum crunch.  It's a shame wings are so expensive now cause the teen literally inhales these.
Confused cheesecake
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lilies and iris-no snakes here
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Catnip & my favorite furred child
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Sweet Rocket & poppies
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Hopi Red Dye Amaranth
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Jul. 19, 2010 11:47 am
I want to find that aisle in the store too! Or, the I don't care aisle. Or, just something American aisle. Or... do we have to have that aisle... I could go on and on, and it's just my picky husband I have to cook for :)
Jul. 19, 2010 11:56 am
I am in the "whatever you feel like cooking" aisle. I hate that aisle.
Jul. 19, 2010 11:59 am
Husband says "whatever" and then when I prepare "whatever I come up with" he says "Oh. I don't really want THAT". I point him to the frozen pizzas right about then lol
Jul. 19, 2010 12:06 pm
Oh, the days of trying to please teenagers - awful. Cat, just discovered the joy of marinating chicken for 2 days - doesn't get any better than that.
Jul. 19, 2010 12:10 pm
Cindy that's why the first plan failed! HID(husband in doghouse)was with us plus he has rubbed off on the teen. Thanks for stopping in!
Jul. 19, 2010 12:13 pm
Kathy, I hate the "whatever" and "don't care but not that" aisles!
Jul. 19, 2010 12:17 pm
Angellina, if HID only knew how many times I've squelched the urge to toss a cast iron skillet his way and not for him to cook with. LOL I should have listened to Mother when I started trying to cook to please him!
Jul. 19, 2010 12:20 pm
I am frequently asked for "Whatever" by my oldest and occasionally, though not too often, as it is super hard to find... the very illusive "Um". LOL Great blog Cat and one I am sure WAY TO MANY of us! : )
Jul. 19, 2010 12:21 pm
CAN REALTE TOO - got dropped off.
Jul. 19, 2010 12:22 pm
Oh Maggi, ain't it the truth!!!? The teen started this with his "whatever" comment when I asked what he wanted from the store. HID always seems to expect gourmet cooking since my skills have improved and expanded over the last 20 years. That marinating makes a world of difference doesn't it? And what is really cool if you don't feel like fixing it that night it can wait another day!!! :)
Jul. 19, 2010 12:25 pm
WFDM? it's just so frustrating. You know how much time meal prep takes. Not to mention getting it from the store and utilizing sales and.....The teen still hasn't realized he isn't eating if he doesn't help with the process!!!!!!
Jul. 19, 2010 12:51 pm
Thank goodness my DF is NOT picky.... but when I say "What do you want for dinner" I get the same response.... I DON'T CARE!!!! AAAARRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH! Great and true blog, Cat!
Jul. 19, 2010 1:51 pm
No. Kidding. Somedays, I'd like to strangle some of my family members. Husband mostly with his unhappiness with my current healthy cooking.
Jul. 19, 2010 3:59 pm
Well, Shanon what can I say? That I can print LOL. You are SOOOOOO lucky but it doesn't help with planning does it? We don't hardly ever go out cause for some stupid reason I keep trying to improve my kitchen skills so I rarely get a break. Kid thought I was kidding this morning when I handed him a list and said start planning your 4 day menu.
Jul. 19, 2010 4:01 pm
Just glad to know this is a common problem. Truth is both my DH and DS are great eaters. They will pretty much try, and usually eat, anything I put in front of them. My issue is I'm tired of trying to come up with new and exciting ideas. They both claim it's "my job" since one goes to work and the other goes to school. Well, it's one job I'm tired of. I love to cook, don't even mind shopping or cleaning up. I just hate always having to make the decision about what we are having. A little help would sure go a long way.
Jul. 19, 2010 4:04 pm
Tat2, when I left the post on one of your blogs saying I had one coming I thought you'd like-this was it. I thought you would be able to relate. 2000- I hit 170 and the HID said but I still love you even if you are fat was when our diet changed. I fight this everyday and the DH is the worst with his food-you ought to see the junk food wrappers I find in his work car. I applaud you trying to change your diet and you & I know good food doesn't have to taste like grass roots or sawdust. Thanks for stopping in!
Jul. 19, 2010 4:10 pm
THAT'S IT!!!!!! AGGIEMOM, that's it!!! In MO there isn't an extreme variety to play with and even then they might not try it. It's the roughly 350 days a year that I must do SOMETHING with the same meats, the same veg and the same starches. Did you read the Fusion Confusion blog I did with GoodEatNZ? That was such a blast cause I got to try something new with an excellent culinary guide. I didn't even care if they tried it! LOL Thanks for stopping by!
Jul. 19, 2010 5:04 pm
Great blog! I'm going to look for that aisle. I have one teen who says regularly that he's not hungry at dinner time, then wants to use the deep fryer an hour after. My kids are so picky it honestly drives me completely insane. Glad I'm not the only one looking for the "Whatever" aisle.
Jul. 19, 2010 6:53 pm
Great observations and plan of attack, Cat! ThE man loves to food shop, loves to cook and loves to eat just about anything. But, at 4 o'clock, when I say 'What do you want for dinner?' He looks at me blankly and says either "I don't care', or 'What do we have?' which makes no sense because he does 90% of the food shopping!!!
Jul. 19, 2010 6:55 pm
The "I don't care" aisle. Sheesh! My hubby will eat darn near anything and generally doesn't complain about anything, but also doesn't compliment anything. So if he eats it, you can assume it's not bad, but you don't really know if its good, something to make again. How did you like it? It's OK... What the heck does that mean? PS Cat Hill - love your pic with favorite kitty. I wish I had some fresh catnip for mine. Tore all of my out cause it was taking over.
Jul. 19, 2010 7:48 pm
Thank you Pam!!! Where did I go wrong with my one? I introduced new foods like the book said. IK even let him put my fresh homegrown mint in his chicken soup. Wasn't bad. So where did I fail? How did we get to here is the frozen meat list, the veg list and the starch list. Pick and plan!! The kid(17) thought I was kidding this morning. No food was picked and no food went out of my kitchen today but cereal and a sandwich. Maybe I will wear him down LOL !
Jul. 19, 2010 7:54 pm
GENZ my medicinal beer about got snorted. Rode the idiot horse and am tired! He does the food shopping and asks what do we have?! Now ROTFWLMAO, barely able reach the keyboard to type. Oh ow repulling the muscle in my side from laughing!!!
Jul. 19, 2010 8:02 pm
Magnolia Blossom, I know exactly where you are coming from except for the "he will eat about anything". Don't know that one. Pip is my fave. My sis conned me into taking him while she went on vacation when our Mom was sick in '07 and then he just stayed. I have 4 others; the sweetie, the cowardly lion and Babs his sister and HU the butler( I swear that cat knows when things aren't done right). Thanks for stopping by. PS. Catnip can be grown in a pot cause I did it last year for my herb lecture. Easy to grow and contain that way and I did it from seed I got at Walmart.
Jul. 19, 2010 9:31 pm
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/I-Dont-Know/Detail.aspx Next time, maybe you could switch things up and make this instead of "Whatever". Kids and hubbies can be sooo Frustrating! Sometimes I end up with a lot of lunches for the week as well. Sorry CH:( Take care.
Jul. 20, 2010 7:43 am
Great blog that obviously everyone relates to!! Instead of "whatever" I get "are there any other options?" Photos are great!
Jul. 20, 2010 7:53 am
Patty Cakes, thanks for sharing! My neighbor where my horses are boarded is one of the friends that sent extra containers down with her name on them! She works full time then trains and shows horses. She swears she loves it when picky #1 &#2 won't eat my stuff. She got most of a smoked brisket one day! Oh the stories we can share about this subject!!!!!
Jul. 20, 2010 7:57 am
Lace, thanks for stopping by! I get "what are my options?" too. Here's another funny I shared with Cindy in Pensacola, HID(husband in doghouse) bought a nicer camper so it would have a better kitchen. His thinking so I could cook easier. When's my vacation!? :)
Jul. 20, 2010 8:00 am
PS. Lace, thanks for the compliment on the pictures. I don't have a very good camera and haven't figured out blogger.com yet I try though LOL!
Jul. 20, 2010 9:05 am
It didn't take me long to discover that "whatever and "I don't care" were very dangerous to say. I tried other non-commital politically correct responses and recieved the stare of death for them too. Finally, I made up menu ideas ahead of time and was rewarded with "I don't like that", "We don't have the stuff to make that", and (of course) "Yuck!". The barriers to what's for supper finally crashed down when I started cooking dinner four days a week. Suddenly, everything was rosey! Now, I'm cooking seven days a week and even the nastiest weather is sunny and warm at mealtime. Hmmmm. Was I just a slow learner?
Jul. 20, 2010 9:46 am
28 years and not once have I ever had a single derogatory statement with anything I cooked for any meal from DH! Not one. However, I want a 100 piece marching band, a "SouthernGma Day", a blue ribbon (either one, thanks! ;) and a plane to sky write all my culinary achievements and awards for figuring out what "WHATEVER", I DON"T CARE, IT'S UP TO YOU and ANYTHING" MUST have meant! And, I want it NOW!!!
Jul. 20, 2010 11:04 am
My reply to whatever or I don't care is "fine rutabaga on toasted rye with onions and tomato" usually gets a suggestion of hamburgers or pork chops please. Good thing cause I don't know if I should fry bake or boil the rutabaga if my bluff is called.
Jul. 20, 2010 12:41 pm
Mike Harvey, I'm so glad you are doing better. I love your comment LOL. My DH is a slow learner for sure! Hopefully, the teen is faster on the uptake. He is picking up on the fact that Mommy means business about cooking his meals! Sandwiches and cereal will get old LOL!
Jul. 20, 2010 12:45 pm
SGma, love the comment. Bet you are pretty smart to have figured it out. I should have listened to my Mom when she'd ask WDYWTDTF? when trying to cook special meals for them. Praying for Kira daily, today's update sounds positive.
Jul. 20, 2010 12:47 pm
autumntexas, awesome! Good thinking with that threat. I hope they don't call your bluff either :)Aren't those things like turnips? Blech!!
Jul. 20, 2010 4:58 pm
"Doesn't matter", is what I usually get, so say it isn't so? Majority of the time it really "doesn't matter" because I call, they come, they eat it. I think for the cook to have the occassional suggestion because after awhile cooking can become boring. Thank goodness for being able to type in a ingredient and then so many choices come up. This certainly helps because you read the ingrediets and then you can decide if you can make this or not. I guess they must have a lot of faith in us or they wouldn't be so free with saying "it doesn't matter", "whatever" or "I don't care". Mike: how did you go from cooking 4 days to 7????? I want to know how that works, because I don't think hubby can fix anything other than grabbing a yogurt and a spoon and "viola" dinner is served. Cat Hill: Seriously I bought a cat nip plant a few weeks ago at our market and "Monkey" went nuts, he was drooling and his eyes were huge. I asked him if he had the munchies after he loved that plant up. Too funny!!!!
Jul. 20, 2010 5:34 pm
My kids will flatten a catnip plant. Then I have a bunch of drunks rolling around in the yard. Mine grows in my wild flower garden. I have another pic of the Pip walking away from the plant licking his lips :)
Jul. 20, 2010 5:38 pm
Oh my mercy sakes! I can't even talk from laughing so hard! Hubby thinks I've lost it! And he's right! :o) :o) :o) :o)
Jul. 20, 2010 5:52 pm
I told Cat in an e-mail: The Man learned at a young age to cook two or three decent meals because IT PULLS GIRLS!!! Teach him to make chicken chablis or beef stroganoff -- the girls will swoon and he'll save a fortune on dates!
Jul. 20, 2010 6:02 pm
This is SO funny and so topical...you should submit this to your local newspaper for the food section as a Freelance Writer...sometimes they pay, sometimes not...may get you some notice...Exellent writer, Cat!LOVED IT...made me giggle!
Jul. 20, 2010 8:58 pm
This makes me feel very fortunate to have people in the house that will eat what I make...they occasionally offer a suggestion, but for the most part, I make the decisions. BK, my husband, will eat it even if it's not his favorite and my daughter generally "works around" what I make. She has begun to eat less and less meat the last 5-6 years and has never really cared for it. Admittedly, I do make tofu for her as a protein many nights when I'm making our protein, but I don't make a special meal. And if she wants something additional, she makes it herself.
Jul. 21, 2010 4:38 am
Mike Harvey's comment reminded me of my parents. My mother is not a cook, and hasn't been in my lifetime. She can boil an egg, make a salad, a grilled cheese, etc. but she doesn't really cook or meal plan or any of that. My whole life my dad has been doing it, and I've started some of it in the last few years too. Well wasn't I surprised to learn, just recently actually, that early in their marriage, before I came along, my mom was the main cook in their house! I still only half-believe it, but she says that when they got married, she started out cooking dinner every night. My dad threw a few "whatevers" and "I don't care"s her way, and then didn't care for what was put in front of him... so she started telling him, YOU cook then! 4 years in, by the time they had kids, he was cooking all the dinners.
Jul. 21, 2010 5:04 am
in my house it "don't matter to me"...so if you find that aisle while you are searching for your aisle please let me know....lol....judy
Jul. 21, 2010 5:30 am
Cheepchick and CindyLepp thanks for stopping by. I think about stuff like this while having gardening "good" times. I try to look at it from a humorous stand point just to give myself a laugh while do all the aforementioned things and worse. Cindy that was a lovely compliment. Thank you.
Jul. 21, 2010 5:34 am
Lynna, thanks for stopping by. I knew the lucky ones without this problem might appreciate not having it even more!
Jul. 21, 2010 5:36 am
Alex, your Mom sounds like she figured out how to avoid this problem early on. Smart woman! If only I'd listen to my mother!LOL
Jul. 21, 2010 5:39 am
I do have a minor report of progress. Went to RE to ask advice on a recipe, looking up the info this morning. Will execute this plan-making our own hot pockets. Teen thought GENZ advice was sound and is mulling over its merit!!
Jul. 21, 2010 5:41 am
Judy, will let you know if I find any of those aisles and what they contain :)
Jul. 21, 2010 6:31 am
I've been stuck in the "whatever is easiest for you" isle. I don't mind it too much except I have to try to be creative all the time. Luckily, my husband and I have only been married for a year and a half so he still "likes" everything I make! :-)
Jul. 21, 2010 6:57 am
I agree- getting your teens to cook for themselves is a part of the solution. It doesn't have to be difficult of fancy. See if your "whatever" teenager who likes spinach, pepperoni, etc would make this for himself: Pizza Roll Ups 1 whole wheat tortilla or other flatbread he likes leftover spaghetti sauce or other sauce he likes spinach leaves turkey pepperoni (or regular but the turkey tastes the same w/ 70% less fat 1/3 cup favorite cheese Spread tortilla with sauce, then layer spinach and pepperoni and cheese. Microwave until cheese is melted then roll up and serve.
Jul. 21, 2010 6:57 am
wrkinprogress, good for you :) and thanks for stopping in. Been married 20. Calculated one day the # of meals I fix. There are days the creativity runs a little low so "whatever" is not a good response on their part! LOL
Jul. 21, 2010 7:00 am
goodfood4ursoul, good idea! He could do that. Have one more recipe to look up from last night am proceeding with the hot pockets today. Before he cuts the old apron strings, I want him to be able to really cook for himself. Thanks for sharing!
Jul. 21, 2010 8:17 am
20years and 4 kids later..I still hate hearing "whatever or don't care".. The funny part is when I make something and I can tell they don't really care for it, no one says a peep...because I told them along time ago thats what happens when you ask for "whatever".. :)
Jul. 21, 2010 9:15 am
yes yes yes i feel ur pain ,my kids say ` i dont know ` and every time i come up with something they say , `no no no ` grrrrr.......eat a sandwich !!!!
Jul. 21, 2010 9:39 am
i'm the picky eater that my husband to be has to cook for. alas i do not know how to cook all that well. i like to bake but even that sometimes messes up. i am lazy what can i say.
Jul. 21, 2010 10:25 am
my isle is different. it is the "only what i know i like and nothing else" isle. i would love to get out of that isle!
Jul. 21, 2010 11:14 am
I attacked Man of the House earlier this year for same dilemma. Our new rule is "First One to Ask What's For Dinner" wins...the other party MUST come up with a specific answer *and* (if used) crawl into The Abyss to find the meat product. It's become a race in the morning to spit out "whazuwan4dinner?" and now invariably starts our day off with a laugh.
Jul. 21, 2010 11:27 am
I love the "whatever you feel like having,....oh I'm not really in the mood for that" aisle. UGH!
Jul. 21, 2010 11:29 am
Haha! I'm a teenager and I say whatever all the time! I tell my dad "whatever there is," he knows by now that he has to suggest foods to me because I eat more when I like the food. So just suggest like foods that are usually liked and if they say sure then go for it. [:
Jul. 21, 2010 11:57 am
blessingsx4, love your comment!!! Spent the day in the kitchen with the teen. I may have to do a separate blog about it but it was priceless!
Jul. 21, 2010 11:59 am
Pat, thanks for dropping by and sharing!
Jul. 21, 2010 12:04 pm
Hot coco, BTDT with the older one. His mom could only really fix SWEET stuff well. Cookies, cakes, candy etc.. My Mom was meat & potatoes all the way. Oh and bread! I so know what you mean!!! 20 years later still working around it! LOL
Jul. 21, 2010 12:07 pm
Litegal1, clever, very clever!!! Deep sigh! Now why didn't I think of that? LOL
Jul. 21, 2010 12:09 pm
ZOPOOH, what can I say? Yep,those aisles can get to all of us!
Jul. 21, 2010 12:22 pm
itzLenaXD, being the Mom, I know whatever doesn't always mean whatever so trying to fix whatever has been difficult. However, today was different, our calzones we made were awesome. We both liked them!! Thanks for stopping by!
Jul. 21, 2010 12:27 pm
Mine always says "I don't care." Then everything I suggest gets a "Not that." It's so annoying! If you want something, say what it is! The guessing game is so annoying!!!!!!!!!
Jul. 21, 2010 12:44 pm
Cher Stewart, indeed!!!! "I don't care" usually means but "oh yes, I do care!" I'm a frugal shopper so we have the pantry/freezer/homecanned goods/refrigerator to pick from. I get tired of being creative somedays! LOL
Jul. 21, 2010 1:38 pm
BF and his 9-year-old that lives with us part time have had plates removed from the table for complaining. They also know that the answer "whatever" really means "nothing, thanks". It was a priceless day when the little dude came wandering into the kitchen, complaining about being hungry and realized I was serious about complaining means nothing for you that evening. They don't complain anymore, and eat everything put in front of them. I'm not completely cruel, I just make what sounds awesome to me, and if they make a suggestion of their own, it will be honored that evening or the next. Asking a guy or a teenager what they want for dinner is like asking them if you look fat in a dress: they simply can't answer it without their heads exploding. Don't ask them questions or offer other options and PoOF! Problem solved.
Jul. 21, 2010 1:57 pm
My neck hurts from nodding "yes" throughout reading this! Too, true! In my house (DH + 10 & 7 y.o. boys), they do not want me to stray from how I make anything. Chicken can only be seasoned with the same seasoning and broiled, salmon can only be made with seasoning and baked, only the same kind of hot dog, hamburger, etc. No sauces of any kind and heaven forbid I should try a different seasoning (oh, the horror!). But then I get "that, AGAIN?" WTH?!?! "What's for dinner" is my most hated phrase. I love to cook, just not for my kids. Sad...
Jul. 21, 2010 2:33 pm
nymbus, ROTFLMAO. Heads exploding. Yep! I know I've done it all wrong. Thanks for the laugh!
Jul. 21, 2010 2:43 pm
JUSTGETTINSTARTED, where to start?! My DH can't eat spaghetti unless it has red gravy. Oh the things I've tried to fix just for something different. Sorry still laughing from nymbus' comment LOL. Going to post shortly the successful outcome of last night's RE calzone recommendations and teen time in the kitchen today! Keep cooking! It has to get better. Right!?
Jul. 21, 2010 3:29 pm
spacemunky missed you this morning, not enough coffee, sorry. Being picky is OK. DH & teen have decided they can't take me anywhere out to eat cause of that problem. It's trying to decide what to fix here that gets old!!!!
Jul. 21, 2010 4:04 pm
Who in the world asks them what they want for dinner? I do not run a restaurant and neither am I a short order cook. I've got 8 kids, run a farm, work part time, and have gone back to school. I put supper on the table every night but if you don't like it don't eat it (and you definitely cannot make something else). If anyone complains I politely reach over and take their plate and smile while saying,"enjoy your drink". Come morning you will be hungry and just may very well want the "whatever" that I have prepared!
Jul. 21, 2010 4:10 pm
Nice article... I decided the what do you want question was the food equivalent of too many choices. I personally use the "flow chart method" Chicken or beef; sauce or dry; sweet, salty or creamy. after a series of questions I know what they want even if they still don't. Works pretty well. Try it and let me know how it works for your family.
Jul. 21, 2010 5:42 pm
Hmmm. Well, if picky teen lists asparagus as a preference, then I can see you giving it the nod as a side for the chicken (in answer to my "sides" request on the RE). Grocery aisles can be as overwhelming as the spelling of "aisles"...don't think about that too long. Your wings sound good; your plans (both 1 and 2) sound like good pilot projects. ENJOY the kitchen time with teen.
Jul. 21, 2010 5:44 pm
@mamma8: EXACTLY. I'm a good cook, and if they are hungry, they will eat it. The BF and his son get it, and I promise that if I ever have children of my own, my life will NOT revolve around the perfection of their lives and meals at the destruction of my own happiness and well-being. I like when they like the food and compliment it, and if they want to make suggestions, I'll take them and generally do it. But I am NOT going out of my way for multiple meals or silly beige-food complusions or pickiness. This generation makes me laugh- most of us don't know what hungry feels like, and it's a profound GIFT that we can decide what we want and have so many options. My BFs son is allowed to make his mothers life HELL when it comes to cooking. He seems to only like white food, deli and fast food. At our house, tough. I don't make exception and he's learned to actually like some foods that he would yuck-face at before. People are WAY too flexible. Kids will eat if they are hungry, and they will try new things if they know there aren't other options around.
Jul. 21, 2010 6:38 pm
Spent 2 hours on a cranky horse and am tired but I love your answers. Mamma8, you go girl. No one would have questioned my Mother's dinner-it was eat it or don't. I think having one is worse, maybe. nymbus-exactly too! I am a good cook too. My teen wouldn't eat tomatoes at this house but his babysister refused to deal with that kind of attitude. I failed but I love that woman and think of her as a second mom.
Jul. 21, 2010 6:39 pm
sorry that should be sitter! not sister!
Jul. 21, 2010 6:45 pm
hezzy, is it isles or aisles? LOL it's not in the old Webster's darn it, neither is berm. Those mounds I have in the garden so I don't have to see the neighbor. Your recipe sounded great. I'd eat it! Weird the kid will eat fresh only peas too! Asparagus I grow and it's one of those thing I graze on while out there. Thanks for stopping by.
Jul. 21, 2010 6:50 pm
I have no kids, but I have found a trick to pleasing my husband. Instead of asking him what he wants (he rarely has an answer), I just make whatever I want to make and I bring it to him while he's occupied by something else. This shows that I was thinking of him and went out of my way to feed him because he was too busy to put something together for himself and he is usually grateful. If we try to put together a meal with each other, it usually ends up with us in a stalemate standing in the kitchen staring blankly at the fridge or pantry. Then if something ever gets made, it's never what he wanted, yet he didn't know what he wanted in the first place. I could make the same thing and just bring it to him without him asking and he's happy as a clam. Weird!
Jul. 21, 2010 6:51 pm
OSSOFSKY, thank you for the idea. I don't shop like most. I stock up, can and grow my own produce and buy on sale; stuff has to be thought & thawed out to be made. I think they, like my cats, have ME well trained, :)
Jul. 21, 2010 6:56 pm
Ah what a sweet comment, Amber. You are probably on the right track, if only I had thought of that. Live and learn! Thanks for sharing maybe someone else can use that tip!! :)
Jul. 21, 2010 8:15 pm
I have the answer to all the 'whatever, what's for dinner' questions. I am a mom to 1 super picky husband (no cooked veggies, no tomatoes, no casseroles, nothing from a box) and 4 kiddos (17, 13, 8, & 6). After meal after meal of decision making, and tears at the table because someone didn't like something after I spent 3 hours of prep and cooking, I decided it was my turn to be picky. After 2 days of leftovers, my oldest came in asking what's for dinner?. My response: Whatever YOU'RE making. So I made nothing that night. Next night, 13 year-old asked same question. He got the same response. In both cases, the older 2 were required to make dinner for the younger 2. And the older 2 were not pleased to hear the gripes about what was made. The long-and-short - When faced with either helping mom make the decision, or making a meal on their own, they are more than willing to now offer up ideas. They know better than to tell me 'whatever'. Keep Cooking! ~Jennifer
Jul. 21, 2010 8:53 pm
My household consisted of 5 kids, my father, my MIL my DH and me. My father was picky, but I grew up knowing his oddities and could work around them. I never asked what they wanted for dinner. If I was at a loss, I would grab one of them, list the meats available and have them choose one. If someone said "how about making ...." I would try to do so within a day or two. I tried to consider everyone's dislikes, but didn't win alll the time, but no one complained because they knew they didn't have to eat this meal, but there was nothing on offer until the next scheduled meal. Not exactly a democracy, more like a benevolent dictatorship, but it worked. BWT I made sure my boys could cook well long before they left home - the girls too.
Jul. 21, 2010 9:27 pm
From what I gather, the 'whatever' isle is close to the 'I don't care' and 'it doesn't matter' isles. one strategy I have used with moderate success is a list of meals each of my teens like. Then at least I have two people who are guaranteed to eat the meal...me and whoever listed the food! Good luck in your search, let me know if you are successful in finding the ever elusive isle!
Jul. 22, 2010 1:30 am
CH: After a few years of "I don't care" and "Anything you want," I no longer ask that infamous open-ended question. When I am looking for my husband's input, I offer him a couple choices that I have available. Something like, "Would you prefer spaghetti or sloppy joes?" This also prevents him from saying, "Filet Mignon with Lobster Claw Linguine." Good luck with your mission.
Jul. 22, 2010 5:13 am
Cat, when I sweetly ask my DH also AKA DIH (love that!) "Would you like chops or burgers for dinner?", he responds "Yes." He does manage to redeem himself by doing laundry and vacuuming.
Jul. 22, 2010 6:42 am
Momskitchen-I LOVE your idea! Good thinking!!! That won't work with the older one, too rigid in his thinking! LOL. There's hope with the younger version. Thanks for sharing your great plan!!
Jul. 22, 2010 6:45 am
BSM- Normally, I haven't asked but the last few months I've had low culinary creativity LOL. Hence the whatever's & I don't know's. I am going to make sure the teen cooks. He can do his own laundry on the plus side:). Saw a recipe of your's I must try for crackers Looked great! Benevolent dictatorship Amen!!!
Jul. 22, 2010 6:47 am
Spot-Hey!! I can't do this with the older one after he has worked all day with underlings that have made him fussy but the opportunity with the teen was perfect!! Had one success with making our own calzones so if there are many more, I'll report back :)!!
Jul. 22, 2010 6:49 am
bikerfamily-LOL-The whatever came after I asked what kind of lunchmeat do you want. that started the RE thread. Then I noticed alot of whatever's afterward. I'm out to prove "whatever" is harder to make then the teen thinks! LOL
Jul. 22, 2010 6:50 am
Skyeyes-Thanks for dropping by. HID doesn't do any of that. Working on teen so when I have a DIL someday she doesn't have this problem and blame me!! LOL
Jul. 22, 2010 8:10 am
So thankful after reading this that I never made the mistake of asking what anyone wanted for dinner LOL. Married 20, 3 teenagers at home. They eat everything I make and always say "thank you" after dinner. I think I'm spoiled!!!!!!!
Jul. 22, 2010 8:20 am
PS I would love the recipe for that cheesecake, couldn't find it on the site.
Jul. 22, 2010 9:55 am
Cat, we must be related. We are mostly subsistence here. We have a 1/2 acre seasonal garden and a year round cold frame for winter (mild climate) and of course our orchard and pasture. We live about 3 hours from the closest real town, so we stock up and can lots too.
Jul. 22, 2010 10:45 am
Alva416, thanks for stopping by. See I knew if you couldn't commiserate with me, you lucky ones could gaze at your families and say "Ah, I'm blessed" LOL. did you read the Fusion Confusion blog by Good EatNZ and I? See I didn't know you couldn't put a dessert in a grape leaf and the cheesecake was the only thing I could think of that had the consistency that would stay in a wrap.LOL GENZ told me to think outside the box. She just didn't know I'd go that far! I can certainly tell you what I did if you would really like to know. I'm planning on a Fusion bloopers blog with all the stuff I played around with here. GENZ is back up aways but if you click on her avatar it will take you to our joint blog if you'd like to read it.
Jul. 22, 2010 10:52 am
I was raised by a depression era cook. My mom was very thrifty in the kitchen. Stock up shopping, baking, canning and transforming leftovers were things she taught me. Then I garden,lots! After weeding this morning I was thinking I needed to take pictures and then do a garden blog this winter. I have an orchard and grapevines too. Used to have chickens and rabbits. Flow chart method like the name!
Jul. 22, 2010 11:16 am
My husband and I both work late (usually till 8-ish) at least one night a week. What's worked best for our house is this: hubby cooks on Mondays, my 13 y/o son cooks on Wednesdays. Thursdays we take turns, Friday we take turns or eat out. My 11 y/o daughter is starting to take up cooking duty and will probably alternate with her brother. Making them choose the recipe has given them an appreciation for how hard it is to please people. My son and husband have become quite good cooks and I hope my daughter will as well.
Jul. 22, 2010 11:39 am
brogli1, thanks for stopping in! That's my plan while the DH is working out of town. The old dog is past retraining but there is hope for the pup!! Yesterday homemade calzones today chicken either stuffed w/mushroom sauce or spedini with garden fresh green beans made with either one of two recipes I just got recommended to me on the Recipe Exchange. Creole beans or Smothered. Yeah for AR!!!
Jul. 22, 2010 3:05 pm
My stepsons are pretty good eaters, and they know if they don't like what I make, they can have a bowl of cold cereal. Yes, that is the only option I give them. They've never taken me up on it. The only problem seems to be when they come back from a night with their biomom, sometimes I hear "we had that last night", like I'm supposed to know what they eat at her house, and plan accordingly. As the kids say, whatever!
Jul. 22, 2010 3:41 pm
Great Blog - my answer to "whatever" was always the phone and resevations at the restaurant of my choice !!! DH, step-son and daughter soon learned they best give Mom a few ideas to work with. LOL
Jul. 22, 2010 5:48 pm
In the "what sounds good to you?" aisle, myself. When I venture to reply, suggestion is inevitably rejected. ;) Great blog!
Jul. 22, 2010 6:11 pm
Stephanie, thanks for dropping by. I'm using AR to the fullest and asking daily on the RE for ideas. IT'S working!!! Monday the teen had cereal and sandwiches he thought I was kidding about him cooking:)
Jul. 22, 2010 6:14 pm
BevF-excellent idea but there aren't any close for me. We are in the country. Thanks for sharing!!
Jul. 22, 2010 6:17 pm
Kim, thank you. See I went about it all wrong and tried to cook for them. Tables on turned on the youngster this week and the old one is having to cook for himself while out of town. It's a win-win for me :)
Jul. 23, 2010 12:09 am
I was spending the summer with my Grandparents when I was 10, & my Granpa said he'd have "Whatever" for supper the next night. Gramma tried again in the morning, "What do you want for supper tonight...beef, chicken, pork?" "I don't know & I don't care." he said. So she fried up a chicken breast & 2 drumsticks, boiled an ear of corn & baked 2 small potatoes, & then set a covered pan of snow cake into the cooling oven. I set the table for the three of us as she asked-dinner plate, bread & butter plate & bowl for each of us. She got the chicken breast, I the drumsticks, & she divided the rest between our 2 plates, leaving Granpa's empty. She then put the cookware to soak & called everyone to dinner. Naturally Granpa wanted to know what the deal was, so Gramma pointed out his dinner for him, "That's your plate of 'I don't know', your bowl of 'I don't care', & the bread & butter plate has your side of 'whatever'. Desert will be ready in about half an hour." He stalked off for half an hour, then returned to take the cake out of the oven, removed the lid, & had to ask what it was. Gramma glanced at it & said, "Looks like snow cake to me." Granpa took another walk & when he finally came back Gramma asked him what he wanted her to fix for tomorrow's supper. "Spaghetti." He said. "It is the only time in our life together that he pulled that stunt," my Gramma says, "I knew I had to nip it in the bud or I'd end up like my sister fixing 'whatever' for the rest of my life." I should mention that Granpa really loved fried chicken & baked potatoes with fresh sweetcorn & cake. Sorry, but I'm a firm believer that if I get no input on dinner you can eat what I cook without griping, or fix & clean-up something for yourself. Here's Gramma's recipie for 'Snow Cake': Pre heat oven (or just bake something), then turn off heat. Fill an 8" round cake pan half full of white snow (brown or black snow makes mud pies, & yellow snow just makes folks sick) (if fresh white snow is not available, melted snow-a.k.a water-can be substituted) Cover with an oven proof lid or plate & pop into oven for half an hour or so. When you take off the lid you'll find there snow cake. Goes especially well with beverage mixes that call for warm or hot water like hot cocoa.
Jul. 23, 2010 5:56 am
Megasuss- I hope people read your post!!! Your Grandma was brilliant!!! While reading I keep wondering, "snow cake"?, what cake recipe is that? Thank you for sharing and thanks for starting my day off with a good laugh.
Jul. 23, 2010 8:45 am
Megasuss: what a great story, she sure put Grandpa in his place. Too funny......lol
Jul. 23, 2010 9:06 am
The answer I tend to get is "food". Smartie pants husband.
Jul. 23, 2010 10:50 am
I loved your "whatever" blog and the "snowcake" story. As I am a chef by occupation, it is expected that I have a mirade of miraculous wonders that just pop out of my kitchen at the mere snap of my fingers. Home cooking is no different than professional cooking - well, there is one difference - at a restaurant there is a set menu - and I have yet to find "whatever" or "don't care" as a menu choice. So at my house I don't ask hubby what he wants to eat. I tell him "here's your choices - pick one". I know his likes and dislikes and I keep on hand a "short order" list of items that I keep in the frig/pantry that I can whip up something short and fast to make dinner. Contrary to popular belief, a chef doesn't have anymore "magic" than anyone else - if you want "whatever" or "don't care" for dinner - then I can easily accomplish that - because it will be "whatever" I want to prepare. And if the look on someone's face is "OMG" - then the look on my face "don't care."
Jul. 23, 2010 11:03 am
Shell Bell, I hear ya!!! Food uh huh!! But my DH or HID(husband in doghouse) won't eat all kinds of "food" so then what? Thanks for stopping in!!
Jul. 23, 2010 11:10 am
luv2cook, I LOVED your last sentence-priceless!!!! I would think being a professional it would make it harder to come home and cook. I'm glad you enjoyed the blog! Thank you so much for sharing how you deal with the home menu dilemma!!
Jul. 23, 2010 11:35 am
It's got to be in the same aisle as "I don't know"
Jul. 23, 2010 11:57 am
Jaded, it could be on that aisle but I haven't seen it there. I really am set on finding "whatever"! LOL
Jul. 23, 2010 1:04 pm
It sure is frustrating. I used to have a picky man, I knew that only a handful of things were acceptable and I hated that. I was so bored knowing that there was a world of food out there that was offlimits. Now I have a man who will eat anything I put in front of him, and cooks for me on a regular basis, but I still have to pick it all out. He says "whatever" and "I don't care" with such regularity that I have come to hate trying to think about cooking dinner. I know that he'll eat it, and like it, and comment on it with suggestions or whether he thinks I should make it again, BUT man am I with you on wanting to find the whatever aisle. I work too! My brain doesn't always want to decide. GRRR. Great blog!
Jul. 23, 2010 2:41 pm
I understand totally. At least I am down to just the DH to please. I have been cruising through AR, trying recipes, noting which ones are well taken and printing them out. It is slow process but I am finally developing a list of things I know he will be happy to eat. I really don't mind cooking at all, given the time - I just want it to be something he will really want to eat. As for the kids - been there. I did get to the point where I gave them a food budget and said shop and fix it yourself.
Jul. 23, 2010 2:49 pm
that's a beautiful kitty baby!
Jul. 23, 2010 4:20 pm
My husband never cares what I fix. I always ask if there is anything he's been craving. Very rarely does he have anything in mind. The good this is he isn't a picky eater. I know what he doesn't like and that list is very very small. I do fear that we will have a picky child though. I've always been the type to eat anything so cooking for a picky child scares the bejeezus out of me!
Jul. 23, 2010 4:56 pm
My teen daughter is same age as your son, Cat. Her first meal she learned to cook was a Taco Meal. Those are easy and usually teenagers love them. They learn to prep the lettuce and tomato and feel like real chefs! :)
Emily M 
Jul. 23, 2010 7:00 pm
Cat, I can't help you with the "whatever" aisle. When I was growing up, my mom made garbage and my dad made poison. Now, my husband cooks. I *can* cook, but I prefer to bake. Baking is more fun.( I actually found my way here by looking for a Black Forest Cake recipe to make tomorrow for a friends birthday.) Question about your photos: you are growing amaranth. *What* do you doo with it?! I have the seeds, and I know you can eat them, but I don't know how to prep them. HELP!
Jul. 23, 2010 7:27 pm
LOL first off, everyone did you read Megasuss' comment? It as well as some of the other posts are priceless! As also, I appreciate anyone that takes the time to read my blog. A.Z.~ I know how you feel. I could eat homemade bread, cheese and fruit for dinner. It's all the other meals I'm tired of trying to figure out. heidigrex~ that's how I found AR too. Looking for a recipe. Trying to make a lemon dressing and it snowballed from there. Kim Berley~ he is sure he has me trained. And he is sure he is smarter than your average cat!
Jul. 23, 2010 7:34 pm
Taytay~ I hope you don't have a picky child either!!! If neither of you are, you should be fine. HID was, I was and as I got older my pickiness wore off. HID'S didn't and it rubbed off on the child. Good luck!! FibroKat~ we started off fine in the kitchen and then I had to homeschool my son for 3 1/2 years. Didn't like the school's approach to solving a learning problem so I took it on myself. After school the last place we wanted to be was together and now he is back in public, it's his last year and by golly I have the patience to teach him now. I'm thinking of doing a blog when we are finished about the food we've made. Last night he deboned a chicken. That was fun!!! :)
Jul. 23, 2010 7:46 pm
Emily M~ I'm also a Master Gardener so I experiment with lots of plants. I have room. That is Hopi Red Dye Amaranth. Just got it last year. Love how it self seeds. Now what does one do with it? Amaranth as a whole is one of those plants native peoples used to harvest. From what little research I have done it is an excellent edible. I had the Master Gardeners here for our monthly meeting the 14th. I had them sample the plant because the leaf is gorgeous and I couldn't define the taste not being well traveled or familiar with European or Asian cuisines. I'm thinking the flavor is similar to greens I'm not familiar with. It would be lovely in a salad. Sorry I can't tell you more. I've just started learning about it myself.
Jul. 24, 2010 2:06 am
I've mostly cured my herd of teens of "whatever" syndrome and "I don't care" disorder. I now post a week's worth of menus on the refrigerator. If you don't like what's on tap for supper, you're invited to feed yourself. I also pointed out to The Herd that, while this house isn't a restaurant, I can and do entertain suggestions and requests. I keep up my end of the bargain and make sure favorites and requests are worked into the recipe rotation. Seems to have worked out. One other thing, my kitchen "closes" after supper. The Herd (3 teens) are not allowed to plunder the kitchen cabinets whenever they feel like eating.
Jul. 24, 2010 5:47 am
When my four sons were at home, "whatever" was thier answer for alot of things.When it concerned dinner, I first made many attempts,as you did to find "whatever" to please thier taste buds. Well, to my surprise there was nothing. So, the next timeI asked them what they wanted for dinner and got the "whatever", I went out and ate by myself, because obviously my "whatever and thiers were different.I came home and they asked whats for dinner, and I said "whatever" they asked where it was and i said "wherever",and proceeded to read my book. They were teenagers, so I knew they would be resourceful,but that was the last time I heard "whatever".
Jul. 24, 2010 9:13 am
All you have to have is skinless/boneless chicken breasts, spaghetti sauce or salsa...mozzarella cheese or Taco cheese...any of the abiding spices...pound the breasts thin...mix the coordinating spice (either Mexican or Italian) with the proper cheeses...open a can of spinach, drain and mix that with a 16 oz container of small curd cottege cheese...add a bit more of the proper spices...spread that onto the breasts (the chicken ones..lol)roll them up and place into a vegetable oiled sprayed 8x12 pan. When all are done..pour either the spaghetti sauce or the salsa over the top and bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 mins and then at this point sprinkle the appropiate shredded chees on top and bake another 30 mins. We serve our Italian over egg noodles and our Mexican over broken up tortilla chips. Yum! Our pre-teen boys love this. Good Luck! This dish is so versatile...you can explore many different ways of preparing it and "hide" veggies if you are so inclined.
Jul. 24, 2010 10:38 am
SueK, good plan! I should have done that myself! HID's mother ruined him with her cooking. He is rigidly set in his ways. Unfortunately, instead of doing what you did I just fixed what he would eat. All the while, trying to improve flavor and making it more healthful.
Jul. 24, 2010 10:42 am
melissadawn, that was good thinking but around here there is no place to go to eat :( Giving the 17 yr old the option of cereal or a sandwich or help me fix it seems to be working. He didn't like cereal and sandwiches for all 3 meals the first day LOL!
Jul. 24, 2010 10:44 am
Blazaermamaw, thanks for the recipe. Being older it's definately time for mine to get in the kitchen himself!
Jul. 24, 2010 11:05 am
To solve the "whatever" problem I started posting a week's menu on our whiteboard in the kitchen. I try to make them general things, like chicken and rice or pasta with veggies. This way I have an idea of what to make but I can still have some flexibility. Oh, I also make sure there's meals that my hubby can make and make sure to remind him at noonish or so. This way I get a couple breaks a week from cooking.
Jul. 24, 2010 3:03 pm
Nibs1, thanks for stopping in! I strayed from the problem solving "whatever" path long ago evidently. I've seen that suggestion about the menu board a couple of times now. Alas, I didn't think of it earlier or just think of it period! Deep sigh! :) HID isn't allowed in the kitchen. We have tried that. When he and the son go on 4 wheeling trips, the kid cooks or they eat out cause their cook stays home and has a mini vacation!
Jul. 24, 2010 5:11 pm
They are very lucky I'm not in charge of their food. I'd not cook for them until they contributed their wants/ideas. I also would not have any sandwich fixings in the house to help them speed up their contribution. Of coarse, I'd cook a 1 portion meal for myself. Muahahahahahaha
Jul. 24, 2010 5:19 pm
They other night I got the "I don't care" shrug so I sat down on the couch and made nothing. About an hour after our regular dinner time they asked "What's for dinner?" I said "Well you didn't seem to care so I decided not to make anything."
Jul. 24, 2010 8:23 pm
LOL..I fixed that issue months ago I created a menu of food meatloaf/enchiladas/lasagna/chicken & broccoli casserole/tacos I figured out how much per person lets say you have 4 people one enchilada per person then sides Mexican Rice and Re-fried beans then dessert the leftover rice & beans go into freezer for quick meals later and then other enchiladas do the same I make the enchiladas minus the sauce so I can freeze for quick meals later top w/ 1 cup of sauce as needed all nice in the freezer :O)
Jul. 25, 2010 4:57 am
Cat, I also have a 17 year old only son. I've wanted to pull my hair out every time I hear the "whatever" thing. I got that answer a couple of days ago but at the time I was working on a notebook that I keep. I have been writing down every meal that I've ever made for the past couple of years that everyone liked. When he said "whatever" I handed him the notebook, he said "Gee Mom,why didn't you ever show me this before". ;) He's starting culinary art school next year so maybe he will be cooking for me, a mother can dream right?
Jul. 25, 2010 7:31 am
Hey Cat - Any ideas on where I can find "Something Different"???? I am good with "Not That Again" and I have plenty of "Do We Have To Have That Tonight" - kids really want "Something Different".... buggers! LOL Every week I have the kids and hubs write down dinner ideas on a list we keep on the fridge. Everyone seems to be stumped this week so SOMEONE better have a big sale on "Something Different" or I am in trouble!
Jul. 25, 2010 7:40 am
SNOOPY498 & hnowlin, both of you have excellent ideas. I so should have listened to my Mom when I would tell her about trying to fix meals to please them and she'd say "What do you want to do that for?". thanks for stopping by and sharing those ideas!!
Jul. 25, 2010 7:45 am
Jayashiangel, that's a really good cooking/recipe/guideline tip!!!! I like the idea of cooking one day and having your own heat serve for later. Takes the frustration out of deciding what to do!!! Thanks for sharing it!!!!!!
Jul. 25, 2010 7:49 am
hungryhippo,FANTASTIC!!!! I hope he cooks for you too! When mine was younger, say 5th, 6th grade, he thought that was cool to be in the kitchen with mom. Not so much now. That notebook is a clever idea. Very clever. My luck I would have written stuff down and then lost the notebook! LOL!!!!
Jul. 25, 2010 7:58 am
"Something different", you know I look for that for myself since I'm sick of "whatever", "I don't care", "what have you got but don't fix that", and "why can't we go out?". For my upcoming birthday lunch/dinner this is the "something different" I will be fixing myself, I've decided to do the stuffed grape leaves(got storebought this time, they are different) from the Fusion blog and since GENZ posted her new blog this weekend, some of those recipes. The guys can eat "whatever" at the where ever of their choosing!!!!!!!!!!
Jul. 25, 2010 8:40 am
When I was nine I complained about dinner. My mother handed me the pan (I thought she was going to hit me with it) but then I started thinking...hmmm...I have to do the cooking - no way dude. Well my poor family had to wait while I learned. It wasn't always pleasant but I learned. I suggest turning "whatever" over to your teens so they can figure out that it isn't easy "fryin' it up in the pan". Make them create a menu, post it, stick to it, help you go get the ingredients. They'll thank you for it later - and curse you now.
Jul. 25, 2010 10:11 am
Omg I can't stop laughing! I can relate to this on many levels.
Jul. 25, 2010 10:58 am
This is a standard issue in my home as well. My son (11) always wants Chinese food, my 18 y.o. daughter's standard response is "food". What kind of food, I ask? "Good food" is her response. My 21 y.o. daughter is away at college, and she misses home cooked meals. She has become my savior on those days I do not know what to cook. I usually send her a text asking what she would like for dinner. She always responds with details such as "Salad, lasagna, a glass of pinot noir and snickerdoodles!! She has become my favorite child!
Jul. 25, 2010 12:19 pm
So funny! I don't get "whatever" or "I don't care"; they want "something delicious!" As opposed to the poisonous dreck I usually serve, I suppose? Hubby has taught 21 y.o. son that line (spectacular!), so now I get it in stereo. Like Christine, I have a daughter who is my salvation! She calls home requesting recipes, and reminds me how much she misses having favorite family dinners. Ah, inspiration, thy name is Laura! Thanks for letting me vent, Cat!
Jul. 25, 2010 1:07 pm
DFWENIGMA, thank you stopping by and Uh huh!!!! THE teen thought I was joking when I handed him a list with his choices of what WE were making for the week. HE caught on pretty quick the first night when I looked at him blankly when he asked, "what's for dinner" and proceeded out the door to go ride my horse. He's been helping, doesn't want to but oh well! LOL!!
Jul. 25, 2010 1:09 pm
SQUISHSQUASH, commiseration laughter right! :)Thanks for stopping by
Jul. 25, 2010 1:13 pm
Christine and Patty, I knew I should have had another child! My luck it would not have been a girl to take sides with dear old mom or give dinner ideas. I kid you not, last night, in tandem those two answered my dinner question. Needless to say it was not constructive! LOL! Patty, you are not venting you are commiserating! Right?! LOL
Jul. 25, 2010 4:12 pm
Yeah, I can't find those isles either.
Jul. 25, 2010 6:01 pm
After 25 years of "whatever", if they complain, they get "just shut up and eat it". That has become our joke around here. LOL
Jul. 25, 2010 7:22 pm
I'm in the "whatever you want" aisle and I always find "can you make me a sandwich" at the end of that aisle so I'v had a few hair pulling, skillet throwing moments in my whole 1 year of living with my husband. He's very adamant about wanting to have family dinner when we have children so maybe I'll change him. I'm just hoping to get rid of the "I'll try it" aisle, there's not even a single bite on that aisle.
Jul. 25, 2010 8:04 pm
I sympathize. I am stay-at-home daughter. I work part-time and go to school full time. I also take care of my mother (she is disabled) and my almost 15 yr. old sister. The last thing I want to hear when I am preparing to cook and seeking input is "whatever," "it doesn't matter," "whatever is easiest for you," or "I don't have a preference." They are so picky! Ma doesn't eat outside of her comfort zone- this includes herbs and spices (anything other than garlic powder, pepper, salt, italian seasoning blend, or paprika), meats (only white meat chicken/turkey and certain cuts of beef with occasional sprinklings of pork), starches (loves long grain white rice, but doesn't care for pasta more than once a week), fruits (cantaloupe, grapefruit, and watermelon are about the only ones she will eat), and vegetables (broccoli, canned green beans, corn cut off the cob, and peas). Oh, and she is "dentally disabled", so everything has to be cooked to falling apart and waaaay past crisp-tender. The sister hates onions, asparagus, and any tomato-based sauce (except ketchup lol) but otherwise is not too picky. I feel like I cook the same things again and again. AR is quickly becoming my friend, as I have reached the point that I don't care if they like it or not. I am tired, taken for granted, and I have an appetite, too. So I will appreciate myself and my culinary talent and cook what I want. After all, I do all the grocery shopping, too. I may stark tweaking it to my preferences. Think the "forced to eat outside the box" method will work? Thanks for letting me vent. Whew!
Jul. 25, 2010 8:04 pm
That is so true!! I have 4 teens and a husband who may as well be a 5th and "whatever" is all too common around my house. They always know what they DON'T want, but never what they DO want. They don't realize that planning meals is a time consuming job and we'd love some advice now and then. Love the article!!!
Jul. 25, 2010 8:23 pm
AzureKeto & sweetnsalty, thank you for reading the blog and sharing comments. Those blasted aisles are the bane of cooks aren't they?!
Jul. 25, 2010 8:40 pm
Keildra, umm don't get mad at me but read back through the comments (not mine or there wouldn't be a blog! LOL) and take what you can use. There are some wonderful ideas or plans of attacks or creative culinary ways around the problem I managed to create for myself. Thanks for dropping by and I hope they( the other posters) helped with future ideas!
Jul. 25, 2010 8:43 pm
heavensentwoman, thank you for reading and relating even though we have different people to cook for. I didn't think you were venting at all. Cooking takes some work and it isn't easy somedays. Sounds like you are doing a great job at it!!!!!
Jul. 25, 2010 8:48 pm
Kim, is it advice or just an idea we'd like to have?! Just once in awhile it would be nice to see them go to the store, get food within budget and then plan the rest of the week's menu. Wouldn't it?!
Jul. 26, 2010 6:05 am
i have a picky husband too, I say just cook whatever you want and if they dont like/want it, tell them there is peanut butter and jelly in the cupboard.
Jul. 26, 2010 6:45 am
My DH, who does most of he food shopping, will say "may I see a menu." He is kidding, but I wish he'd give me some idea of what he feels like eating!
Jul. 26, 2010 7:32 am
Taytay - in regards to worrying about dealing with a picky eater of a kid: As an experienced mother speaking here, there were ALWAYS two choices on every menu - take it or leave it! That might sound harsh, but it isn't. While I took into account immature tastebuds not appreciating every item, there was no backing out of trying something new at our house. They could throw a fit if they must (out in the backyard, not at the table - it isn't as much fun though without an audience!), but one bite of everything on the plate. We now have kids that are open to trying anything. My son loves spinach and is always looking for new recipes. He is currently working towards culinary certification in college. Both love artichokes and crave the hot spinach and artichoke dip on this site. So, don't worry - just get a tougher skin, and don't let them lose out on all the fun of trying new foods. And don't forget - they are much more likely to eat it if they help you prepare it! : )
Jul. 26, 2010 7:35 am
Ha Ha totally loved this!
Jul. 26, 2010 7:39 am
PS - I sent this blog to my hubby, who is the cook at our house. I had to laugh when reading it, as well as feeling more than a little guilty. Many, many times, I've been asked what I want for dinner and have said "whatever". In reality, I really don't care, as long as I can chew it. (I too am "dentally disabled" - great term for a really annoying condition!) I know the rest of the fam gets bored, so I've already told them that if anyone wants to fix something uber crunchy that I can't chew, I'll be happy with a sandwich. Kind of ironic - my hubby loves to cook, my son and hubby are both in culinary school, and they are stuck with me - someone who loves cold pizza for breakfast, and would eat out every night if I could afford do do it! ; ) Meanwhile, I am going to try much harder to give some ideas rather than "whatever" for dinner! Ha!
Jul. 26, 2010 8:23 am
Don't know if it's too late, but has your teen tried the foods/cooking class at school? My one son took it last year, and he became so interested in whatever I was making in the kitchen. He had a great time learning to cook (and then eat) with his friends. Too late for the hubby I'm afraid!
Jul. 26, 2010 11:19 am
I do have to say as we have 7 kids. Whatever was well know around here. Then I went on a grilled cheese and tomato soup phase. Any time they answered with whatever I would make simple grilled cheese and tomato soup. (Which half of them hate) After a month or so of this I now at least get a few suggestions along with one anything but grilled cheese answer now.
Jul. 26, 2010 1:19 pm
One answer is a weekly menu. On Sunday just write down what you're having for each day of the week and stick to it, even if later you don't feel like having what's written there. I have given up asking what they want (5 kids and DH). If I'm feeling generous, I *might* ask them at the beginning of the week what they like to eat that we haven't had in awhile. My sister's husband grew up in a house where each night of the week had a set meal and the menu never changed!!! I don't think his mother was interested in variety. lol That's an easy button if I ever heard of one (but I'd get sick of it myself).
Jul. 26, 2010 1:24 pm
LOL! See, I commend those that nipped this problem in the bud. Thanks for dropping in hollygiannelli, ShonNJudi and heliadog. Judy55, I think that is a common complaint. I'm so glad to hear from others with the same problem :)
Jul. 26, 2010 1:31 pm
Laura, we have a small school and that's not even an option. Good idea though!!!! He's ehlping while dad's gone whether he wants to or not. KittyFanatic, I like those 2 choices!!!! Take it or leave it! Glad you enjoyed the read. Mamabec, good idea! I wish I would stick to something like that but I'm like you, I want variety. More than my angels can handle! LOL Thanks for sharing!
Jul. 26, 2010 2:27 pm
Okay, here's what I've noticed, teens and toddlers are VERY much alike. They don't eat and say they're not hungry, and you wonder how they could be growing so much, so fast, but then...you hit the Whatever they actually want and they have 3 or 4 helpings. The rest of the time they just browse, nibbling here and there. I've been trying to fill the voids by always having cookies on the go, and when the teen polishes off half the container in a day, I make what he loves. In my case it's taco's, sheppards pie, or take him out where he gets a giant poutine. They eat whatever they want. As for the toddlers, it's spaghetti, always a popular pick in our house. I love the I'm not hungry, and eat nothing or very little of their plate, then go for the icecream in half an hour. It's hard to balance the diet sometimes, but they're young and growing, it burns off faster than they could put it on.
Jul. 26, 2010 2:45 pm
bountiful-life, thanks for dropping in. I tried to keep the teen's diet balanced when he was young. Now at 17, deep sigh. We are in a rural school system and for his age and height he is one of the few skinny kids at school. I still find it odd he will eat asparagus, but I grow it. He'll eat fresh off the vine peas too. Today I've been thinking of something my Mom used to say, "And this too shall pass"!
Jul. 26, 2010 3:33 pm
How odd, you must know my family! Dad wont eat veggies other than green peas, green beans, and an occasional salad. Mom likes something one time, not the next. Fiance is the same, and will sometimes pick things out, sometimes will eat it. No one will eat fish unless it is fried (which I won't do). Although I am getting them accustomed to broiled tilapia. It could literally take us hours to decide what to eat. But if I just fix what I want, no one will eat it without complaining. *pulls hair out and runs away screaming*
Jul. 26, 2010 4:57 pm
You guys get the "whatever" I get "that's not really one of my favorite things you make" that means my husband hates it & don't cook it again. Thank God he can cook.So most times he cooks the meal :o}
Jul. 26, 2010 5:57 pm
My son always requests 'something good' - as if most of what I serve him is complete . Meat and potatoes (or rice) are a safe bet, so I make what suits his likes and dislikes (somewhat) when he's home and everything he won't eat (but I love) when he's out!
Jul. 26, 2010 6:42 pm
What a blessing that your DH and teens are home to share meals as a family. Although I wonder why you're their servant and have to "pull something out of a hat" to please them. Most of my best childhood AND my adult memories are everyone around the kitchen or dining table, contributing to the family meal. Also, why aren't they doing the grocery shopping at least occasionally? Especially if at least one teen is old enough to drive. If they make the investment of their time and effort, rest assured, they'll have a little more interest in what's on the menu.
Jul. 26, 2010 8:05 pm
AmberKillian, I hear you!! Or is it I feel your hair pulling pain! Mystical Healer, I believe I got elected to the head cook position. LVGODDESS, I've done that when they are both gone but am trying a new approach with just one of them here. Thanks for taking the time to drop a line!
Jul. 26, 2010 8:18 pm
MAUSERATI, thanks for droppping by. I believer your questions were asked by my Mother and I still have no answer. Or should I say I have serveral just not good ones. I have my grandma's table that I sat around and had dinners with my family at. I helped my Mom in the kitchen. So I am perplexed that my DH insists on sitting in his easy chair parked in front of the TV to eat. He has never helped in the kitchen. The one and only teen has helped and used to be interested in food prep. This year not so much. So I'm taking advantage of this one on one time to get him back in the kitchen cooking with me. It's grudgingly being done but it is working :)
Jul. 26, 2010 10:59 pm
I always have two items on the menu every night. My husband and daughter can eat the "take it" or the "leave it"
Jul. 27, 2010 11:03 am
Athena, I like that answer!!
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Cat Hill

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About Me
I live in the middle of the U.S. in a farming communtiy. Gardening, reading and cooking are the things you'll mostly find me doing. I also enjoy horseback riding & my many pets. A husband & teen, I have 1 of each.
My favorite things to cook
Bread & BBQ are 2 of my favorite things to cook. I do enjoy a food challenge. Last year it was curing my own brisket for Corned beef & pastrami & porkloin for Canadian bacon. This year sausages & scratch cakes.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Bread and brittle. I learned to bake bread with my Mom. It was her favorite thing to make. My Aunt made the best peanut brittle ever. She'd stopped making it in the later years but when I told her how much I enjoyed her brittle, she opened the vault ,gave me the recipe & handed over the brittle torch to me.
My cooking triumphs
Anything that turns out the way I wanted it to or exceeds my expectations! Like my homemade bratwurst.
My cooking tragedies
Let's not go there! I prefer not to think about my kitchen disasters besides my child can gleefully recount all of them.
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