Do you cook for yourself or for others?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by koukouvagia, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

    Messages:
    7,379
    Likes Received:
    612
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    I'm always fascinated by the way that my friends and family entertain in their own homes.  Sometimes I get the sense that the host is catering to the taste and palate of their guests while others seem to only cook the foods that they enjoy.  Which kind of host are you?

    For myself I always look first at who I am cooking for.  When I entertain greek people for example I know that their palate is limited and stick to basic greek food with a few twists thrown in to maintain my sanity.  I'm not a huge lover of lamb but I tend to serve lamb a lot simply because I know most of my guests love it.  After I have established who I am cooking for I try to make a menu that is cohesive.  I don't follow the traditional greek-american menu plan (phyllo dough triangles stuffed with cheese or spinach hors d'oervres, greek salad, meat with potatoes, pasticcio, and some kind of dessert drenched in syrup) which I've seen and eaten so many times it makes me want to scream.  I try to come up with things that are a little different but still cater to a greek's perception of an adequate meal.  When I cook for non-greeks I step out of this limiting box.

    I never cook for myself though, I always think of others first.  I am disappointed when I eat at a friend or relative's house and they serve me things that I don't like, even though they know I don't like it.  I don't want to sound like an ungrateful guest however I go through a lot of trouble to make things especially for the people I invite, how come others don't do that?
     
  2. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

    Messages:
    6,367
    Likes Received:
    129
    Exp:
    Food Writer
    In a word, yes.

    I cook for myself, choosing dishes that would appeal to my guests. Does that make sense?

    I enjoy cooking, and get a rush out of making people happy with food. Otherwise, I'd just host them at a restaurant. So the cooking is for me. But, in order for them to be happy, it has to be something they enjoy. So that becomes a determining factor on the menu.

    The people I host are, generally, more adventuresome than is usual. So I perhaps have a greater latitude than you might. But I think the philosophy is pretty much the same.

    Here's an example. Awhile ago we had some friends stop in. I've known her, as an e-friend, for about 12 years, but this is the first time we would actually meet in person. I wanted to feed them more than a basic meal, but not go too far into left field. We'd have some other friends over, for afternoon cocktails only, to meet them as well. So, here's what I wound up with:

    Cocktails with assorted appetizers:

    -Chicken croquettes with herbed tomato sauce

    -Goat cheese & caramelized red onion crostini

    -Calamari escabesche

    -Roast Dates

    -Scallop & sausage skewers

    -Mini-hot browns

    Dinner:

    First: Shrimp & Cantaloupe with Mayonnaise Charles

    Main: Marinated flank steak, parmesan potatoes, roasted serrano-wrapped asparagus, pumpkin rolls.

    Dessert: Cappuccino Panna Cotta

    Had there been any vegetarians in the crowd, I would have added at least one more appy to meet their food bias.
     
  3. siduri

    siduri

    Messages:
    3,599
    Likes Received:
    46
    Exp:
    At home cook
    I cook for myself too, not just because it's a pleasure to make people happy with food, but also because I like to eat it!  I'll occasionally make family members a dish i don;t like myself, but for guests, I always try to make something they like that i will also like.  How can i know if it's good if it doesn;t taste good to me, anyway. 

    I'm very generous with my cooking, but also very selfish - gotta be things i like. 
     
  4. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

    Messages:
    6,367
    Likes Received:
    129
    Exp:
    Food Writer
    gotta be things i like. 

    Well, sure! 
     
  5. chefhow

    chefhow

    Messages:
    843
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I cook every night, so I do both.  I cook to my crowd but with my taste in mind when its guests but when its family they get what I am in the mood for.
     
  6. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

    Messages:
    7,375
    Likes Received:
    67
    Exp:
    Professional Caterer
    creating menus to reflect guests, events, seasons...are what make cooking a mental exercise aka fun.....
     
  7. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

    Messages:
    7,379
    Likes Received:
    612
    Exp:
    Home Cook

    I agree!  I'm a bit neurotic and start planning weeks in advance by making lists and possible menu items.
     
  8. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

    Messages:
    6,367
    Likes Received:
    129
    Exp:
    Food Writer
    Being organized doesn't make you neurotic, KK.

    When you reach the point where you're making lists of lists (which I've done, in a different context), then maybe you're in trouble. But not before then.
     
  9. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

    Messages:
    7,379
    Likes Received:
    612
    Exp:
    Home Cook

    Oh, I'm in trouble then.
     
  10. kaneohegirlinaz

    kaneohegirlinaz

    Messages:
    5,002
    Likes Received:
    339
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    Funny, we don’t entertain very much, so when we do I first get a pen and pad!

    The past few days I have been planning for my Mother and younger sister’s (neither of them cook) Christmas visit in our home for a week. 

    So I have been racking my brain for things that everyone will like. 

    Some good ole family stand bys that we would have had back in Hawaii as well a couple a nice dishes that I have created for ourselves here in Arizona.  I have been texting my sister to get her opinion on everything and so far so good.