Julie’s Jabbers: My Husband the Food Critic

We had a simple dinner last night of store bought rotisserie chicken & a watermelon salad. Don’t judge me. It was a long weekend & I didn’t feel like cooking a huge meal. Anyway, about midway through dinner my husband announced that he didn’t like the salad. He felt that the dressing wasn’t right and he didn’t like watermelon anyway. He finished his critique with, “I just thought you’d want to know.”

It’s funny because I really didn’t want to know. I thought the salad tasted fine (in fact, I’m eating another like it as I type this) but more importantly, I knew he didn’t like it because he didn’t eat it. I can usually gauge how successful a meal is by what is left on the plate but he still feels the need to tell me when he doesn’t like something. I’ve told him countless times how crazy this makes me but he continues to do it. I think he can’t stop himself.

Is this normal? I’ve been married for so long that I don’t even know anymore. We NEVER told my Mom that we didn’t like something she cooked. We never had to because she would tell us what was wrong before we even tried it.

“The turkey is dry and I don’t know WHAT I did to the gravy but it’s nowhere NEAR as good as last year.” I heard that EVERY Thanksgiving. I remember a special breakfast of Pancakes with Orange Syrup she made once but she forgot to put sugar in the syrup. It was terrible but we were halfway through it before she had a taste & was horrified.


I don’t really know WHY we didn’t say anything. It’s not because we were polite kids because weren’t. It just didn’t occur to us, probably because my father will eat anything. I have seen him combine an entire breakfast in a bowl & happily eat it. I’m talking eggs, grits, hash browns, bacon & grape jelly mixed into a batter and then eaten on a biscuit. It was incredible. I’ve seen him eat green beans mixed with green Jell-O. I’ve seen him leave a pot of baked beans on the counter overnight, then CONSIDER eating them for breakfast. He might have even eaten it when we weren’t looking. This could be the reason we never critiqued Mom’s cooking (it might also be the reason for my Dad’s persistent case of Rot-Gut).

But why does my husband still need to critique my food, even when it makes me crazy? Is there a way to ever make him stop? I have an idea but it might be a bit extreme. I’m going to start dumping a cup of sand into whatever I’m cooking 3 or 4 times a week and act like I have NO IDEA where it’s coming from. Then instead of complaints, I might get compliments on the nights there ISN’T any sand. Sure it’s sneaky (and more than a little disgusting) but at this point I’ll do whatever it takes to get the Food Critic to take a break…even if it means eating a bucket of sand.


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