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Why don't people cook? I don't get it.

May 2nd, 2008 at 07:41 am

Yesterday was a work potluck (for May Day).

1 person brought pasta from Pizza Hut
1 person brought a large premade Cesear salad
1 person brought a bag of chips and premade artichoke dip
1 person brought a premade pie
1 person brought store bought brownies
1 person brought brie/blue cheese & crackers
1 person brought store bought cookies

This luncheon was planned 3 weeks ahead. There was plenty of time to budget for cooking and freezing a dish.

With all the news on higher grocery costs, I don't get it. What are they thinking? It is kind of a pet peeve of mine I guess, I like to cook. Even if you don't cook much how hard can it be to make an onion soup dip by hand?!

To be fair others brought:
Homemade muffin assortment (me)
Crock Pot vegetarian stew
Fruit Salad (a great choice for the non-cooks!!)

I'm off to the grocery store this morning. Sorry I don't see a huge price problem. A small price increase I suppose, but I:

Buy 'Day old' bread,
Use a $6 off coupon for $60 (pre coupon total)
Use a $3 off coupon for produce purchase
Use a $1 off coupon for Chef BoyRDee (my kids love)
Use a $1 coupon off store brand cereal
and many more

29 Responses to “Why don't people cook? I don't get it.”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    Wow, that's crazy. I've never heard of anyone bringing premade stuff to a potluck, but having more than half the stuff being store-bought?? It's not only unfrugal, it's kind of defeating the point of a potluck, which is to see what your friends like to cook.

  2. cashqueen Says:

    Hmmm, I don't cook. My husband does all the cooking and he certainly wouldn't want to make anything 'extra' for me to bring to work. I hate cooking and it feels like a big chore to me. For a potluck though I will usually make brownies. In addition, I know several people (my DH included) who won't eat something prepared in someone else's home unless he's been there and can assure himself the person's cleanliness is up to par. You never know if people have cats walking their counters or other things that would gross him out. If he goes to a potluck he only eats the things that look store bought. That said, I don't know that you can say with certainty something storebought is made in the best conditions either but I guess there is some assurance since there are health codes, etc. I'm just trying to defend us 'non-cookers' a bit. : )

  3. Dickyvman Says:

    Our society is becoming a matter of convenience society.

  4. miss busy body Says:

    cashqueen, but you can't be sure the store bought stuff are hygenic either!

  5. ceejay74 Says:

    cashqueen, does your husband eat at restaurants? I've heard some horror stories! At least the people who prepare food for parties are generally doing it for someone they give half a crap about, unlike many restaurant workers.

    That said, I try REAL hard not to be germphobic. I don't want to go through life opening doors with my hand crammed in my sweater sleeve, getting nosebleeds from cleaning supplies, bringing my own sheets to hotels, and never going out to eat.

  6. gruntina Says:

    Does work offer refrigeration to the employees? I know in some case I have brought pre-made stuff so I can buy it prior to the potluck and not have to worry that it is spoiled. It depends though. In my case we as a team decided what to bring in advance so the meal was more evened out and not all desserts.

    We live in a multi-culter society (Bay Area) and often there is diverse variety of meals at potlucks. While I do enjoy trying new food, it is often a shock factor with the sight and smells.

  7. gruntina Says:

    Ooops! meant to say culture** not culter

  8. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Could me they think it is perfectly normal to buy those things rather than prepare them at home, just as you buy pre-made bread, ChefBoyRDee, and breakfast cereal? --Surprise!-- I make bread at home, my kid never knew what pasta from a can tastes like, and cereal in this house is oatmeal, cream of wheat, grits, barley, rice, or bulghur. I'm not saying I don't buy pre-made food, I just pick and choose. Er, I have been known to bring Ding-Dongs or potato chips to a potluck and have always come home empty handed.

  9. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    (snicker snicker joan.arch, and I don't mean the chocolate bars!).

    YES we have a refridgerator at work. YES we had a sign up sheet. I bit my tongue before grumbling "Maybe next time we should have a rule Homemade Only"

    Off to post a picture next post of the groceries I bought with $59.54. It will last my family of 4 a week EASILY. Gripe #2, grocery prices are NOT as bad as people are saying.

  10. monkeymama Says:

    I am with you on the grocery prices. Confused. Maybe california is just not so bad.

    As far as potlucks - I probably lean towards pre-bought just because of the time factor. Though it really depends. Our bunko is potluck and people bring some great food, but I usually just pop by the store since I go staright from work. Just way too much hassle to plan ahead, and figure out how to keep things fresh all day.

    I actually don't like cooking for potlucks for much the same reason - how to keep it all fresh - remember to bring home the dish, etc., etc., etc. Guess I am a convenience girl. When I think to potlucks I think homemade salad, homemade desserts (I love to bring dessert), and I always volunteer pBJ sandwhiches for kid stuff because it is quick and cheap. But I am trying to think if I have ever brought a main dish anywhere. ????? I'll leave that to the main dish pros? LOL.

  11. Amanda Says:

    We would always do potlucks in my office, we were a small group (at the most, 9) of people and we joked about coming up with reasons for a potluck. We also had two vegetarians in the office, so it was fun for us to try to come up with creative vegetarian dishes. Usually, a couple of people would chip in on fried chicken or something for the rest of us ... but we always worked hard to make sure the veggies got to eat.

    That said, my boss would always ALWAYS bring in one bag of chips as her contribution. Drove me nuts! I mean, you know your boss makes more money than you, and doesn't have any kids ... and yet all she can possibly do is buy a bag of chips. SIGH. Talk about a pain in my bumm ...

  12. terri77 Says:

    I don't know if I would have ever even taken notice of who cooked and didn't. I tend to only cook for family. I'm always worried that other people won't like what I make.

  13. reflectionite Says:

    i was just going to say the same thing as Terri77.
    we don't do 'potlucks' at either of my workplaces, but i always have a major stressout before any type of get-together we have with our friends. there are a couple of chefs in our group, as well as some high-earners who can be a little judgemental at restaurants, so it always scares me when i have to cook for people, i always think it won't be good enough. given, i am a cake decoratr/pastry chef, but i still have a high level of self doubt...!

  14. baselle Says:

    We have a few non-cooking contributions, a couple of people even going so far as bringing entrees in from local restaurants. About 2/3 of us cook something from scratch, and a couple of us are even brave (or nuts) enough to try out recipes and ideas. (I tried the goth potato salad out at a potluck). To tell you the truth, I never gave the non-cooks much thought, I treat potlucks as a chance to eat something I wouldn't think of cooking for myself and get the recipe for it.

  15. princessperky Says:

    desert wise I almost always prefer homemade to store bought..but then who is to say the folk bringing store bought would have made a good homemade desert?

    Main dish wise, I tend to prefer basics, or store bought..because I am a picky eater, and store bought is usually bland.

  16. Babybear25 Says:

    I have to agree with one person I read on here. A lot of people buy items due to m any people dont trust other peoples cooking. granted it may be just as worse if comming for a store. I dont personally cook for potlucks cause i commute by bus 4 hours a day and have to transer at least once. I jsut dont feel like carrying a hugh glass dishes all over the packed buses. Maybe in a smaller setting were people have worked for a wwhile its one thing. but iwork in a call center, people change and we change supes and teams. you never know who your gonna get.

  17. cashqueen Says:

    I guess I don't see what is so offensive about something being storebought. Unless maybe it was specifically a recipe swap type potluck. Usually though (in my case) it's really just a social gathering meant to get everyone together and chow down.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't see anything wrong with it. Since I don't cook (and HATE to) I'm a little sensitive to it, I guess. YAY ringdings!!

  18. Carolina Bound Says:

    Through many years of potlucks at work, I have brought homemade, brought storebought food and brought restaurant food. It just depended on the situation. In one place I had to park far away and didn't want to walk with a big dish. In another, the refrigerator and microwave couldn't handle all the activity. Some offices have a culture in which the members are really competitive and judgmental, which makes it more appealing to bring some neutral storebought food.

    I think if there is an expectation in the office that everything must be homemade, the potluck would die out really fast -- with some hard feelings.

  19. scottmcg Says:

    cashqueen Dickyvman

    I agree with you guys. Cooking is a chore and our society is becoming one of convenience; or as Donny Deutche would say, %u201Cthere%u2019s gotta be an easier way!%u201D What do I do? I hate leftovers too? Sometimes I feel like cooking is a chore, than I just end up throwing it away. I hate to say it, but I am so wasteful. I am so picky! Textures of food bother me. I get board of the same old things, but I really don%u2019t like being adventurous too. I guess I eat to live. Any suggestions? Any inspiration? ;-)

  20. disneysteve Says:

    scottmcg - I think you hit the problem exactly. People seem to consider cooking to be a chore today when that couldn't be farther from the truth. I don't know what made that mindset happen. Cooking is not rocket science. We routinely make a delicious, nutritious home-cooked meal for dinner and it rarely takes more than 30 minutes start to finish (and that was long before Racheal Ray got popular). It takes longer than that to put our shoes on, drive to a restaurant, wait to be seated, wait to be served, eat and get back home. And it is far cheaper and healthier to cook for ourselves.

  21. gruntina Says:

    Disneysteve - did you include the time to wash dishes and clean the kitchen in your 30 minute calculation? Smile. I do agree with you but if cooking for a potluck, make it one hour as you got to make your daily dinner as well if it is for a lunchtime work potluck that family is not contributed in.

  22. miss busy body Says:

    All this talk about food is making me hungry!!!

  23. Dido Says:

    I'm one of those who often brings store-bought food to potlucks (usually I stop at the Farmer's Market and buy a salad or baklava from the Middle Eastern stall or some California Rolls from the Sushi stall). I do this because I do find cooking a chore when I am feeling overworked. I cook for myself once a week, making a soup and an entree, and eating either leftovers or sandwiches the rest of the week. I presume that no one wants my 2-day old leftovers, so I buy prepared food to contribute.

  24. sillyoleme Says:

    I've never had a potluck at work, but we did have a few get-togethers that required food (New Year's Eve, etc.)

    I usually volunteer to bring the snack food if I can (chips & dip, brownies) because my life is hectic and I need to know I can pick it up without having to plan days ahead or schedule 2 hours to make something the night before.

    Cooking seems like a chore to me sometimes - like after I get off work and I'm already hungry, or if I feel rushed. If I have all day and the time to make something I'm interested in... then I enjoy it.

  25. SicilyYoder Says:

    I love potlucks- we have them at church- people always bring their besst homemade dishes. I like to fix something special- like a new recipes, or a dessert. Some folks bring chips.

  26. klbb90 Says:

    While another school was being renovated, they moved in with us. It was an inconvience, but we worked together and made it work for 1.5 years. As a way of saying thank you the teachers put on a luncheon for us. The soups/chili were homemade but everything else including the desserts were store bought. At the end of the luncheon you could tell. The homemade foods were eaten and the store bought still on the table. To be honest the store bought stuff was tasteless and after one bite I threw it away, cardboard sugar.

  27. DeniseNTexas Says:

    I absolutely love to cook and love to share my cooking experiences with others. However, I know a lot of people don't feel that way. My manager at work doesn't cook. Apparently they eat out almost every night or just snack at home.

    Most of the younger (under 30) employees there don't know how to cook and show no interest in learning. I wonder about parents who don't like to cook. What do they feed the kids? Sandwiches, chips, maybe fresh raw vegetables, fast food, etc. Ugh. Give me a kitchen and the tools and I'll cook. All day long. Smile

  28. cicy33 Says:

    I think that it shouldn't matter. At least they contributed! Where I work there are always those that don't even bring anything and yet there they go getting a plate. Sometimes people are busy, situations come up, they really can't cook! or they forget and have to make a last minute dash to the store. I have done both. I have made bbq weinies, meatballs, cheeseballs and I have also bought the occasional chips. And there are some people who hate to cook. I know for most including myself that is a little weird but I have a daughter who really doesn't enjoy cooking. I do. to a degree. I have my tired days.

  29. cicy33 Says:

    P.S. I disagree, I think grocery prices are going nuts!

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