Parents (and family members in general) can reaaaally get on your nerves — I mean, in general, it's by NO means uncommon for the people you love most to also annoy you beyond comprehension. But when it comes to food, in particular, why do our families always act in the most questionable ways?
Recently, u/thatbitch8008 shared a story about their father's various food crimes — including believing that goat cheese was cream cheese and asking if a piece of ginger root was a "dog bone" — and asked redditors to share their food experiences with their own families. While some of them were harmless (but annoying), others were downright...disgusting. These are some of the best responses.
1. "My mom once had a meltdown in her kitchen when she saw me cooking an egg in a skillet. She likes to cook her eggs in the microwave until they're rubbery and tinged with gray, and she insists that this is the only way to do it."
2. "My stepdad's mom took a stick of butter and used it like a crayon to smear butter all over a raw turkey, then put the rest of the stick on the table — for rolls. That was over 20 years ago, and I still refuse to eat anything she makes."
3. "My mom wouldn't eat hummus until I started calling it: 'bean dip.'"
4. "One of my relatives deep fries things and then puts them in the air fryer to 'make them less oily.' Then there's my aunt, who buys takeaway fried chicken and fries it AGAIN at home, just before serving it to her guests. She says the outside is 'too dry and not oily enough.'"
5. "Once, we watched my wife's grandma dice an onion by slicing rounds — like you do for burgers — peel each slice one by one, then finally chop it. All with a steak knife."
6. "My mom said that cooking the turkey on Thanksgiving Day was 'too much work' when you're hosting, too. So, she cooked the bird weeks in advance, carved it, and froze it."
7. "My mother-in-law puts a packet of Lipton’s dry onion soup mix in everything she makes. Every single dish! Rice, mashed potatoes, taco meat...honestly, it’s the only thing consistent about her cooking."
8. "My family calls every small, grain-like food in large quantities rice. Quinoa? That's rice. Couscous? Rice."
9. "My mother-in-law proudly makes this one very specific chunky salsa...that has raw diced carrots in it. I have no idea where she got that recipe from, but it's bland, watery, and WAY too crunchy."
10. "I brought my mom and niece to a nice restaurant in Boston and interpreted the menu for them — it was in Spanish, and I could make out most of it. We played it 'safe,' considering their palates, but also ordered a few new things for them to try. Adventure in food and culture is important for kids! My mom SCREAMED, “Ew, gross!” like a child in the middle of the crowded dining room — all because I said there were anchovies in the Caesar salad as they brought it out to the table."
11. "I was born and raised in Eastern Europe in the '90s, so my parents weren't really exposed to different cuisines or spices. This has caused some MAJOR drama and confusion whenever my parents visit and I make them try something now. My mom threw out Camembert cheese and then scolded me for 10+ minutes about how you can't keep 'stinky, moldy, bad food' in the fridge."
12. "My mother-in-law cuts every single vegetable up with a paring knife. It's horrible watching her struggle to cut large items (like potatoes and onions), but she just sits there and insists that 'A small knife makes it go faster.' Then again, she also boils chicken in water in the microwave and eats it, so..."
13. "I brought a bottle of good red wine to my cousin's house. She thanked me and immediately put it into the fridge."
14. "I moved to the Santa Fe, New Mexico area after college and fell in love with the food. I took my parents to a decent New Mexican restaurant when they visited...and my father got a hamburger in a tortilla. You know that feeling when you've discovered something you think is life-changing, you want to share it, and no one cares? That was me on that day."
15. "My stepfather is an absolute toddler about food. A literal 60-year-old man who still throws tantrums when my mom doesn't make him what he wants for dinner..."
"One of his normal practices is to eat slices of white American cheese straight from the packages. Sometimes he just takes slices out of the package and stuffs them in his mouth. He spent all of last summer insisting that every pack of cheese my mom got was 'bad,' but they were all totally fine. Our conclusion? We think that for the first time in his life, he actually smelled the cheese before inhaling it."
16. "My mother has entire cookbooks dedicated to cooking in the microwave. So, she thinks there are two (and only two) ways to cook vegetables..."
"1. Place frozen vegetables into a dish. Add water and margarine. Microwave until mush.
2. Dump canned vegetables and liquid from can into pot. Add margarine. Heat in microwave until slightly warm.
I only realized I actually liked vegetables the first time I tasted fresh green beans that had been lightly sautéed with olive oil, garlic, and salt."
17. "My dad hates the texture — and taste — of most vegetables. He passed this down to my brother and me, so my mom always made us this awesome salsa...that was totally puréed. I was very confused by chunky salsa when I was old enough to notice it at other people's homes."
18. "One of my aunts has a dish she lovingly calls Barbecue Ham. I will share the recipe with you..."
19. "When I eat at my in-laws', it's always stressful. They're wild about portion control. My mother-in-law always cooks one potato per person, and they're baby potatoes the size of golf balls. During Thanksgiving, she'll hover around and snatch your plate away the second you're finished — don't even THINK about seconds. Remember, one potato per person!"
20. "I made Christmas dinner once, and my sister deemed the ham trash because I didn't take the bone out — apparently, 'Gordon Ramsay would've done it.' I was deemed unfit for next Christmas dinner, so she took care of it... She cooked a tube of deli ham instead."
21. "Last night, I ordered takeout with the in-laws. There was a salmon sandwich with dill mayo on it, and my father-in-law asked me what dill mayo was — he assumed it was a 'pickle-flavored mayo.' I said, 'No, it's just mayo with some dill.' This man is 70 years old, and that was the first he'd EVER heard of dill! I even pulled some dry dill weed out of my spice cabinet to show him afterward."
22. "My mom will buy (and eat) any 'substitution food' she can for fun, just because she believes it's healthier — even if it's specifically made for people with food intolerances (like gluten-free bread) or religious considerations (like lamb bacon she got from a halal butcher). Mung bean pasta, cashew nut pesto, cannellini bean hummus...the list honestly goes on and on."
23. "My dad insists on the fact that he can cook. All he really knows how to do is chop things up really tiny and boil them. The Maillard reaction has never taken place in his kitchen. This is his real talent: No matter what cooking method he uses, it invariably comes out tasting like it was done in the slow cooker."
24. "I was cooking once and had some powdered turmeric on the counter. My young son asked me why I was putting 'cheese' in the dish. That was the moment I realized I'd served him Kraft mac 'n' cheese one too many times..."
25. "During one visit with my mom, she threw out two entire six-packs of Hefeweizen. She said that the bottles were cloudy and had some 'weird sediment' in them."
26. "My former mother-in-law told me that adding salt to water made it take MUCH longer to boil, and that putting a metal spoon in hot water would actually make the water hotter. Not a big believer in science, that one."
27. "My mother's and grandmother's reaction to my mentioning kimchi one time was saying, 'Isn't that buried in the ground for months?' along with some general disgust. They both eat sauerkraut all the time...so fermented cabbage shouldn't really be anything all that different to them."
28. "This is an everyday occurrence. Me: Sautéing garlic and onions as I prepare to make an Italian dish. My dad: 'What the HELL is going ON here?!'"
29. "My father literally refused to eat raw veggies and dip...until I renamed it: 'crudités.'"
30. "When my in-laws visited for a month, I had to learn the hard way that they're not very adventurous eaters — nor are they all that well acquainted with good cooking. We wanted to grill one evening, and my mother-in-law insisted that the pork loin needed to be BOILED...for an HOUR...before finishing them on the grill."
31. "Honestly, I'm amazed that my grandfather never got food poisoning. He'd frequently leave soup out on the stove for days on end — just heating it back up when he was hungry and letting it cool down for hours, or even days, before heating it up again. In the winter, he'd store food outside instead of in the refrigerator since it was 'free' to cool it down...except he'd continue to do this until it was in the 50s."
What's the most questionable (or downright outrageous) thing your family has ever done when it comes to food? Tell us about it in the comments below. 👇
Note: Comments have been edited for length and/or clarity.