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Downside Of Cooking For Friends


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Don't really care for musicals and there is a song and dance I have to go through everytime friends or family ask me to cook for them. Maybe you're familiar with the melody. Goes a little something like this:

 

  • Them: How much would you charge to cook a brisket for me?
  • Me: Pay for the brisket and I'll cook it for you.
  • Them: No, I want to pay you for your time. Just tell me how much?
  • Me: Seriously, I love to cook and if I charge you, you're not going to want to pay for it.
  • Them: I insist on paying. Your brisket is better than any of these restaurants I go to.
  • Me: A brisket goes for about $3.50 per lb x ~16lb= $58 and I'll give you a deal and charge $75 to cook it. So the total is $133...
  • Them: (crickets)

 

Forget about the fact that if they actually bought a whole brisket from a restaurant they'd spend a minimum of $30 more. It's currently ~$26 per lb locally.

 

Here is my lastest number. For reference, I'm Fred and wearing green. Ginger is in grey:

 

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649228856_ScreenShot2021-06-28at10_14_00PM.thumb.png.6d10f87b3e17d2b2f1e5e99cec8f303f.png

 

1434348704_ScreenShot2021-06-28at10_09_36PM.thumb.png.ec02c35e0e888cb5362c7199a645626d.png

 

:rofl: never fails

 

Edited by CentralTexBBQ
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My son in pa had a cooking for friends story that started at a kids birthday party ( with a few beers) and it led to him smoking 6 briskets for a wedding reception 3 months later. But they were friends and he enjoyed doing it and they supplied the meat. Now he's cutting and welding a 250 gallon fuel tank into a smoker. One of our church members does a pulled pork dinner for church  last one had 10 butts and we have a Butt rubbing party (My idea of a Lutheran butt rubbers tee shirt keeps getting over ruled for some reason.) Then we have a pulling party. For us it's because we enjoy it but as we dish out the pork people ask questions and are surprised at the time involved Tex your comment is true and informative and humous.

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 I started off cooking my sister and brother in law, what ever they wanted for their birthdays, because their family and I wanted to be a good BIL. Then slowly all the holidays they cooked for started showing up on our schedule. Then started  a chorus of we told our friends how good your pizza was, and since they are visiting, we want you to cook for them so they can experience the goodness. I think 8 pizzas will do it,  Oh, and on Sunday could you do those ribs and cowboy beans we told them about, as well, don't want them to miss that. And on and on and on.  

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, len440 said:

My son in pa had a cooking for friends story that started at a kids birthday party ( with a few beers) and it led to him smoking 6 briskets for a wedding reception 3 months later. But they were friends and he enjoyed doing it and they supplied the meat. Now he's cutting and welding a 250 gallon fuel tank into a smoker. One of our church members does a pulled pork dinner for church  last one had 10 butts and we have a Butt rubbing party (My idea of a Lutheran butt rubbers tee shirt keeps getting over ruled for some reason.) Then we have a pulling party. For us it's because we enjoy it but as we dish out the pork people ask questions and are surprised at the time involved Tex your comment is true and informative and humous.

 

At this stage, I’d more than likely donate my time 100% of the time. First, I always do that for Church of course and second, it’s great practice in honing skills (mass prep, estimating, logistics of what to put on first, etc. The problem begins when those who know insist on paying you.

 

I also do video editing and compositing (and music as well) and the same thing happens when my wife recommends to do one of her friends projects. They cannot pay me for the 40 hours some projects make take. And based on my workload, i take them on from time to time to keep my skills sharp. 

 

 

Edited by CentralTexBBQ
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, keeperovdeflame said:

 I started off cooking my sister and brother in law, what ever they wanted for their birthdays, because their family and I wanted to be a good BIL. Then slowly all the holidays they cooked for started showing up on our schedule. Then started of a chorus of we told our friends how good your pizza was, and since they are visiting, we want you to cook for them so they can experience the goodness. I think 8 pizzas will do it,  Oh and on Sunday could you do those ribs and cowboy beans we told them about, as well, don't want them to miss that. And on and on and on.  

 

I feel your pain. As mentioned above, they are clueless to the fact that they’ve just volunteered 4 to 15 or more hours of your time. 

 

Edited by CentralTexBBQ
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I guess I am not as people-friendly as you fine folks. When I get "volunteered" for events for other folks, I just say "no, thank you" unless it fits into my plans. If they can accommodate my schedule, then I am fine. If not, it won't work. As much as love cooking, there is a line between being accommodating and being taken advantage of (whether knowingly or unknowingly), IMHO.

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30 minutes ago, SmoovD said:

I guess I am not as people-friendly as you fine folks. When I get "volunteered" for events for other folks, I just say "no, thank you" unless it fits into my plans. If they can accommodate my schedule, then I am fine. If not, it won't work. As much as love cooking, there is a line between being accommodating and being taken advantage of (whether knowingly or unknowingly), IMHO.

 

I only say yes if it fits into my schedule also. The deciding factor is that I always need the reps because I have toyed with the idea of doing this on a more permanent basis and I do want word of mouth to spread. I'll know when I get seriously serious about it, because I'll have to bite the bullet and get on the dreaded FaceBook and the Twitter and the Instagram...

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My problem is that my family wants me to cook for family gatherings also and I am currently refusing to do it any more.  This family is the hardest bunch to feed I have ever seen, my wife being the most difficult.  I can't cook pork because someone has gout and won't eat it.  I can't cook fish or seafood because about half of the family won't eat that.  My wife won't eat brisket, pulled pork, chicken, turkey, or any kind of seafood.  The two nephews won't eat any of it.  Every time they come here to a family meal, there is a mcdonalds or taco bell stop before they get here.  Their parent's let the kids decide what they eat so they always eat fast food.  I can't cook steaks because I am not cooking steaks for a crowd where i have to cook them to three different levels of doneness.  I could do hot dogs, hamburgers, or maybe pork loin/tenderloin and those are about the only things everyone would eat.  That bores me so I'm just not gonna be the cook.

 

If I exclude my wife, I can cook chicken.  I think everyone but the nephews will eat chicken.  They will eat chicken too but it has to be in the form of chicken mcnuggets.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, John Setzler said:

My problem is that my family wants me to cook for family gatherings also and I am currently refusing to do it any more.  This family is the hardest bunch to feed I have ever seen, my wife being the most difficult.  I can't cook pork because someone has gout and won't eat it.  I can't cook fish or seafood because about half of the family won't eat that.  My wife won't eat brisket, pulled pork, chicken, turkey, or any kind of seafood.  The two nephews won't eat any of it.  Every time they come here to a family meal, there is a mcdonalds or taco bell stop before they get here.  Their parent's let the kids decide what they eat so they always eat fast food.  I can't cook steaks because I am not cooking steaks for a crowd where i have to cook them to three different levels of doneness.  I could do hot dogs, hamburgers, or maybe pork loin/tenderloin and those are about the only things everyone would eat.  That bores me so I'm just not gonna be the cook.

 

If I exclude my wife, I can cook chicken.  I think everyone but the nephews will eat chicken.  They will eat chicken too but it has to be in the form of chicken mcnuggets.

 

 

 

I guess I should separate the family gatherings from just requests from family and friends. I prefer doing large family gatherings because I frankly prefer my cooking to the old lighter fluid induced food I'd get otherwise. I've had to deal with the various I don't eat this people as well. I guess I'm a little older than you John so, I benefit from the kind of parents who said, "you'll eat what's set before you and what is set before you is your next meal". So, don't eat it tonight, it's what's for breakfast, etc. That's the attitude I maintain toward my cooking. If I am going the put forth the massive effort and expense while others are complaining about buying paper plates, pops and showing up late with the ice, I have two hard fast rules:

  1. It's done when it's done. MY mom always likes to eat @ 1pm. And my wife thinks her job is to always demand that people are not kept waiting. And all of that's great but sometimes due to any number of unforseen factors, briskets, butts, plates ribs, etc. may not be done exactly when desired. If they are, they are still subject to my mandatory resting period whatever that may be. I've been up since 2am, not worried about them being in a rush.
  2. Eat what I've cooked, as I've cooked it, or don't eat. I'm ok with that so they should be ok with that. No hard feelings either way. My wife also will not even sample the vast majority of what I cook. Her list is almost exactly the same as your wife's sans the chicken and turkey. (Then again, most times she will not eat the chicken and turkey that I cook. And this is hilarious to me because she will eat her brother and cousin's cooking and their kitchen habits are... not very sanitary). There also is no bbq sauce made available to pour on my meat whenever I cook. And while people are free to bring their own, I think they are now well informed and trained that it may be the last time I cook that item for them. I will accomodate one or two vegetarians or pescatarians so that there is something available for them to eat. But, I'm not preparing for vegans, gluten free, etc. 

These rules help to keep me stress free.

Edited by CentralTexBBQ
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Yea.. i don't have problems having a meal ready at any given time.  I know how long things take to cook and I can be on time with a meal no matter what i'm cooking.  I don't subscribe to the same philosophy though... I'd rather not cook than have folks eat something they don't want.  Its jsut as easy for me to say I'm not cooking and let them figure out what to do.  That usually generates dominoes or pizza hut orders and I'm ok with that too :)  

 

I do take pride in my cooking.  I am also deeply saddened that most of my family won't eat any of it.  

 

My wife likes to have me cook bbq for meals for her coworkers.  They get a kick out of how she won't eat it... lol

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1 hour ago, John Setzler said:

Yea.. i don't have problems having a meal ready at any given time.  I know how long things take to cook and I can be on time with a meal no matter what i'm cooking.  I don't subscribe to the same philosophy though... I'd rather not cook than have folks eat something they don't want.  Its jsut as easy for me to say I'm not cooking and let them figure out what to do.  That usually generates dominoes or pizza hut orders and I'm ok with that too :)  

 

I do take pride in my cooking.  I am also deeply saddened that most of my family won't eat any of it.  

 

My wife likes to have me cook bbq for meals for her coworkers.  They get a kick out of how she won't eat it... lol

 

i don’t either. When i am being paid everything is done on time. But when someone sets an arbitrary time without consulting me or my work schedule, I’ll get her done when I get her done. They don’t factor in cook time, travel time, etc. and it’s always during the busiest part of my week, the weekend, when i average less than 3.5 hours sleep per night without any mishaps or emergencies. 

 

Yeah that’s a running joke at my Church also, everyone inhaling my food, not just bbq, and Mrs. CenTexBBQ pulling out her Chick-fil-A bag. lol

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I wont take money for a cook because as soon as cash changes hands, the expectations change 

I can knock out good bbq 95% of the time, but everyone has off days and knowing my luck, I'd have an off day the day someone is paying me for the cook.

If someone wants brisket for a birthday party/celebration, I'll supply the food and cook it for free as a gift 

If someone wants to pay me, well, money tends to change expectations and i dont need that kind of stress in my life 

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