"It's good, but it's not as good as Aunt Jean's." This statement cut through me in an instant. My husband had uttered this after tasting some meal I made sometime after we started living together. I angrily fought back tears. I had made a favorite dish of his. A recipe that was raved over by others. And he had the nerve to actually say those words. out loud.
Aunt Jean, in his eyes, is the best cook ever. We all have that person in our lives. Usually it's your mother or grandmother. For him, it's her. Aunt Jean cooked all the Sunday dinners and football tailgates of his life. She IS a great cook. I look forward to the dinners we eat with her. I just don't like hearing how my cooking doesn't live up to hers. (Does anyone?)
My husband doesn't have the best filter when it comes to me. He says things that, well, I think he should have edited or kept to himself. He was being honest-but he should have stopped at "It's good." Over the years he has learned to edit himself most of the time-actually ALL of the time when it comes to my cooking-since I made him cook dinner for a week after that...and any other time he made reference to my cooking being less than exemplary-which, for both our sakes, have been very few. :)
Tonight, I made my favorite chicken soup recipe. I have made it several times before and he has eaten it without much comment. Tonight was different. He looked at me and said, "I really think you need to make this and take it with us the next time we go to Aunt Jean's so she can have some. I think she would like it."
That's the best food compliment he could ever give me!