Ego vs. Etiquette: How Not To Be Offended By Someone Who Puts Ketchup on EVERYTHING?
Now that Thanksgiving is over, there's an etiquette question I've been meaning to ask. I love to cook, and do so for myself and my partner on a regular basis. For the most part, he is an enthusiastic and appreciative fan of my cooking, yet I still have one pet peeve: often without even tasting first, he immediately puts sriracha hot sauce on everything (I said ketchup in the title as I imagine this may be the more common problem for others). Even when I plead with him to at least try it first, he'll do so, but then still insist on adding it, explaining, "I like it spicy." On the one hand, it's his food and I want to be respectful of his desire and right to season it the way he wants, but on the other hand, without being too precious about it, I do think that the meal a cook offers is (at its best) like a perfectly composed picture - you've worked to make all the flavors right, each in its right place and complementing one another. When I see the sriracha sauce going on, I feel like my effort was wasted and its intentions ignored. Put another way, it's kind of like a gift you're giving - and isn't it bad manners for the recipient to immediately start trying to rearrange the teeth in the gift horse's mouth? Should I just get over myself, swallow my cooking ego, and let him enjoy it the way he wants it? Or is there some form of etiquette that says, short of a bit of salt and pepper here and there, this kind of flavor adjustment is rude?