Dear Abby: Seasoning wife’s recipes — a second helping of opinions

Readers take sides on whether it’s respectful for husband to doctor his dinner with sour cream, hot sauce, etc.

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DEAR ABBY: Regarding “Recipe for Disaster in Texas” (Feb. 17), I have to say I disagreed with your response. Although Michelin won’t be awarding me any stars, I consider myself a good cook, and I strive to make unique, flavorful meals for my family. My husband frequently feels the need to doctor my recipes, and I think it’s disrespectful of the time and care I took in preparing the meal.

He insists on combining ingredients that don’t belong together. He puts cheddar cheese on spaghetti Bolognese and ranch dressing on chicken teriyaki. He knows this isn’t appropriate, and he would never ask for this modification in a restaurant.

”Recipe” should learn to appreciate that his wife is preparing meals for him. If he can do better, he can take over the cooking. — FLAVOR QUEEN OF NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR QUEEN: I enjoyed the responses to that letter about a husband re-seasoning his wife’s gourmet meals to her distinct displeasure. Some of the online comments made me chuckle, so I’ll share them, too. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: While I was in the military, it was normal to add salt, pepper and ketchup to everything without tasting it first. The habit has followed me for 50 years, no matter where I am. I tell the host that it’s normal for me and to not take it personally. Mac ‘n’ cheese needs ketchup; veggies, potatoes, eggs and watermelon need salt; most everything else needs pepper. For me to taste something, it has to burn my tongue. — VIETNAM VET IN MISSOURI

DEAR ABBY: That wife sounds like an oversensitive control freak. Personally, I can’t handle peppers, but I do like lots of cheese and sour cream on my enchiladas. My wife, who does the majority of the cooking, knows my preference, so she does me the honor of putting more of that on my enchiladas. I also like to dip my fries into mayo instead of ketchup, so she obliges. This is what we do for people we love. We don’t threaten, “My way or the highway, Bub!” — G.S. IN ABBYLAND

DEAR ABBY: I laughed when I was told to substitute “healthy” plain yogurt for sour cream. It never tasted anything like sour cream to me. Then I got some Greek yogurt and realized it works just as well. (It’s an excellent protein source, and many older adults need more as we age.) Now I add plenty without feeling guilty. — ONLINE LOVER

DEAR ABBY: My husband jokes that he has Mexican taste buds but a white guy stomach. Thank heavens we have separate bathrooms. — C.K. ON THE NET

DEAR ABBY: I know when my husband gets out the Tabasco that the meal is not quite to his liking. I don’t usually mind, because I don’t cook just for him. I cook for the entire family. (And, just for reference, he thinks I’m an amazing cook.) — P.M. ON THE WEB

DEAR ABBY: Oh, yes — Tabasco sauce. My dad had so much of it in his lifetime, he should have been McIlhenny’s pitchman. I can see the ad now:

Announcer: What do YOU have Tabasco with?

Man: I have it with chili!

Woman: I have it with eggs!

My dad: I have it with a straw.


Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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