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Woman Bans SIL From Her House After She Ruins 40lb Batch Of Homemade Tomato Sauce

Pasta Sauce
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Food is a complicated thing.

It can represent shame or pleasure or survival… and sometimes it can represent all three at the same day.

No wonder it’s such a sensitive subject.

We are inextricably tied to the food we prepare and consume, so what happens when we do the work to prepare something we’re proud of only to have someone else repeatedly ruin it?

That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) Strong-Emu7954 when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for judgment.

She asked:

“AITA for banning my SIL from my house over tomato sauce?”

OP got right to it.

“I(28F[female]) have an older brother(32M[ale]), he is married to Sister-In-Law(33F).”

“I get along with her well, except for this one point:”

“If you don’t keep an eye on her, she will get into the kitchen and add seasonings to whatever is cooking.”

“She thinks she is fixing stuff, but not all foods need turmeric in it.”

That’s a lotta tomatoes.

“This Saturday, I received 40 lbs of tomatoes. It took me the whole weekend to turn it into a sauce that I was planning to can.”

“I can it plain, then add whatever seasonings and herbs it needs, depending on the recipe.”

“They came to take a bag of spare clothes for one of their kids, and in the 5 minutes it took me to get it.”

A fast way to furious.

“She managed to get into the kitchen, add salt, pepper, turmeric, olive oil, garlic powder, and italian herbs to all 5 of the pots that were simmering on the stove.”

“And when I told asked her what she was doing, she had the audacity to say, ‘this sauce needed some taste. I added it for you’. Like I’ve never told her to not touch what I was cooking before.”

“I was so angry that I knew I couldn’t be calm talking with her. So I simply walked to my brother, told him to take the clothes and his wife, and that she is no longer welcome in my house.”

“She had followed me, was shocked, and started apologizing, but I just ignored her.”

“I added that he should come by tomorrow to take the sauce his wife ruined because otherwise it would be thrown away and that I expected 40lbs of replacement tomatoes.”

“They left, and he came back with the tomatoes, an apology letter from her, and an apology carrot cake (my fav). But I told him that I stand by my decision.”

“Now my parents got involved since I am the one that usually hosts, and since she is not allowed in my house, I told them to make alternate plans for Memorial Day.”

“My husband says that I am in the right, but my parents say that my reaction is way overblown.”

OP was left to wonder,

“So AITA?”

Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

    • NTA – Not The A**hole
    • YTA – You’re The A**hole
    • NAH – No A**holes Here
    • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided: NTA

Some comments were just confused.

“Who the heck walks into someone else’s house and seasons five different pots?!?! NTA” ~ HPNerd44

“I’m also confused about wtf olive oil was meant to do when the tomatoes are already boiling on the stove?” ~ Needmoresnakes

“I’ve never even considered turmeric for anything I’ve made that’s tomato based.”

“I’m sure there some dishes where that makes sense, but it’s definitely not the sort of spice you put in bulk tomato sauce made for a range of different dishes” ~ Marcilliaa

“THANK YOU! Turmeric with Italian seasoning in tomato sauce? What in the world are you trying to do?!!” ~ Affectionate_Clue_77

Others pointed out all the ruined work.


“Not to mention the loss of all those tomatoes.”

“And all that labor.”

“I’m ticked off for the OP!”

“I had to take a time out when my spouse ruined a canner load of tomatoes.”

“But that was a legit mistake. SIL’s ongoing habit of “fixing” other people’s cooking is absolute arrogance.” ~ HeddyL2627

“Peeled tomatoes.”

“She peeled 40 pounds of f**king tomatoes by hand. I think I’d lose my f**king mind.”

“That’s equivalent to roughly 250+ tomatoes that you have to blanche and peel BY HAND.”

“No f**king wonder it took all weekend, and then SIL comes in here ruining all of it like that” ~ AReallyDumbRedditor

There were also safety concerns.

“So NTA.”

“She’s crossing boundaries, poking into something where she doesn’t belong.”

“There’s all kinds of wrong with messing with someone else’s cooking – what if you were making something for someone allergic to turmeric?”

“Good on your brother for replacing the tomatoes and on her for apologizing.”

“That said, you’re still in the right for banning her from the house, especially if that has happened multiple times and you have been clear with her that it’s not acceptable.”

“If you are thinking about letting her back in, I’d make sure the apology is a real apology first.”

“Not ‘I’m sorry if your feelings were hurt,’ but something which takes responsibility for her actions.”

‘”I added seasoning to your giant tomato sauce project without asking; this was out of line, and I shouldn’t have done it.”‘

“‘It’s my fault, and I’m sorry. In the future, I’m planning to not enter your kitchen unless invited.”‘ ~ Successful_Duck_2459

“I know people who are allergic to cinnamon, mushrooms, and pineapple. You don’t mess with people’s food.” ~ TeamCatsandDnD


“My in-laws are allergic to so many foods and seasonings, so adding garlic powder, or even cumin, to something could cause anaphylaxis.”

“Even outside of allergies, GERD is a b*tch to deal with, when something completely benign to most people triggers reflux.”

“I can’t eat starches that are finished with salt (including potatoes), as they cause major reflux for me.” ~ chiarascura88

“Especially something meant to be canned!”

“The wrong ratios will cause those tomatoes to not be safe to eat once canned!”

“If OP hadn’t realized it in time and canned that sauce, it would have caused massive harm to people down the road.” ~ Competitive-Candy-82



“It is never okay to add something to someone’s food without their consent or knowledge.” ~ polywha


“She can’t do anything to a person’s food without consent.”

“She can’t assume what exactly your tomato sauce will be used for or for WHO the sauce is for.”

“You could be making tomato sauce for a completely different person. She did ruin the sauce with cross-contamination.”

“Cross-contamination is NO joke.”

“A lady at a wedding died on the spot because her cheesecake had nuts in it (she was deathly allergic), and she left behind two small children. She was 31 years old.”

“SIL crossed a huge line when it comes to food.”

“What if one of the ingredients she snuck in was an allergen to a potential guest who may consume your sauce.” ~ Humble-Performer4473

Forgive and forget?

“YTA for holding a grudge.”

“Because they gave you the tomatoes she ruined, your favorite dessert and, most importantly a handwritten letter of apology from her you should not banish her from your house.”

“It sounds like she learned a lesson she needed because of you!”

“Good job, but now forgive and let it go.”

“Don’t let her weird seasoning habit, which you might have cured hopefully, get in the way of your relationship with your family.”

“If it wasn’t your SIL but your actual brother who did this, would you have forgiven it by now?”

“She is your family, and with in-laws, I have found you have to make an extra effort to be more gracious and empathetic since they have different upbringings.”

“This might have been a normal thing in her family to do. Or you might naturally be more gracious to your blood relatives than to her.” ~ Embarrassed_Lion4433


“I’m not saying she wasn’t an a-hole, but she wrote you a letter apologizing.”

“He is your brother, and she is his wife.”

“She has a serious character defect but realizes that she was wrong and has apologized.”

“Accept her apology; make it clear that if anything like that happens ever again, she is persona non grata in your home/” ~ SmplTon


“What she did sucks, but her and your brother complied with your requests, and on top of that, she threw in an apology and your favorite cake.”

“People can easily get petty and defensive in these situations, but she didn’t.”

“At least from the outside, it looks like she is genuinely sorry. I completely agree with banning her from the kitchen, bit the whole house??”

“That’s a bit much.”

“Also, what if your brother decides to host?”

“Are they supposed to just receive you with open arms as if SIL wasn’t unwelcomed at yours?” ~ Deep_Comparison_9283

OP did return to add some clarity.

“Since there seems to be some confusion, I am not planning to host for memorial day and not invite her. I said I am not hosting, my parents or my brother should host, and I will attend as a guest.”

“I might be angry, but I don’t want her excluded.”

Food is complicated.

The foods we enjoy, hate, and are allergic to – it’s all very personal.

So maybe let people eat what they like.

Written by Frank Geier

Frank Geier (pronouns he/him) is a nerd and father of three who recently moved to Alabama. He is an avid roleplayer and storyteller occasionally masquerading as a rational human.