I had about 15 or so Auntie Ethel fights (it's always after I got lvl 4 after the gnolls and Anders and before the goblin camp) but never one where she was supported by the masks. In what situation does this happen? It really sounds like a very very hard fight.

If you differentiated between non-ingredient and ingredient food, you had a third category of the same item. Don't like that. In such a case I would want the ready-to-eat food only for hp replenishment (out of combat). The food ingredients for "sleeping food" should go into a separate box in the camp. I find it very tedious to interact with the current chest in the camp, and looking for ingredients in it would be a nightmare. Same if the ingredients would clutter your inventory forever. The cooked food could give bonuses, but I would not like negative influence from using supply packs.

Generally such a more elaborated food system could add to the game. In the end it's all the question of plentitude of loot. Currently I don't have the slightest feeling of scarcity for food, as if I would play Fallout 4 without a hardcore loot overhaul mod.