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Worst meal at someone's home - Part 1


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Jaymes, that's a laugh-out-loud riot.  Good for your hostess for having the chutzpah to serve the cheese thing anyway, and the grace to laugh about her chicken.

Yeah, her name was Nancy, and she was one of the funniest people it has ever been my great good fortune to call a friend.

But she was one lousy cook.

:biggrin:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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1) I tried to cook something relatively simple, the easiest recipe in the book Cooking for Bachelors, or something like that. Dijon chicken. It came out of the oven looking exactly the same way it did when it went into the oven. Part raw, part Michelin (the tire, not the guide

I've been served a bunch of home-cooked chicken dishes that sound like this. Usually a recipe out of a magazine (Not Saveur, but Elle), and the chicken is rubbery and pale. I find that at the very least putting it back under the broiler can give a better appearance and a little caramelization to the top. Won't make it any less dry.

My worst home cooked meals were when my Mom started a meal and my sister finished:

1) We were in high school and Mom called to tell sister to take the casserole out of the fridge and put it in the oven at 350. Luckily, when Mom brought it to the table and started spooning it out, she thought it was awful cheesy on top. "Ellen, you did take the saran wrap off the top, didn't you?" "Huh?"

2) Same time of life, Mom called Ellen and told her to take the steak out of the fridge and put it on the grille. Mom got home. "Ellen, did you take care fo the steak?" "I put it on the grill when you told me." "Did you watch it?" "Huh?" Well, it was steak for a rainbow of tastes, from burnt on the bottom to raw on the top.

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Hands down the worst meal I've had in someone's house was when I was fresh out of college and travelling through Europe. I was staying with the parents of some frinends in Spain for a few days. I had gone out the night before and gotten completely wrecked, stumbled in around 5 am.

Was woken up for lunch at around 11:30 feeling really, really bad. I've managed to blot out significant portions of the lunch but two things are burned into my mind and palate forever. First was the salmon and shredded carot salad. Bad quality smoked salmon diced up and tossed with shredded carrots, all swimming in some gag-inducing white dressing. For desert, which was described as a "very traditional Spanish desert", was what I can only describe as a block of soft plaster of Paris that was drowned in honey in an attempt to make it palatable. Didn't work. It was really bad and eating flavorless mush when one is severly hung over really pushes the limits.

I had some great meals on that trip, this however was not one of them...

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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The most surprising part of the worst meal I ever had was that it was served to my husband and I by two very well-travelled and food-cultured dieticians. Unfortunately they were British....

For us, since my husband is vegetarian, they prepared extremely soggy, overcooked spaghetti. The pasta didn't cut -- it mushed. And on the side, a can of proper english "mushy peas" (they sell them like that in cans!)

The others had some kind of meat (steaks or pork, I don't recall), but I do remember how they all fought desperately over the leftover pan fat which was poured over their dinners. EEeeech! :wacko:

Luscious smell like love

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It whispers to me...

...Chocolate

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4) Weekend trip to the beach at a friend's house. The entire contents of a huge vat, drained and then emptied on to newpaper on the kitchen table: crabs, shrimp, crawfish, boiled potatoes and old corn-on-the-cob, together in a huge pile, heads and tails and shell still attached, and the victim diners left to fend for themselves. We still refer to the "infamous seafood incident."

This sounds a lot like a meal I was served in our guest's home in New Orleans, but a little less shellfish heavy and with the addition of sausage. It was called a "shrimp boil" and served on a long table, with newspaper, in their garage! It's still one of the most memorable meals I've had. So simple yet sooo good!!

Was it just the presentation you objected to or did it taste bad as well?

Ollie

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The most memorable crap meal I have ever had was pilchard stir fry. Even now the thought of it makes me barf. The smell of it cooking was enough to make me get wankered drunk, and for the record the day after was when my other half discovered we had an imminent arrival, and I do not mean the regurgitated pilchard.

Happy days.

As an aside any other chefs find the same as me. We either get invited for take away, or the host tries far too bloody hard and ends up serving dross.

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4) Weekend trip to the beach at a friend's house. The entire contents of a huge vat, drained and then emptied on to newpaper on the kitchen table: crabs, shrimp, crawfish, boiled potatoes and old corn-on-the-cob, together in a huge pile, heads and tails and shell still attached, and the victim diners left to fend for themselves. We still refer to the "infamous seafood incident."

This sounds a lot like a meal I was served in our guest's home in New Orleans, but a little less shellfish heavy and with the addition of sausage. It was called a "shrimp boil" and served on a long table, with newspaper, in their garage! It's still one of the most memorable meals I've had. So simple yet sooo good!!

Was it just the presentation you objected to or did it taste bad as well?

Ollie

That is pretty classic. Many civic organizations down here have "Shrimp Boils" or "Crawdad Boils" for fundraisers and they are always huge hits.

Everything is boiled in a big vat, usually with some beer and lots of Cajun spices in the water. They line the tables with newspapers, just like you said, and dump the whole thing out. Served with Louisiana hot sauce and lots of cold beer.

HUGE hits. That's why they're fundraisers.

:rolleyes:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Our hosts we known for their caring hospitality and extraordinary cuisine. We had our cocktails on their patio and as we were invited into their home, one of the ladies exclaimed loudly, "What do I smell....FISH? I HATE fish!".

The subdued hostess held her breath and the subsequent courses (yes, fish was served) never allowed her to recover from the coarseness of her guest's remark. We all suffered.

The meal, under ordinary circumstances, was terrific. It would not have deserved the shock-wave of the rude guest's remark. It was an evening of everybody being "on edge" and never being allowed to enjoy the well prepared nearly gourmet dinner.

Lesson learned: Don't allow coarse people to be included on one's guest list.

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Without a doubt, Thanksgiving at my aunt's house. We sat down, she served turkey. Yes, just turkey...that was it. As we neared the end of the meal, she exclaimed that she had forgotten the corn and brown and serve dinner rolls, and since we were almost done, she'd just grab the corn out of the freezer, the rolls out of the fridge, and she served then as was, except that she did take the frozen corn out of the bag and put it in a bowl. She also mentioned that she had forgotten to boil potatos to mash, but didn't think we'd want to eat raw potatos. There wasn't even a jello salad to complete the meal.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I remember being served a bowl of crunchy brown rice topped with steamed shredded carrots and celery.  (This was supposed to be a seduction supper!)

Yeah? How'd it work out? Did you seduce him anyway??? :biggrin:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Sandra, they are married to each other and living the high life on Vesta curry, angel whip and cheese whizz.

Another bloody awful meal I was presented with was pasta and salmon bake. The host had used a tin of salmon and had not drained it, trimmed it, or de-boned it. Just opened the tin and threw it into the dish. When I arrived I threw the lot in the bin and booked a table at the local Italian.

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Snowangel's post on forgetting reminded me.

My step-granny invited around 6 people for dinner. She was meticulously neat and the table, as usual, was lovely with flowers, polished silver-wear and pretty glasses. We all sat down, and were surprised to see granny sit down too. She made no move to the kitchen to get the food. My mother, as politely as possibly, got up and slid into the kitchen to investigate. There was no dinner on the stove, and the fridge was bare--except for an electric kettle and furniture polish on its shelves. Oh, dear, my granny was truly demented.

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She actually got out a meat grinder and ground together sweet pickles and oscar mayer bologna. It was then placed on cheep hamburger buns, topped off with cheese whiz,

The wierd thing is, Marcella Hazan has a recipe for canapes of mortadella and gherkins, processed together into a paste. I don't think Marcella knows about cheez whiz though...

How sad; a house full of condiments and no food.

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She actually got out a meat grinder and ground together sweet pickles and oscar mayer bologna. It was then placed on cheep hamburger buns, topped off with cheese whiz,

The wierd thing is, Marcella Hazan has a recipe for canapes of mortadella and gherkins, processed together into a paste. I don't think Marcella knows about cheez whiz though...

These sound as bad as the "cowboy sandwiches" we were served at a friend's house (the same friend who makes terrific tapenade; go figure?). Velveeta and spam, ground up, smeared on hamburger buns and broiled. Served open-faced. The dog wouldn't even eat them.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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It wasn't at someone's home but I think it qualifies. ONe of my more eccentric cousins decided to marry his longtime GF when they were both in their 40's. They were a bit reclusive and none of us outside his siblings knew them well. The reception was in the Universalist Church basement. The bride and her mother had prepared all of the food for the reception and it was MACROBIOTIC. It may well be that there's such a thing as tasty macrobiotic food but this was the nightmare dreck of predominately raw, entirely unprocessed ingredients that was prepared with absolutely no herbs, spices, sweeteners etc. Most horrifying were the brownies - the only dish that resembled normal food in appearance but in taste resembled driveway patching compound. Bright note: they actually served REAL coffee!!! Go figure....

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Ack. Don't get me started on macrobiotics. I did that stuff in the mid 1970s. Sure, some stuff is raw and unprocessed. But mostly it's hours of drudgery to produce brown gack sludgery. Feh.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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So true, as per macrobiotics, Phaelon56 and Jinmyo.

For reasons that are irrelevant there was a time in the 1980s when I was treated, and I use the term loosely, to macrobiotic cooking over and over and seemingly interminably over. It's an abomination. I always wanted to ask the provider, who also provided to all sorts of wealthy and I suppose hip, hot, hap'nin' clients, WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT TO THAT RICE? What did that poor innocent rice ever do to you?!

And the so-called meat so-called analogues. An offense to the universe. WHAT IS SO WRONG WITH A NICE CAKE OF UNMOLESTED TOFU? I wanted to ask.

Priscilla

Writer, cook, & c. ● #TacoFriday observant ●  Twitter    Instagram

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 10 months later...
The reply, ground bologna and pickles! She actually got out a meat grinder and ground together sweet pickles and oscar mayer bologna.

Uhm...I've eaten that as a child...on white bread with Miracle Whip...and liked it. :unsure:

Fortunately, that was 30 years ago.

And isn't grinding bologna sorta redundant?

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Two years ago I had a regrettable dinner prepared by someone who really doesn't cook, but she has other nice qualities. Three dishes: melon and prosciutto (high point of the meal); potato salad, really just partially cooked icy cold potatoe chunks in a sort of spritzing of unflavored oil of some sort; poached chicken breast, which, after poaching was apparently shredded and left to marinate (if that's possible) in a bottled soy marinade. The result was cold, stringy, brown, salty chicken. Truly disgusting and I would add, inedible, except that I did out of politeness eat some of it.

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