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Worst meal at someone's home - Part 1


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I bought a gift for the daughter.  I think everyone did.  I'm not sure if it was expeceted.  But normally for a childs birthday the guests will bring something for the birthday boy or girl.

That's what I thought. And that really makes them a bit tacky. Diet coke and Pringles...yum. :wacko:

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my ex-wife is a teacher.

a few years ago, we were invited to

go to the house of another teacher she worked with

to break-in their new grill.

i was not thrilled with the invitation,

having met the husband of her friend on another occasion.

the dude just vibed grotesque.

not only was he an unapologetic kleptomaniac,

he was unnervingly flirtatious with my then wife.

so i decided to suck it up, and be a good guy,

go and suffer like moses. the passion of the matt.

we get there, he gives me a tour of the house,

pointing out all these minor and major incidentals,

and letting me know if they were stolen or not.

when he would get to an item that was stolen,

he would go into great detail about how

he was able to liberate the item from its rightful owner.

my ex told me my facial expression

was that of a dog who had been shown a card trick.

he takes me out on the deck and shows me

a very nice shiny new grill, which was apparently too

large or impractical to steal. the grill cover, however,

was stolen, as were the steaks we were going to have for dinner.

the steaks had been coated with some sort of salty

rub, when i did not know, but it seemed early enough

to see juices being drawn out of what looked like

nice rib-eyes.

he threw them on the grill, closed the lid,

and never asked me how i would like mine cooked.

he began a lengthy discourse regarding methods of

stealing vintage car parts. all the while smoke

it pouring forth from the grill to a point where

i expected planes to start circling, or warring tribes

to descend upon us. all the time my internal

clock is ticking, and about the time

i knew a rare steak was out of the question, i chimed in with,

"you might want to flip those steaks." as he opened the hood of the grill

i realized the smoke pouring out was the steak actually sending

distress signals. he flips the steaks, slams the hood down,

and we stood in awkward silence. at the 20 minute mark or so,

he decided the steaks are finished.

the steaks were an affront to grilling.

the good does not always triumph.

sometimes the dark side overcomes what Lincoln called

the better angels of our nature. those rib-eyes had been

terminated with extreme prejudice. it was a struggle to eat that meal,

and i was getting angry with each bite, and as the persians say:

"food eaten in anger turns to poison in the stomach".

about mid meal he asks me,

"so, how is your steak?"

all i could say was,"you make really nice beef

jerky". my ex kicked me under the table.

as the meal had been derailed, the remainder of dinner

was eaten in complete silence.

my ex told me two weeks ago,

that the couple that invited us to that dinner,

had recently separated. it turns out that

captain klepto was also cross-dressing and going to bars

trying to see how many men would hit on him.

i at no point in telling this sordid tale

have taken james frey liberties with the truth.

-m

edited: fat fingers

Edited by akebono (log)

Nonsense, I have not yet begun to defile myself.

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The worst meal I was ever served at someones home HAD to be the meal my friend served me when she moved into her first place with her (then) boyfriend.

This was a long time ago, we were about 19, but I had been cooking family dinners since 14 and loved all things food related. She on the other hand only cooked Ooodles of Noodles,grilled cheese, spaghetti-o's and things like that.

So, she invites us (me & my -then- boyfriend) to dinner. I should have known there was going to be trouble when she called & said "How long do I bake chicken wings ?" Followed by "see I told you so" once I told her that 2 hours was too long.

Dinner was icebeg lettuce salad with bottled dressing - not bad just blah. Followed by chicken wings baked in spaghetti-o's. :shock: The whole thing was coated with mozzarella cheese. This was her take on chicken parmesan and she said she didn't have tomato sauce in the house, so she used the spaghetti-o's because they

"were in tomato sauce and I needed noodles anyway". Ummm-hmmmm. To drink we had the option of St Ides (malt liquor) or Kool-Aid, so sweet I could just feel the cavities forming.

The food wasn't that bad, just a really strange combination.

She had apparently baked the chicken wings seperately and added the sauce and baked some more, because they were somewhat crispy under their noodly cheesy coating.

She is my friend & I love her to death, but I really should have known better....

We ARE still friends and she now has a husband who does all the cooking, and pretty good at it...except for the time he served us undercooked ribs !

Edited by jilli42 (log)

Today is going to be one of those days.....

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I remember going to a folk music/dance festival in Chicago; generally they put up visitors in local folks' houses. My host asked "are you hungry?" It had been a long trip and I was starving, and as it was someone I knew, I could tell him so. :) So, about 2 hours later, dinner's ready. Boiled carrots and celery (only just boiled, the carrots were still hard), over plain pasta that was also still hard in the center, almost crunchy. No cheese (he's vegan), no oil. As he is eating, he says "wow, it came out great, the pasta's exactly al dente!"

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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My "worst meal" is not nearly as bad as some of the stories I've read here. (I especially love your re-telling of that fateful night, Matt! :laugh: )

My now-ex bf was invited to his co-worker's house for a potluck. None of them cook. We had chips and a bag of salad. I think there was a carton of ice-cream too.

I was the only one who brought "real" food. I made a roast chicken wrapped with prosciutto, stuffed with lemon and rosemary.

The morsels of chicken I got were good. A chicken does not go very far between ten adults.

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I was the only one who brought "real" food. I made a roast chicken wrapped with prosciutto, stuffed with lemon and rosemary.

The morsels of chicken I got were good. A chicken does not go very far between ten adults.

Wow. :shock: Deja vu, Ling.

I had the same experience once many years ago -eight or ten people at a dinner where everyone's idea of "food to bring" turned out to be bottles of wine. :biggrin:

I brought a roast chicken - a "fresh-killed" one from the market they used to have where we lived then that was housed in an old ware-house type space, where you would walk in and pick out your chicken as it clucked in the lines of cages - all varieties of birds, all sizes, so many colors. . .

The taste of that chicken was one that will remain in memory forever.

Particularly since I think people were trying to inhale the very bones of the thing. :laugh:

The effect of drinking a lot of wine then watching supposedly normal people attack a small roasted bird, tearing at it ravenously as if they had all turned to strange troll-like creatures was unforgettable, too.

Whew.

Edited by Carrot Top (log)
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I just went to a birthday party for my friends daughters 1st birthday.  We don't have kids but they siad it was an  more of an adult party as a lot of their friends don't have kids yet and its a friday..  It was from 5pm til 9pm.  We all rushed after work thinking good excuse for a happy hour.  The options were diet coke or water to drink.(they do have a full cooler full of wine not offered)  And for food, pretzels and 1 tube of pringles for about 18 adults.  That's it!!  Needless to say a group of us excused ourselves early and walked into the nearest place were we could get some real food & drink.

Some people! A friend recently told me a story of being invited to an acquaintance's son's birthday party. She bought him a gift, spending more than she would have for her own son. They ordered pizza and when the party was over, the acquaintance asked everyone for money to pay for the pizza. :blink: That was when my friend decided her acquaintance would soon become a stranger...

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I set up my now husband and his first college roommate. Their favorite meal was called "Gut-Filler"--white rice, into which was stirred an undiluted can of cream of mushroom soup and a can of tuna. Typically, it was eaten out of the cooking vessel on the couch, a spoon for each eater.

The hilarious thing was, roomie was a line cook at a fancy restaurant and would insist on the rice being toasted in the pan before being boiled/steamed. Considering what they were about to do to the innocent pan of rice, it was ridiculous to watch them flinging golden brown kernels of rice all over their filthy kitchen.

I love them both, but man, it was *so* nasty.

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Ah, I used to have a housemate who made that kind of stuff. The one that immediately comes to mind was an unidentifiable mass he was eating (out of the pot) once when I came home. "What the hell are you eating?" I asked. He looked down, looked back up and said "Canned kidney beans and tuna with some crackers mooshed up in it..."

Made a mean chicken teriyaki though.

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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My worst that comes to mine is not so much for the food, but the general atmosphere and attitude behind it. Since we do have people over so often for dinner parties and I cook so much, our friends can get a little intimidated about having us over in return. I certainly try to be sensitive of this and appreciate anyone going through the effort of making food for us and inviting us over.

Strike two of eventually three for a couple that we eventually parted ways with was a dinner at their place. The husband cooked, and took great, smug pleasure in pointing out how very little effort went into the meal. At first, it was funny since it's been no secret that I'll spend all day cooking for a dinner party making my own bread, pasta, etc. But he just kept hammering at that point. The garlic bread was that frozen, pre-seasoned kind you just toss in the oven; the main was pasta with chopped up chicken breast and canned ragu sauce. I think he even said at one point the whole meal took him 20 minutes to make. Then he went ballistic when I accidentally dropped a smidge of butter on their placemat.

Strike three: at their son's first birthday party, they made the guests sit quietly in the living room and wait 30 minutes for the birthday boy to take his nap. Everyone had to whisper, if they spoke at all. We got into a fierce, whispered back-and-forth with the same husband with him insisting that CostCo's pizzas were every bit as good as any pizza I could make.

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white rice, into which was stirred an undiluted can of cream of mushroom soup and a can of tuna.

There's a memorable scene in the wonderful movie Desert Bloom in which the mom in her just-home-from-work Fifties outfit "cooks" dinner. In the space of a two-minute scene, she clatters two small thin saucepans onto the stove, opens a can of tuna and a can of CofM, pours a swish of Minute Rice into the one with the water, dumps the tuna and soup into the other, stirring it once with a nails-on-the-blackboard skritch of a fork, and calls out, "Dinner's ready!"

Her three girls sit down to their spoonfuls and a slice of white bread, whilst Mom scoops a puddly serving onto each of two cheap flappy paper plates, throws a piece of waxed paper over each, and toddles off to keep "Daddy" company at his gas station next door.

And in a poignant later scene, when eldest daughter runs away from home, she fills her suitcase with mushroom soup because it's all she knows.

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I remember going to a folk music/dance festival in Chicago; generally they put up visitors in local folks' houses. My host asked "are you hungry?"  It had been a long trip and I was starving, and as it was someone I knew, I could tell him so. :)  So, about 2 hours later, dinner's ready.  Boiled carrots and celery (only just boiled, the carrots were still hard), over plain pasta that was also still hard in the center, almost crunchy.  No cheese (he's vegan), no oil.  As he is eating, he says "wow, it came out great, the pasta's exactly al dente!"

How the *hell* does that take 2 hours?????

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My worst that comes to mine is not so much for the food, but the general atmosphere and attitude behind it.

it seems that these stories fall into just a couple of categories:

1. 'that meal sure did suck, but the people are nice and just can't cook/don't know how to entertain', and its corollary

1a. 'the meal sure did suck--the people are nice, but they just didn't try very hard'

2. 'the meal sure did suck, but more importantly the people were awful', and its corollary

2a. 'the meal didn't even suck that badly, it's just that the people were awful'

(for corollary 1a, there's a great episode of northern exposure in the 5th season, where joel falls solidly into this camp, called 'the big feast')

The garlic bread was that frozen, pre-seasoned kind you just toss in the oven;

i have an inexplicable love for that stuff. it's so embarrassing.

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Worst meal at somebody's house? Easy. My ex-roomate finally got married. His new bride had no real experience cooking. My roomie had been a very unadventerous eater-- and couldn't eat anything with shells or bones... he was too squeamish. So I show up with a nice bottle of cabernet and dinner is placed on the table. This is about a week after the honeymoon. Dinner is a limp salad with a salty dressing that has dessicated the lettuce. (Other things in the salad? Nope!) After the salad comes the Sheepherd's Pie. The pie is topped with sliced potatoes. These are mostly raw. The contents of the pie is ground beef, browned to within an inch of being sawdust, some formerly frozen peas, now mostly gray, and some onions, diced fine and perhaps browned in motoroil. Compliments were foist upon the cook, and I couldn't be honest. BUT- on the way to the car my buddy confided in me, "Hell, she can't cook either!" Sadly within a year she and I did not see eye to eye, and my roomie had to stick with his wife--- I don't blame him, but he et best when I lived there.

"Cogito Ergo Dim Sum; Therefore I think these are Pork Buns"

hvrobinson@sbcglobal.net

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I don't mind it, but again, he was just so smug about it, like this was all the effort he was going to put into it.

And that makes him better than you, you kitchen-slaving fool! :laugh:

Oy.

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

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Kiddle and I just looked at each other, after looking in the kitchen, and we both declared "Tonight might make the "worst meal at someone's home" thread!" :laugh::laugh::laugh: I have a headache, we're going to order in.

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Lesseee, how do I start this???? Tonight I found out that two of the members of my cooking club, um, well, they can't really cook. How the hell does that happen? It was themed "Mexican Night" hosted at the home of the gal that said she liked to cook "Mexican" food. Well, it is true that she makes her own red sauce (from actual chilis) and that was OK. But she made these horrendous cheese enchiladas that were like rocks/glue. Eh??? The other gal made the rice. I have no f**g idea how she did it, or what the hell was in it. It was like orange porridge. No tomatoes, no onion, I think there were green chilis and chili powder. Oh, and cumin. Lots and lots of cumin. No one ate it. So for the next meeting I think we are going to choose the recipes and assign them. If they can't cook from those successfully, we'll have to consider cooking lessons or finding another group. I was really hoping this group was one that we could all learn from each other. Sigh.

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The worst meal(s) I've ever had were, in of all places, France. I was living with a French family (who weren't even French - they were Indian by way of Portugal, and spoke Portugeuse most of the time, which didn't do much for my slowly improving French) for two weeks during a mini-exchange thing in a town about thirty miles from Paris. I was really excited because a) French food is great, and I would be exposed to all sorts of new things and b) my host father owned two restaurants! Surely he must be a great cook! Well... he wasn't. I'm thinking he must've been more on the business end than the food end.

I ate at their house for breakfast and dinner every day. Breakfasts were great - all purchased food like yogurt, pain au chocolat, croissants, etc. However the dinners were all made by the parents. Nothing was really good, but here are some of the worst:

The first THREE nights I was there, we had "sushi." It consisted of very salty tasting long grain rice topped with pieces of tough, slimy fish. The same sushi was served all three nights, so that fish was AT LEAST three days old. There was no soy sauce, ginger or wasabi to drown out the taste. There were also little cocktail shrimp arranged around the plate.

"Chinese food." I'm lucky enough to live in a city where the concept of "chop suey" is nothing but a relic of another era, but I'm pretty sure this is what it tasted like in those unfortunate days. A lot of celery, vague "soy" flavors and noodles. It's all a gross blur.

Despite the plethora of bakeries, I'm pretty sure they only bought new bread once while I was there. All of it was stored in a cabinet, and was rock hard. It tasted sort of like croutons. The cheese, which we ate with the bread, on the other hand was really, really good. All sorts of non-pasturized goodness that you can't get in the US.

The worst though would have to be a vegetable dish we had for dinner one night. At the time, I was vegetarian, so they highly encouraged me to eat this. Here is a rough recipe from memory: take a bag of mixed, diced frozen vegetables. Empty into a microwavable bowl. Top with mayonnaise. Stir. Microwave. Stir again. Serve. I lifted a spoonful to my mouth and my gag reflex went off right away. I have no idea how I swallowed that one bite without puking. I managed to choke down my small serving, but was horrified when my host mother foisted more upon me. When she asked why I wasn't eating it, I tried to respond politely, but my limited French would only allow "I don't like vegetables," which started a barely comprehendable, but surely angry conversation between my host parents. My host mom said "You don't like vegetables? How can you be a vegetarian if you don't like vegetables? You have to eat them." I looked desperately through my French-English dictionary for names of vegetables that I liked, but I'm pretty sure by that point the damage was done.

And not a specific meal, but a common theme was tuna. Apparently tuna is a great food for vegetarians, because in lieu of meat, they made me put this on everything I ate. I never wanted to see tuna again after that trip.

Edited by jkonick (log)
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