Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Worst meal at someone's home - Part 1


Recommended Posts

I don't know if this exactly counts because they were meals that were offered to me, but not actually eaten. When I lived in Seattle, I lived once in a large house with several people. We had one housemate from Peru, who was a sweet guy, but produced some of the scariest meals I ever saw. He would make "chicha" of just about anything; some were drinkable (the one made from purple corn was actually quite good), the most disgusting was basically orange juice, mixed with lots of sugar, and left out to ferment till it was fizzy. It tasted like drinking penicillin.

But the worst was a fish head soup. He got a bunch of fish heads from some Asian market, about a pound of them, and boiled them in a pot for a couple hours (to get all the flavor) until the brew was literally black. To this, he added lots of spinach, and finished it off with a handful of wheat germ.

And not only did he eat it all, but offered it to all of us. No takers 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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But the worst was a fish head soup.  He got a bunch of fish heads from some Asian market, about a pound of them, and boiled them in a pot for a couple hours (to get all the flavor) until the brew was literally black.  To this, he added lots of spinach, and finished it off with a handful of wheat germ.

I try to be open-minded and all, and I know that alot of fish soups are supposed to be made with the heads to give it a good consistency, but that sounds so, so foul.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why was it black....honestly that's something I haven't really wanted to contemplate too much :hmmm: but I guess if you boil anything in an aluminum pot for long enough, it will turn black. We are talking hours. Perhaps there was some lemon or something in the water? It looked foul. More disturbing was watching him eat it. :blink:

"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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Worst meal NOT eaten at someone's home - We were invited to the CEO's home for what was clearly advertised as the "New Grill party." We show up, with about 100 other chosen ones, and sure enough, there's the grill. It's beautiful! Like a really nice outdoor kitchen - I'd kill for it. But there is no food in sight. Ever. We smiled through a (very, very bad) guitar solo by our host, put up with the behavior of his atrocious brats ("My father OWNS this company" - now where did he hear that?), wandered around the fantastic back lawn (waterfront property, nice view of the boat) -- we weren't allowed in the house. . . no food, no drinks . . . After a couple of hours people started coming up with inventive excuses to leave and go get some FOOD -- actually, the party *after* the party was memorable! Shortly thereafter there was a huge layoff - everyone was so relieved. Our friend in Finance told us later that the CEO submitted a huge bill for food and drink to the company for this party.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

My stomach hurts from the three evenings of laughter it took to read thru this thread from start to finish. Whooooweeeee, I feel good!

Except... the worst meal bar none that I ever ate was my own cooking. I'm a pretty basic cook. I can follow a recipe and can wing it with a few things, but I've got no reason to brag. Tho I had never, prior to this event, made anything completely inedible (I think/believe/hope!).

I had two chicken breasts to cook. We were mid-move. The spices made the move, the recipes had not yet. I had a vague memory of a dish my god-mother used to make, that I remembered really liking (25 years previously). I didnt have a very clear memory of it, and no recipe. Not much sleep either as I was mama-moo to our newborn. I remembered the recipe as being something like a cream gravy served over chicken with broccoli and for some reason I thought there was mustard in the gravy. To save on hands on time, I decided to bake the chicken in the sauce. So.... I started making the sauce. Didnt want it too salty so I used a bit of Coleman's dry prepared mustard, after tasting a bit on my finger to ensure it was less salty than the other mustards in the house. After I added a tsp or so, the baby cried therefore my brain evaporated. Assessed situation, in hurry returned to sauce. Tasted it, no mustard taste (DUH! I'd just tasted the powdered stuff straight. Like I thought I could taste anything at that point?) Added more mustard. Baby cries. Repeat. Baby can no longer be assuaged by anything except food (aka me).

Dump chicken into baking pan, pour gravy over to hide ugly unbrowned bird bits. Bake. Chicken came out nice and tender, but...... terminally contaminated by the bitterest nastiest stuff ever poured over food. Scraping it off did not work. It had permeated every fiber. My husband kept trying to eat it, til I ordered him to stop (a nice man, nuh?). We ate steamed broccoli for dinner that night.

No one anywhere could ever serve me anything as nasty as that meal. Its nice to be "immunized".

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am surprised someone hasn't discussed an otherwise wonderful thanksgiving day meal in San Diego in the early 1980s damaged by the frightful champagne a guest contributed. I am sure it must be legendary in America's Finest City".

I was that embarrassed person. I picked up a couple of bottles at a supermarket. Old enough to know better, I was inexperienced in what was an acceptable champagne. My knowledge of champagne is a little better today. At least I would know enough not to buy the supermarket variety. I would mention the brand, but I would just be embarrassed all over again by the deserved ridicule from fellow posters.

All of the "strays" from work were invited and they all had very long memories.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Since I have to go to my sister in laws very soon....I just thought I would bump this up in preparation

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since I have to go to my sister in laws very soon....I just thought I would bump this up in preparation

tracey

:laugh: Hahahaha, I almost choked on my own throat with laughter after that.

Such great expectations, she might have been working really, REALLY hard!

I can imagine you doing the Simpsons thing and drinking a candle before you go, to barrier your insides from your SIL's apparently off cooking.

Please take a quick look at my stuff.

Flickr foods

Blood Sugar

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Note to self: Stop reading these threads in the cube farm I call an office... :biggrin:

I honestly can't remember a bad meal at someone else's house, but I've had some doozies served by close family members.

One year, when my parents were heavily into their "self-sufficient" phase, Dad proudly turned up a wild goose for Thanksgiving dinner. I *think* it had been plucked prior to cooking, but I *know* the birdshot hadn't been removed. Mom, in true return-to-the-land spirit, decided to cook the goose in our ancient wood-fired cookstove--so, maybe, at anywhere between 100 and 600 degrees, with no way to control the wild swings of temperature? It emerged, hours (and many, many glasses of Jack Daniels) later, shrunken, blackened, and smelling entirely of fish and tasting worse. Mmmmm... Picking stringy gooseflesh from between your teeth while spitting out lead shot... Yum! :blink:

My brother, who went through a phase (heck, he's mostly still going through it) where he didn't believe in soap, shoes, or eating meat, was helping my new husband and I move all of our belongings from California to Michigan, via Idaho and Montana. We spent the night in Glacier National Park and he went foraging for mushrooms (he'd "majored" in, er, "consumable" mushrooms in college, so we figured at least he wouldn't kill us, it might even be interesting) which he sauteed up for us, leaf loam, dirt, dead bugs and all, no garlic, no salt, no sherry, no butter... My husband of two months, bless his soul, actually ate a plate of the slimy, nasty things. I, on the other hand, did not.

During that same phase of his life, he made us breakfast one Christmas morning of pancakes, however he refused to even look at a recipe or use any leavening (certainly not eggs) or dairy products--I think he basically mixed whole wheat flour, soy milk, and frozen raspberries and poured them on a skillet greased with corn oil. He was so proud. That must have been early in our marriage because, except for a nasty look at me for putting him into the situation, my husband ate his plate of doughy, vaguely pink foam patties without comment.

But I'm not exempt from the bad meals curse, either... I once served a full-on Ethiopian meal (fiery hot chicken braised in butter, lentils, and braised cabbage, complete with injera) to my husbands coworkers, most of whom eat nothing more exotic than bratwurst and who can always be trusted to come to a potluck with a crockpot full of cheese dip. I am positive that they left our house that night and headed straight to White Castle. If any of them post here on eGullet, I'm pretty sure that dinner party would be included in this thread as an example of what not to serve a group of people you've never met! :laugh:

Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The neighbors got together for a picnic, with every mummy bringing food to share. The lady with 3 kids plonked down a huge platter of 'sushi' which she had made from unseasoned long-grain rice, boiled canned hotdogs, and stale nori. Smiling widely at me, she announced, "Your mom told me you like sushi, so I made these specially for you!" Then proceeded to watch me like a hawk to see if I was eating her 'sushi'. Mom rescued me by very apologetically telling her I was allergic to wieners. Her children, I noticed, did not touch a single one.

itadakimas...eat a duck i must!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife was over at my mom's place with the kids.

Mom asked if she wanted to have dinner.

She asked if she wanted to have hot dog or steak.

My wife opted for steak.

Why would she go for a hot dog.

What she got was yesterday's charred steak that had just been retossed onto the grill and recharred.

My brother's comment was "oh god, you didn't choose steak?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh well, nothing to tell about the SIL's event ... cold cuts, my favorite potato salad, Mother-in-law's tuna macaroni salad and something resembling baked ziti.

the cake was covered with gloppy supersweet "buttercream" and I had 3 pieces :blush:

tracey

we also got to take to potato salad home

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I married my British boyfriend without meeting his parents. I was 18 and oh so stupid...

When they finally came to visit us for the first time, I was a nervous wreck.

I wanted to have something made ahead of time so they could tuck in right from the airport and then get to bed. I was afraid they'd be exhausted. We lived in a teeny flat in NYC, we didn't even have a proper kitchen, we had one of those efficiency kitchens that snap into a closet. The table was literally two steps from the kitchen. I didn't want to deal with a big mess the first night, either.

So I made "homemade lasgane"...plastic cheese, jarred sauce, in an icky aluminium tray. Extra water so I didn't have to cook the noodles ahead of time. Browned ground beef I didn't drain. Bought a loaf of bread, a day or two before. Bag O' Iceberg. Bottled dressing with a fancy label. I was killer, I tell you. ON. IT. :rolleyes:

I reheated the lasange until the first layer of noodles was unbreakable with a knife. I tossed the garlic bread under the broiler while I was serving the lasagne. It took me a few minutes to work up the nerve to just THRUST the knife through the noodles, at which point I also drove the thing right through the aluminium pan, causing major leakage because apparently I'd added about 17 extra cups of noodle-cooking water. As I was using wads of paper towels to mop up the greasy lasagne water, I saw smoke leaking out of the oven door. The garlic bread was on fire. I tossed the paper towels into the sink to free up my hands, and pulled the flaming garlic bread out of the oven, only to freak and throw it into the sink, onto the pile of greasy paper towles, which then also promptly caught fire.

Once we put the fire out, we ate Bag O'Iceberg and chinese.

The following night, I painfully broiled some steaks under the little single watt broiler in my snap-in kitchen. It turned out that althought it did a fabulous job of melting the seal on the refridgerator which was three and a half millimeters from the element, it did not actually cook meat.

So after spending about an hour and half trying to broil these things, I finally served up a platter of curled up, dry crusty leather. And as I did it, I dropped them all on the floor.

We ate out for every single meal I ever shared with them, after that.

My m-i-l died before she was able to find peace with the fact I could accidentally poison her son at any moment. She really didn't need to worry. He's that stalwart variety of Englishman who would cheerfully eat a Ploughman's for every. single. meal. Unless it was breakfast and then it had to be be beans on toast but even I could manage that.

Edited by pax (log)
“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can imagine you doing the Simpsons thing and drinking a candle before you go, to barrier your insides from your SIL's apparently off cooking

That really cracked me up. :laugh:

More Please

Edited by Taubear (log)

Smell and taste are in fact but a single composite sense, whose laboratory is the mouth and its chimney the nose. - Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Note to self: Stop reading these threads in the cube farm I call an office...  :biggrin:

I honestly can't remember a bad meal at someone else's house, but I've had some doozies served by close family members.

One year, when my parents were heavily into their "self-sufficient" phase, Dad proudly turned up a wild goose for Thanksgiving dinner.  I *think* it had been plucked prior to cooking, but I *know* the birdshot hadn't been removed.  Mom, in true return-to-the-land spirit, decided to cook the goose in our ancient wood-fired cookstove--so, maybe, at anywhere between 100 and 600 degrees, with no way to control the wild swings of temperature?  It emerged, hours (and many, many glasses of Jack Daniels) later, shrunken, blackened, and smelling entirely of fish and tasting worse.  Mmmmm...  Picking stringy gooseflesh from between your teeth while spitting out lead shot...  Yum!  :blink:

My brother, who went through a phase (heck, he's mostly still going through it) where he didn't believe in soap, shoes, or eating meat, was helping my new husband and I move all of our belongings from California to Michigan, via Idaho and Montana.  We spent the night in Glacier National Park and he went foraging for mushrooms (he'd "majored" in, er, "consumable" mushrooms in college, so we figured at least he wouldn't kill us, it might even be interesting) which he sauteed up for us, leaf loam, dirt, dead bugs and all, no garlic, no salt, no sherry, no butter...  My husband of two months, bless his soul, actually ate a plate of the slimy, nasty things.  I, on the other hand, did not.

During that same phase of his life, he made us breakfast one Christmas morning of pancakes, however he refused to even look at a recipe or use any leavening (certainly not eggs) or dairy products--I think he basically mixed whole wheat flour, soy milk, and frozen raspberries and poured them on a skillet greased with corn oil.  He was so proud.  That must have been early in our marriage because, except for a nasty look at me for putting him into the situation, my husband ate his plate of doughy, vaguely pink foam patties without comment.

But I'm not exempt from the bad meals curse, either...  I once served a full-on Ethiopian meal (fiery hot chicken braised in butter, lentils, and braised cabbage, complete with injera) to my husbands coworkers, most of whom eat nothing more exotic than bratwurst and who can always be trusted to come to a potluck with a crockpot full of cheese dip.  I am positive that they left our house that night and headed straight to White Castle.  If any of them post here on eGullet, I'm pretty sure that dinner party would be included in this thread as an example of what not to serve a group of people you've never met!  :laugh:

My husband and daughter are staring at me wondering why I'm laughing at my computer monitor. . .

I love your writing style. You have a real knack for description!

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I reheated the lasange until the first layer of noodles was unbreakable with a knife. I tossed the garlic bread under the broiler while I was serving the lasagne. It took me a few minutes to work up the nerve to just THRUST the knife through the noodles, at which point I also drove the thing right through the aluminium pan, causing major leakage because apparently I'd added about 17 extra cups of noodle-cooking water. As I was using wads of paper towels to mop up the greasy lasagne water, I saw smoke leaking out of the oven door. The garlic bread was on fire. I tossed the paper towels into the sink to free up my hands, and pulled the flaming garlic bread out of the oven, only to freak and throw it into the sink, onto the pile of greasy paper towles, which then also promptly caught fire.

Once we put the fire out, we ate Bag O'Iceberg and chinese.

The following night, I painfully broiled some steaks under the little single watt broiler in my snap-in kitchen. It turned out that althought it did a fabulous job of melting the seal on the refridgerator which was three and a half millimeters from the element, it did not actually cook meat.

So after spending about an hour and half trying to broil these things, I finally served up a platter of curled up, dry crusty leather. And as I did it, I dropped them all on the floor.

We ate out for every single meal I ever shared with them, after that.

Sounds like a scene in a movie! You wouldn't want to be a screenwriter, would you? :laugh:

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife would argue that the worst meal was something I "created" when we were dating that she later dubbed "chicken drywall", which contained diced chicken breast in white sauce on top of minute rice. No color, no flavor, no texture. We each choked down a couple bites and then went out for a pizza. 20 years later, she hasn't forgiven me.

But I would regretfully say that the worst meal I ate at someone else's home was a birthday dinner my sister cooked for me. Some sort of chicken breast on the bone, smothered in what would probably be described as a Middle-Eastern tomato sauce, with sides of fried okra and stewed zucchini, neither of which I've EVER liked to eat. (I can eat okra and zucchini now, if I can control the cooking process, I'm still squirrelly about most non-mainline vegetables.) I drank a lot of iced tea to wash down what I managed to chew up and swallow. My wife didn't do much better than I did, and she LIKES okra. We stayed an acceptable time to socialize afterward, and hit the first drive-through window we came to on the way home.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“A favorite dish in Kansas is creamed corn on a stick.”

-Jeff Harms, actor, comedian.

>Enjoying every bite, because I don't know any better...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is quickly becoming one of my favourite threads! :biggrin:

Have you ever threatened your wife with that, Kent D?

"Leave it alone! I'm serious, I will Chicken Drywall your ass!"

Quite the opposite -- she uses it against me. When I try something new, without the aid of a recipe, she just says "This isn't another Chicken Drywall, is it?" Even my kids use it against me, and they've never even experienced the dish. I'm very careful what I put on the plate now...

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“A favorite dish in Kansas is creamed corn on a stick.”

-Jeff Harms, actor, comedian.

>Enjoying every bite, because I don't know any better...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This one is too easy. It was at my grandmother's house, but it wasn't her cooking. She is a wonderful cook, it's just that on that day she had guests, generous guests from Virginia.

My parents, sisters and I all went to her house for dinner. The guests had brought a real delicacy that night I was informed: real Virginian salted ham. "Oh boy", I thought, "I love ham!". After the first bite I quickly began to suspect I was the butt of some cruel joke. This wasn't food, it was solid sodium. After bite number two my suspicions were edged out by the gurgling I was beginning to feel in my stomach.

I jumped up and took a few lurching steps from the table before vomiting all over the lawn. My body was taking drastic measures to ensure none of that vile substance remained inside of me. Ugh, the taste of that ham was like slightly porky sea water. Perhaps saltier.

I excused myself profusly, explaining I had been at a movie earlier in the day and probably eaten too much candy. I hadn't actually had any, of course, but it would be rude to point out just how vile that speciman was. I think I earned permenant good-behavior points with my parents for that one. My mom confided later that she had barely choked her way through her half piece.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...