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Worst meal at someone's home - Part 1


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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:

I don't call that a bad meal; I call that bad dinner guests.

I would have loved to chow down on homemade Ethiopian food.

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When I first saw the topic I thought I’d feel terrible complaining about someone else’s food – I think anytime someone offers to make you food, it’s a nice offering, but I do remember…

A couple of years ago a friend came out from the US to visit me with his girlfriend. As a nice gesture, she wanted to cook dinner for me one night – and since I was busy working I really appreciated it. The lights were dimmed, candles lit, table set – all very nice. She brought out the plates – she’d made chicken cordon bleu. I took a few bites and it tasted kind of strange. Because it was dim, I couldn’t really tell if something was wrong by looking at it, so I didn’t say anything. I’ve known her boyfriend for many years and only met her, so I didn’t want to make her uncomfortable by “criticizing” her cooking. So, I took a few more bites until she brought up the subject of how different it is to cook here with Celsius versus Fahrenheit. “Oh, incidentally, how did you know what temperature to cook it at in Celsius?”

Apparently, she’d just made a guess – and that guess was about ½ of the temperature she should have cooked it at. I immediately took it into the kitchen under the lights and saw that the chicken was raw on the inside. Oops.

I only recount this because I know this person is actually a good cook and it was just a silly mistake. Like the time I decided to make handmade gnocchi for the first time for a dinner party of eight and ended up serving my guests plates of lumpy starch with some really yummy sauce on top. I’ve learned since then. Well, I haven’t learned to make good gnocchi but I’ve learned not to try anything too new or difficult for a bunch of guests for the first time! I guess we all make mistakes.

And (maybe this is karma) as I just finished typing this I can smell that I have completely burned the English muffins I was toasting for my breakfast!

52 martinis blog

@52martinis

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the worst meal at someones home

well the poor dear wrote it down and handed it to me as I left ..she was so proud of this dish because as she said "I made it up myself!"

I watched her make this ..and ate it ...smiled and thanked her

Tuna Cassrole al la Terry (name changed to protect her fragile ego)

1 large can of tuna with the oil

1 can liquid and all of peas

1 can of cream of mushroom soup (not dilluted)

1 package of egg noodles

1 bag of lays bbq potato chips (reserve about three big handfuls for the topping)

toss all of this (including the majority of the chips smashed) into a pan an mix it up really with your hands

drop in a greased 9 by 13 baking pan ..then smash the remaining chips and sprinkle on top add lots of salt and pepper as garnish

bake at 475 for about 20 minutes

all I can say is ...the flavor and texture were quite unusual...

she really was proud of this dish bless her fuzzy little heart ...

Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Can you imagine the reaction, if that were brought out and you let out an involuntary "Eeeeeeww!"

Not a meal per-se, but one of the worst things I've been given at someone's house, was when I was about 13. I was at a friend's house and his mother brought us some plain, salted crackers.

"right then" I thought, I'll wait for whatever is coming with them...Nothing came.

A bit later, she asked if we wanted some crisps (chips)

"Yeah, go for it" I thought

She brought a big bag of plain, salted chips...

I asked for something to spread on my crackers and I was told "No, they're fine as is"

Um...No, they're not fucking fine as is.

Please take a quick look at my stuff.

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watch as the north american food and allergy obsession spirals out of control!

i was volunteering at a charity benefit recently, where the veggie option of grilled veggies on a wheat roll was not a sufficient alternative to the pulled roasted organic chicken sandwich.

no.

we had to have a veggie burger option.

not just any veggie burger option: a wheat free, legume free, nut and seed free protein option. they looked like slices of sea sponge and smelled like the time when i was 9 and left a live starfish in my treasure box on holiday in the car for 3 days!

me, on the other side of a table, serving, when a woman quizzes me about the content of the burger: i couldn't tell you what's in it - but it has been approved allergy and food sensitivity proof. says she ' but does it have a high fat content?'

i smiled at her blankly, because i knew i couldn't say "even it was filled with some tasty fat i still wouldn't feed this disc of crap to a bubonic plague carrying rat.

i can't even believe someone would pay for this much less serve it to others they love :sad:

Life! what's life!? Just natures way of keeping meat fresh - Dr. who

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. . . one of the worst things I've been given at someone's house, was when I was about 13.

Ouch, that triggered a painful memory. Similar situation, a friend’s mother made eggs for breakfast. I took a bite – bleagh, soap! I tried another bite – eurgh, more soap! Fortunately, his mother noticed my marked lack of enthusiasm and spared me any further discomfort.

I suppose that I could have used bad language, since my mouth was pre-washed. :biggrin:

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so you passed up the chance to let forth with a spew of curses?

This is such a fun topic. My mother made some glop out of a Paula Deen cookbook for Easter. It consisted of canned soup, boiled chicken, some cheddar cheese and I think mayo. It was gag worthy, But the worst part? My mother, who by the way is a vegetarian and didn't try it, argued with me!

"It's good! There's nothing wrong with it!"

Ok, mom.... sheesh. Mothers. next year, I'm team Ham for Easter since she can't be trusted anymore.

Edited by christine007 (log)

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

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My wife would argue that the worst meal was something I "created" when we were dating that she later dubbed "chicken drywall"...

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

Love these latest additions to this already hilarious thread. I´ve laughed myself silly through the last two pages, impossible to pick which post is funniest.

But "Chicken Drywall" will stick with me forever.

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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My wife would argue that the worst meal was something I "created" when we were dating that she later dubbed "chicken drywall"...

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

Love these latest additions to this already hilarious thread. I´ve laughed myself silly through the last two pages, impossible to pick which post is funniest.

But "Chicken Drywall" will stick with me forever.

I also chuckled at the threat "I'll Chicken Drywall your ass". Could this evolve into a household phrase? Wouldn't it be great if it caught on?

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not just any veggie burger option:  a wheat free, legume free, nut and seed free protein option. they looked like slices of sea sponge and smelled like the time when i was 9 and left a live starfish in my treasure box on holiday in the car for 3 days!

me, on the other side of a table, serving, when a woman quizzes me about the content of the burger:  i couldn't tell you what's in it - but it has been approved allergy and food sensitivity proof.  says she ' but does it have a high fat content?'

i smiled at her blankly, because i knew i couldn't say "even it was filled with some tasty fat i still wouldn't feed this disc of crap to a bubonic plague carrying rat.

It drives me nuts that people seem to think that allergen free foods have to taste terrible. I've been cooking with food allergies in mind for about 7 years now, and my family would flog me if I served something that terrible.

Cheryl

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I once made a salad with uni, extra vigin olive oil, granny smith apples, sea salt and something else. oy. bad. really really bad.

also

Spaghetti squash, seared scallops, soy sauce....

ewwwww th eworst part was making someone else eat them :hmmm:

no, that was the best part :biggrin:

does this come in pork?

My name's Emma Feigenbaum.

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I'm so glad this thread has bumped back up---and what SUPER new entries.

I have nothing to add---most all of my bad dining experiences are mentioned WAY upthread. Unless I forgot to mention my first SIL's meat-cooking habits. Like DEEP-FRYING slices of steak until they curl up and die. That was her object---she would say, every time, "Nothing ALIVE is going on my table!"

Guess that's why we had a hard time telling her cookout burgers from the briquets.

:wacko:

She was not yet in her teens when I met her, and the first Sunday dinner at their home was a perfectly LOVELY meal---gorgeous fried chicken, stupendous desserts--but I was taken aback when she and her younger brother took the chicken plate, moved all the chicken around and carefully picked up and ate all the little dropped-off crispin crumbs. They were just kids, but did they HAVE to call them scabs?

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I haven't had too much truly awful food in other people's homes, but two incidents especially stand out.

When I was in grad school, I went to dinner at the home of some vegetarian friends. They said we were having spaghetti. Okay, I thought, some marinara or maybe a sauce with veggies in it. Uh, no. What they gave me was spaghetti topped with lukewarm Ragu and big white cubes of unmarinated, unpressed chunks of tofu that were oozing water and still cold in the middle from having only recently been taken from the fridge.

Then there was a Halloween potluck a few years ago at some other friends' house, where someone brought frozen Swedish meatballs that had been mixed with grape jelly and heated for hours until glazed with an obnoxious-looking, rubbery brownish goo. I have no idea what that was all about, but it was disgusting.

There is no sincerer love than the love of food. -- George Bernard Shaw
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Aaah, GTO beat me to it! Great minds!

The first story sounds awful too, evongvisith. There are so many vegetarian pastas I'd sooner eat before Ragu that there's no excuse to serve bad tofu pasta.

Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

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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.

You know how some people think you can make some dish Mexican by adding cheese? Maybe this is the Japanese variation-- just wrap something in rice and nori and <poof!> it's sushi!

"Fat is money." (Per a cracklings maker shown on Dirty Jobs.)
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watch as the north american food and allergy obsession spirals out of control!

i was volunteering at a charity benefit recently, where the veggie option of grilled veggies on a wheat roll was not a sufficient alternative to the pulled roasted organic chicken sandwich.

no.

we had to have a veggie burger option.

not just any veggie burger option:  a wheat free, legume free, nut and seed free protein option. they looked like slices of sea sponge and smelled like the time when i was 9 and left a live starfish in my treasure box on holiday in the car for 3 days!

Just sell 'em empty buns and say they're 'air burgers'...... Oh, and that they're all-natural, of course! :raz:

"Fat is money." (Per a cracklings maker shown on Dirty Jobs.)
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Perhaps they were just fully emersing themselves in the Halloween spirit?

Nope -- she was totally serious.

And to comment on something that was posted far up the thread, I'm at the point when I'm filled with fear whenever someone says they're making their "specialty" for a dinner or potluck I'm attending. Based on past experience, that usually means something terrifying is going to be dished up.

Like the recipes here: The Company Cookbook

There is no sincerer love than the love of food. -- George Bernard Shaw
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And to comment on something that was posted far up the thread, I'm at the point when I'm filled with fear whenever someone says they're making their "specialty" for a dinner or potluck I'm attending. Based on past experience, that usually means something terrifying is going to be dished up.

Like the recipes here: The Company Cookbook

OK, I'm gonna out myself. I would probably eat and enjoy a LOT of the things on that hilarious website, in a totally white-trash way, of course. :blush:

Kim

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Actually, that "Green Dessert" isn't too bad, in a "lowest common denominator" kinda way. It's also known as Watergate Salad, and it really is pretty decent, if extremely sweet... :rolleyes:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Then there was a Halloween potluck a few years ago at some other friends' house, where someone brought frozen Swedish meatballs that had been mixed with grape jelly and heated for hours until glazed with an obnoxious-looking, rubbery brownish goo. I have no idea what that was all about, but it was disgusting.

There is actually a phenomenon known as meatballs with grape jelly. Who the hell invented it I have no idea, but recipes such as <this> abound.

The Company Cookbook website is really funny and so, so true.

...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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Then there was a Halloween potluck a few years ago at some other friends' house, where someone brought frozen Swedish meatballs that had been mixed with grape jelly and heated for hours until glazed with an obnoxious-looking, rubbery brownish goo. I have no idea what that was all about, but it was disgusting.

There is actually a phenomenon known as meatballs with grape jelly. Who the hell invented it I have no idea, but recipes such as <this> abound.

The Company Cookbook website is really funny and so, so true.

Going back 25+ years, I got a recipe for breaded "chicken birds" from a friend. The chicken breasts are breaded, rolled up, and baked in a bath of canned consomme madrilene. Not bad, as far as they go.

But when I made it, my friend complained that I left out the "best part": the finished chicken was meant to be topped with a sauce made from grape jelly and bottled chili sauce.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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I dont know where the grape jelly/chili sauce version came from but...the meatballs with grape jelly actually had a noble begining. Swedish Meatballs have a little Lingon Berry Jam to bring balance and tartness to the sauce. Well we didnt have Lingon Berry jam here so someone added grape jelly and of course if a little is good alot must be better.

I am so fortunate that all my work potlucks are arranged by 1st generation Mexican girls that can still cook.

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."

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the worst meal at someones home

Tuna Cassrole al la Terry (name changed to protect her fragile ego)

1 large can of tuna with the oil

1 can liquid and all of peas

1 can of cream of mushroom soup (not dilluted)

1 package of egg noodles

1 bag of lays bbq potato chips (reserve about three big handfuls for the topping)

toss all of this (including the majority of the chips smashed) into a pan an mix it up really with your hands

drop in a greased 9 by 13 baking pan ..then smash the remaining chips and sprinkle on top add lots of salt and pepper as garnish

bake at 475 for about 20 minutes

all I can say is ...the flavor and texture were quite unusual...

I have to object to this post on behalf of women named Terry (or Terri, or Teri) who CAN cook! :biggrin:

If only I'd worn looser pants....

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