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Worst meal at someone's home - Part 1


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The worst I have had was not really all THAT bad (as compared to some I have read about here!) so I guess I have been lucky. But it was a meal tough to get through.

The hostess said the chili had been cooked for a dinner party the week before, and that left me wondering whether it had been frozen all that time or only refrigerated. The chili only half-filled the tureen in which she served it, and there were dried spatters of chili on the inside of the tureen, making me really wonder . . . . The chili turned out to be very bland and had in it discrete, almost raw chunks of tomato and firm kernels of corn.

The green salad was another guest's contribution and obviously had been dressed in a vinaigrette before she arrived at the dinner party; the greens were a soggy and limp mess.

The cornbread was the worst: I saw the hostess in the kitchen remove the clear plastic wrap from a store-bought chunk of cornbread which she did not even bother to warm up. The cornbread turned out to be hard and stale; I had to wonder whether it had been leftover from last week's dinner party as well.

Just the fact of being served leftovers from an earlier dinner party puts me off, makes me feel slighted, like a second-best guest. Does anyone else feel this way?

edited for typo

Edited by browniebaker (log)
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browniebaker, that's shameful.

"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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Soba, I always make an exception for your skinless boneless chicken breasts in my otherwise total condemnation of them as bland and worthless objects of fetishism for the Scared of Food.

LOL

behold my new signature line (which will be edited for length)

priceless, Jin

SA

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Soba, I am honoured.

"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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As I was reading through these posts about "worst meals" (and LMAO) - I was reminded of the following website:

Weight Watchers Recipe Cards

( from 1974 - only the worst ones, and with hilarious commentary.)

Any of these would qualify for a worst meal for me...

Forgive me if it has been discussed here on egullet before - I'm new!

Jules

Edited by Jules (log)
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I've got one, although it's not quite as bad as some of the stories here.

A friend invited us over for turkey dinner. It was the Sugar Hill Gang dinner. (old rap song reference).

What was served was: a small, overcooked turkey with the family's "special stuffing." Consisting of many different kinds of breakfast cereals (Cheerios, Wheaties, raisin bran) crushed up and shoved inside the unsuspecting turkey.

Instant mashed potatoes.

Frozen French fries.

Canned gravy.

That's it. And great big 2-liter bottles of Coke on the table for the only drink. This was about 20 years ago but I remember it like yesterday.

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I have a cousin who I'm sure would say it was the raw broiled chicken I prepared (at my mother's instruction) when I was about 13.

When I was about the same age, my mother had me put in a chicken to roast. Instructions over the phone are never complete. The only thing I did wrong was put it in upside down but twenty years later, my mother still grief about opening the oven door and finding herself being mooned by a chicken.

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This isn't really all that bad but my "worst meal" was actually inflicted on us by my own mother. It was Thanksgiving and we drove to Houston from New Orleans for the event. My mother was an excellent and inventive cook so we were looking forward to the experience. "I can't wait for the cornbread dressing." "I hope she does her usual potato salad." etc.

We arrived only to find that mother and dad had embraced Weight Watcher's culinary hell. This was about the same time frame as the recipe cards linked above so you can imagine what happened to our beloved recipes. Luckily, it was that dinner that was the final straw. They never mentioned Weight Watcher's again.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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This isn't really all that bad but my "worst meal" was actually inflicted on us by my own mother. . . . We arrived only to find that mother and dad had embraced Weight Watcher's culinary hell.

You just brought back another long repressed food memory.

Growing up, we only ate cheesecake once a year - during the holiday of Shavous. I love cheesecake and would look forward to the holiday so I could get my "fix." But my mom also embraced the Weight Watcher credo and one year decided to make cheesecake using cottage cheese instead of creamcheese. Once bite and I spit it out.

I think that's how they get you to lose weight -- if it tastes awful, you won't eat -- the pounds will just melt away. Et voila!!

:laugh:

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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I laughed and laughed at the weight watchers cards.

Add to these offerings their first prize winning recipe called something like "Tropical Treasure" shown on the cover of Weight Watchers magazine inside a tiny treasure chest. It consisted of French-style frozen green beans cooked to a mush and mixed with artificial sweetener and tropical fruit extracts. A dessert, mind you.

The worst meals I have had come as a result of someone knowing my reputation as a cook and trying something different to try to impress/please me. One particular horror was a pork mystery dish in grey sauce. It tasted of raw flour and raw wine.

And here is my guess at a recipe for a chicken soup once served to me:

Roast 6-8 chicken breasts for an hour and reserve 1/2 cup meat. Make some chewy chicken salad of the rest. Take the measly pile of bones and add to a stock pot with about 5 gallons of water. Boil for 3 hours. Replace water as necessary. Do not add seasonings or aromatics. Throw in about 2 tablespoons of chopped onion, a few carrot slices, reserved chicken and a pound of noodles. Cook until noodles are soft. Add a little salt, if needed. Not too much, God forbid it should have any flavor. Leave in refrigerator for 5 days. Freeze. Six months later, bring to a boil and serve with squishy fake French bread. See the guests cry.

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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This isn't really all that bad but my "worst meal" was actually inflicted on us by my own mother. It was Thanksgiving and we drove to Houston from New Orleans for the event. My mother was an excellent and inventive cook so we were looking forward to the experience. "I can't wait for the cornbread dressing." "I hope she does her usual potato salad." etc.

We arrived only to find that mother and dad had embraced Weight Watcher's culinary hell. This was about the same time frame as the recipe cards linked above so you can imagine what happened to our beloved recipes. Luckily, it was that dinner that was the final straw. They never mentioned Weight Watcher's again.

I had that same "you can't go home again" experience. I came home from college and my mother had gone low fat. She made the cream gravy for the turkey with skim milk. "It tastes the same, and it's lower in fat." No it doesn't, Mom, and so what? Why eat it at all now?

Though that's high on my list of characterless things I have been served, it didn't quite make it into the "bad" category for me.

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[

I had that same "you can't go home again" experience. I came home from college and my mother had gone low fat. She made the cream gravy for the turkey with skim milk. "It tastes the same, and it's lower in fat." No it doesn't, Mom, and so what? Why eat it at all now?

Though that's high on my list of characterless things I have been served, it didn't quite make it into the "bad" category for me.

See that's problem: You don't need to cook everything with low-fat ingredients. You just need to eat smaller portions. (I think I'll have ONE cookie now..) :smile:

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TuWanda, my long-lost sister-in-law! How are ya? :biggrin:

Haven't had the pleasure of the "chili" but MIL's turkey dinners are something to behold.

I've seen those Weight Watchers cards before. Sorry, but I'll keep my extra poundage if that's the crud you have to eat.

The Gallery of Regrettable Food is just wonderful, and I'm sure I've inherited some of those cookbooks from my late mom. I'll have to go take a look in the stuff I got from her one of these days.

Green bean dessert? Gah.

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... I think that's how they get you to lose weight -- if it tastes awful, you won't eat --  the pounds will just melt away. Et voila!!

:laugh:

Yup. I would in essence be fasting. So... it works. Another WW success story!!! :laugh:

Another repressed bad meal is triggered by viewing those cards. My aunt once made us Sweet-and-Sour Hot Dogs from a WW menu card. Don't ask me what was low-cal about it; I just remember one lonely hot dog, covered in red sauce, pineapple chunks, and other items that I would need hypnosis to remember. No bread, no sides whatsoever.

BTW, the same people that have that website have a great book. Makes a nice present for the foodie friends in your life. Especially if they are not familiar w/ the website; the moments before they realize it's a joke are priceless. :huh:

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Tiny Salad, consisting of iceberg lettuce and cello tomatoes powdered so finely they fall through the tines of the fork.

Big Salad, consisting of a quarter of iceberg lettuce and half a cello tomato with some pink bottled sauce.

Tiny Salad! Big Salad!

:laugh::laugh:

Jinmyo, are you hiring?

When I first started cooking, I was making "homemade" macaroni and cheese (I believe Julia Child's, but I am not sure).

I burned the bechamel, didn't realize it, and completed the dish.

My boyfriend and I couldn't eat it, so we took it to a friend's house and told him it was "Smoked Macaroni."

He loved it.

Noise is music. All else is food.

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Two of my worst combine to make a spectacular three course meal:

1) My date and her two roommates were hosting a "grown-up" dinner party when I was in college. They each took different parts of the meal to make. One roommate grew up overseas with cooks all her life - she had never cooked anything for herself EVER. She made the salad in advance so as not to be in the way in the kitchen. When we sat down to eat, the salad was served first and it looked fine - iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, with bottles of dressing on the table. She had followed a recipe.

As we ate, everyone looked around with lightly horrified looks on their faces.

What was the disgusting taste in our mouths? We asked the perpetrator of the salad. She said she washed the lettuce, sliced the other stuff, and mixed it up. That's all.

How did she wash the lettuce?

With dish soap, of course!

2) Following an annual meeting of a small group of alumni from my college, the wife of the president would serve a home-cooked meal. I had learned to eat a meal before attending this meeting, as her food was generally inedible. There were usually a few undergrads that would be invited to this meal. In one particular year, we arranged for one freshman who had grown up in Florida to attend.

The meal was served. It was a chicken and peanut dish - a mainstay of this meeting. The chicken was chicken breasts that had been cooked to a rubbery and tasteless consistency. The peanuts were clearly toasted in a skillet until hard, slightly brittle and nasty tasting. Dumped on top was what I think was unthinned chicken gravy goop from a can. It was hard to eat.

When dessert was served, the president's wife announced that it was made in honor of the guest from Florida. It was an electric green key lime pie "made from a Jello recipe." It tasted medicinal. The funny part was watching this poor kid struggle to eat the enormous wedge that had been sliced for him. And how quickly a second serving was given to him since he "clearly loved the first slice."

He threw-up in the bathroom about five minutes after he painfully swallowed the last of the second piece.

Knowledge is good.

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Back to the weight watchers cards, Fish Taco? Surely that was never a real dish!

(For those with a slightly less puerile sense of humour, Fish Taco is a rather offensive slang term for a certain area of a womans anatomy)

I love animals.

They are delicious.

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When dessert was served, the president's wife announced that it was made in honor of the guest from Florida.  It was an electric green key lime pie "made from a Jello recipe."  It tasted medicinal.  The funny part was watching this poor kid struggle to eat the enormous wedge that had been sliced for him.  And how quickly a second serving was given to him since he "clearly loved the first slice."

He threw-up in the bathroom about five minutes after he painfully swallowed the last of the second piece.

Didn't anyone notice that the poor kid was hurling?

Iris

GROWWWWWLLLLL!!

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No one noticed while he was in the bathroom (we were sitting on a covered porch, he was inside). But he looked awful when he came back out. After we departed, he admitted his illness. He claimed to have cleaned up well and to have removed all evidence.

Knowledge is good.

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