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Worst meal at someone's home - Part 1


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everichon, a wonderful tale, an appalling substance.

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

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Thanks for the excellent site. I have been sitting at work trying to to laugh out loud for the past hour reading this topic.

I feel that I must share with you all some of the "special meals" my mother has created for my husband and I when we go to their house for dinner:

1) A boned leg of lamb placed in a dish and a jar of marmalade rubbed over the top. This was then microwaved for approximately 1 1/2 hours. Around 1 minute prior to the end of this time a sliced onion was scattered on the top and "cooked". This was served with mashed potato (no salt but triple the water (?) mashed into it - my mother's "secret to perfect mash")

2) Chicken Maryland cuts with a can of cling peaches (and all syrup) poured over the top and microwaved for around 10mins - we were told it was dangerous to overcook chicken!!. Served on rice so overcooked that it had reached a porridge consitency.

3) My personal "favourite" involved cooking spinach pasta until nearly falling apart and placing in the bottom of a casserole dish. Beef mince was then dropped in freeform balls on top of the pasta along with a tub of cottage cheese. A box of frozen spinach was defrosted and placed (again in freeform balls) over the cottage cheese. A jar of spagetti sauce (commercial) was then poured over all of this along with a glass of wine. A chopped raw onion was sprinkes over the top and then covered with grated cheese. This is then baked in the oven until done (with an additional glass of wine being poured over the top half way through cooking).

Just thought I would share that with you all.

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My dad is a health nut, oh I'm sorry, I mean health advocate. When we were little kids, I remember him cutting up cubes of dark red, quivery, raw calves liver on a little chopping board and covering them with salt and sesame oil.

It's disgusting, but at the time...I loved it. I think I like anything doused in salt and sesame oil though.

--edit I remember some more meals I thought I had repressed

My boyfriend's mom is a very peppy, eager to please kind of gal. They're Caucasian and I'm Asian so she wanted to make me feel more at home by making some sort of Asian dish. She made some stuff in a wok and put it in a bowl in front of me. My boyfriend took one look and said he didn't want any. I can't remember the entirety of the dish, but I do recall water chestnuts, some dry, chewy thin noodles, and a lot of soy sauce with some celery and other assorted vegetables and tofu. I think it had dill as well. There was no rice or anything to help it down. Not as bad as orange salad though. hehe

I once perpetrated a bad food experience on my poor college roommate and her boyfriend. I made some Thai chicken coconut soup and patiently chopped up the lemongrass which we later had to pick out of our teeth and it was so hard on our teeth that nobody took more than a couple of bites. Also, I used cream and it was so creamy, it was almost like a sauce. We haven't kept in touch.

Edited by jschyun (log)

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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Thanks for the excellent site.  I have been sitting at work trying to to laugh out loud for the past hour reading this topic. 

I feel that I must share with you all some of the "special meals" my mother has created for my husband and I when we go to their house for dinner:

1)  A boned leg of lamb placed in a dish and a jar of marmalade rubbed over the top.  This was then microwaved for approximately 1 1/2 hours.  Around 1 minute prior to the end of this time a sliced onion was scattered on the top and "cooked".  This was served with mashed potato (no salt but triple the water (?) mashed into it - my mother's "secret to perfect mash")

2) Chicken Maryland cuts with a can of cling peaches (and all syrup) poured over the top and microwaved for around 10mins - we were told it was dangerous to overcook chicken!!.  Served on rice so overcooked that it had reached a porridge consitency.

3) My personal "favourite" involved cooking spinach pasta until nearly falling apart and placing in the bottom of a casserole dish.  Beef mince was then dropped in freeform balls on top of the pasta along with a tub of cottage cheese.  A box of frozen spinach was defrosted and placed (again in freeform balls) over the cottage cheese.  A jar of spagetti sauce (commercial) was then poured over all of this along with a glass of wine.  A chopped raw onion was sprinkes over the top and then covered with grated cheese.  This is then baked in the oven until done (with an additional glass of wine being poured over the top half way through cooking). 

Just thought I would share that with you all.

Yikes. Sorry you have to go through that...

Out of curiousity, what is Chicken Maryland? I used to live, and still live near Maryland yet never heard of it.

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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My dad is a health nut, oh I'm sorry, I mean health advocate. When we were little kids, I remember him cutting up cubes of dark red, quivery, raw calves liver on a little chopping board and covering them with salt and sesame oil. 

It's disgusting, but at the time...I loved it.  I think I like anything doused in salt and sesame oil though.

Liver Sashimi? What is his line of reasoning on this being "healthy"?

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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Liver Sashimi? What is his line of reasoning on this being "healthy"?

You know, in all these years, I still don't know exactly what that was for. I guess iron or something. He's also big on whole grains, beans, and sweet potatoes. I have to say, for a 60+ year old guy, he's very fit and young looking.

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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You know swallowing raw liver is a form of hazing in many fraternities.  You were hazed my your own dad!

Your Dad's name wasn't Hannibal was it? Were fava beans and/or Chianti involved?

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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more former MIL bad meals:

The summer weekend with awful cold cuts ("$1 per pound!) and the macaroni salad made with store brand mayo and (ick) sweet pickle juice. Nothing else. Grilled zucchini topped with bottled red wine 'vinaigrette' dressing. I ate a lot of peanut butter that weekend.

The chicken grilled with some bottled "grill" marinade. Thank goodness for Rice a Roni.

the funny thing is I grew up eating true american-italian food, but I have always had this fasination with

"white" cookery--especially spaghetti that was sweet with ground beef mushed it. I know its bad. But I love it.

Same here; I mentioned Rice a Roni, I sort of envied what i called 'rice a roni / shake and bake' households because i had a fascination with that sort of food. I wanted spaghettios so badly that when my mother broke down and bought it for us, even though I immediately understood that my food was better, i still craved Chef Boyardee. Later on, when on my own, my fascination turned to frozen convenience foods. Lean Cuisine and the like....I got over that quickly....

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Until I read this thread, I always said my mother was a terrible cook -- she's relatively competent!!

Her worst doesn't even come close to what I've read here -- ground beef sauteed w/ onion, then chuncks of potato and a can of Cambpell's tomato soup poured over and stewed for a couple hours. No spices.

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OK, this may be a little unfair since the person concerned is in fact an excellent cook, but one night she managed to make dinner which really tasted as if she'd come home, opened the fridge drawer and thought 'hmmm, now what can I make with THIS'??? except she had actually gone out and BOUGHT all the ingredients specifically! ladies and gentlemen, I give you... lettuce and tomato risotto, with hot cucumber garnish. it was dreadful. thin, watery, slightly cheesy... we still talk about it, ten years and many excellent dinners later, which makes her exceedingly cross.

Fi Kirkpatrick

tofu fi fie pho fum

"Your avatar shoes look like Marge Simpson's hair." - therese

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Al Dente:  Sorry it must be an Australian thing.  The Chicken Maryland cut is the thigh and leg of the chicken (the actual dish Chicken Maryland is that cut cooked and served with a pinepple and banana fritter!!)

After a brief period of intense curiosity about why an Aussie would name a piece of chicken after a state in the US... it finally occurred to me. The shape of the state of Maryland kinda... sorta... looks like a chicken leg quarter. (Well... OK... You have to squint.)

If that isn't correct, what is the origin of the name?

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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Until I read this thread, I always said my mother was a terrible cook -- she's relatively competent!!

Her worst doesn't even come close to what I've read here -- ground beef sauteed w/ onion, then chuncks of potato and a can of Cambpell's tomato soup poured over and stewed for a couple hours.  No spices.

My mother makes something similar, with tomato soup, ground beef, onions, and elbow macaroni. Perhaps a pinch of oregano. The recipe was cut from some women's magazine back in the 50's. They called it "American Chop Suey."

I hate it almost as much as I hate my mother's seafood casserole with Campbells cream of shrimp soup, rice, and frozen baby shrimp.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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As an Italian-American living in England for 13 years (beg. 25 yrs ago), my little village shop had no ingredients for a simple lasagne...I was pregnant, craving it, and desperate...used cottage cheese, cream, spinach and (got it!) Parmesan for the filling...and elbow macaroni doused in my homemade "sugo" for the pasta....it wasn't half bad! So I guess it wouldn't qualify for this thread...However, visiting out of town during my pregnancy, I cast an eye toward our hosts' kitchen (odd smell coming out of there) and saw a parade of little hearts (lambs'?) lined up on the worktop....begged off dinner due to sickness...After baby was born, other hosts offered up cold tongue (sorry, my British friends, tripe we do but not tongue!)...I pinched the child, made him whimper, and said I had to go feed him! Missed out on the tongue as well. You will notice these worst case scenarios have to do with offal-type stuff and animal parts...I am now practically vegetarian. Apologies to those of you who like hearts and tongue.

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Al Dente:  Sorry it must be an Australian thing.  The Chicken Maryland cut is the thigh and leg of the chicken (the actual dish Chicken Maryland is that cut cooked and served with a pinepple and banana fritter!!)

After a brief period of intense curiosity about why an Aussie would name a piece of chicken after a state in the US... it finally occurred to me. The shape of the state of Maryland kinda... sorta... looks like a chicken leg quarter. (Well... OK... You have to squint.)

If that isn't correct, what is the origin of the name?

It is a bit of a stretch, but I suppose if you squint hard enough...

The only thing I can think of is that Maryland is a big producer of chickens (Perdue is in Salisbury). However, it isn't quite tropical enough to be a big producer of pineapples and bananas.

I googled "Chicken Maryland" and found a lot of British URLs. After clicking on some of them (one site claimed it was a famous American dish), I see that there is quite a wide array of recipes.

peak performance is predicated on proper pan preparation...

-- A.B.

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I think that the Chicken Maryland here in Australia was one of those 70's dinner party delights. I don't believe it is actually made anymore but the cut of chicken is still referred to as a "Maryland" - around here anyway.

I have a cookbook at home that suggests serving tinned asparagus wrapped in a slice of white bread (crust removed) as an entree for this dinner party. Needless to say the cookbook is somewhat old!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Worst meal: My aunt cooked up some CANNED SALMON PATTIES for me when I was a child, and she forced me to eat every last nasty bite. I was afraid to try real salmon until I was well into my 20's as a result. I don't even remember being served any side dishes--just these stringy, gray-ish/pink-ish, foul-smelling disks that gave me gastro-intestinal issues for days.

Most unfortunately-named dish from my childhood: Cherry Dump.

This is just cherry pie filling with dry yellow cake mix crumbled over the top and slathered with a million pats of butter.

“When I was dating and the wine list was presented to my male companion, I tried to ignore this unfortunate faux pas. But this practice still goes on…Closing note to all servers and sommeliers: please include women in wine selection. Okay?”--Alpana Singh, M.S.-"Alpana Pours"

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Oh, wow. I thought I had bad meals, but from now on I will have to try to appreciate my not-very-good-at-cooking friends.

Their saving grace is that they are unambitious cooks. It would not occur to them to make any of the fabulous monstrosities described in this thread--the Kool-Aid chicken a l'orange, the turkey stuffed with cereal. They go for the easy stuff. They throw a ham steak in a pan and warm it up. Canned green beans with a lump of cold butter. Or steamed vegetables. Chicken caesar salads with storebought dressing, bagged pre-cut lettuce, and unseasoned chicken. Or chili from a mix, with a pound of meat for five people. Or a taco kit. Or one of those packaged marinated Hormel pork roasts.

The biggest problem over there, though, is the underuse of butter (and it's straight from the fridge), the low-fat milk, the big jug of rancid cooking oil, and the fact that nobody seems to put salt on anything. I had to ask for a salt shaker and then pour some salt into it, since it was empty.

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Here's a great Chicken Maryland, which I always thought meant fried chicken in a cream sauce, although I've seen some pretty weird combinations under the name.

Season well and flour chicken parts as though you were going to fry them. Place in a single layer in a large baking dish. Pour over half and half cream until the pieces are almost covered, being sure to moisten the tops. Bake, uncovered, for about 2 hours at 325 degrees. The tops get crusty and the meat is unbelievably tender having been baked in the milk/cream. The liquid will curdle, just throw it in the blender or processor and you have wonderful chicken gravy.

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

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

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  • 1 month later...

Worst meal I've ever endured was an Easter dinner at my aunt's house. Usually we would have had a Lebanese feast (shishbarak (sp?), humous, fataya, kidbe (raw and cooked), bean stew, etc. etc.) but my aunt decided that she was going to make a "traditional" Easter dinner. She made ham (undercooked so it was jelly-like and cold inside), scalloped potatoes (with skim milk (!!!) and low-fat cheese and potato chunks--it was like curdled baby vomit), salad (no fat dressing from a jar and salad from a bag) and buns (nondescript supermarket buns).

Oh, and NO BEER and a choice between Piat D'Or white or Donini red wine.

:( :( :( :( :(

My father and I ate in silence but gossiped about it for months afterwards.

(Aside: Neither one of us ever brought it up until one day, when my aunt and cousins (none of whom can cook AT ALL--one of my cousins cooked frozen beans for 40 minutes in boiling water just to be sure and the other didn't made instant potatoes for my brother because real ones were just too hard) were over for dinner. My dad fucked up the vegetables--didn't cook them long enough so they were a little on the crunchy side--and my aunt and cousins started making fun of him. I lost it and started going through the list of culinary horrors that we'd all had to endure at their hands. They were a little shocked--my aunt even asked if I was telling the truth--and everyone else nodded. PUNK'D.)

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