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Worst meal at someone's home - Part 2


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--in order not to "waste" anything she would scrape away any excess jelly along with the solidified margerine and bread crumbs BACK INTO THE JAR OF JELLY.

I'm still trying to understand the concept of excess jelly...

Me too MGC and that stuff happened decades ago! :laugh:

Recent worst meal wasn't exactly an entire meal. It was this past Thanksgiving and at the last minute instead of being a guest I was invited/begged to cook Thanksgiving dinner at my niece's house. Everything turned out great, nothing fancy just turkey (moist not dry, thank goodness) with the usual accompaniements.

One of the side dishes was a humongous pan of mac and cheese made by my niece from scratch. My dear niece was so proud and so was I; it looked great............. and then I and her mother tasted it and.......................

........................it was sweet. As in tooth enamel peeling sweet. I mean like drinking a glass full of corn syrup sweet. I was so confused, especially when she said that someone gave her the recipe. I had never heard of anyone putting sugar in mac and cheese. Finally, her mother figured out that someone probably told her to use canned milk meaning evaporated milk. Instead my niece used TWO CANS OF SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK. :shock: Not only did it render the final dish inedible but there was some kind of weird chemical synergy between the melted cheese, macaroni, eggs and sweetened condensed milk that made it hard as a rock, so one had to use a sharp knife to saw out a block for each person's serving. I love my niece dearly and did not want to hurt her feelings, but after swallowing three bites (I even tried to mask the sugary taste with a few drops of Tabasco sauce and some Creole seasoning to no avail) I just couldn't eat the stuff anymore. I'm still proud of her for trying. The good news is that for Christmas she redeemed herself by making some pretty good "sugar-free" mac and cheese. :smile:

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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Wrong approach divas! Instead of Tabasco sauce, you should have gone the dessert route and used it to fill an empty shortcrust pastry :) Never mind the macaroni, it's a sweet cheese custard pie.

Mark

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

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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Wrong approach divas! Instead of Tabasco sauce, you should have gone the dessert route and used it to fill an empty shortcrust pastry :) Never mind the macaroni, it's a sweet cheese custard pie.

OMG ***hangs head in shame*** it's obvious jumanggy that I have learned absolutely nothing here at eG! :laugh:

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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One of the side dishes was a humongous pan of mac and cheese made by my niece from scratch. My dear niece was so proud and so was I; it looked great............. and then I and her mother tasted it and.......................

........................it was sweet.

AHHH, another graduate of the Aint Polly Cooking School and Pointed Remark Emporium!!! (I DO hope she failed at the latter---NOBODY liked Aint Polly.

She was a sister of my dear, dear Mother-in-Law, feared by us all, uncluding her parents, because of her sharp tongue and unremitting pursuit of a soft spot in any armor.

She made mac and cheese with eggs, hoop cheese (weep for the waste) and LOTS of sugar---that's how Unca Vern liked it, cause that's how HIS MAMMA made it.

Being a family heirloom did not enhance the recipe A-TALL, and we dreaded her bringing it to any family event, though her thrifty nature and LONG way to travel (20 miles) negated her need to contribute very often---a great relief to us all.

And just seeing the "crumbs on top" debate on another thread was a deja yuk of the crunchy, grainy, sugary texture of those unfortunate sugar-crusted elbows baked on top til dessicated.

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My tale is not about bad food,(it was long ago, and I don't remember the meal), but about dangerous food....

Went to a pals house for dinner. we were sitting at the kitchen island having drinks.

He pulls out his new electric wok and plugs it in on high, to heat, next to us on the island...

He then put in a cup or so of oil in it, and the drinking continued, while it was getting really,really hot...

Before I realized it , and could yell or duck, He poured in about a cup of soy and other liquid.....What a mess!!!Fortunately he fell back and did'nt get burned, and we escaped as well.... Close call...

Bud

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Should we start a new topic for people who don't appreciate well made food?

My husband has been perfecting his custard for his Quiche for awhile now.

As some of you know; the American version of hard frittata like quiche is quite different from the French version that Thomas Keller talks about in Bouchon.

Hubby's was delicious. Broccoli and cheese, the custard was perfect.

A bit "jiggly" coming out of the oven, as Keller says it should be...

We hosted a few old college friends over.

They were very polite, but you could see they didn't think it was "done."

I didn't explain, either. I figured, you can't teach someone to like rare meat, if they only like it well done.

Philly Francophiles

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My Grandmother can be a decent cook... when she sticks to a few tried & true dishes. But she also grew up in a relatively low-income factory town when canned foods and convenience products were the latest & greatest and raised 8 kids while working full-time - she wasn't out there tending her garden and spending all her time in the kitchen. Plus, it doesn't help that my Grandfather likes all his meat cooked to shoeleather and hates cheese. :wacko:

BUT... sometimes I really have to wonder how she does it. At Thanksgiving about 5 years ago one of my aunts provided a spiral sliced ham. She brought it in that morning and handed it to my Grandmother telling her that it just needed to be heated and the glaze that was provided needed to be poured over it.

Either Memere did not hear her, or has her own ideas about how food should be cooked because she proceeded to put it in the downstairs oven (where no one could check on it unless they went down to the basement) at 350 for at least two hours!!! :blink: She still wasn't sure it was done enough when we brought it upstairs! We put the glaze on and served it alongside the canned corn and canned peas, homemade (thank goodness) mashed potatoes, sliced white bread and cranberry sauce with the ridges from the can still visable. My aunt was fuming that she spent all that money on ham to feed 30+ people only to have it come out like sugared ham jerky! :biggrin: Actually, except for the ham, it was a relatively good (if bland to my tastes) meal!

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the worst meal i've had was cooked by my brother in law's girlfriend. my parents in law FREQUENTLY cook delicious, elaborate meals. (they're both chemists, so cooking comes naturally to them.

but every time they cook something the SLIGHTEST bit spicy, fragrant, different, exotic, flavorful, etc, brian and robin (brother in law and gf) make teh most HORRIBLE, RUDE comments! (for example, "this smells like feet," or "that tastes like vomit." these are adults in their mid twenties, might i mention. making statements like THAT while sitting down to a meal that's been lovingly cooked for them.

needless to say, when brian and robin invited us over for a meal i quite anxious.

she served:

glasses of whole milk

potato soup that i watched her make - she boiled peeled, sliced potatoes in plain, unsalted water until it all turned into a mush. by the time we were served it had thickened into a watery paste and she sprinkled some chopped green onions on top.

at this point she said, "i never add salt to anyhthing becuase some people don't like salt." WHAT??

"pan fried" chicken breasts. these were plain, unseasoned, boneless/skinless chicken breasts that had been cooked in a lightly oiled frying pan. some of them were raw inside adn some were too dry adn overdone to chew through.

for dessert?

rock hard ginger bread men. they were strangely flavorful, and she admitted she'd been "afraid" to use the fresh ginger root.

this christmas my husband purchased a nice prefilled spice rack for her.

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These stories keep getting better and more gruesome as time goes on. :laugh:

racheld I had no idea. My niece made her mac and cheese this way in error, but to hear that people make it this way on purpose is a little scary to imagine. Is this some sort of mid-West thing I never heard of?

I felt my blood pressure rise when I read your tale of woe cathrynapple. :angry: To be so juvenile and obnoxious about food you haven't even tried is bad enough, but to not be able to put a decent meal on the table is too much. I'd appreciate any pointers on how to deal with such people in a tactful way, not that such rude behavior deserves it.

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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TarteTatin, you know what might add injury to insult? Your friends coming over to this thread and relating their horrific meal with the undercooked flan-thing! You should definitely give a short description of anything new on the table, with a disclaimer ("this doesn't have as much sugar, as we're trying to watch our blood glucose..." etc.). More probable (than them signing on to eGullet, heh) but equally as enraging would be your friends spreading the word on how you served them poorly made food.

Liz, at least your grandfather has all his choppers intact (I assume). My grandmother, sometimes out of fear, sometimes honestly, no longer has hers, and uses it as an excuse not to eat some things I prepare (like fibrous/ leafy vegetables).

Cathrynapple, MILK? UNSEASONED POTATO MUSH? UNSEASONED WHITE CHICKEN MEAT? That is horrible. It almost serves them right for being so horrible to your parents-in-law. That is like a meal that's prepared by a stove-literate 5-year-old. And some eGulleters might even have children that young who can prepare better food than they do :laugh:

Mark

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

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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this christmas my husband purchased a nice prefilled spice rack for her.

This brings to mind the great Simpsons quote, when Marge comes across a spice rack:

"Look at this adorable spice rack. Eight spices! Some must be doubles."

(emphasis mine)

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this christmas my husband purchased a nice prefilled spice rack for her.

This brings to mind the great Simpsons quote, when Marge comes across a spice rack:

"Look at this adorable spice rack. Eight spices! Some must be doubles."

(emphasis mine)

the other story brings to mind another one:

Homer: You know what you should serve Marge? More of these lamb chops. These are the best ever.

Marge: Why, thank you Homey! You might say the secret ingredient is... salt.

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racheld I had no idea. My niece made her mac and cheese this way in error, but to hear that people make it this way on purpose is a little scary to imagine. Is this some sort of mid-West thing I never heard of?

Unh-Unh---Deep South. And we were ALL Southern cooks with our own arsenals of oddities, I'm sure. That one was just too revolting to contemplate, even in retrospect, and I hope that the two daughters of the offender have not carried on the travesty into their own kitchens.

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A boxed and canned thanksgiving dinner for 12. They spent a lot of money on crap because they couldn't cook. I wasn't aware of this. Absolutely everything was either from a can or box. Even the turkey was a brown and serve thing. The dinner was still 4 hours late.

The only fresh and scratch made items were the ones we brought and were quickly gone. The next day I stayed home and made Thanksgiving my way. It's my favorite holiday so my soul had to be fed properly and left in a good state.

I appreciated the invitation they extended and I was invited back for any holiday dinner if the future at their house, but I'll say "No thank you, I have other plans." even if I don't.

Edited by Susie Q (log)
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My aunt was fuming that she spent all that money on ham to feed 30+ people only to have it come out like sugared ham jerky!

Heh. This happened to my Dad (a talented and creative cook) one Christmas when, despite soaking and careful cooking, our country-cured ham ended up as incredibly salty ham jerky. Ever adaptable, he got out the brand-new meat grinder he had just been given and put the ham through it, reducing it to powder. He then bagged the powder and chucked it in the freezer.

And you know what? Ham powder is the Best. Condiment. Ever. We put it on everything and I was truly sorry when it was gone.

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  • 4 months later...

Worst meal ever? Not the fault of the cook but it was a dinner including smoked salmon purchased that day at a market. It tasted great except I had nausea and vomiting start the next morning while I was driving 5 hours to get home from where I was visiting. :blink: Ten times I pulled over and projectile vomited. Add severe diarhea. :shock: Ended up in a hospital for hours where they left me propped up in the waiting room shaking, vomitting and dehydrated, fingers tingling and lips numb, where I never did see a doctor or get diagnosed or treated. Nothing. :angry: Eventually, I gave up on getting any basic treatment (like IV fluids, for example) and continued to drive home and vomited some more when I got there. :huh: I called the local health authority the next day and they were extremely alarmed because it was smoked salmon and I had experienced tingling fingers and numb lips, which indicates severe dehydration or botulism - a risk with the way some smoked fish is wrapped. :unsure: The health authorities team went the next day to inspect the market and their supplier. They said there was little more they could do with my complaint because the hospital didn't diagnose me or take samples to determine which bacteria it was. I haven't been able to enjoy smolked salmon since. Uhg! :sad:

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Several years ago, my mother and I dined at the home of an acquaintance. He had been divorced for many years, and had lived with his mother after the divorce until his mother's death.

We arrived at his home, and were ushered to his living room where we sat on the plush sofa--which was covered with cat hair, or so we discovered when we stood up to go to the kitchen (my mother had the misfortune to wear black that day). The wall-paper was nicotine-stained and peeling like a week-old sunburn.

Once in the kitchen, we found thick layers of dust and grime covering most surfaces, which if found in a restaurant, would probably cause us to turn around and walk out the door. A quick visit to the restroom introduced me to the dry-pee-covered toilet seat (I guess some single men don't bother lifting the toilet seat?). As good guests, however, we stayed and ate, then left as quickly as possible.

The food was fine, but we never went back.

I know it doesn't seem that bad, but my mother has borderline OCD (she howls with laughter when watching Monk, because he reminds her so much of herself). I could see her struggling to eat, not wanting to be insulting to our host, yet cringing at the thought of putting food prepared in such a place into her mouth. My poor mother...

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God, I love this thread. Re-reading page upon page I've just laughed all over again at other people's memories I had seared into my brain and then forgotten. I've also rekindled the horrors of a few of my own worst meals.

This simple line from John Whiting just had me rolling. A highly effective description I hadn't before read in print: "an ambiguous vegetable stew whose watery broth could have come straight from the rain barrel."

Edited by chappie (log)
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Ah, I have a new one from a couple of weeks ago. Invitation said, " come over for chicken parm, bring a veggie side dish." These are your typical meat and potatoes couple who love Cracker Barrel, so I just did sauteed veggies with lemon and garlic and olive oil. The whole drive over I was nervous that my dish was pedestrian and dumb.

We had over boiled spaghetti with what I think were boiled chicken breasts. Waaaay overdone. And then there was a slice of Carl Buddig ham on each chicken piece, which was weird and cold. Then a slice of that white colored american cheese, and then jarred sauce poured over the top.

They're odd people.

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Ah, I have a new one from a couple of weeks ago. Invitation said, " come over for chicken parm, bring a veggie side dish." These are your typical meat and potatoes couple who love Cracker Barrel, so I just did sauteed veggies with lemon and garlic and olive oil. The whole drive over I was nervous that my dish was pedestrian and dumb.

We had over boiled spaghetti with what I think were boiled chicken breasts. Waaaay overdone. And then there was a slice of Carl Buddig ham on each chicken piece, which was weird and cold. Then a slice of that white colored american cheese, and then jarred sauce poured over the top.

They're odd people.

This reminds me of a meal we had at a couple months ago. Spagetti with jarred clasico alfredo sauce, shrimp the size of my pinky nail and bits of chicken chewing gum. Bagged salad w/ bottled dressing.

The worst part?? I asked for the canned parmesean cheese that was on the table. I poured some over my pasta and though to myself " wow, thats a weird yellow color". I happen to glance at the expiration date on the carton. It expired March of 2004!!!!

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Several years ago I was invited for Thanksgiving dinner with my-then boyfriend's parents. One of the offerings was "Swedish meatballs". These turned out to be fairly small meatballs, a bit on the dry side and served with a spicy, tangy sauce. Later I found out that it was ground turkey cooked in one jar of Welch's grape jelly mixed with one bottle of Tabasco. :blink:

I've blotted out the rest of the experience.

Oh, as to my BF, well...we broke up three months later.

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