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Worst meal at someone's home - Part 2


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Making posole for dinner tonight reminded me of one of the absolute worst in my life.

I have a dear friend who is...a "struggling" cook. For many years, she didn't cook. It took too long, it was too much trouble, etc., etc., etc. But she loved my cooking, and did appreciate good stuff. She just didn't want to put the effort into it. She's the type of person who will (still !) make a crockpot of beans or BBQ-sauced pork and eat it all week, with no break.

Anyway, she has tried to come out of that rut, and sometimes she succeeds. Sometimes, not quite so much.

She's VERY proud of her posole. VERY. And it's....well, it's not good. She doesn't like the cheaper cuts of meat that are good for braises/stews/soups like this. She thinks they're too fatty and too chewy and have too many "nasty" parts. So for her posole, she uses pork loin. She doesn't brown it. She cuts it into about 1&1/2-inch squares. And then she dumps it into her broth, which is under-seasoned (no salt allowed), and cooks it to near death.

The result is a bland broth and dry, chewy, tasteless meat. And blown-out, mushy hominy. I went to her partner's mother's home for Christmas Eve several years ago, and her contribution was this horrid posole. Luckily, there was plenty of other things to eat (most of them quite good), but I did have to choke down a bowl of this stuff. And chew and chew and chew on the cubes of meat.

She always wants to invite me over when she makes it. I *always* have an excuse/headache/hang nail/bad karma/whatever when she does. It's truly an abomination compared to what GOOD posole can be.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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Do meals that were nightmarish simply because of the sheer amount of food involved count?

Because I have a couple of beauts, but the food itself was (mostly) good to excellent, although the amounts I was expected to eat exceeded my understood capacity about twice over, and I wanted to curl up and cry. Except that leaning forward would have made me spectacularly sick.

Edited by Mjx (log)

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
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Do meals that were nightmarish simply because of the sheer amount of food involved count?

Because I have a couple of beauts, but the food itself was (mostly) good to excellent, although the amounts I was expected to eat exceeded my understood capacity about twice over, and I wanted to curl up and cry. Except that leaning forward would have made me spectacularly sick.

No, that doesn't count and it's too judgmental. :raz:

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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Not sure if I've posted this before ...

Another old college friend story.

Worst meal was no meal at all, although we were invited to dinner. They weren't surprised to see us - they did remember having invited us, but I guess Mrs. Old College Friend just didn't feel like cooking that evening. Finally, after sitting around for an hour and not even being offered water, we suggested going out and they picked a so-so place. We paid. The wife said, "Well, if I'd known you were paying I'd have suggested a better restaurant!" College Friend himself was completely oblivious.

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I posted on this thread a long way back but this year there was just one problem. For Thanksgiving one family member cooks the turkey and everyone brings a side or dessert and it usually works pretty well.

One niece, who is far from childhood doesn't seem to have a clue. She brought Brussels Sprouts in Cheese sauce. Well, over cooked frozen sprouts, smothered in Cheese Whiz and baked to a gooey paste.

I nearly gagged.

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I don't think I've ever told this one before...

Worst meal at someone's home was actually at my own home, but not of my own making!

Years ago, we lived in the same town as the in-laws and many other family members (both sides). My job had me travelling 150+ days a year. So, my entertaining forays were carefully planned.

A bunch of DH's cousins were visiting from out-of-state. I decided I wanted to have them all over, but couldn't handle doing a full dinner for all. So, I invited them for dessert/coffee, thinking they'd stop for a bite someplace before heading to our place.

My sweet MIL is known for making awesome Tex-Mex food. She offered an alternative plan, where she would bring the dinner and we'd just have to do last-minute prep, reheating, etc. and I agreed (with some aprobation, because she tends to be very disorganized).

She showed up at my house, AFTER many of the guests had arrived and NOTHING was read to eat! She had whole heads of lettuce, packages of tortillas, containers of enchilada sauce, bags of cheese and precooked fillings! No pans of food, just ingredients! I was starting to panic as all this was carried into the house. Then, she dropped a giant zip bag of precooked/seasonsed meat and it EXPLODED! There was meat/sauce everywhere... on the walls, ceiling, cabinets, even the light fixtures!

The cousins still tease me about it... how they sympathetically laughed watching me scurry around to clean up the mess, then try to keep up with more cleaning behind MIL as she busily went about cooking in my kitchen.

We did eventually sit down to eat, I think. :blink:

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I work with a guy who's also become a good friend, and cooking is not a skill he has - a recent time he made oven chips that were a pile of greasy soggy garbage - instead of spreading them out on a tray, he had just dumped them in a small dish, they must have been a few inches deep, and he must have added a LOT of oil.

They were served with a slightly cold and pretty revolting (microwaved) steak and cheese pie.

Another time he made rice, with sweet chili sauce - on toast.

Terrible, awful, horrible. But a good friend anyway.

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Regrettably the worse meal was at mine

I had a group of friends round night before my wedding, for 6 I prepared an ox tongue (brined for a week, refreshed in clean water for a day and simmered for 4 hours), Which was supposed to be sliced thinly with a green sauce as starter.

I also prepared an oxtail and guiness stew prepared in the pressure cooker with creamed potatoes.

Where did it all go wrong? Well as a tongue "virgin" perhaps i should have cooked the dish the day before rather than trying to peel then slice the bloody great thing in a sort of gameshow stylee whilst the guests intermittently came in to laugh/offer support/derision/ sympathy. Certain brave souls offered comment on tasting "fibrous yet fatty" was about the best it got. mmmmnn yes so scratch that as a starter and off it headed to the bin.

I thought I was on safer ground with the oxtail - I degreased the sauce once in the freezer, the meat was tender but very fatty so once wasnt enough, it should have been degreased 2x and the meat seperated from the fat and bones, (I was told they wanted it on the bone - they didnt)

Even my f**king mash had lumps..So we all got drunk and ate the pile cheese I had as a fallback.. Thank God

Still the wedding went well

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Not quite in someone's home.....

A group of us from the college co-op went camping, a trip arranged by one who, it turned out, had never camped before.

The first morning, for breakfast, he dumped half a bag of charcoal into the camp stove, poured on a remarkable quantity of lighter fluid, lit it, and then put a giant frying pan full of scrambled eggs (a whole flat of them to feed about 15 or 20 people) over the not-yet-hot charcoal, with the oil he intended to fry them in floating about 1/2 inch deep over the top of the pan.

Thank god my tentmate had his own little backpacking stove, and a few extra packets of oatmeal. A few poor souls who'd brought no snacks of their own actually tried the egg morass that resulted, apparently tasting very strongly of the lighter fluid, and survived to tell the tale.

We did not let our hapless would-be-cook near the food again.

Edited by Wholemeal Crank (log)
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I have been lurking off list for a long time but felt compelled to offer at least one story of a botched holiday dinner. My mother, who was seldom a good cook, and often just a passable one, being that she would rather being doing anything outside than in, always required that the siblings attend holiday dinners. Historically, her turkeys were very, very well-done [as was all of her meat]. The mashed potatoes were always milked and whipped with an electric beater to within an inch of their gluey, gooey lives. The turnips were boiled to a pulpy orange puree, mashing not required. The gravy was usually amended with additional poultry seasoning to make it taste more like turkey. The orange jellied salad, with shredded carrot held sway with the canned, jellied cranberry sauce. But is was her pies that stand out. The crusts were...interesting... to say the least. Although how anyone can make a bottom crust so soggy and rubbery it could bounce on the floor without losing its contents [i swear!] and yet have a top crust [for any 2 crusted pies] so hard that they almost defied the fork is beyond me. Canned pie filling was the way to go...cherry and pumpkin...and Sherriff lemon pie filing, from the blue box, was the only lemon pie she ever made. The meringue was always burned during the last hectic minutes before dinner. Except for one year, when it turned out beautifully golden and glossy. Only to have my brother, return it to the broiler and char it with the commetn, "NOw it is really a family Christmas dinner!"

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For some reason, the following meal from this past year popped into my head this morning. I had tried to forget about it, with good reason...

A good friend of mine and I had been out running after work one day and chatting about food - we both like to cook and are "Asian food buddies" since her boyfriend does not east Asian food in any form. She asked if I wanted to stay for dinner, but warned me they weren't having anything special. I didn't have anything planned so I said sure. I should say that I'd eaten at her house a few times before and while I wouldn't call her cooking gourmet, everything was fairly presentable. I blame a lot of the fault on this meal on her boyfriend's tastes, which are bizarre. He doesn't like anything salty, although he loves spicy and vinegary flavors - so she doesn't cook with salt, just adds it after the fact. He also eats very few vegetables and spices.

We went back to her place and she took out three boneless, skinless chicken breasts and put them in a pyrex baking dish and sprinkled them with a salt-free seasoning blend, cajun, I think, and baked them until the biggest one was about 170*. The largest one went to the boyfriend and I ended up with the smallest piece - also the most well-done piece. No juice left in that sucker at all. To accompany it we had iceberg lettuce salad (the kind with peapods, carrots and radishes) out of a bag. Fine, and there were plenty of dressings to choose from. Finally, she had a bag of snow peas and I asked her how she was going to cook them, and if she wanted me to do anything. She said that they just eat them raw. So that was it - dry, bland chicken, iceberg salad and raw peapods. And I got to see the boyfriend's special salad dressing: cottage cheese and yellow mustard - also known as "The Best Thing Ever". I know I don't want to cook elaborate meals every night of the week, but I always try and make even the simplest meals delicious and I don't think I ever would invite someone to stay if this is what I planned on serving! Next time, I'm learing what is on the menu before I decide to stay...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce.

The dinner was part of an interview to move into a 'share' house.

Overcooked spaghetti with cold heinz ketchup poured over the noodles, and topped with a slice of processed cheese......

It took me an hour almost to eat, as the host watched over me.

Needless to say i never returned to the house, Found a house with a chef.

Joel

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Here are my top 5:

1- Camping with friends, after hours of a friend trying to get the fire started finally threw on some burgers (frozen patties). They ended up charred on the outside and raw on the inside.

2- Christmas dinner with my extended family - Little Caesar's Pizza (blech blech)- b/c it was "easy" and no one wanted to cook. Keep in mind we traveled 2 hours to visit and this is what they came up with for dinner.

3-Christmas dinner with my extended family - dry turkey, sweet potatoes with no seasoning and awful cranberry relish that had a rotten orange in it.

4- Dinner with a friend who made pasta with Lavender sauce. I am sure lavender can be a lovely flavor but I really don't want my pasta to taste/smell like shower gel from Bath and Body Works.

5-and lastly - a professor who I worked on a theater production with who raved about his lemon pepper chicken. I was invited over after commenting that I loved lemon pepper. The chicken was sour like it had been soaked/cooked in plain unadulterated lemon juice and then had approximately a cup of black pepper dumped on it. Boy was that an uncomfortable meal.

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My old roommate liked to cook and was one of those people that "never used a recipe"...even though she certainly didn't have the experience to ad hoc meals. She made mushroom soup one day, and remembering I added some sherry to mine when I had made it a month or two ago, she decided to do the same.

Thing is, I added maybe a tablespoon to brighten it, she added at least a cup.

I didn't realize this and poured myself a big bowl when she offered. I took a sip and wretched, it was like drinking a hot mushroomy martini. I couldn't finish it and so I was scolded about not taking so much if I wasn't going to finish it.

edit: used sherry, not vermouth

Edited by therippa (log)
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Several years ago, friends and I did a Sunday night dinner + viewing of Desperate Housewives. Every Sunday we'd rotate who was hosting and that person was responsible for dinner. One friend did homemade waffles, I did roasted chicken with potatoes gratin. It came time for the third friend to host and while not expecting anything fancy, I also didn't expect to show up and find that she had simply gone through the drive-thru at Taco Bell and picked up a mega meal. While I'm not going to disparage Taco Bell, it was probably one of the most disappointing meals I've had at someone else's house.

The worst meal I've had at someone else's house was the complete absence of a meal. I have friends who to this day tend to be nibblers. They put out a tray of "snicky-snacks", essentially a tray of cheese, crackers, and cured meat slices and simply nibble on that all day long in lieu of any actual meals. I learned early on that if I was planning on spending any length of time at their house to eat before I came.

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I have been lurking off list for a long time but felt compelled to offer at least one story of a botched holiday dinner. My mother, who was seldom a good cook, and often just a passable one, being that she would rather being doing anything outside than in, always required that the siblings attend holiday dinners. Historically, her turkeys were very, very well-done [as was all of her meat]. The mashed potatoes were always milked and whipped with an electric beater to within an inch of their gluey, gooey lives. The turnips were boiled to a pulpy orange puree, mashing not required. The gravy was usually amended with additional poultry seasoning to make it taste more like turkey. The orange jellied salad, with shredded carrot held sway with the canned, jellied cranberry sauce. But is was her pies that stand out. The crusts were...interesting... to say the least. Although how anyone can make a bottom crust so soggy and rubbery it could bounce on the floor without losing its contents [i swear!] and yet have a top crust [for any 2 crusted pies] so hard that they almost defied the fork is beyond me. Canned pie filling was the way to go...cherry and pumpkin...and Sherriff lemon pie filing, from the blue box, was the only lemon pie she ever made. The meringue was always burned during the last hectic minutes before dinner. Except for one year, when it turned out beautifully golden and glossy. Only to have my brother, return it to the broiler and char it with the commetn, "NOw it is really a family Christmas dinner!"

Are you my long lost sister?

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  • 3 years later...

I once ate at the house of the Italian owner of a concrete empire... My moms HS friend. She dragged us along even though I had the flu.

The rigatoni had chopped up gherkins aplenty in it. I felt myself turning green...

 

My ex sister in law invited me and my ex to dinner, we were seated in the livingroom in front of the tv while they ate in the dining room.

They brought us out plates of spaghetti with Ragu on it topped with plain cooked ground beef and individual serving packets of kraft parm.

 

Lastly I spent thanksgiving at an online friends house one year. She kept asking her ex hubby (who was creepy) "Does the turkey taste like turkey to you?"

and winking at each other ...No it didnt actually.

I thought I was gonna puke on the table after tasting the dried out and gross tasting brocolli cheese casserole.

EVERYTHING was disgusting.

She gave me a platter of this slop to take home...

I wanted to puke all the way back to Pa,

I have never eaten any meal that bad in my life

Ive blacked out most of it from my mind

  • Like 1

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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Glorified, that sounds like a trifecta of gross..  

 

So, what do you think it was, the online friend?  Do you think it was actually turkey?  Whats up with the winking?  So strange.  

 

 

I fortunately have had limited bad meals at people's homes.  Most of my family are really talented cooks.  Most of my friends are either cooks or at least interested home cooks.  Even my one friend who has very little kitchen experience cooks up a schnitzel with an arugula salad that is really nice.   

 

 I live in New York City so, if someone is a bad cook, we usually just meet at a restaurant or they order in.. I am also lucky in that most people don't like to cook for me because they know I cook myself. .So, I usually either get people's A games or I just have them come to my house.. 

 

I guess the worst thing I had at someone's home was over cooked lamb.  My sister is a gluten free vegan so, I usually just drink when I go to her house and my wife and daughter and I usually grab something to eat before we head on over.  But nothing close to some of these horror stories..

 

Last week,  we met at this terrible gluten free and vegan restaurant and we stopped for posole and Barbacoa prior to meeting them.. We were so stuffed.. I had a bloody mary and a side of polenta fries.   

Edited by basquecook (log)

“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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Making posole for dinner tonight reminded me of one of the absolute worst in my life.

I have a dear friend who is...a "struggling" cook. For many years, she didn't cook. It took too long, it was too much trouble, etc., etc., etc. But she loved my cooking, and did appreciate good stuff. She just didn't want to put the effort into it. She's the type of person who will (still !) make a crockpot of beans or BBQ-sauced pork and eat it all week, with no break.

Anyway, she has tried to come out of that rut, and sometimes she succeeds. Sometimes, not quite so much.

She's VERY proud of her posole. VERY. And it's....well, it's not good. She doesn't like the cheaper cuts of meat that are good for braises/stews/soups like this. She thinks they're too fatty and too chewy and have too many "nasty" parts. So for her posole, she uses pork loin. She doesn't brown it. She cuts it into about 1&1/2-inch squares. And then she dumps it into her broth, which is under-seasoned (no salt allowed), and cooks it to near death.

The result is a bland broth and dry, chewy, tasteless meat. And blown-out, mushy hominy. I went to her partner's mother's home for Christmas Eve several years ago, and her contribution was this horrid posole. Luckily, there was plenty of other things to eat (most of them quite good), but I did have to choke down a bowl of this stuff. And chew and chew and chew on the cubes of meat.

She always wants to invite me over when she makes it. I *always* have an excuse/headache/hang nail/bad karma/whatever when she does. It's truly an abomination compared to what GOOD posole can be.

Do you ever wonder what her reaction would be if you made her your posole? Would she think it was not very good?

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Forgive me if I posted about this before.

My husband and I were invited to his niece's home in a nearby city for dinner. She was not a great cook. We sat at the table while she finished up in the kitchen. I could see her with the hand mixer working over the mashed potatoes; she kept mixing and mixing and mixing, for about 10 minutes.

You can easily imagine what those potatoes were like when they were served. Not only cold by then but you could have stood a pitchfork in them and it'd stay upright. The rest of the meal is lost in my memory but I do know it was not good.

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Glorified, that sounds like a trifecta of gross..  

 

So, what do you think it was, the online friend?  Do you think it was actually turkey?  Whats up with the winking?  So strange.  

 

 

I fortunately have had limited bad meals at people's homes.  Most of my family are really talented cooks.  Most of my friends are either cooks or at least interested home cooks.  Even my one friend who has very little kitchen experience cooks up a schnitzel with an arugula salad that is really nice.   

 

 I live in New York City so, if someone is a bad cook, we usually just meet at a restaurant or they order in.. I am also lucky in that most people don't like to cook for me because they know I cook myself. .So, I usually either get people's A games or I just have them come to my house.. 

 

I guess the worst thing I had at someone's home was over cooked lamb.  My sister is a gluten free vegan so, I usually just drink when I go to her house and my wife and daughter and I usually grab something to eat before we head on over.  But nothing close to some of these horror stories..

 

Last week,  we met at this terrible gluten free and vegan restaurant and we stopped for posole and Barbacoa prior to meeting them.. We were so stuffed.. I had a bloody mary and a side of polenta fries.   

 

 

I have no clue it was freaky. Maybe it was some mutant sized chicken...

 

Can your sister eat tofurki? Or does that have gluten?

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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i doubt she would eat something that came in a package.. it's very complicated, i try not to get involved.     :rolleyes:

Edited by basquecook (log)

“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted" JK

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This isn't exactly about a bad meal: Husband and I and a friend were at a vacation home on the lake one summer. We invited dear old friends who lived nearby to come for dinner with us. The wife, a woman in her late fifties at the time, asked friend and I what she could do to help us with the dinner prep.

We asked her to chop up some garlic cloves. He response was, "Huh? I don't know how to do that."

She wasn't kidding, she had never prepared garlic. We also gave them a whole, fresh chicken to take home with them because we weren't going to be able to use it before we left. Husband says,

"What's she going to do with it?, she doesn't know how to cook a chicken." He wasn't kidding, she'd never roasted a chicken - they buy take-out chicken instead. I can't believe they're both still alive what with the kind of diet they have.

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