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Useless Food "Gifts" You've Received


Pickles
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The same basic recipe, but using habaneros. Made by Grace, I think it's out of Jamaica. That has been really good to me. I'm on the lookout for another few bottles to keep in my arsenal.

is it red? and kinda thick with seeds? if so, i know this brand. it's the one that chased off the suitor in the other thread about spiciest cuisines. it's hot.

Actually, it is red, but the consistency of Tabasco. No visible floating particles, just a hellish emulsification that keeps perfectly at room temp. No seeds, no chunks, just pure satiny peppery drops.

hmmm....i'm going to have to look for htis one, next time i'm in a jamiacan grocery.

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Useful: Ove Glove

http://www.youcansave.com/oveglove.asp

It's great!

SB (wishing for a pair)

I got one for Christmas and I can feel the heat right through it. :shock: I also got a set of those odd, rubbery ones. Very dangerous indeed. They aren't slippery, but they aren't very pliable, and they snap back. You could lose your grip easily. If someone gives you these as a gift, I'd return 'em. I use mine as trivets. :blink:

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Worst food gift was probably the year my wierd and loathesome stepbrother gave me a "grow your own mushrooms" kit. Mushrooms grow in dirt, right? Basically, he gave me a box of dirt.

I am also none too fond of the George Forman grill my mother's best friend insisted on giving me (the gift was made particularly special by the fact that she had used the grill herself, on several occasions, and had not entirely cleaned off the grease). :wacko: When my mother gave me a New and Improved George Forman grill for my birthday last year, I made her take it back. Hate the damn things.

Best food presents: A set of beautifully hand-seasoned Lodge pans given by my ex, and -- several years earlier -- a Kitchen Aid mixer given by his family.

Saddest food present: The $500 worth of prime Texas steak I received -- in absentia -- a few years ago. I was out of town on business, and called the bookstore to see how things were going. Bob, the mouth-breathing eedjit we were then employing, told me I had gotten a large package. "Really?" I said. "That's funny. I didn't order anything. Who's it from?" He told me the name of the sender, and added that the package was marked "Perishable." Ahhhh, I said. How long had the package been sitting in the store? About three days, he said. Ahhh, again. I asked him to open it up and look inside. "It appears to be meat," he said. I told him to throw the entire thing out, since the "appears to be meat" had been sitting, unrefrigerated, for three days in June. When I returned, a week later, I found out he had taken the "appears to be meat" home with him, served it up to his family, and then accompanied them all to the local emergency room.

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I don't know about the "Ove Glove" in particular, but I know we use knit heat resistant gloves in my Chemistry lab to remove water baths from hot plates. Bunsen burners are too dangerous nowadays...wimps! I do like those textured square silicone pot holders (which were a mother-in-law gift) - we haven't had a slipped pan or pot yet, and they even work when they are wet!

As for useless culinary gifts, we got one of those temperature sensing forks for my bridal shower - and I married a chef! The nice lady friends of my mother in law probably didn't realize that I, too, had culinary skills. We have received a lot of those oil and vinegar and spice sets, and to be fair, we always at least sniff the contents before we "recycle" by regifting, discarding, or refilling the cool containers with "real" ingredients.

Our wedding registry was comprised of kitchen stuff since we already bought a house and filled it with the essentials. So I suppose those gifts were the best ones. And we just hung a beautiful copper pot rack, given to us by another chef this past Christmas.

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The worst food gift: The Extra Large George Foreman Grill. Any George Foreman grill is bad but the extra large one looms above me on a high shelf taking up space and I think it's laughing at me.

The best food gift: My education at the CIA given to me by my parents. I use it everyday. :smile:

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I do like those textured square silicone pot holders (which were a mother-in-law gift) - we haven't had a slipped pan or pot yet, and they even work when they are wet!

I agree nothing slips from your grip, it's gripping that's the problem...at least for me. It takes me several tries before I feel confident I have the item secure enough between the materal so as not to drop the pan of hot food on myself. They don't bend very well. They need to be softer so you can squeeze them together properly around your pan/cookie sheet, etc. I just find them very awkward. Just MO...or perhaps my small. weak hands. Oh and I agree about the Foreman Grills. Useless in cooking any piece of meat or fish more than a half an inch thick. The outside is burnt to a crisp before the inside barely gets warm. :huh:

Edited by Pickles (log)
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I got not one but THREE of those flavored olive oils from my well-intentioned (but utterly clueless) cousin. Making matters worse, they're odd infusions like raspberry.

But flip side is that another cousin gave me a great set of Henckels. Love them.

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my worst food gift was a really nice belgian waffle maker given to me by my father one Christmas, when I was 13 because -he- really liked belgian waffles...

but then many of my best food gifts have been from him too, like my Alessi stainless steel salad bowl set-so beautiful.

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Worst: Pine flavored jelly, or was it the candles shaped like little raspberry tarts? Both from sister in law.

Best: New kitchen built by santa claus (my dad) which included a sink you could really put water in, a real sized refrigerator containing a shelf lined with real cans of hershey'c chocolate syrup, and real burners and a ventilation hood on the stove. Age 5. New kitchen from husband containing schott oven, vitroceramic cook top that doubles as work space, rubber floor from Italy, sliding drawer storage units, horizontally opening cabinets with pneumatic cushoning, brushed aluminum modular pegboard pot/tool hanging system. Age 36.

Edited by bleudauvergne (log)
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Worst: Recieved a mortar and pestle set that disipated rather than concentrated

force. The mortar was about 5 inches diameter and the pestle was as

wide as the bowl of pestle and had a tiny grip (large enough for thumb

and forefinger). Useless.

I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

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The worst food gift: The Extra Large George Foreman Grill. Any George Foreman grill is bad but the extra large one looms above me on a high shelf taking up space and I think it's laughing at me.

It's not laughing, it's crying. It yearns for its True Home, at your local thrift shop or Salvation Army outlet.

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Best: New kitchen from husband containing schott oven, vitroceramic cook top that doubles as work space, rubber floor from Italy, sliding drawer storage units, horizontally opening cabinets with pneumatic cushoning, brushed aluminum modular pegboard pot/tool hanging system. Age 36.

drool... do you have pictures of your kitchen for the less fortunate?

from overheard in new york:

Kid #1: Paper beats rock. BAM! Your rock is blowed up!

Kid #2: "Bam" doesn't blow up, "bam" makes it spicy. Now I got a SPICY ROCK! You can't defeat that!

--6 Train

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I forgot to mention best gift ever. The Lovely Mrs Clothier bought me a Weber Grill for Father's Day. But not just any Weber. It's the one that starts the charcoal with gas, and then you shut the gas off.

It's the coolest.

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Best:  New kitchen from husband containing schott oven, vitroceramic cook top that doubles as work space, rubber floor from Italy, sliding drawer storage units, horizontally opening cabinets with pneumatic cushoning, brushed aluminum modular pegboard pot/tool hanging system.  Age 36.

drool... do you have pictures of your kitchen for the less fortunate?

It's a very small kitchen, mind you. I will try and do it justice tonight. :smile:

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Worst: The hot sauce Christmas. It happens repeatedly. One year I got a Thai fried dried peppers and dried chicken condiment all packed in a jar. It looks like dried worms the kind you see in the parking lot after a rain storm. *shudder* I cannot bring myself to open it.

Dried chicken in any kind of condiment, that's just wrong!

This year it was obscure crappy hot sauce Christmas, never crystal or gochugang or something I can use, no it has to have "cute" names like "dumbass hot sauce" Like I didn't get that reference.

I also got this dried garlic stuff. Its not a powder or minced its just some dried junk that I can't use. I like to try different stuff I just can't see any point to ruining anything good just to use this garbage.

I also got the Detroit Symphony cookbook. Just because someone can make music doesn't mean they can cook. What a collection of soupy dreck.

I think I'll wait till they come for Easter to visit and make a foul tasting dip of "garlic stuff" and "dumbass hot sauce" to serve them and watch them choke it down and rave how good it is!

Best: a 5 gallon soup pot with a 1/2 bottom! Weighs a ton but never burns the nectar.

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**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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  • 10 years later...

I'm bumping up this old thread because my husband is pretty sick of me complaining about this topic and yet I still want to complain, since it comes up every time I try to clean out my cupboards. And the problem is that you can never say these things to the loved ones who bestow these gifts.

 

The most useful gifts to give to people who you know enjoy cooking but whose cooking you don't eat very often should have a broad appeal. Give me good quality plain extra virgin olive oil. Don't give me olive oil infused with provencal herbs or lemon balm. I am perfectly capable of using herbs de provence to make food taste that way if I so choose. Don't give me flavored vinegars, either. Who won't be happy to use some very good balsamic vinegar or imported Italian red wine vinegar? But how likely is any given person going to be to use up a bottle of habanero-peach vinegar? Perhaps people feel that if it isn't quirky it isn't special. Wrong.

 

Many people adore chocolate, me included. I love bacon too. And I love New Mexico red chile in my bean pot. But that doesn't mean I like chocolate covered bacon or chocolate with chili pepper in it. In fact, I pretty much prefer my chocolate unadulterated. If you are giving a gift of chocolate to someone who really likes chocolate but you are not sure exactly what kind, give them the best dark chocolate bar you can find in a medium percentage cocoa: like somewhere between 55% and 72%. Don't worry, even if someone's favorite is 85% they won't hesitate to enjoy a good quality bar with a little less cocoa. If you know someone likes milk chocolate, well, give them some olive oil.

 

Gifts that are home made are altogether different. Then you must assume that whatever it is was a labor of love and that is always appreciated. At any given time I can look in my cabinet and find full bottles of stuff that I can't imagine buying for myself. They end up getting tossed after about 10  years. You might think I would have forgotten who gave them to me, since I forget so many other things on a daily basis, but the weird truth is that I don't.

 

Okay, I'm done, and now that I have yammered to hopefully at least a dozen people I am never going to bring this subject up again. Happy holidays!

 

 

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The one and only person to give us useless gifts for the kitchen was my mother. The one that quickly springs to mind was the "meat defroster" which was essentially an anodized heat sink.

 

Edited to fix a typo.

Edited by Porthos (log)

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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Just reading this post Im struck by how much I dislike people!

 

Sending someone a pre-used George Foreman Grill? A cookbook for people with cancer? 2 years of large amounts of unwanted fruits?

 

Seriously what is wrong with people?

Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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I have my share of bad gifts. But let's not talk about me.

 

Worst gifts other people get, based on my survey of the Goodwill thrift store, in the order of most disliked.

 

1. Coffee makers, so many!

 

2. Bread machines.

 

3. George Forman grills.

 

4. BBQ tools.

 

5. blenders.

 

6. Spice racks

 

dcarch

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My best probably says something like Kitchenaid, Cuisinart,  Hobart, or something like that on it.,

 

The worst,  say    "AS SEEN ON TV" , or Designer,  or Ronco, or Presto,  or something like that.

 

I must agree that so many of those single purpose products made for the Holiday gift giving season  which show up in Walmart's "Action Alley" are destine for the first yard sales of the spring.equinox..

 

I used to see so many of tose Mr.Coffee  "Potato Perfect" spud cookers in yard sales.  The Pizza Pzazz machine was another.

I believe Presto had an appliance that a stick of butter or margarine was inserted into so it would melt inside it.  Then there was a pump spray trigger so you could spray liquid butter.  I believe they had two versions where one plugged into the wall and the other was heated in a microwave oven.  

 

But these items give new meaning to the expression, "Oh,  you shouldn't have".  

.

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