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Potluck disasters


divalasvegas
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As an aside, while in Massachusetts at that time, I also had probably one of the most delicious, memorable vegetarian meals in my life at a small restaurant run by a Hindu couple (we all worked in the college's student dining hall; I was a student, they were regular staff).  They kept bringing out dish after dish of flavorful vegetarian fare to me and another student, concluding with an amazing  dessert (don't know the name) of some kind of vermicelli (?) noodles in a creamy sauce, golden with saffron, some other spices, nuts and raisins (yeah, it was so good, I remembered the ingredients).  At the end, because we all worked together, they refused to take our money.  I don't know how "natural" or "pure" their food would have been considered by the aforementioned vegetarians but I will never forget them, their hospitality and their delicious food.

divalasvegas: that dessert is most likely semiya (=vermicelli) kheer.

kheer can also be made with rice or grated carrots, or lots of other things..

milagai

Oh thank you so much milagai. I've tried to describe it to various people but could never get a name. It was dessert perfection and as you can see, unforgettable. When I think vegetarian, that's the kind of delectable food I think of.

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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I know what carob tastes like: chocolate with the chocolate left out. Think this: make vanilla pudding, put a teaspoon of cocoa in it and call it chocolate pudding. It's not bad, but it sure ain't chocolate.

I've never had flops with my own food at a potluck. The worst thing I ever tasted was at a November gathering where one woman was on a macrobiotic diet. She brought a stupid looking fake turkey made out of some vile grain preparation. Everyone was raving, but when I took a taste I nearly had to spit it out: it smelled like the stuff farmers feed the hogs, and, for all I know, tasted like it too.

When I was a kid, my parents belonged to a pot luck dinner card club. There was one woman named Frances who was known for being cheap, and she also hated cooking. Every month she would bring the teeny-tiniest serving dish. Sometimes it was filled with something inedible she made, but most often it held cottage cheese. Oh, goody. We came to call our smallest vegetable dish at home "the Frances dish".

My dad was very picky about pot luck food, especially at church pot lucks. He wouldn't eat anything unless he knew who made it, and sometimes he wouldn't eat it BECAUSE he knew who made it. Usually his discrimination had more to do with the personality of the cook than the taste of the food. Neither he or my mother would eat something they called "those poor, pale pies".

Nevertheless, everything was made from scratch those days. I didn't ask who made it and tasted it all. Not only do I have no bad food memories from those pot lucks, I have a couple of wonderful recipes from the card club that I had my mother track down for me years later.

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

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

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My friend's gf said she was bringing sangria to a bbq. It was red wine and fruit punch--that's it. No fruit, nothing. Just fruit punch and wine. I drank some to be polite...but it was truly horrible.

I had a similar vile "sangria" that was wine, sprite and hawaiian punch.

Which leads me to my answer to this question:

1) You can't even prepare an edible dish in your own damn kitchen, so why impose your dreck on the masses,

Because people do not know any better. Truly. Like the Sangria above, to them it is great, they've never had real Sangria OR they just like it.

To the person who swiped the hambone, I would have done the same thing. A better twist would be to take it, use it for your stock or whatever, and then return it. Leave it in her desk.

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

AMUSE ME

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It would have been the fat and sugar free carob "brownies."  I said I was allergic to carob.

What a coincidence! I'm allergic to carob, too! If I taste carob, I immediately break out in violent fits, destroying all of the carob within reach. The symptoms settle down once all of the carob items have been eradicated. Strange affliction.

I thought they quit producing carob products in 1974.

Vile.

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

AMUSE ME

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I hate to spoil this anti-carob fest but, if you were truly allergic to chocolate and feeling deprived, I think you might embrace carob. If you're suddenly told that you cannot have something you have long enjoyed, you might be more open to "analogs."

Just trying to open your eyes...allergies can develop at any time in our lives. While carob may be vile when compared directly with chocolate, if you were told you could not longer eat chocolate, you might change your tune. :smile:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Another vegetarian potluck tale

Way way back in the late seventies I lived in a “collective” house with a bunch of guys. Everyone was responsible for one dinner a week, vegetarian of course, some of us took this very seriously and made wonderful meals but the youngest guy, Chris, who had no money or time, once scrounged around the cupboard and found apples and whole wheat noodles added just wate rand made what he called apple noodle soup. It was really really inedible, it hung around the kitchen for a few days until someone decided to pour it into a loaf pan and throw it into the freezer, Throughout the next winter we would make jokes about “the apple soup” like: “ if we get snowed in we can always hit Chris over the head with the apple soup and eat him - you get the idea.

Months later in the spring, two of my other housemates are talking about attending the local food Co-ops monthly pot-luck, they hadn’t made anything but they wanted to go and get a free meal, suddenly somebody shouts “the apple soup, the apple soup! we’ll take the apple soup !!” I was horrified but as I wasn’t going, I couldn’t very well stop them. They brought back the empty loaf pan and claimed it was eaten. So if you encountered a strange frozen apple whole wheat noodle thing at a food co-op potluck in in the late seventies - this is the story.

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Another vegetarian potluck tale

Way way back in the late seventies I lived in a “collective” house with a bunch of guys.  Everyone was responsible for one dinner a week, vegetarian of course, some of us took this very seriously and made wonderful meals but the youngest guy, Chris, who had no money or time, once scrounged around the cupboard and found apples and whole wheat noodles added just wate rand made what he called apple noodle soup. It was really really inedible, it hung around the kitchen for a few days until someone decided to pour it into a loaf pan and throw it into the freezer, Throughout the next winter we would make jokes about “the apple soup”  like: “ if we get snowed in we can always hit Chris over the head with the apple soup and eat him - you get the idea.

Months later in the spring, two of my  other housemates are talking about attending the local food Co-ops monthly pot-luck, they hadn’t made anything but they wanted to go and get a free meal, suddenly somebody shouts “the apple soup, the apple soup! we’ll take the apple soup !!” I was horrified but as I wasn’t going, I couldn’t very well stop them. They brought back the empty loaf pan and claimed it was eaten. So if you encountered a strange frozen apple whole wheat noodle thing at a food co-op potluck in  in the late seventies - this is the story.

:laugh::laugh::laugh: Great story, Jody!!! Welcme to egullet!!

Sparrowgrass' "barbeque babies" was funny too!!

I like good* carob brownies, as carob not as a chocolate substitute.

*good=the ones I make :biggrin: but like decades ago--during the apple noodle soup era. Geez I love that story!!!

Edited by K8memphis (log)
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During my college day, I lived in a housing coop in Madison Wisconsin. While not strictly a potluck, one of the house jobs was to cook the main meal for the household. One of the cooks developed an unhealthy obsession with all things garbanzo. Needless to say, after garbanzo bean loaf, salad, soup, pate, stir fry and all other aberrations thereof, I have avoided them to this day.

On another note, Thanksgiving at my house is potluck. I invite all my guest with the caveat that no greenbean casseroles with crispy onions or sweet potatoes with congealing marshmallows will be allowed entrance!

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Hi, this is my first post and I have been lurking for a while. The turkey/thanksgiving thread made me sign up. I have not posted to that thread yet but could not resist posting here. I have some really bad food recipes. I am actually a very good cook who has some really big opinions regarding chefs. That is another subject.

I can not help but remember my mother's gizzards and rice recipe everytime I see threads like this. The prepared foods are pretty disgusting. I have a very bad and truly horrible casserole recipe. It is part of a group of bad foods and recipes that I have been collecting. Disclaimer: Copyright does not count in this instance.

Here is a 1970's Mexican casserole:

1 1-pound 4 ounce can of yellow hominy

1 15-ounce can of tamales. (YUCK!)

1 4-ounce can of Vienna sausages (I am not kidding)

1 10-1/2 ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup

1 ounce of sharp cheddar cheese.....

Do I need to write anything else? You know the rest. Blend it, stir it up and bake it! Oh, I forgot. You are supposed to cut up the Vienna sausages into 1/4 sections. There, the recipe is complete. Sort of....

:laugh:

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Hi,  this is my first post and I have been lurking for a while.  The turkey/thanksgiving thread made me sign up.  I have not posted to that thread yet but could not resist posting here.  I have some really bad food recipes.  I am actually a very good cook who has some really big opinions regarding chefs.  That is another subject.   

I can not help but remember my mother's gizzards and rice recipe everytime I see threads like this.  The prepared foods are pretty disgusting.  I  have a very bad and truly horrible casserole recipe.  It is part of a group of bad foods and recipes that I have been collecting.  Disclaimer:  Copyright does not count in this instance.

Here is a 1970's Mexican casserole:

1 1-pound 4 ounce can of yellow hominy

1 15-ounce can of tamales.  (YUCK!)

1 4-ounce can of Vienna sausages (I am not kidding)

1 10-1/2 ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup

1 ounce of sharp cheddar cheese.....

Do I need to write anything else?  You know the rest.  Blend it, stir it up and bake it!  Oh, I forgot.  You are supposed to cut up the Vienna sausages into 1/4 sections.  There, the recipe is complete.  Sort of....

:laugh:

Welcome to eGullet, Julie_B! And congratulations on posting the most horrific recipe I've ever read! :biggrin::blink: I may have nightmares about this tonight.

If your future posts are as entertaining as this one, we're going to love having you here! Hope you enjoy eGullet!

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Welcome to eGullet, Julie_B! And congratulations on posting the most horrific recipe I've ever read! :biggrin::blink: I may have nightmares about this tonight.

If your future posts are as entertaining as this one, we're going to love having you here! Hope you enjoy eGullet!

Edited by Julie_B (log)
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My friend's gf said she was bringing sangria to a bbq. It was red wine and fruit punch--that's it. No fruit, nothing. Just fruit punch and wine. I drank some to be polite...but it was truly horrible.

I had a similar vile "sangria" that was wine, sprite and hawaiian punch.

AT LEAST YOU HAD SOME CARBONATION IN YOURS! :laugh:

All I got was an ice cube. :sad:

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To the person who swiped the hambone, I would have done the same thing. A better twist would be to take it, use it for your stock or whatever, and then return it. Leave it in her desk.

Preferably right before the Christmas week vacation, when the office is closed.

--Supporter of ham bone acquisition

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Yes ditsydine and estherschindler as I publicly confessed upthread, the hambone thief was me. And, God help me, I'm still not sorry I did it. The great thing was that it really wasn't just all bone, but had quite a bit of spiral sliced ham attached, so not only did I get to use the bone for bean soup or greens, but the ham for sandwiches, breakfast, etc. Come to think of it, why would a woman who brought a low fat/low sodium/taste free beige casserole to a holiday potluck be so covetous of a hambone and ham anyway? :hmmm: BTW, for more insight into her character, during lunchtime once in the company lunchroom it was this same woman who, after I had sprinkled a few drops of Tabasco sauce on something I was eating, began coughing and making choking sounds after asking me "what was that?" After, I said "Tabasco sauce" she jumped up, fanning her face and dramatically left the room, muttering something about its "overwhelming" odor...................... What an effin pill she was.

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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Maybe we should start a thread called "strange hambone stories". For I have one too, but it went the opposite way.

I took dinner (the whole dinner) over to a friend's house for Thanksgiving once many years ago. She was depressed and said she did not want to cook.

Did the whole thing, ate the dinner, we cleaned up and because I had too much stuff to carry home, I asked if I could leave the ham bone in her freezer for a while.

All well and fine. Wrapped it up and popped it into the freezer.

Later in the week I started to get calls on my answering machine. (I was working a lot of hours then and was rarely home.) "When are you going to come get this hambone?" "The hambone is still in the freezer here, you know." "If you are going to leave the hambone here, do you want me to re-wrap it better?"

Let's note that this person was not a cook by any means. The freezer was empty but for the hambone, a quart of ice-cream, and two frozen TV dinners. So it was not uh, "in the way".

The phone calls became more urgent, finally on the fourth day reaching three on that same day. I called her from work and asked if there was a problem.

"YOUR HAMBONE!" she screeched at me. "IT IS STILL HERE! DO YOU WANT IT OR NOT?"

Uh, no. . .please just throw it away, I said.

Sorry to have bothered you.

Hambones. Some sort of strange thing going on there. :blink:

(Maybe we can consider this a pot-luck story since I *did* carry that dinner over to her house. . .sigh.) :huh:

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Come to think of it, why would a woman who brought a low fat/low sodium/taste free beige casserole to a holiday potluck be so covetous of a hambone and ham anyway? :hmmm:  

Maybe she has a dog that eats better than she.

Edited to add: Come to think of it, there was a ham at last year's holiday party. I don't know if someone ever took it home? There were no catfights over it, and it certainly wasn't me.

Edited by I_call_the_duck (log)

Karen C.

"Oh, suddenly life’s fun, suddenly there’s a reason to get up in the morning – it’s called bacon!" - Sookie St. James

Travelogue: Ten days in Tuscany

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Maybe we should start a thread called "strange hambone stories". For I have one too, but it went the opposite way.

I took dinner (the whole dinner) over to a friend's house for Thanksgiving once many years ago. She was depressed and said she did not want to cook.

Did the whole thing, ate the dinner, we cleaned up and because I had too much stuff to carry home, I asked if I could leave the ham bone in her freezer for a while.

All well and fine. Wrapped it up and popped it into the freezer.

Later in the week I started to get calls on my answering machine. (I was working a lot of hours then and was rarely home.) "When are you going to come get this hambone?" "The hambone is still in the freezer here, you know." "If you are going to leave the hambone here, do you want me to re-wrap it better?"

Let's note that this person was not a cook by any means. The freezer was empty but for the hambone, a quart of ice-cream, and two frozen TV dinners. So it was not uh, "in the way".

The phone calls became more urgent, finally on the fourth day reaching three on that same day. I called her from work and asked if there was a problem.

"YOUR HAMBONE!" she screeched at me. "IT IS STILL HERE! DO YOU WANT IT OR NOT?"

Uh, no. . .please just throw it away, I said.

Sorry to have bothered you.

Hambones. Some sort of strange thing going on there. :blink:

(Maybe we can consider this a pot-luck story since I *did* carry that dinner over to her house. . .sigh.) :huh:

OMG Carrot Top that is just too hilarious and creepy as well. Please, please tell us that you never cooked for this basket case again. WTF is wrong with people anyway? To focus on an unobtrusive hambone after someone has cooked you entire Thanksgiving meal is beyond bizarre. Maybe we should try to introduce her to the flake I used to work with. :rolleyes:

Still LMAO over your line about "Maybe we should start a thread called "strange hambone stories". Why not? :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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"Maybe we should start a thread called "strange hambone stories".

Actually, a friend gave me two smoked ham hocks because she had no idea how to use them. Drool, can you say greens and hamhocks, split pea soup, navy bean soup...drool...

Edited by NWKate (log)
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The worst potluck I can remember was when I was in high school and it was <sigh> at my own family's THANKSGIVING. My aunt invited everyone to her home that year and she told everyone she had this great new recipe. SHE was preparing the entree, and everyone else should just bring a side and dessert. (Did I mention that the woman is cheap? She is. Very.) The main dish was a chicken casserole, and she was so proud of that dish that she gave everyone the recipe. I still have it, if anyone wants it! It calls for not even a real chicken, but 3 CANS of "Swanson deboned chicken." :huh: I wasn't even a good cook then, but I remember thinking, "That ain't right."

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I've spoken many times of the horrible potlucks that I've endured at the hands of my co-workers, so I won't go there... until I actually have some pictures to post. :raz:

The worst thing that I have ever brought to a potluck could have been prevented if I would have just taken a moment to think about the people that I would be eating with. I think it was Thanksgiving with the in-laws... anyway, they told me to bring a veg. I kept thinking that the only veg dishes I had ever seen on their tables were lima beans, green bean casserole, and corn. Yawn. Boring! I had come accross a recipe for a tomato and artichoke bake that I thought sounded wonderful. Tomatoes, artichoke hearts, S & P, butter, and a bread crumb crust on top. Simple, full of flavor, can't miss!! When it was complete, I tried it and it was really good. A little tart, but still really good. I was excited. When we arrived and I uncovered that dish... oh, the expressions on their faces... you would have thought that I took a crap in a casserole dish and tried to pass it off as dinner. No one would touch it. No one. Not even my husband!!! I was the only one eating it and BEGGING for anyone to just TRY it! Nope. Sigh. I've learned my lesson. I'll just bring the beer and be done with it.

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The college I where a work had a tradition of a "potluck picnic" after the opening of school faculty /staff meeting, that I swear must have been leftover from the time when there were "faculty wives" at home to prepare all the dishes while the faculty men were busy at work. Unfortunately the tradition carried over into the 21st century, which a total PITA if you were a faculty member without a wifey to prepare your contribution, 'cause you were at work all day! (one of my colleagues used to joke that you couldn't find a single pie at the grocery store bakery next to the college that day!).

I don't remember any truly heinous potluck dishes. However, to help out, the cafeteria provided the main dishes. gloppy vegetarian lasagna, and nasty fried chicken, set out on a steam table outSIDE on a hot August day in the southeast. And of course all the potluck dishes, regardless of quality, rapidly filled w/ yellowjackets and wasps looking for a nice meal! Mmmm...tasty...NOT!

Fortunately we recently discarded that tradition (yay for new presidents!), and now it's catered (still by the cafeteria, but they've switched to barbeque, which they are better at) It's still nasty hot and humid, but it's a huge improvement.

Anne

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Okay - this probably doesn't count as true "potluck" but more like unsolicited holiday potluck - you know - those well meaning neighbors and sometimes friends who drop off "homemade" christmas cookies - or even sometimes halloween or turkey shaped cookies in gawd awful plastic festive shaped trays covered with colored saran wrap. 9 out of 10 times, these cookies look and taste suspiciously like the ones in the pilsbury ready-made sugar cookie commercials where that dough boy is going on and giggling about how he just loves christmas cookies. The "best" ones are decorated with those metallic edible bb's that are about as tasty and likely to chip your tooth as the real thing. I know it's the thought that counts, but what are these people thinking??? :shock:

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Maybe we should start a thread called "strange hambone stories". For I have one too, but it went the opposite way.

Did the whole thing, ate the dinner, we cleaned up and because I had too much stuff to carry home, I asked if I could leave the ham bone in her freezer for a while.

"YOUR HAMBONE!" she screeched at me. "IT IS STILL HERE! DO YOU WANT IT OR NOT?"

Still LMAO over your line about "Maybe we should start a thread called "strange hambone stories". Why not? :smile:

Heh, you two, I am in the middle of making split pea soup with a very big smoked ham shank.

Not EVHS, but I guess it might be deemed Pure Ham Shank.

You want?

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Okay - this probably doesn't count as true "potluck" but more like unsolicited holiday potluck - you know - those well meaning neighbors and sometimes friends who drop off "homemade" christmas cookies - or even sometimes halloween or turkey shaped cookies in gawd awful plastic festive shaped trays covered with colored saran wrap.  9 out of 10 times, these cookies look and taste suspiciously like the ones in the pilsbury ready-made sugar cookie commercials where that dough boy is going on and giggling about how he just loves christmas cookies.  The "best" ones are decorated with those metallic edible bb's that are about as tasty and likely to chip your tooth as the real thing.  I know it's the thought that counts, but what are these people thinking??? :shock:

Oo! Oo! That reminds me of one! This one was mine. Whoops. I found a recipe for rosemary shortbread that I thought sounded divine. Rosemary has that pine scent and mixed with buttery shortbread? Mmmm! Very Christmasy!

Well, I made them, and *I* loved them, but when I put them on those cookie trays you refer to to bring to events, they always remained. I wondered out loud why, and my husband said they were like a disturbing mix of cookie and pizza.

Oh well, I guess I won't make them again this year. :wink:

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