What's the worst dish that you made or ate?

strawchicago 5a ILJanuary 4, 2013

I'm a total retard in cooking and can only handle 5 to 6 ingredients and a few spices ... so I am looking for such that I can't possibly screw up. My cooking masterpiece was throwing a corn beef brisket in the crock-pot, and set it for 4 hours. My husband raved about the meal, so I hope for something similar. The other meals I made in a crock-pot were disasters, such as:

1) The deer that my brother shot: I grind that tough meat up as a spaghettti sauce in a crock-pot. It tasted like mushed up rubber bands with a deer flavor.

2) The frozen lamb ribs from Trader Joe's: It stank up really bad in a crock-pot.

My worst quick-dinner when I threw canned tuna, spaghetti sauce, and a can of kidney bean together. It tasted like someone's vomit with lumpy beans. What's the worst dish that you made or ate? Hopefull I'm not the only one that screwed up.

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When I was about 14 I decided to fry some chicken and I didn't have a clue. I made a batter out of flour and eggs and milk and dipped the chicken in it and fried it in the skillet. It was like a chicken corn-dog. I don't even think my dad ate much of it, and he could eat anything.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 6:24PM
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One year, long ago I decided to make DH tamale pie for his birthday. He doesn't even like tamale pie so I have no idea why I chose it.
I didn't use a recipe, added a can of creamed corn and it was horrible. So horrible I threw it away and I HATE to waste food.
Our DS was away at soccer camp and called to wish his Dad Happy Birthday. Knowing I also make something special for birthdays, DS asked what kind of good food he missed.
DH told him to be glad he was away at camp.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 7:30PM
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strawchicago 5a IL

Thank you, Rita and Carol, for the best laughs that cheer me up today. Chicken corn-dog? that's a new one, and cream corn is my most hated-food.

When I was 13 years old, I decided to be a child-genius in cooking and sprinkled every spice bottle onto a beef roast ... at least 12 flavors from cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, garlic, onion, ginger, soysauce, ketchup, mustard, tabasco, etc.. It was odd-tasting, but my family ate it. At least the meat was fresh.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 9:39PM
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I made the world's worst turkey one year. I was a student in my teens and my mother was away. I had seen her roast turkey umpteen times so I prepped it just like she did, put it in the oven and calculated the time from one of her cookbooks. My big mistake was that the book assumed a roasting temp of 350F and I set it to 400, just like mom. The turkey looked fine, but when you tried to carve it, it fell into a pile of sawdust. What made it worse was that my dad had invited an old friend to dinner.

We glued it together with gallons of gravy. Thank goodness I didn't screw this up. I don't know what we did with the rest of the awful turkey which no-one wanted to touch. I might have turned it into soup.

Not long after I discovered meat thermometers which became an obsession with me. And I brine just about everything.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 12:45AM
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I've cooked some horrors in my time, but the very worst was when I went to stay with a dear friend who isn't interested in cooking but she had made an effort for me. It looked like a spherical concrete garden ornament. Tasted like one too. Turned out it was a cauliflower covered in a chopped mushroom concoction. Aarrggh.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 3:30AM
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I was pretty much a meat and potatoes (but good) cook, based on what I'd learned at home. Met my future husband and decided to cook something gourmet. Chose Spanish Rice Stuffed Green Peppers. (1971) Turns out, that was one of his mother's go to dishes and he HATED spanish rice. He choked it down and didn't tell me until many years later how much he detested Spanish rice.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 4:39AM
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Let's seee, it was during our first year of marriage. I was looking for a new fish recipe. Found one in if memory serves me the Betty Crocker cookbook. So it was a real recipe! It was a fish and peach layered loaf. Don't ask me why that sounded good to me back then. OMG it was awful! And the recipe made 2 fish loaves. One for now and one to save for later. Neither one of us could stand it so we threw both of them away in the trash. Yuk that still haunts me to this day! NancyLouise

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 8:16AM
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Mine was when I was in college. My roommate and I had invited a bunch of people for dinner at our apartment and were going to serve spaghetti with meat sauce, a salad and garlic bread.

We both were experienced cooks by that age but not in Italian cooking so we carefully followed a recipe from a cookbook we took out from the library.

The Saturday night and our guests arrived and we sat down to dinner, which looked great, although we hadn't tasted the final result before serving. As our friends dug into the pasta, they got some weird looks on their faces and reached for their beverages.

Never having cooked with fresh garlic before, we had saut�ed two HEADS of peeled and chopped garlic instead of the two CLOVES of garlic in the recipe. It was completely inedible.

So everyone chipped in and we ordered some pizzas. The garlic bread was made with garlic powder so we were OK on that and the dinner party proceeded successfully.

I think of that night just about every time I'm using fresh garlic.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 9:10AM
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strawchicago 5a IL

You all had me laughing so hard to brighten up the gloomy day here Chicagoland. I appreciate your honesty and humor. Thank you, Cheryl for that saw-dust turkey recipe, and islay_corbel for that spherical concrete cauliflower.

Hi Olychhick: You have invented the best way to shop for a husband: serve him an awful dinner, and watch his response. If he gives nasty face, he's out. You got a good catch there, a saint who doesn't say anything until years afterwards.

Hi Ruthanna: I made the same mistake with raw garlic. I convinced my Mom on the health properties of garlic so she minced tons raw garlic from the garden and COATED the turkey breast in that. It's call Egyptian mummfied turkey breast. We all reek like Egyptian mummies aftewards.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 1:49PM
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Hey Ruthanna, I did practically the same thing! Just out of college, I hadn't really cooked before. Was in my first apartment & thought I'd make chili from scratch. The recipe called for at least a couple cloves of garlic. I wasn't sure if a clove was one of the little pieces or the whole thing. I figured how much flavor could a couple of those little pieces impart & decided a clove must mean the whole thing - added at least a couple heads of garlic, and you are right - it was inedible! Didn't exactly taste like garlic - just bad!
I've seen recipes for something like "chicken with 16 cloves of garlic" and won't go near it. I guess it probably tastes ok, but I don't know how. Maybe the cloves stay whole, which would be milder than crushing 16 cloves of garlic in an entree.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 1:52PM
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strawchicago 5a IL

NancyLouise made me laugh so hard about her fish and peach layered loaf. I did the same last night, I was making a grapefruit and maple syrup dressing for my salmon. I didn't measure, so too much maple syrup got dumped out ... plus it's really sweet Texas grapefruit. Thank God my husband has a sweet tooth. My kid and I hated it.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 1:57PM
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My dad was a *NASCAR driver and was seriously injured in a race so he was at home for a long time. He experimented with "exotic" foods, the worse was beef tripe. Less disgusting but still hardly tolerable for a children who were required to eat everything on our plate: alligator tail before it was popular in bars, real harvested hearts of palm, and oregano muffins.

*My brother recently found NASCAR archives where my dad was ranked. We thought that was cool.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 2:03PM
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Way back when Julia, Graham, and Jeff were about the only cookiing shows on TV, my Dad was INTO them... bought a lot of their cookbooks.

One time he decided, "we" would make won ton soup from Jeff's Asian cookbook. The broth was very nice, but won tons were REALLY tough. Guessing what I though was thin definitelt wasn't.

Another time, he decided "we" would make beef Wellington. Didn't have foie gras or duxelle of mushrooms... basic BIG $$ hunka beef tenderloin cooked in a pastry crust. Didn't look THAT difficult and I was comfortable in kitchen by then. It LOOKED fabulous going into oven and even fabulousER when it came out. Unfortunately, we hadda just about CHISEL the crust off... would NOT cut!?! Luckily, the big money beef was cooked perfectly... PHEW!!

Day I moved from apartment to house, made spaghetti and meat sauce... simple enough to manage while friends were helping us unload stuff from boxes. Spaghetti cooked WAY too long and was FIRST thing to go down garbage disposal... luckily, NOT an expensive FAIL!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 2:32PM
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A couple of years ago, I decided to bake a "healthy" muffin from a highly rated recipe I found online (not here). I followed the recipe perfectly, and the batter tasted fine. But fresh out of the oven, they tasted like sawdust.

Not wanting my efforts to be a complete waste, I gave one to each of our four Goldens. They ALL started coughing and gagging in a way that I had never heard before. For an hour. I thought we'd end up at the emergency vet.

To this day, DH refers to it as the day I tried to take out the dogs.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 3:14PM
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Years ago I tried following a recipe for stuffed squid in a cookbook my brother-in-law gave me as one of his favorites. I had seen the recipe in the book and saw small squid on sale, and decided to be adventurous.

After following all of the steps carefully, I finished the dish and plated it as a suprise fancy meal for my wife. She took a couple of bites and stopped saying I can't eat this it is awful. I was crestfallen, after all that work, but a tried a couple of bites, and I don't think it was awful, but it wasn't anything like good either. I think we fed the rest to the garbage disposal.

Subsequently to put a good spin on it, I decided that at least she is honest with me, and all the previous times (and all the times since) when she had said that a dish was delicious, she wasn't just trying to spare my feelings.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 4:01PM
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We have been celebrating our retirement by going out to eat as often as possible. As we live in the San Francisco Bay Area, there is no dearth of restaurants to eat at, from 5-star wallet breakers to the classic hole-in-the-wall noodle slingers. We can have $6 Ethiopian injera for lunch and six hours later have $100 lobster with black truffle oil for dinner.

Oddly, the worst dish that sticks in our minds was the mediocre deconstructed, super-sweet, all looks/no substance desserts at a world-famed Michelin 2-star restaurant in the Wine Country. The meal was good to great, right up until the three desserts came.

Then it all fell apart. They were terrible, especially considering some of their competitors' amazing pastry chefs. To end a $200/per person dinner with three complete "downers" made a mockery of the other courses with their exquisite ingredients, careful execution, and very fine waitstaff.

To think that someone had spent hours creating such awkward combinations, then had all three desserts approved and allowed to leave the kitchen....we were flabbergasted. Such ham-handedness is unthinkable at this level of dining.

We have never, in 45 yrs, encountered such a wrenching dislocation at a high-end restaurant. And especially in the Bay Area, where great chefs abound, it was unbelievable.

We have had some really amazing food at all price levels, but when you are up at the high-end, a restaurant needs to be 'on its game' every minute, for every dish, every night. It should never be less than good, and should hit 'excellent' at least 70% of the time.

All three of these desserts didn't even make it to good. The best one was "fair" and two of them were simply disgusting. Just goes to show you can have training, imagination, and the finest of ingredients, and still muck things up by ignoring the basic question - "Does it taste good?"

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 4:50PM
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Quite a few years ago, I was enticed by descriptions of Steak and Kidney Pie in several British mysteries. Found a recipe, followed it to the letter, and as soon as I put on the kidneys to clean and simmer, the entire house began to smell like a latrine. My husband emerged from his office, worried that we had a sewer problem. But I bravely forged ahead and can report that the finished pie tasted just as bad as it smelled.

As for recent worst dishes, I was in a hurry while shopping and mistakenly picked up garlic-pepper pistachios instead of plain to make white chocolate pistachio cranberry cookies for Christmas. When I realized this I figured I could just rinse the heck out of the pistachios and remove the garlic pepper taste. Didn't work, and reinforced that no one likes garlic flavored cookies. :o)

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 5:25PM
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Great stories. Our (not mine - DH made it) disaster that is brought up by us as the big one was a dried shrimp and cucumber dish. Out of some Chinese cookbook. DH had been perfecting his cooking of Chinese food and thought he would try this dish. It was awful and we threw it away after one bite. I shudder just thinking about how awful it tasted.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 6:02PM
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strawchicago 5a IL

Thank you, Elbal, Mustang, Klseiverd, and esp. Goldgirl for such hilarious accounts of foods went wrong. I looked up "Beef tripe" that Mustang had to endure: it's the 1st 3 chambers of a cow's stomach.

My Dad made fried rice with beef tongue. Whatever it was, it stuck to our throats and tongues like wax. He's an adventurous man that traveled worldwide and fluent in French. Then he made beef kidney which stank up like urine, just like what petra described in "Steak and Kidney Pie". I'll vote for beef tongue as worst since it's hard to scrape off that wax from one's throat.

I made a mistake like Petra, except in the opposite spectrum. My Mom left a bucket of boiled chicken, and batter to fry. She also left a bucket of dried figs next to it. In the dim basement light, I could not see well, I mistook the figs for cooked chicken, fried it, and served it as fried chicken. We trashed all the figs with garlic, seasoned salt, and soy sauce batter. I was 13 years old, and at the height of my cooking misadventures.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 6:22PM
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These are sooooo funny! I'm watching my husband and son play chess (imagine paint drying) and really chuckling over these.

I've made my fair share of nasty trash. That said, my husband's coworker gets an award for solar chicken. He was running errands, bought some packages of chicken, forgot about them and left them in the car. To add insult, he then went on a vacation for a week taking the family's van. Monday morning off to work, opens the car door and is rendered speechless. The chicken had exploded. Everywhere. He told my husband that the smell was indescribable.

As an aside, my 80-year old father has a hearing problem and missed the word "package" when my husband was sharing the story. He thought the my husband's coworker had left live chickens in the car and they exploded. Wow.

Great question, Strawberryhill

Cathy in SWPA

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 7:00PM
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I actually like steak and kidney pie, but when making it the kidneys are not simmered separately. Maybe that makes the difference.
I can report that, if you are really short of pots and stove space, spaghetti (the pasta) in a crockpot is not a good option.
One yuk dish that springs to mind was a kind of dumpling we had in a restaurant in Saigon, serving royal Hue cuisine. It tasted as if it was filled with chopped gristle and not much else :-P.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 8:25PM
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strawchicago 5a IL

Cathy in SWPA got me laughing so hard about live chickens exploding ... so much for "solar chicken". Thank you, a good laugh is great.

Hi Bob: That stuff squid dish is a pain to make, it's best fresh like what I had in a tropical country. I agree with Rosesstink that the cucumber-dried-shrimp salad is BAD, I ate those at a Chinese buffet once and hated it.

Thank you, Jkom51, for a report on the worst restaurant food ... I assume that they were decade-old dessert. That restaurant could had served PepperidgeFarm frozen cakes .... they are YUMMY. I had PepperidgeFarm frozen chocolate cake for breakfast & lunch & dinner when I was pregnant at 115 pounds ... but I ate lots of salads and Raisin Bran to balance out the cake.

I once read in a Cooking magazine about a chef at a ski resort who promised guests a great Italian chicken dinner. He bought tons of fresh chicken breasts, and planned on soaking it in olive oil, except he grabbed the wrong oil container, a pine-oil based floor cleaner, to marinade the breasts.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 8:44PM
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The absolutely worst food I've ever eaten was at a Ruby Tuesday's chain restaurant in Big Rapids. I got a trio of "sliders", all were awful and I'm not sure any of them were actually made of any edible substance. One was a veggie burger with so much bottled BBQ sauce that the bun was soaked and the whole thing fell apart when you tried to pick it up. Number two was a turkey burger that tasted like.....nothing, pretty much. I don't even remember the third slider, I think I was probably being ill by that point and I have refused to eat at any Ruby Tuesdays' since then.

I've got a list of chain restaurants that I refuse to eat at after getting more than one bad meal. Olive Garden heads the list, followed closely by Ruby Tuesday's and Applebee's, Golden Corral, the Old Country Buffet and the Big Rapids Big Boy. Ugh.

Anyway, the absolute worst meals I've ever had have always been in chain restaurants. Coming from a person who has eaten porcupine and mountain oysters and muskrat, it's saying a lot when I say something is inedible.

What's the worst thing I've ever made? I've made a lot of bad meals, LOL, but none were as bad as that trio of sliders, so I guess it's OK. I've made my share of tough roasts, dry overhandled biscuits, bread that didn't rise well, fudge that never set up, caramels that not only set up but became hard as concrete and overdone chicken. I just keep on cooking, though, and Cooper eats the mistakes!


    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 11:25PM
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Speaking of Cooper eating the mistakes, I am reminded of the story (think I read it in a women's magazine) of someone who tried breadmaking and couldn't work with the dough. So she decided to bury her mistake in the garden to hide it rather than put it in the bin where it might be spotted by a family member. The next day, one of her children came running in to tell about the huge weird mushroom thing erupting from the ground in the garden. Yes, it was the fermenting dough rising up through the dirt! :-D

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 12:20AM
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Ooooh, I LOVE that bread dough story. LOL!

I do reviews - very long, detailed ones - of the restaurants we have gone to (some 380 in the last three years, not counting repeats). One of our great loves is French cuisine, and I am especially fond of cassoulet, the classic baked bean casserole. Recently I had a version at a local bistro that came close to being as abysmal as those desserts at the Michelin-starred Wine Country restaurant. It wasn't quite as bad though. But I described it this way:

"...The cassoulet looked interesting, so I picked it for my entree: duck confit, boar sausage, and pork tenderloin. We're experiencing our first severe cold spell, so it seemed an appropriate choice. As it turned out, the description proved to be the best part of the dish.

I've described many a cassoulet in my reviews before. I love cassoulet, which is nothing more than beans stewed with various meats, a classic French country cooking dish. Variants of this basic casserole exist in just about every country. In Alsatian France and Germany it's potatoes and sauerkraut subbing for the beans; in Spain and India it's rice. In Morocco it's couscous, in Italy and most of Asia it's based on noodles.

Some meat, a tasty sauce or seasoning, and suddenly a potful of bland, uninteresting starch turns into something greater than the sum of its parts. The meat varies, and isn't as important as the seasoning it provides to the overall dish. Like all braises, the meat should be stewing cuts, something that slowly softens in the long, gentle cooking and provides rich flavor.

Sadly, this culinary magic of 1+1+1+1=5 seems to have utterly escaped this bistro. They should have saved themselves a lot of trouble and opened up a can of Bush's Baked Beans. It would have been just as authentically French as the mess in my soup bowl.

There was no sausage to be found, and heaven forbid the waiter should bother to offer an explanation for its absence. The duck quarter was dried out and tough, in addition to being overcooked on one side, just short of burnt. The pork tenderloin was a boneless chop(!), quite large, salted to within an inch of its life, seared on the grill (complete with markings), sliced and plopped like a garnish on top of the strangest baked beans I've encountered in a while.

The beans were cannellini beans, not flageolets, and unfortunately, the kitchen made the dried beans from scratch instead of starting with canned beans. I use the word "unfortunately" because in this case, canned beans would have been so much better than the combination of pureed bean mush mixed with still-slightly-crunchy whole beans which sat underneath these ill-conceived meats.

If they'd started with canned beans, at least all of the beans would have been fully cooked, as well as salted. This disaster wasn't. Unsalted beans are like unsalted polenta -- really, why even bother cooking them?

And the Bush's beans would have gone better with the odd garnish of raw baby spinach leaves and paper-thin carrot slices that came on all the plates. It wasn't large enough to be a side salad (and there was no dressing anyway) although it added some color to the monochromatic food combinations."


I should note here that for some reason, it has become the "in thing" in our local restaurants to serve dried beans which are 'al dente' - still hard and unpleasantly crunchy in the center. I have no idea where chefs picked up this idea and think it's even worse than foam sauces and unidentifiable Modernist gel bubbles. I love dried beans of all types, BUT WHO THINKS THAT HALF-RAW DRIED BEANS ARE WORTH EATING?!?!?

Okay, deep breath. Ahhhh....thanks, now that's off my chest. I feel better already. At least until I encounter those stupid al dente beans again!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 1:03AM
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The exploding chicken story beats all, but here is a true story anyway. When my son started working in construction and was still living at home, I noticed that he was taking leftovers, I figured they had a microwave in the construction trailer and didn't give it much thought. Anyways, come to find out, he was leaving it on the dashboard of his car with the windows closed tight to heat in the sun until lunchtime!!!! I went ballistic! I mean, he was doing this with anything, including TUNA CASSEROLE! When I yelled at him about it, he said well everyone else does it, and no-one had gotten sick over it yet.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 7:46AM
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That exploding chicken does take the cake!

I remember when a friend of mine and I decided to make chili for dinner. We started a pot, with all the usual fare that goes into chili. We had forgotten about church. So we put the chili on low (it was cooking on the stove top.) We thought it would be fine for an hour or so. We went to church, but then forgot about the chili. After church we ran some errands. Several hours later we came home, opened up the front door and wafts of burnt chili hit us. We ran to the kitchen. There was at least a half inch of burnt goo around the the entire inside of the pan. We were lucky we didn't burn down the house. We threw out the chili pan & all.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 9:38AM
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I did that with potatoes once, Booberry! I put some potatoes on to boil for potato salad, then completely forgot about them and went out to run some errands. A few hours later while driving home I suddenly remembered them and got so flustered I missed the right turn for my suburb, which made the trip home even longer. Got home to a house full of smoke and a pot that was completely black with what looked like the remains of BBQ charcoals in the bottom.
Not wanting to deal with it I put the pot out on the back porch and forgot it again for a few months (it was that kind of porch :-) ). The weather made all the black flake off and the pot was as good as new!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 10:13AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I was a teen and still remember the awful railroad cookies...it was 2 different doughs that were pinwheeled together...made a beautiful looking cookie but they were awful tasting!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 10:36AM
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I'm not a fancy cook, but I am pretty good at basic "home cooking" type food. My mother went away for a few days when I was a teenager, and my job was to cook for my dad while she was gone. Gravy was a staple at our house, and I had seen my mother make it many times, but I hadn't paid attention to proportions. My dad, who didn't have a great personality or sense of humor when it came to messin' with his food, wasn't amused when my first attempt at making gravy would have been much better for making biscuits.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 11:49AM
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I have a long list of cooking disasters. The one that always sticks in my mind is when as a new young bride, I attempted to bake a pie. It was a pie that required a baked crust. I made the pastry and put it in the pie pan, put it in the ancient old oven that was in our apartment, let it bake for the required amount of time then filled it. The only hitch was that it was a gas stove and had to be lit. I grew up with electric and had no idea that some old ovens needed to be lit. The pastry was was totally raw. It was just horrible and a very deflating experience for a young person. Even my husband could not choke it down. I think the gas must have been escaping into the kitchen the whole time, so I was lucky that a pie crust only bakes a few minutes or I may have blown us all to smithereens.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 12:34PM
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strawchicago 5a IL

Hi Dedtired: I'm glad that you are alive too. Thanks for that life-saving story. I agree with Annie1992 and Jkom51 about restaurant foods that are much worse than homemade disasters.

The worst foods I ate were neither my teenager fiascos nor my Dad's beef tongue. It's a meal served at Shoney's, now out of business. The baked potato tasted like it was reheated many times to a dry and bitter taste. The rice was half-raw, and the shrimp was utterly salty, enough to to paralyze a person with a stroke. Homemade fiascos like Marilyn's gravy may taste bad, but at least they are healthy: freshly-made, low-salt, and low-fat.

I love Coleenoz "mushroom dough" story, that's just as funny as the "exploding chicken" which made me crack up many times. I think it's funny how Ritaweeda's son heating his lunch in his car ... my Mom dried apricots by putting them inside a car in full-sun. They were yummy, but tough like leather and broke my tooth's filling off.

Thank you, Booberry on the burnt-chili story, which reminds me NEVER to leave food cooking while gone. I agree with AnnieDeigh that those pinwheel cookies are bad, and I avoided them too.

I can see why Cathy's 80-year old father misheard and thought they were live chickens, rather than chicken-package. We were eating at a buffet restaurant. I was listening to my mother-in-law while my husband talked to his sister about a guy stole buffet food by putting them in a diaper bag. He talked fast and the word "bag" trailed off my ears while I focused on what his Mom said. Since English is NOT my native language I thought he meant the guy was stealing food by stuffing them inside his baby's diaper. My husband broke out laughing, "Yeah, he opened the diaper, saw something brown, and said ... it must be the gravy I put in there. Ha! Ha!"

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 1:10PM
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Some of these stories had me laughing so hard my son came in to see what I was laughing about (it was the solar chicken story). I wonder who had to clean up that car and if they ever got the smell out. . . What an awful job that must have been!

I've been cooking since I was about 10 years old and am now in my mid-50s, so I've had plenty of disappointing and disasterous dishes over the years. The one that stands out as the greatest disappointment was when we first moved to Los Angeles. DH and I both grew up in Michigan, eating lots of fresh lake perch, walleye, bass, and pike. My dad went fishing almost everyday in the summer so we had fish at least 2x per week. So, after DH and I had been in Anaheim for a few months, I was hungry for a nice fish dinner. I found some inexpensive perch at the local Albertson's and thought, "Ah, pan-fried perch--yum!" So that evening I started to prepare it. Opened the package and the fish had a strong fishy smell, not at all like the perch we ate at home, and the fillets were somewhat larger than what I was used to. I fixed the seasoned flour and cornmeal (that I had used many times before) and panfried the fish. The whole apartment smelled terribly fishy, but we sat down eager to have the perch. Ugh! It was terrible. Turns out it was ocean perch (package just said perch) not sweet delicious lake perch. As I recall, DH ate most of his serving of fish, but I threw mine in the garbage and had a bowl of cereal for dinner. It took days to air out that apartment!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 1:23PM
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How about this one?

Wonderful fresh salad with Heirloom tomatoes from my garden, and mixed delicate greens also from my garden.

One of the dinner guests found 1/2 of a caterpillar in hers, still moving.

I told her the caterpillar was organic and free-ranged. She was not impressed.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 1:56PM
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strawchicago 5a IL

Thank you, dcarch, my 10-years old voted your caterpillar-salad as the most funny.

I agree with flwrs_n_co that rotten fish at the supermarket is the worst, it makes cereal and milk gourmet. I bought frozen perch at a grocery store, it smelled putrid, and tasted worse than beef's kidney. Now I buy frozen fish either from Sam's club or Trader's Joe, both are fresher than the frozen stuff at other stores that sit there for years.

Meijers in my Chicagoland has decent fresh fish. I complimented the guy who worked there and he said he stopped working for other stores since they thawed frozen fish and labeled them as "fresh".

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 2:35PM
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Caterpillars?? Dcarch -- Love it!

Ritaweeda, true story -- couldn't make that up. BTW, I love your son. I used to put my baloney and cheese sandwich on the top shelf in the school coat room so that the sun would hit it and melt the cheese. I'm a self-professed germaphobe now and absolutely cringe about that.

There's about three stories about this young man's antics that would make you cry. My husband and I can't remember who or how his car was cleaned only that his wife was furious.

These recollections are all so funny and have made my day.

Cathy in SWPA

As an aside, all solar chicken conversation and laughter completely halted when my Dad said "feathers." You could have heard a pin drop. Literally. Fond memories!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 3:59PM
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Ooooh, that reminds me of the time we decided to make cherry pie from cherries on a neighbors tree. We made the pie and had leftover cherries. After eating the pie (okay), someone picked up a cherry from the leftovers, bit into it and discovered a little white worm. Every cherry had a worm in it. I wonder how many we ate? Good source of protein, I hope.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 4:17PM
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We soon moved from Anaheim to Manhattan Beach and then to a cute little house in Mar Vista (just outside of Santa Monica). I quickly found the Santa Monica Fish Market and always bought my fish from them. Discovered thresher shark (cheap and very yummy) and several other ocean varieties we had never tried (having always had lake fish previously). We only stayed in LA for 5 years; I don't miss much about LA, but I do miss the fresh seafood at budget friendly prices (having lived in Denver area for almost 30 years).

I love cherries and eat them almost daily when they're in season. I hope I don't find any little white worms! Too funny, dedtired!

Dcarch, your caterpillar story reminded me of when I worked hosting at a steakhouse restaurant one summer during college. Several times customers found roaches in their salads--ugh!!! Not surprising considering the kitchen floor was so slick with grease you could slide across it. I NEVER ate there, even when I worked double shifts; always brought my lunch. The other employees thought I was weird, but after I saw that kitchen the first night I worked, I knew I never wanted to eat anything coming out of there.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 6:33PM
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Once upon a time I helped a friend bake a pumpkin pie with a volunteer pumpkin from her compost heap. She was one of those exotic (to me) people who can follow a recipe through to the end without modification or taste testing. So we disembowelled the pumpkin, peeled it and chopped it, cooked it, made the crust and in the process of making the filling I broke her rule and tasted it. BLECH! Evidently the volunteer was part pumpkin and part some kind of inedible gourd. Really the most awful flavor ever!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 6:54PM
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dcarch, Ashley has always LOVED Olive Garden, until about a month ago. She got her salad and found a grasshopper head in it. Well, the head and the front legs, LOL. Completely ruined her meal and I've just not been appropriately sympathetic, I crack up every time I think about it. (grin)

Actually, eating insects isn't something that particularly upsets me. After all, I love lobster and they are basically giant water bugs.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 7:37PM
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Worst thing I ever found in food at a restaurant was a band aid in some green beans at a Chinese restaurant. Aaaaack. It had obviously slipped off someone's finger. Gack.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 8:30PM
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" Spaghetti cooked WAY too long and was FIRST thing to go down garbage disposal... luckily, NOT an expensive FAIL!" -- just a warning that putting overcooked spaghetti down the garbage disposal can be more your most expensive fail ever - after you have to pay Roto-Rooter to remove the blockage from your sewer. Pasta, over cooked or undercooked is one of the worst things to but down a garbage disposal, but I guess you got lucky. Next time put the pasta in the trash!! I have screens protecting my kitchen drains, and I never let anything solid go down the drain. Our sewers in Venice used to get blocked on a regular basis, and when we bought the house in Westchester, I demanded that the sewer be clear all the way to the street, causing the previous owners to pay $1400 to remove the blockage that existed after they had done a $600 insufficient attempt at clearing it. I have a terrible fear of blocked sewers, possibly from living in Houston when they would back up during floods.

My most inedible meal was also beef tongue, which I ordered in a restaurant in Mexico City before I knew Spanish well enough to know that "lengua" meant tongue. It was way too tough for me to chew, and I had to leave it in the soup. I went hungry that afternoon. The second worst meal would have to be Kraft Mac & Cheese, and I only had two bites of it before I swore off of it forever, and I've never touched it again since.

The worst meal I've made (IMO) was when I combined too many incompatible dried chilies to make a chili sauce. I had the normal Ancho, Guajillo, and Pasilla chilies (which I still use), but one time I also added smoked chilies de Arbol and chilies de Cascabel (or something like that) and discovered that the smoked chilies are best used by themselves, rather than in mixtures. I'm very careful with my chili mixtures now, and I prefer to grill/smoke my own habaneros rather than use the dried chipotle chilies, which do not have quite as good a flavor.

The other worst dishes I've had were sickeningly sweet barbeque or mole in Oaxaca. To me Oaxaca has the worst food in Mexico, whereas Yucatan has the best. I do like the fried grasshoppers from Oaxaca, however, while we're on the subject of insects.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 9:14PM
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My Mother used to make a beef hash with potatoes and onions and it was so good. She bought the beef hash in a can similar to a spam can...cooked potatoes and onions together and then added the beef hash. Made bicuits to go along.

I decided I would make this for an evening meal. My potatoes were over cooked, the hash fell apart and it all blended together and did not look good. DH was very slow eating and our daughter who was about four years old hollered "It looks like dog food!!"
And know what? it did..... We did not finish that menu.
I found something else for supper that night.

Every now and then DH and DD gets to talking about the dog food I tired to feed them that night. I have never attempted that menu again. Our boys likes to gets in on the story too and they were not even born.
DH says that is my only cooking goof in our 47 years.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 9:22PM
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Dcarch, that's like the old childhood joke, "What's worse than finding a worm in the apple you're eating? Finding half a worm!" :-D
I just remembered my late mother's Christmas baked beans. She decided to make them from scratch, and chose the wrong dried beans and did not soak them for nearly long enough. They tasted like almonds in tomato sauce :-P We had McD's on the way home, we were starving and it was the only place open.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 12:48AM
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Bugs--I forgot the airport but browsing the gift shop, I found a Apple Sucker with a real scorpion inside. I thought Beau would love it given his interest in bugs. Unfortunately mommy found it disgusting and pitched it; I explained to her that it was "sugar free".

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 8:43AM
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strawchicago 5a IL

You made me laughing so hard ... all the stories are funny. I love what Shirl36 wrote "DH was very slow eating and our daughter who was about four years old hollered "It looks like dog food!!" Kids are so honest. When my kid was in 1st grade she kept asking me too many questions. I was so frustrated and said, "stop asking me questions, or else I die young." She shot back, "how are you going to do that? Are you going to assasinate yourself?"

I stop asking the question, "what's in my food" after reading the above comments. The worst food I had was a bottle of Kimchi and found a hair, not from your head, but .... I guess they stomped down mountains of Kimchi with their feet while wearing bikinis. Just a wild guess to explain what happened.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 9:45AM
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While not a taste disaster (since we never got to eat), I once put a dozen eggs on to hard boil and forgot about them. I went to the movies with a live-in guest and the memory hit me an hour into the two-hour movie. There was no real point in hurry home that late and it was a movie he realy wanted to see, so I didn't say anything. When we did get home, there were exploded eggs all over the kitchen and the living room (open kitchen). I spent hours cleaning up, knowing how bad any egg I mised was goingto smell in a few days.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 10:35AM
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The worst thing I have made (that I can remember) was tuna noodle casserole. I had read about it in several American novels as something of an ultimate comfort food and wanted to see what it was like. It made me discover that I definitely do not like twice-cooked canned tuna, especially not tuna canned in oil. I followed a recipe (to the letter) and it came out tasting weird and disgusting and it didn't help that it looked like vomit. A tuna lover would probably have enjoyed it, because I have tasted that ugh! flavour since in dishes like tuna pizza, tuna in tomato sauce and tuna empanadas, which others liked. To this day, whenever I watch an American movie or TV show and someone brings over tuna bake or tuna noodle casserole for a grieving family I see it as a joke (which I have slowly come to realise is probably the correct interpretation).

The second worst was a chilli that was coming along nicely until I had the grand idea of dumping into it a can of coconut milk.

The worst thing my mother ever cooked was seal. She was given some seal meat and had no idea how to handle it*, so she dumped it in salted water and poached it like you might do with mutton. It was tough, rubbery and oily and tasted like it had been marinated in rancid fish oil for a week. I'm sure it would have bounced if it had been dropped on the floor. It stank up the house for several days.

The awfulness of both dishes may be considered in the light of the fact that we eat and enjoy, on occasion, raw shark meat that has been fermented for several months and then dried and which smells worse than the stinkiest cheese you can imagine.

*Seal should be soaked in milk overnight to draw out the oily taste, but I can't imagine there is much that can be done about the toughness.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 10:38AM
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Since we've gone on this tangent, I just remembered the time that DH left a package of ground beef in the floorboard of his pickup over the weekend. It sat with the windows up in 90-degree heat the whole time. The smell was so bad and it had leaked out onto the carpet. He had to rip it out and throw it away. And yes, the eggs would start to smell. Either my sister or I left an Easter egg in the toy-box one time. And of course mom smelled it after quite a few days. My question is, why didn't we smell it??

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 10:42AM
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LOL, Rita, kids smell it but don't think about it. Parents smell it and think "what the heck is THAT?".

Elery had a package of ground turkey fall down into the wheel well of the tunk of a Cavalier once and didn't find it for a week. In the summer. He reached down into that wheelwell and pulled out a package of maggots. Even I kind of gagged, the smell was so awful. That car stunk forever!

Netla, I agree on the tuna casserole, and put it in the same category as green bean casserole, can't eat either of those. Even worse, Ashley used to like the cheese flavored Tuna Helper. So, it's a cross between Kraft Mac and Cheese and Tuna Casserole, with a liberal amount of salt for good measure. Of course, she ate Cream of Mushroom soup cold and straight from the can, so her blood pressure is probably sky high, even for her age!


    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 11:12AM
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The worst meal I ever ate was in Paris. My brother and I were traveling around Europe for about 6 weeks, after college. We were traveling on the cheap: only going where our Eurail passes would take us, staying in hostels and finding lower cost options for eating.

In Paris we found a college dorm at the city university that was being used as a hostel for the summer, and for one meal decided to go to the cafeteria next to the dorm. You had a choice of two main courses, one was some kind of fish that looked a little dried out, (which my brother got) and the other was some sort of meat lumps in gravy. I asked what it was, and my brother translated the answer as "very young beef" adding "I think that means its some kind of veal".

To this day I don't know what it was really, but it seemed younger than veal: as in some of the meat pieces seemed to have a cross-section of bone, but the "bone" was soft, gooey, and gelatinous. And the entire dish, meat lumps and gravy, was a uniform unappetizing greyish color. We decided that the dish's real name must have been something like "aborted cow fetus in placenta sauce". Although I was quite hungry, after two small bites I was done.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 11:19AM
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"poached it like you might do with mutton" I have to admit netla, that's something I would never have thought to do with mutton. (And I do like mutton :-) ). I also like tuna casserole. I asked for it for my farewell dinner the first time I left home. Sadly, DH does not care for canned tuna either so it's been a long, long time since I had tuna casserole. :-(

The "things left in cars" stories remind me of two events-

DH and his best friend T liked to play tricks on T's older brother P. One thing they did was to hide a fish under the driver's seat of P's car in the middle of summer. You can imagine the result- temps here get to 110F+.

The other was a police car story. Here each state has its own police force, which covers the whole state, ie, there are no town or city forces, just all the same police force everywhere. The state is divided into a few large regions, each of which administers its assigned personnel. The regions are so large that traffic patrols on the highways can take a couple of days or more as the traffic car drives all the way to the edge of the region and back. This is all setting the background :-)

One police car was sent to patrol to a regional fishing town and back. When they reached the fishing town, to make the most of the trip they bought a large sack of live lobsters to take home, and put the sack in the boot (trunk). On the way home the lobsters got out, and they found all of them but one. It was summer. After a couple of days, no one would drive the car. It ended up parked at the far end of the lot with fogged up windows :-) After a week or so the sergeant in charge wanted to know why that particular car hadn't been checked out for use in the past few days. After practically dismantling the car they found the extremely expired lobster had managed before it died to crawl from the boot space into the cabin space and ended up under the back seat. :-P

Actually, that reminds me of the box of live yabbies (like mini-lobsters) we had got for a wedding at the restaurant where I worked. It was stored overnight in the walk-in beer cool room as we didn't have enough space in the kitchen cool room. The little buggers managed to get the lid off the styrofoam box and were all over the cool room by morning. For a few days after that we'd find a dead one in an odd corner where it had crawled out of wherever it had been hiding.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 12:38PM
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strawchicago 5a IL

Like Colleen, I love tuna casserole. Bob's "aborted cow fetus in placenta sauce" got me laughing. Since my Dad died of a stroke and my Mom has diabetes, I am into healthy food. I made something similar to Goldengirl's dog-gagging-good muffins, it's wheat germ and wheat bran pie crust recipe, except I reduced the oil. I could hear my brothers cracking jokes that to eat my healthy pie, they have to hold their breadth, so they don't inhale the crumbs up their nostril's hair. I haven't figure out how to hold crumbly pie crust together without the fat ... cornstarch? Elmer's glue?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 2:35PM
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This is an easy one. It's the meal that will live in infamy in our family. We still call it buzzard stew. I have no idea what cut of meat it was, but I think mommy boiled small cubes of beef and the were the toughest bits of grissle ever. Which was weird because my mom is a great cook! Although, she did serve us uncorrected potato soup that she'd dropped in too much pepper (the shake top came off, how many of us have done that?!). OY! I wish she'd poured off the liquid and started again. I get not wasting potatoes, but did we have to eat that soup as it was, pepper and all?! Ok, two worst meals ever. If I've made them and they were that awful, I've blocked it out. I'm sure I have, but do I remember? No.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 4:43PM
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I don't know what it says about me that I'm absolutely drawn to this thread:) Between grasshoppers, caterpillars, little white worms, the soup casseroles. My goodness, I remember drinking green bean casserole down with my milk at my nana's house. I was gagging and my mom was whispering "don't you dare .. don't you dare." She was probably pinching my upper arm too:)

When I was in my early twenties (many years ago) I ordered a chef salad at Denny's. I was cutting a piece of turkey and my knife made a clinking sound. Moving the turkey and lettuce aside, lo and behold there appeared a huge thermometer. Funny, but I remember it looking like a candy thermometer, but it must have been a refrigerator one. That said, Denny's was absolutely beside itself with apologies. Paid for the salad too.

Cathy in SWPA

Thank you all for lots of smiles.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 4:52PM
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netla, you're the first person I've come across who eats kaestur hakarl! I'm impressed! (and no, I don't think I'd try it, being too cowardly, LOL)

    Bookmark   January 7, 2013 at 8:48PM
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"poached it like you might do with mutton" I have to admit netla, that's something I would never have thought to do with mutton.

Colleeen, poached mutton is quite nice served with rice and plain b�chamel (made with the cooking liquid) or curry b�chamel. Admittedly, it is better to use lamb because of the shorter cooking time.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 6:46AM
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I was once in France. I speak just a little French, and my vocabulary isn't the greatest. On a restaurant menu I saw 'andouillette' sausage. Now in Louisiana andouille is one of the richest, tastiest, spiciest piece of charcuterie there is, so I figured andouillette was just a smaller version of andouille, so I ordered some. (Linguists have a term for such logical but inaccurate translations: 'false cognates')

Boy, was I wrong. It's a sausage stuffed with chitlins. Most godawful thing I ever put in my mouth. Tasted like merde.

I often watch Anthony Bourdain's 'No Reservations', and for a while envied him that job: flying all over the world, tasting exotic foods. One episode, though, he was in the Kalahari, and was offered--and ate-- a delicacy by the tribesmen: roasted wart-hog rectum. I thought, no, he can keep that job.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 8:55AM
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strawchicago 5a IL

Hi Arley: You got me laugh over that clicky term, "Roasted wart-hog rectum". That elevates the thesis done by Jkom51 on "Job, Lamentations, and Exodus" chapters on restaurant foods. Even Petra's "Steak-and-Kidney-Potty-Pie" sounds better.

Lars (Publickman) is right about NEVER put anything down the garbage disposal, be it pasta-pudding, or scraps. When I was in college, my boyfriend cooked his first meal and put potato peels and green beans scraps into the garbage disposal. The apartment repairman wasn't happy about fixing it. Recently I put a tiny plastic 1/2 teaspoon to wash with my dishes, but when I drained off the water, it went down the garbage disposal. It was a pain for my husband to fish it out from underneath. He warned me that replacing the garbage disposal is expensive and best done by a professional.

Lars is smart to demand that the sewage be cleared all the way to the street, before buying his house. A physicians-couple was selling their house. Right before the closing date, the sewage backed up and there was toilet-stuff all over ... the buyer was lucky that it happenned right before the closing.

This is an educational thread on cusines. I looked up "chitlins" and it said, "the small intestine of a hog". I also looked up "merde" ... I thought it was a French dish, but you'll find out for yourself.

Straw (Strawberryhill) in Chicagoland.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 10:48AM
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I'm really laughing out loud over this thread! Wart Hog Rectum!!! I know a lady that reserves the turkey butt every year at Thanksgiving.

Worst food I've ever eaten was in Venice, Italy. As soon as we sat down they served us a small bowl of these things that looked like dried bugs. Come to find out they were the tiniest shrimp in the world...panfried with the eyes, shells and legs. Hubby said they tasted like popcorn. I'm all about some good popcorn so I took a handful and started chewing the mess out of these cruncy things with eyes looking at me. I just couldn't do it and was very thankful for the napkin in my lap.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 11:22AM
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Straw, 'chitlins' is a corruption of the more proper term 'chitterlings'. Either way, they are vile. They are the small intestine, cleaned up, then either simmered in a broth or fried. They taste like what used to be in them.

I live a short distance away from the tiny town of Salley, SC. Every fall (the Saturday after Thanksgiving) they have a celebration known as the Chitlin Strut. Literally tons of those vile items are cooked up. You can smell them a mile away.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chitlin Strut

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 11:24AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Turnips roots! Phew and Yuck!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 12:23PM
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I recently made a recipe of Old Fashioned Stew from the Fanny Farmer cookbook which included Allspice as an ingredient which effectively ruined the pot of stew. We ate it but I did not like that flavor AT ALL!

When I was a kid, my Mom made a pot of squirrel stew...I would not touch that! I just could not eat a cute little squirrel! We never had that ever again either...HA!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 7:48PM
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strawchicago 5a IL

Thank you, Arley, for that link on Chitlin Strut, that's very interesting, "Chitlin Strut" sounds like creative name-calling in stressful moments.

In my native country, I had those little fried shrimps like what riverrat1 described - I am not crazy about the shells. However, at least they were fresh, and tasted better than the frozen shrimp I got from Walmart recently. They were so salty and stinky. I rinsed off at least 10 times in cold water, and ended up throwing that aged spoiled frozen shrimp away. My sister said I could had soaked that in milk to take away the sewage and ammonia smell, but it's not worth wasting the milk on spoiled protein. If not for my family, I would be a vegetarian.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 8:19PM
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Arkansas_girl, you reminded me of a childhood yuck meal. My grandmother (my father's mother) was a hunter and fisherman; she would bring a bag of fox squirrels to my mother to skin and cook. It totally grossed my mom out but we all knew that it was my grandmother's way of testing my mom. So mom made squirrel stew.

*I really hated it when I had to stay with grandma and she took me fishing; she made me catch those giant black and yellow grasshoppers for bait.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 6:55AM
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strawchicago 5a IL

One time my college-roommate showed me squirrel meat - they look lean and decent ... she said it's really good like chicken. During my teenager years, my neighbor shot a black bear in Michigan Upper Pennisula. He gave my Mom and she baked it with chives. It came out bright red meat floating in a yellowish ocean of grease ... not bad, tasted like fresh pork. It's way-better than restaurant dishes and aged & putrid frozen seafood at supermarkets.

I agree with Annie1992, who tried porcupine and muskrat, that fresh game-meat is much better than other stale junk. Years ago I heard the news that 1/3 of leprosy cases in U.S. is transmitted through Armadillos, and many contract the disease through eating. The radio host grossed people out when he said, "just turn it over, and scoop the meat from the shell."

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 9:36AM
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Brrr, bear, squirrel, porcupine, muskrat, armadillo, no thanks. :o)

    Bookmark   January 9, 2013 at 6:05PM
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Chili. I didn't know I had to soak the beans so I threw them into the slow cooker with the other ingredients. 8 hrs later, they were still like rocks. We were newly married and my husband said, just let them cook overnight, it smells good.

Took 3 days before they were soft enough to eat. By that point they were black, it was like tar. Husband ate it all the next couple days, it made me gag it was so bad.

I made fudge and accidentally melted the spatula into the fudge. I did not notice until hours later when I went to wash up the spatula that it was just a little stub. Oops!

Husband ate that too. I told him to stop once I realized I was feeding him plastic fudge.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 4:45PM
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strawchicago 5a IL

Hi LauraNJ: I made the same mistake with Cassoulet. I put raw navy beans, tomato sauce, pork sausage, chicken. Eight hours later in the crockpot, the beans were half-raw while the meat was mushy. I had to re-cook them on the stove, but the beans refused to be tender. Years later I learned that beans can't be soft when cooked with acidic stuff like tomatoes.

Your husband is a saint. Mine DH is pretty easy. I put cream-cheese and raw eggs topping on raw rolls, and let them rise. My husband went home from a long run. He was hungry and thought they were baked, and ate the entire raw dough in muffin trays. He thought they were good until I told him they haven't been baked yet.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2013 at 6:05PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Laura, that plastic fudge story had me seriously cracking up! Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 9:06AM
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Just after my parents were married, they had friends and family over for a dinner party. The first cream to be poured into the first cup of coffee, curdled in one, huge lump. Mortified, my mother rushed in to wash the creamer and replace the cream. One or the other had goofed and picked up goat's milk.

When I was a kid, my parents were lab and XRay techs in small southern hospitals. One day, mom asked the "Nutritionist" (Southern hospital talk for "cook") what the nuts were in the chocolate pudding she'd made. The response? "Them's not nuts, Ms. Rupert, them's weevils!" A common malady in warm, humid climates. OUR flour was ALWAYS kept sealed in plastic containers in the refrigerator!

When in high school and college, I frequently made fruitcake (I LOVE a good fruitcake) and carrot cake. A friend had moved in to his first apartment and a bunch of us got together to celebrate. Not being a drinker, I should have known, but I was younger and dumber. Don't know exactly what happened to that carrot cake, but it "flowed like a river!" I've NEVER seen 16 oz of material magically become gallons of goo in an oven before! I think it was two years later when he moved from there, his mother asked what on earth that "stuff" solidified in the oven was. Yup, carrot cake! I never made one again, it was SO disgusting.

My fruitcakes were always from scratch and required a lot of time. As school and work began eating more time, my mom suggested I use Allspice cake mixes instead of mixing my own from the old recipe book. That worked just fine for several years and I enjoyed the time saving. One year, I couldn't find enough Allspice mixes for the quantity I wanted, but there were plenty Pineapple Supremes around. I didn't want them all pineapple, so I mixed them. WRONG! "Juicy Fruit Fruit Cake". I HATED all 30# of them. Fortunately a good friend from school thought they were the best thing he'd ever tasted. Evidently, so did his parents. They went home with him. I don't think I've ever made fruitcakes again, either.

More recently, a good friend baked me a lemon meringue pie. Something was definitely wrong as there was virtually no taste. Don't make the mistake of picking up the beautiful "Sweet Limes" instead of lemons!

My sister's inlaws have a traditional holiday turkey recipe the call, "Heart Attack Turkey". The entire turkey is filled with sausage then completely wrapped in bacon. Many years ago, one of the daughter in law's father ate it at Christmas at their house and suffered the heart attack. I had forgotten the torture my mother's eldest sister used to reserve for us when we'd visit. An enormous pot of boiled "vegetable mucus", OKRA! Very little seasoning, just a huge pot of hot slime. Kim

This post was edited by roseseek on Wed, Jan 16, 13 at 20:18

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 7:03PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I turned on Duck Dynasty for 2 minutes the other day to hear Phil say " Squirrel is the best eatin', and then to see Miss Kay dunk something with EYES - a skinned squirrel- into flour then fry it up. I nearly gagged. No wonder that show is so popular!
The worst thing I've seen someone else like!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 7:54PM
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When dating my husband I cooked a pheasant he had shot. I don't remember exactly but I confused apple vinegar and apple cider or something like that. After a few bites he threw up.

We have been married 27 years.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 8:48PM
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I was a nurse in a large medical clinic years ago....my patients loved me.
One Christmas a patient brought me a fruit cake.....it was so good. Soaked in lots of rum and really tasty.
Next time she came in I told her how much our family enjoyed the treat.
She told me the secret was wrapping it after it was baked in cloth......and went on the explain since she had no appropriate fabric on hand, she cut up her DH's old tee shirts and used them.
All I could think about after that was how totally ugly and stinky his old tee shirts were. I know she had washed them but still, I couldn't get the idea out of my mind.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 9:03PM
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Never made it....but ate it. In Scotland.


'Nuf said.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 10:32PM
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OMG, Linda, you've eaten Haggis???

I've threatened to make it for Elery, since he is of Scottish descent in part, but I haven't. Yet.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 10:43PM
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oatmeal made by my father who did not understand that there was a difference between a teaspoon and a tablespoon. For salt that makes a big difference. I was 8 have never eaten it again

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 11:05PM
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I'd try haggis. Essentially it is just a kind of sausage.
Speaking of which, DH is not good at eating offal dishes. When we were in Bali last June, we went to a well-known street food stall which does pig on a spit with a few sides. We followed the guide book's suggestion of sharing a "spesial" which is essentially a tasting plate of everything on offer, which includes blood sausage. When I went to cut the blood sausage in half, it sort of fell apart rather dramatically. DH looked very dubious but tried it anyway. We concluded it wasn't bad, just dry and not tasting of anything much. To this day DH refers to it as "exploding sausage". :-) (The pork meat though was divine and we ordered another two plates' worth :-).)

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 12:37AM
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strawchicago 5a IL

Colleenoz is right, I looked up haggis and About.com stated "Haggis is a Scottish dish made of the heart, liver and lungs of a sheep or lamb, combined with oats, suet and other herbs, and then cooked in a casing traditionally made of the animal's stomach. Thus, haggis is essentially a form of sausage."

Thank you, Roseseek, Bumblebee, Debrak, Carol, Linda, and Twoyur for giving me great laughs. Roseseek is a rose breeder and rosarian in the Roses Forums. He bred the 100% thornless rose "Annie Laurie McDowell" that smells like lilac and lavender, pure heaven. I sniffed plenty of roses in Chicagoland gardens, his "Annie L. M" has the best fragrance. I need to sniff that rose to overcome the stench of the awful dishes that I made.

When I was 7 years old and recuperating from a cold. I watched my sister using an electric egg-beater making a cake. I was so fascinated that I dropped my booger-laden handkerchief into the mix. She had to trash the mix.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 10:20AM
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Haggis may be made from all of the things you might find in sausage, but it is definitely not a form of sausage! At least not any sausage I have ever known! LOL

It is more like gloppy/runny oatmeal mixed with diced/minced organ meats, and yes, it is boiled up in a sheep stomach, and looks like a plateful of gray placenta.

It's disgusting.

Disclaimer: No offense meant to our Scottish friends or anyone that may actually like Haggis!


    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 11:13AM
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I ate haggis at a wedding celebration where the groom is a Scot. It wasn't the wedding dinner, but a Scottish dinner put on by all the Scottish family for the guests - for a taste of home for the Scots and a taste of Scotland for the Americans (it was a destination wedding in the US). I can't remember if someone brought it from Scotland or if they bought it in LA and transported it to the wedding site several hours away. One of the groom's cousins is a celebrity in Scotland and she read the Robert Burn poem, "Ode to a Haggis" which included plunging a knife into it for a bit of drama. (I couldn't understand a word of the poem). As I recall, I expected to be disgusted by the taste, but found it not bad. I wonder if the quality/source makes a difference.

The next night, we Americans made an American meal for the guests, many of whom had never been to the US. It was interesting because there were few adventuresome eaters...not many would try the fresh vegetables - everything in Scotland seems to be cooked to death...Jello "salad" was met with surprise ("tastes like dessert, not salad") but I don't blame them there. One thing that struck me was a couple of people who were brave enough to try the olive poppers I made commented that they'd never eaten an olive before. But they loved the haggis!

    Bookmark   January 17, 2013 at 11:40AM
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