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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Celebrity Chefs and Famous Cooks / Fun thread for August: YOUR STORIES !!!
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    Fun thread for August: YOUR STORIES !!!

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    Mia in Germany
    Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:17 am
    Forum Host
    rotfl.gif rotfl.gif rotfl.gif
    Love all your stories icon_biggrin.gif
    My worst experience was when I was 11, and an extremely picky eater because most food made me sick. So, no interest in exotic experiments.
    My parents and me were invited by a Romanian friend of my father's whose wife figured herself an excellent chef. Maybe she was and maybe her meal was excellent and we just didn't like the ingredients, I'm not sure about that.
    That lady had a very pernickety and finicky attitude, and she loved to sprinkle her language with French. Très elegante.
    I forgot if there was an entrée because I guess the shock about the main dish caused kind of black-out in my brain. The last thing I remember of the hour it took me to finish my dish was the overwhelming smell of sage washing over me when she placed the plate in front of me. There was a piece of turkey covered with an undistinguishable gray mass and surrounded by one heap of pale mash and one heap of gray-green mash. It was turkey with a filling of sage, celeriac puree and pea puree. I hated sage and celeriac at that time, and even though I loved peas, that puree tasted absolutely horrible.
    My father didn't seem to mind but shoved the food into his mouth, merrily chattering with his friend, while my mother picked on her food, making very stiff and very polite conversation with the hostess while I sat there, breathing deeply to prevent the food from coming back after I swallowed fork after fork without chewing, meditating several minutes over each bite before I could force myself to put it into my mouth. My mother apologized that I always ate like a sparrow and always spent ages to bring my food down, so everybody waited patiently until I was done.
    I remember sitting there feeling like I had swallowed a whole cow without chewing, barely able to breath because I felt so full and so nauseous.
    And then the hostes sailed into the dining room, beaming, carrying a huge plate with a soupy liquid that looked like egg yolk with little white heaps floating on the surface like clouds.
    It WAS egg yolk.
    "Lapte de pasare," she announced, which is Romanian for floating island.
    I wasn't fond of dessert, and I sure wasn't fond of some overly sweet, milky liquid that looked like raw egg yolk to me, with sticky, horribly sweet soft meringues that didn't taste of anything but sugar.
    Somehow I managed to bring that stuff down, too, and then sank into the soft white couch, hoping to just sit there and die while listening to the half Romanian and half German talk of the grown ups. But no, the hostess felt she had to care for me and entertain me. So she pulled a package of something very artificially green out of her cupboard, placed a glass of water in front of me and put a teaspoon of the green stuff into the water. She explained something about this being "sorbet" which they had brought from their last vacation in heaven knows which south European country. I watched the green stuff very, very slowly melt from the spoon while she encouraged me to try soome of it. It tasted like molten, slightly sweetened plastic. Then she placed a bowl of pine nuts in front of me, explaining what they were and where they came from. I think they were from some vacation in another south European country several years back. Many years back. That was the moment the word "rancid" entered my vocabulary.
    The following year, when I was 12, they invited us to a pretty Inn somewhere in the Black Forest. I had a nice simple omelette with salad, and it took me 25 years to try sage for something else than as a remedy for colds icon_lol.gif
    I'mPat
    Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:03 am
    Forum Host
    Mia you may have been young but it sounds like you had a reasonably good palate even then as to what was good or shall we say not so good food (the fact that you knew the pinenuts were rancid) and sorry to say but like your hostess I too thought what I was serving up was quite chic and in the mode and the thing of the day but in fact was to say the least really just o'kay but those were the times and I am sure a learning curve we all go through if we love to cook and want to serve up good food, just when it comes to family meals you may have to think outside the 4 or 5 star restaurant and as to how they serve up, I know when I go to someones home that I certainly don't expect that but a lovingly homecooked meal is the top for me and if the add a surprisingly good zing all the better.


    Pat
    Zurie
    Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:21 am
    Forum Host
    Oh dear, Mia! I know how a child can suffer at a dinner table where you have to be polite!! When I think back I realise that children have very acute tastebuds. They can find it extremely hard to swallow foods they don't like!

    Pat, yes, I suppose us cooks often do believe we are serving up wonderful food, when it's not wonderful at all!

    It's not that one expects fine dining at people's home dinners, but if one invites people, at least a little thought should go into the menu. Like trying to steer clear of foods which might not be universally popular. I'm thinking, for example, avoiding snails/escargots as a starter (I love it!!) or pork as a main, unless you know the people and their tastes well.

    But also, when inviting people, the cook should be informed in advance of allergies and pickiness!! It's awful to put food on the table and someone goes, "Oh no, I'm so sorry, but I cannot eat shellfish!" or whatever. icon_eek.gif
    Mia in Germany
    Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:04 pm
    Forum Host
    Pat, that was the worst of all - the lady not only thinking her meal was chic but her being such a nice lady, too. I really liked her, even though I felt uncomfortable because it was *too* chic for me icon_lol.gif But of course I made that experience myself as a grown up - trying to make something specifically chic and finding that it was a culinary tragedy icon_lol.gif

    Zurie, I so agree with you! Nothing more horrible than serving a dish with bacon in it to a crowd and finding that of 10 persons 2 are muslims and three vegetarians icon_eek.gif
    By the way, your story was quite spooky! You use to think that things like that only happen in movies or books. I can imagine that this is something you'll never forget.
    Mia in Germany
    Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:06 pm
    Forum Host
    And here comes a funny story:
    When I was 15, my mom got a rabbit from one of her colleagues at work. It was already in pieces ready for cooking. My mom had no clue what to do with rabbit, so her colleague told her to soak it in buttermilk overnight and then fry it.
    It was a Friday evening, my mom put the rabbit pieces into a bowl of buttermilk and went to bed. The next morning, she woke up with 39 degrees fever, absolutely unable to get up.
    My dad was a very talented chef when it came to vegetarian dishes or fish, but the only meat dish he'd ever made were stuffed bell peppers, so no way he would take a go at the rabbit.
    At that time, I'd never made a meat dish either, but I had helped my mom making roasts and goulash, so I confidently told her that of course I would manage that idiculous rabbit (it's so great to be 15 and able to do ANYTHING icon_lol.gif ). So I spent one Saturday afternoon marching from kitchen to bedroom and back for a hundred times, following my mom's instructions to the letter and very proudly preparing that rabbit. The smell was great, and I had worked up quite some appetite, when my dad and I sat down for dinner. My mom was too ill to eat, but we both were hungry and dug in.
    I can't for the life of me recall the taste of that rabbit, but it was HORRIBLE. I have no clue what went wrong, but it went terribly wrong, and I stared at my plate and culdn't believe it was true. I didn't eat one more bite, while my dad stoically worked his way through his plate. He always was very stoic and barely said anything during meals, and he never complained or critisized either when he didn't like something. So he finished his dinner contently and then helped me washing up, cheerful and serene as if he'd had a really good dinner. When everything was cleaned up except for the pan with the leftovers of the rabbit, he grinned at me and said: "What do you think, should we better get rid of this?"
    Then he told my mom that she hadn't missed anything and that we both weren't fond of rabbit.
    Zurie
    Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:14 pm
    Forum Host
    rotfl.gif Oh Mia, your stories are soooo good! icon_lol.gif

    You read my horror story?

    You know what I did???

    I wrote it when the USA was still asleep. Went back to bed (it's freezing here!) and thought about it. I realised it did not fit in at all with "fun" stories, so deleted it! (You can only do that if you're a forum host -- thank heavens!!) So, I thought, gee, no, that's not suitable!!! It was even more horrible than I told, because some stuff could not told here! icon_eek.gif
    Mia in Germany
    Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:46 pm
    Forum Host
    Oh, good heavens - ! Well, we're on different hemispheres but the same time zone I think icon_lol.gif Your story was quite horrifying but extremely well written, so it was like reading a good thriller icon_eek.gif
    Nif
    Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:00 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    I have always liked to call my story "The Date From Hell!".

    About 23 years ago, before I met my husband, I was recording a singer/guitarist in a recording studio. This guy's name was Steve and he thought he was just the best! Best guitarist, best singer, best "catch"...

    After the studio session, we went for drinks on the patio across the street. I wouldn't have gone except for the fact that the guys from the studio came too and they were friends of mine and very protective! He kept asking me for my number but I just laughed it off because I was NOT interested. Well it turns out that he knew an ex-boyfriend of mine and asked him for my number and got it!

    After repeated calls, I finally agreed to go out with him since my ex insisted that Steve was a nice guy and he wanted to go to a nice restaurant. Since I didn't want him to know where I lived, I told him that I had some stuff to do at my parents' house and could he please pick me up there? He picked me up in some classic car so my Mom liked him right away. I was still not impressed.

    We went to the Keg Steakhouse and had to wait in the lounge until a table became available. I ordered a drink and he ordered.. water. When we got a table he scanned the menu for ages, talking about the prices and how could things cost so much, etc. What did I get myself into?!

    Well, the tables are quite close at this restaurant and there were 2 ladies at a table next to us. They ordered steaks and one looked quite rare. Steve decides to loudly discuss the doneness of steaks. "You should always order a steak well done to kill of all the bacteria and bugs that might be in there. I can't imagine getting a steak that isn't cooked through and safe to eat! They shouldn't have steaks on the menu that you can't get cooked well done because it's just not safe" and so on and so on... If I could have crawled under the table, I would have. The ladies, both put their knives down and looked ill! yuck.gif

    The waiter came to take our order. Steve carefully orders the cheapest entree on the menu. He goes into a line of questioning with the waiter, making sure that he only gets side dishes that are included in the price.

    Time for me to order and this guy's really ticking me off! What do you think I do? I ordered the most expensive steak on the menu, making sure to order filet mignon, the steak that they won't cook more than medium rare. Sides? Oh ya! I'll take a shrimp skewer and maybe we'd like some sautéed mushrooms too? Of course! Steve is shifting in his seat and the ladies next to us are smiling at me! rotfl.gif How do I want my steak done, you ask? BLUE RARE, naturally!!! The ladies next to me cracked up! rotfl.gif Steve was green! yuck.gif

    The rest of the dinner was very awkward - it may have had something to do with the fact that I made sure that the cut side of my steak was facing him at all times. Oops! icon_redface.gif

    But did Steve give up? Noooooo! He took me back to my parents' house and sat there until 2 in the morning talking about himself! I curled up on the couch with a blanket on, my Mom put on her PJ's and housecoat and we yawned repeatedly! Talk about clueless! icon_eek.gif My Mom calls this story something else. It's "The Thing That Wouldn't Go Home"! icon_lol.gif

    This was the worst dinner experience that I have ever had!
    Debbwl
    Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:10 pm
    Forum Host
    rotfl.gif rotfl.gif
    lazyme
    Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:29 pm
    Forum Host
    rotfl.gif Mia and Nif - both of those are good! But bad....icon_lol.gif

    @ Nif - Whew! I'm relieved now. I was afraid that your story would be from your youngest about those Americans who put tortellini on a stick! icon_rolleyes.gif icon_lol.gif
    Nif
    Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:42 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    lazyme wrote:
    rotfl.gif Mia and Nif - both of those are good! But bad....icon_lol.gif

    @ Nif - Whew! I'm relieved now. I was afraid that your story would be from your youngest about those Americans who put tortellini on a stick! icon_rolleyes.gif icon_lol.gif


    Well, that was going to be my second story!!! rotfl.gif Ave was laughing about that again yesterday! icon_lol.gif
    lazyme
    Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:49 pm
    Forum Host
    Nif wrote:
    lazyme wrote:
    rotfl.gif Mia and Nif - both of those are good! But bad....icon_lol.gif

    @ Nif - Whew! I'm relieved now. I was afraid that your story would be from your youngest about those Americans who put tortellini on a stick! icon_rolleyes.gif icon_lol.gif


    Well, that was going to be my second story!!! rotfl.gif Ave was laughing about that again yesterday! icon_lol.gif


    rotfl.gif rotfl.gif rotfl.gif

    Ok then. icon_lol.gif I have one more year to think of something that will gross him out more next year. icon_cool.gif
    Nif
    Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:15 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    lazyme wrote:
    Nif wrote:
    lazyme wrote:
    rotfl.gif Mia and Nif - both of those are good! But bad....icon_lol.gif

    @ Nif - Whew! I'm relieved now. I was afraid that your story would be from your youngest about those Americans who put tortellini on a stick! icon_rolleyes.gif icon_lol.gif


    Well, that was going to be my second story!!! rotfl.gif Ave was laughing about that again yesterday! icon_lol.gif


    rotfl.gif rotfl.gif rotfl.gif

    Ok then. icon_lol.gif I have one more year to think of something that will gross him out more next year. icon_cool.gif


    Oh, he wasn't grossed out - he just thought it was nuts! LOL!
    Mia in Germany
    Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:55 am
    Forum Host
    rotfl.gif rotfl.gif rotfl.gif
    Zurie
    Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:42 am
    Forum Host
    You are all sooo funny!! Nif, loved that story about the date from hell! Good on you!

    How absolutely awful the guy was! It did remind me of my dating years, and the men (more boys than men) I sometimes went out with -- to have dates from hell!

    A moment I have never forgotten was going to a fancy restaurant with a nice guy. I thought most guys knew at least the basics of manners, so ...

    He ordered us a bottle of wine. As usual, the waiter poured a little into his glass to taste, then stood back, waiting for his verdict.

    Would you believe, the guy did not know what it was all about. After some awkward seconds (I sooo wanted to hiss: "Taste the wine, blockhead!") he merely lost his temper at the waiter.

    "What's wrong with you?" he asked, no kidding. "Why stand there? Go ahead and pour the wine!" and he said to me in an undertone: "The man must be mad or something ... "

    Later I laughed about it, but I was at an age of great self-consciousness about "doing the right thing in public". Needless to say that relationship did not get any further. icon_wink.gif
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