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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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    Thu Jul 28, 2011 2:08 pm
    Forum Host

    Think back to the worst meal experience(s) you've had, and entertain us with your story!

    It could have been anywhere, and the reasons could have been legion: awful food, awful kids, awful service, a ghastly BBQ, inconsiderate hosts, dreadful planning ... the lot!

    This is gossip month: tell all!!

    Last edited by Zurie on Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:48 am, edited 1 time in total
    Sat Jul 30, 2011 9:18 pm
    Forum Host
    Oh boy I'll jump in early and start this one off for I was the one that cooked it, yes you read that right. I was 20 at the time and out to impress the BF (now the DH) with a chinese meal including fried rice (turned out like a bullets hard and yucky) and oh may add I had never cooked chinese before actually my cooking skills at this time were extremely basic to say the least. The stir fry well I chose the wrong cut of beef and it turned out like leather and was salty as all can be and his favourite dessert was lemon meringue pie lets just say the pastry was yuk (much improved these days) and the filling well was a gooey mess and the meringue was a flop. And to round it off we ate about 11.00pm and that memorable banquet (or the one I wish to forget) took all of 6 hours (thought it would only take me 2 and we would be eating at 7.00pm). Well in the end all couldn't be too bad as we have now been married for 30 years and been together for 34 years.

    Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:08 am
    Forum Host
    Oh, rotfl.gifrotfl.gif poor Pat!! icon_wink.gif icon_lol.gif

    I am sure we all had "dinners" like that -- I know I did!

    And when young and brash, WHY did we always have this habit of trying out new dishes, new recipes, and in your case, a new cuisine, when we had to entertain?? icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
    Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:22 am
    Forum Host

    I recall a disastrous "buffet style" party we had. And yes, I was the cook, and let me tell you, I aspired to great things at the time!! I wanted to impress! icon_redface.gif

    There were about 12 guests plus me and DH. I used 2 of those Salton hot trays to present my efforts on.

    Far too late I realised that every single dish I'd prepared except for the roast potatoes, was sour-ish. Sort of acidic. Guess what I'd made for dessert: lemon meringue pie which was definitely not sweet ...

    I cannot remember what I cooked, only that there were also salads with dressings (hmmm ... sour-ish...), and the meats and veggies all had some kind of sauce or dressing which was on the sour side ...

    This is when you cannot start apologising, because then you put the guests in the position where they have to say things like, "Oh, not at all!" "No, it's great!" when it's not!!

    Silence fell as they ate. Body language and plates they quietly took to the kitchen to scrape out said it all. icon_redface.gif Let's just say the "buffet dinner" was NOT a success. Yikes. I'd so wanted to make an impression with my non-existent "cooking skills". What a lesson. icon_eek.gif
    Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:17 am
    Forum Host
    My story is from about 33 years ago. It was a saga, really. icon_rolleyes.gif icon_lol.gif

    My husband and I had been married about 4 months. I had never met my MIL before, for a variety of reasons.

    So, the first time that we were going to meet was a big deal to me. She was coming over for dinner on a Sunday. I had just got my first microwave and was excited to use it. I went to the butcher shop and bought a gorgeous 5 pound hunk of prime rib.

    I read the little manual that came with my new microwave, plugged in the probe to the roast, and DH and I headed out the door to go to a Seahawk game.

    After the game, we picked up darling MIL and headed home.

    Imagine my horror when I got home and my roast was about the size of a piece of charcoal - and tasted like it too! icon_eek.gif icon_eek.gif icon_lol.gif My step son came into the kitchen, looked at the roast, and said 'Vic, why did you make jerky for dinner?!' rotfl.gif

    We had Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner that night. icon_rolleyes.gif

    The following Sunday, we did pretty much the same routine. I put a roast in the crockpot, we went to the game, picked up MIL, and came home for a wonderful dinner.

    While we were gone, one of the kids had unplugged the crockpot!! My roast was still raw!

    KFC for dinner again. icon_rolleyes.gif icon_lol.gif

    Third time's a charm, right?! Wrong!! My crockpot died and quit working!

    Thank God for KFC. icon_rolleyes.gif icon_lol.gif

    Although we got off to a rough start, she and I became very close and loved each other alot. And....she still came over for Sunday dinners.

    We did a lot of grilling for awhile.....icon_wink.gif
    Mon Aug 08, 2011 5:28 pm
    Forum Host

    These stories are great!!!

    I have one about our worst meal but not sure I should share as it has a pretty high gross factor.
    Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:17 pm
    Forum Host
    When I was away at college I lived with a local family of Norwegian descent.

    Around the holidays, we were all invited to an in-law's to partake of a traditional holiday dinner. My hostess said to me, "I know you love fish. Make sure your calendar's clear so you can come!" Okay, I thought. That so was very nice of her, wasn't it?

    The day before the event, my hostess suddenly had something come up preventing her attendance, so I went over to the other house with her husband and their kids.

    The house was decorated very festively for the holidays and the table setting was beautiful....pristine white linens, white china and sparkling silver. The ladies in the family were busily cooking away in the kitchen. Very homey!

    Dinner time rolls around and the meal is served. Lutefisk swimming in butter, boiled potatoes and lefse (a sort of potato tortilla/flatbread) with lingonberry jelly. Everything was white except for the jelly. On white china on white linens. VERY WHITE. There may have been overcooked peas on the side, but I can't really recall them.


    So, everybody dishes up and there I am looking at this very white meal. Okay, I thought. Maybe they don't know about interesting presentation. There are worse things. My first inkling I was in trouble was from the aroma wafting delicately over the table.

    After a pre-prandial grace, we all dug in. My first mouthful was of the lutefisk.

    How to describe that first bite? Its a bit like describing a bad root canal to the uninitiated. If you are talking to someone else who has lived through the experience, they'll be able to relate and sympathize, but to explain it to a lutefisk virgin...words just cannot adequately express how unpleasant the texture and flavor of this dish is...something like a combination of fish jello/mashed potatoes. The taste is vile. Ay, yi, yi!

    Eyes watering, I managed to swallow the bite, but now I was sunk. The polite thing to do as a guest is to clean your plate, right? I had to think about it, but finally decided that if I buried the rest of the fish in the mashed potatoes and folded each bite into the lefse and got the mess down without chewing, I might just be able to be sociably correct. After all, millions of Norwegians survived on this stuff, right?

    During the dinner, I asked about the fish. Turns out that lutefisk is dried salt cod preserved in lye. Yep, that's right, lye — According to the dictionary it's "a strong alkaline liquor rich in potassium carbonate leached from wood ashes and used especially in making soap, washing and cleaning."

    The lye alters the texture of the meat from anything even faintly resembling normal fish and must be soaked out in many changes of water before the fish is cooked into submission. I might mention that uncooked, this item looks something like wood shakes. I bet that you could shingle houses with this stuff.

    Norwegian-American saying: "Half the Norwegians who immigrated to America came in order to escape the hated lutefisk, and the other half came to spread the gospel of lutefisk's wonderfulness."

    It appears from statistics that these days, more lutefisk is consumed in Wisconsin than in Norway. They DO have refrigeration in the old world now, after all.

    There are worse things, I suppose. Sheep's eyeballs in the Middle East, bull's testicles in Spain, casu marzu cheese (intentionally infested with live larvae) from Sardinia, rotten shark in Finland, barbecued bugs in the Far East or Haggis in Scotland. Norway is not the only nation with scary food.

    Shirley LaBissonniers shares her recipe for lutefisk:
    First of all, invite brave people over for dinner who do not have misconceptions about this wonderful fish! Next, go to a store that carried the freshest of fish and seafood. Ideally, you would get the lutefisk that they pull out of a barrel (most stores hate those barrels a lot and don't do that anymore). Second best, it comes skinless and "trimmed" and packaged in a plastic.

    Purchase the lutefisk a day before you want to serve it. Take it out of the plastic bag, put it in a large bowl, and cover with ice water. Change this water two to three times and keep in the refrigerator (if your family will let you). This firms up the fish.

    Put the lutefisk in a glass baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Put in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F. for 25 to 30 minutes. The fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork. Do not overcook it or it will look like white Jello! It will be not brown.

    In Minnesota, we allow at least a pound of lutefisk per person, served with hot melted butter. The two side dishes are riced potatoes and very small cooked frozen peas - no exceptions.

    And, of course, you must have lefse. This is a ritual which we try to repeat as often as possible and as long as we can get the fresh lutefisk.

    I managed to do my social duty and we eventually went back home. I asked my hostess how her other event (you know, the one that prevented her attending the dinner) went. She laughed and said, "Oh, I cannot stand lutefisk. I just decided not to go!" What a submarine job she laid on me.

    I have never forgiven her nor eaten lutefisk since.

    Ode to Lutefisk (sung to O, Christmas Tree/O Tannenbaum)
    O Lutefisk, O Lutefisk, how fragrant your aroma,
    O Lutefisk, O Lutefisk, you put me in a coma.
    You smell so strong, you look like glue,
    You taste just like an overshoe,
    But lutefisk, come Saturday,
    I tink I eat you anyvay

    O Lutefisk, O lutefisk, I put you in the doorvay.
    I wanted you to ripen up just like they do in Norvay.
    A dog came by and sprinkled you.
    I hit him with my overshoe.
    O lutefisk, now I suppose
    I'll eat you while I hold my nose.

    O Lutefisk, O lutefisk, how well I do remember.
    On Christmas Eve how we'd receive our big treat of December.
    It wasn't turkey or fried ham.
    It wasn't even pickled Spam.
    My mother knew there was no risk
    In serving buttered lutefisk.

    O Lutefisk, O lutefisk, now everyone discovers
    That lutefisk and lefse make Norvegians better lovers.
    Now all the world can have a ball.
    You're better than that Geritol.
    O lutefisk, with brennevin [Norwegian brandy]
    You make me feel like Errol Flynn.

    O Lutefisk, O lutefisk, you have a special flavor.
    O Lutefisk, O lutefisk, all good Norvegians savor.
    That slimy slab we know so well
    Identified by ghastly smell.
    O Lutefisk, O lutefisk,
    Our loyalty won't waver.

    Never again.


    Last edited by Molly53 on Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:23 am, edited 3 times in total
    Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:29 pm
    Forum Host
    When I was thirteen we had a large formal dining room that for some reason my folks did not like to use so they squeezed a table into a small corner of the kitchen that was so tight you could not get out if you were in one of the seats by the walls.

    We also had a large 20 pound long haired buff colored tom cat that was allowed to wander in and out as he wanted. There were no cats or even dogs that scarred Buffy and he would take on any creature that lived in his realm and did not bow to his self-imposed authority.

    Being the middle of summer 100 degrees and our air conditioner being on the fritz we the back door open with a fan point towards the little kitchen table. Buffy came in to sit in front of the fan in order to stay cool and to remind us that he would not be unhappy about getting a bite or two of fried catfish.

    No of us had taken more than one or two bites when Buffy let out an awful cry as he shot right past the table with yellow puss flying all over us and our dinner. (Dam that really was a very tight spacy)

    We fellow over each other trying to get out of there and caught poor Buffy, apparently he had been in a cat fight some days before and another cats tooth had broken off in the soft spot under / behind Buffy’s ear and had abscessed (with so much fur we could not see it and Buffy rule #3 do not pet me near the ears). So while Buffy sat waiting for a bit he scratched that spot breaking it open which led to his running through the kitchen and the puss flying over our dinner.

    We all decided not to eat at all after very thing settled down.

    P.S. Buffy saw the vet in the morning, he had two stiches some antibiotics and lived to be 16 years old.
    Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:18 pm
    Forum Host
    Oh so entertaining. Lots of rotfl.gif rotfl.gif

    Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:19 pm
    Forum Host
    Molly - bless you!!! icon_lol.gif

    I dated a Norwegian man for a short time. Can't remember exactly why we broke up - I think it might have had something to do with going to a family thingy with lutefisk. icon_confused.gif icon_lol.gif
    Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:24 pm
    Forum Host
    Deb - ya know that I love ya, right?! icon_lol.gif

    I think that you're first thought might have been a good one!!!! rotfl.gif That story was a bit graphic! icon_lol.gif yuck.gif
    Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:41 pm
    Forum Host
    graphic yes but you can't help laugh as you imagine it all happening. icon_lol.gif

    Chef #1420777
    Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:59 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I think the worst dining out experience I've ever had is at a dim sum place in Amsterdam. My husband wanted to eat there because the place looked like a big Chinese palace and it was situated on the waterfront. I figured why not and neither of us had ever had dim sum before. I wish we never went in there. Our dim sum was cold and well, all together bad. On top of that over priced. I wish I could remember more details but it was that unmemorable of an experience.
    Burger Monster
    Thu Aug 11, 2011 11:41 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Worst meal ever.... I never ate it! My mom and I were in the kitchen watching my sister in-law make "chili". She cooked the fattiest hamburger i have ever seen. It was literally swimming in grease! She got it about half done, poured a can of tomato soup into the mess, incorporating it into the grease and proceeded to pour it all over a plate of rice before yelling for my brother to come to the table and eat his chili. No beans, no spices.... just a guaranteed belly ache. I'm pretty sure her cooking was the reason for the divorce!
    Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:08 pm
    Forum Host
    Although I do not want my name showing up in this thread, I just cannot help posting now!!

    I was sooo amused at Molly's lutefisk story, I was rotfl.gifrotfl.gif!!!

    All your stories were amusing, and I hope many more are posted!

    (Molly, the lutefisk made me think of 2 unforgettables: "Babette's Feast", a favourite movie, where the poor Babette was instructed to soak a small piece of salt cod in gallons of water, before cooking it .. Ayaya, yuck, shame!

    The other was the frequent mention of (apparently) rather forgettable Scandiniavian dishes by Betty White in "The Golden Girls"! I know lutefisk was amongst those dishes!! icon_lol.gif)
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