Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Remember the dinner table scenes in A Christmas Story? Dinner for the Parker family was utter chaos, and the youngest member of the family, Randy, was a terrible eater. When presented with a plate of meatloaf, he responded "Meatloaf, smeatloaf, double-beatloaf. I HATE MEATLOAF!" And I think viewers, both young and old, could relate.

Growing up, there are certain meals that I absolutely hated. I'd cry my way through dinner, trying not to gag as I choked down a forkful of the disgusting, inedible yuck my mom called dinner.

Don't get me wrong. My mom is a great cook. She really is. And there are so many meals that she made that I loved. But it seemed like the platefuls of yuck were in heavy rotation at times.

Here are my two most hated family dinners:
  • Ham Steak with Rice and Cheese. According to my father, this dish sometimes included sliced olives, only upping the barf factor. I've mercifully blocked this detail from my memory. This dinner of terror consisted of a huge bed of rice covered in semi-melted cheddar cheese, all sitting on top of a frighteningly pink ham steak. My mom served this culinary masterpiece on a silver platter and little rainbow-tinted pools of nasty ham oil dripped off the pink meat, glistening against the silver. My mom used that same platter for pancakes, but not even fluffy, lovely pancakes could erase the image of disgusting ham/cheese/rice that I always associate with that platter. I don't know what it was about the ham/rice/cheese fiasco that was so wrong. I love rice. I love cheddar cheese. Sure, I hate ham, but I think that my ham-hatred stems from this dish. It was just so...ugh...so...barfy.

  • Corn Beef Hash Pinwheels. Pinwheels! That sounds like a fun meal for the whole family! But dear, sweet god--this dish was a plate of hurl. Nasty canned corn beef hash (which is another disgusting thing I cannot bring myself to eat as an adult) was encased in a gummy dough made from Bisquick, sliced and baked. Then, to serve this gourmet feast, mom heated up a can of cheddar cheese soup and poured it over the pinwheel of despair. The bright orange cheese congealed on the pinwheel but didn't quite hide red bits of hash. The whole thing looked like an orange scab with chunks of blood sticking out of it. Gag. To make this a nutritious and family friendly meal, mom boiled the hell out of Brussel spouts as our vegetable. Nothing like overcooked green balls that taste like fertilizer to go with this one. A meal to remember!
I know it's hard to be a mom...to have to cook every day and try to make meals that are nutritious and delicious, and that please every member of the family. I also know that as a kid, being served a meal you absolutely hate is an act of torture and only reaffirms your thought that your family really does hate you and is trying to kill you.

Somehow I survived these meals...and others I wasn't too fond of. These epic culinary battles make us stronger as we go through life!

So--what were your hated family dinners?

1 comment:

phairhead said...

Fritatta, dry eggs w/ overcooked broccholi. The horror, the horror!

Chris was a picky eater up until college, his gave snack was frosting from a can