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Gross Holiday Foods You Put Up WIth?

My "cooking with NON-foodie Friends" post reminded me of another non-foodie horror: "Gross Holiday Foods" you have to tolerate with Non-Foodie friends and family at the holidays.

What are some gross foods (or frightening food-preparation practices) that you have to tolerate during the holidays?

Here's mine:
1. a friend of mine prefers Stove Top stuffing to anything homemade
2. same friend must only have ghastly Cool Whip instead of homemade whipped topping.
3. chip dip from a container

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  1. I do the bulk of the cooking for our Thanksgiving but our guests always bring a few dishes. Unfortunately, none of my friends are particularly good cooks, so we're always stuck with dishes that just miss their mark. Last year it was undercooked root vegetables, a congealed and weird "Krab" dip and a burnt pecan pie.

    3 Replies
    1. re: biondanonima

      "Krab" dip. LOL!!!! No doubt, one of those mystery fish substitutes. Two years ago, a colleague held an appetizer party at the holidays for some friends. He made a HUGE amount of stuffed potato skins, but didn't bake the potatoes long enough before cutting/stuffing. I can still see that huge platter of them, basically untouched, and people's appetizer plates with them on it with only a bite taken out of it. Not thoroughly baked potatoes are not tasty.

      1. re: biondanonima

        biondanonima, your friend who makes the congealed krab dip should meet mine who makes a gnarly neon orange "salmon dip" with cheap packaged lox...she leaves it sitting out all day and it gets nice & crusty. gack!

      2. "Salads" that are pink or green and involve cool-whip. Popular with some of the more senior Thanksgiving guests, but I just hate them!

        3 Replies
        1. re: soonerhound

          Oh I am so with you Soonerhound!! My dad HAS to have "Green Salad" made with lime jello mix, pineapple, nuts, & cool whip among other things. It makes me gag just thinking of it! BLECH!! Everything else on Thanksgiving is awesome and made from scratch, but that salad can go to the dogs!

          1. re: Roadpony

            Ugh... my boyfriend makes that. His family calls it "7-Up Salad".

          2. re: soonerhound

            We used to have gelatin salad (jello mold) but a few years ago we cut it because too much was left over. No cool whip in them though.

          3. Shredded carrot 'slaw' with mayonnaise, raisins and pineapple tidbits. Yuck.

            1. Canned greeen beans smothered with "cream" of sodium and chemical soup, and baked in an oven.

              Yeah, that's food...sure it is...no, go ahead and have some more, I don't want to hog it all.
              =====

              Packet o' gravy mix.
              I'm sorry. I really am. This stuff is easier to make than real gravy? In what universe?

              2 Replies
              1. re: gordeaux

                Ugh. I hear you, Gordeaux. I have a friend who loves those packets. How about stick margarine at the Thanksgiving table. Barf.

                And green bean casserole, yuckie. "Cream of Sodium," LOL!!!!! However, I do have a craving now and then for those Durkee friend onion rings, lol.

                1. re: natewrites

                  I managed to banish the casserole this year, it's a first! they aren't MAKING me make it for them (in it's place will be roasted brussel sprouts w/ bacon and lots of fresh cracked black pepper) HA take that green bean casserole!

              2. I have lots to contribute to this thread, too! But where to start...

                1. The cousin who brought a "lasagna" made from canned ravioli layered with jarred sauce and sliced Mozza.

                2. The time I visited a friend's fam in TX. The centerpiece of Xmas day brunch was a much-loved fam recipe that I now know is a version of Mormon funeral potatoes: frozen hash browns bound with canned cream of chicken and Cheddar soup and an entire pint of sour cream, along with chunks of breakfast sausage and two pounds of grated Cheddar (did Santa bring Lipitor??).

                3. The turkey roll Mom made (well, heated), which prompted someone else to volunteer to bring the turkey from there on out (which might have been Mom's plan in the first place).

                4. The year that all the aunties decided it was too much work to roast turkeys so we got fried chicken instead and passed it around the table in the cardboard buckets . This is known in the fam as the Kentucky Fried Christmas.

                5. Finger Jell-O, long after there were any toddlers in the fam. Without irony, everyone in the fam refers to Jell-O by its color, not by its flavor, as in, who brought the red Jell-O with the fruit cocktail? You can count on at least two Jell-O dishes at any fam event. And no, we are not from the midwest or Utah.

                6. The cousin (not the same as #1--we have a really big extended fam) who made pudding from a box, lightened it with frozen whipped topping, poured it into a pre-made graham cracker crust, and brought it as a chocolate chiffon pie.

                7. The cousin (yet another one) who once brought mock Swedish meatballs in a gravy of cream of mushroom soup (canned--you need to ask?). She was afraid that the "gravy" would be too thin so she made a roux and added the undiluted soup. Need I mention that the "gravy' was like wallpaper paste?

                8. And one that I have not yet had the pleasure of eating and am praying that I never do: Krispy Kreme bread pudding. Same cousin as #6 raves about it. It's two dozen cut-up Krispy Kreme glazed donuts in a custard of sweetened condensed milk, eggs, and more sugar, spiked with a can of fruit cocktail and an entire pound box of raisins. This has gotta be prohibited somewhere in the Bible!!

                11 Replies
                1. re: Erika L

                  wow your family need cookery lessons!

                  my ex mother-in-law made undercooked turkey one year - I think it went in an hour before we got there at 6pm and we still hadn't eaten by 10pm and my children were all under 6 years old. I think I managed to carve off some cooked breast and microwave it so that my children didn't starve to death. The main side was a fancy wild rice dish that none of my kids would eat. They had cereal at midnight when we got home - so did we.

                  1. re: Erika L

                    Wow, Krispy Kreme donuts as an ingredient? They are sickeningly sweet on their own. I can't imagine what sort of taste bud deafness you'd have to have to come up with a bread pudding like that.

                    1. re: Isolda

                      i'm pretty sure that Krispy Kreme recipe is a Paula Deen concoction...not all that surprising coming from the Butter Queen.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        I don't know where my cousin got the recipe but just reading it scares me!

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              The recipe appeared in one of the family cookbooks that she published (three volumes!) and manages to stand out among hundreds of other recipes that also include canned soup, cake mixes, frozen whipped topping, etc. The dishes are all foods made from other foods as opposed to from ingredients. Judging from the recipes, you'd think the cookbooks were written in the 60's but they were done in just the last five years. The bread pudding hasn't appeared at a fam function--yet!

                              1. re: Erika L

                                Craft projects! Those are craft projects! Seriously, that's what we call them here. Whenever we're in a hurry and a kid needs to bring in cake to English class "tomorrow, Mom," I'll dip into my emergency stash of craft mixes and whoever has a free 10 minutes will assemble? prepare? it.

                                1. re: Isolda

                                  That's an excellent name! They really are like the kitchen versions of a paint-by-numbers kit!

                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            I'm sure it's a Paula Deen concoction, she's also the one who used Krispy kremes in place of hamburger buns...

                        1. re: Erika L

                          Re #8- Yeah, that was Paula Deen's recipe- I nearly fainted from hyperglycemia watching the episode while she made it. But it was a hysterically funny episode for all that, she was taking it to the limit on that one.
                          Why to hell wouldn't you just go into a coma eating the Krispy Kremes and not bother with all the other nonsense?