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What's the meal made 'specially for you' ...and you have to choke it down?

I complimented my grandmother on a casserole consisting of minute rice, frozen broccoli, velveeta and milk (gak!) -to be kind- and had to eat it several times a year for YEARS afterward. Always with plenty to take home, you know!
Oh lord how it smelled.

Also, I raved to my small children about their Christmas present (of the very cheapest chocolate covered cherries which I HATE) that they had chosen for me... and received them for the next 12 years! I have eaten many of those suckers with a grin pasted on my face : D

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  1. My grandma made lemon butterfly cupcakes. She cut the middle out and filled them with lemon pudding, then cut the center in two and placed it on top to look like a "butterfly." I loved them when I was young, but 1. grew up and 2. I was the only person who ate them, and it made two dozen, so I usually spent a month after my birthday being force-fed them. Mom would cut the mold off when I wasn't looking!

    5 Replies
    1. re: katecm

      Tee hee. I can't think of a thing. One of the benefits of being brutally honest, I guess :-P Isn't there a children's story? Martha and George and the pea soup?

      1. re: katecm

        Lolz on the mold!
        My Granny thought it was perfectly acceptable to spoon the mold off the top of the contents of a mason jar and serve what was underneath! Ugh! Amazing no-one went to the hospitol.

        1. re: weewah

          I have a friend that refuses to refrigerate mayonnaise. Just scraps the funk off the top and dives right in. Keeps it for months, too. Hippie.

          1. re: achtungpv

            That's pretty damned disturbing. Hopefully you pack a lunch of your own when you pay a visit :)-

        2. Pork chops by my brother. I love him too much to say no. But he makes the most gawd-awful pork chops on the planet.

          1. For the best and most part, Mr. is a very good cook. BUT every now and again he gets a wild hair to whomp up some "soul" food - fried chicken, mac and cheese, creamed corn, and greens. I adore all these things when prepared well - but therein lies the rub. He isn't a particularly deft hand with frying, and he boils the pasta well past al dente before the final baking, so it's....ah, mushy to an extreme. The corn is from a can; nothing else will do and I really can't think of another food with a grosser texture and chemically-sweet flavor, and I'm a fan of long, slow-cooked greens (literally hours) with a lot of onion and bacon, but he prefers his quick-sauteed and sort of...crunchy. With a lot of garlic. Which is not bad, but isn't soul food.
            The thing is, he does it with so much love and is so great with all his other specialties that I wouldn't say a word, and I've learned to stay out of the kitchen when the master creates. I eat it and am grateful for the rest of it, and am grateful for Cholula and Crystal hot sauce, both of which will cover a multitude of sins.

            1. DH used to make steaks that I could hardly eat. He way over-seasoned them. But I ate them anyway. I love steak, don't get me wrong. But it took me years to get him to stop. The spice really depend on the cut of meat. The other night we had a fantastic bone-in rib-eye that he just let the flavor shine on its own with a little s&p. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. But it sure didn't start out that way.

              1. anything made by my future MIL. She doesn't refrigerate things, and I get really sick. But gotta smile, and pretend its delicious. Thankfully, they have a dog.

                13 Replies
                1. re: PotatoPuff

                  Do not eat food that you suspect is going to make you sick. You're starting a bad trend. Do you expect any future children of yours to also eat food that you think will make them sick? Think this through, and ask your intended to have a Come to Jesus meeting with future MIL.

                  1. re: pikawicca

                    I've spoken to MIL about it, and she is perplexed by the idea that someone can get sick from spoiled dairy...

                      1. re: PotatoPuff

                        Back in the day people ate things that no-one in their right mind would eat today - and no-one got sick. My grandpa used to reminisce longingly about 'clabber'. That's home produced milk left to sit at room temperature (in a kitchen that used a woodstove summer and winter) until it, well, clabbered or soured and set up a little. MMMM, lol.

                        1. re: weewah

                          they DID get sick...and a lot of them didn't live to tell about it.

                          Infant mortality was high, life expectancy was considerably lower, and stepping on a rusty nail was frequently a ticket to a slow, painful death.

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            Life expectancy was lower because of higher infant and childhood mortality, which brought the average down. This is true across history. It makes me crazy when I hear that people only lived to be 25 or something in the Middle Ages for example. They lived to be whatever (60+) barring accident or misadventure IF they survived infancy and childhood.

                            1. re: buttertart

                              but you didn't have very many reaching 80-90 in good health like we do now....those that did make it to ripe old ages were generally extremely infirm and likely crippled by any of a number of things.

                              And dying of food poisoning wasn't necessarily recorded as food poisoning -- there are plenty of other diseases that can create fatal intestinal symptoms...so it all tended to get lumped together as other things. (because even today, you can't positively identify it as food poisoning without a clinical diagnosis....)

                              1. re: sunshine842

                                Today 80 in good health is fairly common, but not many people make it to 90 with all in good shape.

                                1. re: buttertart

                                  but they DO -- Ihave a relative who's 94, lives with his girlfriend (who's much younger - she's 85) drives *safely* , can still wear his service uniform, and other than a pacemaker, is in better shape than many much-younger folk.

                                  I totally realize that he's an exception, and not the rule...but he wouldn't be "back in the day" -- he'd have succumbed to the malaria/dysentery/various tropical diseases he picked up in the South Pacific, and if he'd survived that, the heart problem would have gotten him.

                                  The point being that food poisoning and other toxic nasties absolutely DID exist back in the day...but the survival rates weren't all that great.

                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                    I of course have no quarrel whatsoever with diseases having impact on survival/longevity then or now, and there are always outliers, thank goodness (my MIL will be 88 in 2 weeks, is in her own house, is quite well, has a mind like a steel trap and can cook me into the ground).
                                    My point is that there is a gross misconception that people could only expect to live to X age in Y period. People think that the possible lifespan was limited to the average with infant and childhood mortality factored in (i.e. wow, people only lived to be 35 in Roman times or whatever). You hear this from people and read it in print very often.

                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      I have family trees reaching the 15th century on several branches, and pretty darned few of them reached ripe old ages until the last couple of centuries. That's a LOT of people on my tree, and while I haven't figured it all out to multiple decimals, people are definitely living longer now than they used to.

                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                        Yes they are, but no population only lived to x age, which is the way this is popularly thought of.
                                        Canadian life expectancy in 1870 was lower than it is now, but my great-grandfather, born that year, lived to be 87. He had siblings who died young. Therefore the average life expectancy in his family was relatively low. But not everybody born in 1870 died at a young age.
                                        Enough armchair morbidity and mortality fun and frolic, how about on with the chow?

                    1. re: PotatoPuff

                      Years ago I got my MIL a fridge thermometer along with a basket of kitchen gadgets for Easter. Now, whenever I visit, I check the temp and turn the fridge colder, bit by tiniest bit, if the temp starts getting out of the safe zone. Thus far she hasn't noticed ;-)

                      People raised during the war have issues with spending money to power their appliances, but can afford Kaopectate and Imodium! Go figure!

                      BTW maybe she justs really hates cooking for people....hmmmmmmm??????

                    2. Mil's cheese & onion pie. Generally the MiL is a world class crap cook but this is really, really bad, even for her. Tough, unpleasant overcooked pastry surrounding undercooked onion and bland "mousetrap" soapy cheese.

                      1. I have to wonder what's going on at CH. I posted a response and now it's gone?

                        OK, so I'll try again.

                        When I was a kid, my grandmom was somehow convinced I loved her tuna fish salad sandwich with scliced boiled egg on white toast. I have never liked canned tuna and abhor mayonnaise (as an adult, boiled eggs are good).. Every time we visited during the day, I would have to choke that sandwich down--to be polite.

                        Lucky for me, dinner visits were better as she did a mean roast beef and roast chicken.

                        1. Papaya is an acquired taste, at least when you're a kid of eight years and having never experienced it before. One of my beloved aunts in Hawaii was nurturing some really nice specimens on her papaya trees in her backyard, waiting for them to be just perfect for consumption - just for me. She brought out a plate of a halved papaya with a wedge of lime next to it - yes, just for me. Looking like no fruit that I was familiar with and figuring "exotic" tropical fruits must all taste like the greatest candy imaginable, I scooped up a big hunk, and before I could get it past my nose and into my mouth, I had a gag reflex. The smell was like some strange fruit laced with puke. Not wanting to disappoint my aunt, I held my breath and shoveled down the papaya in to my mouth. My first impression was its taste was exactly what my nose perceived - it tasted kinda like throw-up - gag again and smiling all the time not to disappoint my aunt. She asked me how it was, and of course I responded politely - or maybe a little too kiss-assingly enthusiastically that it was great...

                          Aunts talk, and soon all of my aunts were serving me frickin' papaya at breakfast. Absolutely the worst string of breakfast experiences I could ever imagine.

                          Durian is another one of those exotic tropical fruits - proclaimed, "The king of fruits," in SE Asia and beyond. I've never cared for durian - talk about another acquired taste - but I didn't truly dislike it either - until my bro-in-law caught wind that our family would be visiting right in the middle of a bumper crop during one of the durian seasons.

                          Evidently, there are many varieties of durian, some lauded by durian-philes to be of superior taste and bouquet. Names like "XO" and "Lobster" and "101." To source "the best" of durians at the point in time, my brother-in-law drove 1 1/2 - 2 hours up north from Kuala Lumpur just for us. Hearing about his odyssey, there is no way at I could say no - I'm the flag-bearer for our family, right? So my brother-in-law shows up with three perfectly spiky specimens, and of course we could smell them before even seeing them. The next hour was fraught with laughter - at me - for being the typical tourist-type who could not appreciate the unique flavor and aroma of durian.

                          And speaking of special food experiences on the same trip offered up by my wife's side of the family, the special dish to send us off back to the US was prepared by my father-in-law. Snails. Big-ass rubbery musty snails that tasted like swamp mud to me. Looking back at this "final meal" in Kuala Lumpur, I wonder if my father-in-law was hinting at us that we should be moving on...

                          1. Meeting a boyfriends parents for the first time..dinner at their place.
                            He told them I don't eat meat...i do eat chicken/fish, but avoid red meat for health reasons..the same reason I avoid cream/cheese/too much dairy.
                            Dinner was a cream cheese lasagna...tonnes of cream and cheese. I would have preferred a steak!

                            1. Somehow for me this ended up being the horrible jello/canned fruit/walnuts/mayonaise/etc salad served around the holidays. I am positive I never expresed positive feelings about this dish but I was served it every year and watched as I took a bite by my grandmother because she knew I liked it so much. It was always the first thing eaten off my plate, to get rid of it, and I actually held my breath while swallowing bites of it whole so I wouldn't taste it.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Fromageball

                                Brought back some memories, lol, in our family it was Ambrosia : (

                                1. re: weewah

                                  Ha! I know the majority of people, at least on CH hate the jello salad thing, but I LOVE it! It is a must every T-day. But really only myself & my cousin's wife actually like it. Others merely tolerate it. I could never figure out why so many people are against it, because I think it is, as weewah says, ambrosia :)

                                2. re: Fromageball

                                  my grandmother is convinced that i love her green jello mold, and insists on me having piece every thanksgiving. nothing is worse than green jello with chunks of mystery fruit... following her very heavy, butter-soaked, and virtually veggie-free thanksgiving dinner!

                                3. When I was a kid, breakfast made by my grandmother or any other kids' parents. I only like eggs well cooked and dry all through - no runniness. Grandmas, bless 'em, and other parents only make over easy.

                                  1. When I was a kid, we were each allowed one vegetable for which we got a free pass to detest. All the others, we had to eat at least a few bites, but that one veggie we were allowed to ignore at the table.

                                    Mine was beets. I detest them, and can't even stand the smell of them cooking.

                                    Last summer, a friend had us over for lunch so we could meet his then-girlfriend. She was just learning to enjoy cooking (well past 30), and was puffed up with pride when she brought out the salad, saying that she'd cooked it all from scratch.

                                    Oh God.

                                    It was a huge bowl, heaping full of frigging beets, diced into perfect little cubes, and dressed with corn and onions.

                                    She was so proud of them, I didn't have the heart to tell her how much I detest them. I was going to eat those beets even if it killed me (which it didn't, but it took all I could muster to not gag on them.)

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. My mom has always made... cheese and macaroni. In that order. And the 'cheese' is ALWAYS Velveeta or some even cheaper substitute. All because I ate it as a kid and didn't know any better. If I didn't know what it was, I might eat slices of her macaroni and cheese product deep-fried at a fair of some sort, but even reheated with milk to thin out the gelatinous cheese product it is still disgusting beyond my wildest memories.

                                      If macaronio and cheese is to be made, is al dente and actual cheese too much to ask?

                                      1. I've never pretended to like anything my dad, mother or DH made, but since my sister is 11 years younger, she made quite a few "specials" with "surprises" until the age of 10, thankfully, she didn't make large portions of anything. now if she is 15 and if makes something bad/experiment, we just laugh about how bad it is and enjoy the comedy while eating.

                                        My MIL is another story, she is so proud of her cooking that nobody would dare say anything negative (usually equal parts of meat/veggies/cubed-chicken-broth-that's-apparently-common-to-add-to-food-but-I-wasn't-aware-of-until-living-with-her swimming in an olive oil+salt solution plus load of moroccan spices and BRIGHT ORANGE food coloring!). Usually it's fine because she's only cooking for the family and we all just praise it. HOWEVER, I was so embarrassed when an Italian exchange student came and she made pasta (12 minutes past al-dente) with a nasty cream sauce (see recipe above, but replace olive oil with creme fraiche) and then claimed that pasta was her specialty when she brought it to the table! It was my first time seeing her pasta EVER.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. A woman whose son I was friends cooked as though blandness was a virtue and grease a coveted seasoning. I slurped through meals of the green-flecked oil that passed for pesto and politely picked at plates of "gabagoo." The only item I could barely compliment was her greasy, oozy clam dip which went otherwise unnoticed as it regurgitated pools of butter onto itself. "You wanna know whadda secret is," she droned at me her thick Brooklynese. "It's got no clams!" She beamed, self-satisfied that her concoction of pureed garlic, butter and Ritz crackers had won the approval it obviously deserved. And then proceeded to shove bowls of it in my face every time I came over.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: JungMann

                                            > ...went otherwise unnoticed as it regurgitated pools of butter onto itself...

                                            Hilarious!

                                          2. My deal mother-in-law makes a (fresh) chopped cranberry, jello, canned orange, nuts and celery concoction that is served with a "whipped topping" that resembles a combo of mayonnaise and cool whip. I love her, but this dish ... and she always proclaims she made it just for me, because I like cranberries. It's a really vile concoction.

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: odkaty

                                              My grandmother made that every year, and she was the only one who ever ate it.

                                              Vile, indeed.

                                              (I should probably feel guilty about this, but that is the one recipe that fell out of the Thanksgiving repertoire when she passed away, and there's never been a single complaint about anyone missing it.)

                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                Don't feel guilty. Good memories, and, hopefully, other good dishes, are a much better tribute than something that makes you shudder! I wonder where that recipe originated ... was your grandmother from Ohio or PA?

                                                (No clue how I missed it, but "deal" should have been "dear" in my OP)

                                                1. re: odkaty

                                                  Indiana...it must have been one of those church-social recipes that never dies!

                                                  (I love me my cranberry sauce, but the cooked kind with orange peel and apple, please!)

                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                    My mom made something very similar for TG every year (topped with straight mayo). I didn't particularly like it, but I ate it every year. It had walnuts in it, which was its saving grace. I didn't like it well enough to make it myself though! (This was in southern Ohio.)

                                              2. re: odkaty

                                                "My deal mother-in-law makes a (fresh) chopped cranberry, jello, canned orange, nuts and celery concoction that is served with a "whipped topping" that resembles a combo of mayonnaise and cool whip. I love her, but this dish ... and she always proclaims she made it just for me, because I like cranberries. It's a really vile concoction."

                                                I love this! lol One man's meat...

                                              3. weewah, the chocolate-covered cherries thing cracked me up. For YEARS, on her birthday, anniversary, Christmas, AND mother's day, my grandmother got a box of cordial cherries with that sickening white gunk inside them from my grandfather. She was the politest, sweetest creature alive and couldn't bring herself to tell him that she hated them. YEARS, mind you! Somehow he finally got the memo, and then, being his ornery self, continued to buy them for her as a joke, year after year. It's still a family tradition at Christmastime... and then no one eats them and they go to work with someone after the holidays. :D

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: LauraGrace

                                                  I am laughing because when I was a kid, we always bought those for my grandma! She passed away 11 years ago but now I need to call my mom to see if we actually knew she like them!

                                                  1. re: DCLindsey

                                                    Not awful food, but in a similar vein, we have the M&M's. When the Offspring was 2 she wanted to get her daddy a birthday gift and thought M&M's were the perfect thing. The Spouse made a very big fuss over them and made a 2-year-old very happy. He then proceeded to get peanut M&M's for every single occasion for years because obviously he loved them so. Not that he doesn't like M&M's, it just got to be more like a joke. The Offspring is now 8 and every so often says,"Remember when I always used to buy Daddy M&M's?" Yes, dear. We all do.

                                                2. My MiL used to always make us this heinous abomination of a casserole with boiled-to-death broccoli held in stasis within ghastly amounts of eggs and cheese. I'm pretty sure it was there because she knows the man and I love our veg. So, of course, the only nice thing to do was get through the smallest portion we could manage to take without offense and smile, because she is such a lovely person (though a terrible cook). Thankfully, it's been absent in recent visits so, hopefully, it's found its place in the bad food idea graveyard where it belongs.

                                                  1. Not sure this really counts as it was a one-off thing, but...

                                                    When I was a sophomore in high school, my family hosted a Finnish exchange student. When I graduated, my parents gave me and my best friend a three week trip to Finland, to visit my exchange sister and stay with her family. So of course, this involved being paraded around to all the extended family, and lots of "special" meals, most of which were fantastic. But the most memorable was dessert with her maternal grandparents and some cousins, at her grandparent's home.

                                                    Grandpa had been to the US once, many years before, and had brought back a bottle of Jim Beam with him. He'd been saving it for a special occasion, and deemed a visit from his granddaughter's American "sister" to be special enough to break it out. And so, dessert consisted of vanilla ice cream topped with fresh strawberries, and snifters of straight bourbon. I'm sure many of you are wondering "how is this a BAD thing?!", but keep in mind... I was only 18 at the time, and had never been the party girl/drink whatever I could get my hands on type. I'd had mixed drinks, wine and champagne (and coolers, of course) at family functions, sure. But drinking straight liquor, especially bourbon? Not so much. So here I'm trying to temper the taste of the bourbon with bites of ice cream (which, thankfully, worked pretty well), because I didn't want to be rude and refuse to drink what was obviously a very special bottle of alcohol to grandpa. And just when I was ALMOST through my glass, he poured more for me and wouldn't hear that really, it was ok, the one glass was enough.

                                                    I don't think I've had bourbon since then, other than maybe a bourbon chocolate truffle.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: DarkRose

                                                      I don't know how you got through it.
                                                      I am a drinker, no doubt about it, but I shudder and gag when I smell bourbon. At that age, I'm not sure I could've done what you did. Good job!

                                                    2. One really poignant, sweet memory and another one that's not-so .......

                                                      My late MIl was a stunning uncook; no other term for her complete disregard of all things culinary. She threw together whatever was handy and called it "dinner" or that's how her family remembers meals. While I was still dating her son, before we married, I mentioned that I loved coleslaw. There was rarely a family meal that did not include some awful rendition of "coleslaw" and I use the quote marks because hardly any of these mixtures were, to my mind, coleslaw. Marshmallows, Mandarin oranges, peanuts, coconut, jello and many other odd ingredients made their appearance but her standard version was icky-sweet made with Miracle Drip, Cool-Whip and pineapple along with torn cabbage. Yes, I ate this horrible stuff for years, pasting a smile on my face because that'e what a proper DIL does and it is pretty tough to do anything else while she was hovering over me watching each bite. "I made this just for you" was the constant refrain.

                                                      What I vastly preferred, for the thought not the taste, was the Mother's Day Brunch my boys made each year. While I was admonished to "stay in bed and rest" those two little boys raced into the kitchen to prepare their feast. Canned pears (why, I likely will never know) atop Cheerios covered with milk. They waited for the requisite two hours before they decided "She's rested enough" and they proudly bore the tray to my bed, usually with a flower still containing its roots (hastily pulled from the garden). I made all the right noises and wolfed their offering. It's one of my favorite memories and today, they top six feet and are both married and long out of the nest, chief cooks in their respective households.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: Sherri

                                                        Did they make it and then leave it for two hours, or wait two hours and then make it? There is a vast and very important difference.

                                                        1. re: tinnywatty

                                                          Apologies for the confusion. The boys made it immediately after reaching the kitchen in the early morning hours THEN waited for a couple of hours (or as long as their father could stall them) before serving. The Cheerios had ample time to sog to death in the milk & pear juice before they proudly served their masterpiece.

                                                          1. re: Sherri

                                                            Awww - what a stoic mom!
                                                            My two boys did the same thing for me for Mother's day, only it was always a peanut butter and jelly sandwich made on the driest bread they could find (unintentionally, I'm sure.. though the ex-hubby WAS there for prep on some of those...hmmm..)
                                                            Fortunately they brought something to drink, because we used natural peanut butter which sticks in your throat enough without being encouraged by some dry toast.
                                                            Mine are both in college now and are great cooks, as well.
                                                            We did something right, Miss Sherri.

                                                      2. My MIL is a wonderful woman who means well, but with her it's not so much a particular dish but the quantity she cooks. She figures the more the better so whenever my husband and I visit, it's like girding yourself for the Food Olympics.

                                                        For example, she asks what I want for breakfast, I think of the lightest breakfast possible so tea and toast. She'll make 4 slices of toast slathered with butter and expects you to have at least 2-3 cups of tea. She gets a little offended/put out if you don't eat everything or if you tell her it's too much.

                                                        Of course, 3 hours later she's having you sit down to a huge lunch and then 4 hrs after that, it's a massive dinner. The irony is that she eats like a bird. At least she doesn't nag me as much as she does her son, my poor husband who is usually trying to choke dow a massive roast dinner, followed by a cheese board, dessert and then unending cups of tea and fresh fruit.

                                                        After only 2 days of this, the sight of food becomes nauseating.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: SeoulQueen

                                                          i've heard that it can be considered some kind of disordered eating when people eat like a bird and force large portions onto others. that must be awful!

                                                          1. re: jamieeats

                                                            Yep. Often, people with eating disorders are obsessed with food.. but cant eat it themselves.. so they satiate their passion by watching others enjoy it.

                                                            1. re: hungryabbey

                                                              perhaps a disorder with anyone but a child (or grandchild.) giving or withholding food in my mom's family was a sure sign of the state of the relationship at that moment in time.

                                                        2. You know, I thought this an interesting thread, and felt sure that I would have a contribution. However, upon reflection, could not think of a dish, or a meal. There have to be some, considering my advanced age, but just cannot recall any. Maybe with another glass of wine, my memory will click into gear, and I'll have one of those "oh wait, what about ____," moments.

                                                          I can see this happening, and I do try to compliment others for their dishes, when I can, but have never been placed in that predicament - fortunately!

                                                          Hunt

                                                          PS - still a good thread, with great replies.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. Buckeyes. Somehow a horrid rumor started amongst my family that I love Buckeyes-those midwestern candies made with a jar of peanut butter, a stick of butter and then dipped in melted chocolate chips. Then the rumor spread to my in-laws. I have tactfully explained several times that I really *don't* like them but I am brushed off as just being concerned about my figure or other nonsense. So now, every birthday and Christmas, I am sent not one, but two, batches of these things-one from my parents, one from my in laws. I just send my thank-you notes and stick them straight in the trash. I am afraid to bring them to work, lest this rumor spread to my coworkers and I start receiving them at office parties, too!

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: iambecky

                                                              i know this is old...but there is more to buckeyes then peanut butter,butter and dipped in chocolate..

                                                              1. re: srsone

                                                                yeah...there's confectioner's sugar, too. ;)

                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                  Yes, how could I forget the box of powdered sugar and-if you are being fancy, edible wax. That is much less disgusting :)

                                                                  1. re: iambecky

                                                                    I have upgraded that recipe to include decent (not expensive - no reason to put lipstick on that pig!) -- dark chocolate, tempered so it sets up.

                                                                    I just can't take the Hershey's and parafin mix. Ugh.

                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                      Hmmmm...I DO like those Lindt chocolates with peanut butter creme filling. Maybe I just have to "discover" a new recipe for Buckeyes!

                                                                      1. re: iambecky

                                                                        a friend of mine didn't have the time to dip hers in chocolate, so she rolled the peanut butter balls and stuck a square of milk chocolate on top. Not the same as the original, but it worked.

                                                            2. back in high school, or maybe further back than that I had a friend who's family had this 'cabin' in a redwood forest south of Santa Cruz CA. Truly a special place and I was always happy when they invited me to spend the weekend at the cabin.

                                                              The first time there his mom made their 'special breakfast. she would cut a hole in the middle of a piece of toast put it on the griddle and drop an egg into it. Woo Hoo, sunny side up eggs that didn't run. There was only one real problem. I'm not all that fond of eggs, except hard boiled, although if they are scrambled well (turning golden brown) I can choke them down.

                                                              Of course I was raised with the "eat what's served you young man" creedo and i bravely managed to work my way around the edge of the toast, and most of the white. With this lonely yolk sitting there in the middle of the plate, and my friend's dad saying "glad to see you save the best part for last."

                                                              OMG, now what????

                                                              Fortunately his mom was a little sharper and said, 'if you aren't careful, daddy is gonna steal that yolk from you. From then on I got scrambled eggs at the cabin, much to the regret of my friend's dad....

                                                              1. This thread is cracking me up!!
                                                                My family's thing that I "will love" is salmon cakes. My mom and grandmother (sweet ladies, horrendous cooks) devised this concoction because when I was lucky enough to spend some years living in Charleston, SC I raved about how much I loved seafood.
                                                                They always tasted like crud, and then I saw them being made--the salmon came from a can!! I didn't even know that there was salmon in a can. Add in some huge celery chunks, italian seasoned breadcrumbs, some eggs, and viola! the worst seafood dinner known to man.
                                                                I actually did, at age 34, feed one of the damed things to my mom's cocker spaniel on my last visit. And yes, the dog is still alive.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: alliegator

                                                                  I grew up eating that because the only seafood my mother allowed in the house was tuna and canned salmon.

                                                                  1. re: achtungpv

                                                                    When my grandmother was a girl they canned fresh fish caught in the creeks of SW Missouri. She continued this her whole life long, making cakes like salmon patties from the meat. Storebought canned salmon was better.

                                                                  2. re: alliegator

                                                                    Just an FYI...Canned salmons is highly rated by many CHers.

                                                                  3. As a minister, it is my divine duty, and often pleasure, to eat anything put in front of me when visiting the homes of the elderly on pastoral visits. "Say grace, open mouth, swallow (hard!), smile broadly, praise lavishly, repeat"-thats the liturgy. Suffice to say, sometimes this turns out well, even brilliantly...other times, not so much...

                                                                    But the absolute limit was when I was posted to Newfoundland and, as a Mainlander (and Torontonian at that-I know this means little to my US friends but hang in and substitute as you see fit), I knew I would be facing a few trials to test my worth.

                                                                    As the congregation had deep roots in the fishing community, I was invited to the churches big fundraiser, a Flipper Pie Dinner-yep, that is SEAL flipper pie. I knew this was a big test, with all eyes on me and applied the liturgical routine outlined above.

                                                                    Apparently my (totally fake) act of appreciation was too successful.

                                                                    I found myself having to choke down "Reverend's favourite dish" at 5 separate member's homes before finally the seal season finished.

                                                                    Believe me when I say there is a mountain's worth of jellied salad I could eat before I would face another bite of seal Flipper Pie.

                                                                    1. lol....I have to laugh because I have experienced this from the other side. When my kids were growing up I made pancakes every Sunday morning. It was a tradition in my house. My youngest son especially would happily eat as many as I would serve him...or so I thought. Well, now he's away at school and only returns a few times a year....when he was here over the summer my husband reminded me to make sure I had everything for pancakes, because "Andy is coming." The first Sunday he was here I dutifly whipped up some lovely buttermilk pancakes...and he didn't even finish them. I asked him if he wasn't feeling well...he paused for a moment and said "Mom, I really don't like pancakes all that much. But you always seemed happy when you made them for me, so I always I ate them..."

                                                                      alrighty then....

                                                                      (I should have realized this years ago...the kid doesn't like most starchy things and is very careful about what he eats. He also doesn't like chocolate cake....or really chocolate of any kind, and it was always hard to remember that on his birthday....)

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: janetofreno

                                                                          I love this!
                                                                          When I was growing up with my three sisters, my mother always made a point to give me the dried up edges from the pan of scrambled eggs (this was before teflon).
                                                                          She always seemed so pleased, scraping the pan with a big benevolent smile on her face, saying 'Joyce loves the edges the best!' - never dreaming that I really liked the soft mushy part of the eggs, but since she seemed so happy doing it, I never had the nerve to tell her otherwise.
                                                                          I think I finally told her the truth about 30 years later. She was confused and amused all at once.

                                                                        2. Well nothing cooked by a family member or friend.
                                                                          But clients in China often take me out for some ungodly delicacies.

                                                                          The worst. Sea cucumber. Very fancy Beijing restaurant and on my plate is a giant sea slug about 6 inches long and about 3 inches in diameter. Ugghhhhh. Had to eat the whole thing of course. Washed down with shots of moutai-the worst beverage on the planet.

                                                                          1. I have none of these. If I don't like something, it simply doesn't leave my plate after the first bite. I have never pretended to like something I didn't like. And I simply tell people who are cultivating foodborne illness all about salmonella and e coli and giardia blah, blah, blah.

                                                                            I'm not mean to people, but I don't pretend to like things.

                                                                            It should be noted, perhaps, that I did not grow up in a "Clean Plate Club" environment. No one ever forced me to eat anything.

                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Jay F

                                                                              then you've never eaten a meal in another culture where refusing to eat causes more problems than just choking it down.

                                                                              In China, especially, not eating is a HUGE insult to the host...and is frankly a smack across the face in most other cultures, too.

                                                                              If you're allergic to it, fine - you have a justifiable reason to avoid it...but refusing to eat something your host has prepared is just rude.

                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                In Italy, not eating what is served and preferably asking for more, will simply bring on more food offerings. However, you will be talked about after you have left the table and NOT in a good way.

                                                                                1. re: LJS

                                                                                  and nobody says you have to lick the plate...but you should at least make a decent showing of it.

                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                    I wish I could remember which culture I read about where it was insulting to completely clean your plate - making it seem as though there wasn't enough food served, and you were still hungry.

                                                                                    1. re: weewah

                                                                                      you're right, and I can't remember it either.

                                                                                      The cultures of eating are fascinating...but can be tricky.

                                                                                        1. re: holidaygleek

                                                                                          Years ago, I read a guide to international business etiquette. One of the things I remember from it was that at a Chinese banquet, the last course is always a bowl of plain rice. If you ate it, you'd be signaling that you were still hungry, an insult to your hosts. So you should leave it be. This might be what weewah is referring to.

                                                                                          The other thing I remember from that guide was an anecdote about a woman who bought a pretty string of beads at a market in some African nation, and wore them as a necklace. The beads were supposed to be used to hold up a loincloth, so she was essentially wearing men's underwear on her head. Hilarity ensued!

                                                                              2. My grandma once made me a jello-poke cake... white cake with orange jello dripping though it. She was real jazzed about it since apparently they loved it back in the day, but I must have been around 13, and despite my extreme love of cake, I would not touch that type of cake if I was starving in the desert.

                                                                                I definitely ate the slice anyway though because you do not upset well-meaning grandmas.

                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                1. re: GraceW

                                                                                  I read that as jello-(Hawaiian fish dish)...believe me when I say I still gagged on your behalf.

                                                                                  1. re: GraceW

                                                                                    A close friend who's practically family is a mediocre-at-best cook, and my husband and I are often invited over for special occasions. Her specialty (that her husband "loves") is fettucine "carbonara"...which wouldn't be so bad if she didn't use that Parkay spray as a substitute for butter in every possible circumstance. Her secret to "great" enchiladas is a McCormick seasoning packet. Her hamburgers include oatmeal and ridiculous quantities of Italian seasoning. I'm fairly certain that tastebuds were bred out of her family with her generation. I once brought figs stuffed with gorgonzola and walnuts, wrapped in prosciutto, and drizzled with a balsamic reduction to Thanksgiving, and her mother and I were the only people who liked them. Nice lady, but it pains me that I'm half her age and have twice her skills in the kitchen.

                                                                                    1. re: theferlyone

                                                                                      I'll send you my address if you promise to bring those....yowza. (how does a non-vegetarian NOT like those!)

                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                        Lol, I heard a lot of "oh, I tried one...they're not bad, but I don't like (nuts/blue cheese/all the little seeds/anything that has more than 3 ingredients)". *grumble*

                                                                                  2. OMG!! My EX used to prepare meals he affectionatly reffered to as comfort food! It was the most disgusting stuff that ever passed my lips. Not only did it taste like something that had been laying around in a dumpster for 10 yrs but it was always the most unpleasant shade of brown!!

                                                                                    1. My German MIL made a Bavarian regional dish called g'schling. It was a stew featuring heart, lungs, spleen, kidney, and assorted pieces of vein. Served with a brown gravy over potatoes. Rivalled in yukiness by the boiled pig ear sandwich.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. The opposite problem: When I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador, my birthday rolled around, and the family who made a point of looking after me asked what I wanted for dinner. I asked for a shrimp dish, since we were in a tidal flat and shrimp were plentiful. My landlady raved for months about how they hadn't gone out and killed a chicken for me, no matter how often I explained to her that I'd requested the shrimp.

                                                                                        1. Love this thread, brings up memories. The most recent being my dear great aunt. Went home for a visit and of course, she had to make me a mochi like dessert filled with sesame paste. I like them fine enough but poor thing slaved all night to get them done. And of course, her's are golf ball sized and pretty chewy and doughy. I always toss them in the bin after I receive them. I like talking and after eating one, your mouth is pretty much glued shut. Probably explains why she thinks everyone in the family loves them, no one can say anything otherwise after eating one.

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: bdachow

                                                                                            I helped someone recently arrived from Romania get a job. To thank me he made dinner for me which starred: pasta with kidneys! Did not chew, but I ate it!

                                                                                            Never had kidneys before, never will have them again. Can't say I know what they taste like though!

                                                                                            1. re: msan

                                                                                              These are so funny, and brought back some memories: I fiercely loved my Mom, but a cook she wasn't (lots of Mrs. Paul's fish sticks at our house). Once after I was long out of the house, I visited and watched her make breakfast for Dad: a giant bowl of oatmeal soup. It truly had the consistency of vegetable soup--just water/milk with bits of oats floating in it. The vegetable for dinner was canned spinach with (wait for it) a cupful of water added, essentially making a spinach-water soup. Another speciality of the house growing up: fried baloney, which curls up into a cup. I'm surprised she didn't add a cupful of water into it, too. Loved her dearly, but I didn't take her recipes when she died. :)

                                                                                              1. re: pine time

                                                                                                Baloney/balogna fried in margarine was a staple in my husband's house in Toronto growing up. It was the thin slices and apparently was the prefered after-school snack for the boys: peanut butter on bread was "girly".

                                                                                                But in Newfoundland where I grew up, baloney came in a big 'log' (still does) and we hived off inch thick slices and fried them with onions; this was known, not without irony, as Newfie Steak.

                                                                                                1. re: LJS

                                                                                                  Yeah, I've heard that name too. It's actually surprisingly tasty when cut thickly and well fried.

                                                                                          2. I'm going to reply to this one for my mother. The first date she and my father had my father cooked rice. He knew she loves salt (I mean, REALLY loves salt) so he put a ton of salt in the rice. So much so that it was entirely inedible. He made a point of telling her he made it with extra salt just for her, so she smiled and pushed it around on her plate.

                                                                                            1. A good friend whose mom lives with them sometimes makes food when we are invited to dinner. Once she made her pot roast and I complimented it,mostly because it had cilantro in it and I tatsted that,which I love. Now they make it "for me" quite often when we're invited over.....ugh.

                                                                                              1. I think the moral of all these stories is not to compliment the cook, unless you really do love the dish and want to eat it many more times. Of course, the irony is that if the cook is really that good, he or she won't serve the same dish to you every single time, and if the cook is bad, he'll think, "Finally, I've made something that pleases someone! Note to self: serve this twice a week."

                                                                                                I have a reputation as a sweet tooth, probably well deserved, but I don't like a lot of American desserts because they are too sweet. But for some reason, when people learn I like sweets (mostly simple cookies, Asian sweets, fruit pies), they go all out and make me some horrid brownie caramel cheesecake concoction, or worse, a cake with buttercream frosting piled a mile high and I have to try to eat it.

                                                                                                1. Related story: American friend, raised to clean his plate, married to Danish woman, off to Denmark to meet her folks. Turns out that in Denmark cleaning your plate is a polite signal that you'd like some more, please. Friend found himself in a Sorcerer's Apprentice situation as he visited her many relations, faithfully cleaned his plate, and was given piles more food, and again, and again, in secula seculorum, world without end, Amen, could not stop it coming.

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                    Wish someone had explained that to me when I visited Denmark! No visit, be it social or business, can be conducted without copious amounts of food being offered. I'm not a Clean Plate Ranger, but I truly enjoyed the food and loved that my hosts were always so genuinely pleased to see me enjoying what was offered. Maybe they were also amused to see such a small person pack away such an alarming amount of food! Well, it was very cold, and I needed the extra insulation!

                                                                                                    1. re: FrauMetzger

                                                                                                      I"ll have to remember that if my husband ever goes to Denmark. He's Japanese and was very strictly brought up to clear everything off his plate, and has the appetite to generally manage it.

                                                                                                  2. Mine isn't one dish, but one ingredient I spend the better part of the 1970's gaging down in some form.....mayo. I also hate boiled eggs and canned tuna.

                                                                                                    Like many others I was brought up to eat politely what was served you, especially in someone else's home. I spent my childhood dodging, avoiding and gagging down tuna salad, egg salad, canned peaches with a dollop of mayo, mayo on turkey sandwiches, deviled eggs, one friend had a Mom who even put mayo on a grilled cheese sandwich.

                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                                                      My Mom and I put mayo in grilled cheese sandwiches. Funny, no one else I've made them for wants them with mayo.

                                                                                                        1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                                                          yeah, everybody knows that bread-and-butter pickles are what goes on a grilled cheese!

                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                            You could put bread & butter pickles on a shoe and I'd probably eat it :-) I love B&B pickles!

                                                                                                          2. re: Janet from Richmond

                                                                                                            I guess I grew up eating it that way, and it didn't occur to me that it wasn't normal until I met my now-ex-husband. *shrugs*

                                                                                                          3. re: tracylee

                                                                                                            Accckkkkkk.... that is all kinds of wrong LOL - to each his own. Grilled cheese on rye bread, fried in butter with tomato soup - the only way to go

                                                                                                            1. re: cbauer

                                                                                                              tomato soup from a can, please. The one and only time I eat canned cream of tomato soup -- it just *has* to go with grilled cheese sandwiches.

                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                Blech! Had a bad experience with tomato soup as a kid (and generally don't care for soups anyway), so no tomato soup for me. Just grilled cheese, no mayo, with pickles on the side. And maybe a little ketchup if I feel particularly junk-food-y.

                                                                                                        2. this is not just special for me...but my wife has friend she used to work with and we started going over to her family for dinner or summer cookouts..etc,etc...

                                                                                                          and their grandmother makes homemade macaroni and cheese i was told..now remembering my own grandmothers mac and cheese ..i tried it...

                                                                                                          it was horrible...there was milk and uncooked chunks of flour under a layer of elbows..with a cheese topping the baked (now extra crispy) top layer of elbows...

                                                                                                          and for the past few years i tried to teach them how real mac and cheese is supposed to be..
                                                                                                          but all i get is thats the way she always made/makes it and nobody has the heart to tell her its horrible...

                                                                                                          so i just eat a few of the elbows and push it around the plate...

                                                                                                          1. Good to see this thread come back to life. Hilarious.

                                                                                                            My german immigrant grandmother used to make schaumtorte (like meringue or pavlova) for my father at every special occasion, thinking he loved it. Of course, he hated it, but would never tell his mother so. None of the rest of us liked it much either, but we all dutifully powered through it, and giggled about it on the way home.

                                                                                                            Similarly, I have a friend who somehow got the idea that I like marzipan, and she always brings me home a supply of marzipan from her frequent european travels. They are always gorgeous little packages that are a delight to the eye, but I really have trouble choking down more than a bite, as I find it so excessively sweet. She's never seen me eat much of it, so I have to think that there is some kind of projection going on there.

                                                                                                            1. I hate saying this, but entering the world of real foodies, i've realized almost everything my mom cooked for me was bad. My mom cooked most every thing too long, with no seasoning. And she has an irrational fear of trying ingredients that were not available in a supermarket in 1965.

                                                                                                              One of the worst offenders, tuna noodle casserole, consisting of frozen Peas (which is a fine ingredient), canned tuna, white sauce (with no salt), noodles (over-cooked in unsalted water). No matter how much salt you added it never tasted seasoned. Another was hormel chili with melted velveta and fritos. Now she has learned to cook better, thank god, and can serve up some good salsas or thai food recipes or make delicious veggies. But during my childhood, the only winning dish my mom had was kale based stir-fry.

                                                                                                              I was never good enough with social norms to realize i was expected to pretend to like stuff that tasted like crap, so i avoided this trap with other people. I don't know how it would sound to fake praise some of the stuff people described here. "You really nailed the ratio between velveeta cheese and frozen broccoli." "The combination of celery pieces, canned garbanzo beans and mayo really makes this cool whip sing." "if only all cooks were as skilled as you at adding cans of cream of mushroom soup to things."

                                                                                                              I don't lie well, so i don't think i could heap praise on this stuff and not sound incredibly sarcastic. Thinking about this has me dreading the next time i have to be polite about being served bad food. Don't wanna lie, can't be honest. "After eating that, i'd be happy to die right now." maybe? Dear God, why can't i just yell at people like Gordon Ramsay. "You cook like a donkey, grandma." "Grandma, go clean your dentures then come back and taste it again." "Not good enough." "maybe it's time to send you to the old folks home if this is the best you can do in the kitchen."

                                                                                                              1. My friend and neighbor makes blackened catfish as a treat for us. Very, very over cooked, over seasoned, and so dry I literally have to take a drink of water after every bite. Not to mention that we're in the middle of the country around no fresh fish and catfish is not a fish I enjoy to start with. Still, she raves so much about what a great and generous cook I am (we have them over often) and she wants to "repay", so I always thank her and tell her that it's delicious. it's also teaching my dd that when you are a guest, you don't comment on the food negatively and just eat what you are offered.

                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: velochic

                                                                                                                    We have the same rules here, although in the past few years, I've had to teach my 14 yo son that not making negative comments also includes not using negative body language. *G* Slouching and looking sour is just as rude as saying you dislike a food in the presence of the one who cooked it. Hope your daughter is a better eater than he is!

                                                                                                                  2. My former MIL makes this smoked mussel spread, from canned smoked mussels, cream cheese, and mayonnaise. The smell is wretch-worthy and the taste... "MMMM, thanks, I've had one, thanks, really, I'm fine, yep, saving room for dinner. No really, I couldn't possibly." And always served with the generic-brand saltine crackers.

                                                                                                                    Her dear older sister made "white fish in shrimp sauce" for us once... 15 minutes after eating it, I was doubled over in the bathroom but I felt MUCH better afterwards...

                                                                                                                    Her dear husband made CHICKEN BACKS one evening. In curry spices. BACKS. with the skin! Ark accchh bleccchhh!!!!

                                                                                                                    He also used to do, every single hoilday family gathering, his "famous curried sardines." which consisted of giant portuguese sardines from a can, with all their skin and gross little bones, smothered in an oily, oily oily curry sauce.

                                                                                                                    Let me be clear: these are dear, kind, good people. Ok? Great. But steer clear of the sardines, is all I'm sayin'.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: LittleBee

                                                                                                                      You, ma'am, are a trooper. YUCK!!

                                                                                                                    2. My wife (who RARELY cooks) makes pot roast that is hard for me to eat, not because it tastes terrible, but because it has NO flavor at all!

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                                                        am I married to you? :D

                                                                                                                        Up until last year, my pot roasts were so horrible (dry, tough, and tasteless) my hubby finally asked me not to make them (but he did so artfully -- that pot roast has never been a favorite of his, and I do so many other things so very well, that he really didn't have any need to have pot roast)

                                                                                                                        *Because* I do other meats well, this bugged me, although I gladly abandoned my efforts, but I tried it again last winter after I bought a pressure cooker. TaaDaa...perfect pot roast. (If I'd known that was all it would take, I would have bought the stupid thing a long time ago...30 years to figure out that all I needed was a pressure cooker)

                                                                                                                      2. Not any particular meal, but my entire ex-in-law experience. I grew up in a cooking family, and I married somewhat later, so I already had my own cooking style developing quite nicely. Also, I grew up in an area known for pride in cooking in general, so I guess I got rather spoiled on fresh, quality home cooking. Moved out of state to where my in-laws lived, and got a supreme wake-up call! Not only were they all microwave-chefs, the family owned a meat packing plant, so pretty much every meal was some hunk of meat, burnt, served with A-1, and a potato or bread on the side. EVERY meal with them was "choking it down," and was probably the first time in my life I learned to appreciate ketchup. No spice or sauce was ever made or used on anything, and vegetables and fruits were rare, unless it was canned and swimming in salt or sugar.

                                                                                                                        The worst time was when we went to visit them for Thanksgiving. The family who lived in town all had already prepared some side dish or other (think jello salads and box mashed potatoes), so I offered to help with some of the preparation. I volunteered to make giblet gravy and red-eye gravy, to which my sister-in-law replied, "No thanks, we have packets." O_o (In the end, I did make some giblet gravy, because I was not about to go without proper gravy for T-day. Unsurprisingly, my gravy was the first to get eaten.)

                                                                                                                        1. I would be absolutely horrified to know that someone hated something I cooked regularly for them. I can't believe people here think that's ok. You don't have to be rude, but just politely make it clear that it's not your favourite thing ever. Imagine all the effort this person goes to when you don't even like it!

                                                                                                                          It's different for people you only meet once who have cooked you something unexpectedly, such as someone you meet in another country whilst travelling. For a start, cultural differences can be a difficulty here. But if it's a member of your family or a dear friend you owe it to them to be honest.

                                                                                                                          Unpopular opinion maybe but I would honestly be really pissed off and also very embarassed if people were only eating my food "to be polite". I love to cook for people but I want them to enjoy it so I really appreciate it when people tell me what they like to eat and are honest in their praise.

                                                                                                                          1. This really is a funny thread!

                                                                                                                            My Dad usually made Sunday breakfast and he was a good cook. But there was the day he'd been watching Julia Child make crepes and added orange liqueur to the pancake batter. I was about nine. He didn't think to warn us until we'd all poured maple syrup over and I spat my first mouthful all over the table.

                                                                                                                            1. I don't actually pretend to like food I don't in normal circumstances. I've not got the appetite to polish off that much food, and I'm chubby enough that people usually don't force food on me. So, if I'm not cleaning off my plate in the first place, I'm certainly leaving my least favorite food uneaten. I wasn't taught to clean my plate, so I don't if I'm dealing with standard American culture. I'll usually try to blame it on a type of food that I dislike categorically, to be polite. When I visited China, I polished off my plate very well, but it was no hardship there. I don't recall a single dish there that I disliked.

                                                                                                                              On the other hand, my standards for edible (although unappealing) are very low as a result of growing up eating my mother's cooking. She overcooks everything.

                                                                                                                              In business related situations or in cultures where it's a big deal, I can try to make myself get through food. But in more daily ones, I'm going to try the food, but not continue to eat it if it's unpalatable. At the same time, I'm not going to bring to attention my distaste for the food. If asked, I don't like that category of food or I'm not hungry right now (if there isn't a single palatable dish, I'll claim that, even if my stomach is audible). Unfortunately, one of the foods I dislike is standard birthday cake (I find it dry... I've had good cake only a handful of times). Even when it's okay, I'd prefer my birthday cake to more than okay. So, I ask for an ice cream cake, or cheesecake, or brownies, or banana bread, or zuchini bread. I always got regular cake, with awful chemical tasting overly sweet frosting. I eventually managed to stop that, but for the longest time, I simply didn't eat any of my birthday cake.