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May 16, 2011 11:56 AM

Dissapointing Dinner at Friends House

Ever go to a friend's house and are just completely let down by the food?

I understand that spending time with friends is not all about the food. But i would even appreciate friends making efforts to reciprocate. Seems that i am always having my friends over and they never seem to return the favor by serving food that represents an effort.

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  1. Maybe "disappointing" is the result of effort? There's a broad spectrum of ability/interest in cooking out there.

    1. Are they trying their best or just throwing some crap on the table so they can say they reciprocated? If it is the former, then let it be and suck it up in the name of friendship. If it is the latter, either grin and bear it if you can, do not go when invited or best yet...don't invite these friend over any more to begin with.

      1. I've had a few friends (or good acquaintances) in my life who simply didn't share my gusto for food and therefore don't think it essential to a good time. In that case, I don't think it's necessarily a lack of effort to set up an enjoyable get together, rather a difference in opinion as to what makes it enjoyable. But, while I appreciate that difference in opinion, it doesn't change my thinking that a good time goes hand in hand with good food, so I tend to socialize less with such folks.

        And then I know people who are into food, put a good deal of effort into it, but also whose idea of delicious is so divergent from my own, that I don't end up enjoying their food as much as they do. But I appreciate their hospitality nonetheless.

        I grew up in an Asian household where properly entertaining people meant a HUGE spread of a wide variety and neverending supply of food at sometimes deep cost to the host's pocket and sanity. But I personally prefer it simpler these days and if I were to reciprocate for one of my friends who entertained in such a fashion, I would still keep the meal to a scale that suits me.

        What are the disparities between the meals you host and those of your friends that leave you feeling slighted?

        1. My friends complain about being too intimidated to invite me over for food. I think they worry needlessly. Once in a while, it's a pleasure for someone else to do the work, even if it's just doctoring up Boston Chicken and side dishes. GG, I don't mean to criticize, but perhaps your expectations are too high? I have a male friend who loves to eat at my house, but doesn't cook at all. He reciprocates by taking me to $$ restos I wouldn't be able to afford on my own. Sometimes all people know how to make well is comfort food they grew up with - mac & cheese, meat loaf, etc. Give some examples of "food that represents an effort". Do you expect your friends to make you puff pastry from scratch or are you talking about Kraft mac & cheese?

          30 Replies
          1. re: Diane in Bexley

            A great wife and I have friends over all the time for sometimes elaborate plated dinners..and sometimes for a buffet-style simple dinners. But either way i make the effort to invite people over to eat.....everyone in this thread understands the work involved with procuring, prepping, cooking, serving, and cleaning up when entertaining. Now of my friends, lets say 10 people, only one other couple invites us over to eat. Now this couple is not as intensely into the idea of finding good ingredients and doing something great with them as I am....but nonetheless they make an effort to cook for us...I am so thankful for friends that reciprocate in such a manner. Last time we went was steak sandwhiches with bacon and cheddar....simple, not fancy, but the effort was there and we greatly appreciated it.

            I dont expect to have sous vide prepared foods, or even to be impressed..i just need to see that my friends make the effort...and frankly it comes down to choices....its just not important for them to entertain with food thus it never happens.

            1. re: giorgionadi

              I see what you mean - just the basic act of reciprocating a meal with a meal.

              Someone mentioned this downstream, but I do think a lot of people are really self conscious about inviting others into their home because they don't want to be scrutinized or judged on the state of their abode and/or their cooking skills. Someone else mentioned that they invite people whose company they enjoy, with or without the prospect of reciprocation, and I think that's a good approach.

              Maybe you have some friends who are always all too happy to have dinner on you, show up empty handed, make pigs of themselves, rinse and repeat. Round here, we call them mooches, and they eventually get culled from the guest list because they tend not to make very good friends away from the dinner table either.

              1. re: giorgionadi

                From what I have seen of the "adult" world, especially when talking to my parents (because alot of my 20 something friends are barely there with the adult thing yet) this is becoming typical. People don't reciprocate very much anymore and don't have people over as much in general. My parents are dying to get invited over and generally they do about 50% of the entertaining with their friends and the others each do it about once a year. They aren't as good cooks as my parents but my parents would rather be invited sometimes instead of it being assumed that they will continue to invite everyone.

                1. re: melpy

                  We're in the same camp as your parents, except we do about 95%+ of the entertaining. I'm happy on the rare occasion I am a guest or even rarer occasion when I am not the one organzing a group of family or friends for dinner out. I can't remember the last dinner where I didn't make the reservation.

                  1. re: Janet from Richmond

                    "I can't remember the last dinner where I didn't make the reservation."

                    That drives me nuts, and, sometimes, I am a complete hypocrite.

                    With my one friend, especially, he is always doing the organizing. And, he knows he will usually be stuck with it. So, I always look to: pay for gas, bring the food/beer/wine, pay for extra rounds, buy all of the napkins/plates, etc.

                    1. re: DougRisk

                      I love my friends and family but they truly are like herding cats and I just grow weary of everyone looking at me to find a 8:00 reservation on Friday night to a popular place and I can't get a firm head count or know if everyone can do 8:00.

                      One night 10 of us went to a popular place on a Friday night. I called ahead and they were kind enough to say they couldn't give us an exact time but they would work us in. I told everyone this and no one vetoed or seemed to have a problem. We get there and it's busy, but we are waiting at the bar and everyone is in good spirits. One gal came to me ("Hooch" for those of you who remember my infamous friends "Mooch and Hooch" from previous threads) and said "I thought you got us a reservation. My husband had to drag me away before I made a real scene.

                      1. re: Janet from Richmond

                        I am coming to a realization.

                        Many of you are simply way to "understanding" of how some people act towards you. Either that, or I am a complete d!ck.

                        Janet, you are definitely nicer than me.

                        1. re: DougRisk

                          LOL. I am too then...

                          A d*ck, that is.

                          1. re: DougRisk

                            I'd say the former, but, the again, I'm a complete d*ck myself.

                            1. re: MGZ

                              Also, and this could really derail this thread, I think it may have to do with some *general* differences between the sexes.

                              Many of the problems that are being brought up here simply would not happen between my (male) friends and I. If something like (insert any of the already stated problems) happens, we would just say something.

                              And, if the guy got all huffy, well, you know what guys say in those situations (I wont repeat it here). And, I do have male acquaintances who do get like that, but they never really make it past being an acquaintance.

                              1. re: DougRisk

                                I think everyone's digressing on this thread, but it's a good point you make.

                                Everyone should keep lots of garlic on hand to keep bitchy/passive aggressive emotional vampires (regardless of gender) at bay.

                                1. re: DougRisk

                                  Im a male...and yes me and all of my guy friends would just call out the other person if he messed something up in the kitchen, or didnt foot his bill for a meal, or for any lack of efforts would be called out. But then why do we keep associating ourselves with people that dont demonstratively participate in friendships?

                                  Acquaintances are a waste of my time.

                                  In case sh*t hits the fan? What kind of sh*t?

                                  1. re: FoodExpression

                                    "Associations" and "Acquaintances" are different than friends.

                                    Think of you friends sister, or brothers wife, or whatever. You are not likely to ditch them. That is simply too hard-core, for most.

                                    "Acquaintances are a waste of my time. " Nice.

                                    "In case sh*t hits the fan? What kind of sh*t?" Like, you broke your leg and you need to get to the hospital. You just got very sick and have run out of TP, Clean Towels, NyQuil, etc. Your car broke down. The list goes on and on.

                                    When there is not family around, you rely on friends and neighbors.

                                    And, if someone replies with, "Well, WELL, I would just call my girl-FRIEND"...well, that is a friend.

                                    A friend in need is a friend indeed.

                                    Or, to put it one more way: Society exists for a reason.

                            2. re: Janet from Richmond

                              Seriously, Janet - how you didn't haul off and belt her one before your husband pulled you away is beyond me. Come on - I know you're fast on your feet - you could have used your purse to belt her upside the head - it extends your reach by at least a foot or so. ;-)

                              1. re: Janet from Richmond

                                Similiar story. Got a friend a "priorty seating " at a disney restaurant. Thats what Disney calls em because they aren't firm reservations in the first place. I'm a regular customer and when I approached the manager about fitting them in (a party of 5), he said they were full be would do it as a favor to me, but they might not get in right away. I explained the situation to my friend. When they went up for res, my friends brother caused a huge scene when it took 45 minutes to get seated. It embarrassed me.

                              2. re: Janet from Richmond

                                We're usually doing the entertaining, but that's because we have more room than most of our we're usually Gathering Central. (not planned, and our plentiful space doesn't mean we're any better off than any of just worked out that way)

                                Once in a while it wears on me, but I overwhelmingly enjoy it.

                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  My husband loves to cook and entertain but really doesn't like going to other peoples' houses very much. So we do the bulk of the entertaining and that suits us fine.

                                  1. re: escondido123

                                    We usually have people over, because DH and I both have terrible allergies and many of our friends have pets that we can't tolerate. To avoid bad feelings all around, we sometimes provide everything, sometimes have a pot luck. works out great for us. :)

                                      1. re: jujuthomas

                                        I have a similar deal with a friend. We both love hosting, but she's very allergic to my cat. She provides the space for most gatherings, but we rotate planning and cooking duties.

                                        1. re: mpjmph

                                          wonderful, mpjmph! i've had several "friends" who just could (or would) not understand about the allergies. I've been told several times to "take a pill and get over it." Oh, if only it were that easy! needless to say, those who cannot or will not understand do not stay in the friend category for very long.

                                          1. re: jujuthomas

                                            Oh my gosh, we have struggled with this for years as well as both my husband and I are highly allergic to cats and many other pets, sadly My favorites are the people who think that sending the cat(s) outside just before we arrive and vaccuming well will take care of the problem. I have gotten over trying to educate people about dander a long time ago and now we just work out accommodations--we visit friends with cats more during the summer months when we can be outside and we host at our house or go out together. No amount of good company, conversation, or food makes it worth a trip to the ER.

                              3. re: giorgionadi

                                I always say to people who are intimidated by my skills in the kitchen...."as long as it is your peanut butter and jelly, it will be OK"...that way they know we would love to come to their home and it is the company not the food that is served!
                                We also have friends who always bring all the wine, do the dishes and take us out to a nice restaurant every couple of months! Neither of them cook!

                                1. re: vacationmomma

                                  I was at a party with Marcella Hazan and some whacko said to Marcella "Oh I could never invite you to one of our dinner parties I wouldn't know what to cook!" Marcella's reply, in her heavily accented english was "Oha, justa give me a crust of bread!" How precisely elegant!!!

                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      Prb is I dont think that would have sufficed......but its nice of her to say that.

                                      1. re: FoodExpression

                                        That's being a lady, in my estimation.

                                        1. re: FoodExpression

                                          FoodEx, Knowing Marcella, I do think she was serious; who else can get excited about ground beans and weeds( Fave e Cicoria) calling eating it " a revered event"!

                                2. re: Diane in Bexley

                                  I can relate to your first statement. I assure them that it's just a hobby and everyone has one. It is never my intention to intimidate or one up anyone. I think I've said this 1,000 times.

                                3. maybe they rn't that good at cooking or maybe they think u r so good friends that they dont have to try to "impress" u. Like i can order pizza or something when my friends come over but I would make a 3 course dinner if I had my bf parents over

                                  btw whats the worst thing u guys been served?

                                  79 Replies
                                  1. re: L987

                                    The most recent memory is a St. Patrick's Day mac and cheese made with a very bitter stout and super sharp Irish cheddar, this being an example of a dish by friends who put considerable thought and effort into food that is not remotely yummy to my palate.

                                    I would rather have eaten Kraft M&C.

                                    1. re: inaplasticcup

                                      Not that I don't like stouts and Irish Cheddar on their own, though... :)

                                      1. re: inaplasticcup

                                        lmao! u kidding? that sounds disgusting! did u eat it?

                                        1. re: L987

                                          It's no joke, and eating it was no joke either. :|

                                            1. re: LeoLioness

                                              LeoLioness, I agree that it sounds more delicious on paper than in practice. Part of it may have been an execution issue, as I detected little to no salt in the dish other than that which came from the cheese, but the other part was that between the cooked down bitterness of the stout and the super sharp quality of the cheddar, there was just no balance to the dish, and just no Mac & Cheesy type enjoyment to be had.

                                              I do think you could make a delicious M&C incorporating these ingredients, but perhaps in different proportions and with a different technique.

                                              But trust me on this - there was a buttload of this stuff left at the end of the night.

                                      2. re: L987

                                        The worst thing served? My sister-in-law buys all of her in bulk a few times a year at BJS. She buys ground beef, forms the patties, COOKS the patties, and then indivdually freezes each one. When you are invited over for a cookout, the food was already pre-cooked months ago. She microwaves the patties and dinner is served. She does the same with chicken. I would gladly host anyday versus going to her house for dinner. My stomach turns just thinking about it :(

                                        1. re: Sydneyeats

                                          That is one of the most bizare things that I have heard in a while. How on earth does your SIL's family cope?

                                          1. re: rabaja

                                            Their kids literally eat Burger King chicken nuggets or pizza every night. They buy those items in bulk too. Every Monday their favorite pizza place has a "Buy 2-Get 2" pizzas deal. They stock up on the pizzas and chicken nuggets and the kids are set for the week. The adults eat the burgers or chicken. Hotdog/hamburger rolls are bought on the same shopping trip, frozen, and then thawed.

                                              1. re: Sydneyeats

                                                Except for the precooking thing, a lot of people do that. I always have breads, chicken, and ground beef in the freezer. And growing up mom used to make patties out of ground beef and freeze them. It's how my brother and I began learning how to cook. And in Honolulu it's not possible to buy chicken that hasn't been frozen, even if it sold thawed at the grocery, fresh chicken is not raised commercially anywhere in the state, it all gets shipped here frozen.

                                                1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                  I don't have an issue with the freezing. I will buy a larger pack and repack in different servings. It's the precooking I find a bit much. Although I guess I don't do other types of frozen meals so maybe that's my aversion.

                                            1. re: Sydneyeats

                                              This made me chuckle. I forget how much of a chore cooking is for some people...

                                              I'm not laughing at your misery, mind you.

                                              Ok. Maybe I am... :P

                                              1. re: Sydneyeats

                                                Wow. I eat some sketchy foods at friends' homes, but I don't think I could eat at your SIL's. Has anyone ever explained the concept of "cookout" to her?

                                                1. re: gaffk

                                                  Apparently not. She hosted my 40th birthday dinner earlier this year. Complete with the shrimp ring that one would see at Walmart in the freezer case. I drank my dinner that night--boxed Franzia Chardonnay. My dh still gets the side eye for that one.

                                                  1. re: Sydneyeats

                                                    LMAO. How did she wrangle her way into hosting YOUR 40th? :P

                                                    1. re: Sydneyeats

                                                      Ha ha aha!! You can laugh about it now! Still, a cautionary tale. I'm making dinner reservations for my 40th (next year) NOW.

                                                      1. re: Sydneyeats

                                                        i know this is an old thread but i had to reply. i love to cook and pretty much know what im doing in the kitchen. my husbands daugher from his first marriage invited us over for "taco dinner" was literally cut up hot dogs and american cheese in a flour tortilla. with some mild pace picante sauce. yikes. i mean, thats not even tacos, not by any stretch of the imagination. it was hot dog quesadillas! since i make my own carnitas along with homemade tortillas i was like.....yeah. apparently his first wife couldnt cook either so hes pretty happy with my cooking. we just had grilled quail with cheesy polenta and caesar salad with good quality reggiano. no more "taco night" at lauras.

                                                        1. re: cookmyassoff

                                                          I suppose Laura has some good qualities that might not include cooking.

                                                          1. re: cookmyassoff

                                                            Perhaps we can arrange a little switch. My stepmother served "leftovers" the last time I was there - a little turkey, some packaged stuffing, gravy and canned green beans all mixed together. Aside from being really salty it didn't taste horrible but looked disgusting. For dessert there was a layer cake from a mix with some marshmallow stuff from a jar in between and on top but she licked her fingers between every swipe of the knife.

                                                            I didn't have boxed Mac and cheese until she showed up. My dad is actually quite a decent cook as was my dear late mother. For a recent birthday I brought a 7 course Italian meal - some of which we finished cooking there. He loved my arancini di riso.

                                                            If we traded I'd make the tortillas to go with your carnitas, a couple kinds of homemade salsas, maybe a tamarindo pomegranate agua fresca and a cucumber lime one too. No hot dog tacos, promise.

                                                            1. re: fruti

                                                              that sounds good to me. i also do an all veggie salsa that has zucchini, carrots, tomatoes (of course) any other veggies u want to throw in.....its cooked down so more of a "sauce" than a fresh salsa like a pico de gallo or whatev. i usually jar some up and everyone raves about it. really healthy with all those veggies.

                                                              havent had arancine in a long ass time, that sounds good. ive been craving carbonara, which ive never made, but im gonna give it a shot. i hear its all about good quality pancetta and not letting that egg scramble. u live in denver area?

                                                              1. re: cookmyassoff

                                                                Sf bay area - oh well. Maybe you can ship your step daughter out this way any way. So hard to negotiate these relationships. I'm in my fifties, my dad and step mother in mid-80's and my dad and I are fairly close but I have no hope for me and SM. we are just too different and just basically do not like each other, food tastes aside.

                                                                Good luck with everything - and at least you can prepare delicious food. Bet she feels threatened by you. Oh, well - at least you and you husband eat well thanks to you.

                                                                1. re: fruti

                                                                  aahh i grew up in sacramento, and lived in oakland for a while! i love the bay area. i miss the ocean and the great seafood. although ive found some great asian markets out here where i can get live lobster, dungeness, oysters, even live conch! i heard someone once on TOP CHEF say they had never used live conch cuz u can only get canned in the states. well i can get live conch in denver! about a mile and a half from my house! asian stores....the gourmets secret. i miss SF.

                                                                  1. re: cookmyassoff

                                                                    "asian stores....the gourmets secret"

                                                                    all too true. anywhere.

                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                      quail eggs for 1.25, sashimi quality tuna, and oyster shrooms for about half the price of whole foods? heck yea! plus the one by my house has live tilapia that they will kill, clean and even scale for u in case u want to do crispy skin. try getting the high school kid behind the counter at whole foods to scale ur freshly cleaned tilapia.

                                                                      1. re: cookmyassoff

                                                                        ahh yup! live Maryland blue crab in the midwest (pls use the tongs) and head-on shrimp and unusual animal parts etc etc etc? nowhere else to go.

                                                                        my fave in STL not only has live conch but periwinkles as well and the lobster is 1/2 the price of the chain market. love it.

                                                            2. re: cookmyassoff

                                                              Hot dog tacos? That sounds awful! I want to make carnitas myself sometime soon....

                                                              I'm a stepmom myself & am starting a cooking trade thing with my SD - I'll cook (since I like to) & she gets some of the food I make so I don't get stuck with a ton of leftovers. She's getting Creole chicken & sloppy joes (her request) this weekend....

                                                              1. re: jenscats5

                                                                not EVEN dog quesadillas. flour tortilla, kraft singles and cut up hot dogs in the microwave. carnitas are actually pretty easy.....lots of good tips online. just be sure and find a mexican store so u get the lard. frying it in veg oil is just not the same.

                                                              2. re: cookmyassoff

                                                                I hate to say it, but those weird hot dog things sound good to me.

                                                                (I know... I know it's crap, but they do sound good to me!)

                                                                1. re: NellyNel

                                                                  no, they werent even good quality dogs, like hebrew national or nathans or something. they were like, store brand hot dogs, and then again, not even kraft singles, generic american cheese, mission tortillas (crap) so it was a hot dog quesadilla made from the lowest quality ingredients possible. but the thing to me that sucked the worst was this was advertised as "taco dinner".....not.

                                                                  1. re: cookmyassoff


                                                                    I understand your shock/horror, I really do!

                                                                    That is certainly nothing I would ever even dream of serving to a dinner guest...Good God, NO!!!
                                                                    .............but it IS something I would sneak myself at midnight! Bad qaulity stuff and all!!!
                                                                    I admit, I have a thing for weird stuff, and this is definitely weird!

                                                                    1. re: NellyNel

                                                                      yea well some people just cant cook and dont really care to learn. she is one of those people. her mother cant cook either so who is she supposed to learn from? i just feel sorry for her husband and children, having to eat that. and when they go "out to dinner" its like applebees, tgifridays, etc. yikes. i sound like a snob huh? but they live in sacramento, which has a boatload of great restaurants. and they go to applebees. whatev.

                                                                      1. re: cookmyassoff

                                                                        oh yeah - no - I agree - Applebees etc... **shudder**

                                                                        1. re: NellyNel

                                                                          Just a general reminder here - not necessarily directed at NellyNel- to keep discussion focused on food , not relationships with family members, thanks

                                                                          1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                            even though this board says "not about food" .......ok.

                                                                            1. re: cookmyassoff

                                                                              The sticky at the top of this board at gives more information on the scope of this board.

                                                          2. re: Sydneyeats

                                                            My relative dumped a frozen bag of wings onto a cold gas grill and said to me " hey i know you love to cook, why dont you cook the chicken wings."

                                                            Now I love this relative but now we have to eat before everytime we go to her house.

                                                            1. re: Sydneyeats

                                                              Yuck I would just stoop going over there, that is disgusting. So much for a "rare" burger!!!sod

                                                              1. re: Barbarella

                                                                +1. Nothing worse than a box wine hangover.

                                                              2. re: Sydneyeats

                                                                When I cook burgers for DH I always do extra patties and put them in the fridge or freezer so he can have a burger in two minutes later that week. I'm not really into burgers and he loves them. But I'd never do that for guests! For one thing, in the length of time it would take to individually reheat a dozen patties I could have cooked them from scratch fresh.

                                                                1. re: Sydneyeats

                                                                  My mother in law does this! yuk!!!
                                                                  She premakes everything and put them in the freezer. Then when she invites us, she puts the whole thing in the oven...sometimes, they are overly cooked so the whole thing tastes like baby food and sometimes, they are hot outside and cold inside with ices.
                                                                  The funniest thing is she never eats her own food as she is always on a diet.

                                                                  1. re: Monica

                                                                    This sounds like my mother! are you my wife with a secret Chowhound account!

                                                                    1. re: Monica

                                                                      My mother in law pre-cooks everything for a holiday meal, then reheats it in the oven for at least the same amount of time it originally cooked - or so it seems. I am usually certain that dinner is almost ready when I start to see a haze of smoke. Now that she's slowing down a bit, we get to host more holidays at our home - HOORAY for juicy turkey, and non-mushy veggies. and hooray for being able to save her from what she found a very stressful experience. :)

                                                                      1. re: jujuthomas

                                                                        I have an aunt whose turkey gravy is just the strained juices. She should get together with your mother in law.

                                                                        1. re: Terrieltr

                                                                          I have to admit to going au jus with most meats....But turkey is one thing I like to make gravy with.

                                                                          1. re: katy1

                                                                            I agree, but with Thanksgiving, the gravy isn't about the turkey it's about the mashed potatoes (and to a lesser extent the stuffing/dressing....let's not start that debate again).

                                                                      2. re: Monica

                                                                        May be she does this because she's on diet won't eat herself? Well, I freeze food a lot but that's because I live alone. I always end up with too much pasta or beignet dough for one person. So, if I have guests, I'll thaw the pasta and make some fresh sauce and then serve it with proper sides and everything. But I will never reheat my frozen tuna casserole for guests. That's just no. Why invite people if you can't even bother to serve fresh food?

                                                                        1. re: raisa

                                                                          yea we go to costco and places like that and buy in bulk sometimes to save money. and i have one of those freezer bag vacuum sealer things, which i love, so i can package the proper portions for when its just me and my husband. nothing wrong with that. but i never, NEVER, cook the stuff first and then freeze it. sorry, thats just gross.

                                                                          1. re: cookmyassoff

                                                                            Are you telling us that you have never made a pot of soup or chili or spaghetti sauce and frozen any of it?

                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                              oh yea i have definitely frozen spaghetti talking about the poster that was talking about pre-cooking steaks and burgers. spaghetti sauce actually freezes quite well. my bad for saying "never"....i totally meant pre-cooking meats, turkey dinner, etc. ick.

                                                                              1. re: cookmyassoff

                                                                                I'm with you on the steaks and burgers. We never cook more if those than we are going to eat right away because they reheat so poorly.

                                                                                1. re: cookmyassoff

                                                                                  I'll freeze things like lasagna -- but yeah -- cooked, frozen, and reheated meat is pretty nasty.

                                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                    yea, sauces/salsas, soups, etc can freeze well, but meat/fish? def need to cook that stuff fresh. your medium rare steak will be well done after u reheat it in the microwave.

                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                      Nah, not all meat is bad cooked and frozen. I agree that steak and hamburgers are bad reheated and any meat that is not intended to be braised or cooked well-done doesn't reheat well, but beef stew, BBQ pork and beef, coq au vin, and a host of other meat does freeze well. Ham is one of th worst kinds of meat to freeze, at least a big ham on the bone. It thaws out kind of mushy.

                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                        Carnitas freeze quite well!

                                                                                        If you find yourself with leftover grilled (med-rare) steak, it is delightful sliced thinly and eaten cold with coarse salt!

                                                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                                                          it is, but not re-heated (I actually had to explain once that some leftovers are better eaten cold, uhh for instance why fried chicken ought not be microwaved)

                                                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                                                              yea, fried foods DO NOT reheat well in the microwave.

                                                                                            2. re: sandylc

                                                                                              didnt know that about the carnitas. i am making some soon so i will save some out, use the vacuum sealer and freeze some. im curious about that one. never froze carnitas before. only the pork shoulder before its been cooked.

                                                                                            3. re: John E.

                                                                                              that's what I mean -- if it's IN something else, it works great. If it's by itself, no thanks.

                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                  Even pulled pork, as suggested by someone else?

                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                    Meat in and of itself -- chicken breast, ribs, steaks, chops, burgers, etc., etc.,e tc. -- sections of muscle tissue in large pieces and with minimal processing -- is nasty if it has been cooked prior to freezing (e.g., any microwaved convenience meal).

                                                                                                    Meat as an ingredient - with sauce of any of a variety of different types, or as part of a more complex dish -- usually freezes fine. Even if meat is the primary ingredient -- if there's a significant amount of OTHER STUFF -- sauce, liquid, other foods -- it's fine. This would include barbecue, carnitas, all-meat chili, bolognese sauce, lasagna, stroganoff, long as it's not JUST meat.

                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                      That seems like a pretty good summary. If cooked meat is all alone, it succumbs to dryness and freezer burn. If it is submerged or even just coated in fat/liquid/other stuff, it seems to do all right. Carnitas or pulled pork are generally coated in juice and fat.

                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                        plus these are meats/dishes where u the meat is no longer "rare". carnitas, spag sauce, chili....these are dishes that are cooked a long time so i suppose the meat isnt expected to stay rare anyway.

                                                                                                        1. re: cookmyassoff

                                                                                                          I s'pose the acidity of the sauce/marinade has a factor in its freezer stability.

                                                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                                                            No sauce/marinade on carnitas - ?

                                                                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                                                                              Or did I just jump in on the wrong thing here?

                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                oh I wasn't specific, I was referring to the tomato sauce based things and other stuff.

                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                  well i guess u could freeze the carnitas in the cooking liquid.

                                                                                      2. re: Sydneyeats

                                                                                        At some point you have to draw the line. I would bring my own food or just stop going to her house.

                                                                                      3. re: L987

                                                                                        I had a friend once who served us ketchup soup and packaged crackers he'd jacked from a fast food place. Since I too had been poor enough that I couldn't afford even a box of crackers, I smiled and ate it and thanked him for the hospitality.

                                                                                        1. re: dianne0712

                                                                                          one offers hospitality as best as one can, and one reacts as you did.

                                                                                          (it's the only way to get the sun to rise tomorrow after all)

                                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                                            ya a lot of us have certainly been there.....i call them the "top ramen days"....

                                                                                        2. re: L987

                                                                                          A bit late to the party; may I play a round of worst thing ever served? I think I have a winner...

                                                                                          Cold "lettuce soup" -- a recipe designed for people on extreme low calorie diets. Placed in front of me by the hostess, who declared "it's not that bad once you get used to it!"

                                                                                          The recipe involved blending lettuce in a blender with a pinch of salt, and then popping a dab of fat free sour cream on top of the resultant sludge. Between the brownish-green hue (with a bit of pastel at the edge of the sour cream), swamplike texture, and overtly "green" flavor, I was barely able to get a single bite down. Probably made worse by the fact that it had been prepared a couple of days prior to my visit and allowed to age in the fridge... *shudder*

                                                                                          1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                                                                            "it's not that bad once you get used to it!"

                                                                                            I should print t-shirts!

                                                                                            classic and so multi-purposeful. I will swipe this.