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Nov 30, 2011 07:57 AM

Did Your Mom Repeatedly Cook a Dish You Despised?

My mom--God rest her soul--was a marvelous cook, and I still prepare several of her greatest dishes. However, she also made a Sweet and Sour Pork that I dreaded like the Black Death. And she made it over and over again. Ghastly stuff.

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    1. re: arashall

      I loved meatloaf until I saw it being made. Something about the bread,eggs, meat, etc grossed me out. Thank god I never saw her make meatballs.

      1. re: viperlush

        I had the same experience. Well, I didn't love it, but I liked it a lot as a little kid. I even liked helping make it when I was very young.

        But as I got older, the thought of what was involved in the preparation of the meatloaf disgusted me. It was always made with a thick slab of tomato paste on top, which was especially repulsive. And if that wasn't bad enough, there were always leftovers that we had to eat a day or two later, when the texture and colors had turned to something else entirely.

      2. re: arashall

        I used to come home from college every weekend to work in a local restaurant. Every single Friday, when Dad would pick me up at the bus stop, I'd ask "what's for dinner?". Invariably, the answer was meatloaf. After a year of this, I begged my Dad to ask Mom to make something else on Friday nights since I never could stomach her meatloaf. His answer was, "But, she makes it for you! It's your favorite!".

        How could she never see how I gagged and choked it down every Friday?? <grin>

        He's such a good Dad, he did ask Mom to make something else and I've never again been subjected to her meatloaf.

        1. re: arashall

          Mom was a great cook, but her meatloaf was inedible. She and my late dad went to Mexico for the Xmas-New Year holidays in 1969-70. Before going away she cooked meals for my college aged sister, future brother in law and myself to eat during her absence. Included were three meatloaves. Sis pulled one from the freezer, defrosted it and heated it. Futrure BIL took one taste and said he wasn't hungry, I claimed to have had a late lunch and sis said she was on a diet.

          So, the meatloaf was put into the dog's bowl. Even Sniffy, our Golden Retriver wouldn't eat it.

          18 years later when parents sold the house the other two meatloaves were sitting in the bottom of the freezer, Hopefully the next owners of the house who bought all the appliances threw them away.

          1. re: bagelman01

            Was there ever a thought by anyone in nearly two decades, Hey! Let's toss one of those meatloaves in the oven! Or Hey! There is that old meatloaf!

            1. re: FireFlyFiftyFive

              My sister married the end of the spring 1970 semester and moved away. I moved away 2 years later. We never told my mother that the meatloaves were buried in the bottom of the freezer and she seldom made the trip to the basement to get things from the freezer. Sis and I had a good laugh when cleaning out the freezer when my oparents sold the house. The newest food in the freezer was probably at least 7 years old.

          2. re: arashall

            My wonderful mother was a horrible cook, and made meatloaf and steaks, (extra well done) at least once each week. When I moved out at 18, I promised myself that I would never eat meatloaf again. Turns out that was a lie. I'm now 52, and have had it twice since then. Never again! Steaks, on the other hand are pretty good when not cooked until like shoe leather!


            1. re: arashall

              Meatloaf was one for me too, also liver & onions and fried chicken. In retrospect, I would not mind having it once again, just not often (and not really since none of it is healthy).

              1. re: arashall

                Now, my mom rather butchered meatloaf, and it was way down on my list. However, my wife does a great version, and it's night-and-day from what my mom served, and quite good, to almost great.


              2. I used to hate what I called "Kentucky Supper" - white beans cooked with ham hocks and served with homemade corn bread. I just hated this, which is funny to me because now I would love it!

                1 Reply
                1. re: woodleyparkhound

                  As a kid I detested beans, which consisted exclusively of pintos. I can only imagine my horror had mom trotted out white beans. I might not have survived.

                2. My mom's a fabulous cook (and her mom was too), and I can stomach most foods, but I absolutely hated tuna casserole. Maybe that's an obvious choice, but it was the only dish that I could not stand as a kid. They had 6 kids to feed, so it seemed like a necessary evil at least once every couple months.

                  43 Replies
                  1. re: Jeebs

                    Tuna noodle casserole with potato chips on top - I hated it. She switched, at some point, to a new tuna casserole, without noodles, but with sliced hard boiled eggs in it, that was served over popovers. This was OK. But still kind of gross.

                    1. re: jeanmarieok

                      Oh yeah, I couldn't stand the tuna casserole either. It wasn't the noodle/potato chip kind, but rather had canned biscuits on top. The tops of the biscuits would brown, but the underside was always gummy and nasty.

                      1. re: lawhound05

                        I suspect there are many of us children of the 70's, scarred by tuna noodle casserole. Thank heavens it's fallen out of favor.

                        1. re: jeanmarieok

                          It was one of my favorite meals! I never met a noodle I didn't like. My mom made it with crushed saltine crackers on top. When I found out that a friend's mom made it with crushed potato chips on top, I was very jealous!

                          1. re: woodleyparkhound

                            Then you would have positively turned green with envy about my mom's tuna casserole with crushed *BBQ* potato chips on top! Lord knows where she found that gem.

                            1. re: tcamp

                              That is, ah, unique!
                              And now this thread has me making tuna noodle casserole for dinner tonight.

                          2. re: jeanmarieok

                            My MIL made tuna goo every Friday, all the time my husband was growing up. Then the Pope said you didn't have to give up meat on Fridays, and she never made it again.

                            My husband was crushed.

                            Now about once a month he makes tuna goo for us ... good tuna, shrimp, crab meat, gruyere, No potato chips, no peas, no celery. Just yum.

                            1. re: Meann

                              Still have Lent to be meatless on Fridays - and I know for a fact, my mom still makes tuna casserole during Lent....

                              1. re: Meann

                                Would this be creamed tuna on toast. I hated it on Fridays, but now, I make it everyonce in a while as an emergency dinner, and the troops love it.

                                1. re: The 1st and only KSyrahSyrah

                                  Oy vay. That was mom's go-to dinner. At the time, we absolutely haaaaaaaated it, and spent large amounts of time trying how to get rid of the dreaded peas in it. (A planter, placed strategically near the table, was the end receptacle.) But now? If I need my mom, I don't call her (because she drives me nuts.) but I make creamed tuna, with mushroom soup and frozen peas. And I serve it over toast.

                                  1. re: mamachef

                                    Let me guess: pea plants sprang up in the planter, your mom harvested the peas and used them to fuel an ever-expanding immensity of creamed tuna on toast. I think a Hammer horror film used this as a plot.

                                    1. re: mamachef

                                      , I don't call her (because she drives me nuts.)~~

                                      I'm sorry for laughing at this mamachef....but I had to since it reminds me so much of my mother...I try to avoid inviting her into my house as well. Though I love her dearly.
                                      I can only tolerate so much of her hypercritical diatribes....

                                2. re: jeanmarieok

                                  My mom put sherry and mushrooms in her tuna noddle casserole, with sliced almonds on top. I still make it, and still love it.

                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                    well... is sherry in anything ever really wrong?

                                  2. re: jeanmarieok

                                    I had tunnynoodle last night at a local wonderful cafe, and it was pure comfort, but my mom's was real, real bad. She once made a salmon loaf, and it was the only time I ever saw my daddy lost his temper fully, over food. He actually threw the loaf out the kitchen door and ordered pizza

                                    1. re: mamachef

                                      Either that loaf was REALLLLLLY bad or he had a bad day at the orifice.

                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                        It may have been a bad day, now that I recall. It was just before the end of tax season, which was never a good time at home. We never even tasted it; it was that fast. But his objection seemed to be that it was canned salmon, and they could afford better food. Or it may have been a childhood aversion. We most surely didn't discuss it. We ate that damn pizza and kept our mouths shut.

                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                          I thought I was the only one who used "orifice" in this way!!

                                          1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                            Nopers. Daddy used it too. "Hand me my briefcase: I'm off to the orofice." It was actually a pretty good metaphor, because it swallowed him up 6 months of the year, and left him pretty chewed the rest of the time.

                                            1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                              Shuckydarn. I thought I was being original. ;)

                                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                All good. I'll just pretend I heard it HERE first Disregard post.

                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                  My hubster uses the term "orifice" for office. One of his many cornyisms that immediately caused my eyes to go into a rolling action.

                                                  1. re: sandylc

                                                    I don't suppose he's OBGYN or procto?

                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                        No, but he's brilliantly hilarious - Just ask him and he'll tell you so.....!

                                                        1. re: sandylc

                                                          Aye. 'Tis a difficult burden to bear. And bare. ;)

                                                      2. re: sandylc

                                                        Almost everybody I know that I've known for a long time says that, and the usual other cornyisms (great word, BTW).

                                                    1. re: QueenDairy

                                                      We ate tuna noodle casserole on Friday's too. We called it Friday Night Chicken. My mom did a good job. What I hated were the Swanson Tuna Pot Pies. I have not had any sort of pot pie since I moved away from home.

                                                  2. re: mamachef

                                                    Sorry, but what kind of jerk would do such a thing? Your mother went to the trouble of fixing a home-cooked meal and her husband threw it out of the house? A simple, "Thanks for the effort, but this just doesn't do it for me" would have gotten the message across. If my father had ever behaved in such a way, Mom would have brained him with her cast iron skillet. Even when she served slimy boiled okra, all Dad did was taste it and inform us kids that we didn't have to eat it if we chose not to. (It was REALLLY bad.) FWIW, my mother made a tasty salmon loaf with canned salmon, a recipe out of the old JoC, served with a lemon sauce. We all loved it.

                                                    1. re: pikawicca

                                                      Yep, it was jerky, end-of-tax-season behavior. Out of character by a long shot. I doubt that they'd have stayed married if that was his usual mode of operation. FWIW, the ONLY person who can talk bad about my daddy is his kids. : )

                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                        "the ONLY person who can talk bad about my daddy is his kids"


                                                          1. re: linguafood

                                                            yup and the thing I WANT to yell at either is "I can 2nd guess myself very well enough w/o your help. but thanks"

                                              2. re: Jeebs

                                                This strikes a chord. I hated my mom's tuna casserole because she made it with Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup. Those mushrooms were nasty, in my jaundiced opinion. It was years before I could eat any kind of mushroom.

                                                No noodles, rice instead. No chips, grated cheese.

                                                1. re: Akitist

                                                  I actually developed the ability to pick out the mushrooms when my mom made tuna casserole with Campbell's.

                                                2. re: Jeebs

                                                  I couldn't stand the tuna noodle casserole either. I recall one evening, being so grossed out, but had to stay at the dinner. "Eat or go without"....I was happy to go without, but my parents thought I'd cave. Nope, I sat there all night until bedtime, trying not to look at the pile of casserole on my plate, that you know got awfully cold and gloppy from sitting that whole time. At least the smell died down eventually (or I got used to it).

                                                  It took me years to discover that tuna casserole could be good. And I even learned how to make hers to serve it to her later on....although the smell still really grossed me out.

                                                  1. re: Jeebs

                                                    My lovely mother was a good cook but had several favourite recipes I loathed. They seemed to be on the menu every week. Subgum yuk (with chow mein noodles and tuna), blintzes with cottage cheese in them, and lasagne made with cottage cheese as well. I used to want to die on subgum yuk night.

                                                    However, she is the undisputed potato salad Queen of the world, and her gravy is to die for.

                                                    1. re: shygirl

                                                      My mom used cottage cheese instead of ricotta in her lasagna and I loved it. Still do. In fact, I prefer it to ricotta.

                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                        I'm kind of on board with the cottage cheese, gives it more moisture, it's the ground beef alone that I find umm "Betty Crocker"

                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                          My mom did that, too, because she said it was cheaper--ricotta used to be quite expensive. Although I use ricotta when cooking lasagna for others, I prefer the texture of cottage cheese.

                                                    2. Swedish meatballs, because she added Capers to the sauce. I loathed Capers, they looked and tasted like squishy bugs to me as a kid. To this day I have never added Capers to a dish, although I do eat them nowadays if I have to.

                                                      15 Replies
                                                      1. re: RUK

                                                        Funny--I really like capers, but an English pea will never pass my lips. They look a bit the same, but I suppose I like the sourness and firmness of capers, while the soft blandness of peas puts me on edge.

                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                          Vinegared capers in a bottle are abhorrent. Switch to the salted ones that come in a bag, this will be a taste revelation, and will make one understand why capers are so popular.

                                                          1. re: arktos

                                                            If I see 'em, I'll grab 'em. Don't recall seeing bagged, salted capers before.

                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                  Can you tell me the brand, or store. I've never ever seen bagged capers.

                                                                  1. re: EWSflash

                                                           I am not sure of a store in your vicinity, but amazon sells them :) Make sure to rinse them under running water before using!

                                                                    1. re: EWSflash

                                                                      So two days later i'm at a local veresion of Whole foods, Sunflower Market, and damned if there wasn't a jar of nonbrined salted capers. Haven"t used them yet, I want to wait till DH goes out of town and make some really raunchy putanesca sauce with them.

                                                                      1. re: EWSflash

                                                                        "raunchy putanesca "

                                                                        I trust that redundant pun was intended...

                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                          I prepared some iconoclastic strozzapretti last night.

                                                                          1. re: hill food

                                                                            Didn't you know that I work for the Department of Redundancy Department?

                                                            1. re: RUK

                                                              That is so funny! I was trying to think of something my mom made that I *despised* and couldn't really come up with anything I'd felt that strongly about.

                                                              My mom used to make Kroneberger Klopten with capers, of course. While I liked the whole meatballs & cream sauce & rice combo, I would pick out all the capers.

                                                              Needless to say, I'm a caper lover now, with piccata being one of my favorite applications for them.

                                                              One of the -- let's say -- less appreciated dishes she made was pancakes for dinner. Yeah, I know. Any other kid's dream dinner, I guess. Thin, German-style pancakes (Eierkuchen) with sugar, cinnamon & apple sauce.

                                                              I had much more of sweet tooth as a kid, like most of us, but a sweet meal was just not my idea of "dinner".

                                                              But despising? Nope. She was too much of a good cook.

                                                              1. re: RUK

                                                                @RUK, try fried capers - they might change your mind.

                                                              2. I guess I'm lucky in that my mother never expected me to eat something I detested. I think that's a bit cruel, really.
                                                                About once a month, Mom would make liver for her and Dad. My brother and I were not expected to eat it and she'd just open a can of franks and beans for us. We loved it. It was like getting to eat junk food!

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: monavano

                                                                  Yes, mom loved us too much. Dad got liver and onions or, on Saturday afternoons, liverwurst and onions. On those days we got grilled cheese and tomato soup or chicken noodle soup and saltines.

                                                                  1. re: monavano

                                                                    My parents made me eat a "bite" of liver, which was about the size of a pencil eraser and always washed down with a glass of milk. I got boxed mac and cheese, which I loved. I think the message was really, "It's not all about you. Sometimes we'll have things we like because WE like them." Most things I didn't like they were secretly happy about because they were luxury items, like crab, fried smelt (for breakfast--I'd leave the room!) and avocados.

                                                                    1. re: Jeri L

                                                                      I say something similar to my kids. "Sometimes I cook what you like for dinner, and sometimes I cook what I like." Luckily my kids are not picky eaters, so usually it's something everybody likes.