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Your worst foodie gifts

As Christmas is fast approaching, I have just updated my blog with some of the worst foodie presents available on the market.

What was the worst foodie gift you have ever received as a present?

My suggestions are here:-


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  1. One year I received one of those things that you use to make deep fried onions flowers/blooms. They were popular at some restaurants at the time. The main thing is, the person who gave it to me knows that I hate onions! Yes, I use them in making soups and stews and the like, but will NOT eat them on their own.
    Strangely enough I was assigned the creamed onions for Thanksgiving dinner for several years (before I moved to another island) because the first year I got them I made the best creamed onions anyone had ever had. I refused to even taste them. Go figure...

    9 Replies
      1. re: tommg

        I've secretly always wanted one of those. Did you try it and if so, how was it?

        1. re: baseballfan

          As a kid I had dreams of using this to attack my sister.

          1. re: baseballfan

            I succumbed to the advertising for this many years ago. I've moved many times since then and the salad shooter goes with me. It does basically the same thing that my food processor blades do, but takes up less space in the dishwasher. I probably wouldn't buy one again, but at the time I didn't have a food processor. I do love it, anyway.

            1. re: hippiechickinsing

              I still see this at Target or Walgreens during the holidays. I am always tempted but have never given in. I have a bit of a kitchenware and gadget issue. I realized just how much during this last move and I have resolved to only buy what I actually need. We will see how long that actually lasts ; )

              1. re: baseballfan

                if you start a 12 step program for people with kitchen gadget addiction, please include me.
                i hardly cook at all anymore, but still i keep buying these gadgets. . . . .

          2. re: tommg

            I have one that my friend gave me when she was moving out of state, in the 1990s. I use it once or twice a year to grate large amounts of cheese, like 2# of cheddar or a pound of parmesan. It's great for that purpose.

            When she brought it over, she made me take out all the produce I had in the fridge and we shot it all over the kitchen, I don't think if I've ever laughed so hard in my life. The pieces were flying everywhere!

            1. re: tommg

              I adore my Salad Shooter. I got married in the late 80s and received a Salad Shooter for a wedding present. I'm on my 3rd one. I don't ever use it to shoot salad but it is amazing for shredding cheese.

            1. re: foodieX2

              Not all avocado slicers are junk. I have a metal one with piano wire for the slicer. It removes the peel and slices the avocado quite accurately.

              1. re: Candy

                Junk or not who really needs one? How hard is it to slice and avocado? I guess for someone who has everything and place to store it all but to *me* its pretty worthless.

            2. I was given the Ronco 5000 Showtime Rotisserie which I actually have a love/hate relationship with. It actually does a good job cooking a chicken. The downside is it's the size of a small Toyota and is a pain to clean and store when not in use. If you want a nicely cooked chicken and you have a two car garage but only own one car, give me a call.

              9 Replies
              1. re: bobbert

                I also received one of these as a gift and felt the same way. The food that came out of it was delicious but it was huge! I also thought it was a real pain in the ass to clean. Mine squeaked the entire time it was rotating which was annoying. My animals found it fascinating though and would sit there and watch it for hours. I finally got rid of it 2 moves ago.

                1. re: baseballfan

                  I forgot about the squeaking! I'm also hesitant and embarrassed to write this but, like your pets, I often found myself staring at that thing albeit not for hours. This would make a great gift for a college kid who smokes a lot of pot.

                    1. re: bobbert

                      LOL So true! We used to line up some stools, with beer in hand, and watch it rotate like it was a football game. Every now and then the chicken skin would bubble and pop to the sound of 'ooooos' and 'ahhhhhs'.

                      1. re: Novelli

                        Mine was a gift too, but I do like it. They recommend squirting a little salad oil where the pole sits in the groove to reduce the squeaking, it helps a tiny bit. And yes, I agree it is mesmerizing for some strange reason.

                        1. re: Novelli

                          Are you sure you didn't just have beer in hand?

                    2. re: bobbert

                      I need to keep my eyes open for one of those, I always wanted one. No AC in our tiny cottage kitchen makes summer cooking a challenge. I could set it up in the shed.

                        1. re: bobbert

                          The first thing in the instruction manual says "DO NOT set it and forget it!" They were just kidding.

                    3. A few years ago we received a smoked turkey from Greenbergs in Tyler, TX. Interesting that they mail you a post card a few days ahead of time to "warn" you its coming. It was delicious the first day, made tasty leftovers the second day, but ... oh ... the eternity of two people and a SMOKED turkey. The fragrance lingers in the fridge (and the freezer) for several weeks. I finally gave the carcass to a friend of mine so that she could have smoked turkey soup ... I can only eat so much turkey tetrazzini.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Cheflambo

                        Ah, and see, one man's trash...... I love those Greenbergs. After we've had our fill it gets parted up in small packets and re-frozen for use in beans, soups, stews later in the year. The carcass makes great smoked broth.

                        Everything does need to be double-bagged in the freezer though. Lol.

                      2. Ceramic knives. I have knives that I like, that do not require such special care.

                        1. Baking mix. Nothing says "I hate you" like getting a baking mix for xmas.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: alkonost

                            Do you mean things like cookies in jar?

                            1. re: foodieX2

                              I will second hating cookies in jars. Found one from 4 years ago. With the cute cloth top tied on.

                              1. re: foodieX2

                                I received one of these as a thank you gift a while ago. One of my kids wanted to make the cookies so I figured let's give it a shot. The ingredients clearly had been in the jar for quite a while. It was nearly impossible to get everything to come together and the finished cookies were not worth the effort.

                                1. re: foodieX2

                                  Yes, but I've also received boxed mix from the grocery store. I've never found any packaged mix to be any good, with one exception: a family recipe from a friend.

                                2. re: alkonost

                                  ESPECIALLY when I bake my own cookies from scratch. Always.

                                  1. re: alkonost

                                    Got a box of "beer bread mix" from a relative one year. They didn't even bother to throw in a can of beer and the holiday that year was at a "dry" house.

                                  2. I've been cooking BBQ for years, but I got a "Mastering the Art of BBQ in 5 Easy Lessons" book. Worst piece of cr@p I've ever read. The author talks down to you like you were a three-year-old moron and spends most of his time insulting people who aren't as "smart" as he is. Lots of smug "there's only ONE way to do this and it's MY way." I got 20 pages into it before I threw it across the room.

                                    1. Those weird plastic spoons dipped in assorted crap that you stir into hot drinks. Bleh. And cheap tea. My mom keeps buying me bizarre variety packs of low quality tea. Ick.

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: Hobbert

                                        Oh, you don't want to ruin a perfectly good cup of coffee with a sprinkle-dipped chocolate spoon?


                                        1. re: iluvcookies

                                          Lol. Why do people like those spoons??

                                        2. re: Hobbert

                                          Not going to lie, I make these. It's a good use for my left over callebaut, and I can stick a few in my hostess gift cookie trays. :) I can't have that much chocolate in my house after Christmas!!

                                          1. re: LexiFirefly

                                            Hey, if it was high end chocolate, I might like it. But the thing is, it's usually cheap junk and I don't drink coffee! What the heck am I stirring it in?

                                            1. re: Hobbert

                                              I label them as hot chocolate spoons, mainly because high end chocolate does not melt well in water, it's fat soluble.

                                              1. re: LexiFirefly

                                                I used to make these, too, with good chocolate, then roll them in my lavender sugar. I'd give it with with some homemade hot chocolate powder in a mug. I'd buy a bunch of mismatched sterling silver spoons, and the unique spoon would be part of the gift package, not a plastic spoon.

                                                Haven't done so in years, though, but a few friends still ask about my "lavender sugar spoons."

                                        3. Picture and upside down muffin tray that you wrap bacon around to make bacon bowls. Yucko

                                          1. I got a cake boss set complete with a full season's episode with behind the scenes family screaming / drama and his first recipe book. It looked like a high school project home ec class made the cakes.

                                            My MIL heard I was doing pastry courses and felt Buddy is the best to teach me

                                            1. Does getting Clinton's memoir count?

                                              Some people I know were doing a road trip to Florida and asked if I wanted anything. I said that if they went to Joe's Stone Crab that I would likea souvenir keychain and that I would pay for it. If they didn't then to not bother and just enjoy the trip.

                                              No visit to Joe's Stone Crab but I was handed a hardcover copy of Clinton's oeuvre. To this day I don't know how they reasoned this out.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: wattacetti

                                                That's one of the weirdest things I've ever heard.

                                                1. re: Hobbert

                                                  I actually have that tome in the bookcase with the rest of the cookbooks. It's a conversation piece now.

                                                  1. re: wattacetti

                                                    Haha well it's a heck of story. I can't imagine why they thought that would be a good substitute.

                                              2. MIL buys me See's candy every year (the same kinds each year.) I don't like chocolate but she can't be bothered to remember that. Something thoughtlessly bought because the giver enjoys shopping for it with no regard to if the receiver even likes it is a bad gift.

                                                10 Replies
                                                1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                  "Something thoughtlessly bought because the giver enjoys shopping for it with no regard to if the receiver even likes it is a bad gift" this is how my mom shops all year round and then gets angry when you don't like it.

                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                    What about when the giver is only concerned with the price? I have ended up with junk off the Wal-Mart clearance rack that is so different from anything that I would like that it's like they never met me. I have no problem with anyone shopping on a budget because I do too but please, I would rather have a nice note.

                                                    With that being said, I do thank them warmly for the the gift and then donate it or pass it on.

                                                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                      I would be happy to- it's really hard to find someone to take it! No one I know wants more junk food after Christmas, everyone is sugared out.

                                                      1. re: weezieduzzit

                                                        Damn! I'd love them! We don't have See's Candies in New York and it's one of the things I miss most about California.

                                                        1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                          I know they sell them at kiosks at the malls here on Long Island, so I looked it up and it says they sell it at Macys on 34th, and Lord and Taylor on 5th Ave too.

                                                          1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                            You can mail order them, ratgirlagogo.

                                                            1. re: pine time

                                                              The See's at Macy's is just a few things on a counter, not the actual store. And yes I do mail order from them. But it's not the same. I love the little white tile shops.

                                                              1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                                Yeah, I hope they never change the black & white decor or those so-ugly-they're-great uniforms!

                                                            2. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                              Same here... I should have asked my mom to mail me a box of bordeauxs and peanut butter patties as part of my Christmas present.

                                                      2. Does anyone want an electric raclette set? Never been used, promise!

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: Will Owen

                                                          I would take it off your hands but you're on the other side of the continent. Those things are incredibly popular locally.

                                                          1. re: Will Owen

                                                            We love ours! It gets used at least once/month and has been so used for years. Raclette is a great simple dinner...a nice salad, boiled potatoes, cornichons, cocktail onions, some prociutto or other charcuterie, and of course good raclette cheese, Swiss or French...and a nice bottle of white wine and a great meal is on the table in 15 minutes. I usually do this for just the 2 of us, but I've done it for guests and it's always enjoyed!

                                                          2. Chia pet and because the people I worked with at the time knew I thought those things were beyond ridiculous I would get one from the secret Santa (another holiday idea I really dislike) every year. One year I lined the back wall of my office with the entire collection until they bloomed and regifted the office with them. Never got another one.

                                                            I understand this year Chia pets can be had in Duck Dynasty characters..........ugh!!

                                                            13 Replies
                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                              "I understand this year Chia pets can be had in Duck Dynasty characters..........ugh!!"

                                                              Oh my, my husband, who is VERY confused by the entire DD concept/existence, may be getting one of those as a gag gift.

                                                              1. re: cleobeach

                                                                Gag gift, if there was ever a more perfect definition for the Chia pet I can't think of it=that's it!

                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                    I can actually think of a couple people I would gift with DD Chia Pets.

                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                  That is a long running gag gift between my husband and his 3 brothers. Every Christmas someone gets one. A couple of years ago, my husband asked me to pick one up and I was shocked by how expensive they had gotten.

                                                                  1. re: baseballfan

                                                                    Yeah, I was thinking I would order one off of amazon for $7-$10 and was shocked to see them at $25

                                                                    1. re: baseballfan

                                                                      You mean I gagged at a potential vintage moneymaker from back in the day, lol!! Lost my chance on early Ebay, huh?!

                                                                      1. re: HillJ

                                                                        You never know...hold onto Billy Bass!

                                                                        1. re: baseballfan

                                                                          ROFL, I don't have a single Chia pet any longer, baseballfan. Left them all at the office a long time ago.

                                                                    2. re: HillJ

                                                                      The chia pet is pretty retro but eating chia sprouts and seeds is very in

                                                                      1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                        Yeah, I can't go there. Chia pets ruined me for life. Sprouts don't do it for me and the seeds as food is a texture thing I wouldn't enjoy.

                                                                      1. re: princeofpork3

                                                                        My FIL used to buy these from one of their stores. He loved them but I thought they were absolutely awful. Not even as good as your average supermarket steak.

                                                                        1. re: princeofpork3

                                                                          My BIL sent bacon wrapped filet mignons from Omaha Steaks to us one year. Unfortunately, one of us is a vegetarian and another doesn't eat pork products. Oh well!

                                                                        2. Anyone remember the battery-powered vibrating needle "In- the-Egg Scrambler?" I recall this was a Ronco product in the early to mid-60s.

                                                                          1. Eggies.

                                                                            Just look at teh Amazon reviews. Ha. Need I say more.

                                                                            Make hard boiled eggs without having to peel. C'mon . Really?

                                                                            Waste of time. Srsly. Hard hard is it to boil water and cold eggs?

                                                                            By the time you crack eggs into them, cook and clean you are waaaay behind the time curve.

                                                                            Used once. Now they just set in the box looking mean at me every time I open the pantry.

                                                                            1. A diet book. I'm thin and have been all my life (except for that year in France when I smoked a lot of pot and ate a lot of pastries). I could not figure out what this now former friend was trying to tell me.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Isolda

                                                                                nothing...regifting it's called.

                                                                              2. I received, a few years ago, a cookbook from my MIL entitled the basics of baking. It was a nice thought aside from the fact that I have been a professional pastry chef for the past 5 years.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: FuriousSuzanne

                                                                                  A premonition of holidays to come...

                                                                                2. Those crappy gift baskets filled with mediocre crackers, mustards, chocolate and the like. I've received dozens.

                                                                                  Although I have lucked out a few times and actually liked the basket by itself for other uses.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: BubblyOne

                                                                                    As mom used to say: Hickory Farms - one stop Christmas shopping for people with the imagination of a cauliflower.

                                                                                    On the positive side, the assortment has so many preservatives that it can be re-gifted for generations.

                                                                                  2. SO's half sister always sends me really bad cookbooks... like the ones w/ cardboard pages put out by a food maker like Sargento. I think she buys them at her kid's school's book sale. She means well, and I know she doesn't have a lot of money, but the books are really bad.

                                                                                    1. vegetable decorating/cutting knives set

                                                                                      egg cooking thing in microwave

                                                                                      Sushi making set

                                                                                      1. I got one of the home beer brewing kits. Despite multiple tries I could never get anything drinkable.

                                                                                        1. By no fault of the gifter, it was a food of the month gift that usually had to be tossed because it was either stale, held over by the postman for whatever reason, or I was out of town when it was delivered.

                                                                                          I would have loved it had the bacon not been ambient temperature, or the artisan bread rock hard, ect...

                                                                                          1. Once I got a Dallas Cowboy's wives cookbook. I'm a football fan, but not a cowboy fan. And, the recipes weren't very good.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: TroyTempest

                                                                                              football players wives were not married for their cooking skills.

                                                                                              1. re: princeofpork3

                                                                                                True. And i have the proof. Or i used to have the proof. I think i lost that cookbook in a move ;)