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DIrty Family Secrets

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Ok, so let's dish. I am sure some of us have seen a family member cook something just for themselves, maybe a late-nite snack or quickie dinner, that is so anti-Chowhound that you just want to scream. It looks awful, smells bad, and you refuse to taste it for a second time.

I'll go first. A certain family member of mine will make a chicken quesadilla. It's bad enough to use american cheese, a flour tortilla, and some jarred salsa, but the canned Swanson's chicken makes it a foul smelling mess. Quite frankly, I have no desire to eat it before the chicken is added, but the chicken takes it to another level of disgusting.

Do you dare tell on a family member?

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  1. If your compass is right, I think I may be part anti-chow.
    If hungry or umm, reality altered enough, I would eat that quesadilla.

    11 Replies
    1. re: buckytom

      Me too. I've been known to eat that canned chicken.

      1. re: Multifoiled

        That canned chicken is a great substitute for canned tuna in a tuna casserole or noodle dish. It doesn't have the tuna smell and strong taste, but provides the right texture.

      2. re: buckytom

        <reality altered enough>

        Hah, definitely.

        Normally that sounds pretty awful though. Canned chicken is gnarly.

        1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

          i am really altered at this particular moment, but NOT altered enough to eat THAT disgusting thing.

          1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

            Thirty years of experimenting with, enjoying, and over-indulging in every reality altering substance I could find access to and I've never succumbed to opening a can of chicken. In retrospect, it's actually kind of impressive considering the fact that I had one can that moved with me three or four times in the late 90s/early 00s.

            Come to think of it, for the life of me, I can't remember whatever happened to it?

            1. re: MGZ

              It's alive and lurking under the kitchen cabinet... be careful, very very careful......

              1. re: drongo

                Mrs Z. is gonna be pissed when she finds out that we're having quesadillas for dinner.

            2. re: EatFoodGetMoney

              There was a Twilight Zone episode where they ate canned chicken pieces on the bone! It looked repulsive. I wonder if a whole canned chicken was a regular thing or a bomb shelter speciality.

              1. re: NattyP

                Maybe it was a special foodie episode, and they were eating confit de canard from a can....


                1. re: Steve

                  It lives! I'd take the confit over the Sweet Sue.

                2. re: NattyP

                  Inlaws kept whole canned chicken up at the family cabin as emergency rations. When hubby and I cleaned out said cabin, a can was unearthed that dated back to the early 80's. No, we did not open it....

            3. Not a family member but a former neighbor. We could see their deck from ours and would watch, time and time again, when they would grill chicken legs for 45 minutes. Chicken jerky, anyone?

              5 Replies
              1. re: c oliver

                When I grill larger supermarket chicken legs, it does take about 40 minutes and they are plenty juicy. I use charcoal and some direct and indirect heat to maximize the smokey flavor, so I am not blasting it on high on a gas grill for 45 minutes. If I get air chilled chicken legs from Whole Foods, they are significantly smaller and take way less time.

                1. re: mels

                  Air chilled chicken legs? What does that mean?

                2. re: c oliver

                  I charcoal-grill bone in chicken for exactly 45 minutes and it is always pretty moist. 30 minutes on the indirect-heat side and 15 minutes on the heat side, turning every 5 minutes. Perfect every time.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    Assuming the grill isn't hot enough to burn the chicken 45 minutes does not make chicken jerky...depending on how it's cooked it could be really moist and fall off the boney.

                  2. My mom made "grilled cheese" by putting several slices of cheddar on a piece of bread and microwaving it for a minute or so. My brother "upgraded" the recipe to kraft singles .

                    The smell . . .

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: autumm

                      Oh how I hope that was Wonder bread.......

                      1. re: Steve

                        No luck, Mom never let us have that, just cracked wheat from the local bakery seconds store (the not quite perfect loaves. . .)

                      2. re: autumm

                        it helps if you toast the bread prior to nuking with cheese.

                        1. re: Vidute

                          That step was skipped in my mom's/brother's procedures.

                          1. re: Vidute

                            Or skip the microwave entirely. Lay the toaster down on the counter so the slots are horizontal instead of vertical, and put the bread and cheese in the toaster. Voila, a makeshift toaster oven. (you need large slots to do this, but nowadays almost all toasters do.

                          2. re: autumm

                            Mrs. B and youngest daughter LOVE microwaved American cheese on smush white bread.

                            Elder daughter begs daddy to make proper grilled cheese using using seeded rye bread and havarti...........

                            When eldest daughter is 40 minutes away on a trip home from the ship she works on, I'll get a call to have two tuna melts ready for her arrival. It will take the full 40 minutes to make the tuna salad to her liking, assemble and grill. She gets very tired of the fancy cuisine on the cruise ship and longs for comfort food made by daddy. Her ship doesn't have crew meals, the eat what the high fare passengers eat. No children on board, no simple food.

                          3. I just learned a few months back that American cheese was processed cheese. I thought it was some local type of cheddar or something. I'm not American. And, sorry, but ew.

                            23 Replies
                            1. re: LMAshton

                              American cheese is great, just not the kind you can buy in any stores.
                              When I think of "American cheese," all I think of is cheese that has the following:

                              Cheese (any kind you can imagine)
                              Emulsifying salt (sodium citrate, or sodium hexametaphosphate; personally I like SC, SHMP makes a more brittle product)
                              Liquid (milk, water, beer, wine)
                              Maybe some iota carrageenan to get the texture just right

                              Fun and easy to make, and once you have a grilled cheese or a burger with homemade American cheese you will never go back.

                              1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                Uh, no, I don't think so.

                                I have no problem with other people enjoying it. It's just not something I can see me ever liking. Processed cheese, to me, is completely and utterly gross.

                                1. re: LMAshton

                                  You like your cheese to have the oil separate from it instead of melting and holding an emulsion?

                                    1. re: LMAshton

                                      Sorry, my comment was a bit rude, I'm a smartass.

                                      Eh, I love both. Though if I could only have one it would be just straight up cheese. I just think "cheese," has some great uses. Mostly for casual or comfort type foods though. I don't find emulsifying salts to be bad, is that what you don't like? Or just the texture of "cheese"? It's weird, I used to hate "cheese," when I was a kid, recently started to like it again once I started making it myself with great cheeses.

                                      1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                        The processed cheese is good for chile-cheese type of dips which always manage to lure me in at superbowl parties.

                                        1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                          The taste and the texture are both quite off-putting for me. I don't hate emulsifiers on principle, but am not fond of overly processed food in general.

                                          1. re: LMAshton

                                            Yeah, I'm with you on processed foods, never really buy them myself, but I like to mess around in my kitchen to see what I can create.

                                            Properly made, the taste is pretty much exactly what the cheese tastes like (assuming you use water or milk). The emulsifiers have better flavor release than a traditional roux so the cheese can shine through better I think.
                                            As for texture, it's definitely not for everyone, it does look crazy artificial.

                                            1. re: LMAshton

                                              If I'm understanding you correctly, you have never had processed cheese? Is that correct? If so, how can you be so condemning of it?

                                              I don't have a great appreciation for store bought processed cheeses, but HOME MADE, with emulsifying salts, can be pretty great.

                                              For example, if I were making a classic Swiss (country of origin and original recipe) cheese fondue, when I learned to make that dish way back in the 1950s, one of the high hurdles a good cook had to learn to clear was making it without the cheese "breaking" and setting its natural butter/oils free and messing up the whole fondue! But in today's world, using a home version of emulsified/processed top grade Emanthaler or Jarlesburg or any other top quality Swiss cheese would make a fondue a lot less risky to create.

                                              I do not understand your out-of-hand rejection of "processed" cheeses across the board. There are "processes" and then there are "processes." I just don't understand knocking something you've never tried that is not a serious toxic food threat. '-)

                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                You sound pretty condemning yourself.

                                                I didn't say I hadn't tried it. I said the taste and texture are offputting. I don't like it. Am I to be condemned for my preferences?

                                                1. re: LMAshton

                                                  Whatever. But YOU are the one who wrote, "I just learned a few months back that American cheese was processed cheese. I thought it was some local type of cheddar or something. I'm not American. And, sorry, but ew."

                                                  So I'm asking, where and when have you eaten American cheese???

                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                    Maybe on the same occasion that s/he realized what it was?
                                                    I also assumed they had never tried it, but it's not actually implied by what they said. And I'd never heard of homemade processed
                                                    cheese before, it's not what people typically think of!

                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                      If you like processed cheese, fine. Have it. I don't actually care. I don't like it and I don't understand why my preferences are such a problem for you. Nor do I understand why you seem to think I need to defend or explain my preferences.

                                                  2. re: Caroline1

                                                    For whatever it's worth, Yvonne Ruperti has a recipe in "The America's Test Kitchen D.I.Y. Cookbook" for homemade American Cheese. She writes: "I caused all of the snooty foodies to run for the hills. But that's okay with me... I'm completely content eating my perfectly melty, toasty grilled cheese with American cheese any day of the week."

                                                    (Ruperti lives in Singapore, so I suspect making her own is the only way she gets to eat this sort of American comfort food these days.)

                                                    1. re: drongo

                                                      I look at it like this: If Kraft or Borden makes it. it's processed cheese. If someone makes it at home, it's molecular gastronomy! '-)

                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                        I really hated American cheese as a kid. Would always throw the piece in my sandwiches to my little sister. And since it was the only kind of cheese my mom bought, for a long time, I was under the impression I hated all cheese, period.

                                                        But then came a time when I had some "real" cheese, and now I love all kinds, unfortunately sometimes to the point of costiveness, even the stinky stuff, but still not American.

                                                        That being said, I'd be willing to try making my own American cheese sometime! That just sounds like a patriotic cheesy good time to be had in the kitchen.

                                                      2. re: drongo

                                                        Processed cheese is readily available in Singapore.

                                                        1. re: LMAshton

                                                          Processed American cheese is a key ingredient in Korean budae jigae (army camp stew).

                                                  3. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                                    I think your rudeness is justified when a foreigner who has never eaten one of the iconic foods of your country based on the fact that it is "processed". What the fuck does that even mean?

                                                    The mighty american cheeseburger is built on american cheese. There is no beating its goo factor. MURCA

                                                    1. re: joonjoon

                                                      Processed cheese is a food product made from cheese plus emulsifiers, saturated vegetable oils, extra salt, food colorings, whey and sugar.

                                                      Glad you asked.

                                            2. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                              When I was in 5th grade, my friend and I would walk to her house and make grilled cheese in the toaster oven with Velveeta. I thought that was the bomb. American cheese slices today have a chalk mouth-feel that I don't enjoy. Grilled cheese with pepper jack is my fav now.

                                          2. Canned chicken, that's a deal breaker.

                                            1. Growing up, my dad would have a bowl of rice for lunch with takuan, the stinky daikon pickle, on top. Worse, he would make german style red cabbage and boiled tongue. Embarrassing smells for a teen who was trying to seem cool to visiting friends.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: tcamp

                                                Wow what an interesting repetoire in the kitchen, is there some background there? Although my parents also made a bunch of different 'ethnic' foods.

                                              2. OK what I am going to list here I really enjoyed eating as a child….and probably still would for nostalgia sake. My mom was a great cook growing up but she also grew up eating these things so we somehow did too.
                                                - Canned corned beef – mixed with ketchup, onions, mushrooms and (sometimes potato) eaten between a bun or on top of white rice. Usually eaten for breakfast or dinner
                                                - Vienna sausage mashed up and mixed with mayo, relish and mustard eaten between bread

                                                9 Replies
                                                1. re: pumpkinspice

                                                  Sounds good to me!
                                                  My mom was a wonderful cook' made many, many things from scratch, but we ate stuff like this when she didn't want to spend a lot of time cooking. It all has its place!

                                                  1. re: pumpkinspice

                                                    "Vienna sausage mashed up and mixed with mayo, relish and mustard eaten between bread"

                                                    I think we have a winner!

                                                    1. re: Steve

                                                      I laughed at your post!
                                                      I remember being mortified to bring this concoction to school for lunch.

                                                      1. re: Steve

                                                        What I can't believe is that we had viennas in the pantry for my entire childhood and no one thought to make that. It doesn't sound bad to me (tho I'd sub pickled jalapenos for the relish).

                                                        1. re: Steve

                                                          Wet, cold Vienna sausages straight from the pull-tab can for lunch. I so had successfully blocked out that childhood memory until now. :)

                                                        2. re: pumpkinspice

                                                          My dad, way back in the 1950s, ADORED canned Vienna sausages! He considered them a great delicacy. I ALWAYS thought they were crap and not fit to feed to cats or dogs, but here we are in 2014 and they're STILL on grocer's shelves! Yup. Right next to the Spam.

                                                          And no, I do not like musubi, no matter how good the sushi rice or whether it's made with true wasabi. It too is an abomination, and whoever came up with it should be offered up live to Pele!

                                                          So sue me. '-)

                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                            I won't sue you, I thank you, So you won't be buying up that last Spam musubi from the ABC store, thus depriving me of my favorite break of dawn Hawaiian beach breakfast

                                                            1. re: Pwmfan

                                                              Live it up! I'd love to share the sunrise but any musubi is alllllll yours! '-)

                                                            2. re: Caroline1

                                                              The Piggly Wiggly in Port St. Joe, FLA once had 28 varieties of 'Vienna' Sausages.

                                                          2. Not a family member, but I once had a roommate that would make a big bowl of Velveeta shells & cheese, stir in a can of tuna, then squirt the whole thing with ketchup.

                                                            BLECH!!! The hot mac and cheese would warm up the canned tuna just enough to make it stink. Then the vinegar from the ketchup would come through just enough to sour it all up. Not pleasant!

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. I know that quesadilla.
                                                              I've made that quesadilla.
                                                              What's the problem with that quesadilla?
                                                              If I walked into a kitchen and that's all there was, I would say that's a pretty good use of the available ingredients.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Bkeats

                                                                "What's the problem with that quesadilla?"

                                                                What's the problem with sitting in a dark closet naked?

                                                                Hey, if you like it, then that's the sort of thing you like.

                                                                But perhaps you could ask yourself, why do you not find that quesadilla in a 7-11 or at a Gas n Go? Because even people desperate for any kind of food in a hurry with the lowest standards possible looking for a very cheap meal would not buy it, and I would rather not eat it or smell it being made.

                                                                "f I walked into a kitchen and that's all there was" The fact that the canned chicken and American cheese is there is a choice. These products don't stock themselves in your kitchen cabinet. You have to go out and buy them and plan on eating them. Sure, sometimes we run low on food, but I still wouldn't eat that.

                                                                At this point, I have to seriously question why you feel you have to have meat and dairy in the first place. A vegan diet is starting to look pretty good.

                                                              2. It seems like every once in a while a thread like this comes along. I really don't see the merit in ragging on other people's foods. If you don't like what someone in your family is eating, leave the room. No need to come on CH and rant and rave about it.

                                                                10 Replies
                                                                1. re: Multifoiled

                                                                  The point of the thread is to find out what people are cooking when all standards have been thrown out the window. Food that EVEN THE PEOPLE MAKING IT would not serve to others. I wanted to get reactions, and I did. I suspeted some CHowhounds would disagree with me, and I wanted those reactions too. Yes, I do want to know which Chowhounds find melted American cheese over canned chicken an ok idea.

                                                                  Personally, I can't imagine the situation where I would be that desperate aside from being trapped in a canyon for days with a complete stranger who just happened to have that as their only sustenance.

                                                                  If you don't like it, well I don't see the merit in ragging on other people's ideas for threads. Ignore the thread and move on....

                                                                  1. re: Steve

                                                                    I am not ragging; I used no derogatory or negative words toward you. I simply was questioning the merit of such a post.

                                                                    "Yes, I do want to know which Chowhounds find melted American cheese over canned chicken an ok idea."

                                                                    Nothing in your original post says that.

                                                                    "Do you dare tell on a family member?"

                                                                    To me, this is the gist of your post. You just want to "dish" with others. It's all good. I'll just move on. :)

                                                                    1. re: Multifoiled

                                                                      Hard to imagine someone who doesn't enjoy telling stories about his or her close relatives' food tastes. My younger brother Bill just about put me off biscuits and homemade pear preserves (which my mother perfected) forever because his enthusiastic attack left him with little bits of sticky biscuit pieces stuck to his face. Not that easy to take on an early Mississippi morning (after our unfailingly daily devotional from the Methodist Upper Room).

                                                                      Would I hesitate to kid Mama and Bill about these precious memories? Not for a second -- and they'd be sad if I felt their feelings were so delicate that they can't stand a little teasing. Somebody called this topic "churlish." Not to be churlish, but I have to wonder if the poster has ever punched his brother or sister in the back seat of a four hour car drive with the parents in the front seat.

                                                                      My parents and siblings are not at all hesitant to tease me about my willingness to eat weird stuff like lamb ... and kimchi. And I'm not at all hesitant to tease them about being afraid to try Rocky Mountain Oysters and steak tartare.

                                                                      On to the actual topic of this post: Things my family eats that appall me. That's a topic way too big, so I'll narrow it down to oysters.

                                                                      My mother is a notoriously picky eater (no lamb for her; we once ate at a Tex-Mex restaurant here in Arlington with her sisters and she went next door to Popeye's rather than eat that weird food). But she somehow likes oysters, but "only if they're really, really crisp. I don't like them juicy." (Translation -- I hate oysters, but if you fry anything long enough it tastes like french fries.)

                                                                      On the other hand, my brother Bill (second youngest to me) is a macho Dixie guy -- he loves anything traditionally Southern, but nothing from Yankee Land (which includes the whole world, except for the former Confederate states). So Bill is a big fan of raw oysters by the bushel.

                                                                      Literally by the bushel. Bill buys a bag of Appalachicola oysters from people standing alongside the road in Alabama and brings them home to Mississippi for Christmas, and stores the croker sack outside in the storage shed.

                                                                      The raw oysters are very good and plentiful -- to the tune of four to five dozen a day -- but the lack of any safety inspection leaves every bite with the image of permanent liver damage.

                                                                      So, on the topic of family teasing on oysters, I'd say Mama would laugh right along if we told her she'd enjoy deep fried mud just as much and Bill would laugh happily if we told him that we were avoiding the delicious Appalachicola oysters because some Yankee scientist thought they were dangerous.

                                                                      1. re: Mississippi Snopes

                                                                        Your story is loving and interesting in the telling. The OP's is pompous and negative. THAT'S the difference.

                                                                        1. re: Multifoiled

                                                                          Negative, yes. As for 'pompous', I am posting on a food-centric internet bulletin board about food I don't like. Seems an appropriate subject to me. Sorry you don't like the tone.

                                                                          Clearly you missed the part of Chowhound where we limit ourselves to talk about the Chow, not the Chowhound. Please feel free to add your own story or move on if you don't like the thread.

                                                                  2. re: Multifoiled

                                                                    I have to agree with Multifoiled that the original post here seems to be a thinly veiled attack on others' choices of comfort foods. It also seems to tacitly imply that the OP's aversion to those comfort food choices indicates that whomever would choose them is much less a chowhound.

                                                                    I am fully aware that my comments add absolutely nothing to the premise of this thread. However, that is exactly my intent.

                                                                    1. re: Virginian

                                                                      Hear, hear. I refuse to use that heart.

                                                                      There have been threads where CHs have posted about things they eat that others would find not chowish or perhaps even disgusting.

                                                                      For example


                                                                      Original post seems churlish to me.

                                                                      1. re: Virginian

                                                                        Some people enjoy chatting about Food Network shows, others about crazy food concoctions eaten by loved ones. Aren't we all here to have some fun?

                                                                        1. re: Virginian

                                                                          It is not thinly veiled, it is finding something awful smelling and disgusting. What is thinly veiled about that? And what is wrong with finding it so? You are welcome to disagree, but you are simply saying that this opinion shouldn't even exist on Chowhound. I find that bizarre.

                                                                          I think there is value in talking about desperate food combos that those same people would not serve to others.....

                                                                          Who knows, maybe you will pick up an idea or two.

                                                                          1. re: Virginian

                                                                            You succeeded almost perfectly in your intent to add nothing. Congratulations. However, you could have succeeded perfectly with even less effort.

                                                                        2. Open can of tuna, top with a squirt of ketchup or some salsa. Eat.

                                                                          (Actually...I do it too!)

                                                                          1. My grandmother - jarred gefilte fish jelly spread on saltines.

                                                                            That one haunts me....

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: cresyd

                                                                              Just a step away from my sardines smeared onto crackers. At least I'm giving my kids something to talk about in therapy.

                                                                              1. re: tcamp

                                                                                No - this was when the actual gefilte fish was gone. Just the remaining jelly. Though on crackers it looked more like a proper snack….unlike when she'd just eat the jelly with a spoon.

                                                                                1. re: cresyd

                                                                                  When I worked in a kibbutz kitchen, the ladies from eastern Europe made a dish that that translated to 'congealed foot' and looked like a pan of jello with beef knuckles in it. Anyway, everyone loved it, smeared on toast.

                                                                                  1. re: tcamp

                                                                                    My grandmother was also a fan of various meat jellies which has never turned me off as much. Probably because it didn't smell as much.

                                                                            2. A couple roommates in college. One liked pan frying canned tuna another liked using canned chicken meat. My comment to both of them was fresh split chicken breast was under $1 per pound and whole chicken even less. Save your money stop buying the canned stuff. No luck. They didn't really want to cook.

                                                                              1. I've found questions like this are always better presented and received when they are about foods that the poser themselves may prepare and eat that might be questionable rather than "dishing" on someone else.
                                                                                Just a thought.

                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: buckytom

                                                                                  You ae talking about a 'guilty pleasure' thread, which is fine for those who have guilty pleasures.

                                                                                  1. re: Steve

                                                                                    So it really was intended to look down your nose at others? I'm just not that great yet. I'll bow out.

                                                                                    1. re: buckytom

                                                                                      The intent of the thread is not hidden in the OP. It is as plain as day. Yes, it's about crappy food that you would not fix yourself. The late-nite proviso implies it is food that the 'chef' would not even fix for others, kind of like 'when nobody is looking.'

                                                                                      I thought it would be an interesting subject for a thread, but if you do not then I have no idea why you feel the compulsion to post.

                                                                                2. how about some Limburger cheese spread on rye bread with vidalia onions and hot sauce

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: topher83187

                                                                                    I've always wanted to try Limburger, although calling it a cheese "spread" is a misnomer, likening it to a processed (gasp) cheese. Have you ever tried your combo, Topher?

                                                                                    1. When we were kids my brother would make a mayo sandwich with garlic powder then heat it up in the microwave!!

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                        Ugh! You win.

                                                                                        When I met my husband, his signature bachelor dish was boxed mac n cheese (kd), with hot dogs and baked beans mixed in. Ketchup too. He still makes it once in a while, takes a few bites, and tosses it out.

                                                                                        1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                                          "And Now for the Rest of the Story..."

                                                                                          Paul Harvey intones, "That child would grow up to become one of the most popular Food Network hosts..."

                                                                                        2. My dad has been known to throw together some pretty questionable ingredinets late night, the first one that pops into my head is a can of store brand beef ravioli with American cheese zapped in the microwave. My step mom is also a big fan of canned chicken mixed with canned salsa verde. You couldn't pay me to eat either of these. There's something unnatural about canned meat...
                                                                                          It's important to note that my dad is a wonderful cook, classically trained but never worked professionally. My step mom however, is not. Most of her endeavors involve a recipe from Pinterest, cream cheese, a crock pot, and are usually less than edible.

                                                                                          1. My husband's signature dish when he met me was Chilato Salad. Canned chili mixed with deli potato salad.

                                                                                            I really try not to get all huffy or moralizing about food, but you know how bad that sounds? It tastes worse. Firstly, you might as well eat salt by the spoonful, and secondly it had this gluey, gummy texture that was just utterly unpleasant. I'm not above Kraft Mac and Cheez or Maruchan ramen, but the Chilato is something I would really prefer not to eat ever again.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: ErnieD

                                                                                              But why is it wrong for him to eat it if he likes it?

                                                                                              1. re: Multifoiled

                                                                                                Where did I say say it was wrong for him to eat it? I said I don't want to eat it again. Also, in the fifteen years since I've been doing the bulk of the cooking he's never asked for it or sought it out, and we could certainly buy chili and potato salad if the lack of Chilato was leaving some kind of void in his life. So saying he likes it is probably a stretch. It was just something you make to keep your stomach from rumbling when you're young, broke, and don't especially like to cook.

                                                                                                1. re: ErnieD

                                                                                                  Sorry, I assumed he still ate it when I read your post. I also assumed you were against him eating it by posting here in this thread. I apologize.

                                                                                            2. My brother used to crumble Chips Ahoy cookies into Chef Boyardee ravioli.

                                                                                              8 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                I had a cousin who put mustard on Drake's Devil Dogs snack cakes. People like odd combos. No big deal to me.

                                                                                                1. re: Multifoiled

                                                                                                  Nor to me. I think you're missing the point of this thread? We're not judging - just reporting. :)

                                                                                                  1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                    Many here are indeed judging. Not you though. I was just tagging on to what you said, not commenting on what you said. Sorry..

                                                                                                  2. re: Multifoiled

                                                                                                    Can we just consider this a variation on the sweet/salty combination? ;-)

                                                                                                  3. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                    At what age, pray tell, was your brother struck by this inspiration to mock two iconic household packaged foods?

                                                                                                    1. re: Steve

                                                                                                      Approximately nine years old, if memory serves.

                                                                                                      1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                        He was ahead of his time. That is, if he survived childhood.

                                                                                                    2. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                      Creative! My sister and I loved to mash Chips Ahoy cookies into Motts Applesauce.

                                                                                                    3. Bottled green goddess dressing on rye bread qualify? Sleeve of club crackers and a stick of cold unsalted butter? Make mayonnaise and lick the beater and bowl?

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: tim irvine

                                                                                                        My step son eats a sleeve of Ritz crackers and an entire stick of butter!

                                                                                                        he puts the cold pats on them like a slice of cheese
                                                                                                        (I can feel my arteries hardening just as I describe it)

                                                                                                        1. re: cgarner

                                                                                                          When both my kids were tiny, they would happily eat slices of butter by themselves (when they could get them). And I guess it's basically the same as extra-creamy cheese.

                                                                                                        2. re: tim irvine

                                                                                                          I won't lie, I've enjoyed saltines with butter in my day. There's no way a sleeve of crackers would use up a whole stick of butter, though....

                                                                                                        3. I'll tell on myself.
                                                                                                          Tofu salad, made by just seasoning straight from the block tofu and using the tuna/chicken salad flavors du jour.
                                                                                                          On stale, really stale but I need to not waste them matzo.

                                                                                                          If I make this to share, I at least marinate the tofu. And for mock egg salad, boil in a water and vinegar solution (that I have to look up, every time.)

                                                                                                          Did I mention I drink grapefruit juice spritzer with this?
                                                                                                          Without being altered?

                                                                                                          1. Weetabix slathered with butter and Marmite - yummy

                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: kagemusha49

                                                                                                              Is this something you like or something awful that you have seen others eat? I'm not sure if your 'yummy' is sarcastic....

                                                                                                              1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                I like it - your mileage may vary. So it's my dirty little secret. It runs in the family - isn't that what you requested?

                                                                                                                1. re: kagemusha49

                                                                                                                  Not exactly.... I was looking for examples of things you wouldn't eat... but you've seen others make at home, perhaps late at night... I've never had marmite, but from what I understand I doubt I would put it on a weetabix!

                                                                                                              2. re: kagemusha49

                                                                                                                That sounds great to me. I do exactly the same with Ryvita crackers.

                                                                                                              3. My family's dirty secret was canned corned beef ("bully beef") fried together with Lyle's golden syrup. I used to like it as a child, though I haven't had it in about 45 years -- and so I'm not sure what I'd think today.

                                                                                                                I have a suspicion that the combination arose because British army rations included both bully beef and golden syrup, so someone tried heating them together in pursuit of something a little different.

                                                                                                                (I'm not sure it was much of a family secret though -- many of my friends used to eat the same thing!)

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. Although my Mom made homemade meals all the time, looking back, I realize my childhood home was filled with processed foods as well. Mom and Dad loved Spam sandwiches with Vlasic pickles and sliced sharp cheddar cheese (the only good thing about the sandwich was the cheese). Dad also like eating Vienna Sausages and dipping them in mustard. My brother liked dipping Oreos in ketchup.

                                                                                                                  When I met my husband, it repulsed me that he would make boxed mac-n-cheese and then add a can of tuna to it. One time, I actually tried a bite. I am now ashamed to say that it is my comfort food when I am sick. Gross, I know. Lol.

                                                                                                                  And for the record, I don't think this thread is mean. We are picking on other people's grossest food choices, but I'm sure that most of them would readily admit that it's gross and they don't care! People like what we like. This thread brought a smile to my face!

                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: Liz1982

                                                                                                                    In h.s., a friend's daily lunch was a slice of toast, topped with 1/2 can of tuna, then a warmed can of cream of mushroom soup. I truly hope it tasted better than it looked. I took my own pb&j sandwich to her house instead.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Liz1982

                                                                                                                      Oooh... Oreos in ketchup is certainly creative!

                                                                                                                      And talking of canned tuna... this is not a family secret, but I have a current coworker who often brings a ziplock bag of sliced apples plus a can of tuna for his lunch. He puts the apple slices in a bowl and then opens the can, empties the tuna on top of the apples, and chows down. Creative, though I've not had the stomach to try to emulate him.

                                                                                                                      1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                        that does not sound so bad - but it would be better on a bed of red lettuce and with some crumbled blue cheese and a drizzle of raspberry vinaigrette - tuna and apples is not so bad - sounds like dud is low-carbing it.

                                                                                                                      2. re: Liz1982

                                                                                                                        I had a "friend" in high school that would suggest to anyone cooking mac and cheese or any kind of ramen noodle type dish "throw a lil tuna on that, dude." I don't think anyone took him up on the suggestion.

                                                                                                                      3. Just yesterday, the Spousal Unit made himself a package of chicken ramen, and added half a can of whole canned baby beets. The visual was, shall we say, less than appetizing...

                                                                                                                        1. What's wrong with a flour tortilla in a quesadilla? I would gladly eat it if someone made it for me. Nothing wrong with canned chicken, jarred salsa and good 'ol american cheese.

                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                            All of my childhood "quesadillas" (we called them cheese crisps, and they were usually just cheese) were made on flour tortillas. I don't think I ever tasted a real corn tortilla until I was about... 20 or so?

                                                                                                                            1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                              "Nothing wrong with canned chicken, jarred salsa and good 'ol american cheese."

                                                                                                                              It sounds to me like you're kidding.... but in the off chance you are not, then perhaps you could respond to my statement upthread which I will repeat here:

                                                                                                                              Perhaps you could ask yourself, why do you not find that quesadilla in a 7-11 or at a Gas n Go? Because even people desperate for any kind of food in a hurry with the lowest standards possible looking for a very cheap meal would not buy it, and I would rather not eat it or smell it being made.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                So your standard for whether something is worth eating or not is if 7-11 sells it?

                                                                                                                                I make all sorts of weird shit at home that 7-11 doesn't sell. Doesn't mean it's not worth eating.

                                                                                                                                I'd rather have this quesadilla you mentioned rather than some of the weird burritos they have there.

                                                                                                                                1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                  "So your standard for whether something is worth eating or not is if 7-11 sells it?"

                                                                                                                                  I do not eat canned chicken for the sole reason that it is awful tasting and foul smelling, Melt some American cheese with it, and then it becomes a new level of repulsive.

                                                                                                                                  However, just to lend some credence to the idea that it is not 'just me,' I am openly suggesting that the general public, which is practically addicted to super fast, cheap, and recognizable foodstuffs,... even those people have standards below which they will not stoop.

                                                                                                                                  As evidence, the lack of canned chicken quesadilla at your average quick mart.

                                                                                                                                  Those snackers who will buy almost anything putrid to put in their mouth while they are bored filling up their gas tank, even they would reject the canned chicken quesdalilla, so that is why they do not sell them in the first place.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                    Have you ever tasted the "chicken" inside those 7-11 rolly things? Have you tasted the "beef" in a 7-11 burrito? Those things are horrible. People still eat it. It's WAY worse than any canned chicken I've had.

                                                                                                                            2. My mother likes a bite of Monterey Jack, followed by a bite of garlic and maybe a bite of tomato.

                                                                                                                              This, however, is countered by her brilliant concoction of French toast with fig jelly and European farmer's cheese.

                                                                                                                              My dad used to put olive oil on a slice of bread as a snack. Always found this bizarre, esp as he never eats toast.

                                                                                                                              Growing up I had an affinity for a slice of cheese melted over orowheat white bread, but only when I was home alone.

                                                                                                                              But the most vile smelling (to me) thing someone in the same house as me can make is microwaved broccoli.

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: FeeFee34

                                                                                                                                French toast with fig jelly and European farmer's cheese
                                                                                                                                Oh my, that sounds like something I would DEVOUR!

                                                                                                                              2. I'm dishing on my seven-year-old self.

                                                                                                                                Take one slice of generic-brand white bread, sprinkle it with a generous amount of cinnamon and white sugar. Fold it two times, and then kneed it in your hand until it's a nice, doughy ball. All those preservatives in the bread will mix together with the sugar and spice, and the friction of rolling it in your hand will create something simply awesome to behold and satisfying especially on the go. Also, they bounce well off your brother's head.

                                                                                                                                9 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: AniseSpice

                                                                                                                                  Can't be any worse than a Cinnabon.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: AniseSpice

                                                                                                                                    I used to love forming processed white bread into a super dense ball too! I would get in trouble if caught doing so, however, as my mother insisted it would be too hard to digest and upset my stomach.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: FeeFee34

                                                                                                                                      I did that all the time. I also got fussed at for it, so I got in the habit of getting up in the middle of the night to get four slices of bread and take them back to bed. I would then eat the crusts and then roll the rest into various-sized balls....

                                                                                                                                      The crumbs in my bed were horrendous. I don't know how I lived through it.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Kontxesi

                                                                                                                                        My little sister was always getting into trouble for eating straight margarine from the fridge. Amazing. At least I had the decency to hold out for just a finger of the real salted deal in the butter crock on the table at Granny's house.

                                                                                                                                        Anyway, I caught her at least once in the middle of the night hiding in our closet with a whole stick of margarine in her hand like it was an ice cream sandwich, but I never squealed so I don't know how she lived through it.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: AniseSpice

                                                                                                                                          Ho-ly shit, that is wild. I gagged while reading it.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: AniseSpice

                                                                                                                                            Yep. Margarine definitely tops bread balls.... Eek.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: AniseSpice

                                                                                                                                        And I 'm sure you washed your hands first.....

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Steve

                                                                                                                                          Of course I washed my hands first. It went like this:

                                                                                                                                          Step 1 - Eat lunch, hopefully SpaghettiOs & not PB&J.
                                                                                                                                          Step 2 - Wash hands.
                                                                                                                                          Step 3 - Go outside to make pretend tacos out of laurel leaves followed by mud pies for dessert.
                                                                                                                                          Step 4 - Go indoors and make a yummy Cinnabon knock-off.

                                                                                                                                          Those were the days!

                                                                                                                                        2. re: AniseSpice

                                                                                                                                          Of course we do know that any good white bread/roll/soft pretzel/bagel innards DO need to be squished into that ball. Heck...still do it sometimes today, although MUCH more surreptitiously!

                                                                                                                                        3. I'm someone who will, more often than not, try anything. My Dad, however, has a "nobody's home", watching TV snack that I find too foul to sample. He'll just plop down in his big recliner with a smoked whiting (still in the wrapping paper from the monger), a fork, and a big, ice cold glass . . . of MILK! There's something to that combination that, even as I type this, makes me shudder.

                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                            Hmmm... the smoked whiting and milk combo does sound odd. But recipes for kedgeree (e.g. link below) often call for smoked haddock to be cooked in milk. So the combination of smoked fish and milk has precedent. http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/10...

                                                                                                                                            1. re: drongo

                                                                                                                                              Ah, yes, but it's British Cuisine.

                                                                                                                                          2. My parents had joint custody - Dad let me eat the things that were verboten in mom's house

                                                                                                                                            a perfect dinner was an appetizer of ezcheeze, ritz crackers and cocktail olives flowed by a plate of ground beef, canned creamed corn and box mashed potatoes - smothered in ketchup - I can still enjoy this meal today but at the time I thought dad was a culinary genius for concocting something so amazing

                                                                                                                                            1. I'll tell on my 10 year old self. Slices of butter straight off the stick. I get teased about it still.

                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: NattyP

                                                                                                                                                Oops, I hadn't seen this post before I replied above about my sister's penchant for margarine. At least you liked the real deal. Better for the bones!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: AniseSpice

                                                                                                                                                  The mental picture of your sister hiding with that margarine is hilarious! I've heard stories about my dad when he was a kid stealing raw bacon out of my grandma's kitchen and hiding behind the couch to eat it.
                                                                                                                                                  I guess my parents never knew about the butter eating because I never got in trouble for it, just disdainful looks from my sister and cousin.