I pit lousy food at holiday dinners (Moved from the Pit)

I cook as a hobby and while I’d never put myself forward as a great chef I like to think I do alright for myself. So it’s absolute murder for me to get invited to relatives for a holiday dinner. Everything is absolutely terrible; the food is only on the edge of edible.

So I put you turkeys roasted until they’re dehydrated as Antarctica’s dry valley. And green bean casserole that is closer to rancid soup. Fuck you instant mashed potatoes that lack seasoning and screw you too canned cranberry sauce. Screw off canned vegetables boiled until they’re brown and sweat potatoes with so much extra sugar on top that it sends it me into insulin shock.

Now if you don’t mind I need to find a place where I can pick up a sandwich on the way home.

I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth…

I wasn’t paying attention to the roast, so it wasn’t rare. First piece was medium rare, but by the time I carved the rest there was very little pink – let alone red. Dammit.

But it still tasted good, in spite of being overdone. Boiled red potatoes mashed with a fork and mixed with some butter and milk and salt and coarse pepper. That was good. Green bean casserole tastes like… green bean casserole. Not much you can do to it. Yorkshire pudding was fabulous.

I do not regret that typo. I do however regret eating them.

You don’t know my relatives. They can ruin it just fine.

I’m regretting eating the panstickers I had at Christmas lunch today. We did the godless tradition of Chinese on Christmas. The pansticker sauce had a piece of spring roll in it. We didn’t order spring rolls, so this means they gave us sauce that had already been used by another party - perhaps with double-dipping. Ugh…

I hate it when my wife prepares Christmas dinner for her extended family because she is unpleasant the whole day and makes gravy out of envelopes. OTOH, before I married her I didn’t know turkey could be tasty and moist. Even when I put away the leftovers I bit into that part of the drumstick meat that is always as dried out as it looks and it was melt-in-the-mouth tender.

I guess you have to suffer if you want to eat good turkey, though I prefer it when she buys a turkey on sale, cooks it in a couple hours, and serves it with little accompaniment. It’s a good time to be a carnivore.

However, if she didn’t feed the liver to the dogs it must be here someplace.

Some friends added us into their family Thanksgiving dinner because we were family-less. I was helping in the kitchen because I can’t sit still at parties. I would much rather peel potatoes than make idle chit-chat about the football game. They busted out an envelope of gravy and I threw a fit. I insisted on making gravy out of the turkey drippings. I made enough to overfill the gravy boat. Out of all the dishes, the gravy was the only thing that was eaten down completely by the end of dinner. Vindication!

It took me a while to figure out you didn’t mean real envelopes…

We had an amazing taco bar. But then again, I did most of the cooking myself, so I knew it was gonna be good.

My M-i-L, who is always invited but never comes to Christmas, decided she was going to stay home and cook a whole turkey herself. She told me how she makes it - she slow roasts it the day before Christmas, puts it in the fridge overnight, then puts it back in the oven to “crisp up” before serving it.

Mr. Athena confirmed that he never realized turkey could be tender and delicious until he met me; he thought they were always dry as a bone and tasteless.

My exes family did the same kind of thing as the OP described; everything overdone and out of a box or can. Sweet potatoes covered with mini marshmallows. I remember one Thanksgiving where my ex F-i-L bragged that the turkey only cost them 8 cents a pound - and it tasted like it cost less than that.

The Thanksgiving that I started preordering fresh turkeys was the one where, about a month prior, my father-in-law offered a frozen turkey for the feast. One that was leftover from the previous year. :eek: I thought fast and said “thanks but I’ve ordered a fresh turkey” - and then did so the next day!

What does it really mean? :confused:

Took me awhile too. I think the OP meant those packets of powdered instant gravy that just require you to add water.

I think they mean the packets from the wall of powdery seasonings at the store.

Talk about being unpleasant all day, uh, that would be me. Preparing The Big Christmas Feast at mom’s (she’s really past it but we HAVE to have it over there) was an absolute nightmare. Too much stuff, too much confusion, too many dirty pots and dishes. It was just a fucking unpleasant nightmare. But the food was OK, you really can’t spoil a spiral cut ham and Pillsbury crescent rolls. (It was several levels above the disgusting Thanksgiving turkey and all the fucking trimmings I was forced to cook and serve up last month - jeez, and they wonder why I drink!.) If I had been at home and relaxed in my own kitchen, I’d try to make it all nummy and delicious and totally from scratch, I guess. But no one really cares, half were men who just want loads of food on the table within three hours from the time we haul all the stuff in. Shortcuts are allowed and stuff gets eaten - any prima donnas who need something special on the table just have to make it and bring it themselves.

Were the peas soggy? Was the chicken slowly rotting into something that looks like cheese?:stuck_out_tongue:

Yum. :rolleyes:

The oven at my parents’ house evidently requires calibrating*. 425F for twenty minutes to sear, then drop down to 250F to roast for a pork loin sounds about right, doesn’t it?

And I used the meat thermometer and everything. Damn thing took until about two hours past the target dinner time to even register on the thermometer, and that’s only because I gave up on trusting the thermostat and set it for 350F.

Fortunately, my sister from Oregon was staying with my sister from Signal Hill, and roasted the turkey there.

*There evidently hasn’t been a lot of cooking done in it since Mom got sick.

You have to dress that stuff up a little to make it worth eating, though. My father-in-law was more or less raised on mushroom-soup casseroles, so I tend to make one for most family gatherings. This time around, I left off the fried onions and sauteed some mushrooms, ham, sweet onions and minced garlic in butter and white pepper, tossed that into the mix, left out half the milk the recipe called for and adding the liquid from the skillet instead. Turned out really well, all things considered.

But I’ll join in the pitting of overly sugared sweet potatoes. I’ll have a dab to be polite, but I really don’t want what’s essentially a dessert dish sitting on my dinner plate.

Guess there is a tradeoff. I’m actually quite a good cook, but I hate to cook, so yes, there is unpleasantness abounding in the house when I’m cooking. And when making the crust for the pies I channel Ralphie’s father, weaving a tapestry of obscenity that may or may not be hanging around somewhere over the Rockies.

Then everyone overeats and blames me.

That seems to me to be the most likely (and most forgiving) explanation.

Now that I do a lot of cooking, I have unbounded respect for my Mom’s and Grandma’s ability to organize the kitchen and TIME its outpourings. Generally, I only cook for me and the wife (including holidays…we’re far from relatives); I have little comprehension of how the turkey, roast beast, gravy, vegetables, spetzels, and whatever else was being served for ~20 people appeared in the span of 5-10 minutes, piping hot and delicious, all from a galley-style kitchen.

Up to 6 people, and I think I could do it. Beyond that, it seems to me to be magic of the elders.