What Was The Worst Meal Your Parents Used To Make?

This is Dan Toombs, but you might know him as The Curry Guy, because every single night for the past year, he’s made his family dinner using curry. Chicken korma, tandoori masala, and less traditional recipes like currywurst and curry-spiced turkey Christmas turkey, you name it–if it involves curry, he’s probably cooked it. As soon as I heard about this story, it brought me back to my own childhood, and the questionable dinners (butter sandwiches, anyone?) my dad used to make over and over again. I thought it might be interesting to poll the other Frisky staffers about their parents’ cooking habits, and if there were any particular meals they really hated growing up. Check out our stories after the jump, and please share your own in the comments!

“My mom is generally a really good cook, and my dad rarely ever cooked, though occasionally he would take on some weirdly Herculean cooking task for no reason at all. Like, Paella, or making French onion soup from scratch. Generally when my dad was ‘cooking’ it would involve ordering take out. Which we all loved.” — Julie

“My dad worked on weekends and my mom worked 9-5, so he always cooked dinner for us on weeknights. His signature dish was pasta fagioli, which he pronounced “pasta fah-zoooolll,” and it consisted of undercooked off-brand elbow macaroni, ground beef, and a can of kidney beans, with no seasoning whatsoever. Basically it was prison food. We ate this meal probably 3 or 4 times a week, and the worst part of it was that he would get, like, inexplicably angry whenever he made it. We’d hear him banging cans around in the pantry, ask what he was making and he’d be like, “Pasta fahzoool! Eat it or die!” My brothers and I still shudder at the sight of kidney beans. Also? One time he took every single leftover in the fridge and dumped it into an omelet. This included Hawaiian pizza (cut into bite-size chunks), applesauce pork chops, and fettuccine alfredo. It was horrifying.” — Winona

“My mom just graduated from cooking school, so she’s always been all up in cooking. Usually her meals are great, but one time she made wasabi mashed potatoes for us, and it was the grossest thing ever. I like wasabi, but not in my mashed potatoes. Also, when we were younger, my mom made ‘Round The World’ Christmas dinners each Christmas. I vaguely remember Denmark being really bland, and it was weird to have fish for Christmas when in ‘France.'” — Daley

“My dad is a bomb cook, and my mom is good at cooking too but some of the things she decides to cook are questionable, like pretzel-crusted chicken with cheese sauce. Gag. Oh, and we’re like 1/8 Irish so she used to make corned beef and cabbage every year on St. Patrick’s Day and I would come home from school and dry heave from the smell of boiled cabbage. My dad makes homemade sushi that is incredibly good, but he gets really MEAN when he makes it, and grunts a lot and if you talk to him or ask him a question he’ll just glare at you. But ONLY when he’s making sushi! The spell is lifted when he has finished, and then he’ll demand vodka and that’s the only thing he will say. Plus he has this like 18-inch knife for cutting fish that is SO sharp and he’ll wave it at you a little. It’s really something else.” — Rachel

“No one cooked for me growing up. We always went out to eat or got leftovers, fast food, cereal or macaroni and cheese. The last home-cooked meal I remember was when my mom made tacos in second grade. Sometimes if we were desperately hungry my dad made us scrambled eggs in the microwave.” — Ami

“Both of my parents are kickass cooks. That’s part of the reason why I didn’t learn to cook until I was 26.  My sister is a health food nut, though. She is really off the deep end in terms of avoiding stuff in food that she thinks is harmful.  She is always foisting bland food on us–like sugar-free, gluten-free, salt-free cookies–and extolling their health benefits. Everyone just ignores her now.” — Jessica

“Both my parents cooked a lot because we were pretty lower middle class and they never splurged on going out to dinner. I generally liked a lot of what my parents cooked, although they weren’t very adventurous and stuck to basically boring chicken dishes, pasta (sauce from scratch, though, the recipe for which I still use), and my dad’s twist on Mexican food, which included from-scratch black beans and also white trash tacos (I make white trash tacos all the time and they are THE BEST). However, bless her heart, my mom would always turn Thanksgiving leftovers into the most blechhhhhhhhh turkey soup ever. Maybe it was secretly good, I don’t know, but that fucking soup lasted, like, for five days after Thanksgiving and oh my god, I was so sick of eating it after one day let alone a whole week. To this day, I’m actually kind of bugged out by a lot of traditional Thanksgiving dishes.” — Amelia

Alright, now it’s your turn! Who did the cooking in your house when you were growing up? Were your parents good cooks? Was there a certain meal that made you gag as soon as you smelled it? Anything that your parents cooked all the time that you still refuse to eat?