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Old 07-15-2006, 10:11 PM   #1
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Odd Food Moments

What unusual moments have happened to you that are food-related. This can be interesting people you met through food at restaurants, food disasters you have cooked, unusual conversations about food.

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Old 07-15-2006, 10:21 PM   #2
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Ironchef got me thinking of this idea. We were in Minnesota, at the home of SPAM. (I believe it is Austin, MN). We went to the SPAM museum, then found a place for a libation, and got to talking to the bartender and a couple people at the bar. We mentioned that, although neither of us like SPAM, we lived in Hawaii off-and-on for a decade, and ate a LOT of SPAM. The bartender and locals told us they thought that they were told that SPAM was popular in Hawaii as a bit of propaganda. Jer and I proceeded to tell them the SPAM facts of living in Hawaii (at least in the 80s): REAL Hawaiian pizza didn't have Canadian bacon and pineapple, it was SPAM and pineapple. Even the fanciest restaurants would offer fried SPAM with your breakfast. NO cocktail party was complete without skewers of fresh fruit and SPAM. There was, I kid you not, SPAM sushi (a slice of Spam cut exactly to the rectangle of rice it is placed upon). SPAM in saimin (sort of like ramen). SPAM ... well, everywhere. The locals who actually make SPAM loved our conversation about the glories of SPAM in Hawaii. They'd heard about it, but even if they'd taken vacations in Hawaii, they wouldn't have the opportunity to get down and dirty with the locals, so never had the Hawaii/SPAM experience. Explaining how their own home product was loved a half-of-the-globe away really interested them. To be honest with you, I'm not sure they believed us, but they loved the stories anyway!
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Old 07-16-2006, 02:59 AM   #3
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For those wondering, the reason why Spam got so popular in Hawaii was because of war-time rationing. Spam, canned Corned Beef, and Vienna Sausages became a staple in mostly every household, and is still widely eaten today.

My most oddest food moment was in a culinary competition when I was going to Western Culinary Institute. It was with different students representing different culinary schools in different categories. The only thing was, we didn't know what event we were going to be competing in until we got there. The categories included: seafood, meat, poultry, vegetable/fruit, grains, and dessert. We would be given 20 minutes to browse the kitchen where the competition was being held at to familiarize ourselves with the equipment and ingredients available. There would be no secret ingredient, but we would have to make two dishes in the time alotted using the ingredients available. To make a long story short, I get chosen for desserts, and I suck at desserts. We were given 1 1/2 hours and everyone is running around grabbing ingredients and I'm just standing there thinking what the **** am I going to make. Everyone is already prepping and I'm still walking around the pantry and refer trying to come up with something. After about maybe 15 minutes, I just throw up my hands and say, "**** it".

I end up making a Flourless Chocolate-Ginger Cake with an Espresso Creme Anglaise and a Mango-Cherry Bread Pudding Timable with a White Chocolate Sabayon and win second place in the dessert category. As a team, we also win the competition beating out CIA at Greystone and the Califoria Culinary Academy which were the other two more prestigious schools that entered.
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Old 07-16-2006, 06:52 AM   #4
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Museum of Food Anomalies (MoFa)

I think my most RECENT "odd food moment" was this past week when a friend sent me this link http://www.hanttula.com/exhibits/freakyfood/index.htm

I kept clicking on page after page with a sort of amused and morbid fascination LOL! The photo captions by the "museum curator" add to the experience.

Lee
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Old 07-16-2006, 08:09 AM   #5
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The only thing that could have made that site even funnier would have been to rename it to Museum of Food Oddities (MoFo). ROFL

Thanks for the early morning chuckle.

Ciao,
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Old 07-16-2006, 08:25 AM   #6
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Well, for me the oddest and far worst moment was the time I was cooking in a hotel and I was removing the prime ribs from the oven (three to a pan) and dropped it!! The 5 second went into effect immediately. You have never heard a quieter kitchen in your life! My husband had been called in to help out in the kitchen that particular day and I learned later, he just stuck his head in to see if I was o.k. and then he disappeared...as everyone else did. ;)
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Old 07-16-2006, 08:54 AM   #7
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Gosh - there have been so many over the years - lol!!!

I guess now that we're in the middle of outside grilling season, I will never forget the time my father & grandfather decided to grill whole ducks on the big brick barbecue they had built together. They shoved a huge skewer thru each bird to make them easier to turn, & when the coals were "just right", on they went.

About 15-20 minutes later, there was a huge conflagration of flames shooting up to the sky, & seconds after that my dad was scooting across the lawn up to the house with a skewered flaming duck held high in each hand. He looked like some bizarre version of the Olympic torch carrier - lol!!

We opened the door just as he reached it, & he ran into the kitchen & dumped both birds unceremoniously into the kitchen sink & ran water over them.

They finished roasting inside in the oven.
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Old 07-16-2006, 10:20 AM   #8
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Ironchef, I'm glad that some things never change, and that SPAM and Vienna Sausages still rule in Hawaii. I have freinds from Hawaii days coming to visit in a couple of weeks. Wonder if I should make Spam and pineapple kabobs! (not serious ... he has heart problems and I rather suspect Spam isn't on his diet). Other SPAM trivia: it means SPiced hAM.
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Old 07-16-2006, 10:28 AM   #9
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Over the years we've had many odd moments in cooking. A few years ago when we were on the road, I cooked my favorite brontasauras ribs on the smokey joe. I love these. I use a kal bi marinade on big beef ribs and then cook them over coals. I love it because I can eat them a little on the rare side and they are just great. Because I was doing it for guests, though, I made a point of cooking them well done. The four of us were out in nature's best (a lake outside of San Diego), chowing down on ribs and various Asian accompaniments. My best freind, who really isn't that much of a meat eater to begin with, chomped down on a bite of beef, and somehow hit a vein that the blood hadn't coagulated on. I don't know how this happened, as I'd made a point of cooking the ribs 'til they were medium to well. Anyway, the blood went spurting all over everyone. Who would think that an inch or so of vein could contain that much blood? Who'd a thunk that the cooking time wouldn't be enough to coagulate that blood? It says something for my freinds that we all laughed and those who got spattered with blood just wiped up and took another bite. But it was pretty weird.
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Old 07-16-2006, 07:33 PM   #10
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I would have to say that the oddest moment I ever had in the Kitchen was the time I tried to work in a self-made Pumpkin Fudge recipe. It's crazy what Sugar, Butter, and Pumpkin will do when it starts boiling.. The scene in the kitchen would have made movie set designers jealous. The best way I can describe the process is that the Boiling Slurry of Soon-To-Be-Garbaged-Fudge was molten lava like. You could see the bubble from the bottom. And once it got to the top, it would spew bits of burning pumpkin EVERYWHERE...

I can't think of any odd moments I had in the restaurant though..

-Brad
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Old 07-16-2006, 08:17 PM   #11
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Oh, keep the stories coming! I am !!! Wish I had something to offer to this subject but I can't think of anything as funny as the flaming ducks or as gross as the spurting blood!
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Old 07-17-2006, 08:40 AM   #12
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I don't know if this was odd per say, but a few years ago I had some friends over to enjoy our pool on a 90+ degree day. A buddy of mine made margaritas and he made then STRONG. After one drink we were all completely drunk.

Well it came time for me to start cooking on the grill. I turned it on and waited for it to preheat. 20 minutes later I went to put the food on and had to call my wife over (she was pregnant so she had not been drinking) to tell me if the grill was hot yet. Turns out it wasn't even on

She will never let me live that one down.
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Old 07-17-2006, 09:00 AM   #13
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GB:

My grill has malfunctioned that way too.
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Old 07-17-2006, 09:04 AM   #14
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I am glad I am not the only one Andy. I blame it on the fact that it was so hot outside that when I held my hand over the grates it really did feel like it was on
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Old 07-17-2006, 09:08 AM   #15
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Wow!.. You should pobably keep the rest of the story to yourself!
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Old 07-17-2006, 09:10 AM   #16
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The problem is I don't remember the rest of the story. I didn't even remember the grill thing till DW told me
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Old 07-17-2006, 09:24 AM   #17
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I hardly know where to begin. My family has always called me "Lucy" after Lucille Ball, and some of my kitchen faux pauxs could have been good material for her show.

The Pizza that Ate the Kitchen:
We had friends over, and I was making a pizza from scratch, which I often did back then. But when I checked my yeast, it was out-dated. I figured it probably still had some life left in it, but to be on the safe side, I used 2 packets instead of one.
I got the pizza in the oven with all the toppings on it, and we sat around drinking a few beers. When I opened the oven to check the pizza, the durned thing was a good 8 inches tall! I stabbed it with a fork in several places, it sank down some, and I figured it would be all right.
But when I opened the oven to check on it again, it was even taller than before. My husband and guests, who were sitting at the counter, were getting a big charge out of the situation. My husband decided I needed some help, so he got the pizza out of oven and started slapping it with a spatula.
We were all about 3 sheets to the wind by that time, and laughing so hard we were in tears.
We didn't go hungry...we ended eating the toppings off the pizza with our beer. And you know how beer is...there's a pork chop in every can.
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Old 07-17-2006, 09:25 AM   #18
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Don't know if this counts, but here goes....

A couple years ago, our kitchen was prepping a big Luau-type party for the members at the country club. We even went so far as to get a few whole suckling pigs, cleaned, that we were going to roast. My then-sous-chef had even taken a few pictures with her camera of the little piggies before they were cooked.

Apparently, a week or so after the party, she got an email from someone in PETA, trying to convert my co-worker over to the dark side. The email contained images of animals going through the "disassembly process" at a slaughterhouse, and urged my co-worker to not buy any animal products or by-products.

My co-worker then replied to that email, stating that she loved meat, would never dream of giving up eating meat, and enclosed the picture of the little piggie, ready to be roasted.

She never heard back from them.
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Old 07-17-2006, 10:22 AM   #19
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I'm going to have to think on this one....these stories are the best I've seen in ages! Keep the giggles coming!

PS - Qsis-----fantastic site!
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