Beanee-Weenee-Corny-Worny-Cracker-Wacker
May 15, 2019 8:55 AM   Subscribe

"Nothing worse than sleeping at a friend's house and their family has some weird ass thing like calling spaghetti "Billy Dinner" or some shit" quoth HelloCullen on twitter. Twitter delivered many, many, many receipts of weird-ass family recipes and strange names for normal recipes and other alarming family habits.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (121 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
That right there is a thread full of nope.
posted by Fish Sauce at 9:04 AM on May 15 [4 favorites]


OK but "Greg Slayers" is great though
posted by zeptoweasel at 9:05 AM on May 15 [7 favorites]


How can people live their entire lives not drinking liquid with food?

When you stir ice cream until it is just melted and has the texture of soup, my dad calls that a "black widow spider." I always get the impression he disapproves of it.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:07 AM on May 15 [11 favorites]


strange names for normal recipes and other alarming family habits.
• Cooking an egg in a hole in the middle of your bread, sometimes known as 'Egg in a basket' is called “Egg-bread” in our home
• in this house we put salt & pepper & lemon juice on our watermelon, don't @ me.
• salt & pepper & butter on toast is king of comfort food in our home as well

Also, this:
My family would eat cereal 3 hours after dinner and call it Bed Lunch.
This is very hobbit-like.
posted by Fizz at 9:07 AM on May 15 [18 favorites]


Hey we have macaroni soup as well! Tho not paste its made with tomato juice and sometimes stock. I see another French Canadian chimed in about it in that thread calling it "Mémère's soup" (Granny's soup).

The aunt of an acquaintance of my partner makes something called "Manitoba Chicken" - cut up chicken covered in dried mustard (Colman's preferably) and celery seed then baked.
posted by Ashwagandha at 9:09 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]


only the strongest of stomachs and the darkest of hearts could brave the tweet about "Kelly crackers"
posted by Countess Elena at 9:10 AM on May 15 [14 favorites]


Oh my god, that not drinking one is cuckoo bananas. "We don't drink our dinner"? And it's some kind of point of pride? What?!
posted by en forme de poire at 9:13 AM on May 15 [6 favorites]


Oh my god, that not drinking one is cuckoo bananas. "We don't drink our dinner"?

For my dad growing up in India, this was common at his dinner table. Just normal to not have any water or anything at the table. Something about digestion or some such folksy-not-able-to-prove-science-type-of-shit.
posted by Fizz at 9:15 AM on May 15 [13 favorites]


My spouse and her biological children from another marriage (I don't usually feel the need to mention that, but...) call the egg-in-a- piece-of-bread-with-a-hole-in-it thing "eggy thingies" and I had no idea that other people even ate that.
posted by Cookiebastard at 9:16 AM on May 15


"Nothing worse than sleeping at a friend's house and their family has some weird ass thing like calling spaghetti "Billy Dinner" or some shit" quoth HelloCullen on twitter.

The worst? This is the best! You get to steal it if it's clever or gossip back to your family how crazy they are if its the worst. Some people like HelloCullen crush all the joy out of life.
posted by The_Vegetables at 9:20 AM on May 15 [10 favorites]


My alarming family habit that has caught on is calling the longest fry in the mix the 'queen fry' and all my kids' friends love to find the queen and set her aside.
posted by The_Vegetables at 9:22 AM on May 15 [36 favorites]


Often with this kind of article, I notice that there is a baseline expectation that women care about cooking and should be good at it, while men are just....dads.
~~

Only long, long after I had grown up did I realize that a lot of the "that's so dumb mom" stuff was actually my mother being ironic. I had always assumed that my mother was just being dumb and cheesy, because I was socialized to think that mothers - even my own top-of-the-IQ-test mother - were dumb and cheesy. But actually she'd been pulling our legs with weird references and ironic distance all along.

It never occurred to me until I was actually trying to get a pre-age-of-reason child to laugh and cooperate that a lot of the "dumb jokes" we use to prove that our parents are so dumb and ridiculous are actually precisely the kinds of dumb jokes that they had to develop either to amuse us as children or to amuse themselves while dealing with the incredible boredom and frustration of trying to get, like, a two-year-old to eat....and all without cursing too much.

Dunking on one's parents is a bit overdone in our culture, IMO.
posted by Frowner at 9:24 AM on May 15 [48 favorites]


My reverse example: Growing up thinking that "migas" had to be a name for this food that my dad or his family had made up because I spent my entire childhood getting weird looks from people when I mentioned it... only to discover that, no, that was just because we were in Ohio and I didn't know a single Hispanic person I wasn't related to until I was in my 20s.
posted by Sequence at 9:24 AM on May 15 [33 favorites]


My mother thinks that because she calls dry cat food "crunchies," it's okay to call wet cat food "moisties"
posted by Beardman at 9:24 AM on May 15 [26 favorites]


For my dad growing up in India, this was common at his dinner table. Just normal to not have any water or anything at the table. Something about digestion or some such folksy-not-able-to-prove-science-type-of-shit.

When I worked in coastal China, I was told by a number of people that it was best not to drink too much when you ate. Sometimes people cited various folksy things, other times they just said that too much volume of food/liquid made you bloated and uncomfortable.
posted by Frowner at 9:26 AM on May 15 [6 favorites]


When I was a kid, about 50% of the time when I asked what was for dinner I was told "walkaround" as in "walk around until you find something to eat."

It is to my everlasting chagrin that I will never have a child to pass this down to.
posted by Automocar at 9:27 AM on May 15 [8 favorites]


I’ve known lots of people who don’t drink with meals, it seems like a common tradition in some places. Ditto issues of preferring warm or hot water to cold, etc.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:28 AM on May 15 [2 favorites]


We used to have what Mom called "slop gullion," which was ground beef, whatever vegetables were to hand, and random leftovers made into a stew and served over drop biscuits. On Christmas Eve we'd have cocktails and hors d'oeuvres; so far I haven't met anyone else who made Mom's special egg salad mixed with potted meat on Ritz crackers.

One of her friends used to mix equal parts of water and Progresso soup, like you do with condensed soup. Except Progresso isn't condensed and it just made it watery and kind of tasteless.

I think I've talked about this one here before: At some point Grandma came into a bunch of big cartons of cotton candy (candy floss) mix from a snack stand in the mall when it went out of business. She figured since it was basically sugar and flavoring, that you could mix it in water and it would taste like Kool-Aid. It didn't. From the same place, she got a bunch of ten-gallon buckets of solid hydrogenated coconut oil that they popped their popcorn in. It was dyed orange to give the popcorn a buttery look, so the pie crusts she made with it were an unsettling shade of bright yellow.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:28 AM on May 15 [20 favorites]


No way you can make Greg Slayers or Sweet Milk without first shopping for some Catflaps and Vinegar Husbands.

I hear there's a whole region of the US with the delusion that "Cincinnati Chili" exists. It's as mythical as a Chicago Sunroof.
posted by Nelson at 9:29 AM on May 15 [11 favorites]


You're familiar with the occasional flare-ups that happen when cooking meat on an outdoor grill. Ever since my childhood, hamburgers cooked on the grill are referred to as "burgers on fire." My parents claim I started it and considering how fascinated I was with fire as a kid I can't say that they're lying.

On more than one occasion my parents and / or I startled a friend of mine by asking if they wanted to stick around for dinner because "we're having burgers on fire."
posted by komara at 9:31 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]



My reverse example: Growing up thinking that "migas" had to be a name for this food that my dad or his family had made up because I spent my entire childhood getting weird looks from people when I mentioned it... only to discover that, no, that was just because we were in Ohio and I didn't know a single Hispanic person I wasn't related to until I was in my 20s.


This made me want migas, which made me look up migas on the internet, which made me learn that there are in fact many kinds of migas including a garlic-soup based one from Mexico City which sounds very much like the sort of thing I like.

~~
We didn't have a lot of weird food when I was a kid. My father liked to eat potato chips using cottage cheese like a dip, something I also came to enjoy, but we didn't really have a name for it other than "potato chips with cottage cheese".

I eat a lot of weird food, actually, because I like mushy things and things based on tofu scramble, but I don't have any clever names for it.
posted by Frowner at 9:33 AM on May 15 [2 favorites]


Arrested Development is a documentary.
posted by idiopath at 9:34 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]


My alarming family habit that has caught on is calling the longest fry in the mix the 'queen fry' and all my kids' friends love to find the queen and set her aside.

We call this the "potentater." This is a Sniglet, possibly the lone Sniglet that ever found use.
posted by Countess Elena at 9:34 AM on May 15 [15 favorites]


My parents claim I started it and considering how fascinated I was with fire as a kid I can't say that they're lying.

I do wonder how many of these are started by kids like that. In my family, around Christmas time, we always had these oyster crackers you bake with ranch dressing powder and a few other spices that we call "Shoey Cookies,"* because when I was a kid they were stored in a tin with a horse on it and I couldn't say horsie, so it came out shoey.

*Pronounced SHOW-ey
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:34 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Clearly I've got to start eating more meat, so that I can invent some of these, because few things cause me to giggle as reliably as steamed hams, rum ham, milk steak, hot ham water, and now, those horrors that Nelson linked.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 9:36 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Clearly I've got to start eating more meat

Start by pan-frying up some Spam and green pepper for your Kraft Macaroni & Cheese!
posted by thelonius at 9:38 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]


My mother thinks that because she calls dry cat food "crunchies," it's okay to call wet cat food "moisties"

I am going to try this on my cats tonight. Will report back.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:38 AM on May 15 [11 favorites]


"This is a Sniglet, possibly the lone Sniglet that ever found use."

I still often think of aquadextrous, essoasso, and Rogerland. Those are the only ones that stuck for me.
posted by komara at 9:39 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Seconded about not drinking with dinner. My white parents picked it up as an orientalist neo-hindu affectation, alongside the reflexology charts and zodiacs and western-style macrobiotic menus and calling everything karma.
posted by idiopath at 9:41 AM on May 15 [6 favorites]


I have mentioned "meedlenoosh" before.

As a very wee child, whenever I had chocolate milk I would check whether there were dregs of undissolved chocolate syrup at the bottom of the cup - if there were, I would add water to try to further dissolve the remaining chocolate into it and drink that. I called that "yucky tea", largely because everyone else seemed to think it was disgusting and I was leaning into it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:51 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]


Since our kids have been young, we've called a meal of chicken fingers and potato(e) french fries "Fingers and Toes" .

We were greatly offended when we went to some diner in Milwaukee, and that's what they called it on their kid's menu. We were upset that we might be as cutely creative as we thought, or maybe the diner was SPYING ON US.

On the other hand, when my mother-in-law turned 70, we had the kids put together a "Grandma Dictionary" of all her cute names for things which was well received.

I, on the other hand, call every little table, like a TV tray, a "Tibbletabble," but I thank Professor Grover for that.
posted by AzraelBrown at 9:53 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]


I've mentioned this on MeFi before, I'm sure, but when asked what was for dinner, my father would often respond "liver and onions". I grew up well into my teenage years thinking this was a nonsensical combination of two foods that he knew we hated that he combined to traumatize us with, like "brains and okra" or "roadkill and lawn trimmings".
posted by Rock Steady at 9:55 AM on May 15 [16 favorites]


Also, my wife's family calls the very normal meal of ham with mashed potatoes and peas "Ham and 'Tato Setup" for some reason lost to the ages.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:58 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Cannibal sandwiches = ground beef on toast baked in the oven. According to my grandparents, it was a depression-era favorite. I gotta say, I thought they were pretty good.
posted by prepmonkey at 10:04 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]


We grew up with "Brontosaurus soup," which (my parents explained when I got older and asked, "What the hell IS this anyway?") turned out to be watercress soup. My elder brother had refused to eat "watercress soup." But since he was dinosaur-crazy, my parents told him that this weird green was something that Brontosaurus liked to munch. So then he ate it, no doubt pretending he was a Brontosaurus pulling his lunch out of ancient swamps with his teeth. (Totally dating myself calling it "Brontosaurus," but hey it looks like the term may be getting rehabilitated.)

Also, a friend whose dad was a Dutch immigrant gave us an annual gift of a Dutch pastry they called "oily boilies," which were some kind of deep fried deliciousness.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:12 AM on May 15 [5 favorites]


My husbands whole family is no-drinks-with-food. I thought it was a quirk of his mothers. She "didn't trust the water" and kept mason jars of pre-boiled water in the fridge for...I don't know, cooking and hiccup emergencies? Anyway, no water with dinner, no drinks of any sort except for the little kids who got milk in sippy cups.

Then we went to visit his sister and her family and there was no water, no glasses, nothing to drink on the table except for sippy cups for the toddlers. I told Herr Duck "It's not just your mother! It's a family thing!! What on earth!" he had no idea that it was weird. It's just what he grew up with, and when we got married and I would bring my glass of water to the table, he just sort of rolled with it. He's even started bringing his own glass to the table.

We live in Minnesota, so it's not like there's a water shortage or anything like that. They just...don't drink with food. I don't get it at all.
posted by Gray Duck at 10:18 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]


Cooking an egg in a hole in the middle of your bread, sometimes known as 'Egg in a basket' is called “Egg-bread” in our home

I've heard that called a "drunken sailor".
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:25 AM on May 15


I think my parents were incredibly uncreative because we never had cutesy names for anything. My mother was also a very OCD, Martha-Stewart-striving perfectionist so I think calling any meal by a weird name would have just sent her on a rage.

One thing we did have was "the spread" on some weekends, which was just a smorgasbord kind of thing including crudites, dips, canned tuna, cheese, and bread/crackers laid out. It was always served and eaten in the living room, usually while watching a movie rented from Blockbuster.

Two things I have strong memories of learning about at friends' homes - Kraft parmesan cheese in a can ("shaky cheese," which was not allowed in our house since my mother was fastidiously Italian) and shabbat dinner with an Israeli friend while we were living in Germany.

My wife's extended family makes something called "green stuff" which includes lime Jello and cabbage. I have asked that it never be introduced to our house.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:26 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]


I heard someone call the popcorn seeds at the bottom of the popcorn bowl "old maids". I don't know why.
posted by waving at 10:36 AM on May 15 [5 favorites]


I'm now feeling like I missed out on a pretty crucial part of late 80s early 90s childhood because we almost never had any of these quick comfort food type things at home. Boxed mac and cheese with hot dogs may have been the only exception to that. No sloppy joes, no frozen pizza, no Hamburger Helper... What else did I miss?
posted by backseatpilot at 10:38 AM on May 15


We had baby-speak become codified as dish names.

Hamburgers were "murk-murks"; my sibling and I can still say that and know what is referred to. Also: porken-props = pork chops. My grandmother referred to chicken as "pricken" when my (much younger) sibling was a toddler, and that stuck, also.
posted by salt grass at 10:40 AM on May 15




My oldest child is allergic to eggs, so you hear quite a bit of this in our house: "What about fake carbonara for dinner?", "The fake pancakes are ready!" etc. If we use pre-made sauces from a jar or can, you must specify that the dinner is a pretend one. Sadly (as an Irish person), my children love pretend mashed potatoes, which makes me weep inside.
posted by recklessbrother at 10:52 AM on May 15


Why would you need to make "pretend" mashed potatoes to deal with an egg allergy. Do people put eggs in their mashed potatoes???
posted by Fish Sauce at 10:55 AM on May 15 [2 favorites]


well I'm going to now
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:56 AM on May 15 [5 favorites]


Fish Sauce: Pretend just relates to all forms of short-cut dishes (in this case potatoes out of a box). Fake is just for egg-free dishes. Don't put eggs in your mashed potatoes :)
posted by recklessbrother at 10:59 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]


no I'm putting eggs in my mashed potatoes and next time my daughter brings a friend over I'm gonna serve it up and be all "HOPE EVERYBODY'S HUNGRY FOR SOME HOT FRESH GRANDPÈRE'S CASCADIAN FOLLY" so they'll have something to tweet about when they're my age
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:03 AM on May 15 [37 favorites]


Ah, okay. I actually googled it after you posted and apparently eggs in mashed potatoes is totally a thing that people do. And so is cream cheese? We oughta leave this world behind.

My recipe:

-yukon golds, skin on
-salt, black pepper, white pepper
-margarine
-unsweetened soy milk
-dried parsley
-dried dill
-crushed or minced garlic

It's vegan because I mostly cook for my vegan girlfriend, but I used to put a little bit of shredded parmesan in it, or even some of that crappy powdered parmesan.
posted by Fish Sauce at 11:09 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Egg in bread is called EGG IN A FRAME and I will die on this hill.
posted by sperose at 11:10 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]


We oughta leave this world behind.

I will bravely remain to deal with the eggs and cream cheese
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:11 AM on May 15 [6 favorites]


I love eggs and cream cheese, but I cannot fathom a reason to put either in my mashed potatoes.
Egg in bread is called EGG IN A FRAME and I will die on this hill.
Egg in the hole!
posted by Fish Sauce at 11:12 AM on May 15


Cooking an egg in a hole in the middle of your bread, sometimes known as 'Egg in a basket' is called “Egg-bread” in our home

I've heard that called a "drunken sailor".


My mom used to call it "cowboy eggs."

There was also a little friend of mine, named Reid, who loved to make "pilgrim punch," a beverage (?) made of various things found in the fridge. One time, he put toothpaste in it (in addition to the milk and orange juice and cinnamon sticks already in the pitcher) and his mom came out and she was furious that he'd basically wasted all their food. Our punishment was to drink it all. Reid dumped his in the yard and went about his day while I, like a fool, choked down what I could of my portion. And it was truly horrible. Pilgrim punch.
posted by witchen at 11:14 AM on May 15 [3 favorites]


We call this the "potentater." This is a Sniglet, possibly the lone Sniglet that ever found use.

Not the only one! My family still uses Musquirt, for the yellow liquid that comes out of the mustard bottle before the mustard does.

My family has some weird food and food related language. "Dog food" is cheap steamed salmon mixed with sticky rice, rice vinegar and soy sauce. "Goulash" is hamburger, bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic and oregano, cooked down and served on spaghetti. We always have chickeen, no matter how the chicken is prepared, and gutbombs from White Castle.

(I also have a Defective Cup, which means my kids need to go put ice and water in it for me; also, a heaty thing, which is a buckwheat-filled tube that we microwave to heat, so I can put it on my face during a migraine.)

I love family argot!
posted by headspace at 11:14 AM on May 15


Egg in mashed potatoes ~ Duchess Potatoes, I put them atop my Shepherd's Pie.
posted by zinon at 11:16 AM on May 15 [4 favorites]


Do people put eggs in their mashed potatoes???

Don't talk to me or my Potatoes Meringue ever again.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:29 AM on May 15 [11 favorites]


How can people live their entire lives not drinking liquid with food?

Until this moment I thought my boyfriend and his family were weird for being unable to have a meal without drinks and seeming very confused when I don't want one. Hm. I'm still not convinced they're not the weird ones, since I've seen plenty of other people eat meals without needing a drink.

I don't have a reason for not drinking with my meals, we just didn't really do it growing up so I'm used to going without. I drink when I'm thirsty, whether that's during a meal or not. How dry are you people's meals that you can't eat without washing it down with something?!
posted by randomnity at 11:31 AM on May 15 [2 favorites]


Cooking an egg in a hole in the middle of your bread, sometimes known as 'Egg in a basket' is called “Egg-bread” in our home

We always called in "Egg in a Nest".

My mother went through a period* where she referred to butter as "Boutros Boutros-Ghali" for reasons that are only known to her. It spread to my entire family to the point that asking someone to "pass the boutros" was completely normal sounding to me. Until my youngest sister brought her boyfriend home.




*recently, all her children were adults, I have no idea how this happened
posted by darchildre at 11:33 AM on May 15 [4 favorites]


I had a roommate once who would make a lot of improvised soups/stews with whatever various vegetables and grains and dried beans and what-not that needed using up, and she called it "everything-in-a-pot". We had a pretty well-stocked larder and improvisational taste so it usually worked quite well. ....In fact, one of the best soups I ever had was something she made to salvage a veggie juice experiment in the juicer; it didn't work quite so well as juice, so she threw it in a pot and added some lentils and then "I just kept adding different spices until it tasted good". She neglected to write down what she used so I have no idea.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:35 AM on May 15


My mother thinks that because she calls dry cat food "crunchies," it's okay to call wet cat food "moisties"

We call dry cat food "kibs," short for "kibbles."

And I know I've talked about Sick Asshole Dining before.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:41 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Eggs and mashed potatoes Makes me think of the mashed potato patties Mom always made for breakfast on Boxing Day. She put some of the leftover ham through a grinder, mixed it with leftover mashed potatoes, formed them into patties, dipped them in egg wash and breadcrumbs, and then fried them. Man, I'm even craving her fried grits and SPAM now.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:48 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Cream cheese absolutely belongs in mashed potatoes, it is delicious and improves the texture.

My mom made beef stroganoff using ground beef, canned cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, and serving it over rice. It is delicious and I want it now.
posted by momus_window at 11:50 AM on May 15 [4 favorites]


My husband and I still make stroganoff with ground turkey, chopped onions, and Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup. We unimaginatively called it Turkey Mushroom until the day his phone’s auto correct changed it to Turkey Mishap, and lo it has been known ever since.
posted by skycrashesdown at 12:25 PM on May 15 [11 favorites]


Until this moment I thought my boyfriend and his family were weird for being unable to have a meal without drinks and seeming very confused when I don't want one. Hm. I'm still not convinced they're not the weird ones, since I've seen plenty of other people eat meals without needing a drink.

As an adult child of alcoholics, in a family of same, I rarely anybody have a non-breakfast meal without an adult beverage. People who actually drank water was weird to me until sometime in my 20s. Sooooo: it's a spectrum?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:40 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


My mom almost never bought boxed or premade food; when she did, she either bought chicken patties or frozen chicken cordon bleu, or as it rapidly became known in our household due to the way everything spooged out of it when you cut into it, and the way it was not very good, "Chicken Cordon Spew."

I now make a pretty good Chicken Cordon Bleu from scratch myself but I cannot convince my kids to eat it because I made the mistake of offering them Chicken Cordon Spew the first time.

(My brother, however, is totally into my Chicken Cordon Spew. He gets it.)

The other flavors this frozen boxed chicken came in were chicken kiev and chicken with broccoli & cheese, known forever as "Chicken Cordon Spew, but Kiev" and "Chicken Cordon Spew with Broccoli."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:44 PM on May 15 [3 favorites]


My mom makes Fluffy Green Stuff for family holidays, which it turns out is actually known as Watergate Salad (where "salad" means "a mix of Cool Whip, pistachio pudding mix, mini marshmallows, and canned pineapple"). It tastes delicately green.
posted by esoterrica at 12:47 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]


My parents were cool enough to refrain from calling Mac 'n' cheese "Nixon Steak*" when my friends were around.

*So named because a Nixon official said that people should eat flank steak instead of more expensive cuts. At the time even flank steakwas out of the budget.
posted by vespabelle at 12:57 PM on May 15 [8 favorites]


Nixon Steak

My parents went to Minestrone Soup as their response to this dimly-remembered Steak Crisis.....the only time it ever appeared on the menu
posted by thelonius at 1:03 PM on May 15


We may have been participating in the boycott
posted by thelonius at 1:05 PM on May 15


"Goulash" is hamburger, bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic and oregano, cooked down and served on spaghetti.

This absolutely is a common thing!
posted by cooker girl at 1:11 PM on May 15 [3 favorites]




My family doesn't have a lot of these, I don't think, but we do have 'smelly chicken', which is baked chicken with lemon and parmesan cheese (ideally, shaker can parm, but it also works with expensive AF parmegiano reggiano if you insist).

Now as adults, we have added "Jacqui's spaghetti" to the lexicon, which is spaghetti carbonara, regardless of who makes it. My dad likes it better than ordinary spaghetti (bolognese, though not of a variety that any Italian would recognize as such) and so he asks for it by (my) name since I am the first one who made it.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:21 PM on May 15


When I was a kid, about 50% of the time when I asked what was for dinner I was told "walkaround" as in "walk around until you find something to eat."
It is to my everlasting chagrin that I will never have a child to pass this down to.


It doesn't have to die! Tell a friend! Whipped cream in a can has become "fffft" in my household because I picked it up from a friend.

"Goulash" is hamburger, bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic and oregano, cooked down and served on spaghetti.
This absolutely is a common thing!


That's what my spouse (and thus the rest of the family) calls that particular combination, although it's more often served with boxed mac and cheese, usually while camping.

Cooking an egg in a hole in the middle of your bread, sometimes known as 'Egg in a basket' is called “Egg-bread” in our home [also Egg in a Nest, drunken sailor, cowboy eggs. . .]

OK, so, I know of this as "Toad in a Hole." Am I the only one? (Apparently it's different in the UK, where toad-in-a-hole is sausages in batter pudding, but I thought this was the accepted name for the American version.)
posted by dlugoczaj at 1:41 PM on May 15 [3 favorites]


Cooking an egg in a hole in the middle of your bread, sometimes known as 'Egg in a basket' is called “Egg-bread” in our home

My wife calls these "pirate eggs" but cannot explain.
posted by Western Infidels at 1:51 PM on May 15 [3 favorites]


When I was a kid, my mom would toss small quantities of leftovers into a Tupperware bin in the freezer. Every so often, she'd dump the bin into a stock pot, add water and sometimes some other things, and make what she called "garbage soup." Sometimes this turned out to be delicious, but not usually. My friends who heard about this at the time were all horrified by the name. I wasn't crazy about it, either.
posted by Western Infidels at 2:01 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]


Cooking an egg in a hole in the middle of your bread

"Dip-your-bread-in-egg" at our home growing up. And a "cheese log" was when you rolled up a string cheese in a tortilla and microwaved it until the cheese was soft but still held its shape.

The gross one is just me. I used to eat cream cheese sandwiched between two cinnamon graham crackers for school lunches every day, and I discovered that after about 4 hours in the lunch box the cream cheese could be peeled off and rolled up into a ball with graham cracker dust on the outside, and I would eat it like that. It truly makes me respect my parents and wish good luck and godspeed to everyone else who births a weird child with sensory issues.
posted by capricorn at 2:02 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]


I heard someone call the popcorn seeds at the bottom of the popcorn bowl "old maids". I don't know why.

That's the real name for them, I'm pretty sure.


But why is the real name old maids?
posted by waving at 2:19 PM on May 15


Thanks to my youngest any kind of granola type cereal bar is a "barf" except for his favorite kind: Clif kids' oatmeal bars. Those are "Real Barfs"
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 2:35 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]


My mom almost never bought boxed or premade food; when she did, she either bought chicken patties or frozen chicken cordon bleu, or as it rapidly became known in our household due to the way everything spooged out of it when you cut into it, and the way it was not very good, "Chicken Cordon Spew."

It may amuse you to know these are often served aboard US Navy warships where they are usually called "Hamsters" due to the size and shape.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 2:41 PM on May 15 [5 favorites]


The two I can think of off the top of my head were:

Mom's Yuck - onions and garlic, ground beef, a can of diced tomatoes, and cabbage with some minute rice stirred into it, so named because my brother and I really didn't like eating it.

Scotch Broth Rice - a can of Campbell's Scotch Broth soup (which has apparently been discontinued? but may still exist in Canada?) made per can directions, but with a cup of Minute Rice added to it and cooked to finish. That shit was DELICIOUS with a whole bunch of pepper and a good scattering of salt over the top of it. And there is definitely nothing children like to eat more than mutton, right? so perfectly normal that we loved it.

My brother was really surprised when he went to a friend's house and asked for Scotch Broth Rice and no one knew WTF he was talking about.

In my current household the one I can think of is just called Slop. It's arborio rice cooked like a pasta in chicken broth with lots of diced onions, mushrooms, shredded chicken (or turkey - it's a Boxing Day tradition) and feta cheese, and then a container of cottage cheese is added to it before serving, and it is topped with cayenne pepper and parmesan cheese. So amazingly good but it is beige and kind of gelatinous but also mind-blowingly delicious as a weekend breakfast with a fried egg on top.
posted by urbanlenny at 2:45 PM on May 15


I recalled another thing we did in our family - we ate this dessert that was always called milk fay. Sort of a layered dessert in a 9x13 pan - graham crackers, whipped cream, graham crackers, custard/pudding, graham crackers, icing, chocolate. So pretty nutritious. It was a recipe my mum got from a Hungarian neighbour. My brother and I would always reminisce about eating for breakfast during the Christmas holidays and we'd tell people and they thought we were nuts. It wasn't until years later that I realised that it was a Milk Calendar (previously) version of the Euro French dessert Mille-Feuille. Along with that I recognised that we hilariously, even though we were French, called that dessert by an English approximation of our Hungarian neighbour's pronunciation of Mille-Feuille!
posted by Ashwagandha at 3:06 PM on May 15 [5 favorites]


But why is the real name old maids?

Pretty sure the answer is patriarchy.
posted by Nelson at 3:07 PM on May 15 [11 favorites]


But why is the real name old maids?

An old maid is an outdated term for an older unmarried woman. It's a derogatory "jokey" reference to those kernels being the ones left behind that haven't bloomed and fulfilled their purpose.
posted by northernish at 3:07 PM on May 15 [8 favorites]


My Mom also made garbage soup, but hers was always delicious. She has the magic touch for soup.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:21 PM on May 15


I feel like somewhere in this thread is the key to decoding the Voynich Manuscript.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 3:53 PM on May 15 [3 favorites]


My mom used to call it "cowboy eggs."

Huevos rancheros?
posted by acb at 4:32 PM on May 15 [3 favorites]


My wife reminded me of two of her single-mom-years recipes: goop - cream of celery soup, canned peas, and canned tuna, warmed up and served over rice or toast, and corny-rot, which is browned hamburger, tomato soup, tomato sauce, and canned corn, served over noodles. Both are easy and comfort food, although the price of tuna has made goop not as cheap of a meal as it used to be.
posted by AzraelBrown at 4:53 PM on May 15


I am going to try this on my cats tonight. Will report back.

Report: cats seemed excited at the prospect of “moisities” rather than “good kitty snack” That is all.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:02 PM on May 15 [8 favorites]


Cooking an egg in a hole in the middle of your bread, sometimes known as 'Egg in a basket' is called “Egg-bread” in our home

My wife calls these "pirate eggs" but cannot explain.


We called them "One-eyed pirates" because you fry up the piece of bread you removed from the middle of the slice & then put it over the fried egg, like a pirate's eye patch.
posted by belladonna at 5:45 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


These come from my husband’s family. Mine, surprisingly, doesn’t really have weird names for food.

Cooking an egg in the a hole in the middle of your bread: “Egg in the hole”, naturally.

“Spaghetti”: Specifically macaroni, served with meat sauce (browned ground beef with jarred sauce added). One never, ever uses actual spaghetti.

The only thing my family gave me was the fact that canned cat food is called “mushies” (by analogy with dry food being “crunchies”). Although generally my adult household just calls it “wet food.”
posted by snowmentality at 5:54 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


i think actually one of the interesting things i took away from this is that like, making food is weird. everyone has weird tastes, they make things they like and hope other people, especially their children, will like, and then you gotta call it something. everyone has some relation to food and cooking/food preparation, and increasingly it is in the mode of a non-relation: someone or something else can do the cooking for me. which is great in many respects, don’t get me wrong (but also abolish kitchenwork). but ya in MY communist gay space utopia we all cook and all of it and its names are weird and embarrassing
posted by LeviQayin at 5:59 PM on May 15


It blew my mind when I left home and discovered that the rest of the world somehow didn't know how to make a cheese Louise.
posted by darksasami at 6:18 PM on May 15


OKAY SO SPAGHETTI STORY

One time in junior high school I went over to my friend Mona's (name changed to protect etc.) house for dinner, and her mom said "there's something different about the spaghetti tonight, but I'm not going to tell you first, just eat it & see if you can guess." I knew that Mona's family kept a jar of borscht in the fridge at all times, and I had seen Mona casually take swigs from said jar of borscht, so I was prepared for basically anything.

We finished our plates of spaghetti, which I remember as being perfectly okay if not phenomenal, and neither of us could tell what was different about it. "So what was the deal with the spaghetti?" Mona finally asked with the air of mild exasperation she carried around in basically all circumstances.

"We were out of plain yogurt," her mom replied, "but we had some fruit-on-the-bottom plum yogurt left, so I just scraped off the top."

Mona was aghast. "You used PLUM? In the SPAGHETTI?"

Meanwhile I sat there thinking "Your family's spaghetti has YOGURT in it? And you ACCEPT this? And your issue is that the yogurt in your spaghetti existed slightly near plums at one point in its life?"

This is how I learned that families are different.
posted by taquito sunrise at 6:21 PM on May 15 [14 favorites]


I went to my Grade 3 best friend's birthday party, and was taken aback when her mother cut the homemade pizza with scissors.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:45 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]


"Scotch Broth Rice - a can of Campbell's Scotch Broth soup (which has apparently been discontinued? but may still exist in Canada?)"

Campbell's used to sell a Fiesta Chili Beef soup, the successor to its Chili Beef soup, and BOTH have been discontinued, and if anybody knows of a good replacement or a recipe I can use to approximate it, I HAVE THE BEST CHILI RECIPE using that as a base. I have ONE CAN of it left (I bought what remained of the palette when it was discontinued, and gave half to my mom who also makes this chili), it was "best by" several years ago now, and at this point I'm not sure if I'm not using it b/c I don't want to use up my VERY LAST CAN and never make this chili again, or b/c of the potential botulism.

My gross comfort food is leftover brown rice, microwaved with shredded cheddar cheese, with soy sauce on top. I don't have a name for it, but IT'S SO GOOD.

In our house we have "toastchee" which is toast with swiss cheese melted on top, which was one of the literally two things I could eat when I was pregnant, and I had it every day for breakfast -- a very dry carb with a bit of protein being recommended for folks with hyperemesis gravardium (which I had in spades all three times). We tried several options before settling on swiss as the best option for me, and I would ask my husband, "Could you go make me some toast with cheese?" which gradually got shortened to "Toast with cheese?" and then to a desperately croaked "TOASTCHEE?" between violent bouts of vomiting.

My kids love balsamic strawberries (macerate fresh strawberries in sugar for about 10 minutes, dress with a bit of good balsamic), but they call them "volcanic strawberries." SO IT SHALL BE FOREVERMORE.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:19 PM on May 15 [5 favorites]


I have a twist on this theme.

For reasons unknown to me, The Star Spangled Banner is known to my family as “Soup and Crackers for Lunch.”
posted by kinnakeet at 9:28 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


Countess Elena: "How can people live their entire lives not drinking liquid with food?"

I almost never drink liquid with my meals, but:
  1. I didn't realize that was so rare
  2. I didn't realize that other people who don't usually drink with meals have such bizarre reasons for it
Digestion? Bloating? Not trusting water? Weird hippie karma things?

I almost never drink with meals because...(suspenseful drumroll)...I'm seldom thirsty at meal time. It's not like it's some kind of personal policy, or I'd look down on people who drink with meals, or sneer at guests who want some water.

Kinda disconcerting to know that that's my cohort.
posted by Bugbread at 9:47 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


You know the plate you get of chicken bones or (rarely) mussel shells or gnawed corn cobs or whatever? We used to call those the "grim details." "Sweetie, would you throw away the grim details when you leave the table?"
posted by huimangm at 10:43 PM on May 15 [13 favorites]


"Redbush Tea" -> "rooibos tea" -> "rooey-booey" -> "boo tea" -> "booty" -> "mug-o'-boo"

(No children to blame or inflict this on)
posted by BinaryApe at 10:49 PM on May 15 [3 favorites]


Also, a friend whose dad was a Dutch immigrant gave us an annual gift of a Dutch pastry they called "oily boilies," which were some kind of deep fried deliciousness.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus
- this is an actual thing- olie ballen ( literally oily balls...) like deep fried donuts minus the holes.

...and in the Garbage Soup canon, once at the neighbourhood bar the old greek proprietor offered to serve us some Garbage Soup- which after much unravelling turned out to be his pronunciation of "cabbage soup".
posted by cabin fever at 11:34 PM on May 15 [1 favorite]


It may amuse you to know these are often served aboard US Navy warships where they are usually called "Hamsters" due to the size and shape.

AFRS 'recipe' for Chicken Cordon Bleu....
posted by mikelieman at 11:50 PM on May 15 [2 favorites]


I have a reverse weirdness about goulash: my mother was taught to cook by her Hungarian neighbor. Goulash in our household was always the “real” thing. It was only much later when I found out about what most people called goulash. Really kind of weirded me out in a sort of Berenstein Bears sort of way.

And cream cheese is fantastic in mashed potatoes. Even better if the cream cheese is cold smoked.

Potatoes, boiled
1 head, roasted garlic
1 lump smoked cream cheese
Butter. You’ll know when you have enough
Cream or whole milk
Black pepper
White pepper
Salt

Optional:
Sautéed onions, nicely browned
Frozen corn (never canned, it tastes funny), boiled, strained, folded in after mashing
posted by Ghidorah at 11:51 PM on May 15 [3 favorites]


My household has adopted the name of "murder pretzels" for pretzels with cheddar cheese melted on them, after someone was jokingly distrustful when I prepared some for them as a snack.
posted by NMcCoy at 12:12 AM on May 16


I went to my Grade 3 best friend's birthday party, and was taken aback when her mother cut the homemade pizza with scissors.

Are you sure they weren’t traditional pizza shears?
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:44 AM on May 16 [2 favorites]


Also, a friend whose dad was a Dutch immigrant gave us an annual gift of a Dutch pastry they called "oily boilies," which were some kind of deep fried deliciousness.

Oliebollen! Which does basically translate that way.
posted by atrazine at 5:28 AM on May 16


smoked cream cheese

Fascinating! Where does one get this?
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:37 AM on May 16


and in the Garbage Soup canon, once at the neighbourhood bar the old greek proprietor offered to serve us some Garbage Soup- which after much unravelling turned out to be his pronunciation of "cabbage soup".

IIRC Mom almost always put cabbage in the garbage soup.

Are you sure they weren’t traditional pizza shears?

It was my first and last exposure to cutting pizza that way, so they could have been Patagonian clog-dancing shears for all I know. They looked like Grandma's sewing scissors to me, but I didn't ask
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:46 AM on May 16 [3 favorites]


We have a whiteboard menu system at our house, which displays what's for lunch and dinner. My handwriting is kind of abysmal and Herr Duck can't read it, so the first time I wrote "tofu stirfry" he said "we're having...tofu...stiffy?" so now it is called Tofu Stiffy.

I also will make-ahead and freeze burritos for lazy dinners/food emergencies. I wrote "freezer burritos" on the board and he said "we're having freezer...bunnies?" So now freezer burritos are called Freezer Bunnies. Or just "Bunnies".

I don't expect either of these to catch on.
posted by Gray Duck at 10:27 AM on May 16 [5 favorites]


I'm pretty sure I've seen traditional italian-type woodfired pizza cut with shears before.
posted by tavella at 11:39 AM on May 16 [1 favorite]


And at the trailing end of the thread... in my childhood Shepherd's Pie was referred to as "Patty of Yak", which I think was a straight lift from the Adam's Family.
posted by jokeefe at 12:00 PM on May 16


Yeah, pizza scissors are absolutely a thing.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:09 PM on May 16 [3 favorites]


Dammit, I was funnin’, and you tell me it’s real!?
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:39 PM on May 16


Food scissors (or whatever they're called) are awesome, by the way. While the West has "kitchen shears," from what I gather they're used for cutting packaging, herbs, and other back-kitchen stuff, but not on finished food. In Korea, on the other hand, scissors are used at the table to cut meat, kimchi, whatever. So. Goddamn. Handy. They really, really need to catch on throughout the world.
posted by Bugbread at 4:32 PM on May 16 [4 favorites]


My brother-in-law makes tater tot waffles by cooking frozen tater tots in a waffle iron. As far as I know, they don't have a family nickname - though I think I'll suggest "tater toffles" next time I see them.
posted by bendy at 4:36 PM on May 16 [4 favorites]


Kartwaffeln
posted by Countess Elena at 4:41 PM on May 16 [4 favorites]


smoked cream cheese

Fascinating! Where does one get this?


Honestly, I don't know that it's available. I have a smoker, and I sometimes do cold smoking for stuff like cheese (or shrimp, or lamb chops, to cook later), and I thought, hey, why not try smoked cream cheese? On a bagel, it tastes like you've covered the bagel with smoked salmon. It's pretty great, and fantastic in potatoes, or added to a cream or cheese sauce. I use cherry wood because it won't overpower the cheese.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:43 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


I just remembered that the pleasure of licking the mixer beaters while my mom was baking was called "licking the beavers."
posted by bendy at 6:01 PM on May 16 [3 favorites]


I've always been a normal, beverage-with-meal type person anyway, but there was a period of nearly a year in my life when I literally could not eat without a beverage. I had had surgery (on my leg, so the surgery itself can't be to blame), which was the first, and to date the only time I had been under general anesthesia. Don't know what it did to me, but for several months afterwards, when I swallowed food it would sometimes get stuck halfway down my esophagus. Which is a bizarre and horrifying feeling, let me tell you (and a terrifying one the first time it happens and you think you're choking). So I had to have water or some beverage handy to wash the food all the way down when that happened. Er, usually drinking something would wash the food down. Or once in a while it didn't, and then the water just sits on top of the stuck food which is an even weirder feeling, until you cough the water back up. This happened fairly frequently after the surgery, and became gradually less frequent over several months.

Anyway, during this time, if I was out at a restaurant and finished my beverage in the middle of a meal, I would have to stop eating until my glass was refilled.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:48 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


My uncle, when he was about six, apparently revealed that he'd been under the impression that canned beans were called Frankenbeans - as in, " What's for dinner?" "Franks'n'beans." That one stuck; canned baked beans are Frankenbeans in my mum's house 60-odd years later.
Also, my mum makes "goop" - tuna goop, tomato goop etc. Any kind of stew-y, sauce-y, one-pot meal is goop. This has passed down to me and I often make goop for dinner.
Another major childhood memory is Auntie Joan's Pink or Brown. Both parents being archaeologists, I was raised on a series of dig sites, often based in a school that was empty for the summer where the diggers slept in dormitories chucked together in empty classrooms. In one particular school, the head dinner lady stayed on over the summer to cook for us. She was a sweetheart, known universally as Auntie Joan, but her cooking was very much Trad. Dinner Lady, and pudding was often pink flavoured...stuff or brown flavoured...stuff. Something like Angel Delight,
I guess, but we still refer to any kind of indeterminate pudding as Pink-or-Brown.
posted by BlueNorther at 12:11 AM on May 17


Are you sure they weren’t traditional pizza shears?

just don't get them confused with the poop shears...
posted by taquito sunrise at 12:49 AM on May 17 [1 favorite]


I tried smoking cream cheese once, but it was really hard to inhale.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:22 PM on May 17


Still occasionally horrified about cracker-topped-crackers.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:00 PM on May 17 [1 favorite]


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