Your Most Spectacular Culinary Disaster

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A few weeks into social distancing, two things have become apparent: no one is totally sure when this thing will end, and a lot of people have been cooking. Some of those people even enjoy it—though many (myself included) cook solely to feed themselves—and, based on the articles that pass through Jezebel Slack, others have been making real attempts to get extravagant with their meals. I imagine doing so often yields disappointing results, but only the successes make it onto Instagram. So, for this week’s Pissing Contest, I want to hear all about your spectacular culinary disasters—from yesterday or from a few years ago, it does not matter. These kinds of stories are good fodder for the familial dinner table, anyway, so I expect to hear some real winners.


But first, let’s check out last week’s winners. These are the best of your weird childhood habits:

workinlate, this is good:

I used to take one single slice of Kraft American cheese, rip it into roughly 50 smaller crumbs, and pretend I was a mouse eating them one by one.

RhodaMorgenstern, this is cute. Did you tell him about it later in life?

When I was little, I used to take my dad’s can of shaving cream and pretend I worked at an ice cream shop. I would make shaving cream swirls on the bathroom sink, and then push them into the sink and run the water to destroy the evidence. My dad couldn’t figure out why he was going through so much shaving cream. I have no idea what possessed me to do this, but it was enormously satisfying to my 7 year old self.

TamTams, respect:

My sisters and I would pretend to be mermaids eating fish guts whenever we ate pepperoni pizza.

I have no idea why or where it came from but like clockwork if my mom got us a pizza we’d pull the cheese and pepperonis off and eat them whilst saying, “Mmmm fish guts” and then talk about mermaid business.


Cheers Pink Ears!, I get this:

I’ve got a weird one. I think I did this well into middle school. I always got the passenger side window seat in the back seat, and, for whatever reason, every single time my parents drove us anywhere, I would imagine there was a very long saw attached to the car, and the only way to save all the mailboxes, telephone poles, road signs, etc. was if I blinked in time to “lift” the saw up. My mom only noticed once, because one time when she was driving me to dance class she said “Are you alright Cheers? You keep grimacing.” I guess I destroyed a lot of mailboxes that trip.


GrumpyCupcake, did you also use soap? This sounds... potentially painful?

Me and my best friend used to pour water all over the kitchen floor then get naked and slide across the kitchen on our stomachs. We called it “playing penguins.”


kiwipuff, oh:

I wish I had some others I remembered (I am/was a very odd child!), but the one that sticks out most was my weird system for keeping a dry nose as a kindergartener ca. 1990. I used to wear those animal-themed outfits with the puffy animals on them a lot, especially dresses. So if I had a runny nose, I’d start at the 12 o’clock position of the inside of my hem and wipe my nose, and work my way around the perimeter as necessary, and then use the outside if it got dire. I also used to believe there was a little ghost at the end of my parents’ hall (our main hall and the hall to my parents’ room intersected at a T, but you had to cross their hall opening to get to my room) so I would run and LEAP across the hallway entrance into my room to avoid the ghost. Luckily I never thought it was a scary ghost, I just never wanted to see it for some reason.


MamaBearsApron, I hope this means you read recaps of shows you don’t watch now, too:

For about a year in older elementary school (probably around age 9), I was OBSESSED with reading the Soap Opera summaries each weekend. For you younger people, it used to be that TV was on at a certain time each day, and if you missed an episode, you missed it FOREVER. So our newspaper printed little summaries for people who had missed an episode. I read those every.single.weekend. But... I had never, in my entire life, actually SEEN an episode. If we were home sick from school, we were “too sick to watch TV” and had to stay in our rooms. And my SAHM never watched daytime TV (TV was only in the basement - never in the main part of the house). And for the life of me, I could not keep the various shows apart in my mind. I’m not even sure I understood that they were all different shows - I just read through the summaries each weekend, and then name-dropped characters into conversations with my family. Which made no sense because NO ONE watched the shows, and no one but me read the summaries. I was super invested in these summaries, even though I also had no clue what was really going on in the shows (I was a very sheltered 9 y/o).


Burner4620420, this is very weird, and I’m happy to hear you no longer lust for the taste of ink:

For a long time, like between 2 and 13 y.o, I ate a small piece of paper of every book I read. I would fold a corner of one of the page and then place it on my tongue and let it disolve. My mom told me that I started eating paper when I first put my hand on a magazine. She tried to keep me away from these, but well, you know it was kind of hard to avoid magazines in the 80s. After that, it was an open bar up until my teens.

I remember having a fond taste for Archie Comics and a couple other favourite type of paper. To this day I still can conjure on my mind the taste of different kind of paper when I see or touch it.

Today, I’m still an avid reader, but I haven’t eat paper for well over 25 years.

Spin us a food tale in the comments below. As always, bonus points will be awarded for those who can provide photographic evidence.



Honorable mention to my late husband, who did this to one of my pans while I was at work one day: