the church potluck thread - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-05-2004, 05:03 PM
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I had a conversation earlier today which touched on scary foods encountered at church potluck dinners (also known as pitch-ins). My parents' church had potluck dinners upon any excuse, so I went to a lot of them growing up and was exposed to a miriad of unusual items, many of which were someone's beloved speciality. My vote for weirdest goes to Pepsi Salad. I can't remember the name of the lady who always made this, but I can still hear her soft drawl, insisting "Y'all should try it, it's soooo goo-od!"



Pepsi Salad may be a Southern U.S. thing... it consists of Pepsi, black cherry Jell-o, and whatever other crap you want to throw in, like shredded cabbage and canned mixed fruit. As far as I know, it's always black cherry Jell-o, never any other flavor. I tried a tiny bit once... sickly sweet, with a weird texture caused by making gelatin with soda pop.



What scary or weird foods have you encountered at church potlucks? Or family reunions, work pitch-ins, etc. Extra points for gratuitous use of name-brand products, and gold stars for the exceedingly bizarre. And please, if someone mentions your favorite food ("but I LOVE Pepsi Salad!") try to have a sense of humor!
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#2 Old 01-05-2004, 05:07 PM
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I usually just bring Chili, but I have brought Kitty Litter Cake before. Haven't really encountered anything too weird that I can think of.
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#3 Old 01-05-2004, 05:11 PM
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I'm not really sure what any of them were since I didn't eat them, but at the holiday potluck at work this year there seemed to be a number of non-dessert items featuring marshmallows, jello and/or whipped cream. Such foods are not a part of my cultural tradition...
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#4 Old 01-05-2004, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by eggplant View Post

I'm not really sure what any of them were since I didn't eat them, but at the holiday potluck at work this year there seemed to be a number of non-dessert items featuring marshmallows, jello and/or whipped cream. Such foods are not a part of my cultural tradition...



Yeah, those all seem like dessert foods to me, yet (at least where I grew up) many Jell-o concoctions seem to be regarded as legitimate salads... as long as there's shredded carrot or cabbage buried somewhere in it, they can heap on the whipped topping and marshmallows and it's not dessert, it's a healthy vegetable dish!
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#5 Old 01-05-2004, 05:55 PM
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This summer while in Northern Michigan I went to a family pig roast with the boy I was with at the time (his family) and his mother made coldcut ham slices (the kind in the package, like oscar meyer stuff) spread with cream cheese and wrapped around a pickle slice, then put a toothpick in and cut into bite sized pieces.

His sister also ruined a perfectly good fruit salad by drenching it in some sort of marshmallow fluff based dressing.

Ew.

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#6 Old 01-06-2004, 03:28 PM
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Seems like everything here (the church suppers, family reunion dinners, graduation parties, the Blossom Festival, etc, etc.) is either a crawdaddy boil, a fish fry, or if it has nothing to do with fish or crawdaddies, it's a bbq (even if there is no bbq actually on the premises).

There are the standards that will be at any of the above outdoor food fests: coleslaw, potato salad, biscuits, cornbread, pinto beans/blackeyed peas, pea salad, sausage balls, deviled eggs, fruit salad - usually encased in jello, some sort of greens, etc. While most of these are not exactly appetizing, there's not that much that's weird about them.

On the other hand, I've seen (and in most cases, eaten) . . . .



Not Pepsi Salad, but 7up Salad! Just like Pepsi Salad, but with 7up and lime jello!



Baconfat Cookies -



Glorified Rice - putting fruit, sugar, and whipped cream in rice does NOT make it good. It makes it bad. Really bad.



Baked "Yams"/Sweet Potatoes - ARGH! Sweet potatoes are called that for a reason! They're ALREADY sweet! They don't need marshmallows! Or orange juice! Or anything else! ARR! Stop torturing them! For the love of dog, stop!!



Deep-Fried Macaroni and Cheese -



Chow-chow - spooky and omnipresent, but damned good on your beans.
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#7 Old 01-06-2004, 03:36 PM
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My mom's friend used to make this stuff simply called "pumpkin dessert" that consisted of canned pumpkin pie mix (the mix, not the veg alone) mixed with eggs, sweetened condensed milk, melted butter and half a box of yellow cake mix. Then the remainder of the cake mix was made into a crumb topping with more melted butter and crushed nuts. All was baked.



It would make your teeth crack just to look at it.



My mom used to make tacos like this: Unseasoned browned ground beef on a plain corn tortilla topped with ketchup, grated cheddar cheese and a "salad" of iceberg lettuce and chopped tomatoes mixed with lots of mayonnaise. So very very gross.
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#8 Old 01-06-2004, 03:48 PM
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In Ohio, sometimes it's called a potluck, but the Mennonites call it a carry-in meal. Even at the nursing home where I work, it's called a carry-in meal.



Once a creative woman in my church made dirt pudding (chocolate pudding with crumbled oreos, gummi worms, marshmallows, and a few other things) and set it on the table in a clean toy plastic wheelbarrow with toy plastic shovels to serve it. I must say she gets points for presentation.



The standard Ohio casserole is made from green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and crumbled saltine crackers. It's so well known and accepted that you may get more than one person bringing it to a carry-in meal.



I am the queen of putting unusual food items together, so I'm probably not the best person to ask about strange stuff that shows up at carry-ins... unless you think my stuff is weird. What, you don't like pepper on popcorn or applesauce over mashed potatoes? A shame! Actually, I don't normally take stuff to carry-ins as I'm often at work when the planning happens, so I end up there by accident.

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#9 Old 01-06-2004, 04:05 PM
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Not Pepsi Salad, but 7up Salad! Just like Pepsi Salad, but with 7up and lime jello!



Baconfat Cookies -



Glorified Rice - putting fruit, sugar, and whipped cream in rice does NOT make it good. It makes it bad. Really bad.



Baked "Yams"/Sweet Potatoes - ARGH! Sweet potatoes are called that for a reason! They're ALREADY sweet! They don't need marshmallows! Or orange juice! Or anything else! ARR! Stop torturing them! For the love of dog, stop!!



Deep-Fried Macaroni and Cheese -



Chow-chow - spooky and omnipresent, but damned good on your beans.



The legacy of soda pop jell-o salads lives on! I also found a recipe for Mountain Dew salad.



Baconfat Cookies!!!



Glorified Rice sounds hurl-worthy!



I agree that it's odd to sweeten sweet potatoes -- those bad boys are best with a little Earth Balance and salt.



Deep-Fried Mac and Cheese? People will fry anything, won't they?



Isn't Chow Chow a kind of pickled cabbage relish? If it's what I'm remembering, it's good stuff.
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#10 Old 01-06-2004, 04:10 PM
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My mom's friend used to make this stuff simply called "pumpkin dessert" that consisted of canned pumpkin pie mix (the mix, not the veg alone) mixed with eggs, sweetened condensed milk, melted butter and half a box of yellow cake mix. Then the remainder of the cake mix was made into a crumb topping with more melted butter and crushed nuts. All was baked.



It would make your teeth crack just to look at it.



My mom used to make tacos like this: Unseasoned browned ground beef on a plain corn tortilla topped with ketchup, grated cheddar cheese and a "salad" of iceberg lettuce and chopped tomatoes mixed with lots of mayonnaise. So very very gross.



The pumpkin dessert sounds like something I might have invented when I was younger. I was always mixing up crap and baking it... never with very edible results, though. Your mom's tacos sound like they'd be at home in The Gallery of Regrettable Food. Come to think of it, most of this thread could be considered regrettable food.....
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#11 Old 01-06-2004, 04:15 PM
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In Ohio, sometimes it's called a potluck, but the Mennonites call it a carry-in meal. Even at the nursing home where I work, it's called a carry-in meal.



Once a creative woman in my church made dirt pudding (chocolate pudding with crumbled oreos, gummi worms, marshmallows, and a few other things) and set it on the table in a clean toy plastic wheelbarrow with toy plastic shovels to serve it. I must say she gets points for presentation.



The standard Ohio casserole is made from green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and crumbled saltine crackers. It's so well known and accepted that you may get more than one person bringing it to a carry-in meal.



I am the queen of putting unusual food items together, so I'm probably not the best person to ask about strange stuff that shows up at carry-ins... unless you think my stuff is weird. What, you don't like pepper on popcorn or applesauce over mashed potatoes? A shame! Actually, I don't normally take stuff to carry-ins as I'm often at work when the planning happens, so I end up there by accident.



I didn't know they were also called carry-in meals... that's a neat name.



We get that same green bean casserole around here, but they usually use those French's Deep Fried Onions on top. I always hated green bean casserole until one of my cousins made it for a family pitch-in and used fresh, steamed green beans instead of the canned I'd always seen used before. Suddenly I loved it! Kirkham started making it with fresh beans and exotic mushrooms... good stuff... of course he always uses the French's onions, because you wouldn't want to get too far from your roots. (I have to admit they're pretty tasty )
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#12 Old 01-06-2004, 04:21 PM
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This summer while in Northern Michigan I went to a family pig roast with the boy I was with at the time (his family) and his mother made coldcut ham slices (the kind in the package, like oscar meyer stuff) spread with cream cheese and wrapped around a pickle slice, then put a toothpick in and cut into bite sized pieces.

His sister also ruined a perfectly good fruit salad by drenching it in some sort of marshmallow fluff based dressing.

Ew.



I hope you will forgive me, but those truly sound like white trash hors d'oeuvres. Or is that horse doovers?
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#13 Old 01-06-2004, 05:12 PM
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Maybe because I'm an Orthodox christian I have never experienced such wonders such as Pepsi salad? My church pitch ins usually consist of some variety of cake and cookies (recognizable and usually without marshmallow) hummus, pita bread, pierogies, sweet bread... I can go on.



Although I turned down something called "mystery cake" apparently it's made with a can of tomato soup and a host of other wierdness that doesn't belong in a cake. From what I understand this is a southern thing?? Then again, I'm a damn yankee who didn't know what biscuits and gravy was until I moved to central Indiana.



Oh here's another vote for quit f*cking up sweet potatos with marshmallows! Marshamallows are barftastic on thier own let alone atop sweet potatoes. I prefer them drizzled in jalapeno infused oil and baked until crispy. Ohhhh yummy!





At the Indiana State fair there was this awful thing that everyone lined up around the block for. Deep Fried twinkees. hmmmm you can rot your teeth and colon all at the same time! Ohhhh fun!
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#14 Old 01-06-2004, 08:13 PM
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My sister used to put up this "thing" that had coke-cola, red hots and I don't know what else in it. I think it was called "Coke salad" but I can't be sure. I tried my best to avoid the stuff, even when I was omni.



The oddest salad I've come across was the one with lime jello that has carrot shavings suspended in it. I've heard since then that it's a Mormon thing but I don't know about that. It could be that the person was just pulling my leg or something....?



And speaking of salads, my mother used to make this one called "Green sh*t" (yes, that was really the name) that had pistachio pudding mixed with packaged coconut (the stuff that has a gallon of sugar per every 3 shreads), pineapple hunks packed in thick syrup (the thicker, the better ), walnuts, mini marshmellows, and cottage cheese. I ate this stuff growing up and I'm stunned that I'm not mentally damaged in some way (or maybe I am and just don't know it..? Hmmmm)



[rant mode on] Ok, sweet potatoes DO NOT need marshmellows. Not big ones, not minis, not even the pretty pastel coloured ones that melt into an unappitizing tie-dye topping. In fact, all a sweet potato really needs is a knife and a fork. That's it. Nothing else. [rant mode off]



Deep-fried twinkies, deep-fried mac N cheese.... I want to
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#15 Old 01-06-2004, 08:21 PM
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I hope you will forgive me, but those truly sound like white trash hors d'oeuvres. Or is that horse doovers?



Oh puhleaze! I went to a PIG ROAST! it doesn't get much more white trash than that



(the boy was good tho)

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#16 Old 01-06-2004, 08:23 PM
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Ohhh.. I thought of another weird thing.. "ambrosia" the nun at our church used to bring it to all functions. What WAS that? It looked like canned fruit cocktail and some sort of pudding and coconut and mini marshmallows... :-\\ I always refused to eat it.



Did you know they used to make vegetable flavoured jellos? During the rationing for the WW's, people couldn't get many fresh veggies, so Jello put out vegetable gelatins and all sorts of recipes for incorporating them into veggie dishes. ew.

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#17 Old 01-06-2004, 08:25 PM
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Yeah there was an annual pig roast in my township. I never went to it though. Poor piggie.



I have many memories of jello salad. Although it never struck me as unusual at the time.... now it just sounds absurd. I remember someone would always bring a bucket of KFC chicken. It was always very popular.
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#18 Old 01-06-2004, 09:17 PM
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At a work picnic potluck, a co-worker brought mayo and jam sandwiches on white bread. You know, the wonderbread variety. Apparently, this particular combination is a favorite of his. Poor guy.
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#19 Old 01-06-2004, 09:49 PM
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The oddest salad I've come across was the one with lime jello that has carrot shavings suspended in it. I've heard since then that it's a Mormon thing but I don't know about that. It could be that the person was just pulling my leg or something....?



OMIWORD!!! I used to eat that all the time! I actually liked it, too... and it was a favorite at carry-in meals. I couldn't tell you if it's a Mormon thing, but at least it is not exclusive to Mormons.

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#20 Old 01-06-2004, 11:19 PM
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Anything that contains Miracle Whip!



YUCK!
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#21 Old 01-07-2004, 08:55 AM
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Miracle whip- ICKY! My husband loves that crap, I constantly give him hell for it.





Ok, I grew up with crazy Serbian grandparents a favorite in thier household was laditina which is the jelly that forms on pigs feet. EWWWWWWWWWW!
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#22 Old 01-07-2004, 12:23 PM
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Ah Borealis, I was going to mention the Gallery of Regretable Food. The book is so funny I can't stand it. They actually have it at my library, so everyone should check their local book depository for it. You won't be sorry.
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#23 Old 01-07-2004, 12:30 PM
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Ok, I grew up with crazy Serbian grandparents a favorite in thier household was laditina which is the jelly that forms on pigs feet. EWWWWWWWWWW!



I used to date a guy who liked tacos de lengua (cow tongue). He would pressure cook the giant tongue with cilantro. Once the tongue was cooked, a thick, waxy layer would form on its surface, which then could be peeled off in one piece.
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#24 Old 01-07-2004, 01:30 PM
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My stepmother makes something for every holiday meal for one of my brothers that probably qualifies. It involves lime jello, pecans, and something to make it opaque (probably milk). She even puts it in a special bowl every time - a crystal bowl with silver trim. They always put wihpped cream (or "whippy cream") on it. I never liked it much.
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#25 Old 01-07-2004, 05:18 PM
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Fun Thread!



My mother in law made a lot of odd things. She grew up in Chicago as poor white (she was not trash, I hate to use that word to describe her). One of the first things I was ever asked to choke down when the Prince took me home to meet the folks was a salad made of canned fruit cocktail and sliced bananas with pastel minnie marshmallows dressed with Best Foods Mayonnaise. I survived. Later, my step mother in law loved to serve something she called a Tater Tot Casserole which was hamburger pressed into a 9x13 pan, spread with cream of mushroom soup and covered with neatly arranged tater tots, baked until the tots were finished. That was served with green beans cooked in bacon and water until you could slurp them through clenched jaws. Ish-da! The biggest problem she had with me was that I was such a picky eater. As long as we did not eat together we got along fine.



As I write this I am eating homemade chili with vegan crumbles scooped up with unsalted crackers instead of a spoon. How weird is that?



<edit> BTW I voted for the Pepsi Jello as the gold standard for Fear Factor Food!
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#26 Old 01-07-2004, 06:42 PM
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I went to one potluck where a friend of mine took what seemed to be normal salad with vinagrette. Little did she know that at the bottom of the salad bowl there was a layer of chopped bacon, steak, pieces of meatballs and other dead animals. That as when I learned to watch out for salads.
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#27 Old 01-07-2004, 07:04 PM
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i'm seventh day adventist, a demonination with a lot of vegetarians, known for its (cough) interesting potlucks. i have to watch out for stuff b/c i'm vegan, but it's really veg friendly in a wierd sense of the word. roughly translated, potatoes in ever incarnation imaginable, and lots and lots of anonymous varieties of "patties."

my rule is: if you don't recognize it, don't eat it.
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#28 Old 01-07-2004, 07:32 PM
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My family does a variation on the jello and shredded cabbage/carrots. They make orange jello with half water and half pineapple juice and add pinapple, cabbage, and carrots. I never liked it.



Isn't the ambrosia salad sort of like a Waldorf salad? I never liked anything made with mayo, jello or marshmallows.
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#29 Old 01-07-2004, 07:43 PM
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Once upon a time, my uncle made a prune marenge pie for a potluck. The amazing thing is everyone loved it.
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#30 Old 01-10-2004, 06:36 PM
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rhubarb pie. i need not say more.
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