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The 5 Dinners My Mother Cooked That I Absolutely Hated.

The 5 Dinners My Mother Cooked That I Absolutely Hated.
Carly Jacobs

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Remember when you were a kid and you’d come home from school and holler at your parental figure What’s for dinner????. My mother was the chef in my house and she had a repertoire of different dinners that she rotated regularly. The answer to the dinner question could make or break the evening. Tuna and Mushroom pasta was cause for celebration. As was Fish and Rice. Spaghetti Bolognaise was another favourite. Pizza or Chinese takeaway were also excellent answers. Despite my mother being a beautiful cook and raising me on an amazing multicultural cuisine of Thai stirfrys, Indian curries and beautiful cuts of meat barbecued to perfection by my father, there were a few dishes on her dinner making CV that could almost made me gag when I heard her utter the words. I always ate everything that she served to me and I never complained but I secretly loathed the evenings when the following dishes were served.

Apricot Chicken

Literally a can of sticky sweet apricot nectar poured over chicken and baked in the oven. The Women’s Weekly food editor in the 80s had a lot to answer for.

Beef Stroganoff

Everyone else in the family loved beef stroganoff but it never really tickled my fancy. I was all, why have beef stroganoff when you could have fish fingers?


BORING! The only redeeming thing about this dinner was the crusty oven rolls.


I actually didn’t mind silverside when we had it for dinner, it was having it cold on my sandwiches at school for the next week and a half that filled me with dread.

Anything with Sultanas

My mother went through an odd phase in the 90s of adding sultanas to everything. Curries, rice, noodles. It was uber gross.

I totally get that I was a privileged 8-year-old princess who was lucky to have both food on my table and a loving mother to cook it for me but at the time I was like ‘Bitch put sultanas in my curry. She hates me.

I also wasn’t a huge fan of tacos either but that’s only because I spewed after eating them when I was around 6 years old and they really burn in reverse. I was scarred for many years after that incident.

Tell me… what was your most loathed dinner when you were a kid?

Image and feature image.


  1. Alisa Muir 9 years ago

    Sausage casserole *gag* I still really don’t love sausages (unless its summer and its a BBQ and it is a GOOD quality sausage).


    • Author
      Smaggle 9 years ago

      I’ll only have BBQ sausages. In Thailand they steam and boil them and serve them floating in water. *gag*

  2. Natalie 9 years ago

    Liver and onions. To this day, she still cooks it for my dad who loves it. I feel sick at just the thought…

    • Author
      Smaggle 9 years ago

      That sounds like a nightmare. Blergh!

  3. Helen Perris 9 years ago

    My mum put sultanas in curry too. What’s that all about? Also, my mother is a terrible cook. Seriously bad. I love her to death, but the amount of meals that had meat cooked so long, it was like eating my school shoes, and vegetables that were boiled to the point of absolute bland mush, outweighed the well-cooked meals by about 10:1.

    • Author
      Smaggle 9 years ago

      My mother always cooked beautifully but it was just the choice of dish that I wasn’t into sometimes.

  4. Mel 9 years ago

    Spam anything. We were poor and it’s what they could afford. Every day for lunch in the summer, and often for supper. I hate spam.

    • Author
      Smaggle 9 years ago

      Ewwww. Spam! Reminds me of camps and school lunches.

  5. Kate 9 years ago

    Salmon croquettes. That is like…child abuse.

    • Author
      Smaggle 9 years ago

      Actually that doesn’t sound too terrible. 🙂

  6. Michelle... 9 years ago

    Kedgeree. Seriously……..just NO.

    • Author
      Smaggle 9 years ago

      What’s kedgeree??? Sounds vile. 🙂

      • Michelle... 9 years ago

        Cooked flaked fish, boiled rice, hard boiled eggs, curry powder, parsley, cream/butter and sul-freaking-tanas!
        I can recall the smell and it’s hideous

  7. claire 9 years ago

    I loved my mum’s beef strog and my nanna’s apricot chicken but I am with you on anything with sultana’s. took me an hour to eat my dad’s curried sausages as he put them in there and i couldn’t eat it until I had picked them all out. In our family it was my mother’s meatloaf, freezer clean out night and tuna casserole – used a lot on Friday’s as we were Catholics and no meat on Fridays.

    • Author
      Smaggle 9 years ago

      Friggin sultanas. They are the biggest waste of mouth and tummy space ever.

  8. Anonymous 9 years ago

    I just love this post. Best blog post title ever! Savoury mince filled me with terror, boiled grey mince. Who eats that shit?

    • Author
      Smaggle 9 years ago

      I can handle savoury mince but NOT BOILED SAVOURY MINCE!!! Who boils mince??? It’s clearly a pan fry affair.

      • Erika 9 years ago

        Ha! we used to have savoury mince regularly (not boiled, proper in a saucepan mince). We called it dog chuck.

  9. Nicole 9 years ago

    Hahahaha, this is excellent! We didn’t have a lot of money front up so Mum became proficient in cooking things with mince and sausages. I still absolutely *hate* tomato and onions with sausages, a dish which she gave up on making years ago due to the cries of sadness it elicited when it was announced. Although, when things like spag bol, beef stroganoff or Frankfurt noodle casserole are made, it still makes me extremely happy.

    • Author
      Smaggle 9 years ago

      I honestly don’t understand the love of beef stroganoff. Sometimes my mum made with gnocchi which was even worse. It was like tasteless gravy served on tissues.

      • Nicole 9 years ago

        I don’t really like it unless my mum cooks it. I don’t know what she does but it probably doesn’t resemble ‘proper’ beef strog.
        When Dad cooks, he does the same thing over and over; spag bol (no veggies) and a minestrone type stew, always made with bay leaves and potatoes. I think it’s the Scottish in him…

  10. Liz @ I Spy Plum Pie 9 years ago

    My mum had two standard responses to the “what’s for dinner” question – 1) Sunshine Sandwiches and 2) Fresh Air Pie. She also would try and make food we hated sound more fancy by giving it a different name but it didn’t take long before we caught on that ‘beef bourguignon’ was just a casserole.
    She was generally a good cook though, and like you were had lots of more interesting dishes like stir-fries, curries and Mexican food. Silverside and casseroles were unfortunately also on rotation!

    • Author
      Smaggle 9 years ago

      Ha! Fresh Air Pie! I won’t lie, I did get the occasional response of ‘shit on toast’ when I asked what was for dinner.

      • Liz @ I Spy Plum Pie 9 years ago

        I just remembered that mum used to also make up big batches of sandwiches and freeze them – so it was lucky dip as to what you got out of the freezer that day. The worst was in cold weather when the sandwiches hadn’t completely defrosted by lunchtime. No wonder I barely eat sandwiches anymore!

      • JicyJac 9 years ago

        It was “poop on toast” in our house. And the meal I despised was “rice a risso” – which was constructed with the help of a recipe kit – which is not longer available so I don’t know if I would like it now or not. I was also not a fan of the tuna casserole, which I actually think is ace now.

  11. 9 years ago

    I love all these dishes you describe.
    I love curried sausages, and I make them with apple and sultana, and keens curry powder. They are yum.
    I don’t have any bad food memories…then again mum was in bed (long story) from when I was 10 till about 12, I was just happy she was up to cooking.

    • Author
      Smaggle 9 years ago

      I don’t mind these dishes now, it was more being 8 years old that made me hate them. xxx

  12. Rachel Pierce 9 years ago

    My mom was a pretty good cook, though my sister and I were pretty easy to please. We like grilled cheese and tomato soup, parmesan chicken, tacos, and pot pie. I wasn’t a big fan of pork chops, but I would eat it anyways.
    On the weekends my dad would take over and cook elaborate dinners and my mom would switch to baking. Risotto, homemade pastas, grilled fish, and pulled pork were all options. Desert possibilities included carrot cake, molten chocolate lava cakes, and homemade ice cream. Weekends were good.

    • Author
      Smaggle 9 years ago

      Dads who cook fascinate me. My dad does BBQs, toasted sandwiches and toad in the hole. That’s it.

  13. Harlow 9 years ago

    My dad cooked dinners when I was a kid since he was a school teacher and was the parent who worked regular hours.
    I can honestly say that the only time I ever got excited for dinners was when it was take away! Or the odd occasion my mother cooked!
    Some of the things he cooked include…toad in a hole, beef strogganoff, beef stew, baked fish fingers, pasta bake…random gross curries…random gross stirfry…really bad burnt roast…it was ALL BAD. JUST THINKING ABOUT THE BAD FOOD MAKES ME SAD! Lol! I used to linger at the dinner table until everyone left and then run to the window and scoop everything off my plate out of the window into next doors yard where their dog ate it quite happily 🙂

    I do however love apricot chicken – although I make mine like a curry with lots of spices and no baking….

    • Author
      Smaggle 9 years ago

      Don’t knock toad in the hole. Had it for dinner tonight in fact! 🙂

  14. Dan 9 years ago

    Oh God my mum must have used the same Women’s Weekly cook book – that apricot chicken (with what I am pretty sure was packet French onion soup as a base) has a lot to answer for! For the longest time I also hated ham on account of the endless school lunch sandwiches

    • Author
      Smaggle 9 years ago

      Bloody Women’s Weekly cookbooks. The only good one is the birthday cake book.

  15. Hailz 9 years ago

    This was a once off, but one dinner was just corn. A couple of big corn on the cob each. Put me off corn forever.

    • Author
      Smaggle 9 years ago

      That SUCKS because corn is rad. But as a snack… not a meal.

  16. Fifi 9 years ago

    My mother was a ‘cut everything into tiny pieces and cook the bajeesus out of it’ kind of a lady. I ate grey food until I was 15 and started ‘volunteering’ to cook… silverside, smoked cod and – yes! apricot chicken – were among the terrors of my childhood. My dad however was a great cook (and also bought us fish and chips every fortnight) and some of his recipes are still in my regular rotation. However, I have to say that my favourite thing about this post is the photo of Peter – OK! – Russell – OK! – CLAAAAAARKE!!!!

    • Fifi 9 years ago

      aaaand, I’ve just remembered that it was Peter – G’day! – Russell – G’day! – CLAAAAARKE!!!! Love.

      • Author
        Smaggle 9 years ago

        Is it my imagination or was there a cartoon version of him? Something to do with meat?

    • Author
      Smaggle 9 years ago

      Actually that’s my nan. Over cooks ALL THE VEGETABLES!

  17. maddi 9 years ago

    white sauce on broccoli and cauliflower. why? who thinks this is good? blergh.
    and i loved apricot chicken! sultanas on the other hand can bugger right off 🙂

    • Author
      Smaggle 9 years ago

      Oh shut up! White sauce on cauliflower is RAD!!!!

  18. Lisa 9 years ago

    OMG – It has GOT to be the “CHIP SALAD”

    A jaunty ‘mexican style’ mix of tomato, kidney beans, lettuce, tossed with grated cheese, a thick glug of kraft ‘mayo’ and sour cream, and topped with… (I shit you not) crumbled corn chips. It actually was interesting and tasty the first few times, but definitely NOT once a week, then at it’s final peak 6 DAYS (lunch and dinner) IN A ROW – served with leftover xmas ham. And get this – it was THE SAME SALAD for 6 days, just “refreshed” – topped up if you like.

    How did we not die from food poisoning? Pray tell.

    Any other meals we said we liked became a heavy rotation item until we couldn’t stomach it anymore. That is how Apricot Chicken died for me. Done to death.


    • Author
      Smaggle 9 years ago

      Chip salad? I had that once and it was amazing. It had Muncheros on it though – remember Muncheros?

  19. Erika 9 years ago

    Anything with desiccated coconut in it. Loathe the stuff.

    Fish fingers. I could only choke them down by dousing with lemon juice or Worcestershire sauce. I think this is where my tolerance point for seafood was over-reached and turned into mild allergy (vomiting) regardless of whether or not I liked it or even knew I was eating it.

    • Author
      Smaggle 9 years ago

      Desiccated coconut? Really? Can you do shaved? And I love fish fingers! I think we are opposites and could very easily survive on a desert island together.

      • Erika 9 years ago

        Really. I can do cream or milk in curries, but not the flesh in any form. And only a very mild oil, if it’s very coconutty I gag. If we’re stuck on a desert island I’m going to be vego plus maybe mammals/birds. I’m allergic to seafood as well, so you get the fish and molluscs 🙂

  20. Shannon Kate 9 years ago

    My mum was a terrible cook. Everything was cooked until it was grey, including fillet steak (I have my meat rare now) and we had a basic rotation of the 8 meals she could cook over and over again. I refused to eat spaghetti bolognaise or lasagne (still hate both) and apricot chicken still makes me gag. I started cooking for myself at about 12.
    That said, now she’s an amazing cook and I wheedle my way into dinners at her house all the time. Salmon and potato cakes, homemade pies, amazing green curry – my stepsister is the luckiest girl on earth!

    • Author
      Smaggle 9 years ago

      Oh love if you hate spag bol and lasagne then you’ve never had someone cook it right for you. So sad. “-(

  21. ClaireyHewitt 9 years ago

    broad beans hidden in my mashed potatoes – as if I might just not notice a massive big bean hiding in there.

    • Author
      Smaggle 9 years ago

      I’ve actually JUST gotten back into broad beans! My bestie totally addicted to them.

  22. Sarah Destrehan 9 years ago

    Pork chops in orange sauce, so gross, and then of course there was taco pie which consisted of crescent rolls baked underneath taco meat, and then hot dog stew. That last one is all my Dad and it’s like bad barbecue sauce with hot dog chunks floating in it and it’s served over instant mashed potatoes. Ewwww.

  23. Katy Bond 9 years ago

    My mother was a terrible cook! One of the horrors of hers was plain boiled pasta with bits of chopped up cucumber and tomatoes on with… sultanas!!

  24. Hay Hay 8 years ago

    My mother is a saint; hard-working, generous and lovable. There are many things she does well – cooking is not one of them.

    Until I learned to make casseroles properly, (i.e. cooked them for long enough), we suffered through watery concoctions with tough, chewy meat.
    Mum would go through phases with particular ingredients and try to use them in as many dishes as possible. I learned the art of constructive criticism at 10 years old when my mother’s light Philly phase led to her putting it in mashed potatoes.

    She loves to bake ‘healthy’ muffins, an admirable endeavor. To make them healthy she uses as little sugar as possible; a problem when she always includes very tart raspberries and plain fat free yoghurt. And there’s always oats in there to stodge the batter up.

    From the looks of previous posters, there must have been quite a vogue for curry powder and sultanas in frickin everything decades ago. Mum is of that generation; that’s the only explanation I have for her particuarly appalling curried sausages. After boiling the sausages you add an obscene amount of curry powder, sultanas and then serve with a side of ripe bananas and coconut. I shudder just thinking about it.

  25. Esther Rose 7 years ago

    I just can’t with baked chicken. I don’t like it. the first 9 years of my life where filled with a weary mom watching me vomit up baked chicken and chunks of onion.

  26. Nikolai 6 years ago

    I was a huge fan of stroganoff and apricot chicken as a kid (though my mother added things to the jam so it wasn’t straight sticky sweetness), what was sad was that my MOTHER hated stroganoff- I still just don’t understand why. My most despised food was anything involving butternut squash, especially when she would blend it up with butter and call it butternut squash soup. To this day I can’t stand the taste of it and I scoff when it’s called the “perfect fall supper” in magazines. I also disliked mashed cauliflower since it tasted too much like butter, but strangely enough I still enjoyed plain steamed cauliflower.

  27. Olivia Donica 2 years ago

    I’m fifteen, so I’m still in my parent’s household, my bio dad is a horrible cook who thinks he’s Gordon Ramsay, but let’s get to the point. My stepdad makes this horrible dish called ‘hobo hash’. It’s potatoes O’Brien with Hamburger Helper and Velveeta. Ugh. My mom and four wonderful stepsisters love it because they grew up eating it (with the exception of my mom, obvi.). I was introduced to it at nine years old, and from the moment it was piled taller than my tiny child self, just the smell of it told me I was going to absolutely hate it. It is literally the worst thing I have ever been forced to put into my mouth. My mom doesn’t even really like it, but she loves my stepdad too much to tell him that.


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