It’s the second day of the month. It’s a Tuesday. Everyone knows about the terrible twos. It’s a Terrible Twosday! To celebrate, let’s talk about the worst desserts ever. I asked the few people I considered most obligated to respond, because they are either a) bound to me by blood or b) have to see me often enough that they do not want to experience my wrath, a question. “What is the worst dessert you ever ate?”
Fortunately, most of the responses I received were something to the effect of, “I don’t think I’ve ever met a dessert I didn’t like” or “there is no such thing as a bad dessert.”
I received some great feedback regarding chocolate cake. Kristin made the point that when it comes to chocolate cake, “there’s a fine line between rich, gooey, and chocolatey, and just plain too much!” My mother described a piece of chocolate mayonnaise cake she tasted a few years ago as, “what a way to ruin a good piece of chocolate cake!” In other words, don’t mess with the chocolate.
Kelly wrote, “Do you know how hard it is to think of a bad dessert? The only thing I can think of is fudge that hasn’t set, sugar cream pie, and rhubarb (anything with it stinks)!” Thanks Kel, though it must not be too hard to think of bad desserts since you came up with three. (You know I kid!)
My sister agrees with Kelly about the rhubarb. She fell into the “never had a dessert I didn’t like” camp but took the question a step further by offering the worst food she’s ever smelled baking. “Rhubarb (smells like vomit!)” Lovely.
Allow me tell you a story about rhubarb. When I was a little kid, I’d say about five (I really hope I wasn’t older), I was with my Grandma. She was either picking rhubarb or talking to someone about rhubarb or doing something that involved rhubarb. Later that day, I was playing on the back patio while she took a telephone call nearby in the kitchen.
There was a houseplant in the corner of the patio. It had a nice, thick stalk to it. Rhubarb had stalks. That plant must be rhubarb.
“Crunch!” I bit into it. And that is the worst thing I have ever tasted.
I ran into the kitchen, dancing circles around Grandma who was tethered to the wall by the phone and its cord (remember when phones had cords?). “It’s hot! It tastes hot! It’s so bad,” I wailed. I remember washing my mouth out with water and chewing nearly a pack of the Wrigley’s peppermint gum she always kept in her purse. Nothing would take that nasty pepper taste away. I don’t know how to describe it any better, but it was bad.
I later learned I bit into an Elephant Ear. I really thought it was rhubarb. The plant died. Sorry.
To wrap up, the best bad dessert story award goes to Cindy’s pumpkin cheesecake. Instead of sugar, she used Splenda. Instead of egg, she used egg substitute. Cindy described the result as horrible, except she wrote horrible in all caps. I guess sometimes eating healthy can be a bad thing.
But you know, mistakes in the kitchen happen. It’s part of the frustration, and eventually, when things go right, the fun of baking up new recipes.
Except, Cindy’s cake didn’t stay in the kitchen. She had to take it to a party. “I put it in the very back corner and slunk away. When I left, there was only one skinny slice gone. I am certain the host threw it away after the party.”
I hope you enjoyed this version of Terrible Twosday. I extend my heartfelt thanks to each of you who shared your experiences. Without your willingness to share, this post could not have come together nearly as well. Here’s to good desserts from here on out!