My housemate’s dinner this evening was cabbage. Just cabbage. As I was trying to take this photo she kept eating it with her hands. 

Did she snarl at the movement of your hand towards her plate?

Have you been hearing strange scratchings at your door and a lupine howl on nights when the moon is fat?

Was this cabbage dragged screaming from a neighbour’s bin?

If so, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for you: your housemate’s gone feral.

It might be a good time to start putting up some posters saying ‘room for rent’, she’s going to want to start her own pack, take to the streets, and find brand new bins to get into.

An anxious and unemployed reader writes:
This is what anxiety and unemployment tastes like: burned fish fingers with salt (and with some mayo just to spice things up).
At least the plate is cute.
Having spent several months signed off work with anxiety and depression a few years back, you have my sincere sympathies.
However, I think I understand the problem. Fish fingers are for children, that plate is also clearly for a child, therefore it’s my informed guess that the reason you are unemployed is because you’re in fact six years old.
A very smart six year old, undoubtedly, but you really shouldn’t be concerning yourself with becoming gainfully employed when you’ve got a whole life ahead of you to sit in an office that reeks of burnt coffee, surrounded by people you resent more every day, and putting all your hopes and dreams into a food blog that nowadays just seems to be enjoyed by porn bots.

An anxious and unemployed reader writes:

This is what anxiety and unemployment tastes like: burned fish fingers with salt (and with some mayo just to spice things up).

At least the plate is cute.

Having spent several months signed off work with anxiety and depression a few years back, you have my sincere sympathies.

However, I think I understand the problem. Fish fingers are for children, that plate is also clearly for a child, therefore it’s my informed guess that the reason you are unemployed is because you’re in fact six years old.

A very smart six year old, undoubtedly, but you really shouldn’t be concerning yourself with becoming gainfully employed when you’ve got a whole life ahead of you to sit in an office that reeks of burnt coffee, surrounded by people you resent more every day, and putting all your hopes and dreams into a food blog that nowadays just seems to be enjoyed by porn bots.

Some people still claim that soup is a meal, but it’s not.
It’s a starter.
Actually, it’s really more of a drink.
You can trick yourself into thinking you’ve eaten a real meal by stuffing your face full of soup sodden bread; the soup itself remains something that’s really only meant for people who lack the teeth to enjoy real food.
Kayleigh, a serious soup sucker from way back, evidently couldn’t take the lack of substance in her tin of vegetable soup and emptied a tray of burnt oven chips into it.
Why?
Because it’s soup, not a real meal, and because Kayleigh clearly blew all her cash on flavoured shots and is now facing a long month of malnutrition until the money comes in.

Some people still claim that soup is a meal, but it’s not.

It’s a starter.

Actually, it’s really more of a drink.

You can trick yourself into thinking you’ve eaten a real meal by stuffing your face full of soup sodden bread; the soup itself remains something that’s really only meant for people who lack the teeth to enjoy real food.

Kayleigh, a serious soup sucker from way back, evidently couldn’t take the lack of substance in her tin of vegetable soup and emptied a tray of burnt oven chips into it.

Why?

Because it’s soup, not a real meal, and because Kayleigh clearly blew all her cash on flavoured shots and is now facing a long month of malnutrition until the money comes in.

Depressed beyond Wallace.

I hate to admit it, but I’ve had to give up on Masterchef.

It’s starting to make me feel sad.

Every time I tune in it feels as if I watching the last days of John and Gregg’s relationship. To my weary eyes it seems as if the dazzling spark that once existed between them like a freshly ignited bowl of Bananas Foster has slowly turned into a plate heaped with ashes.

Maybe it’s my own returning depression I’m seeing, but when I look into John Torode’s Droopy Dog face I see a man who has lost the smile that once danced in his pale blue eyes, whose interest in Gregg and his cockney antics has become muted to the point that he seems to barely tolerate the egg headed ingredients expert.

Perhaps it all happened when they seemed to trade bodies; it’s hard to believe now that he started lifting and rediscovered his angles but Gregg used to be the cuddly one in the couple.

John, on the other hand, has surrendered to the encroaching forces of middle-aged spread which cannot be hidden, even by his perfectly tailored sports jackets which I assume are something smart, like John Rocha at Debenhams.

Gregg is acutely aware that something is wrong.

He’s been trying desperately to win back John’s dwindling affections by exaggerating all the characteristics which made him so lovable to the Antipodean chef back during their honeymoon phase.

Unfortunately, he’s coming across as manic. I had to avert my eyes before Gregg turned up to the studio dressed as a Pearly King, pushing a barrow full of veg, and wildly barking “mate, that treacle sponge was like a hug in a bowl”.

Where Gregg once had a cheeky little swagger, he now has a blustering alpha male bravado; where he once lightly peppered his speech with the occasional cockney bon mot, he now drenches his dialogue with hammy catchphrases as if he’s a tired old prop comic, far from his eighties heyday, reduced to plying his trade on a third rate cruise ship.

Gregg has become the Über-Wallace, a heavily muscled cross-fit obsessed shadow of his former self.

In the early episodes of the latest series it seemed that when talking to the male contestants Gregg had traded his friendly avuncular approach for the sort of low-level testosterone laden ribbing you might expect from a group of ‘lads’ working in telesales, who thought The Wolf of Wall Street was an instructional handbook and that soaking oneself in Lynx Africa was an acceptable substitute for a thorough soap and showering.

Perhaps Gregg’s gym fixation has turned him into a rogue alpha? Were his hotel bar fisticuffs a portent of mild food bullying to come? Or, was his shirtiness with some of the amateur chefs just a means of displacing the heartache he was experiencing due to John’s inexplicable coldness?

Whatever the cause of it all may be, it’s clear that the magic is over. Torode’s love, once so readily apparent in the warm sideways glances he exchanged with Wallace, has been replaced with a veil of contempt for Gregg’s increasingly boorish behaviour.

It could be that John will soon follow Michel Roux Jr. and leave the sinking ship of Masterchef to pursue less emotionally taut endeavours.

There is, perhaps, a glimmer of hope for them if they can address whatever it is that has transpired between them.

It might just them spending some time away from each other’s company, Gregg on his fruit and veg stall, John in his Melbourne restaurant, for them to appreciate that apart they’re fairly unremarkable middle-aged men, but together, when they’re in the groove, they assemble like Voltron to make an unstoppable culinary killing machine.

Ann, who lives in a commune full of vegans on Wimbledon Common, sent in this picture to complain about one of her fellow hippies who had left their heavy vegan sludge unattended for three days in their shared kitchen.
Honestly, I don’t know what she’s complaining about. I’ve never seen a more immaculate looking hob, the whole thing looks box fresh.
I doubt very much this was an act of laziness, it’s much more likely that Ann’s resourceful hovel-mate was simply starting their own indoor compost heap.
Who would want to waste a single drop of their precious lentil curry when it could be re-purposed to provide a sanctuary for minibeasts?
Really, Ann, you need to take a long hard look at your priorities. 
Before long you’ll be complaining about Miles making slurry in the bathtub which is completely unfair as it’s his Mum who owns the house you’re all living in, and as she’s most of the year out in Goa, she doesn’t really bother any of you about rent.
Seriously, Ann, what’s with all the negativity?

Ann, who lives in a commune full of vegans on Wimbledon Common, sent in this picture to complain about one of her fellow hippies who had left their heavy vegan sludge unattended for three days in their shared kitchen.

Honestly, I don’t know what she’s complaining about. I’ve never seen a more immaculate looking hob, the whole thing looks box fresh.

I doubt very much this was an act of laziness, it’s much more likely that Ann’s resourceful hovel-mate was simply starting their own indoor compost heap.

Who would want to waste a single drop of their precious lentil curry when it could be re-purposed to provide a sanctuary for minibeasts?

Really, Ann, you need to take a long hard look at your priorities. 

Before long you’ll be complaining about Miles making slurry in the bathtub which is completely unfair as it’s his Mum who owns the house you’re all living in, and as she’s most of the year out in Goa, she doesn’t really bother any of you about rent.

Seriously, Ann, what’s with all the negativity?

Repeatedly dining alone has forced this despairing reader into embracing the dark side.
He’s consecrated a £1 ASDA pizza to Lord Satan, using a liberal application of Marmite to form a pentagram and whole tomatoes to add a splash more colour.
Mephistopheles will no doubt soon be taking the form of Gregg Wallace to appear in this gentleman’s kitchen and provide a running commentary on his satanically enhanced cooking skills.

Repeatedly dining alone has forced this despairing reader into embracing the dark side.

He’s consecrated a £1 ASDA pizza to Lord Satan, using a liberal application of Marmite to form a pentagram and whole tomatoes to add a splash more colour.

Mephistopheles will no doubt soon be taking the form of Gregg Wallace to appear in this gentleman’s kitchen and provide a running commentary on his satanically enhanced cooking skills.

Today, on a very special edition of DLMFO, we celebrate EGG day with a homemade collage from Facebook voyeur Penny:

This is something disturbing that popped up in my newsfeed on facebook.  The disturbing part about it is not the food itself (OK, maybe, a lot), but the fact that this is someone’s ‘Easter feast’ that they were serving to a loved one, and that they were so proud of it they felt the need to share.I like the format of facebook these days - being that I didn’t even need to arrange these into a clever frame-app - facebook gave me an artful glimpse at the several photos, that I was able to simply screen-shot and crop. Quick, easy and awful!Happy Easter!Penny
Lovely stuff, I particularly enjoyed the traditional Easter banana sandwich. 
I personally spent the weekend working and enjoying a variety of high strength, low cost, lagers. 
I also spent a great deal of time thinking about my life and where exactly it all went wrong. I think I may have narrowed it down to an exact time and date, so I’m now just waiting for Dr. Sam Beckett to leap into my past and put everything right for me.
Yes, there was some drunken lone viewing of Quantum Leap on Netflix this weekend too.
What of it?



On a side note, sweetitalianjesus, get in touch. There wasn’t a photo attached to your submission and I was intrigued by the description.

Today, on a very special edition of DLMFO, we celebrate EGG day with a homemade collage from Facebook voyeur Penny:

This is something disturbing that popped up in my newsfeed on facebook.  The disturbing part about it is not the food itself (OK, maybe, a lot), but the fact that this is someone’s ‘Easter feast’ that they were serving to a loved one, and that they were so proud of it they felt the need to share.I like the format of facebook these days - being that I didn’t even need to arrange these into a clever frame-app - facebook gave me an artful glimpse at the several photos, that I was able to simply screen-shot and crop. Quick, easy and awful!

Happy Easter!
Penny

Lovely stuff, I particularly enjoyed the traditional Easter banana sandwich. 

I personally spent the weekend working and enjoying a variety of high strength, low cost, lagers. 

I also spent a great deal of time thinking about my life and where exactly it all went wrong. I think I may have narrowed it down to an exact time and date, so I’m now just waiting for Dr. Sam Beckett to leap into my past and put everything right for me.

Yes, there was some drunken lone viewing of Quantum Leap on Netflix this weekend too.

What of it?

On a side note, , get in touch. There wasn’t a photo attached to your submission and I was intrigued by the description.

Giulia, who is an Italian person, or just as plausibly an American college student who is doing a ‘catfish’ on me, sent me these enormous hi-def pictures of the desperate meals she is forced to eat in front of her absolutely filthy keyboard.

Giulia felt that I had been misrepresenting Italians as a good cooks.

She felt this was pernicious stereotyping and wanted it to be known that, in fact, Italians eat with just as much resignation and medicated numbness as everyone else.

The reality of being an Italian is not all pizza and pasta and slipping off into the soothing body high of a carbohydrate overdose on your two hour lunch break.

No, it’s eating flavourless biscuits and tinned tuna with carrot and watching the crumbs gather in your dirty keyboard.

It’s eating sad leftover store bought minestrone day in and day out,  because deep down you don’t feel like you deserve that delicious calzone.

It’s wiping away your tears with a Minnie Mouse napkin, and letting loose a silent scream at your monitor as you submit these digital artifacts of your desperate life to a tumblr of diminishing returns run by a sad man no less able to deal with life than you are.

Combining heavily processed foods is a deadly game.
There’s always the nagging worry that you’re eating a lifetime’s allowance of carcinogens in a single sitting or that this pork based product may never be digested, but instead begin a process of absorbing your small intestine which only ends when your insides are 95% reconstituted pig meat.
Worse, for the lonely diner already concerned about their  pervading stink of desperation ingesting a cocktail of food additives and ground up swine anus can also seriously affect the way you smell.
This particular dish is comprised of one of the leading culprits in making one smell like a burning mountain of expired bacon that’s been filtered through the mouth of a festival toilet.
Tinned hotdogs topped with grated Babybel with a dipping pool of ketchup, or catsup if you like.
You eat tinned hotdogs more than once a fortnight, you begin to smell like you bath in their translucent brown juice and brush your teeth with a silicon injected sausage.
Throw Babybel into the mix and it’s a question of when, not if, you’re going to have a serious situation occurring in your underwear.
Trust me.
I’ve woken  myself up from the depth of heavily medicated slumber with my own frankfurter foetidness. 
It’s a pervading musk which follows you from your flat into your place of work, forcing colleagues to pointedly force open windows you thought were painted shut and pump the air full of odour masking aerosols.

Combining heavily processed foods is a deadly game.

There’s always the nagging worry that you’re eating a lifetime’s allowance of carcinogens in a single sitting or that this pork based product may never be digested, but instead begin a process of absorbing your small intestine which only ends when your insides are 95% reconstituted pig meat.

Worse, for the lonely diner already concerned about their  pervading stink of desperation ingesting a cocktail of food additives and ground up swine anus can also seriously affect the way you smell.

This particular dish is comprised of one of the leading culprits in making one smell like a burning mountain of expired bacon that’s been filtered through the mouth of a festival toilet.

Tinned hotdogs topped with grated Babybel with a dipping pool of ketchup, or catsup if you like.

You eat tinned hotdogs more than once a fortnight, you begin to smell like you bath in their translucent brown juice and brush your teeth with a silicon injected sausage.

Throw Babybel into the mix and it’s a question of when, not if, you’re going to have a serious situation occurring in your underwear.

Trust me.

I’ve woken  myself up from the depth of heavily medicated slumber with my own frankfurter foetidness.

It’s a pervading musk which follows you from your flat into your place of work, forcing colleagues to pointedly force open windows you thought were painted shut and pump the air full of odour masking aerosols.

There’s no saying for certain just how mentally scarred the toddler was who received this cake tribute to Lord of the Flies on their third birthday. 
It is telling that once grown-up they’ve gravitated to a community of people with deep and abiding food traumas. 
Lou, the receiver of the severed swine head, tells me they sometimes hallucinate that they’re taking kitchen instruction from the long eaten cake. 
It tells them how to prep their vegetables, how long they should cook their bacon, and which people at work are betraying them and need to be punished.
As the porcine horror sat melting throughout the day, the family’s attention turned to party games and photos of grandmother drunk and asleep on the couch. 
Nobody noticed Lou staring intently at the piggy face, their little hand tracing pentagrams and unknown sigils into the puddle of pink icing which had become a reflecting pool for fallen swine god.
Neither did they see the brief moment where Lou appeared to levitate, just ever so slightly, after touching the boar king’s crown of candles.

There’s no saying for certain just how mentally scarred the toddler was who received this cake tribute to Lord of the Flies on their third birthday. 

It is telling that once grown-up they’ve gravitated to a community of people with deep and abiding food traumas. 

Lou, the receiver of the severed swine head, tells me they sometimes hallucinate that they’re taking kitchen instruction from the long eaten cake. 

It tells them how to prep their vegetables, how long they should cook their bacon, and which people at work are betraying them and need to be punished.

As the porcine horror sat melting throughout the day, the family’s attention turned to party games and photos of grandmother drunk and asleep on the couch.

Nobody noticed Lou staring intently at the piggy face, their little hand tracing pentagrams and unknown sigils into the puddle of pink icing which had become a reflecting pool for fallen swine god.

Neither did they see the brief moment where Lou appeared to levitate, just ever so slightly, after touching the boar king’s crown of candles.

Two readers independently sent in their own mangled examples of food simulacra.

Up top is fish and chips, served to you in a horrifying future where BP have managed to complete their secret objective, destroying the world’s oceans and punching every dolphin in the face.

The tomatoes casually topping it all off sadly bring to mind the meals Dad served up, after Mum left him for the man from the Mazda dealership where they had bought the family car.

Underneath we have a Jalapeno topped pizza as eaten by the Joad family in The Grapes of Wrath.

I can remember my own joyous surprise over at a friend’s house when their hippie parents announced we were having pizza for tea, only to be bitterly disappointed when we were presented with a weird vegan masochist’s vision of the delicious Italian flat bread.

Have you been cruelly tricked by a plate of food purporting to be something it was not? Did you get served frankfurters in your Toad in the Hole? Have you eaten what passes for ‘Mexican’ food at Chiquitos?

If so DLMFO would love to hear your story. Please get in touch. Your anonymity will be ensured. 

Here’s a double bill as ill conceived as Beethoven followed by Cujo: beige debris with a side portion of pinkened wallpaper paste.

Marvel at the top photograph which depicts a lonely Yorkshire pudding enthusiast  performing a one person food show in front of a voyeuristic trio of terrifying gnome dolls. 

Take it from me, you have to be at a pretty low point in your life to want to parade your culinary inadequacies in front of an audience while they watch you from behind a distorted frame.

As a teenager I once witnessed a very similar sight on holiday in Amsterdam whilst stumbling back to my youth hostel. 

The seedy gnomes on that occasion were some portly, tonsured, businessmen and the dead eyed diner wasn’t eating the sunken remains of a roast dinner, but rather something far less appealing to my drug addled senses.

Consumers of popular culture who are roughly my age, and who share the same limited points of reference, will already know it’s a terrible idea to drink and bake.

From Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sloshed cake destroying wife in ‘Raw Deal’ to Viz’s consistently heartbreaking ‘Drunk Bakers’, film and literature have taught us that mixing booze and baking is about as sensible as using Viagra as the raising agent in a Victoria Sponge.

That’s why it’s so upsetting to see someone driven to necking bottles of hand sanitizer while preparing  a birthday cake they’ll inevitably eat alone.

It’s your birthday, you could at least treat yourself to a bottle of mouthwash or a nice tall glass of cough syrup.

Consumers of popular culture who are roughly my age, and who share the same limited points of reference, will already know it’s a terrible idea to drink and bake.

From Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sloshed cake destroying wife in ‘Raw Deal’ to Viz’s consistently heartbreaking ‘Drunk Bakers’, film and literature have taught us that mixing booze and baking is about as sensible as using Viagra as the raising agent in a Victoria Sponge.

That’s why it’s so upsetting to see someone driven to necking bottles of hand sanitizer while preparing a birthday cake they’ll inevitably eat alone.

It’s your birthday, you could at least treat yourself to a bottle of mouthwash or a nice tall glass of cough syrup.

Specialist in social media harassment, Helena, recounts a sweaty tale of garlic bread and her failure to move on with her life:
I ate this whilst stalking the instagram of my ex, something I now do on a regular basis. It is garlic bread with cheese on top. I used to be a healthy, vibrant, vegan. I used to use cutlery and crockery.
Now I don’t even serve my coagulated messes on plates, instead preferring to use the hangover-sweat covered pajamas which enrobe my pathetic, pale body.
Nothing numbs the pain of seeing a former lover having the time of their young life in a variety of deliberately retro looking poses, like carbohydrates smothered in cheddar seeping garlic juice into your unwashed patterned tights.
Now you’re all alone, carrying with you the reek of a heart that has been scorned, and the stench of a side dish from Domino’s.

Specialist in social media harassment, Helena, recounts a sweaty tale of garlic bread and her failure to move on with her life:

I ate this whilst stalking the instagram of my ex, something I now do on a regular basis. It is garlic bread with cheese on top. I used to be a healthy, vibrant, vegan. I used to use cutlery and crockery.

Now I don’t even serve my coagulated messes on plates, instead preferring to use the hangover-sweat covered pajamas which enrobe my pathetic, pale body.

Nothing numbs the pain of seeing a former lover having the time of their young life in a variety of deliberately retro looking poses, like carbohydrates smothered in cheddar seeping garlic juice into your unwashed patterned tights.

Now you’re all alone, carrying with you the reek of a heart that has been scorned, and the stench of a side dish from Domino’s.

jke-g, who you may remember from publicly shaming his druggie ‘friend’, the failed wrap star Luke, returns to share his annual ‘State of my brother’s butter report’.
It’s currently in ‘quite a state’ which is an improvement on last year’s ‘complete fucking state’. Last year, of course, Luke’s brother only ventured out of his house on sixteen different occasions. That leaves a man a lot of time alone with his butter.
I remember the first time I was told to correct my behaviour regarding knives and butter. I was about twelve and had stayed the night over at a friend’s house where we had been feverishly working on making our own Star Trek board game. He was a mad Star Trek fan, I was happy to have a friend.
It had been quite the day and night, cutting out cardboard, making up rules, pretending I had a clue about Star Trek.
That morning after we were sitting down to a slap up breakfast of toast.  I was done spreading peanut butter and reached my knife straight from the Sun Pat into the Raspberry Jam.
'What the fuck are you doing?'
It was my friend’s older brother, Jeff. 
Jeff had a floppy mohawk and wore an Exploited t-shirt all the time. He hung out at a park in the city centre where the homeless guys drank white cider and people frequently got fingered.
Jeff had nothing but contempt for the two nerd virgins siting at his breakfast table.
'What are you doing? You use a different knife for jam and peanut butter, you'll get peanut butter in the jam, that's fucking disgusting.'
 I was extremely embarrassed to be called out about my horrific faux pas by someone who had given themselves a homemade New Model Army tattoo.
What sort of uncool jam defiling idiot was I?
Actually, I was a jam despoiler who couldn’t help but feel that in my own way I was actually way more punk than that crusty poseur, because I actually didn’t give a toss if I had bits of old peanut butter in my jam or not.
To this day, I still make a point to only use one knife for peanut butter and jam when preparing toast,  and it’s all because Jeff was such an uptight wanker with his fascist two knife policy. 
I hate Jeff.

, who you may remember from publicly shaming his druggie ‘friend’, the failed wrap star Luke, returns to share his annual ‘State of my brother’s butter report’.

It’s currently in ‘quite a state’ which is an improvement on last year’s ‘complete fucking state’. Last year, of course, Luke’s brother only ventured out of his house on sixteen different occasions. That leaves a man a lot of time alone with his butter.

I remember the first time I was told to correct my behaviour regarding knives and butter. I was about twelve and had stayed the night over at a friend’s house where we had been feverishly working on making our own Star Trek board game. He was a mad Star Trek fan, I was happy to have a friend.

It had been quite the day and night, cutting out cardboard, making up rules, pretending I had a clue about Star Trek.

That morning after we were sitting down to a slap up breakfast of toast.  I was done spreading peanut butter and reached my knife straight from the Sun Pat into the Raspberry Jam.

'What the fuck are you doing?'

It was my friend’s older brother, Jeff. 

Jeff had a floppy mohawk and wore an Exploited t-shirt all the time. He hung out at a park in the city centre where the homeless guys drank white cider and people frequently got fingered.

Jeff had nothing but contempt for the two nerd virgins siting at his breakfast table.

'What are you doing? You use a different knife for jam and peanut butter, you'll get peanut butter in the jam, that's fucking disgusting.'

 I was extremely embarrassed to be called out about my horrific faux pas by someone who had given themselves a homemade New Model Army tattoo.

What sort of uncool jam defiling idiot was I?

Actually, I was a jam despoiler who couldn’t help but feel that in my own way I was actually way more punk than that crusty poseur, because I actually didn’t give a toss if I had bits of old peanut butter in my jam or not.

To this day, I still make a point to only use one knife for peanut butter and jam when preparing toast,  and it’s all because Jeff was such an uptight wanker with his fascist two knife policy. 

I hate Jeff.