Jim Lileks's Gallery of Regrettable Foods awakened a few memories. As a mother of seven children (5M/2F), Mom had to come up with ways to feed us all. Chili ladled over mashed potatoes was actually enjoyable. I can easily imagine Wolfgang Puck doing the same thing with turkey white bean chili and garlic mashed potatoes, garnished with a cracker made from a net of toasted Cheddar shreds. Ditto for stuffed cabbage extended the same way.

But sometimes, things went terribly wrong, like the misguided concoction called "Three-In-One" (no, NOT the light-duty lubricant). An innocent meatloaf is set atop a bed of sliced potatoes, drenched in several cans of whole peeled tomatoes and peas, and baked until it nearly floats in a dual-strata liquid with a layer of red-tinted grease floating on top and an opaque red layer below. It was served by digging a spoon into the meatloaf until it hit the bottom of the roasting pan, and then scooped up with the potatoes, peas and tomatoes. A few spoonfuls of the pan drippings complete the presentation.

Mom and Dad loved it, but we put it away as best we could: eating the meatloaf and potatoes while spreading out the peas and tomatoes until it looked like we had eaten most of it (which never fooled Mom and Dad).

When I left home to live on my own, I vowed I would never make Three-In-One and I've never looked back.

Oh, and Mom and Dad still speak to us, even when we describe Three-In-One to incredulous in-laws at family gatherings.

Your turn.