Re: Food for thought

1

It's not that hard - less meat, more noodles, rice, potatoes

And bread! (Why hello there M. Halford.)


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 3:31 PM
horizontal rule
2

I'm cooking organic, uncured hotdogs that don't quite taste as good as the kind that cost half as much.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 3:45 PM
horizontal rule
3

For example, tonight:
2 butternut squash, 3 chicken breasts, 1 pack frozen peas, 1 thing of sundried tomatoes...probably around $17?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 3:49 PM
horizontal rule
4

On Tuesday, I made a gulas. About 1lb of pork shoulder (around USD $5.50), plus some rice (50c?), and some veg (maybe $2, max). Tonight was a green salad ($3 approx), with some potato salad ($2) and edamame ($2), and an omelette ($1.50). The night before, a fish curry with rice. Maybe $8 or $9 for all the ingredients.

So, I'd guess we average about $5 USD per head, per main meal. But that's consciously trying to eat cheaply. You are totally right that if you aren't paying attention, ingredients for a single family meal can easily top $20.

If you aren't really careful, eating cheaply means eating processed foods. Which is the usual food poverty trap.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 3:56 PM
horizontal rule
5

Cooking at home is not necessarily cheap, but it's surely cheaper. If you were to get four orders of chicken and pea pudding or whatever at a restaurant, it would cost at least twice the price of the groceries, would it?


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 3:57 PM
horizontal rule
6

We could definitely eat well for less than $5 per head per evening meal. But it's not something one could do without thought.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 3:57 PM
horizontal rule
7

I can get slightly drunk and eat a full meal for $25, including tip, if I drink quickly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 4:00 PM
horizontal rule
8

I'd disagree. You don't need lots of carbs to save money eating in. But it helps to have simpler ingredients, and a weekly menu that uses lots of the same ingredients. So, maybe you get a lot of corn on the cob this week, but sundried tomatoes are out.

(And, uh, that's a lot of squash.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 4:02 PM
horizontal rule
9

(not that I'm judging your squash consumption. but I bet you will have leftovers. or turn orange.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 4:03 PM
horizontal rule
10

You're comparing typical eat-at-home food against the cheap end of dining out, aren't you? It doesn't seem like a fair comparison.

(Although I realize restaurant prices vary a lot by location. My parents were visiting me for the last week and finding a place they would eat was a nightmare because they say that meals over about $15 per person are almost never worth the cost. Aarrrrgh.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 4:03 PM
horizontal rule
11

(It doesn't help that my dad won't eat almost any foreign food, thinks onions and green peppers are "gross", and doesn't like fish.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 4:04 PM
horizontal rule
12

I have a half-baked theory that it doesn't save that much money for one person to eat in vs out, since you lose a lot of the savings of buying things in bulk and eating leftovers (because other than grad school me, who wants to eat the same meal for six days straight). I think the same is true for making one meal at a time vs making something that will give leftovers or be repurposed as a different meal. I can spend $30 on groceries for a dinner for two without realizing what I'm doing, but weekly groceries where there will be leftovers and I can be more flexible about what is cheap that week cost much, much less per meal.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 4:06 PM
horizontal rule
13

re: 8

Yeah, using the same ingredients multiple ways is good. We'll often use something like a [Spanish] chorizo in about 4 meals. Some diced in a paella, some cooked down in a tomato sauce, and some roasted with some onions and peppers in the oven. Total cost, to add some protein and flavour to three or four meals: about $5. Similar approaches with various veggies.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 4:07 PM
horizontal rule
14

10/11: We have a nearby shop that sells $16 lobster rolls. We had out of town visitors and heard all weekend about how there were high schoolers who were buying themselves $16 lobster rolls as a snack! Where would they get that kind of money? Who would buy a $16 snack?

My parents are similar in terms of food taste, plus they hate small plates. I was a nervous wreck last time they visited trying to think of places they wouldn't spend all weekend complaining about.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 4:12 PM
horizontal rule
15

I'm not sure how common this is, but this blogger got 1/8 of a pig from a local farm. If you can stand to eat that much of one type of animal, it seems to give you a good price on humanely raised and slaughtered meat. (I'm sure others here can do better than my Ask A Vegetarian About Meat testimonial, though.) Many tasty recipes on that blog, incidentally, which is written by a grad student on a pretty tight budget in an expensive area.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 4:15 PM
horizontal rule
16

We got in the habit of making double batches of meals in the last weeks of pregnancy, and then realized that for some things that we make, it makes more sense to make a larger batch all the time and freeze them.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 4:23 PM
horizontal rule
17

11: next time Peruvian chicken. Ethnic, maybe, but also it's roast chicken with French fries, and it's delicious.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 4:25 PM
horizontal rule
18

re: 15

My wife's parents used to raise a pig once a year, and then have it butchered, and frozen or smoked. These days they buy half a pig, rather than grow their own, so to speak. They get a ton of food out of it, though. The village has a smokehouse, so they can get it smoked to order.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 4:26 PM
horizontal rule
19

17: I have no idea how that got to be Peruvian.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 4:28 PM
horizontal rule
20

Heebie, is that a meal with no leftovers? Because I have no trouble seeing how the meal could cost that, but IME cooking at home almost always produces leftovers in a way that restaurant meals just reliably don't.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 4:35 PM
horizontal rule
21

I basically live on Trader Joe's, which means a fair amount of processed stuff, and not super cheap, but even thinking about changing my lifestyle and cooking in a way that would produce leftovers stresses me out immensely. Let's see. Last night Iberian Beauty and I had a package of butternut squash ravioli ($3? Or maybe $4, can't recall), with apple & maple syrup sausages (2/5 of the $4 package, so $1.6) in some marinara sauce (let's say $1.50), and a salad that was a package of grape tomatoes (hrmm... $3 maybe? can't remember!) with some goat cheese and feta cheese (she'd bought the goat cheese, gah, no idea, let's say $3), some basil from the basil plant ($3 plant, but it seems to keep growing, so let's say $.10 of basil-depreciation), some olive oil ($.10?). So that's ... $12.30 or $13.30 for two, which isn't so bad, but is more than other folks are saying. I'm probably forgetting something, or underestimating somehow, too.

We have vegetarian gyoza almost every morning, which is $4 for two people, plus maybe $.5 worth of coffee + milk. I guess that's not so bad, but there's no way that gyoza is good for us.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 4:41 PM
horizontal rule
22

But then the "handful of raw almonds" pack costs only $5, and is something like 12x240 calories, so that's a fantastic deal, and healthy, too.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 4:42 PM
horizontal rule
23

Maple syrup and marinara sauce are two flavors I've always kept separate.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 4:48 PM
horizontal rule
24

That was your mistake. Butternut squash + apple + maple syrup + marinara is great.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 4:52 PM
horizontal rule
25

Trapnel and I are breakfast twins! (Or triplets with Iberian Beauty, but that seems a but presumptuous on my part. Also I'm not good about eating breakfast. Also Lee is frustrated that I bought crumbled goat cheese instead of feta, so that part cracked me up.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 4:53 PM
horizontal rule
26

I also decree that all responses to Moby need to begin with "That was your mistake." Is Halfordismo catching? Who am I to be bossing people around?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 4:59 PM
horizontal rule
27

(And, uh, that's a lot of squash.)

It is! When I cook, I like to use the whole package of something (if it's reasonable to), in this case peas. So two squash is the right amount to balance out a bag of frozen peas and a pack of chicken. And we'll have a ton of leftovers, which is nice.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 5:00 PM
horizontal rule
28

20: tons of leftovers. But three breasts of chicken was $8, and the two squash were $6.50, (I noted with surprise at the register, which is what prompted this post.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 5:01 PM
horizontal rule
29

The leftovers point is a good point.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 5:06 PM
horizontal rule
30

tons, squash, leftovers, leftovers, tons, squash, repetitive.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 5:08 PM
horizontal rule
31

Butternut squash is just a pumpkin that failed its pie test.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 5:10 PM
horizontal rule
32

That was your mistake, Mobes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 5:11 PM
horizontal rule
33

That should be read as a threat.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 5:11 PM
horizontal rule
34

Everybody threatens men who are feminists on the internet.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 5:20 PM
horizontal rule
35

I've found lentils and canned beans/chickpeas to be a great way to keep the cost of home meals down. The way I used to cook with a lot of fresh spices and fancy cheeses made it as expensive as eating out.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 5:24 PM
horizontal rule
36

Butternut squash + apple + maple syrup + marinara is great.

I read this as "marijuana" and was sold.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 5:30 PM
horizontal rule
37

Pasta dishes are pretty cheap. Do something like alio olio e peperoncino and even with half way decent pasta and the cost of the parmesan it's still very little. For a bit of meat the sausage and cream sauce I made at the Unfoggedcon isn't too expensive, and for a meat centered dish same goes for the braised pork shoulder. In general I make cheap meals most days of the week and one 'nice' meal where I get to play a bit. The latter are expensive but a hell of a lot cheaper than a decent restaurant in NYC. So, say five bucks on normal nights and fifteen once a week is probably my average for the food cost, wine not included.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 5:34 PM
horizontal rule
38

The primary way I save money on food is by buying bulk (from bulk bins at the health food store, not necessarily in bulk amounts) and cooking from scratch. Time-intensive, of course, but it works best for me with foods that aren't necessarily dinner, but rather snacks or breakfast/lunch.

e.g. It only takes about 45 minutes, most of that cooking time, to make 6-8 cups of granola, which is easily 1/3 the cost of store-bought granola. Similarly with hummus. It's not too bad to set aside an hour during the weekend to do up a big batch of granola, which becomes breakfast or lunch (with yogurt), or can be used to top an apple/berry crisp, if you roll that way.

The bulk ingredients -- oats, nuts, dried fruit, honey from the bulk machine thingy, are stored in jars and will last a while. We just have a collection of empty jars to decant into.

But maybe it's ridiculous and glib to suggest to a mother of 3 little ones that it's no problem to take an hour to do this!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 5:40 PM
horizontal rule
39

I just came back from eating out for dinner, as one often does. Damn this is an expensive habit. I should try to make at least one meal a week at home. I have the technology.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 6:04 PM
horizontal rule
40

Most middle class people should spend more, not less, on eating at home. It's not surprising that it's cheap to feed a family at Taco Cabana but that's because it's cheap to give people processed empty calories.

Plus, even buying large quantities of expensive meats all the time, it's pretty difficult to spend more than $30 to feed 3 people, which produces 2 meals, or $5 per person per meal. Ground bison, eggs and Kale for 3 is well under $10.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 6:15 PM
horizontal rule
41

I do the freezing thing. Tonight I defrosted some leftovers from two weeks ago: a double batch of this recipe. I put some sour cream on top, because I'm classy.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 6:17 PM
horizontal rule
42

I have the technology.

Fire is good technology to have.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 6:19 PM
horizontal rule
43

I went to the bar. Should I see if they have squash?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 6:23 PM
horizontal rule
44

It's kind of late in the evening for racquet sports, no?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 6:24 PM
horizontal rule
45

If you want to buy a 1/4 grassfed cow, humanely raised pig, or bison, the Austin TX general area is the place to be. It's kind of like paradise for that.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 6:30 PM
horizontal rule
46

For example, I order from Slanker's (which is expensive) but you have cheaper local places or could do a weekend trip to Slanker's and come back with half a cow to last you for a few months.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 6:36 PM
horizontal rule
47

I hear you can get a goat from the halal place in town, but I don't have any use for a goat. Maybe a live one. Do they eat mosquitoes?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 6:46 PM
horizontal rule
48

How are you preparing the mosquitos?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 6:55 PM
horizontal rule
49

Live goats are pretty usefu, plus you can eat it later. I'd kind of like one but "zoning laws" and "common sense" say otherwise.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 6:56 PM
horizontal rule
50

How are you preparing the mosquitos?

I tell them, "The goats are coming! The goats are coming!" but they really don't seem scared at all.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 7:02 PM
horizontal rule
51

49: style its fur and enter it into an ugly dog contest--nobody will know.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 7:09 PM
horizontal rule
52

I'm totally overwhelmed by the idea of buying 1/4 a grassfed cow. In my mind, I assume they select two of the three axis to cut along, and there's your quarter, mangled skull and all.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 8:10 PM
horizontal rule
53

it's pretty difficult to spend more than $30 to feed 3 people

You're kidding, right? If you're buying all premium quality ingredients and making a lamb or fish or veal or game centric dish, plus expensive veggies for a vegetable dish/side, plus a good quality broth for cooking stuff then it is quite easy to spend a lot more than ten bucks a person. I've managed to go over thirty per person for multi course meals. Not something that one does often, but it's quite doable.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 8:17 PM
horizontal rule
54

We haven't eaten 1/4 bison over the course of the year. Finished the burger a couple months ago, but still have some steaks.

My goat's in the pool. I'd be too worried about bears to get one here: we had one come right up to the fence a couple months ago, drawn, surely, by the smell of cedar plank salmon.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 8:33 PM
horizontal rule
55

This reminds me that it's sadly, yet abundantly, clear that the only reason I can claim any type of thrift in shopping is that I don't eat much, or often; if I save, versus the average shopper, it's because I'm naturally buying less stuff, not buying more cheaply. (Sometimes I'm not convinced that even counts as thrift.)

I'm sure I guess I'd be capable of successfully comparison shopping, but the prospect of deliberately structuring menus or errands around prices makes me about as anxious as deliberately making leftovers makes x. trapnel in 21.


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 8:46 PM
horizontal rule
56

We have vegetarian gyoza almost every morning,

That is so awesome.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 8:54 PM
horizontal rule
57

53 -- oh sure. I was talking about for a regular nightly meal. But even buying $16/lb steaks, some kale, and some nonsense starch for the kid doesn't get us over $30 regularly, and that's a pretty extravagant meal.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 9:12 PM
horizontal rule
58

Yeah, it sounded like the half-split-four-ways thing worked out well for the blogger above: she said it was still really a lot of meat, but not too much to eat. That's a pig, though, not a cow. Maybe 1/16 of a cow would be manageable for a non-paleo family... no clue.

Regarding rebellion in the other thread: I fully expect my kid to be a meat lover. This business of giving her some, but not all that much, meat is going to whet her appetite for it, right? Also, she pitilessly dissected a tongue-depresser butterfly yesterday: requested that the googly eyes be reglued, but the wings and antennae were scattered. I kinda don't know what to think. And now I have reached my comment quota for the month.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 9:13 PM
horizontal rule
59

2: Isn't the point of hotdogs that they taste like death, a sort of memento mori with sauerkraut? I like one every few years but seriously, what a revolting food.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 9:35 PM
horizontal rule
60

I eat take-out basically all the time. I weigh as much as I ever have, and it doesn't look great on me. For a while I had this thought "I will turn 40 looking better than I did at 30" and then I thought, fuck it, I am better than I was at 30 and I'm about to move and stress eating is basically unavoidable and when I am in the land of 70 degrees, I will exercise and eat fruit.

p.s. Taco Cabana!!!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08- 1-13 9:41 PM
horizontal rule
61
My goat's in the pool.

You interest me strangely. Ours went into the trees.

My parents traded a pig for half a yearling calf every year while I was learning to cook. It was packaged up in white paper like at the butcher shop, heebie, but other than that it was split down the middle; when we ran out of hamburger I had to learn to cook crown roast. (I made little paper frills for something.)

On thrift; chicken breasts and sundried tomatoes are already processed food (especially if you live somewhere sunny!) Chicken in the pot is still the thrifty way, as far as I can tell.

I used to recommend the capital investment of a pressure cooker (for thriftily cooking dried beans or the cheap tough cuts of meat that slowly become delicious). But I am converted to modernity: while our kitchen was inside-out we fed ourselves with the Instant Pot, a computerized saute pot or slow cooker or pressure cooker you can walk away from. It will beep when done. I love it. Everyone should be issued one when they establish a home.



Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 12:06 AM
horizontal rule
62

When I used to live in the Nigerian Quarter, there was a Nigerian butcher on the corner with a sign in his window "GOATS FROM £10" and one day my flatmate and I decided to call his bluff, buy a £10 goat, and cook and eat it. He didn't have any £10 goats left but he very kindly gave us half a £20 goat instead. Not a whole goat cut along its sagittal plane, unfortunately, but ready jointed. We cooked it in about 12 different ways and threw a party to eat it all. Goat curry, jerk goat, chilli con goat, goatburgers, spaghetti bolognese alla goat, marinaded goat cutlets... All good stuff.

Relevant to slow cooking and organic food - it now counts as terrorism.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/01/new-york-police-terrorism-pressure-cooker


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 1:23 AM
horizontal rule
63

Speaking of food for thought, "Your app makes me fat". (I guess this should really have gone into the "Causes of Obesity" thread.) I believe this is the first post on a new Kathy Serra blog.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 1:43 AM
horizontal rule
64

I assume the £10 goat has Jane Austen on one side.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 5:24 AM
horizontal rule
65

Thanks to our burgeoning East African population I could get goat OR camel from several different locations within walking distance of my house, if I wanted to. And thanks to our burgeoning Mexican population, some tripe on the side too. But I don't generally buy meat to cook, except for processed meat toppings on frozen pizza, if you can call that cooking. Really trying to eat healthier nowadays though.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 6:35 AM
horizontal rule
66

I assume the £10 goat has Jane Austen on one side.

Indeed it does. Fortunately for Miss Austen, she is on the outside. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man inside a goat will find it too dark to search for a wife.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 6:58 AM
horizontal rule
67

We always got portions of a cow from my grandfather or uncle when I was a kid.

"Mom, what's for dinner?"
"Steak."
(whining) "Agaiiin?"


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 7:00 AM
horizontal rule
68

To echo everyone else, budget cooking definitely requires time and energy. To do it well, you either have to be one of those pantry maestros who can whip up meal after meal from what's just laying around, or be a strict meal planner. (I'm the latter, though after reading An Everlasting Meal, I really wished I was the former.) When I had a food budget of about $20-30/week, I used to get all the circulars from the grocery stores and plan around them. Fresh veg came from the cheap veg stands (which exist in CA, here I'd probably use the market). It also meant no longer buying organic stuff and cutting back on exotics like nice cheese, olives, etc. Making snacky things (granola and hummus as Parsimon notes) did save a lot. I was lucky in that I had plenty of time and energy to spare.

I find it really hard to budget food too much when I'm making normal amounts of money. I'd almost always rather spend a fair bit on groceries than on eating out. It's also a priority of mine to spend most of my food money outside of the big grocery store. I get a veg & fruit box, because I like getting organics and I like some relatively obscure vegetables (damn you, California!). We use the town butcher, who gives us ridiculous discounts because he's a customer at my husband's shop. (This means our meat is actually cheaper than the veg.) I also like food projects, like making jam, etc, which is really never a saving but it's my hobby.

One thing I really want to be better about is getting back into regular making of things like granola, hummus, cookies and breakfast treats so I don't have to purchase them. That's one thing that has really slipped by the wayside since I started working outside the home.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 7:19 AM
horizontal rule
69

chicken breasts and sundried tomatoes are already processed food (especially if you live somewhere sunny!)

This is absurd. Hot dogs and Fruit Loops are processed food.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 7:21 AM
horizontal rule
70

Budget cooking with a lot of variety, sure, needs planning and some skill. But I have six quick cheap main courses that I cook frequently that I know by heart, and I'm a harried person who lives with a wife and kid who like different foods than I do.

Relax time or sociability constraints and the number of possible quick cheap meals goes up.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 7:30 AM
horizontal rule
71

66 makes me want to write less-than-three hearts but I bet they are deprecated.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 7:34 AM
horizontal rule
72

70.1: True, true. That's down to my temperament; cooking is my hobby and it is possible to do that even on a budget. I could probably easily live on pb&j or eggs and whatever if I didn't actually like to cook.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 7:35 AM
horizontal rule
73

I like to cook and don't much like planning. My ideal kitchen experience is something involved that I know by heart-- pasta from flour with fresh eggplant and toms, say. Or grilling. Having an actual fire to poke at is great. Grilled squid with pinenuts is a great combo, numerous options for quickie sauce-- soy, sesame oil and szechuan pepper is good, chorizo and tomatoes too.

I am happy to learn new things to cook, but that takes time, generates mess, and some experiments fail, which is better alone than in company.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 7:42 AM
horizontal rule
74

Our food budget is ridiculous, and when I say ridiculous, I mean 'not actually a budget.' Combination of long hours, fussy kids, no one but me being happy with leftovers, and general inattention, so we end up just throwing out a lot of perfectly good food. I have no point, I just find this depressing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 7:48 AM
horizontal rule
75

||

Interesting project.

|>


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 7:51 AM
horizontal rule
76

37: That sausage and cream sauce was awesome. One of my totes fave memories of the 'con.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 7:55 AM
horizontal rule
77

So the sex grotto did eventually get swinging.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 8:41 AM
horizontal rule
78

Yes, but it really was more of a sex hammock.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 8:51 AM
horizontal rule
79

Budget cooking with a lot of variety, sure, needs planning and some skill. But I have six quick cheap main courses that I cook frequently that I know by heart, and I'm a harried person who lives with a wife and kid who like different foods than I do.

What are these main courses? At some point in grad school (ok, it was when I married a Midwestern who prefers his mother's unspiced tomato sauce & hamburger chili to my version with peppers & onions) I stopped cooking. Now we spend way too much money on junk food, and have both gained weight.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 9:13 AM
horizontal rule
80

I like to cook and don't much like planning.

I think I just like to plan as well. Lists are my friends. Also, I'm just not that great of a free-form cook. I'm fine at throwing together curries and the basic combination of starch + veg + meat, but I really like trying new recipes.

end up just throwing out a lot of perfectly good food. I have no point, I just find this depressing.

I really hate throwing away food. It makes me feel like a bad person. But sometimes it is necessary.

What are these main courses?

I don't know about lw, but here are some of mine, most settled upon when I lived alone: polenta + sautéed mushrooms or greens (or both!) with garlic/chile/etc + fried or poached egg (or not); sautéed veg with quick canned tomato marinara + pasta; stir-fried cabbage with loads of sambal olek or sriracha + egg + bread; curries (basic formula of sauté an onion, throw in spices to fry off in the oil, add a pulse and veg, canned tomatoes, cook for awhile, finish off with some coconut milk if I'm going in that direction) plus rice or naan. I also made breakfast for dinner a lot.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 9:44 AM
horizontal rule
81

I've been posting recipes for cheap meals lately over at my cooking blog, Cooking with Delagar. Fair warning -- these are mostly working class, rather than fancy, meals. But quick and cheap!

http://delagarcooks.blogspot.com/


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 11:08 AM
horizontal rule
82

Chicken breasts and sundried tomatoes are processed, and that's what makes them expensive forms of food. With the chicken, you're paying for the separation of the bird, and also the breasts are considered the best part nowadays, so there's a slight surtax there. The tomatoes were handled several times, though shipping ripe tomatoes is labor-intensive enough that I'd guess most of the extra cost is in not paying for the water in the fruit. It's a bobo convenience, healthy, processed food. It need not be regarded as a moral dimension, but the economic effect is straightforward.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 11:14 AM
horizontal rule
83

81, I've been reading and enjoying.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 11:19 AM
horizontal rule
84

82: I think Heebie was thinking of 'processed' along a nutritional rather than either an economic or a moral dimension, as the opposite of a whole food. Cheetos are processed because they're made by high-tech methods from inedible ingredients. Sundried tomatoes are whole foods because they're made from two plants (tomatoes and olives for the oil to pack them in) by methods you could mostly do in your kitchen; same with chicken breasts for which you could entirely do all the processing yourself with a knife in your kitchen.

It's not logically necessary that any whole food must be nutritionally superior to any 'processed' (in that sense) food, but I believe it's a fair rule of thumb.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 11:34 AM
horizontal rule
85

82: I really don't see cutting out the breasts as a significant amount of additional processing from what you'd be getting if you got a whole chicken in a grocery store. After beheading, gutting, plucking and all, cutting it apart a bit more seems very trivial. Plus, it means you can omit the processing needed to get a little baggie of organs inside.

And with the tomatoes, excepting a small portion of the summer, dried tomatoes may be more processed than fresh, but they are also probably far less energy intensive.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 11:38 AM
horizontal rule
86

Grain is an inedible ingredient, just saying.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 11:39 AM
horizontal rule
87

I guess it took me longer to write that than I thought it did.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 11:39 AM
horizontal rule
88

86: Is there a paleo-Cheeto?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 11:40 AM
horizontal rule
89

-Pasta with red sauce & fried eggplant
-Chili (ground beef, tomatoes, onions, ancho or mulatto chili, bouillon, green pepper at the last minute, usually need vinegar also)-- leftover on top of pasta with an egg on top.
-bok choy with bacon and garlic
-chicken mole (jar mole, unsweetened chocolate, ancho chili), toasted sesame seeds on top
-gulaš (I would have to kill you all. First spend five years learning stance, stance is everything).
-Tian (eggplant, chickpeas,sundried or fresh tomatoes, baked.)

All but the bok choy are suited to precooking and then being eaten as a leftover or the next day. Baked chicken works for this also-- just put a chicken in the oven topped with bacon,caraway seed, salt and pepper at night. Cover with foil after it's baked. Now when you arrive from the workday harried and hungry, there's a meal ready.

Basic spice blends that suit your taste for a particular recipe usually take about me about five tries to where I'm happy enough with the results. I cook for myself, and am basically indifferent to my family's or friends' requests to change. I'll make a mild batch of chili, pull some aside and make a concentrated batch for myself so that I can blend to taste, but that's about it. I'll eat stuff that I have not cooked and lie about liking it for harmony, am only picky if I am cooking.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 11:54 AM
horizontal rule
90

chicken mole

You have no idea how disappointed I am in Google images right now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 11:57 AM
horizontal rule
91

90. The alternate spelling is "twerk"


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 11:59 AM
horizontal rule
92

J, Robot, do you have access to a grill? That is probably easiest in summer. Season your stuff and don't season his (or salt and pepper), and it's not really extra work. Corn on the cob, just grill with the husks on. (Midwest classic!) We do a lot of veg sliced and wrapped in foil with appropriate seasoning (mmm, zucchini). You grill up a huge mess of stuff, then eat leftovers for a couple days. If you get a mess of veg, you can make couscous (my preference since it's done in 5 min) or quinoa or rice to serve it with.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 12:05 PM
horizontal rule
93

gulaš

I have been trained in the way of the gulaš - hovezi, veproy, ciganski, segedinsky, etc. Except the knedlik, which I can't make properly.

re: basic meals [all of these I vary in different ways depending what we have, and what spicing/flavouring I fancy]

'paella' [i.e. whatever veggies we have in the fridge, some chicken and/or seafood, a bit of diced chorizo]
tagine & cous cous [some kind of meat, ras el hanout, onions, chickpeas/garbanzos, etc]
fish/prawn curry [usually with lemon pilau rice]
risotto [often made with spelt, rather than rice]
omelette/tortilla/frittata [with whatever veg looks good]
roast veg and meat [done in one dish, just stick meat and onions and peppers, some bacon or bits of chorizo, drizzle over a bit of olive oil and some spices/herbs, e.g. pimenton, or similar, bake and have with salad or beans]
pasta with red sauce
'chinese' [whatever meat and veg, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, some garlic and chilli, etc vary depending on what's cheap.]

Lots of reliable sides, too. The bok choy dish that lw mentions, or anything similar: greens with garlic and chilli. Carrots cooked in a little stock and butter. A tomato and raw onion salad with some lemon juice and black pepper. etc


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 12:06 PM
horizontal rule
94

Corn on the grill for me: shuck your corns. Put them in a plastic bag with lime juice, celery salt, garlic, some oil for 15 min. Grill


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 12:09 PM
horizontal rule
95

lw,yes, that is better, but lime is very exotic for those from the Midwest.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 12:11 PM
horizontal rule
96

I did not like quinoa one bit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 12:16 PM
horizontal rule
97

If it's not well rinsed, it has a funny bitter taste. You might try it again and make sure you rinse the heck out of it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 12:18 PM
horizontal rule
98

I decided to just let the Bolivians keep it. They really seem to enjoy it more.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 12:20 PM
horizontal rule
99

Midwesterners are supposed to be stoic too, right? I grew up mostly in Chicago. Yeah, interpersonal style varies-- I will eat anything, but when I cook, I will do it my way.

I'm OK making bland versions along with the actual, but it would be a real challenge to live with someone older than 6 who was fussy and whiny, and also had their feelings hurt when I responded.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 12:20 PM
horizontal rule
100

It took a while before I found a way I like quinoa. I've never had a problem with bitterness (and I've never rinsed it), but it's kind of nutty and crunchy when cooked properly, so I can see the consistency being off-putting. This summer, I've been cooking it in broth, then using it in cold salads with raw vegetables and some kind of oil/vinegar dressing (similar to tabbouleh).

To 99, I don't disagree, but J, Robot didn't imply that he was unpleasant, just that he didn't prefer what she did. Chicago has way better food traditions than say, Milwaukee. Or Lansing. Or Fort Wayne.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 12:30 PM
horizontal rule
101

it would be a real challenge to live with someone older than 6 who was fussy and whiny, and also had their feelings hurt when I responded.

I'm glad I'm not alone in this. I would eat almost everything on everyone's list, going with "not" on the poached egg front, and I don't think Lee would go along with any of them. Mara has her own preferences because she can't smell and so texture trumps taste, but I feel a little better about how frustrated I get about finding meals that work!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 12:44 PM
horizontal rule
102

Menu planning has become near-mandatory at home in order to get food on the table before, say, 10pm, since I can't really start cooking until 8-8:30. It's a mite inconvenient that the person that cooks and the person that gets home earlier are not the same. We do find that menu planning makes it more likely for us to replay old classics than to try anything new.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 12:45 PM
horizontal rule
103

I don't mind catering for food preferences once in awhile, but it would indeed drive me crazy to live with someone who wasn't an adventurous eater. Or at least, an unpicky eater.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 1:05 PM
horizontal rule
104

94, what the fuck? now how am I supposed to get these melted plastic bags of corn off the grill?


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 1:46 PM
horizontal rule
105

83: Thanks!

I started it basically for my students, who have no money, and (some of them) no experience in cooking while poor. They were trying to live on things like Ramen noodles and McD's. I was telling them about my childhood & my graduate school days, and they were like, can you give us the recipes?


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 1:54 PM
horizontal rule
106

This thread reminds me that we have a bunch of ears of corn in the fridge. They were given to us along with a zucchini we're going to throw away because it is about the size of a small spaniel.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 2:30 PM
horizontal rule
107

I find that, if I don't have planned meals, I tend to have too much food (at least in summer, when the plenty leads me to impulse-purchase produce).

And yeah, even though it's been said, it needs to be restated: SWPL-grade home-cooked meals are not, as a rule, going to be cheaper than Taco Cabana-grade takeout. Home-cooked meals that are notably cheaper than fast food will be healthier, but probably less tasty (because you don't have the corporate might of McD's behind you, adding brain-tricking chemicals to your lentils and rice).

That said, as I've noted in the past, I was totally able to eat super-delicious food on food stamps because I knew my way around the kitchen. A couple cheap meals per week combined with a couple more expensive (and then leftovers to round things out) added up to a monthly budget of ~$600 for a family of 4*. And all of those meals were way, way better than pretty much anything you can buy at a restaurant.

*that's all meals & snacks + milk/juice


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 4:10 PM
horizontal rule
108

Hey, when are we going to do a Kickstarter to get urple his own cooking show?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 5:06 PM
horizontal rule
109

107.1: Heavens yes: at the local farm stand this morning, I was all like, "Oh, look, they have eggplant. I want to get an eggplant or two," before I forced myself to recall that I don't really have anything that goes with eggplant at the moment, so unless I intended to just bake up a bunch of breaded eggplant slices (for sandwiches or makeshift eggplant parm), I should desist.

107.2: Home-cooked meals that are notably cheaper than fast food will be healthier, but probably less tasty (because you don't have the corporate might of McD's behind you, adding brain-tricking chemicals to your lentils and rice).

I tend to disagree, but that may just be because I'm happy on the tastiness front if I have kalamata olives or capers or feta or parmesan to add to an otherwise bland dish. Even something really simple like spaghetti/linguine with olive oil and whatever veggies are on hand is tasty if garlic, walnuts and raisins are added to the saute. Plus grated parmesan.

Those kinds of extras are pretty much always part of my larder/pantry.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 5:46 PM
horizontal rule
110

81: It's funny how cooking-while-broke is not so different from cooking-while-depressed. *cough* rice and peas *cough*

(Thank you delagar!)


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 8:34 PM
horizontal rule
111

kalamata olives or capers or feta or parmesan

All very salty. Maybe you should try to contrast with something like mayo.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 8:40 PM
horizontal rule
112

111.1 was supposed to be in italics.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 8:43 PM
horizontal rule
113

111: Or bananas.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 8:45 PM
horizontal rule
114

I don't like bananas on sandwiches.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 8:46 PM
horizontal rule
115

I should try to make my own mayo. It's supposed to taste better and I hardly ever have a reason to use the food processor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 8:47 PM
horizontal rule
116

The LB-made mayo at Unfoggedcon was delicious.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 10:07 PM
horizontal rule
117

IYKWIM.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 10:11 PM
horizontal rule
118

115 Depending on how you feel about washing stuff, you might find it easier to do it by hand. It's also easier to control the thickness - with a food processor it can end up ridiculously stiff if you're not careful. But yeah, it's a lot better than store bought stuff.

110 Cooking while depressed isn't so bad if you have both the habit and you enjoy it. The problem is cleaning up afterwards.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 10:23 PM
horizontal rule
119

It's also easier to control the thickness

The fruit, it hangs so low.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 10:35 PM
horizontal rule
120

The Thickness cannot be controlled.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 2-13 10:50 PM
horizontal rule
121

115. We have just discovered that if you use a hand blender you can make mayo by throwing all the ingredients in and just zapping them. 90 seconds start to finish. No excuses for buying it any more.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 12:59 AM
horizontal rule
122

re: 121

Funnily enough, I've discovered I really don't like freshly made mayo. I am ok with aioli, I suppose. But what I actually like is salad cream. The unctuousness of proper mayonnaise is too much, and I like the sharpness of the cheap ersatz version. Which probably means the food-police are coming right now to take me to the reeducation camp.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 2:04 AM
horizontal rule
123

Salad cream is a legit thing in its own right, and it's fine. It's only when people pretend it's mayo that there's a problem. I'm told that back in the day people originally made their own salad cream with whipped cream, lemon juice and sugar, but I've never seen an actual recipe.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 2:24 AM
horizontal rule
124

I've a recipe in an old cookbook that uses powdered egg, and lemon juice, I think. One of those post-war Marguerite Patten type books.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 3:07 AM
horizontal rule
125

This looks similar, but a little more 'foody'.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/salad_cream_31658


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 3:09 AM
horizontal rule
126

Hmm. There's so much oil in that it's practically mayo. Might not meet your standard for not being too unctuous. I'd like to try it though.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 3:13 AM
horizontal rule
127

re: 126

Yeah, oilier than I think the older recipe I have. I've never actually tried making it, though. I just buy it in the squeezy bottles.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 3:28 AM
horizontal rule
128

22: Where I am Trader Joe's only sells little packs of trail mix, not straight almonds. That is, they sell almonds on their own, but not in small packs. I like the omega mix. I sometimes buy the "just a handful of cashews, almonds and cranberries" and don't eat all of the cranberries.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 4:29 AM
horizontal rule
129

I am currently thinking through this problem right now, because my co-worker is screwing up the menu stuff at work. We are trying to serve healthy, nutritious meals. We serve breakfast for free and charge $1 for lunch. We're serving about 35 people lunch and teaching people how to cook. (Some of the members are excellent--one's in a culinary program but some need a lot of supervision). We order from a food distributor which serves day care and adult health providers exclusively. They do smaller orders, but some of their stuff is more expensive than a supermarket or certainly than Costco or BJs (a Costco-type store). To save money on fruits and vegetables we go to Haymarket-- stands which sell off the remnants of what the wholesellers can't sell to the supermarkets. That's on Friday. We have a large refrigerator and a separate full-size freezer. We can really only buy vegetables once a week. So, it's hard to have things which require lettuce on Thursday, since we've usually used the lettuce up. This is not my strength, but she's worse.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 4:37 AM
horizontal rule
130

We are trying to avoid too many pasta dishes, because the diabetics don't like to eat them.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 4:38 AM
horizontal rule
131

Oh, and right now we are limited, because we are sharing a kitchen with another clubhouse which is responsible for putting out a different meal for 100 people a day. We used to have our own toaster, but then they got worried that the health department would shut us down. (Complicated story where we lost our lease with only a week's notice, and we need to find a new place in the neighborhood we are supposed to be serving. Temporary home and all that.)


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 4:43 AM
horizontal rule
132

122: I think salad cream is what we call Miracle Whip, because America doesn't do corporate modesty.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 5:44 AM
horizontal rule
133

122: I'm secretly the same. Just don't care for the real thing.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 6:12 AM
horizontal rule
134

I am not going to remember the details of this well but I think I'm not making it up...like 5+ years ago in the food issue of the New Yorker they mentioned in the course of discussing "supertasters" that Hellman's mayonnaise was considered to be a food with perfectly balanced flavors or...I dunno, perfect in some way.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 6:19 AM
horizontal rule
135

And now the internet is telling me that supertasters hate mayonnaise. I wish I could remember which article it was. Maybe the ketchup one.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 6:25 AM
horizontal rule
136

They Might Be Giants has a song about a super taster.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 6:29 AM
horizontal rule
137

134: darn east coast bias.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 6:55 AM
horizontal rule
138

In California, it's sold as ranch dressing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 6:58 AM
horizontal rule
139

It's not sold as Hellman's. And some people swear it's different.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 7:05 AM
horizontal rule
140

It's called Best's, isn't it?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 7:07 AM
horizontal rule
141

Best Food, yeah. I always felt like that made the jingle a little abbreviated.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 7:22 AM
horizontal rule
142

er "Best Foods".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 7:22 AM
horizontal rule
143

Ah, here we go. It's from the ketchup article which I did not remember was by Malcolm Gladwell.

After breaking the ketchup down into its component parts, the testers assessed the critical dimension of "amplitude," the word sensory experts use to describe flavors that are well blended and balanced, that "bloom" in the mouth. "The difference between high and low amplitude is the difference between my son and a great pianist playing 'Ode to Joy' on the piano," Chambers says. "They are playing the same notes, but they blend better with the great pianist." Pepperidge Farm shortbread cookies are considered to have high amplitude. So are Hellman's mayonnaise and Sara Lee poundcake. When something is high in amplitude, all its constituent elements converge into a single gestalt.

Putting aside that a great pianist would not play the Ode to Joy because it's for orchestra and chorus and if you see a piano version it's probably a simple arrangement for kids taking piano lessons. It flashed through my head that there might be one of those insane Liszt transcriptions or something but I think there's not. Mayonnaise.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 7:23 AM
horizontal rule
144

A truly great pianist could just play the original arrangement in all its parts.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 7:25 AM
horizontal rule
145

I use Hellman's mayo, but don't really like ketchup or pound cake.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 7:28 AM
horizontal rule
146

Shockingly to me, really good pianists can sit at the piano with an orchestral score and play. I saw a friend do this with Elektra which is for HUGE ORCHESTRA MANY INSTRUMENTS.

Decades ago a friend who was in a chorus sent me a lovely t shirt with a page of the score to Brahms' German Requiem on it and people would sometimes ask "can you play that?" Once, practicing to be a dreadful person nobody likes, I responded "I don't play the orchestra."


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 7:31 AM
horizontal rule
147

I love Mister Smearcase so much. I hate nothing more than mayo. Even foods that have touched mayo and had it scraped off are appalling.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 7:33 AM
horizontal rule
148

I love Mister Smearcase so much. I hate nothing more than mayo.

Between these two poles lies everything else.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 7:34 AM
horizontal rule
149

147: What if the food is impermeable, like an orange?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 7:36 AM
horizontal rule
150

Oh cripes. I went on Spotify and found some horrifying piano versions of the Ode to Joy on albums with names like "Relaxing Piano Music." They are like aural mayonnaise.

No I kind of like mayonnaise. Especially on fries.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 7:41 AM
horizontal rule
151

132: I was wondering that too, since "salad cream" isn't a phrase that rings a bell for me. But Wikipedia suggests they were both different attempts at generating cheaper alternatives to mayonnaise---salad cream in the 20s in the UK from Heinz, and Miracle Whip in the 30s in the US from Kraft.

I like mayo a lot and don't really like Miracle Whip at all.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 7:44 AM
horizontal rule
152

149: Maybe that would be okay, but I'd still get my fingers all slimy peeling it.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 7:45 AM
horizontal rule
153

I can tell you have spent time in Ohio because you didn't ask how mayo got on an orange.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 7:57 AM
horizontal rule
154

151.2: I regard the fact that I grew up basically believing that Miracle Whip* was mayonnaise as one of the culinary touchstones of the authenticity of my bland Midwestern roots**. That and the jello, of course.

*White bread, bologna and Miracle Whip for the go-to lunch sandwich win.

**My mother actually became quite creative in her cooking at some point after the kids were gone and foodie ingredients became routinely available in her neck of the woods. Except still the jello salads--many of which are fucking great.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 8:28 AM
horizontal rule
155

I don't think I've ever had Miracle Whip. Have had salad cream, it's fine. I prefer mayo from a jar, sadly.

Also, I love bologna sandwiches and kind of wish I had one right now. And I also love jello salads. All of this proves to me that Midwestern food tastes are genetic, since I didn't grow up there but mom is from Ohio and Dad is from Tennessee (or is it Kentucky? I get confused)/Kansas.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 8:38 AM
horizontal rule
156

No I kind of like mayonnaise. Especially on fries.

Belgian!


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 8:46 AM
horizontal rule
157

110: Cooking-while-broke / cooking-while-depressed: it's kind of amazing how often these two go together, yeah?


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 8:51 AM
horizontal rule
158

147: What if the food is impermeable, like an orange?

Even an orange is mostly empty space, actually.

</opinionated NDPR reviewer who should know better.>


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 8:58 AM
horizontal rule
159

154.1: Me also, except not Jello. Neither of my parents liked it much and it was rare.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 9:00 AM
horizontal rule
160

I still love jello salads.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 9:10 AM
horizontal rule
161

154, not to question your Midwestern cred, but my father, who grew up in CA (Ingleside, then Pittsburg) but now lives in the Midwest, loves Miracle Whip. His preferred sandwich is ham or bologna, American cheese (the Kraft kind), Miracle Whip, and yellow mustard.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 9:14 AM
horizontal rule
162

111: All very salty. Maybe you should try to contrast with something like mayo.

Mayo doesn't go with lentil burritos, you silly!

On the salt front, yeah, I go for salt over sugar; for the longest time I thought it was just a personal taste -- as a teen I was known to drink (sip) dill pickle juice -- but it turns out I have chronic low sodium and am now actually supposed to push salt. Still people think the food I make doesn't have enough salt, which somewhat bewilders me: apparently the public health warnings against high salt intake are meant for people whose food is ordinarily so salty that you can't taste anything else.*

Bananas are for breakfast.

* Occasionally I'm in a locale where someone's microwaving some store-bought soup or stew or chili thing, and the smell of salt really reeks to me from across the room.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 9:45 AM
horizontal rule
163

I never liked bologna sandwiches. I hope this doesn't mean I'm not a real Midwesterner.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 9:46 AM
horizontal rule
164

Wait, you're from the midwest? I knew I should have looked at that mapping thing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 9:48 AM
horizontal rule
165

I'm eating a ham sandwich with mayo even as we speak.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 9:52 AM
horizontal rule
166

164: Either that or I'm a Southerner, which also seems hard to believe.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 9:52 AM
horizontal rule
167

||

Ok, I clearly need to grow (sweet) red peppers, because I've just discovered that my housemate has eaten the entirety of the softball-sized red pepper I bought yesterday.

Granted, he's on a road trip -- to Rocky Mount, NC, anyone know that place? -- so he made sandwiches for the road, but still, grr.

|>


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 9:53 AM
horizontal rule
168

Huh.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 9:55 AM
horizontal rule
169

166: that would have been my guess.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 10:07 AM
horizontal rule
170

The Ohio Valley is definitely a tweener, but folks usually get tagged with whichever side of it they are on, even if only by a few miles.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 10:15 AM
horizontal rule
171

Where Thorn lives seems unambiguously Midwestern; I've known people from there who had really distinctly upper-Midwestern-sounding vowel shifts. So I don't think using the river as the boundary there makes much sense. I admit where I'm from is more borderline.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 10:26 AM
horizontal rule
172

My folks grew up in southwestern OH. When they were kids, everyone had a Midwestern accent. By the time I came back with them on visits as a kid, anyone under 30 had a definite hint of Southern accent. My folks credited it to everyone moving out of the hollers and coming north for work in the 70s.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 10:34 AM
horizontal rule
173

Has everyone already seen these maps?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 10:42 AM
horizontal rule
174

130, 131: Oy. Also, an example of how doing everything right doesn't scale because it's so fine-grained. I can't think of a storable veg that's good for diabetics--green beans? Collards?

On processing: the OP is about cost expectations. If picking out the desired bits wasn't extra work, either we'd do it at home or (dubiously) the market would provide. But poulet bonne femme is a whole bird; suprêmes are expensive.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 10:52 AM
horizontal rule
175

171: Yes, that bit is probably the most Midwestern part of Kentucky.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 11:17 AM
horizontal rule
176

173: That's funny, I don't tend to think of Michigan as the Midwest -- but I've never been in southern Michigan.

Definitely don't think of the Dakotas or Montana or Wyoming as Midwest: in my mind, they're what, they're big sky, red earth country. It's a climate and environmental thing in my mind.

The third map is closest to my own conception, though I always think Ohio is a borderline inclusion -- it has a lot in common with PA and West Virginia, neither of which I'd call the midwest. I'm pretty sure any West Virginian you ask would boggle at the suggestion. Them's hill country, dang.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 11:18 AM
horizontal rule
177

173: It's somewhere in TFA, but one thing that strikes me about those maps is that in my mind "Great Plains" is a distinct region from "Midwest" -- Nebraska, Kansas, and the Dakotas aren't really midwestern for me. But it looks like I'm in the minority on that one.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 11:21 AM
horizontal rule
178

What could Michigan possibly be other than Midwest?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 11:21 AM
horizontal rule
179

I always think Ohio is a borderline inclusion

I boggle at this.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 11:22 AM
horizontal rule
180

(I think I told the story here once of a now-ex's cousin I visited in Wyoming: the dad was in education, and explained at some point that they were struggling against standardized school testing which included such questions as "What color is dirt?" The answer for Wyoming kids was "red." The correct answer wasn't that.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 11:23 AM
horizontal rule
181

Part of eastern Ohio is clearly Appalachia, yes, but most of Ohio is equally clearly not.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 11:24 AM
horizontal rule
182

179: I think it's just because the only people I've known in Ohio are in Cleveland or Columbus, pretty urbanized, industrialized. I don't know much of Ohio as a rural place, so it's just a failure of knowledge on my part.

I used to live in western PA, and we'd travel over the border into Ohio pretty often, so I think of it as an extension of that. I see one of the maps linked in 173 puts western PA in the midwest as well.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 11:28 AM
horizontal rule
183

The eastern quarter to third of Nebraska, Kansas, and the Dakotas are midwestern.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 11:29 AM
horizontal rule
184

It seems that more categories would be in order. There's the midwest (the heartland). There's Appalachia. There's the mid-Atlantic. There's the ... what do we call the big sky country, Montana, the Dakotas, Wyoming and maybe some of Idaho? Idaho might not belong there, they have a lot of dense trees and mountains, but their mindset seems like that of the others. They're western states. Not mid-west but west-west. Or something.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 11:39 AM
horizontal rule
185

There's the ... what do we call the big sky country, Montana, the Dakotas, Wyoming and maybe some of Idaho?

To me they would be something like "the Rocky Mountain West" (okay, the Dakotas not so much-- as I said, to me they're lumped in with the Plains), along with Colorado and Utah, but there are definitely some very nontrivial cultural and geographic gradients within that set of states.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 11:58 AM
horizontal rule
186

Also, I did think essear was a southerner. I thought somewhere very religious in Kentucky or Tennessee or something. I put him, thorn, Urple, and smearcase all in the same ballpark.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 12:08 PM
horizontal rule
187

I've also always had a separate "plains" region in my head that's not midwest.

My theory is that everyone from the midwest thinks they're from the middle of the midwest. So people from Minnesota or Iowa think that the Dakotas are obviously midwest but Ohio isn't, while someone from Indiana thinks Iowa obviously is but the Dakotas aren't really.

Everyone everyone should agree on one thing: Chicago is in the midwest.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 12:17 PM
horizontal rule
188

somewhere very religious

That's interesting. I mean, maybe, but I didn't really think it was outside the norm for the US outside of godless coastal enclaves?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 12:19 PM
horizontal rule
189

Oops, could someone un-presidential 187. (I assume everyone who reads the blog already knew that was me, but in case random mathematicians ran across that thread I wanted a different pseud.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 12:19 PM
horizontal rule
190

186: I absolutely do not identify as culturally southern, though admit that I live at the border where the south begins. So I don't think this means I'm from the heart of the midwest, but I'm certainly on its ourskirts. My parents are Northerners and I'm the oldest, and each successive brother had an increasingly local accent, which I still don't think means southern.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 12:25 PM
horizontal rule
191

I don't identify as a southerner, even though I was born and raised unequivocally in the south. I'm culturally Fraudulent.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 12:29 PM
horizontal rule
192

189: when I'm on a real computer, I will, if someone else doesn't.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 12:31 PM
horizontal rule
193

Florida isn't the unequivocal south, is it? I think of it as an emulsion of the south and the mid-atlantic; there are enough northerners that they're a real part of it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 12:36 PM
horizontal rule
194

Not up north, where I grew up.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 12:37 PM
horizontal rule
195

I mean, Gainesville is a college town, which mitigates everything. But it's located in the South.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 12:39 PM
horizontal rule
196

187: I've also always had a separate "plains" region in my head that's not midwest.

Oh. I thought of the plains region as quintessentially midwest.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 12:39 PM
horizontal rule
197

The Midwest Tourism Association gets it right.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 12:51 PM
horizontal rule
198

You know where is beautiful, though: Whidbey Island.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 1:07 PM
horizontal rule
199

The Midwest begins somewhere around Valley Forge, PA.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 1:15 PM
horizontal rule
200

198: huge chunks of the pnw coast would appeal to you then


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 1:16 PM
horizontal rule
201

200: I know. In an ideal life, I'd figure out how to relocate there.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 1:30 PM
horizontal rule
202

199 is wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 1:51 PM
horizontal rule
203

The Land Capability Classes are fine* for distinguishing regions -- they'll pick out the rainfall line that cuts through Kansas, for instance.

I agree that there are regions of the US to the south of the South, and west of the West. (There, says Reepicheep...)

*Grinding a bit too fine, okay.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 1:53 PM
horizontal rule
204

||

On the bookselling front, you have no idea how infuriating it is to see megasellers underprice you by one cent, and get the sale. One cent. People are lemmings. Why on earth they reflexively want to save just that one cent is beyond me.

This business is unsustainable for in-print books.

|>


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 1:56 PM
horizontal rule
205

I agree that there are regions of the US to the south of the South, and west of the West.

Hawaii?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 2:10 PM
horizontal rule
206

||

They use automatic repricing software, so that within half an hour of your offering, if it's below theirs, behold, their copy is now repriced at a penny below you (or sometimes it's 5 cents or 7 cents, you can set the increment with the software).

This is fucking ridiculous. If anyone thinks that a business model like Walmart's isn't destroying small businesses, BLEAH

|>


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 2:18 PM
horizontal rule
207

Also, I am really disgusted with Obama for giving a fucking jobs speech at an Amazon warehouse.

I'm off now.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 3-13 2:19 PM
horizontal rule
208

187 gets it exactly right. And I can attest that my Chicagoan father considers Ohio borderline Midwest - and, indeed, with Appalachia starting there, I think that's a precisely correct description.

I've told the story before about a friend who was speaking to a Philadelphia-based colleague from her office in Pittsburgh, and the Brotherly Lover was quite insistent that, since Pittsburgh is in the Midwest, it was therefore in the Central time zone. The levels of wrongness were striking.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 6:04 AM
horizontal rule
209

It's not a quarter past eight? Shit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 6:13 AM
horizontal rule
210

But, going East, Appalachia starts somewhere past Zanesville and well before Pittsburgh.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 6:21 AM
horizontal rule
211

No, it's 8:20.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 6:22 AM
horizontal rule
212

It's so strange now that the unfogged clock is in basic agreement with one of the actual time zones.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 6:24 AM
horizontal rule
213

You know, I thought it was mountain time, but I guess it's Pacific coast, isn't it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 6:26 AM
horizontal rule
214

Maybe that's a Daylight Savings Time distinction.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 6:27 AM
horizontal rule
215

Is it in Arizona? Arizona doesn't believe in new fangled innovations like daylight savings, Martin Luther King Day, or protection against unreasonable search and seizure.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 6:29 AM
horizontal rule
216

Arizona is the only state where food service employees aren't required to wash their hands after using the restroom.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 5-13 6:31 AM
horizontal rule