On Cooking

So Larry Correia has another artful fisk up called “Fisking the “Stop Telling Poor People to Cook” Doofus, with Special Guest, My Mom” which I just have to say GO READ IT!

It’s frisking this “Progressive” turd of an article here:

There’s a meme making the rounds again comparing the amount of food you can get from KFC for $20 and the amount of food you can get from the grocery store for the same price. The implication is that stupid, poor and lazy people are throwing their hard-earned tuppence away on fast food when they could be cooking at home, being healthier and richer in the process.

Give me an absolute break.

The memes he links are here, and they are absolutely true!

The bottom line is fast food is unhealthy garbage that costs an order of magnitude more than cheaper and healthier food you can cook at home. Larry of course rips him apart on the MASSIVE fallacies he bets the farm on….essentially that it isn’t “Cheaper” when you first need to outfit a kitchen, and then quotes prices for kitchen tools that are either unnecessary or can be had for vastly lower prices.

Larry is right, make sandwiches until you can buy a cheap non-stick pan at a thrift store or your cheap kitchen store. The bottom line is while spending good money on good kitchen gear is money well spent, you can make some pretty nice meals with some cheap sheet pans and cheap frying pans.

But at the core of Larry’s fisk, but not outright said is that good fiscal behavior will always elevate you, and generally people who are poor but are making every penny of their money count won’t be poor forever, and people who are no-longer poor, or just financially better off in general because of good fiscal behavior are going to keep those behaviors even when they are an EVIL 1%er.

That’s why I like PBR, I started drinking in College, and like most college kids, I didn’t have much money, but a 6-pack of Pabst doesn’t cost much, but it sure tastes good, that has a lot of meaning to me, so I still like it today, even when I occasionally spend double the cost of a 6-pack of PBR for a single bottle of craft beer.

Here are some other good fiscal cooking stories.

A great one, with witnesses, is my cooking for the House at the NRAAM last year. I cooked two full meals, and I had to do some foolish things like buy a full bottle of oil, and a two pound sack of flour, where most of those got thrown away when we packed up at the end of the weekend. I think I spent under $40 and fed 7 grown adults. Further the kitchen at the rental was poorly equipped, it had the very basics, but not much else.

Now Sean brought a massive crock-pot, which was a HUGE help, but those are cheap….seriously, for short money you can buy an appliance that will not only open a whole world of cheap cooking for you (not only do they work great, but they change cheap meat into delicious food) but given that you can load them up in the morning, go to work all day, and have dinner cooked when you come through the door, you eliminate the “But there’s no time” fallacy in the article.

But yeah I cooked a bunch of chicken thighs (which is pound-for-pound the cheapest part of the chicken) with some onions and green peppers, and salt and pepper for seasoning. The peppers cost a bit, but onions are practically free, but I bought a huge sack of peppers which brought the price way down, and week cooked them for almost every meal. That and I roasted two heads of cauliflower with oil salt and pepper, and I think that was the whole meal. I could have baked up a dozen potatoes for not much more and everybody would have been stuffed to the gills.

But that’s not where it ends, I picked that chicken meal on a whim, instead I cooked enough chicken that there was about two pounds of leftover meat that I saved, I also strained out the liquid from the crock pot and put it in the fridge. Overnight the fat separates and the stock gels, you scrape the fat off the top, and plug that in the place for butter, and add a little water to the gelled stock, and you’re doing much better than canned stock, and I followed this recipe. Still had onions because I bought a sack for a few bucks, plus a $2 pre-made pie crust, and we had pot pie for the next night. All done with garbage utensils that could likely be found at a thrift store for maybe $50 for the ENTIRE KITCHEN! The chicken took maybe an hour with about 20 mins of prep time in the morning, and about 30 mins to roast the cauliflower with a bit more prep here-and-there, and then the pot pie is an hour start-to-finish.

When it takes about a half hour to get most take-out from start-to-finish, and the price is easily an order of magnitude different, this is really a no-brainer.

Another was the other weekend, my buddy was having a birthday party, his wife was cooking the food, the other buddy was bringing video games, and I was bringing beers…..oops his wife got sick and could still make the cake, but couldn’t swing the food.

I ran to the grocery store and bought a full-rack of pork ribs, I have a big bottle of dry rub that I maybe spent $3 on (minus a dollar-off coupon I had), and will last me a long time, and I had a big bottle of BBQ sauce that is maybe $2, but this was a bottle that had been opened for weeks. It was a special occasion so I didn’t gripe paying $15 for the rack (I have a rack in my freezer that cost me $5 that will be eaten probably next week). You put some foil on a sheet pan ($2 for the whole box of foil, and you can easily get a sheet pan for under $10) rub the ribs with the BBQ rub and seal it in a pouch and put it in a 250 degree oven. 4 hours later you open the foil and slather on the sauce and give it another hour with the foil off the top. And at 250 degrees, while I wouldn’t go to work, you don’t need to be right by the stove all afternoon. But I cooked a full rack of ribs for under $20, not even bargain hunting, compared to a full-rack will run you closer to $50 at a restaurant, that’s a HUGE savings to you, and this isn’t even a super economical meal.

And as Larry says when you’re dirt poor, you make do with all sorts of non-glamorous stuff. When I was fresh out of college and money was VERY tight I ate ramen, also I got a rice cooker at an asian market for like $15, and you can get a 20lb sack of rice for just a few dollars, that was a LOT of meals for me. If only I had known about this:

even in the winter time when tomatoes are a bit pricey, they don’t cost THAT much (and if your grocery store is like mine, and marks down the veggies that are starting to look a little bad, a tomato that’s getting a bit squishy is IDEAL for this recipe), throw in some cheap chicken or pork that you seared in a pan with some oil salt and pepper, add in some soy sauce, some diced onion, maybe some other veggies you got for cheap, you have a full meal, that really won’t taste too bad, and won’t be too bad for you for I bet less than $2 a serving.

Also you don’t need cook books anymore (tho I have DOZENS that I bought for under $5 a whack, big name books might cost $20, but I first read that pot pie in a Betty Crocker print book that set me back maybe $3) because its all on the internet. And let’s face it, everybody has internet. My cousins worked security in the welfare office, and EVERYBODY had a smart phone.

The take-away from all this talk, is I tell my daughter that learning to cook is one of the most important skills she can learn. She will ALWAYS need to eat, if she can cook, she will be eating better, both in taste and in health, for much cheaper. Also like my friend’s birthday, or the NRA show, being able to show up at somebody’s house, or cook a full meal for friends is a BIG deal for them, it’s a big deal if it costs you $50 or $20, so why not pay $20?

I see neighbors haul out their trash and see the pizza boxes and take-out containers in there, and when you eat for a week at restaurants, or take-out you are tossing SO much money away. I would rather save that money to spend on other things.

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One Response to On Cooking

  1. Ratus says:

    I may not be a gourmet chef, but I can cook a few different things.

    My early go to dinner was very light on the cooking skills.

    It’s just pasta with a meat sauce.

    Go to place that sells food.

    Buy 1lb-ish of ground beef, jar of sauce, pasta of choice.

    Brown the meat, add sauce. I normally added extra garlic, onions and basil.

    Cook for 30 minutes plus. Make pasta.

    Combine pasta and sauce. Eat.

    Normally it is enough for four people with some leftover for lunch/ dinner for maybe one person.

    It’s not that hard.

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