• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Fat Guy

Things lots of people buy and I don't understand

155 posts in this topic

At the local produce store today I noticed a bottle of imported Greek tzatziki. It was $4.57 for a 3.5 ounce bottle. I asked the produce lady, if this was a joke, and she said no, sometimes people will buy 2 04 3 bottles at a time, and they sell about 17 bottles week. She said people don't cook anymore. So out of curiosity as I continued shopping I noted down the prices of ingredients you'd need if you wanted to make your own tzatziki.

Generous sized cucumbers were 69 cents each.

Fage 2% Greek yoghurt was $1.99 for a 7 oz container.

Lemons were 3 for $1.19,

Garlic was $2.99 a lb, and

wine vinegar and olive oil were available at several different prices.

Fresh dill and parsley were $1.99 a bunch.

Why would anyone pay $4.57 for 3.5 ounces of tzatziki? If they didn't want to make their own? there are a lot of grocery stores, and supermarkets where you can buy it, and several Greek restaurants in the area will sell you their own freshly made tzatziki at what I considered an exorbitant price until this morning.

Reason 1 = one-stop shopping

Reason 2 = one batch of tzatziki would run in the vicinity of $11 for a person who bought one lemon, one head of garlic, and the cheapest oil and vinegar available. If you dont have a use for the unused quantities, that's a bit more costly than the $5 jar.


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's the difference if the container is ultimately placed in the recycle bin?

The difference is the number of times you use it before placing it there, which reduces the number of bottles that have to be recycled.

Don't forget the energy used to transport those plastic bottles of water. Depending on the brand, some of those bottles travel a great distance. And then there's the resources used in making and transporting the bottles themselves, and their raw materials. I couldn't stand to see Toots drinking time and again from old plastic bottles, so I bought her an appropriately sized stainless water bottle:

http://www.kleankanteen.com/


 ... Shel

"... ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself "

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I could list MANY things!!!!!

Recently, some folks I know were bragging about scoring big with ten 69 cent cans of Swanson Chicken Broth (with all the flavor enhancers that come along with it)....YUCK!!!

For the same $6.90 they could have bought a 10 lb. bag of chicken leg quarters...made 'real' broth/stock and had the meat to go along with it!!!!!!

People never cease to amaze me!!!!! :huh:

1 person likes this

~Martin

Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist, contrarian and natural born skeptic who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was in the NYC Sub-Zero/Wolf showroom.

I asked the salesman, "Do these expensive appliances really last long?"

He answered, "Yes sure. They really last and last, because people who buy them don't cook with them."

dcarch

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I could list MANY things!!!!!

Recently, some folks I know were bragging about scoring big with ten 69 cent cans of Swanson Chicken Broth (with all the flavor enhancers that come along with it)....YUCK!!!

For the same $6.90 they could have bought a 10 lb. bag of chicken leg quarters...made 'real' broth/stock and had the meat to go along with it!!!!!!

People never cease to amaze me!!!!! :huh:

I agree with DiggingDogFarm that making one's own chicken broth is always better. But I am stunned that he can buy 10 pounds of chicken leg quarters for $6.90...that 69 cents a pound.

Sometimes where we live in Ontario, Canada, they are on sale for a dollar a pound, but usually they cost $1.70 a pound. (DH reminds me that we could buy chicken leg quarters in Utah for 70 cents a pound.)

1 person likes this

Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not long ago they were 59 cents a pound.

Now, usually 69 to 79 cents a pound.

Wegman's, one of the popular grocery store chains in this region, currently has them for 69 cents a pound.


~Martin

Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist, contrarian and natural born skeptic who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I buy backs and necks to make stock (I can't recall the price off-hand). Not only do I get tasty chicken stock, but lots of schmaltz since backs are fatty.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Surely canned stock falls in the convenience category. Home made is only cheaper if one ignores labor. Also, for most folks (me included), there's a storage issue.

Anyhoo, that was a fun thread to read. For me the real stumper is commercial bread, almost all of which has the texture of marshmallows. Obviously this is a convenience item as well. I certainly don't expect many people to make their own bread. But ISTM there should be enough demand for bread with texture that the commercial bakers would supply it. Here in San Francisco, we don't have anything equivalent to Arnold's or Peppridge Farm. Even the rye bread is marshmallows. And, no, I don't want everythng to be artisanal and heavy crusted. That market, actually, is pretty well covered. What stumps me is why the general public doesn't demand something between the two. To the extent, at least, of making it a commercially viable option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Home made is only cheaper if one ignores labor.

I don't see it that way.

Homemade and store-bought are not the same product and, for most, labor is required to earn the money to buy stock.

I agree on the sponge bread, I've never understood the appeal of that garbage.

2 people like this

~Martin

Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist, contrarian and natural born skeptic who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

excellent. made my day :

"""" They really last and last, because people who buy them don't cook with them """

in a way certain types of sandwiches are better on bread thats a bit softer:

not wonderbread, mind you but Arnolds or PM such as tunafish. egg salad etc

even a turkey sandwich. those commercial bread however dont' last very long and retain the full type of texture and aroma for the bread part of a sandwich.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Home made is only cheaper if one ignores labor.

Homemade and store-bought are not the same product and, for most, labor is required to earn the money to buy stock.

Come, now. Labor to buy applies to both parts and cans. I was talking about the additional labor to turn parts into stock. Of course home made is better than canned. But I don't have any trouble understanding why most folks don't consider the difference worth the extra effort.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's correct pbear. My mother buys stock in cans since she can never make up her mind about what she is going to cook. She also has RA and it makes it difficult for her to lift heavy pots with limited dexterity and strength (she is 80). Since she lives alone and doesn't entertain, canned stock is fine for her needs.

I look at it as a step up, and an improvement, from the bouillon cubes she was using before.

Baby steps, baby.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Home made is only cheaper if one ignores labor.

Homemade and store-bought are not the same product and, for most, labor is required to earn the money to buy stock.

Labor to buy applies to both parts and cans.

That's true but in the case of the leg quarters you're getting a whole lot more and it only takes about 10 minutes of active time to make stock.


~Martin

Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist, contrarian and natural born skeptic who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why spend the money for a full set of knives ?

dcarch

If you literally have no decent knives, a block with a small number 5-6 knives and a steel can offer very good value. Especially at times of the year like now.

I'm starting to replace my [really] cheap block that i got when I moved out fives years ago with individual Wusthofs for my specific needs, but truth be told I more than got my money's worth and I will keep the block, too.


The Dead Parrot; Built from the ground up by bartenders, for everyone:

Monkey Shoulder Ultimate Bartender Champions, 2015

Twitter

Instagram

Untappd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

. ... but in the case of the leg quarters you're getting a whole lot more and it only takes about 10 minutes of active time to make stock.

I can't accept that, at least considering how I make stock. Let's see, first I have to get the stock pot, which, because of its size is not handy in the kitchen. Then, vegetables have to be cleaned and cut. The stock has to be watched and skimmed, at least in the early stages. After draining and straining, the debris has to be composted, the pot cleaned and put away, and the stock put into containers and refrigerated. At some point the fat needs to be skimmed off and dealt with. And lets not forget cleaning the prep tools such as knives and cutting boards. For me, that's a lot more than ten minutes of my time. It's a lot closer to an hour by my rough estimate. And then there's the cost of energy for heating and cooking the stock, heating the wash water or running the dishwasher ... and my time for all this has some value.

There's a time and place for prepared stock, or prepared anything. I have only come across one person in all my years on cooking forums who claimed they used no prepared foods, that everything they consumed was made from scratch. Frankly, I don't believe that. I'd like to meet one person who never uses at least some prepared ingredients to effect time savings or make preparing a meal more convenient or easier.

6 people like this

 ... Shel

"... ya can't please everyone, so ya got to please yourself "

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Amen, Shel, exactly my thoughts. Nice if you can go that way but it isn't always possible.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

. ... but in the case of the leg quarters you're getting a whole lot more and it only takes about 10 minutes of active time to make stock.

I can't accept that, at least considering how I make stock. Let's see, first I have to get the stock pot, which, because of its size is not handy in the kitchen. Then, vegetables have to be cleaned and cut. The stock has to be watched and skimmed, at least in the early stages. After draining and straining, the debris has to be composted, the pot cleaned and put away, and the stock put into containers and refrigerated. At some point the fat needs to be skimmed off and dealt with. And lets not forget cleaning the prep tools such as knives and cutting boards. For me, that's a lot more than ten minutes of my time. It's a lot closer to an hour by my rough estimate. And then there's the cost of energy for heating and cooking the stock, heating the wash water or running the dishwasher ... and my time for all this has some value.

There's a time and place for prepared stock, or prepared anything. I have only come across one person in all my years on cooking forums who claimed they used no prepared foods, that everything they consumed was made from scratch. Frankly, I don't believe that. I'd like to meet one person who never uses at least some prepared ingredients to effect time savings or make preparing a meal more convenient or easier.

Takes me about 10 minutes of active time to make a batch of chicken stock with the bones from 10 pounds of leg quarters.

No cutting boards....no knives...no pot watching....no skimming...no dishwashers.

I grab the 5 liter pressure cooker.

Toss the bones and a whole onion in the 5 liter pressure cooker and cover with water.

Bring up to pressure and adjust heat.

Turn off heat when done....allow to cool naturally.

Strain and pour into containers.

Refrigerate or freeze.

Wash pressure cooker, bowl and strainer.

Toss the bones in to the bokasi bucket.

It doesn't have to take a lot of active time and effort.


Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
1 person likes this

~Martin

Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist, contrarian and natural born skeptic who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is meant for Adam George up-thread.

Of the 11 knives in my knife block I regularly use the following: 10" chef's knife for fruits and veggies only (gets hand-washed & dried and returned to the block when I am done with it), 10" chef's knife for proteins, 3 1/2" paring knife, 7" Santoku for cutting up bricks of cheese into smaller pieces and for green onions I just made the decision yesterday to retrieve my 12" slicer from my knife roll and add it to the block but it still won't be used that often. My DW's knife block is closer to where we keep the bread so I generally grab her bread knife if I need one. And I use my Wusthoff ((sp) shears regularly.

The tomato knife that came with my Spanish Henkels set has yet to be used. I rarely use the 3 "slicers" with the curved blade that came with this set.


Edited by Porthos (log)
1 person likes this

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I completely agree with both positions.

it's more like : what do you enjoy doing in the kitchen.

we all have the same amount of time. the buzz now is 24/7 :huh:

we portion it out differently.

i used to do a lot more in the kitchen.

a bit less now.

Ive become pretty lazy.

that being said, the Test Kitchen a while back did a 'Chicken Noodle Soup'

close enough. it made stock with supermarket ground chicken etc etc

it may have added low-salt boxed or not.

I made this. i added my own take on the herbs it used broad noodles.

this was the very best chicken noodle ( or what they called it ) soup one could ever

make at home. you could 'goose it' for your own flavor profile

but the ground chicken made this dish

but you had to be interesting in making it

as a personal project for

""" Fun in the Kitchen """

:biggrin:

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand the point here. (Or in a lot of other posts in this thread. Or maybe the thread in its entirety.) Are you really saying that if it doesn't take you a long time to make stock, then you simply can't understand why other people don't make their own stock as well?

. ... but in the case of the leg quarters you're getting a whole lot more and it only takes about 10 minutes of active time to make stock.

I can't accept that, at least considering how I make stock. Let's see, first I have to get the stock pot, which, because of its size is not handy in the kitchen. Then, vegetables have to be cleaned and cut. The stock has to be watched and skimmed, at least in the early stages. After draining and straining, the debris has to be composted, the pot cleaned and put away, and the stock put into containers and refrigerated. At some point the fat needs to be skimmed off and dealt with. And lets not forget cleaning the prep tools such as knives and cutting boards. For me, that's a lot more than ten minutes of my time. It's a lot closer to an hour by my rough estimate. And then there's the cost of energy for heating and cooking the stock, heating the wash water or running the dishwasher ... and my time for all this has some value.

There's a time and place for prepared stock, or prepared anything. I have only come across one person in all my years on cooking forums who claimed they used no prepared foods, that everything they consumed was made from scratch. Frankly, I don't believe that. I'd like to meet one person who never uses at least some prepared ingredients to effect time savings or make preparing a meal more convenient or easier.

Takes me about 10 minutes of active time to make a batch of chicken stock with the bones from 10 pounds of leg quarters.

No cutting boards....no knives...no pot watching....no skimming...no dishwashers.

I grab the 5 liter pressure cooker.

Toss the bones and a whole onion in the 5 liter pressure cooker and cover with water.

Bring up to pressure and adjust heat.

Turn off heat when done....allow to cool naturally.

Strain and pour into containers.

Refrigerate or freeze.

Wash pressure cooker, bowl and strainer.

Toss the bones in to the bokasi bucket.

It doesn't take a lot of active time and effort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why do I prefer Swansons chicken in a can over home-made. Because I have never been satisfied with the taste of my home-made stock. About 2 months ago I made some stock for use the same day. Went through all of the steps down to a bouquet garni. Skimmed, cooked down, cooled and de-fatted. When I was through making the dinner that used it I still didn't care for the taste as much as I like the taste I get from Swansons.

I applaud those who make stocks that are superior to canned. After decades of on-again/off-again attempts at home-made stocks I don't think they are worth my time, and I say that only for me. I am satisfied that the people who eat my food (including my ren faire food) enjoy what I produce. I cook mostly from scratch. I used canned tomato sauce, canned beans at home (dried beans for faire food), and I eat canned soups (consuming the whole can's worth) for lunch occasionally.

2 people like this

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The title of the thread is "Things lots of people buy and I don't understand..."

I don't understand why people buy 10 cans of Swanson Broth for 69 cents a can when on special ($1.09 regular price) and then boast about what a great deal it is...I don't understand it for several reasons.....there's much more to consider than just convenience and economics.

It's my opinion that it's NOT a good deal when the same $6.90 will purchase 10 lbs. of chicken leg quarters that are real and will yield more food without a lot of time and effort.

I'm not saying people shouldn't buy it...I'm just saying it doesn't make sense to me and I don't understand it from my perspective....that's the subject of this thread.

I don't understand the point here. (Or in a lot of other posts in this thread. Or maybe the thread in its entirety.) Are you really saying that if it doesn't take you a long time to make stock, then you simply can't understand why other people don't make their own stock as well?

. ... but in the case of the leg quarters you're getting a whole lot more and it only takes about 10 minutes of active time to make stock.

I can't accept that, at least considering how I make stock. Let's see, first I have to get the stock pot, which, because of its size is not handy in the kitchen. Then, vegetables have to be cleaned and cut. The stock has to be watched and skimmed, at least in the early stages. After draining and straining, the debris has to be composted, the pot cleaned and put away, and the stock put into containers and refrigerated. At some point the fat needs to be skimmed off and dealt with. And lets not forget cleaning the prep tools such as knives and cutting boards. For me, that's a lot more than ten minutes of my time. It's a lot closer to an hour by my rough estimate. And then there's the cost of energy for heating and cooking the stock, heating the wash water or running the dishwasher ... and my time for all this has some value.

There's a time and place for prepared stock, or prepared anything. I have only come across one person in all my years on cooking forums who claimed they used no prepared foods, that everything they consumed was made from scratch. Frankly, I don't believe that. I'd like to meet one person who never uses at least some prepared ingredients to effect time savings or make preparing a meal more convenient or easier.

Takes me about 10 minutes of active time to make a batch of chicken stock with the bones from 10 pounds of leg quarters.

No cutting boards....no knives...no pot watching....no skimming...no dishwashers.

I grab the 5 liter pressure cooker.

Toss the bones and a whole onion in the 5 liter pressure cooker and cover with water.

Bring up to pressure and adjust heat.

Turn off heat when done....allow to cool naturally.

Strain and pour into containers.

Refrigerate or freeze.

Wash pressure cooker, bowl and strainer.

Toss the bones in to the bokasi bucket.

It doesn't take a lot of active time and effort.

1 person likes this

~Martin

Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist, contrarian and natural born skeptic who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its all about the Time In the Kitchen.

enjoy it? or not ?

the secondary think is "" save ing money ""

that's a bit more complicated

but the Solution is very simple:

enjoy you time in the Kitchen.

it provides not just for you

but for you family and your friends

Happy Cooking !

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why do I prefer Swansons chicken in a can over home-made. Because I have never been satisfied with the taste of my home-made stock. About 2 months ago I made some stock for use the same day. Went through all of the steps down to a bouquet garni. Skimmed, cooked down, cooled and de-fatted. When I was through making the dinner that used it I still didn't care for the taste as much as I like the taste I get from Swansons.

Flavor enhancers (yeast extract [glutamate] in the case of Swanson's broth) have spoiled folks.

I'll add a touch of fish sauce or the like if I think something needs a little boost.


~Martin

Unsupervised rebellious radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader and adventurous cook. Crotchety cantankerous terse curmudgeon, nonconformist, contrarian and natural born skeptic who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Then there are those of us, for whatever reasons can't stand up very long. For me to stand up long enough to skim the stock, get out the containers, decant the stock into said containers, then get back up after it's cooled, close the containers and find room for them in my freezer, I would need oxygen! % (

6 people like this

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.