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Fat Guy

Things lots of people buy and I don't understand

155 posts in this topic

Some times you just want Favorite Brand of canned soup. Who wants to cook up a huge pot of (whatever kind of) soup when the cook is the only one who likes it? I agree that homemade is superior, but for one meal canned is sometimes just the ticket.

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We all have different likes and dislikes...there is no right or wrong...it's personal preference.

I've always been rather frugal and don't mind the extra effort (within reason) necessary to make a dollar go further.....hopefully much further.

Another example:

Because of the popularity of Buffalo chicken wings, raw wings at the grocery store command a premium.

I have friends who'll pay $2.29 a pound for raw wings.

They'll also pay $1.99 a pound for split chicken breasts with ribs and skin.

I could never do that.

When I want Buffalo wings, I'll buy 6 roasters for 99 cents a pound.

Cut off the dozen wings.

Cut up and use the rest of the chicken in various ways.

I come out MUCH further ahead by doing that.

It takes less than 5 minutes to cut up a chicken and just a few more minutes to bag it and freeze it.


Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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~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! 

 

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Some times you just want Favorite Brand of canned soup. Who wants to cook up a huge pot of (whatever kind of) soup when the cook is the only one who likes it? I agree that homemade is superior, but for one meal canned is sometimes just the ticket.

There are certainly times when I really NEED a rapid application of comfort food and so I keep Campbell's Cheddar Cheese soup on hand so I can cook a batch of pasta, add some butter and the can of soup, stir and chow down. About 20 minutes start to finish.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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DDF, of course you're entitled to your opinion. Others, of course, are entitled to disagree. Discussion of such is the point of the forum. IMHO, for the reasons mentioned, by me and others, canned stock is a rather poor example of the sort of products to which the thread was directed.

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DDF, of course you're entitled to your opinion. Others, of course, are entitled to disagree. Discussion of such is the point of the forum. IMHO, for the reasons mentioned, by me and others, canned stock is a rather poor example of the sort of products to which the thread was directed.

This thread is about opinion.

I'm sorry I insulted your pre-made store-bought stock/broth!!!

Enjoy!!!!


~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! 

 

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Space is also a concern. I don't have room for a freezer in my house. When my mother moved in with me for the last years of her life, she had to leave her freezer behind because there was no place to put it, and it was a nice big freezer too.The only freezer I have is the one at the top of my 18' refrigerator. I have made my own stock (the stock pot sits on the top of the fridge with my all-clad 10" skillet on it} and I enjoyed making it. I even went so far as to make a Julia Child recipe for chicken in aspic. I have cartons of Swanson's chicken broth in my cupboard so I'm using my limited freezer space for things that can't be stored in the cupboard. I'm only cooking for myself, but I will cook four servings of some dishes and freeze three. I also bake my own bread, so that gets sliced and put in the freezer. I don't even have ice cubes in the freezer since they take up too much space. I also freeze split pea soup and leek and potato soup.

The things people buy that I don't understand are things such as pre-scrubbed, wrapped in tinfoil baking potatoes, or those very expensive packages of chopped parsley frozen in little cubes of ice.

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"A fool", he said, "would have swallowed it". Samuel Johnson

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At the risk of insulting mothers everywhere, I think the trend toward prepared foods came after years of drudgery in the kitchen and accelerated in the 70s and 80s when women began working full time on a regular basis. Mothers (and some fathers) simply didn't have or wouldn't make time to teach their children to cook. Grandmothers were often hundreds if not thousands of miles away and of little to no influence. Thus, we have at least two generations who never really learned to cook and are more than pleased to find that Marie Callender makes pies and Stouffer's makes frozen lasagna.

We here, are of course horrified by this, but it's just the way it is.

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Just so. Like everything else in life kids need to be taught to cook by example. As the twig is bent etc. Our kids, 22 and 20, don't cook much, but they saw us doing it and sort of know how. Both can and do prepare favorite dishes about weekly while at school. Sausage and peppers for one, pulled pork for the other. And our son just asked for a teflon pan for eggs and fish, because his cheapo pan warped. :-)


Edited by gfweb (log)
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I taught my boys rudimentary knife skills when they were old enough to pay attention and not decide to "swordplay" when I turned my back. My 24 year old is a decent cook and is finally picking up some speed and time management skills. My 17 year old need a refresher course and I hope to help him with that this summer. He is currently working as a fry cook at a burger place, but that isn't exactly challenging. He's better with a mandolin than me and is a whiz at portion control (he's one of those math people) and time management.

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The thread is about not understanding why people buy certain things. The implication in many responses is that people "should" make their own rather than buy ready-made. I don't understand why people do a lot of things, but I'd rather learn their reasons than disparage their choices. I might not be swayed to their way of doing things, but I'll have a different level of understanding. For years I thought it was crazy that supermarkets were selling packages of pre-chopped vegetables. Now that I'm older and arthritis is slowly creeping in, I understand much better. Sometimes we're too quick to judge.

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The thread is about not understanding why people buy certain things. The implication in many responses is that people "should" make their own rather than buy ready-made. I don't understand why people do a lot of things, but I'd rather learn their reasons than disparage their choices. I might not be swayed to their way of doing things, but I'll have a different level of understanding. For years I thought it was crazy that supermarkets were selling packages of pre-chopped vegetables. Now that I'm older and arthritis is slowly creeping in, I understand much better. Sometimes we're too quick to judge.

Good point. Sometimes premade is more efficient, as Annabelle cites re making a little bit of soup. Sometimes premade tastes better because the producer has access to ingredients and techniques that we don't. Sometimes premade is speedy when speed is required (eg dinner for a bunch of kids who don't notice the difference between home made mac and cheese and the crap in the Kraft box.)

But sometimes its just dumb IMHO, like Lunchables which might save all of 30 seconds in prep time and cost about 10X home made school lunches. Or even worse, Uncrustables (which always sound more like a kids underwear than food).

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When I want Buffalo wings, I'll buy 6 roasters for 99 cents a pound.

Cut off the dozen wings.

Cut up and use the rest of the chicken in various ways.

I come out MUCH further ahead by doing that.

It takes less than 5 minutes to cut up a chicken and just a few more minutes to bag it and freeze it.

Chicken for 99¢ a pound? Not around here. Even the Asian and Latino markets have significantly pricier chicken. I can't recall when I even saw it at that price on some BIG sale advertised in a newspaper.

It would take me a lot more time than five minutes to cut up a chicken ... much less bag it and freeze it. I'm so slow wrt such things <LOL>


 ... Shel

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

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Its all about the Time In the Kitchen.

Yes, and no ... for some people who have the time, and even those who like playing in the kitchen, there are other factors, as has been pointed out here more than once. Some people have physical limitations that get in the way of prepping certain ingredients. When I have a bad arthritis flare-up, I won't be doing any prep. Heck, there are times when I can't even open a can, and I'm grateful for the frozen items, whatever their source, that are in the freezer, and am just as grateful for the microwave oven, and now the Breville.

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 ... Shel

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

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The things people buy that I don't understand are ... those very expensive packages of chopped parsley frozen in little cubes of ice.

Likewise, until I found that there are times when they'd come in handy.

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 ... Shel

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

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DDF, of course you're entitled to your opinion. Others, of course, are entitled to disagree. Discussion of such is the point of the forum. IMHO, for the reasons mentioned, by me and others, canned stock is a rather poor example of the sort of products to which the thread was directed.

This thread is about opinion.

I'm sorry I insulted your pre-made store-bought stock/broth!!!

Enjoy!!!!

The funny thing is that I don't actually use canned chicken stock much. But I don't have any trouble understanding why many people do.

Meanwhile, your ten minute stock is no such thng. Also, mass market chickens make feeble stock. If one wants usable meat, the stock produced will be even more feeble. A home made stock without defatting isn't worth having. A home made stock without aromatics (including carrots and celery) isn't worth having. And, as I noted earlier, there's the storage issue. Sorry if I've insulted your frugal home made stock. Enjoy!!

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LOL!

Mass market chickens?

Not hardly!!!!

The chickens I eat are raised by the local Mennonites.

Aromatics may or may not be added to the stock depending on how I intend to use it.

The few minutes of active time required is no big deal to me.


Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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~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! 

 

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There's a Mennonite farmers market in Williamstown NJ that I go to to buy things. Their pork chops are incredible. The last time I was there, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the poultry stand had stewing chickens for sale. Had I had the space, I would have bought one to make stock following Julia Child's recipe. Since I'm retired, I have the time, I have the energy, but I don't have the space to store it.

As for the parsley cubes, I grown my own parsley each year in a bed that I share with the Swallowtail caterpillars, and I also have self-seeded parsley all over the year. Each fall I harvest a lot of parsley, hand chop it, and dry freeze it in a container. The parsley cubes are frozen in water, so I consider them to have limited usefulness. Right now the parsley in the yard is still putting out new growth.

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"A fool", he said, "would have swallowed it". Samuel Johnson

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LOL!

Mass market chickens?

Not hardly!!!!

The chickens I eat are raised by the local Mennonites.

Aromatics may or may not be added to the stock depending on how I intend to use it.

The few minutes of active time required is no big deal to me.

First, an apology. I misread the post to which I was responding and thought you had said "I apologize if ...", a form of apology I find particularly maddening, when in fact you said no such thing. My mistake, no excuses.

Second, I'm envious you can get good chickens at such low prices. (I assume these are the same ones you mentioned upthread as being $0.69/lb for legs and $0.99/lb for whole birds.) You do appreciate, I hope, that most of us don't have access to this sort of thing. Back when I was making my own stock (had a big freezer then), sourcing chickens worth the effort was the most difficult part of the exercise, and they were a good deal more expensive.

Third, coming back to the topic, I would suggest you're explaining why you go to the trouble of making chicken stock when most of us just buy it. That's fine and I do similar things. For example, I make my own dijon mustard, because it's not hard and a heck of a lot better IMHO than commercial brands. But I don't have any trouble understanding why most people don't bother. I respectfully submit you should take the same view on canned chicken stock.

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As for the parsley cubes, I grown my own parsley each year in a bed that I share with the Swallowtail caterpillars, and I also have self-seeded parsley all over the year. Each fall I harvest a lot of parsley, hand chop it, and dry freeze it in a container. The parsley cubes are frozen in water, so I consider them to have limited usefulness. Right now the parsley in the yard is still putting out new growth.

My parsley looks pretty weak. We planted it late - might that be the reason?

I misspoke earlier. The frozen parsley I used wasn't frozen in water, just small, frozen cubes of parsley.


Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel

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

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LOL!

Mass market chickens?

Not hardly!!!!

The chickens I eat are raised by the local Mennonites.

Aromatics may or may not be added to the stock depending on how I intend to use it.

The few minutes of active time required is no big deal to me.

First, an apology. I misread the post to which I was responding and thought you had said "I apologize if ...", a form of apology I find particularly maddening, when in fact you said no such thing. My mistake, no excuses.

Second, I'm envious you can get good chickens at such low prices. (I assume these are the same ones you mentioned upthread as being $0.69/lb for legs and $0.99/lb for whole birds.) You do appreciate, I hope, that most of us don't have access to this sort of thing. Back when I was making my own stock (had a big freezer then), sourcing chickens worth the effort was the most difficult part of the exercise, and they were a good deal more expensive.

Third, coming back to the topic, I would suggest you're explaining why you go to the trouble of making chicken stock when most of us just buy it. That's fine and I do similar things. For example, I make my own dijon mustard, because it's not hard and a heck of a lot better IMHO than commercial brands. But I don't have any trouble understanding why most people don't bother. I respectfully submit you should take the same view on canned chicken stock.

I actually barter for the chickens so I do get an extremely good deal on them.

The main reason I make stock is because I like my stock to taste like chicken...I make a very concentrated stock with a minimum of 'perfumes.'

My main issue (there are others) with commercial stock is the flavor enhancers that are added....I do not like the flavor....I much prefer the flavor of natural chicken.

I do understand why some folks use it and I don't have a problem with that.

What I really don't understand is when my friends get commercial stock on sale they'll brag about what a great deal it is......those same friends (who claim to always be hunting for a deal) will toss out bones from chicken rather than make their own stock.....that I do no understand because it's extremely easy to make, it tastes better and it's a MUCH better deal.


~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! 

 

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I have a lot of respect for any food item on store shelves.

For a company to have a food product from conception to finally end up on the shelf, a lot of effort and money, millions of $ will have been spent.

A food lab in a company has many cooks, chefs, chemists, marketing experts, package designers --------- to work on a concept ---- testing, modifying, designing special machinery ------- focus groups ------ market testing -------- government approvals ----- sales team ----advertising----- . Supermarkets do not waste their expensive shelf space for an item which does not have sales potentials.

I have seen an one-hour documentary on PBS on the making of a snack. A very complicated and industrial process. Part of the program was hilarious, like Lucille Ball episodes. Many scientists and technicians in white lab coats worked on it for months, and the final item was something named "Grandma's Kitchen Crispies".

dcarch

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As for the parsley cubes, I grown my own parsley each year in a bed that I share with the Swallowtail caterpillars, and I also have self-seeded parsley all over the year. Each fall I harvest a lot of parsley, hand chop it, and dry freeze it in a container. The parsley cubes are frozen in water, so I consider them to have limited usefulness. Right now the parsley in the yard is still putting out new growth.

My parsley looks pretty weak. We planted it late - might that be the reason?

I misspoke earlier. The frozen parsley I used wasn't frozen in water, just small, frozen cubes of parsley.

Its been my experience that parsley doesn't like warm weather. I plant it in the early spring, and hope it gets through the summer so I can harvest it. I also use a technique I read years ago in a book After planting the seeds, I pour boiling water over the rows of seeds. I don't over-winter the parsley I plant even tho' it's a biennial. The self seeded parsley I let go to seed the second year. Basil is the opposite. I don't plant the seeds until the ground feels warm to my hand.


"A fool", he said, "would have swallowed it". Samuel Johnson

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.....those same friends (who claim to always be hunting for a deal) will toss out bones from chicken rather than make their own stock....

I have no source of bones from chickens. Because of dietary issues my DW has coupled with the fact the my adult daughter has issues with never thinking chicken on the bone is ever completely cooked I buy boneless skinless chicken thighs. I have indeed purchased thighs and boned and skinned them myself. It was a royal pain in the posterior and I have reasonable knife skills.

My wife had bariatric surgery and finds that white-meat chicken no longer agrees with her. In the five years since her surgery I have never been able to cook a chicken breast that she can properly swallow. Since she and I both prefer dark meat anyway it is a no-brainer.


Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

 

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FWIW, I think DDF was making a different point, i.e., that his friends who are always hunting for a deal would save even more money if they made a simple stock rather then throwing away their bones. He's not saying one need bones, and certainly not cleaned ones, to make stock. In fact, as DDF mentioned upthread, the best way to do this cheaply is to use whole legs cut into pieces. That said, supermarket chickens don't make very good stock IMHO (they're too mild) and I'm prettey sure that's why your various attempts were disappointing. Since canned is working for you, don't worry about it. And since you don't have bones you're throwing away, DDF's comment doesn't apply to you.

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.....those same friends (who claim to always be hunting for a deal) will toss out bones from chicken rather than make their own stock....

I have indeed purchased thighs and boned and skinned them myself. It was a royal pain in the posterior and I have reasonable knife skills.

In the following video Martin Gilligan demonstrates my favorite way of deboning thighs....with a bit of practice you can go through several of them in a few short minutes....

Starting at about 2:40 in the video.......

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~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! 

 

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