Hunter, Gatherer, Food Guy…

Mr. Perry made the move towards independence this weekend. At the very least he’ll learn to appreciate the idea of nobody naggin’ him about what to do in his place. I always enjoyed being the master of my own domain. Newfound freedoms are balanced out by responsibility and monetary realities, but it gives most people a greater appreciation for the support given by parents, family, etc. Livin’ on a budget isn’t easy (heh heh, O the laughter that ensues from those that know me well), but I thought I’d throw out some food tips to help Mr. Perry as chicks dig a guy who can cook a meal:

1. Shop smart. You laughed when someone you knew clipped coupons, but saving 20 cents on every dollar adds up quickly. You’ll quickly notice how the water you bought at Kroger for $8.99 a case is only $4.35 at WalMart. You can also save money by buying in bulk so a Sam’s Club or Costco card is a good idea. Use your freezer to store meats, breads and other raw food items instead of instant dinners.

2. Get cooking. Maybe working a microwave was the minimal requirement for meals in the past, but frozen dinners don’t last very long and can be expensive. Nobody likes to eat Ramen noodles all the time either. Cooking isn’t that hard and for me is divided into two skills – grilling & sauces.

Grilling takes practice. Slap down your food item and learn how to adjust temperatures and flip items for a short period of time. Trust me after burning a few steaks, you’ll find what works for you. Start with basic seasonings – salt & pepper, then venture out to marinating your chicken or steaks. Easiest item to make grilled pork chops. Just add some hickory salt and your good to go. Can’t afford an outdoor grill? You’d be amazed at what you can do with George Foreman’s electric invention. Laugh if you want, but a burger or salmon steak tastes better than a hot pocket any day.

When it comes to sauces I’m infamous for making “Slop In A Pot” on Sundays. That would be any type of sauce – Spaghetti, Chili, Beef Stew, etc. that I can use with leftovers during the week. I’ll make a large pot of sauce, but only cook the amount of noodles or rice I need each evening. I prefer to use elbow noodles instead of spagetti because I can dump them in a bowl and eat `em with a spoon. For a quick red sauce pick a brand you like and add your own ground beef with some plain tomato sauce (tomato paste if you want thickness), add your own vegetables and by a premixed Italian spice to sprinkle in. You’ll quickly discover other recipes which are easy to whip up like baking chicken breasts with cream of mushroom soup.

I’d like to come up with a good closer, but the worst part about censorship is

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  • Rick December 7, 2003   Reply →

    Wow….A.J. That was impressive. You know… when you buy a Weber BBQ, it comes with a great instruction guide and recipe book. Totally changed my BBQ’ing and grilling skills (keep the damn lid closed!). Also keeps the heat outside the house (essential in the middle of summer).

    Maybe I’m getting old, but I’m actually enjoying watching Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver cook up some classics…. I’ve tried some of the techniques, and they come out real nice. The only problem is the cleaning!

  • Lauren December 7, 2003   Reply →

    I like the christmas banner! Very festive 🙂

    Also enjoyed your cooking enlightenment, especially since I am the epitomy of cooking challenged.

  • Hose Monster December 8, 2003   Reply →

    I’d like a listing of your favorite recipes. One of these days, when I’m not slugging through law school finals, I’ll pick up my apron again and get back in the kitchen.

  • Sarah December 8, 2003   Reply →

    I hear the A Man, A Can, A Plan book is helpful, but at the same time, it’s hard to pay money for a recipe book that also serves as an advertisement.

  • Rhys December 8, 2003   Reply →

    I agree with the cooking thing. It’s not too tricky, just buy some frozen chips/pizza/chicken/peas/sausages/burgers/fish/whatnot and bung it on the tray, leave it for half an hour and eat.

  • sandersans December 8, 2003   Reply →

    Damn A.J. – You beat me to the festive colors. Now when I change my stylesheet for the holiday season I will be considered a follower and not a leader.

  • mr. helpful December 8, 2003   Reply →

    Here is an ironclad rule for grilling…DO NOT PLAY WITH THE FOOD. Subrule….DO NOT FLIP MORE THAN ONCE.

    Thus endeth the lesson.

    By the way, I concur…nice Christmas banner…much better than my pathetic attempt at imitating graffitti tagging…heh heh heh

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