Eating on the cheap

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Recent headlines warn that the current drought (thank you Global Warming!) is about to spike food prices, which is alarming not only because it is, but also because I have been horrified for the last couple of years by the same problem, caused by the rising cost of oil.

Whatever. You gotta eat. Over many years between non-bachelor phases of my life, I have developed a number of strategies for cooking at home the sorts of food that either make good leftovers or else can be turned into something else if you don't like leftovers.

So keep in mind this is bachelor food, not meant to impress a date. Although a little presentation goes a long way regardless of who is eating it.

As a great woman once said, "There's nothing like having a kid, where you have someone who looks just like you sitting at the other end of the table saying, 'Feed me!' to motivate you in that direction."

In that spirit, I offer a secret recipe. If anyone tries it, send all feedback to

Grampy's Fishstick Chowder

1 big box of fishsticks, whatever you can afford

1 bag of potatoes

1 gallon milk

1 stick of butter



Garlic powder

1 onion

6 cans beer

1 box Best Buy saltines

Okay: use the biggest pot you have. Dice the potatoes and fill the pot 1/2 full. Boil. Don't overboil. I did that once, and when I poured them through the colander, most all of it went right down the drain. Tragic, especially if you're broke; otherwise you wouldn't be eating fishstick chowder, right?

While the potatoes are boiling, chop up the fishsticks till you're tired of messing with it. Return the potatoes to the pot. Get garlic cloves and chop fine/press, or just use the powder. Garlic is good for you. Chop the onion fine. Add the fishsticks, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and butter. You can't take the salt back out, so be careful; on the other hand, it will probably take more than you think. Add slowly.

Add one can of beer. Drink the other 5. Top the pot off with the milk. Get it hot but don't boil it; the milk does weird things if you boil it. Since most of it is already cooked, just stir it a lot while you stand there drinking the beers. Turn the music up to pass the time. Classic rock or alternative country is highly recommended for the tone it adds to the event, like talking to your plants.

When it's all hot, you're there. I use a lot of crackers myself. It gets thicker the longer you cook it. Should last two or three days or until you're sick of it. If you're watching your weight, eat a salad instead. Either way, enjoy.