July 2, 2011

Shopping and cooking for yourself is ultimately much more satisfying than going to restaurants.

Argues Mark Bittman.
[The restaurant] experience, effortless and pleasurable in anticipation, is usually expensive — even when it’s at a theoretically inexpensive restaurant — and frustrating; more often than not it’s unsatisfying. (Note that this means it’s also sometimes satisfying, which is why I keep doing it; it’s a gamble.)

When I cook, though, everything seems to go right....
When I'm home everything seems to be right... So sang The Beatles in "Hard Day's Night"... which we were just watching last night... before going out to a restaurant.
Compared with a restaurant, the frustrations and annoyances are minimal, the food is as good or better-tasting, unquestionably healthier and more environmentally friendly, and much less expensive. Saturday night, for example, I fed four people a dinner of nuts, a small frittata, fish, salad and watermelon for far less than two of us would have spent at Applebee’s....

In most restaurants...  you relinquish all control....
There's a larger principle here too, isn't there? It's not just restaurants and home cooking. It's everything that you do outside the home versus home. Compare spending the night in a hotel to sleeping in your own bed. If you embrace the reality of how beautiful home is — and how cheap and comfortable — you may never go anywhere. I think that's the reason we stave off the realization of how much we like to stay home!

115 comments:

Ron said...

Sometimes cooking at home is preferable....but this underestimates how much cooking is often a boring grind. Better to let someone else do it! This also ignores how if you go to the right places, no, you can't cook as well as they do, even for cheap things!

The Drill SGT said...

Says the guy who wants to sell his cookbooks.

Seriously though, the Wif and I cook every night. I do weekends and some weekday meals (though she does the weekday plans).

Tonight it's chicken schnitzels, pounded flat, breaded/fried, with a shroom/cream sauce with Spatzle and green beans

Sunday, Nurnburgers/brotchen with kraut and salad off the grill.

JAL said...

When I cook, though, everything seems to go right....


You see, he lost me right there.

;-)

wv anshash
What Ann cooks for Meade sometimes.

tfmaguire42 said...

Cooking for four, maybe. But cooking a nice meal for one or two is not necessarily less expensive than eating out.

Eating at home is nice in some ways, but having someone else take care of everything (especially clean up) is nice in others.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If you embrace the reality of how beautiful home is — and how cheap and comfortable — you may never go anywhere. I think that's the reason we stave off the realization of how much we like to stay home!


Not really. Traveling only enhances the beauty and peace of home. Every time we go away and come back we have a new appreciation of our home life. We realize that while travel is fun, seeing new things and experiencing new things is exciting....there is nothing like the comfort of our routine and our 'stuff'.

Like that old song: how can I miss you if you don't go away.

Getting ready to take a fun road trip this weekend and looking forward to both going away and coming home.

JAL said...

Will everyone please get *outside*!

It's a fabulous weekend and we (most of us) are Americans!

Did you know Delaware signed on to the Declaration of Independence by a hoofbeat?

nina said...

I didn't read the article so forgive me if it has been so stated, but obviously there are two sides to this. If you cook at home, the cost isn't only in the food. It's the time you need to plan, shop and clean up after. The cooking is pleasurable enough, though, as Ron says -- often tedious. Chop chop chop...peel the shell, and another and another... The eating is good, I admit it. The shopping -- eh. The clean up -- give me a break.

Carol_Herman said...

He's wrong! Cooking for yourself, is like going without maid service.

I don't like to clean, either.

But for eating out, alone, I went to Amazon. And, bought a book holder that collapses into a pencil case; called Easy-read. I always bring a book with me. I won't go to restaurants that have crappy lighting.

And, all my dinners are as varied as places I'm willing to drive to.

In my car, I have books on tape. And, it's much better than listening to the radio. Currently, I am listening to Mark Twain's TOM SAWYER.

Where's the thrill to cooking at home?

While, yes. For my pets I'll cook. Not that the dogs aren't as thrilled with dog food, as they are with "prepped meals." But cooking for others, even when they're just your pets, is delightful.

Heck, I can add soup to my dogs, dog bowls. And, they slurp contentedly, too.

It's also been a long time since I've cooked for company. Easy to lose interest, when there's so much work involved. And, taking people out to restaurants ... gives you time to talk at the table. Plus, no one is tasked with "doing the dishes."

I say this even though I have a great dishwasher. (And, I've stocked up on the pellets I put into the machine.)

Is it such a novelty to support local stores?

Take your pick. Cook at home, alone. Or be a customer. How can shopping lose?

traditionalguy said...

Ditto. On a Friday night we may want a restaurant meal to break us out of the work weariness...and also to spend some money treating ourselves. But more and more we are deciding to home cook some fresh fish or beef with a big salad. The wife is a Salad Chef Supreme (if there such a thing.) I do the meat dishes because she says she did not learn how to cook the more expensive meat cuts in her mother's cooking school. Full disclosure: My diet requires very low sodium and our cooking at home allows me to obey my valiant Doctor. The wife is also big into picking meats which are not from hormone fed animals, When she nursed her sister through a brain tumor she learned that cancer tumors also get stimulated by any growth hormones in our diets.

Daniel Fielding said...

After dealing with cancer, I started eating meals cooked at home,so that I could eat food that were not contaminated with various growth hormones etc. In the process, I have learnt to cook some simple dishes quite well, to the point, I dont really feel the need to go out to eat, and my friends keep asking me to cook up a meal. So, I have them come over and help cook and clean.:)
Well, Ann Arbor restaurants are usually not all that good, so, unless I get a hankering for Ethiopian or South Indian food, I cook at home.

PETER V. BELLA said...

I cook. I love to cook. To me it is not work. But, I also like to eat out once in a while.

There is nothing like a home cooked meal. You know what goes in it since you put it there. It can be as simple or as fancy as you choose.

There is one problem with a home cooked meal, especially if you cook for yourself. If you get sick or get food poisoning you have no one to sue.

traditionalguy said...

Carol...Audiobooks also has Twain's Life on the Mississippi. It is as funny a book as I have ever read/heard.

John Burgess said...

I love good food. Often, that means I'll cook for myself; most of the time, actually.

But I also love going out for dinner if the food is going to meet or exceed my expectations. So, no Applebee's for me, thank you, I'll go ethnic instead.

I will order that which I cannot make for myself. Until I learn to make it, that is. I like finding new foods and methods of preparation and am more than happy to adopt/adapt them for myself.

David said...

I like it at home. That is because I like the person I am at home with. Your results may vary.

MarkD said...

When you stop appreciating home, you can always go camping.

MadisonMan said...

You can find restaurants that will give you the provenance of your meat so you will know if it's juiced or not.

I like take-out. Someone else cooks, and you eat at home. Win-win!

The Drill SGT said...

Daniel Fielding said...
Well, Ann Arbor restaurants are usually not all that good,


It's been 14 years now, but I used to work for an AA based firm, and we had some excellent meals after management meetings. Don't remeber the name of my favorite, but it was in the heart of AA (excellent wine list :)

AllenS said...

I thought that Applebee's was ethnic food. Isn't it stuff white people like?

Scott said...

If you learn to really care about what you eat, your eating-out options get more and more limited. Fast food becomes almost inedible. Drinks - they usually only do water or coffee well. French fries - even at a lot of McD's they taste bitter from being cooked in rancid or worn-out oil. Too much breading on chicken or fish. And even at a good New Jersey diner with a huge menu, there are dozens of favorites you never see because they are either too hard to deal with or they don't hit the sweet spot of maximum popularity. If you're not at an Asian or Latin restaurant, you never see meals served with rice. Casseroles are off the menu. Tuna or salmon that isn't grilled is rare.

That's why Food Network is so popular. They make stuff you almost never see on any menu.

Just sayin'...

traditionalguy said...

We were pleasantly surprised recently by the new and improved menu at Outback Steakhouse, and they serve Fosters on draft.

Ron said...

The Drill SGT: The Earle? Is that where you were thinking of?

Titus said...

I have actually been "cooking" at home for the first time and am enjoying it.

I like picking out the ingredients and knowing what is in my food.

When you go out to dindin, which I love, I have no idea how many calories are in my food or what is in it.

Because of my "cooking" my body is fierce again, which in turn makes me horny.

When you work out and feel confident about yourself you get really really horny.

thank you.

tits.

Scott said...

Fosters on draft. Amazing that a brewery in Australia can ship large refrigerated barrels of a heavily taxed beverage to the other side of this terrestrial ball and sell it at enough of a profit to make it worthwhile to do again and again.

I love the choices that capitalism gives you!

edutcher said...

There's a difference between boiling up some spaghetti and heating up a little Prego, as opposed to "nuts, a small frittata, fish, salad and watermelon".

For a lot of people, Ann's line, "In most restaurants... you relinquish all control", is a big selling point.

Ann Althouse said...

If you embrace the reality of how beautiful home is

You must have a nice life.

Home is beautiful only if I go through and make sure the pups haven't misbehaved.

Scott said...

Were those your tits talking, Titus? It's nice to be appreciated by your body parts. :)

PatCA said...

Nuts and fritatta beats a restaurant meal??

I don't get his point. It sounds like he feels guilty that he's "privileged"; therefore, he will justify ways to stay home and cook pretty ordinary stuff for guests so that other people can have more food.

I think.

Titus said...

Right now I am into quinoa, almonds, smoothies, 100 calorie whole wheat bagel thins, spinach, arugula, mushrooms, carrots, white rice, paneer, whey protein, wheat pasta, tomatoes, couscous, lentils, and ABS.

thank you

tits.

bagoh20 said...

I don't think any dining experience can beat a pint of rich vanilla ice cream eaten with a small spoon.

Titus said...

any my choice of snack is purple grapes.

purple.

pur...ple.

purple is a weird word.

Titus said...

I'm really into water too.

Titus said...

and a tight stomach, so important.

Trooper York said...

I cook every night we are home. Unfortunately we work so late some nights that I am too exhauster to make a meal so we eat out at one of the late night restaurants.

The ratio is usually four nights home cooking to two nights of eating out.

One of the benefits of being in NYC is that there are so many great ethnic restaruants. When we go to one I always ask about the food we are eating. Often the chef will come out to talk to you about it. He will give you tips and let you know generally how to cook in his style. He won't give up any secrets or give the exact reciepe but if you know how to cook you can generally figure it out. So far I have mastered Italian, Peruvian, Brazilian, Thai, Chinese, Greek, Cuban and Puerto Rican style cooking. You should the selection of spices and condiments I have accumulated over the years.

A do draw the line on one cusine though. No French.

I hate the French.

Scott said...

edutcher, on some days, a couple cups of boiled pasta, tossed with some Prego that was heated in the microwave, topped with a heavy dusting of Kraft parm, can be such a comfort after a hard day of work.

Personally, I prefer the tall cans of Hunts, Del Monte, or Redpack sauce over Prego. Out here they are only $1.25 and taste much better. Put the leftovers in an old Prego jar and refrigerate for your next meal.

Now I know what I'm having for lunch. :)

Trooper York said...

Tonight I am grilling skirt steaks which have been marinating in Chimichurri sauce with a side dish of yucca fries and chorizo and black beans and rice.

Trooper York said...

bagoh20 said...
I don't think any dining experience can beat a pint of rich vanilla ice cream eaten with a small spoon

Obviously no one has introduced you to the joy's of Butter Pecan.

Titus said...

I am not really into cocks though.

They don't do much for me.

Sure I don't mind looking at them but I really don't want to put much work into someone else's cock.

I am kind of selfish that way.

Some queens love devouring a cock more than anything but that has never been my thing.

Scott said...

Trooper York, remember when flank and skirt steaks were the cheapest cuts in the case? Now, $7.49 a pound at ShopRite. It sucks.

edutcher said...

Scott said...

edutcher, on some days, a couple cups of boiled pasta, tossed with some Prego that was heated in the microwave, topped with a heavy dusting of Kraft parm, can be such a comfort after a hard day of work.

I agree (particularly on the parmesan), but I think Mr Bittman had something a bit more from scratch in mind and I was being a tad facetious.

Trooper York said...

I hope when you buy you tomato sauce that you get chopped tomato instead of puree. If you just saute a few gloves of garlic, maybe include some leeks or a sweet onion and then debride the whole pan with a glass of red wine and then add your chopped tomato. That is a supremely easy and tasty suace.

I personally only use whole plum San Marzano tomato that I chopp up myself.

Scott said...

Titus, straight people don't talk about sex like that. Mind your manners.

Trooper York said...

I recently made a sauce that Lydia demonstrated on her show where instead of onions or leeks I used shredded apples. The taste was sublime.

Scott said...

(Watching Billie Jean King on the tube at the Route 46 Diner in Little Falls, NJ after finishing an omelet. What a great woman.)

Trooper York said...

Flank and skirt steak are crazy expensive. In fact everything is expensive.

I remember when my grandmother would send me to the butcher shop and I would get a pound of veal spadini for twenty five cents!

The butcher would slice it thin and pound it with a hammer until it was paper thin. I would take it home and she would dip it in egg and roll it in breadcrumbs. She might fill it with some cheese and onion or a hard boiled egg. Then put a toothpick through it and fry it. After it was totally browned she would pour a glass of wine over it to debride the pan. And then slowly add ladles of red sauce over it. Add some salt, red pepper and a teaspoon of sugar and of course a couple of bay leaves.
Let it simmer on the stove as the smell permeates through the house. You come in and throw your school bag on the floor and run to wash up. You sit down to a plate of spadini with a crusty piece of Italian bread for dipping.

Man I miss those days.

Scott said...

Ooops, I mean the Park West diner on Route 46. It's on everyone's short list of great diners here in NJ.

Scott said...

I never knew many Italians before moving to NJ. Seems like being Italian is like being Jewish except without so much guilt.

Trooper York said...

And with a lot less money. Just sayn'

caplight said...

In Kansas City I love going out for BBQ. I don't want to mess all day with ribs or a pork shoulder (though I have friends who leave their smoker going in the parking lot of their office buiding so they have dinner ready when they get home).

Secondly, a few places we go to we are regulars. I like the wait staff coming around and chatting, the owner coming out to see if the food was up to par and his wife sitting down with us and swapping kid and grand kid stories.

Lastly, we inevitably stay at the table talking to each other longer if we are out to dinner.

I will say that since I often eat out to entertain in business, it does get old sometimes.

Elliott A said...

Restaurants are for food you cannot possibly prepare at home, either because of inability to get the materials or you don't know how. I can't prepare fish as well as a good seafood restaurant because I can't get it off the boat. I can't make a sandwich as well as Katz's Deli or Taystee Sub Shop (Edison, NJ) However, I can make a better steak than almost any restaurant except for the elite steakhouses. I can make ribs, chicken, salmon, etc better than them too. Very few places make better lasagna than my wife. Her cheesecake is better than any I have tried. And I can make these things for between 1/4 and 1/2 the cost of the comparable restaurant meal. I can't do oriental food well, so that gets takeout or eat out. It isn't real enjoyable to spend money for something not as good as what u make at home

Trooper York said...

Oriental food is actually pretty easy to make and very tasty. What you need to do is get the proper ingrediants like Hosien sauce, rice wine vinegar, Sesame Oil and most important of all Chinese Fice spice powder. Five Spice Powder is bajiao (star anise), cloves, cinnamon, huajiao (Sichuan pepper) and ground fennel seeds. This is what you smell when you are in a Chinese restaruant. There are tons of reciepe books out there to help you make a stir fry that you will really enjoy.

Thai is a little more complicated as even a simple dish as Pad Thai requires a bunch of more obscure elements.

One year my wife bought me an electric deep fryer and I was making fried pork dumplings every other day. We are cutting down severely on the fried foods these days but damn those were tasty.

Class factotum said...

I make better food than most restaurant food, including spring rolls and fried calamari.

Last night, we had a 2" thick grass fed porterhouse steak, cheese grits, cream cheese bacon wrapped jalapenos, and grilled broccoli. Lime bars for dessert.

Tonight, it will be grilled tuna with the leftover broccoli and grits.

The leftover tuna will be tomorrow's meal, which will be a salad: tuna on freshly-killed lettuce from my garden, rice noodles, cilantro, peanuts, and lime, fish sauce, ginger and soy dressing.

And yes, this diet goes a long way in explaining my Milwaukee Roll. Oh well.

Trooper York said...

Since it's summer I am grilling every night so it is a steady diet of steak, london broil, filet mignon, chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers and corn on the cob.

I put more of my effort into the side dishes. Lately my favorite has been a califlower, potato, and scalion salad with apple cider vinegar in a cold salad.

And a macroni salad made with wagon wheel pasta with plum tomato
ricotta salada cheese, basil, olive oil and locatelli cheese.

Fred4Pres said...

They both can be good. I cook all the time. I am good at it. It gives me a sense of satisfaction. But there is something about going to a good restaurant with the wife or some friends and not having to deal with getting the dish out of the oven at the correct time, or cleaning up afterwards.

You do not need any cookbooks, other than some basics so you can know standard techniques. Cooking is often better without cookbooks.

Fred4Pres said...

I bought some skirt steak for grilling along with a couple of prime ribs and some country pork ribs. I grill them together, let them rest, cut them into portions for each person there. Then serve them with grilled potatoes, veggies, and corn. Good wine and beer. A complete and balanced meal.

Try grilling peaches. Split them and take out the stone. Dip them in a little brown sugar. If you do it right your head will explode.

Fred4Pres said...

Sichuan pepper is awesome on a grilled steak. It is not a true black pepper, but it does leave a tingly sensation on the tongue. It is very good. I like it alone with some kosher salt, or with a bit of fresh black pepper.

By fresh I mean fresh and also freshly ground. Most spices freshness is preferred but not critical (just use more) but with black pepper it does really matter. The stuff goes from sublime to just what regular supermarket black pepper is like. My favorite is black pepper from Ponepei, but any good spice store should be able to hook you up with fresh good black pepper.

Trooper York said...

I loved making my string beans and potato salad in red wine vinegar but the wife won't eat string beans so it is a waste.

ironrailsironweights said...

Fosters on draft. Amazing that a brewery in Australia can ship large refrigerated barrels of a heavily taxed beverage to the other side of this terrestrial ball and sell it at enough of a profit to make it worthwhile to do again and again.

Most or possibly all of the Foster's sold in America is brewed in Canada.

Peter

Fred4Pres said...

I also think Fosters is brewed under license, and brewed in most of the local major markets it is in. Hence the ability to have a world wide brand.

Fred4Pres said...

Trooper, that is sad. My wife hated string beans because her mom (God bless her) thought they came out a can and then boiled them to mush. She might have been one of those folks who thought Paula Deen is a real chef.

I turned her on to fresh roma beans from the garden, in a yukon gold potato and cider mix (with basil and fennel too) and she has never looked back.

But some things cannot be over come. A sad division in our family is my wife ate mutton all the time as a kid when her dad worked in Algeria for a year (North African mutton is the equivalent of eating days old road kill). She can not tollerate the smell of lamb to this day. I love grilled fresh lamb. It is the equivalent of a good gun dog getting ruined (do to bad training) to the sound of guns.

The Drill SGT said...

Ron said...
The Drill SGT: The Earle? Is that where you were thinking of?


Yep, I looked at the wine menu. Same style I remember. Can't say for certain that it was French/Italian country, but it certainly wasn't a non-European ethic. The dinner menu looks like the types of things I recall. I know it wasn't the Gandy Dancer that night, though we did go there once.

My Boss was a big Francophile, and we all liked high quality grapes. My stock grew significantly with the leadership as I demonstrated my excellent knowledge of California vino (I took enology classes at UCD :)

Unfortunately, the pick that night that solidified my rep that night has tripled in price (Chalk Hill Chard) since 92. So the owner pick the Frogs and I picked the West Coast and evrybody was very happy :)

Fred4Pres said...

Bittman's advice is good. He is speaking to those folks who get intimidated by cooking. And many New Yorkers (especially in Manhattan) have tiny kitchens. Of course, you should be able to make a great mean on a single burner if you just think it out a bit.

Trooper York said...

I only make food with the freshest of ingredients so my string beans are fresh and tasty.

I love it with red wine vinegar that I make myself. My grandmother used to make it by putting a piece of bread into a Coca Cola bottle of old wine. Nothing beats that when you combine with a virgin olive oil and add kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. A really delicious cold summer salad.

Fred4Pres said...

That said, Anthony Bourdain puts Mark Bittman in his place: "And Mark Bittman, I don't think he adds value to anyone's TV show. He doesn't come off well on TV. Let's put it that way. I saw him make paella once on a TV show; he's been dead to me ever since."

Ron said...

The Drill SGT: Yes, the Earle does 'country French'....still the same way, and they're still very good.

http://www.theearle.com/

Fred4Pres said...

My grandfather had a little cask that he would add left over wine to and take wine vinegar out of the tap. It was awesome. Even after he passed, grandma still had the cask. But one day the cask started to leak. Now grandma is gone too. Damn.

I have his lemon trees. But I need to get a vinegar cask. It is time for a music moment.

Trooper York said...

What you do with a single burner is cook it lightly on the stove top and then continue it in the oven while you cook something else.

In the winter time I just sear the steaks in my grill pan and then cook it to order in the oven while I prepare the side dishes on the stove top.

The Drill SGT said...

Ron, if you are in the computer business in AA, perhaps you knew my old firm...

Vector Research...

Trooper York said...

Tonight for desert it is stewed punes in red wine reduction with mascopone cheese.

Trooper York said...

I am old. I need my prunes.

But they are surprisingly tasty.

Daniel Fielding said...

@ The Drill SGT: did you eat at The Earle in Ann Arbor? Do you remember if it is located in a basement?
The Earle still is one of the best places in town, only that it is not a casual sort of place.

HT said...

I used to love prunes as a child, but now I have no desire to eat them at all.

As someone with Celiac disease, I have to cook for myself most of the time. Often it's a pain - the planning, the shopping, the washing, the chopping. That's before an actual flame. But overall I feel better. There are just many days, I wish I could wing it again and go pick something up, easy.

Ron said...

The Drill SGT: Yes, I am familiar with Vector Research...it's a small town!

Ron said...

@Daniel Fielding: Yes, The Earle is in a basement....next to Sweetwaters on Washington st...

Scott said...

They're not prunes anymore. The prune lobby successfully persuaded the FDA to allow the growers to label them as "dried plums." I'm sure they are just flying off the shelves now, yeppir.
As for Fosters, I stand corrected. I don't drink so wtf do I know. When I saw the ads that said it's "Australian for beer," I was assuming too much. So hell, maybe socialism is better.

The Drill SGT said...

It was in a basement.

Vector Research (VRI) has now been merged with ERIM, then became Altarum.

VRI was formed by a bunch of UM IE(OR) Profs.

I was there from 86-97.

Teri said...

Another home vs restaurant issue is that you develop home recipes that are to your taste, and then the same thing in a restaurant may be iffy.

My chicken curry - I started with a recipe from Joy of Cooking and quadrupled the onions and tripled the yogurt, and my family and I love it. I'm sure an actual Asian Indian person would barely recognize it as curry, but my family and I love it. So when I go out for a restaurant curry I'm taking my chances because it miht be more authentic than I want.

Same with pasta and meat sauce, quiche, pasta with alfredo sauce, and baked chicken, and really anything with chicken. I hardly ever order a chicken dish in restaurants because it's such a crapshoot - usually too dry, too rubbery, rarely delicious. However, I cook chicken frequently at home because I can control how it comes out.

As a lot of other people have said, I prefer to go out and eat things I wouldn't or couldn't cook for myself.

Ron said...

The Drill SGT: Yes, I used to do simulation work with folks from ERIM... most of what I did was production line simulations....

The Drill SGT said...

most of what I did was production line simulations....

When ERIM was in the auto business and VRI was doing Military Systems work...

Befor both (auto and Defense) industries went belly up and Altarum became a Healthcare Consulting non-profit :)

SukieTawdry said...

Love to travel and do a lot of it, but when I'm home I love staying home (I get my fill of eating out when I'm away). And I say this as someone who hates to shop, hates to cook and hates to clean up afterwords.

Now that he's retired, my husband does a more than fair share of those chores, so yea. He loves Mexican food (I don't), so he makes it frequently and I do whatever. I'm quite content with a sandwich. In fact, I prefer sandwiches; they're maybe my favorite "food."

PatCA said...

"I just sear the steaks in my grill pan and then cook it to order in the oven."

Trooper, I do that now with all my meat and fish. Incredible difference.

Favorite fast meal: Buitoni agnolotti, cooked, then thrown into pan where I've sauted arugula in olive oil and garlic.

I'm hungry! Off to the grocery store.

Luke Lea said...

"If you embrace the reality of how beautiful home is — and how cheap and comfortable . . ."

Explains why almost everyone in NYC eats out.

Anga2010 said...

"When I'm home everything seems to be right"
The Beatles
Bitter isolationalists clinging to their spatulas and recipe books!

Trooper York said...

I was inspired by our discussion to pop out and buy some spices for tomorrow.

I got another bottle of chili garlic sauce form Huy Fong Foods, Inc which is the jar with the green cap and the picture of the rooster on it. This stuff is rocket fuel. Put a teaspoon of it in anything you are cooking and it will be hot,hot,hot.

I also saw a bottle of gluten free hoisin sauce that I am going to try as the wife is sensitive to gluten. It might be just the ticket.

Ron said...

Well, Drill SGT...you're always welcome back here in A2!

Ron said...

Trooper, some grilling with you would be a blast...

The Drill SGT said...

Trooper,

I like taht garlic chili paste better than their Sambal (which has no garlic).

I don't use a teaspoon for anthing though. That stuff is explosive..

Sambal Oelek: A full bodied sauce with the pure taste of chilies. No other flavors have been added for those who prefer a simpler taste.



LOL, the simple taste of chili :)

HT said...

Most people in NYC eat out because their places are so tiny. I read somewhere that the point of life in NYC is to be out and about.

No Name said...

no restaurant grills a steak better than I can grill a steak for myself at home for a fraction of the price

and I know my food is being handled safely, not by teenage nose-picking punks

Trooper York said...

You're right about it being rocket fuel but I usually make a lot of stuff because I always have people eating over the house so I make enough for four or five people every night.

Of course I eat like three people.

Moe, Larry and Curly.

Trooper York said...

When I am preparing my red sauce I will put a teaspoon of that chili garlic sauce on the onions or leeks that I am using as the base. It gives the sauce a kick and when I do that I will omit the peperoncino. It is one or the other.

Daniel Fielding said...

@ Drill Sgt and Ron- i live about 1/2 mile away from the Altarum Building on Green Road. And Ron, I know the Earle well, since I hang out at Sweetwaters often.

ironrailsironweights said...

Oriental food is actually pretty easy to make and very tasty. What you need to do is get the proper ingrediants like

Cat, dog, rat ....

Peter

Trooper York said...

You what is actually good Peter?

Hair of the dog that bit you. Just sayn'

Trooper York said...

It is pretty funny that the name of the cat in the Chinese Restaurant on First Place is Dim Sum.

Fred4Pres said...

BTW--it is not just New Yorkers, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul, Taiwan, etc. all have a restaurant culture because people have small homes and cannot readily entertain there. So when there is some event, it is always in a restaurant. Fortunately, you can find family oriented places (especially in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan) that will serve you family style without you spending a small forture (unfortunately, you are going to get hosed in Japan).

If you get out of the touristy parts of Singapore you can find great restaurants selling kick ass fish head soup and $2 big tiger beers. It does not get better than that. Singapore also has those hawker kiosk areas that are a wee bit casual for entertaining, but perfectly fine to take the family for a friday or staturday night casual meal. And everyone can get whatever they want.

E.M. Davis said...

Made two hamburgers on the grill last night with Havarti cheese and Tony Packo's Pickles and Peppers relish. On toasted buns. With a side of sweet potato fries.

It was awesome.

somefeller said...

Fred4Pres, that's probably true of the cities you mention, but there are counter-examples. Houston has a big restaurant culture (one of the highest per capita with regard to restaurant dining in the country), but small homes isn't a big reason for that.

In any case, it sounds like this guy is kind of a control freak if he has such problems with eating out. Also, cooking at home isn't quite so economical when one factors in the value of time spent on cooking rather than other activities. Maybe spending some years billing my time by the hour has corrupted me, but that's something I'll factor into the equation of cooking a meal vs. going out for one.

Ralph L said...

We had a rule at our house: if you cook, someone else cleans up. Now I live alone, but the dog I'm looking after cleans the plates and bowls really well. Her tongue isn't quite long enough for the glasses.

My step-mother became violently ill from Appleby's steamed vegetables. I can't get her to go back there, dammit!

My grandmother said people who liked spicy food liked to drink too much, or was it the other way around?

HT said...

OMG - that burger sounds good. A lot of that hot stuff sauce food sounds great. I'm fasting today, and learning (again) how much of the difficulty comes not from anything physical, but the absolute pleasure of eating. It's misery-making. I'd like to do an extended fast, but I think I'd rather spend my vacation time eating. I guess I could do it at work, but I really wonder how long I could hold out. Maybe 20 minutes.

The Crack Emcee said...

Being a foster child, and growing up in places where either the foster parents did the cooking or there was a lock on the fridge, this isn't one of my strong suits. I've spent most of my life locked out of the world of food, which now I see as a curse and a blessing.

The curse:

Almost everyone who has a familiarity with the kitchen is an asshole about it. I spent years - decades - staying away from cooking because of the ridicule others would lay on me for my ignorance (while I was known to be so good at other things.) Even my French wife wasn't above the wary look and the cutting remark, so she ended up doing most of the cooking - and probably resenting it.

Now that I'm on my own, I rarely enjoy shopping or cooking, but find I'm O.K. at both when I put my mind to them. I still look forward to resuming my career so I can get back to a life of restaurants and hotel rooms.

The blessing:

I will never be one of these nauseating "foodies" who has a problem with every fucking thing, like fast food, and needs to turn their dinner plate into a medicine cabinet - when they don't know shit about what they're doing or saying. I like to eat, and as long as the food tastes good, I could give a fuck if I'm in the fanciest of restaurants or standing by a roach coach - where I can see the actual roaches - I'm a happy camper.

I've worked in so many food joints, I know what's out there, so being picky seems like a serious waste of time. The only place I've ever felt like I had to protect myself, health-wise, was (say it with me) France, but I ain't planning on going back there for a good long while, so as long as I've got money and a microwave, I'm fine without everybody else's food-related nonsense.

I might even be luckier because I don't see anybody having any more fun about it than I can or do:

Like with claims about religion, it's just a bunch of self-deluded talk.

Scott said...

Wow, you sure are bitter for a guy who's having so much fun.

Trooper York said...

Crack a good meal is one of the worlds great sensual pleasures. And the best thing about it....the food won't talk back. Just sayn' dude.

Michael K said...

I go to restaurants to have fish prepared for me. Steak I can cook fine.

Fred4Pres said...

Crack, I am sorry you went through that shit. I agree with you that good food is good food. It just has to taste good. Frankly the only difference between a fancy restaurant and some food stall is I expect more from the fancy places and I am mostly disapointed. Humble f
food stalls generally deliver.

Some of the best meals I have ever had are off the street, from some vender's push cart. It is amazing what a little fire and salt can do to meat and veggies.

I have many happy memories of family, fire, and meat. I remember I was 17 and brought a bushel of blue crabs and a bushel of oysters from some fisherman in Cape May. I drove them to my uncle's house in Patterson, NJ who was having a 4th family reunion. I showed up with the crabs and oysters and we grilled them on the BBQ with the sausages, steaks, burgers and franks. I sad there with my great aunt. She sat there eating crab and oysters and picking every edible morsel from them. I drank beer and chatted with her and my grandmother (her sister). My uncle was there too. My other relatives too. All eating and drinking. Those were good times. Now many of them are gone.


The combination of taste, smell and memory is a powerful thing. I try to do it for my own kids.

Fred4Pres said...

Crack, I am sorry foodies treat you poorly. There is no secret to it. You try not to over cook things. You can always put something on the stove for a bit more.

Trooper York said...

Although you have a great point about the "foodies." Those elitist douchenozzles are just a pain in the balls. Every once in a while one of them lands at my table when I am cooking and because I spend some time on presentation says something like "Oh you should be a chef" I always say I just want to be a cook.

Trooper York said...

But most times I just end up being a schnook.

Michael said...

Butter Pecan. Black Walnut. The two great ice creams.

Michael K said...

A few years ago, I made pecan pies for my medical students on the last day of class. Cooking is fun but, as I said above, I do meats just fine. Fish is what restaurants are for.

The Crack Emcee said...

Scott,

Wow, you sure are bitter for a guy who's having so much fun.

Again with the talking broccoli!!!! [shakes fist]

Troop, I'd love to eat with you - and we will. Same to you, Fred. I haven't missed anything. It was just snobby San Francisco, where no one could stay out of your business, always asking if you're going to eat that? Declaring a hotdog will kill you.

I'm sure you know the type.

Fred4Pres said...

Crack, I fucking despise those motherfuckers.

scrubjay said...

You expect me to believe that? You're talking to someone who loves to eat great food, doesn't know how to cook and hates to wash dishes.

johnny boy said...

kinda like making money. Always better to earn than suck out on the government. Gardening and cooking really does make food taste better

jamboree said...

I can't cook remotely as well as the restaurants I like.

I can duplicate a decent mex restaurant but that's it.

But italian? And Thai? Forget it. You need too many spices and cooking implements.

Staying home is good when it come to calories and cost.

jamboree said...

Foodies can be fun. Foodies introduced me to Trader Joe's blueberry goat cheese. Serious yum.

AST said...

Depends on the restaurant.



wv: dention