Planned-overs

The Hot Dog to Bun Inefficiency

Hot dogs usually come ten to a package, and buns generally eight to a package. What to do. After pointlessly complaining about those leftover dogs, there are several options. A hot dog can be yummy without a bun, served like any other meat dish on a plate. Or, there’s no rule that says you can’t wrap the dog in an ordinary slice of bread. I’ve been known to cut up the hot dog and mix it in with something. Mac and cheese. Rice and vegetables.

One could buy another pack of buns, to cover all the dogs, but then there’s the extra buns to deal with. Just because it’s hot dog-shaped doesn’t mean you can’t use it for other sandwichy foods. Or toast. Garlic bread. Allow to go stale and mash up as bread crumbs.

Why do they package it that way? The Straight Dope suggests that meat packers think in pounds – which happens to be ten ordinary size dogs – and bakers think in parts of a dozen, three, four, six, eight. http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/560/why-do-hot-dogs-come-10-to-a-pack-while-buns-are-8-to-a-pack It’s as good an explanation as any.

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Wonderful review

I am so moved by this review. “Tightwad Gazette of the 21st Century” is exactly what I wanted people to think about it:

“Great book!, February 18, 2014

By Lita McRiley “Sorlina”See all my reviews

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This review is from: Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely (Kindle Edition)

This book is jam-packed with tips, ideas, and strategies for saving money. It’s the Tightwad Gazette of the 21st century… internet addresses for DIY help, encouragement for readers, personal anecdotes, this book has it all. To top it off, it’s delivered in a light, easy to read style that isn’t preachy or judgmental. A very helpful, and enjoyable, read!”

The Tightwad Gazette has been the “bible” of thrifty living. My hope was to make it the ‘old testament’ and mine the ‘new testament’, and it seems I have succeeded.

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Ground Meat Skillet-Go-Round

Here’s an efficient series of meals for one person. It relies heavily on canned foods because they are very quick and easy to use. If you use fresh or frozen instead it may need to cook longer, and you might want to add a little salt.

In a heavy iron skillet, brown, crumble and cook through a pound of whatever kind of ground meat you have (pork, beef, turkey, buffalo). Stir in a can of kidney beans, rinsed, and a can of carrots, rinsed. Mix in 1½ teaspoons of cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and some black pepper. Cover and heat through for a simple and nutritious lunch or light dinner.

That was round one. For round two take the ¾ of it that’s left and added a small can of tomatoes with green chilies (house brand equivalent of Rotel), and a can of corn. This is both colorful and flavorful. That’s a quite different meal, but made from the same base.

For round three cook a crown of fresh broccoli and added it to what’s left. For round four, add grated cheese or a nice cheese sauce.

Cooking in Rounds like that, you’re using up the original meal, but not eating exactly the same thing over and over.

I often cook a large amount and freeze several portions. Sometimes after freezing the flavor of the food isn’t as noticeable as it was when freshly made. This is the time when I add something to the portion I’m reheating. Things like mustard, salsa, horseradish, hot sauce or cheese add vibrancy to reheated foods.

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