Sunday, August 29, 2021

Recipes for Disasters

 Whooo! I'ma in the driver's seat!  Whooo!

So, in the crazy world we live in, we can rely on nobody to save us from bad food except ourselves.  I mean, in this pandemically-post apocalyptic fallen dystopian world, do you really trust food cooked by medical marijuana users and transported to your door by some gloved up, masked up idiot who was smoking something on the way from the cook shack to your doorstep?

No.  I don't think you do.  

So simple solution is to cook at home.  But what to cook that doesn't take time away from digging fortifications, armoring up one's walls, reloading spent ammo, cleaning, canning, planning conspiracies against the local feudal lord and Byzantine bureaucrats of the evil empire?




Which requires absolutely no cooking.


Cole slaw.  Delicious cole slaw.  You know, that shredded and chopped stuff that has some sort of slurry of wet flavorings mixed in with all the vegetative matter?

"Beans," you are probably questioning the computer screen, "what has cabbage/cole slaw have to do with anything remotely related to this blog?"

And my answer is, "You gotta eat."  Not everyone can live by cold Chef Boyardee mini-ravioli or canned tamales eaten straight out of the can.  Beans can because he's weird, and also likes mustard bread, literally a slab of bread with mustard on it.  Beans also eats cold baked beans, cold spagetti noodles with soy sauce, cold rice with soy sauce, ramen noodles cooked with a whipped egg added to the mixture before cooking (and some peas for flavoring) and other gastronomic monstrosities and abnormalities.  But Beans also eats normal food.

So you gotta eat. Why not make it 'relatively quick' and tasty.

So cole slaw.

For two people, use this recipe.

Shredded carrot, about a cup to two cups depending on how much carrot you like.
A wedge of cabbage, chopped up, about two cups to one cup depending on how much cabbage you like. (cut a wedge out of a cabbage, wrap up the rest and keep in the fridge for other cole slaws or even a green salad with cabbage.)
And a slurry composed of:
      1 tablespoon sugar
      2 tablespoons milk
      1 teaspoon vinegar (I use rice wine vinegar, as it's not nearly as obnoxious as apple vinegar)
      1/2 cup mayonnaise
Mix the slurry with the shredded and you have cole slaw that isn't too sweet or too sour.  Adjust levels of sweet or sour as you go along.

Pairs well with:

      Heat oil in a fryer or dutch oven to about 350.
      Take one envelope of hotdogs (there are two in a standard pack of Oscar Meyer dogs) and cut into bite sized pieces.
      Dust lightly the dog pieces with corn starch and shake off the excess (this helps the breading bind)
      Whip up an egg and some milk, add some self-rising cornmeal or mix up some cornbread mixture following your favorite recipe.
      Drench a chunk of dog in the cornmeal mixture, drop into oil, cook till brown
      Drain cooked dog, toss onto a rack in a warm (350) oven.


Pulled Pork
      At lunch timish...
      Take about 5-6 lbs of pork shoulder roast, cut off excessive fat.
      Place into crock pot
      Add 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 cup of favorite BBQ sauce (my fav is Sweet Baby Ray's Brown Sugar.)
      Cook 5 hours on high, then turn to low
      Scoop out meat, pull out bones and remove excess gelatinous fat.
      Shred the meat
      Put on toasted bread with extra sauce or in a bowl or plate with extra sauce
      Freeze the excess in serving sized amounts.

And Fries.
      Heat oil to really hot (350 or above, to 425 or so)
      Scrub 4 regular potatoes or more smaller ones or less larger ones.
      Cut the spuds into fry-shaped pieces
      Now this is the really weird part - take the spud pieces and nuke them for 8 minutes on high in your microwave.
      Drain, being careful to not burn yourself, the spud pieces.
      Drop spud pieces carefully into oil, cook till outside is color you want and to the degree of limpness you want.
      Drain and blot on paper towels, serve.

All of these are easy to fix, don't take a lot of time overall, and don't require you to heat up your house too much during the summertime.

As to disasters, basically any time you're dealing with hot oil, well, that can be a disaster.  Only fill your fryer to the level it says to, or fill your dutch oven to a max of 2/3rds full, as wet ingredients like fries will cause the hot oil to boil over.  Always have lots of paper towels ready just in case of an overflow, and be cognizant that paper towels serve as an excellent wick for all that oil and your electric stove gets quite hot or if you're cooking with gas there is an open flame and, well, disaster.  Know how to deal with said fires before futzing around.  And don't splash hot oil on yourself.  Trust me, it hurts.  Wear a good apron.  And don't turn your apron or other clothes into a wick for the oil.

What?  You wanted an actual article on something important?  I will assure you I will get one out as soon as Mrs. Wetzel actually gives me the photographs of a ring I talked about last time.

I promise a better one next time.  I'll throw my gauntlet down on it.  Hmmm... gauntlets... hmmm....


  1. I see nothing wrong with Beans choice of cuisine. But I have been told on occasion that I eat as if I'm sitting on a bunk in the barracks. That was in the 60s. I did, however, get past the inverted iron between two chairs as a hotplate.

    1. To misquote Obi-wan Kenobi, "inverted iron between two chairs as a hotplate? Now there's a method I haven't used in a long, long time."

    2. Done that camping. But with the new modern world we live in, the induction cookplate replaces the inverted iron or cheap nasty hot plate. In fact, I used to have a 'cook box,' basically a Rubbermaid tote, that carried a box of tea, an electric tea kettle, a double electric eye, a crock pot, dishes, cutlery, other cooking implements, an optional toaster, and so forth. Made handling dealing with hotels' crappy 'Continental Breakfast' displays so much easier. And highly useful if the campsite had access to electricity.

      For some strange reason, primitive camping was kind of out for us...

  2. I would suggest a shot of bar whisky (the type a card carrying WCTU maiden aunt gives you to honor a significant event) added to the slaw. Old Guns

    1. Eh, I'm pretty much a non-drinker. Shot of whiskey in a hot toddy for to relax the chest and throat for to sleep during bad sickness, or a dash of orange liquor into the chocolate fondue, or marinating and cooking a roast in wine, that type of stuff.

      Never was a drinker. Probably good, considering I tend not to do things to moderation. And I'm already a foolish idiot most days.

  3. I ran a test where I ate out of my food bucket (white rice, lentils, vegetable oil, salt...) for a weekend. My gut locked up due to lack of fiber. Let me attest to the cabbage as a remedy for that problem: Cabbage is the Scotch-brite of vegetables, guaranteed to cure constipation.

    1. You got "locked up" after eating LENTILS??? They work almost as well as cabbage!!!

    2. Is Scotch-Brite a single malt? Asking for Sarge, he's looking for something to make his hot totty with.

    3. Yes, lentils can lock people up, especially if someone doesn't process vegetable proteins very well. Like me. Tofu locks me up like cement, and so do beans. Now, I like the flavor of beans. Tofu (as it's been prepared all the times it has been served to me) not so much.

      If I want to scour my system out, I'll just eat cheap fatty proteinish foods, like anything Hormel. Or a commercially made salad where they spray that salad wash stuff on it. Bowels will be ejecting by the end of the meal. And my gall bladder is fully intact (though Mrs. Andrew and I suspect the little bastard has been slacking off all my life, based on Mrs. Andrew having her gall bladder removed and she can handle fats and greases better than me still. Our doctor does not concur, but, well, doctors, what do they know...)

  4. Growing up I remember eating cabbage boiled with pork butt. Oddly enough, it's not that part of the pig.

    I don't remember any corned beef and cabbage. (That would be "kahned" beef for those of the New England areas!)

    1. I love corned beef and cabbage, especially with a splash of malt vinegar on the cabbage. Yum. Wife hates malt vinegar. My life sucks.

      She also doesn't like cooked cabbage. Dangit.

      Corned beef, therefore, is relegated to Reuben-ish sandwiches, with Swiss cheese, saurkraut, pickle slices and mustard. Cooked in a sandwich press (because, yes, we have a sandwich press, for to make pressed hot sandwiches. My cooking implement collection is rather amazing for a small apartment dweller. See above statement about not doing moderation well...)

  5. Replies
    1. Yep. And, dangit, I cook too well. Sometimes I think that I'd be better off if my cooking sucks and I could barely stand to eat it. Then I remember I do like cold Chef Boyardee, cold baked beans etc.

      Doomed I am.

    2. (Don McCollor)..Cooking wastes time better spent doing other things. A tapered can of genuine Argentine corned beef (still with the key to twist off the band at the top) and a can of Frank's Kraut (both cold) along with appropriate hot spices is a treat for the Gods..,

  6. Cabbage is remarkably versatile. Best served as sauerkraut or kimchee.

    1. Yeah, not a large fan of it other than in those two dishes.

    2. Kimchee's too spicy for me, and sauerkraut is the only way she'll eat cooked cabbage.

      What, pray tell, juvat, do you have against cole slaw or cabbage in a salad?

    3. I've never really encountered what I think is "good tasting" cole slaw. It's usually too sweet. I'll give your dressing recipe a shot. Who knows I might be converted.

    4. The recipe I based it on used 2 tablespoons for 2 people. We cut it back. If you like vinegary things, you can increase the vinegar.

      Like carrots? Well, we do so we increased the carrots. 'Purists' will increase the cabbage and oftentimes make the carrot go away.

      My dad used to do a slaw with thinly sliced cabbage, vinegar, mayo, mustard and pepper. Tasted really good on brats and hotdogs. Mrs. Andrew is averse to overly vinegary things so... Sad Beans...

    5. Juvat, the only other two ways I have had it are in the aforementioned Corned Beef and Cabbage by John in Philly and Coleslaw. Boiled cabbage is simply awful, and most coleslaw is, as you say, terribly sweet. I prefer more things vinegary.

  7. Hey Beans;

    Good recipe ideas, but I will pass on a suggestions that will limit the exposure to hit oil unless you want to throw some on any miscreants climbing the walls of Casa De Beans. Get a good air fryer, we use it for a lot of stuff including French fries and it is less messy, and healthier because of less oil. Just a thought.

    1. We've tried an air fryer. It's... okay. But some things just taste better cooked in oil. It's not like I use hot oil every day, maybe once a week or so.

      Wife's metabolism requires constant intake of grease and oil to keep moving, else, well, let's not go there. Me? My IBS seems to do better with a higher oil diet as long as the quality of the grease/fat/oil is high. Get a piece of Hormel or cheap pepperoni anywhere near it and Hello Throne Room!

  8. Supposed to be "Hot" not "Hit", my fumble fingers struck again.

  9. Take your cabbage and cut into 1" cubes and place in a large pot that has a ham hock in the bottom. Cover with water and boil until tender.

    No carbs with plenty of fiber and vitamins. That and canned tuna was how I cut weight to get under my max weight when I had 14 years of being over AF max weight but under the BFI for my height. I caught the 1 year period where the AF did not recognize being under BFI for top three promotions and I had to make weight standards to sew on my E-7 stripe. My max weight was 194 and most of my AF career I had a BFI of 11 to 12 percent and weighed 200 to 209. Cutting 13 pounds when you have only 11% body fat is not easy. I was running alternating days of 3 or 6 miles and eating nothing but cabbage and tuna for 3 months where I made it by 2 pounds to spare.

    1. While I love cooked cabbage (especially with a splash of malt vinegar) the wife does not. Therefore...

      As to my weight, well, I follow the Purdy family line. Fat, happy people who live to well above 80, like great-grandfather Purdy, grandma Purdy-Cone, mom-Beans, and me. The rest of the family follows pretty much my dad's side of the family. I am hoping they all survive longer than most males from my dad's side.

      The doc asks me if I'm still fat and I ask him are my tests still okay. The answer, back and forth, is yes. Though I am following in the Purdy habit of having low-level diabetes. But I came down with it later than anyone else did, so, well, yeah I could stand to lose, and I am losing, about 2lbs per month.

      Also followed the Purdy path in being willow-thin until the metabolism shift around 25 or so. Able to destroy buffets and whole loaves of bread in a single sitting. Now, not so much.

  10. Beans- A lazy person could just skip all that drudgery and scullery stuff and run down to Sonny's BBQ and enjoy a wonderful meal. At least in your domain. Too bad their franchises are all at least 1500 miles from this former Gator.
    John Blackshoe

    1. I live in Gainesville, home of Sonny's BBQ. They've gone downhill and it's cheaper to make my own than have to deal with the idiots out there. The closest one, on Archer Road, moved from the old building to a new building right next to it and the food doesn't taste the same. Dunno if the one on Waldo Road (the original one) is still open or not, haven't been that way in years.

      You can order Sonny's BBQ sauce, though I prefer Sweet Baby Ray's.

      The coleslaw is based upon their recipe.

      And, really, if I can make it myself without having to buy food from others, it just tastes better, and makes the place smell good.

      Steaks, steaks I'll gladly pay someone else to fix, as making good steaks in the apartment does rather fill the place with good steak smell and smoke and that's not good.

  11. You wrote, "ramen noodles cooked with a whipped egg added to the mixture before cooking (and some peas for flavoring)"
    In my world the ramen is added to boiling water, is that the "mixture" you speak of?

    1. Nope. Take a microwave bowl. Crumble up cheap ramen noodles into small crumbles. Pour the seasoning packet on the crumbles. Break an egg and pour egg onto noodles. Whip it, whip it good, with a fork. Add some frozen peas. Put in the water. Stir again. Cover. Nuke for 3 minutes. Cheap egg-drop soup ramen with peas.

      If you use frozen mixed veggies, cook the mixed veggies first for about 10 minutes with the water you'll be using. Else the Lima beans and green beans will taste 'raw' but not good like raw, more like half-state cooked Lima and green beans.

      This is far quicker and better for me than my ultimate 'bachelor' meal.

      4 frozen burritos. Heated up. Place into a microwave container (I use an 8x8 pyrex pan.) Cut up into semi-bite sized chunks. Cover with cheddar cheese. Nuke again. Add shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes. Slather salsa on top. Serve with chips. Eat out of container it's cooked in. Haute Cuisine it is!

  12. I don't have a crockpot (anymore), but your pulled pork recipe is almost identical to mine. I use a dutch oven and cook it in the oven at 275 for 5-6 hours, other than that (and some of the seasonings, but they're "techniques not procedures") it's pretty much the same.

    1. I love my crockpot. Just load it and walk away, gives you a way of doing stuff outside without constantly worrying about the oven and the dutch oven.

      Of course, today, all the cool kids are using 'One Pot' cookers. Eh. When the crockpot dies, I might look into that newfangled gadget.

    2. Yes..But...A dutch oven just requires heat, not electricity, not gas. just heat. some liquid and some protein. Heat can be in many forms.

  13. ok fellows Im going to share my super secret slaw hack , make up the coleslaw and toss in a small can of crushed pineapple. You can thank me later.

    1. Mrs. Andrew might like that. Me? Errrr, no, not so much.

      Do you put pineapple on pizza?

    2. Yep, & speaking of cabbage I've had sauerkraut on a pizza once. Wasn't bad either!

  14. I have made the ramen noodle and whipped egg with veggies when camping...I was on vacation, and I don't cook when on vacation, but I do still like to eat, so fast, easy, inexpensive (because I'm very thrifty) and anything I can do in 1 pan wins the "what do I fix tonight" question, especially when I have a hungry 3 year old. It really was pretty good. I just limited how much of the seasoning packet I added in. And I cooked it in a pan on the camp stove, not in a microwave.

    Will have to try the coleslaw recipe, I like coleslaw, but don't have a good recipe of my own.
    Thanks, Beans!!

    1. Ramen egg drop soup is rather good, sounds bad, but tastes good.

      As to the coleslaw recipe, it is based on a supposed hack of 'authentic Sonny's BBQ coleslaw fer sure' off the interwebs. Took about 4 tries to get it right for us. Sonny's coleslaw being the best that fit both our tastes. And as I said above to juvat, the recipe is there to futz with. Want it sweeter, add sugar. Want it more sour, add more vinegar. Want a taste of mustard, add mustard. The field's wide open.

      Just... pineapple? I shudder...


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