Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tuesday Megalinks

This week, it’s bargain shopping, making the most out of what you have, and a little dash of sports news, just in time for baseball’s Opening Day. Viva la Mets! (Pleaseohpleaseohplease.)

Culinate: For the Love of Meat, What Would You Pay?
Jake pays about $8/lb for meat he receives as part of a CSA, and for him, it’s worth every penny. Here, he explains why well enough to make him a finalist in Culinate’s blogging contest. (P.S. This made me crave sausage.)

Eat Me Daily: Cooking in Outer Space
You think cooking in your tiny kitchen is tough? Try it on a spaceship. Astronaut Sandra Magnus spent four months on the International Space Station, where fresh food was limited and tortillas became her best friends. For extra fun, click on her NASA slideshow, where you’ll learn more than you thought possible about rehydrated tomatoes. Really neat stuff.

Eater: First Looks at Citi Field's Shake Shack
METS FANS, REJOICE! This might even make up for the inevitable collapse in the last week of September.

Hillbilly Housewife: $45 Emergency Menu for 4 to 6
HH updated her from-scratch, nothing-in-the-pantry menu to reflect 2009 grocery prices. If you or someone you know is in dire straits (or you’re just looking to cut waaaaay back on your food expenditures), this is a fabulous place to start. One of the most valuable sites on the web, especially right now. (Thanks to Simple Dollar for the link.)

Kitchen Stewardship: A Reduced Produce Primer
You know that bargain produce shelf? The one that’s waaaay in the back of the grocery store? The one behind the POM display, next to the apple chips? Sometimes, it offers bounty beyond your wildest dreams. Other times, it’s yellow broccoli and apples that should’ve been thrown out during the Hoover administration. This post tells you how to tell the difference.

Like Merchant Ships: Bargain Secret – Bakery Thrift Stores
Oh! And while we’re on the subject, check out this post about how to choose the best bread from your local discount bakers. Mmm … Pepperidge FAHHHM.

Money Saving Mom: Eating From the Pantry Challenge - The Finale
Crystal, mom of two, just fed her family for an entire week on nothin’ but pantry staples. Somehow, the meals stayed pretty well-balanced and tasty-looking. Behold!

MSNBC: Thrifty shoppers ‘Sold!’ on grocery auctions
Man, lots of stuff on discount shopping this week, right? Anyway – and I’ve never heard of this before, but it sounds fun – eight different states have been holding auctions for meats, produce, personal supplies, and more. Attendance is apparently insane, and folks are walking away with 50% savings off their grocery bill. Readers, has anyone tried this? Do tell.

New York Times: Comrades at Arms - Two Food Writers in a Kitchen Smackdown
Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni pitted two friends in a cook-off, where a three-course gourmet meal for six had to be kept under $50, total. Now, you can see this in one of two ways:

  1. Totally tone deaf. Once again, the Gray Lady has no conception of real-world budgetary constraints, OR
  2. A great piece that perfectly pitched with the financial times. After all, as Bruni himself notes, “It's not easy to dazzle at $8.50 a person [for] at least three courses.”
I’m going with Choice B, with some reservations. Just for contrast, here’s Jezebel’s response (Due warning: profanity is employed early and often.)

Serious Eats: Is Artisanal, Handmade Food Always Better?
SE guru Ed Levine bought four items at the farmer’s market. Two (apple candy and popcorn) were excellent. Two (sausage and peach preserves) were awful. The contrast raises the question: “Are serious eaters down with eating bad food if it's made by hand by someone with the best intentions?” Great essay, dozens of thoughtful comments.

Slate: The Locavore's Dilemma - What to do with the kale, turnips, and parsley that overwhelm your CSA bin.
Funny, observant, and informative, this piece by Catherine Price should resonate with anyone who’s been overwhelmed by their CSA bounty. She notes, “After three years of practice, I've figured out simple ways to deal with most of these problem vegetables: I braise the turnips in butter and white wine; I sauté the kale and collards with olive oil and sea salt; I wait until the parsley shrivels and then throw it out.” With a special guest appearance by minimalist extraordinaire Mark Bittman.

Sports Illustrated: How (and Why) Athletes Go Broke
This has absolutely nothing to do with food, and everything to do with how crazy I thought this fact was: “By the time they have been retired for two years, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress because of joblessness or divorce.” If centerfielder Torii Hunter’s story about investing $70,000 in a raft for couches (in case of a flood, naturally) doesn’t hook you, nothing will.

Yahoo Green: Learn to Cut Your Food Bill by 25%
According to … uh, somebody … we waste about 25% of the food we buy. That means that a full quarter of our groceries rot, mold, spoil, or get thrown out as unwanted leftovers. STOP THE MADNESS.

Yahoo Hotjobs: Food for Thought on Lunch Interviews - 10 Do's and Don'ts for Making the Best Impression Over a Meal
Ooo! Great piece about taking the relaxed approach to job interviews. Among the nuggets: DO research the restaurant, DON’T be rude to your waitress, and for the love of Pete, TRY TO relax a little

Finally, CHG was lucky enough to be featured in the Make it From Scratch blog carnival this week, over at Christ’s Bridge.

(Photos courtesy of I Want One of Those, Qanik, and Super Eco.)

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