Monday, March 12, 2007

Dumpster Diver's Cook Book--An ongoing project


"I hope that some of you might be interested in helping with this. I volunteer at Food Banks and often people get very limited ingredients with which to put together a meal. Children are the primary users of Food Banks. Often in a groceries from the Food Bank there will be powdered milk, pastas, rice, canned soups (lots of tomato soup), baked beans and other kinds of beans. I know everyone has some simple easy good recipes and I hope some of you might be able to share some at the above forum. Spreading the word would help out a lot too. I think it is important and food is becoming a very serious issue for many families. Not many people seem too interested but even one child going hungry is just one too many. Thanks so much for your time. Cheryl"




Dear Cheryl,

Why mess around with food banks? Go first class: Dumpster dive.

In the first place, food bank food will kill you dead. They all want you dead over at the food bank and stale-dated beans, water chesnuts, tomato soup and popcorn making kits-- will certainly get you on the Surekill Expressway-- Or have I spent too much time in Philadelphia?

All the large supermarkets especially the "We are fresh-obsessed" chains, have huge automatically-fed dumpsters, sealed tight, but not all that tight as frequent overloading tends to make the dumpster hiccup and more often than not disgorge maybe a whole chicken just a day or two past its "best before" date, three chocolate cakes still in their nearly indestructable plastic wrap, four Pilar's sausages also in their platic wrap, a container of lard, and, as an added filip, a screwdriver you can stir all this stuff up with, should you want to be the compleat
dumpster diving cook.

You start with the chicken. OK, it was a bit soggy to begin with, but it's Toronto in winter, and the zero temperatures (by anybody's thermometer) have probably killed any salmonella that you may be in danger of contracting..
It's chicken, for god's sake. All chicken will kill you dead if eaten raw.

There are several schools of preparing chicken.

You probably live in cramped quarters (or no quarters at all), so using the oven is out of the question. The fumes will kill ya in any event if you are in a one-room apartment.

Cut the chicken up. There are several schools. I usually detach the drumsticks first, though the big bone there is hard to cut trough and you may have to pry a bit with the screwdriver. Then a knife up the chicken's derrierre (this might not work, so you may again have to resort to the screwdriver).
Oh hell, place the chicken chest-up and throw it into a pan of sizzling lard; throw in the drumsticks too, turn over often and, aftertwenty minutes, turn down the heat.
Fish the four chicken components out of the frypan and place the whole mess into a large pot of boiling water in which there is a heaping tablespoon of salt, a half an onion, a clove of garlic and lots of the loose carrots you'd found around the dumster. Put the heat on low and forget about the project for about two hours.

Voila, Chicken a' la Rousse.

And if you'd found a potato or two around the dumster, you could have thrown the potatoes in with the chicken, or boiled them separately.
Eat what you can and throw the leftovers back in the pot. You'll have chicken for three days, and after that, you can throw your food bank noodles in and you'll have fine chicken soup.

Doesn't all this bring your tastebuds back to life?

Enjoy.
(I had to steal a picture from JR, who is a dead ringer for me anyway, though much younger and a bit easier to look at).
Ivan

39 comments:

EAMonroe said...

Ivan! JR is going to bring his "crew" from work over and take you dumpster diving all right! Wasn't JR's hot tub post a riot? I bet you could stew the chicken in the hot tub!

PS -- blogger is acting funky this morning, too!

islandgrovepress said...

Liz,
JR's post was indeed a riot--probably why I was tempted to steal the hot-tub picture.
But it looks so like me in my "naked came the Ukie" days...Or was that Wookie?

Sense of humour, gal.
"Blogger is acting funky this morning too!" Heh.
Well, we's funky.

Ivan

Sienna said...

This is just the funniest, craziest corner of the world! I am in fits of laughter here...Josie is in Vancouver plotting for a white van to remove people, JR is soaking it up in a spa bath while his neighbors are away (they were nice to him :) )...actually I hope he gets dressed before he leaps that fence back to his house.

I was once at the Melbourne Cup and a man ripped his clothes off and decided to streak down the Flemington racetrack straight, only trouble was he had to jump rose bushes (in full bloom), did himself no end of damage...blood everywhere. Talk about frighten the horses.

There is another blogger who has posted the funniest ode to women's mood swings, there is a Chinese dentist who has the most unfortunate (or maybe not?) name...can you imagine sitting in the chair and keeping a straight face?

...And Ivan! The information about the food dumsters, while so true, just so true, is so funny...and to cap it off you post JR spa man-but-not-his-spa's picture...I swear you people are the funniest people in the world...how have you all escaped from someone making a movie about you all? "Naked came the Ukie"!! Fair dinkum!
This is just all hilarious, you people are the sweetest, funniest group of people. I am unable to even complete breakfast!

Pam

Donnetta Lee said...

When I was a kid on the farm we received government "commodities". Hey, some of it wasn't so bad. There was good cheese and peanut butter. Mama fed the rice covered with milk from the powdered version to our puppies. We also had bees and all sorts of honey. Mama probably is the one with all the good recipes. As she used to say: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without!"

She used to make chocolate mayonnaise cakes. In fact, that's what EA had for her birthday with us!

Well, when you ain't got much, you get creative.

Pam: Bless your heart! (It's an Oklahoma thang (no typo there) to say.

Donnetta

islandgrovepress said...

Pam,

Fair dinkum.

No toffs or figjams or tall poppies
In today's blog.
Loved your description of the apprentice skimpy at the Flemingdon racetrack.
Makes me think of the days when I tried to start a religion.
I did, you know, but only one person came.
Probably from JR's Holy Roller section, the ones who tried to convert him.
I am sure if JR visits and finds I have been mangling his photo and stories, he might bring over a bunch of the guys from that movie, "Deliverance", and I'll have to grunt like a pig.
Fat little Ukie! Now we've gotcha!

Ivan

islandgrovepress said...

Donnetta,

I sure remember the Spam,the powdered eggs and milk. But didn't these "Care Package" things taste good when we were kids?
Today's Spam seems to taste like kayopectate and over at the foodbank, all they have is Klik and process cheese.
What's a poor swagman to do?

Darn, I swallowed the Australian slang dictionary!

Ivan

Josie said...

Okay, so Ivan, now you're showing porn on your website? JR with no clothes on? Ha!

Josie

islandgrovepress said...

JR will storm this blog, accompanied by red-eyed lawyers incensed over a black forest tort.

Ivan

Josie said...

Oh, I think JR will be flattered... :-)

Besides, with his picture on his blog and your blog, twice as many people will get to see how cute he is.

Josie

islandgrovepress said...

Hope all those jail guys can control themselves!

Ivan

Donnetta Lee said...

"Jail guys?" Sounds like a nice little fraternity. Throw 'em into that hot tub and who knows what would happen? Could be worse, you could have the red-eyed lawyers in there? Or, hey, how about some of each? Let's see, how would the conversation go?

"Did they read you your rights?"

"Didn't have to. I know my rights."

Donnetta

islandgrovepress said...

Ha ha ha, Donnetta!

I'm just thinking if the jail guards came and took their turn too, it would be Bay of Pigs.

Ivan

JR's Thumbprints said...

Hey, why's everyone talking about me when I've left the room? Can't anyone really really really be nice these days? I try to set a good example for the rest of you folks and this is what I get? I'm going to contact a jailhouse lawyer--you'd be surprised at what I can get done for a pack of cigarettes.

Donnetta Lee said...

Oink. (Oh, no, not the pigs again!)

Donnetta

JR's Thumbprints said...

They're gonna split your wig and feed you the pig. (I can actually hear the juice harp playing.)

Donnetta Lee said...

Hey, JR, you know what they say about southeastern Oklahoma. You can get a lot done for the price of a MacDonald's meal.

Donnetta

JR's Thumbprints said...

There won't be any Happy in Ivan's Happy Meal when I get a hold of him.

islandgrovepress said...

JR,
"We're havin' fun, sittin' in the back seat. How we'd like to be like...JR."

Please don't send "Mother....er", that guy out of that old drive-in movie, "Where's Papa?"
That guy would really work you over for a pack of cigarettes!

Ivan

islandgrovepress said...

Omigod.
Juice harp.
Poor John Voight with the "right pretty mouth" in Deliverance!

Heaven forbid I should be playing the Swinette with the jail guards.

Ivan

islandgrovepress said...

Donetta,
Help! Sooeyee! Oink-oink! Off the pig!

Ivan

JR's Thumbprints said...

Ivan,
You can start your penance by reading James Dickey's "Alnilam"

EA Monroe said...

Hey, Ivan, those chocolate mayonnaise cakes of Donnetta's mothers were delicious! We ate the grandparents commodities, too.

I see JR showed up to read you the "riot act!"

I hope you are still wearing your running shoes, Ivan!

PS -- I meant to say "funky chicken!" this morning. We should try out JR's neighbor's hot tub! Last one in is a rotten egg.

islandgrovepress said...

JR,

Hey man, I'm impressed.
Very few people know that James Dickie wrote the script for DELIVERANCE.

(Yeah, yeah, but I don't want to touch that line)

Ivan

islandgrovepress said...

Hi Liz,

Remember that weird rock group out of l972--Funky Chicken?... But then you're just a young chick!

Ivan

Josie said...

Hey, can I come too? I don't know about James Dickie, but I've got my Rubber Duckie.

islandgrovepress said...

Hi Josie,

Welcome to the hot tub party.

Whose hot tub is it, anyway? I'm confused. Oh yeah. It belongs to JR's neighbour.

A hot hot tub.

Don't know about stealing a hot tub,but we once stole an entire lawn back in university.

Anyway, rub-a-dub dub. Come on in.
It is exactly warm enough, but watch out for the peri-oikoi, which in Greek, means "those from around here".

Donetta, I just saw a peri Oink-Oink!
Hit him with your rubber duck, Josie!

Ivan

islandgrovepress said...

A hot tub party!
Josie's already in.

Migod, she's Ethel Merman, right down to the Fifties bathing suit!

And we've got Pam's poor rosebush man in too.
Oh the temptations of St. Anthony!

Get the hell out of my rosebush, Tony!

Donnetta Lee said...

Funky chicken. Dickie Ducky. Oh, I'm back at the rotten powdered eggs. Everybody dive in and do the "swim."

Blub, Donnetta

Josie said...

Ethel Merman!?! I'll have you know I'm Esther Williams!!!

islandgrovepress said...

Donetta,

Too mighty a splash. I am topless-bottomless!

Ivan

islandgrovepress said...

Ah, thank you for the towel, Anthony...Modesty at all cost!

Ivan

islandgrovepress said...

Josie,

You are indeed Esther Williams.
Got your mother's looks, right?

Ivan

Anonymous said...

Um,

I see JR has hopped the chainlink fence to get home.

Egad! Is that his bathing suit hanging off the top link?

Ivan

EA Monroe said...

And I'm Talula in my infamous swim suit.

Where's JR running off to so fast?!

Hi, Esther W., you look a lot like Josie!

EA Monroe said...

Opps, I had to run home and change! Now, I'm Talula!!

JR's Thumbprints said...

Thanks everyone, now I have to get the water tested.

Josie said...

We can be like JR's au pair girl and all run around nekked. (I don't have hairy armpits).

Anonymous said...

Okay.
Who peed in the water?

Ivan

islandgrovepress said...

Oh Talula!

I am swaying, entranced, like a cobra.