So while I’m galloping across the city last Thursday morning, I stop at (among other joints) a huge Fry’s superstore, appropriately Scottsdaleian, the sort of place where Mazeratis populate the parking lot. It is just a Fry’s, though, despite the addition of some fancy cheeses, a full-service sit-down sushi bar, a wealth of Target-like household goods, and a section peddling pricey loafing-around-the-estate clothes. This means I can grab a few fruits and veggies and some cleaning products at about the same price on offer at Albertson’s or Safeway.
We’re almost out of custom-made dog food here at the Funny Farm. So it crosses my mind that if by some miracle this Fry’s has chicken on sale, I could grab enough to fend off another Costco trip for a week or so.
Nope. No sale chicken. However, I do stumble across a gigantic package of pork butt — almost 10 pounds. Dang! That’s as much as you’d buy in a giant Costco package. And it’s on sale: marked down to $9.71 from $17.79.
Well…that’s a bargain! (Or so it appears…) The same or less than Costco’s price.
This morning I go to cook up a lifetime supply of dog food from this stuff. It’s packaged, in the manner of a slab of Costco pork, squished inside a layer of tightly wrapped, melted-together plastic wrap. The package says CUT AND WRAPPED FREE!!!!
ohhhh, be still my heart!
So I think that like Costco pork, it’s chopped roughly into big chunks, which makes it pretty easy to stew up in a pot preparatory to food-processing with some veggies and some starches to make dawg food.
Not so much.
It’s one huge 10-pound chunk, and…it has a big bone running through the middle of it!
The package is not marked bone-in, and you cannot see the bone by looking at it through the plastic wrapping.
Fuckaroonies. What a hassle! I had to hack as much of the meat off the bone as I could, and was I mad! The bone weighed exactly 1 pound, meaning instead of 9.94 pounds of meat, I got 8.94 pounds. Meaning I threw $1.09 into the garbage.
No, I do not feel up for turning a pork bone into soup. And no, there’s not enough room in one of those kettles to hold a bone on top of all that meat, which itself produces close to a quart of broth (because as we know, commercial meats are soaked in saline and a substantial part of what you’re paying for is, yes, water).
Aside: You don’t even have to add water to cook these meats for the beasties. Just drop the chicken or the pork into a pot and turn on the heat. Within minutes, enough salt water exudes to keep the meat from scorching, and by the time the meat is cooked, the pot is literally half full of liquid.
That’s convenient, I guess: you can use it to cook the rice or oatmeal for the dog food. It doesn’t taste very good, mostly because commercial factory-made chicken tastes awful and pork just tastes depressing. So I don’t use it for my own cooking. But it finishes off the dog food…the pooches seem to like it. But…they’ll eat mummified oranges. Tells you something about doggie taste.
Okay, now for the English-major math:
At the discounted price, $9.71 for 8.94 pounds of usable meat came to $1.09/pound, a dime more than Costco charges. Only the Costco product is hassle-free: open it, drop it in the pan, and turn on the burner.
At the original price, which no one was foolish enough to pay, the pork would have run $1.99 a pound: a dollar a pound more than Costco’s price.
So. The Fat Lady is not pleased this morning.
I deeply resented discovering a bone in the wad of meat, when the package was not marked “bone-in.” I probably wouldn’t have bought it, had I known: there wasn’t that much rush to make another batch of hound food, and Costco’s bone-free 99-cent pork is a much better, much lower-hassle deal.
In other gnus, however, check out the frozen wild shrimp I found the ‘tother day:
Oh, the magnificence!!!!!
I sautéed these with some garlic, herbs, bottled artichoke hearts, cut-up Campari tomatoes, a handful of frozen peas, and a splash of cheap white wine.
Now that is food. Serious food.