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Friday Night Cookout Open Thread

What is your go-to recipe for a meal that is simple, quick and cheap?

Mine is creamed tuna:

1 can of tuna
2 cups milk
1/4 cup flour
salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a fry pan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. When it starts to boil reduce heat and simmer until it thickens.

Serve on toast.

(Serves 6 kids, four adults or one teenager)

I learned how to make it from my grandma, who raised six kids during the Great Depression.

This is an open thread.

139 Responses

  1. I like tuna casserole – it’s similar but uses noodles instead of toast. My mom made it with toast though.

    • My grandma always used one can of tuna no matter how many people she was cooking for – if she needed to stretch it she just added more milk and flour

      • Same with my mom … we had eight kids & two adults. Always one can of tuna.

      • Funny thing, the cans of tuna are the same size–but there is less tuna in the cans now.

      • Yeah, it was important to get the 4 glasses a milk a day, even if the tuna was only a flavor instead of a a serving of meat.

        These days, I cut a little chopped onion in the roux before I add the milk and a handful of sharp cheddar. It has to be whole grain toast. (Not wheat.) Then, I serve it for breakfast.

        • You can cut out the roux step if you use cream of mushroom soup. Your picky eater will never know there’s mushrooms in it and if she does, you can just say, “They’re not mushrooms. They’re boogers. I thought kids like boogers. Wait, where are you going? You’re not done yet.”

      • Laugh… Oh, you mean you had, ‘The Tuna Is IN HERE SOMEWHERE CASSEROLE’ also known as someone spent the food money meal! 😯

        Well, I guess there is one good thing about going through rough times, we all have some good stories.

        • Laughing too…………last time I made tuna fish casserole with potatoe chips, I was told by my family that they would be filing for a divorce. Haven’t made it since.

      • You mean Tuna Wiggle? Made with cream of mushroom soup, chopped water chestnuts, shredded cheese and a variety of pasta shapes from the partial boxes of pasta that I throw into the glass apothecary jar by the fridge? Yum-Yum!

    • My favorite on-the-go recipe is an adaptation of the penultimate recipe in Toulouse-Lautrec’s The Art of Cuisine. The original recipe is entitled “Saint Sur Le Gril”, but with the supply of saints being rather too limited these days for regular consumption I have adapted it to modern times: “Obot sur le Gril”. I find, in fact, that the average Obot may be induced to immolate him or herself through the simple expedient of waving a tattered hope poster over the coals. Toulouse -Lautrec noted that, like St. Lawrence, a real Saint will ask to be turned over to be evenly grilled. Alas, Obots are rarely so cooperative, but I have found that the mere whispering of the words “public option” will often make them roll over of their own accord.

  2. 1 pkg no yolk noodles, boiled, drained
    1 can tuna in water, drained
    1 can cream of celery soup

    Boil noodles til done. Drain. Stir in drain can of tuna and can cream of celery soup.

    Easy and kids seem to like it.

  3. Wow, did you hear what Brooks said on PBS tonight? 2008 might have been an outlier and the recent election indicates the pendulum has swung back. He said Obama might be in trouble. Anyone could win Ohio now, and without Ohio the Dems can’t win. He doesn’t think the Prez understands Ohio and the Midwest.

  4. We do our shopping at Aldi and we go to the used bread store for bread. That helps a lot. But, I’m always shocked when I see how much food costs in regular stores.

  5. Spam & Rice-a Roni

  6. Congee.

  7. My favorite “cheap” meal is Fakeh (Fah-key) which is a Greek soup made with Lentils.

    8 ounces brown lentils
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1 onions, minced
    1 large carrot, chopped
    1 quart water
    1 pinch dried oregano
    1 pinch crushed dried rosemary
    2 bay leaves
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    salt and pepper to taste
    Balsamic vinegar
    Extra virgin olive oil
    1.Place lentils in a large saucepan, cover with 1 inch of water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil; cook for 10 minutes, then drain lentils into a strainer.
    2.Dry saucepan, pour in olive oil, and place over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, and carrot; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour in lentils, 1 quart water, oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
    3.Stir in tomato paste and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer until the lentils have softened, 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add additional water if the soup becomes too thick. .
    4. When soup is ladled into individual servings, drizzle a little olive oil on top of each & add lots of balsamic vinegar (to taste). The balsamic vinegar really lifts the taste of the lentils.

    I usually make a grilled cheese sandwich to eat with the Fakeh.

  8. To a can of baked beans, add cut up wieners (or preferably, Hillshire Farms lite Polish kilbassa), cut up green pepper, onions and mushrooms. I throw in some sugar; my husband adds ketchup to his.

    A friend who was raised very poor stopped asking what was for dinner. His mom always said, “Beans or no beans.”

  9. Can of tomato soup.
    Follow directions.

    Peanut butter and jelly and two pieces of bread.
    Go with your instincts on this one.


  10. Two tins of sardines.
    Open, eat.


  11. The missus made Buffalo Chicken Dip. I’m noshing on that.

    Will the Democrats reward failure by making Nancy Pelosi House Minority Leader?

  12. Well, they’re named after food:

  13. My favorites from my depression era parents were chipped beef on toast (shit on a shingle), fried bologna, creamed tuna on toast, fried cows liver (cheaper than calf) and onions. They said the big treat was having a spare 25 cents so you could buy four slices of bologna.

    • That sounds like my parents. Yes, liver and onions. It’s evil I tell you, evil. The smell of it, esp. the onions draw you in, and they, yuk, liver. Evil.

      • “It’s good for you.”

        That’s why I never eat anything that’s good for me.

      • It has iron and you do want to be like SuperMan right?

      • LOL! I totally agree that the smell of liver & onions draws you in! My mom & dad love liver & onions and it was the one thing my mom didn’t make us kids eat. Usually, we had to eat whatever she cooked (“This isn’t a restaurant. You eat what I cook” was frequently heard at our dinner table whenever we had the nerve to complain about what was for dinner). BUT, for some reason she understood about us not like liver and when she made it for herself & my dad she would make us kids something else. And every single time she made it I would ask to try it because it just smelled so d@mn good I would think “well, maybe I’ll like it.” But yuck! I never could understand how something that smelled so good could taste so bad!!

    • First thing I ever learned to make was a butter and sugar sandwich……….I must have been about 4 years old, didn’t even have to bake it.

      • Wow, I am impressed and you didn’t burn the toast.

      • The first thing I learned to make was cinnamon toast — toast bread, spread with butter, sprinkle sugar & cinnamon on top. Not exactly “gourmet cinnamon toast” but very tasty for a kid’s palate!

  14. You think it’s bad now. It’s about to get a lot darker. On Sunday, November 7, 2010 at 2 a.m., Daylight Saving Time ends in the United States. Set your clocks back one hour. (Spring forward, fall back.)

  15. Is nothing sacred. Martha Stewart has an iPad app to help you make cookies.

    • THE MAGICAL IPAD (Parody) just for ya Dandy!

      • make fun if you want but my mother never leaves home without her ipad. She takes it with her everywhere. She’s an addict.
        Soooo, if it’s just a blown up ipod touch, it’s the best thing that could happen to a senior techie

  16. Easy Spread:

    1 pkg cream cheese
    1 jar pepper jelly

    Let them do the spreading………

    • I serve that all the time at parties! It is really, really good.
      Another easy party food is goat cheese with pistascios.
      Let the goat cheese sit out until soft, divide evenly & roll into several tiny little balls (a little smaller than quarter size) & then coat with crushed pistacios. Serve individual goat cheese balls on a leaf of baby spinach. Wonderful!

  17. My son’s friend was pretty broke, pretty much all the time. He took the catsup packets from McD’s and mixed them withhot water to make tomato soup. That’s not his favorite meal, but it is free. I would make a big batch of pinto beans and ham hocks and send it to him. He was in high school, but his mom was in a nursing home, so he lived alone in her house. Now he works as a cook in the nursing home, so he can help take care of her.

    My favorite cheap and fast meal is bicuits and gravy. If you make it from scratch, doesn’t cost much. And I love it.

  18. I like onions!

  19. This is great:

  20. Fantastic!

  21. Love this:

  22. I think I got this recipe from SF Gate

    Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

    Dried beans are an age-old pantry staple in winter, and nearly any variety will work well in this recipe; some good alternatives to black beans include navy beans, cannellini beans or red beans. If you like, garnish with sour cream and chopped fresh cilantro.

    2 1/4 cups dried black beans
    3 Tbs. olive oil
    3 yellow onions, chopped
    2 fresh serrano or jalapeño chili peppers, seeded and minced
    5 large garlic cloves, minced
    6 Tbs. chili powder
    3 Tbs. ground cumin
    1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
    1 tsp. dried oregano
    2 cans (28 oz. each) crushed tomatoes
    Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
    1 cup coarsely grated Monterey jack cheese

    Pick over the beans and discard any damaged beans and stones. Rinse the beans. Place in a bowl and add water to cover generously. Let stand for about 3 hours. Drain the beans and set aside.

    In a large, heavy saucepan over low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions and chili peppers and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, cayenne and oregano and sauté, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Add the beans, tomatoes and water to cover by 3 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the beans are very tender and have begun to fall apart, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Add water if the beans begin to dry out but are not yet cooked.

    Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into warmed bowls, sprinkle with the cheese and serve immediately.
    Serves 6.

    Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series, Winter, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997).

  23. The downside to all of those good depression era fried liver, fried bologna, biscuits and gravy, ham hocks in the beans, etc.. etc was the fat and cholesterol. During the Korean War, a study was done on soldiers killed in action. Average age was 22 years and 77% had coronary artery disease. 6% had very severe narrowing of at least one of the three major coronary arteries.

    • Though if you’re only eating one meal every couple of days, you want it to be very high in fat content and calories. The problem is getting used to that and then being able to eat it more often.

      • My grandma made “pork and beans” with “pork” that was 99% fat.

        Whenever she cooked meat she made gravy by adding milk and flour to the “drippings” which was the grease from the fat.and the cooked blood that comes out of the meat.

        Biscuits and gravy was considered a meal.

  24. Here is a great appetizer/party receipe for Scotch eggs (could you put the receipe in block quotes? 🙂 Thanks!!)

    8 hard boiled eggs, cooled and peeled
    1 lb. sausage
    1/2 c. dry bread crumbs
    1 egg, beaten
    1/4 tsp. paprika

    Mix paprika into bread crumbs. Wrap 1/8 pound sausage around each egg. Coat with raw egg and roll in bread crumbs. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes. Cut each egg in half and serve on a bed of lettuce.

    I usually use 6 eggs per pound of sausage and I substitute Italian sausage with turkey sausage, though I do include a bit of spicy sausage for flavor. I also add a half tespoon of cinnamon or nutmeg and some chili powder or redpepper flakes to the sausage for an extra kick.

  25. O/T

    Obama tells ’60 Minutes’ he has failed at ‘persuading people’

    President Obama still doesn’t think that voters were rejecting him in Tuesday’s midterm elections. Instead, he suggested the Democrats’ crushing Election Day losses were attributable mainly to his failure to communicate.
    “Over the course of two years, we were so busy and so focused on getting a bunch of stuff done that we stopped paying attention to the fact that leadership isn’t just legislation. That it’s a matter of persuading people,” Obama told Steve Kroft of CBS. “And giving them confidence. And bringing them together. And setting a tone. And making an argument that people can understand. And I think that we haven’t always been successful at that, and I take personal responsibility for that. And it’s something that I’ve got to examine carefully as I go forward.”

    The man is dense.

    • If what you are doing is so correct, why would you have to CONVINCE people that what you are doing is correct?


      Hillary 2012

      • ‘cuz they’re all stupid r@cists who are bitter and cling to their guns and bibles, and also knit. You know, they’re little people. He’s doing the best he can. Why can’t you leave Obama alone…. 🙂

        • Maybe the remaining democRATs in the House and Senate will finally see that Obumbles is poison. Period.

          Hillary 2012

  26. Mort Zuckerman, after pushing Obama on us, wants Bayh in 2012.

    Mort Zuckerman: America’s Love Affair With Obama Is Over

    Why did Obama put his health plan so far ahead of the economy? To do what the Clintons couldn’t?
    The public disillusionment has now hardened. In a Quinnipiac poll this summer, only 28 percent of white voters said they would back Obama for a second term if the election were held then. Still, those results do not mean the public will go Republican next time. It depends on the candidate and the party. A centrist Democrat could win again—someone like retiring Sen. Evan Bayh, who sets a better course for the party in a New York Times op-ed. “A good place to start would be tax reform. Get rates down to make American businesses globally competitive,” he writes. “Simplify the code to reduce compliance costs and broaden the base. . . . Ban earmarks until the budget is balanced [and] support a freeze on federal hiring and pay increases.”

    Zuckerman rants but takes no responsibility for the disaster. I don’t believe Bayh can win California. I know I won’t. Zuckerman is an idiot.

    • I know I won’t vote for Bayh.

    • How is it that none of these writers can see the 900lb elephant in the room? Hillary would win in a walk. It has never been a problem with independents and republicans in terms of getting votes. As was demonstrated this week, the republican party is more progressive in terms of non-white male candidates. The problem is the democratic nomination. It would seem that there is a cabal that just absolutely does not want to see a Clinton in the White House.

      • “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair

        • Zuckerman:

          The last two years have exposed to the public the risk that came with voting an inexperienced politician into office at a time when there was a crisis in America’s economy, as the nation contended with a financial freeze, a painful recession, and two wars. The Democrats were simply not aggressive enough or focused enough in confronting the profound economic crisis represented by millions of ordinary Americans whose main concern was the lack of jobs.

          Obama can’t win. I was looking at the map after the elections. PA, NM, FL, MI, WI, all Republican governors. The Democratic decimation at the state level is a huge loss for the president. No state can be won by attracting only the minority vote. Bill Clinton is no dummy. He must have known, and decided to prepare the ground for Hillary. The Democrat supporters and the Democratic leadership will tell Obama to step aside.

  27. Obama and Pelosi are in each others way.

    How Pelosi’s decision could hamper Obama

    From outside reports, the White House was conflicted about whether it wanted her to stay or go, torn between loyalty to the speaker for all she did during the past two years and its own political needs in the wake of Tuesday’s loss.

  28. The media turns:

    Milbank: Would we be better off under a President Hillary Clinton?

    As I sat in the East Room last week watching a forlorn President Obama account for his shellacking, I listened with concern as he described the presidency as a “growth process” and suggested that the midterm setback was somehow inevitable. “You know, this is something that I think every president needs to go through,” he said.

    It brought to mind Hillary Clinton’s 3 a.m. phone-call ad from the 2008 campaign, and her withering criticism of Obama: “When there is a crisis . . . there’s no time for speeches or on-the-job training.” I wondered whether Democrats would be in the fix they’re in if they had chosen a different standard-bearer.

    Would unemployment have been lower under a President Hillary? Would the Democrats have lost fewer seats on Tuesday? It’s impossible to know. But what can be said with confidence is that Clinton’s toolkit is a better match for the current set of national woes than they were for 2008, when her support for the Iraq war dominated the campaign.

    Back then, Clinton’s populist appeal to low-income white voters, union members and workers of the Rust Belt was not enough to overcome Obama’s energized youth vote. But Clinton’s working-class whites were the very ones who switched to the Republicans on Tuesday.

    More at the WP link

    • Dana forgets how the WP pushed Obama and that it was the superdelegates that chose Oprecious.

      • Thank you Sinclair

        It is difficult to get a man to remember something when his job depends on forgetting it.

    • That’s bullshit, Dana. She wasn’t drowned out by the youth vote. She wasn’t even done in by the media. She was shivved by her own party, right into the heart of the base.
      And who are these low-income white voters you’re talking about? The unemployed I know all have PhDs in chemistry and biology. We’re not just talking about bus drivers and steelworkers any more. The working class is bigger than that. We’re college educated, in highly technical jobs, with years of experience who are unemployed because shareholders just HAVE to have a new house by the shore.
      Dana needs to get out more.

    • Milbank is an asshat. Of course things would have been better under President Hillary Clinton. It goes without saying…..


      Hillary 2012

      • Still, he finally makes the obvious point: it’s not about packaging, but doing

        Obama survived the challenge then. But times changed, and the president, feeling “removed” from the people, asked in the East Room how he can give Americans “confidence that I’m listening to them?”

        The answer is simple: Do what Hillary would have done.

    • From the drinker of “Mad Bitch” beer? But I thought the two candidates were identical, except for the fact that one was teh Messiah, and the other, well,… a bitch?

  29. I got this one from a beautiful Italian cookbook, um, which I think is called, The Beautiful Italian Cookbook. This one is modified for time.

    Tuna and Bean Salad
    1 can tuna in oil
    1 can canellini beans
    1 small onion sliced very thinly
    sage leaves, sliced in ribbons
    salad greens
    olive oil

    Drain and rinse the beans. Gently warm them in a pot. Add some sage leaves.
    Mound salad greens in a large bowl. Spoon warm beans on top. Break up tuna; top beans with tuna. In a small bowl, whisk juice of one lemon with olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over tuna. Top salad with onions. Eat.
    Variations: add some tomato wedges and kalamata olives. Eat with crusty bread and you’ve gotcher self a meal.

  30. One more standby. This is what I used to get Brooke to eat when she wouldn’t eat anything else. (She used to be extremely picky):

    Grilled cheese sandwiches

    2 slices bread (NO WHITE BREAD ALLOWED!)
    2 slices Kraft American Singles Cheese
    butter flavored cooking spray

    Method 1: Heat a pan. Assemble sandwich. Spray both sides with cooking spray. Grill in pan on medium heat until one side is golden brown. Flip and do the other side.

    Method 2: Get sandwich maker from under the counter in the cupboard next to the refrigerator. What do you mean you can’t find it? Move things around. If I have to come in there… You found it? Good. Ok, now, get the butter spray. The butter spray. It’s by the stove on the left side. Argghhh! Spray one side of the bread. {{walks into the kitchen to supervise 14 year old}} Didn’t you take cooking last year in home ec? Spray one piece of bread. Don’t overdo it. You’re getting pools of butter spray on the bread. That’s not going to taste good. Ok, put the bread butter side down on sandwich maker. Put cheese on top. It will fit. You need to tear it and arrange it so it stays within the perimeter of the bread. Ok, now put the other piece of bread on top. Yes, like that. Now, spray the top piece of bread. Close the top of the sandwich maker. Plug it in. To the wall. You’re looking right at the outlet. There. Wait until the light goes out on the sandwich maker. Study hard and get a good job. You’re going to need a cook.

  31. And he freely pitches for the other team again
    Barack Obama calls for tax cut extension
    in the name of bipartisanship, of course

  32. From ” White Trash Cook Book”

    I pound macaroni —follow directions
    cover with 1 pound bacon
    and 1 pound velveeta cheese.


  33. Another Schadenfreude headline
    Barack Obama is doomed – enter Mrs Clinton
    and check the photo

    To the rest of the world, it might have seemed that President Obama’s press conference after the defeat was an admission of personal failure. But it wasn’t: what went wrong was the economy’s fault, he argued – and, by extension, it was the fault of the electorate for not seeing that. Despite the best efforts of the Leftist-dominated media here to support St Barack, the people are having none of it.

    It’s the Telegraph, of course – a Murdoch rag? But a few lines – and the photo are worth checking

  34. Don’t you guys ever sleep? Good Morning, by the way

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