A magical budget upgrade..

100_8960 100_8963 100_8964The salmon was $9 or $10 per pound… after I cured it in koshering salt, sugar and dill weed.. its gravlax. $40-$50 per pound..the last step is smoking the gravlax which sells at around $100 per pound…

No way I can afford that, no matter how much I like it.

But there’s always a way around things..

The smoker was a walmart $100+ floor model but I got it for $20 because it wasn’t shiny anymore and the door wouldn’t close… reason being, they put it together wrong… So I made an offer, took it home and spent 2 minutes putting it together correctly…

The slab on top is a pizza stone that fits inside the smoker…when I want to use it as a wood fired pizza oven… I rearranged the fire pan put in a baffle so the stone isn’t in direct contact with the fire… etc. etc. etc.

The gravlax gets a cold smoke for four hours and its all done…

The fire pan this go round is a hotplate so I can keep the heat control tight at 100-120 degrees..

Of course its close to 11:00 PM and I’ll be messing with it till 3:00 AM, but its one of those no brainer insomnia chores… so I’m happy about it….


Budget 101

100_6945 A good pizza costs minimum $15-$20 at a non chain, non-soggy, non-greasy pizzeria..

Make your own exactly how you like it $1.50-$2.00 add a few friends who bring beer if you’re so inclined and you have a social event..

Or hoard it and have whats left for breakfast…

I happen to like ramen…. but the first thing I do is throw away the seasoning packets and mess with my dinner… an egg goes in.. be it boiled, sliced, raw or egg thread style, then add whatever, red pepper flakes, ginger, scallions or anything else I can think of… a hot and sour riff isn’t out of the question, nor is Miso…shrimp, cod fish shavings or nori unusual.. it still comes in at under $1 and won’t kill you like the dollar menu will…

The thing about making a budget a non suffering part of life is being able to like what you have or change things around in such a way..you like what you have.

You can have a survival mindset and fight through it.. OR enjoy it and prevail in a happy jolly kinda way..

Secret two is a pantry..3 is knowledge.. 4 is to adapt and cross cultures as often as possible.. its mostly the same stuff done in different ways…

Hummis assuming you like it… is $4 or more, made at home starting with chickpeas on the hoof is .25 cents… chapatis, naan, and pitas to name a few flat breads cost about the same..if that.

As take out or retail, its expensive stuff..but made at home, it isn’t and its the bomb..