SatGourmet: Let Us Eat…Cake!

Snow should melt a bit more, today.

And in celebration, Looking Outside the Box steps into the kitchen with a lesson in post-storm attitude adjusting!

Now that the powers on .. relax and have some yellow cake

1 yellow cake mix
4 eggs
4 ounces butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
11 ounces mandarin oranges drained – small can
5 tablespoons flour

20 ounces can crushed pineapple do not drain – large can
1 package instant vanilla pudding 4 serving size
1/2 cup powdered sugar
16 ounces whipped topping Cool Whip
1 cup flaked coconut

Mix together the yellow cake mix, eggs, butter, flour, and cooking oil and drained can of mandarin oranges together. Pour cake batter in a 9×13 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes to 25 minutes, the cake may not appear done but should be brown on top. Cool and cover with icing.

Mix pineapple, pudding, and sugar together really well, let set until it begins to thicken, add whipped topping and coconut and spread on top of the cooled cake… Must be refrigerated.”


Dish #2 from LOOB

I am at the point where I have to make some …

Tato puffs

2 tablespoons Olive Oil ( one glurp LOL)
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into rough 1-inch chunks (about 2 potatoes)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1Tbsp. of flour
Put the potatoes in a pan with salted water.. bring to a boil for two minutes.. drain.. then
Place potatoes in a bowl of cold water and agitate for 10 to 15 seconds. Drain.
Transfer 1/2 of the potatoes to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until broken down into rough small pieces approximately an eighth inch.. OR….
place in a ricer and rice the potatoes OR… if you have the dog food pellet maker pick the 4mm plate.. and pellet into a bowl of cool water.. then
place the riced potatoes in to a jelly bag or clean dish cloth and wring the water out of them.
Place the drained riced potatoes into a microwave bowl and microwave for one minute.. stir then microwave one more..
let cool for 2 minutes. Sprinkle the salt, onion powder, cornstarch, flour and oil, and a few grinds of black pepper over the potatoes. Gently mix in to combine. (The mixture will be sticky, a rubber spatula or fork work well).
( you can add at this point different things like grated cheese or onions parsly etc.. ( I personally like bacon bits)
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease with half of the oil.
Shape the way you want them…
Bake till golden brown..
If your planning on freezing them then bake half of the time just to firm up the binders.. then freeze…

[George:  [Then serve with deep fried wings  and mush through  large bore wringers direct into the aorta…”]

Value of a Thermos

Some lessons in life you learn several times.

Back in my youth, I became an R&E mechanic for an airline at age 18.  Union member and all that, pay-off for being a geek in high school.

That was when I bought my first Thermos.   I was working second shift.  Around 9 PM, or so, a hit of strong coffee would help keep time moving (it slows to nothing when you sleep – coffee changes time, as everyone knows).

Then I went, what?:  Almost 40 years before relearning from a bud who I worked for when he was CEO of a tech firm.  Always brought a thermos of fresh coffee in every day. Used the stainless top as the cup.  Drank it over the day and kept his energy high.  Tasted, it was as good as Starbucks (which was the bean).  Still, single at the time, a thermos was one more thing to clean…part of the Bachelor’s Paradox.

Third time was a charm – vowed to mention that in the middle of stress, snow, water pipe worries, and cold, nothing hits the spot like even a mouthful of hot coffee.  Seriously!

Ure Family One-Potter

Almost sad to see the weather warming up.  We still haven’t had to haul out the Ure Family One-Potter.

The Design Template for this is simple:  (Top-level domain):

  • A pound of noodles
  • Can of sauce or soup, or a stovetop sauce
  • Can or source of protein

See how many dishes you can build out of this?  Al Fredo, cassaroles…why the list is long and savory.

The Second-Level Domain details out as:


  • Thin spaghetti for red-sauce bases (cream of tomato soup for example)
  • Linguini works well for white sauces (alfredo) and wine sauces with clams, langoustines, lobster, crab…
  • Chinese egg works for buttery oyster sauce.
  • Wide egg works for casseroles.  But too wide and now you’re entering lasagna territory…

Using the Template

Go to a survival situation and creatively look in the pantry:  ideas abound!

  • Mac & Cheese
  • Alfredo
  • Tunafish, chicken, or clam (or whatever) casserole.

All of which makes pretty easy, as some level.  Shopping for three ingredient classes is a hell of a lot easier than distilling recipes down on the fly.

Add to Your List

When you get some time this spring, go out to your BBQ and see how many meals a) you can cook before running out of gas and b) before running out of meal ideas.  Very enlightening exercise.

A short cookery this morning…more tomorrow on ShopTalk.

Write when you get rich,


15 thoughts on “SatGourmet: Let Us Eat…Cake!”

  1. When using a thermos I usually rinse it with hot water first because it makes the coffee or soup stay warmer for longer.

  2. I like fresh hot roasted coffee.. and would carry one of these in the back of the car to bring in during lunch….,searchweb201602_,searchweb201603_

    of course you can get them with motors on them to.. which I don’thave I just have the hand cranked one.. I get a thrill out of listening to the beans crack.. and the smell is to die for..
    I had all the kids make these to.. the cost about ten bucks.. so they could roast their own peanuts.. ( we grew peanuts one year )
    back during the first hard time around… I didn’t have coffee.. would go down to the restaurant and ask them for their old grounds.. ( they would save them in a can for me.. then take out the paper filters and re roast them.. all I had was a coffee can and coleman camp stove.. ( still got that thing to..) I had to scrape grain up off of the ground to grind up into a crude gruel.. ( nasty stuff.. swore I would never be there again) and would roast and grind some of it.. ( used a rock and an old cast iron pan.. (still got that pan to ) then add it to the re roasted coffee grounds.. ( or basically dried out coffee grounds) that was as close to coffee as I could get.. I did learn the importance to knowing how to roast your own and I do go down to buy green beans at an ethiopian store..
    this is my favorite.. a bit spendy but low acid and I do buy a pound once a year for a treat.. a really nice flavor.. I of course like second crack… then take it off quick and let it rest…..
    you can get the beans on amazon to.. I figured that .. even though the odds are that no one would ever have to do that.. ( I keep a years supply of coffee on hand..) you never know.. and it is important to be able to make what you use.. I of course have learned how to make the creature comforts that keep your quality of life.. My wife of course tells me.. no more kitchen gadgets.. these sit on top shelf just waiting to be used when you have the hankering for a fresh roasted cup of jo.. oh the flavor excedes anything you can get on the shelf trust me.. its the best..

    • I’ve read that popcorn poppers can be roast coffee beans. I’m not a coffee hound so haven’t tried it yet, but if I ever get around to storing beans for SHTF, this will be my first acquisition/experiment. It would cut down on the manual labor required by other methods.

  3. My Grandmother would make “Bachelors Dinner” when I was little. Story was that my Grandfather got the recipe from his homebrew crystal set radio when he was a boy. A layered dish containing:
    Layer 1 – ground beef, seasoned with onions and voodoo powder.
    Layer 2 – Jar of canned tomatoes from the cellar, more voodoo powder
    Layer 3 – creamed style corn that has to be homemade by Grandma. Add more voodoo powder
    Layer 4 – crushed saltine cracker crust dotted with butter and final dusting of voodoo powder.
    Serve with a baked potato fresh from the bin in the cellar that Grandpa has hollowed out of the skins. Skins are saved to have buttered for desert. And Grandmas homemade biscuits.
    Voodoo powder was her secret that no one will ever know.
    I have tried to recreate this my entire life with no success. But I make it often and just pretend Grandma made it and tell the story of how Grandpa got the recipe. Nothing better.
    Guess whats for supper tonight.

      • That is what my Grandfather called Grandmas secret seasoning. She only added it during cooking and it was not seen on the table. It was kept in a Mason jar in the pantry. She never would reveal the ingredients but it was used on just about anything except fish. One time I suspected it was possibly seasoned salt but she was adamant it was not. Mom tried to get her to tell her a few months before she passed and like everything she did in the kitchen it was “I’ll have to show you since it was not written down anywhere”.

    • Unfortunately that happens a lot jim.. I knew a woman that had a family process to freeze tomatoes..when thawed you could slice them and use them. The tomato was hardly damaged by the freezing.. she got cancer and died taking the secret process with her..
      I try real hard to be open to those that have an interest.
      There are a few things that the kids have an interest in that I won’t if it could be dangerous.. showing the kids how to melt stones with the sun was not a good idea at all. Instead I showed them how to freeze things with the sun..

      • The real issue was she did not have any written recipes or processes. What I would call a true Artist. If you were willing to shadow her in the kitchen, but don’t get in the way, you would see her methods easily. And be ready to hit the dishes in the sink.
        She made a whiskey soaked pecan pie each Christmas. My God it was heaven. I happened to walk through the pantry bringing in stove wood one day when I saw how she did it. The pies would sit on the shelf above the prep table for several days and when she would think about it she would take out her hidden bottle of Evan Williams Pure Kentucky Sippin Whiskey and drizzle it over them with her thumb over the top. When she was done the thumb went into her mouth. This is the same Grandma who would bring down fire and brimstone on “Drinkers”.
        I never told her I saw that. My mamma didn’t raise no fool.

  4. A thermos bottle can perform the same function as a more expensive and larger thermal cooker. It’s like a non-electric crockpot. It conserves cooking fuel of any type and is therefore a good prepper item. Here are some ways to use a thermos (preferably wide-mouthed) as a cooker for small batches of food:

    1) For small amounts of food you’d usually cook on a stovetop or in an oven, first heat it to a cooking temperature and then put it into the thermos bottle, which should be preheated with hot water. It will take longer to cook, but you can cook it for hours and it won’t burn.

    2) Simultaneously reconstitute and heat dehydrated and freeze-dried food.

    3) Incubate yogurt in a thermos. I’ve done this and can vouch that it works well.

    4) For storing hot water during the day, get as large a bottle as you can find. A 68-oz. bottle is the largest I’ve seen. Boil water on your first fire of the day and store it in the bottle. Use as needed during the day, saving fuel you would otherwise use later for another fire to heat water.

  5. Gonna sound Reel Stoopid, but try it.

    Bachelor Lasagna
    Layer a pyrex oven casserole dish with a layer of ravioli.
    (Some Al foil on a sheet for support and mess-control is
    helpful.) A little over-lap of raviolis is acceptable.

    The semi-fresh ravioli from the soopermarket is fine. get a
    big bag. Layer over with common jar spaghetti sauce. (“Gravy”
    to card-carrying Eye-Talians.) Then a layer of Ricotta.
    ‘Noher layer of raviolis. More gravy. More ricotta.
    DoUntill dish is “filled.” Don’t make it spill-over full.
    Top layer should be ricotta.

    350 degrees until all bubbly. Maybe 30 minutes.

    After cooling, any leftover can be partitioned into
    Tupperware clone freezer boxes. Mickey-Wave
    later. Damn near as good the second and subsequent
    times. To avoid frost burn, put the freezer box in an
    outer plastic freezer bag.

    Sounds Stoopid, but depending on ingredients chosen,
    and your skill, can be Crazy Great for easy.

    • that sounds great.. I am going to make that for supper one day this week..
      Oh you have to try Nancys crab cakes.. made those they are super delicious.. melted a pad of butter on top.. yum with a sprinkle of lemon juice..

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