Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Tight Fist Tip #10: Learn to Cook

A Valiant Effort

STOP! Move slowly away from the restaurant. And don't even think about ordering in Chinese. This is your bank account, begging on its knees to stop paying exorbitant prices for meals, which everyone knows you could make yourself if you could just once miss your precious half hour of Wheel of Fortune. First step: call mom and have her give you a lesson in operating your long-neglected stove. (Hint: You just turn the freaking knob.)

Here's a fun game that should make you feel guilty every time you go into a restaurant. When you order, try to estimate how much it would have cost for the ingredients at the grocery store. Then hang your head in shame. And cry.

Don't Worry, I Like it Well Done

And let's be clear about something: If you try to cheat by 'cooking' using prepared foods, your wallet will find out. Here in England, the locals have become so inundated with ready-meals (think TV dinners, not frozen but just as devoid of flavor) that they think they deserve some kind of Betty Crocker award when they pour a bottle of fluorescent sauce over grilled chicken and it vaguely reminds them of something they once had at some ethnic restaurant. Yum! Not only is all that crap disgusting and terrible for you, but it is also ridiculously priced.

Let's take a look at some common excuses of why you don't cook, and reveal how incredibly lame they are:

1. "I don't have the time." Oh, will it cut into your precious American Idol time? Or maybe you were going to spend those 30 minutes honing the maximum wit into your new Facebook status? I do apologize.

2. "I'm too tired after a long day." Oh yeah, surfing the internet in your cubicle all day sure is taxing. Careful with that spatula: you wouldn't want to pull a muscle.

3. "I can't cook." Oh, why won't someone put together some really easy idiot-proof instructions on how to make my favorite foods. If only someone could compile exactly how much of each ingredient to use in a dish and then give step-by-step instructions on what to do with them! And if only they could post a billion of these 'recipes' for free on the internet! Sigh... (Note, please do not let me catch you buying a cookbook.)

Still unconvinced? Worried that even Fido will scoff at the dishes that come out of your oven? Fortunately, The Tight Fist is going to make things super-easy for you. I have developed some fool-proof cooking techniques that are easy, quick, cheap, and super-delicious.

So stay tuned for The Tight Fist Cooking Guide, coming out shortly.


  1. Dan's Aunt Barb18 June 2009 at 12:40

    And remember to always plan your meals around what is on SALE that week at the grocery store!

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  3. Take it from me, Dan's Cousin Daryl, that lady can cook healthy good tasting meals for cheap!

  4. Dan, I just want you to know that since I am saving money for my big trip in August, I am following the rules of The Tight Fist to a tee.

    I am even so cheap, I didn't buy a bicycle and instead use my student ID (now expired) to ride the bus for free.

    I figured you'd be proud.

  5. I found the guide, its already out!

  6. Oh, Tight Fisted One, you are so correct. As you well know I have provided beer and tri-tip steak sandwiches for an entire ultimate team for under $50 bucks. Same meal at Chili's $17. Watching UG-MO feast, priceless!

  7. I once had a flatmate who had to call me and ask me how to turn on a stove.

    And another friend of mine actually had a flatmate who asked her, twice, how to crack an egg.

    Some people are morons.

  8. Oh you know I'm making that hummus all the time! Garbanzos, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, a little salt, and it's on!

  9. Good advice, Dan. You are following in the right footsteps!
    Yo Mama