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Old 04-12-2018, 09:39 PM   #1
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Gourmet dinners on a Budget

I don't suppose this is an enormous eye opener. I'm sure there are many "dinner clubs" out there that do this. Most times my friends come here as they know I love to do the cooking plus they have different lives to deal with than I.

So tonight was one of them. A friend came over and it was basically a plain meal - just mussels, fries and some wine.

Ok I did not calculate the price of the large onion, 2 cups of tomato (from the garden, frozen) and a thai red bird chili x 2. So perhaps... add $1.50 / by 2? makes it $.75 ea.

For a single serving:-
$5.00 Mussels (approx 1.5 lbs each)
$1.50 Frozen McCains Fries (1/2 pkg ea.)
$.75 onion, tomato, chili
a grand total of $$7.25 oops forgot the wine - well, I make my own to a calculated cost of approx. $4.00 a bottle. Already opened was a young Pinot Blanc, some of which went into the mussels. So we had a glass while cooking then a bottle of Muller Thurgau for the table. (she's gone home and I'm finishing the rest of the bottle so that only counts as a 1/2 bottle for the meal...

You cannot eat a huge meal like that in a restaurant for $9.25... no tip necessary but you do your own dishes.

I can honestly say we have never had a meal that has cost us over !0$ each. From Cornish Hens done in the clay cooker to Duck a l'orange, and many others. We could be just 2 or up 6 or rarely 8. Sometimes it is "assigned dishes" - bills are supposed to be kept to be totaled and divided. That was a bit of a failure as many of us didn't have the bills or "oh, don't worry about it - it wasn't much!" I sort of felt that defeated the purpose - so that idea hit the tubes.

Anybody else do something like this?

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Old 04-12-2018, 10:57 PM   #2
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Back in college, my friends and I did "group cooks" on a weekly basis. They weren't gourmet, but they were very good, and included good meats, and fresh veggies.

I'd love to revive that tradition.

Interesting... that was in the early 80s, and those friends are still friends today. There is a lot of bonding that goes on over meals.

CD
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:01 AM   #3
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"Bonding over meals". Gives the term "stick to your ribs" a whole new meaning, cd! Except in this case they stuck to your heart.

dragn, just last Sunday I posted my pork chop dinner photo on Facebook, along with the per-pound cost of each ingredient. Along with the comment of "this is why we never go out to dinner". I wish Himself was more social. We were a substitute couple for the "Gourmet Club" that was active in my Welcome Wagon group back home. Every other month (except summers), something like six couples got together, each being assigned a course to prepare and bring. The hosts did the entree and provided wine for each course (which everyone else chipped in their share). We did it that one time, and he said he said that was enough.
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Old 04-13-2018, 03:59 AM   #4
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My experience was similar to cd.

When I was young and broke a group of us would get together on a Sunday or a Monday holiday for a meal in someone's apartment.

The jug wine usually cost more than the meal and that wasn't much in those days!!!
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Old 04-13-2018, 04:41 AM   #5
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Depends on your budget.
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:59 AM   #6
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I know the name "Gourmet" might be a bit of a misnomer but it is more for ''meals we wouldn't normally cook'' might be another name.

I've been part of one group or another for quite a while but there were always too many variables to keep any of them going.

I'll just see a recipe I really want to try and then invite! I'm slowly getting over the "I have to make everything from scratch" affliction. My next hurdle is to get over the 6 to 15 courses I always want to pack in.
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Old 04-13-2018, 07:14 AM   #7
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I would love to be in on something like that. Maybe I should start a group.
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:12 AM   #8
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Hmm, "a bit of a misnomer", is certainly a misnomer.

Mussels and frozen fries is a pub dish, or (forgive me) a colloquially called peasant dish. You can scrape mussels from seaside rocks just about anywhere.

Nonetheless, I love mussels, and fries. Never had them together, though. Sounds like a plan.
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:57 AM   #9
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Mussels and Fries are practically the national dish of Normandy! LOL We have a couple of restaurants that specialize in mussels.

It might be considered "pub" food - just not in these parts. It would be rare to see that in our pubs! Then it is about a 16 to 18 hour drive for me to "scape" from any seaside rocks!

I rarely have them with fries either - not my first choice - it was at my friends request.

But I bought an extra pound of mussels and will have them again either tonight or tomorrow. Just haven't chosen how to fix them, I have some heavy cream I will be using.. somehow, maybe with bacon...

Now I don't know if this is done in Normandy but in Quebec the most chosen condiment for fries is Mayo!! It's not bad actually.
My neighbour, who spent many summers with her Gramma in Normandy also has her fries with tons of fresh cracked pepper. Don't know if that's a Quebec thing or a Normandy thing - but again it's surprisingly good.
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragnlaw View Post
Then it is about a 16 to 18 hour drive for me to "scape" from any seaside rocks!
It's actually just under 5 hours, which is why I hear a lot of Quebecois on the beaches.
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