Tuesday, August 8, 2023

If You Want The Best, Make It Yourself...


I know I published a blog column about recreating our favorite takeout foods. Here. At home. From scratch. I post a lot of food photos on my personal Facebook wall. Often times I sound like a broken record because I begin or end with, "If you want the best. Make it yourself. At home."

I mean that with every ounce of my being. 

There was a time when we relied on takeout. Years ago. A lot. 

Okay. More than a lot. 

That was back when we lived in our old home. Even though we made homemade meals and treats for our kids, at the end of the day, Lisa and I relied on takeout. 

At one point, things changed. That's when my time in our Bodacious Kitchen became part of my daily work schedule. Instead of ordering takeout several times a week, it became a treat. We ordered takeout maybe once a month. 

Fast forward...

In January 2020, after our realtor showed us a house during the morning hours, we made an offer. We went out to breakfast at our favorite breakfast restaurant moments later. That evening, our offer was accepted. 

We bought the house in February of 2020. The weekend before our closing date, we took our dear friend out to breakfast at the same place. 

For a few days, between our closing day and when I unpacked the kitchen stuff, we had to rely on takeout food. Honestly, it was miserable. This is the reason why I made sure the kitchen essentials were the first to be unpacked. 

We ate takeout food for a total of 4 days. 

Fast forward again...

The COVID-19 Pandemic shut down our state less than 2 months after we closed on our house. I don't think I need to summarize all that happened during that time. What I will say is that we made the decision to support our local restaurants. They were suffering and some were shutting down. 

During that time, we ordered takeout once a week. That lasted only a few months. Because. Eventually. The cost of food went up. Which meant, the menu prices blew through the roof. The quality went down. We gave our favorite few a few more chances, however, things steadily went downhill. 

At that point, we took matters into our own hands. Sure, we both enjoy the homemade meals I make every single day. But. We do occasionally crave those takeout restaurant favorites like wings, pizza, ribs, etc.

That is when it all began.

When we crave fried shrimp, we wait until extra jumbo or colossal raw shrimp is on sale. Lisa cleans the shrimp. I batter and fry. We always make extra because...

We always enjoy homemade Shrimp Po'boy Grinders the next day for dinner. 

While we're on the topic of Grinders, one of our favorites is a good ol' classic Chicken Cutlet Grinder. We filet a boneless chicken breast, pound it out, bread it, and fry it. Add homemade grinder rolls, lettuce, mayo, and tomato. 

Dinner is served.

That extended to pizza. The last time we ordered from our single favorite pizza place, it didn't go well. For almost $42, we got 2 small pizzas. A Hawaiian for Lisa. A veggie for me. Long story short, we sadly won't be ordering from them again.

The same holds true when we crave wings.

Or ribs.

Or both.

Between making the dry rub, the homemade barbeque sauce, the prep, and the final grilling, it's a lot of work, but it's worth the effort. A lot cheaper and worlds better.

This even includes muffins. Yes. Muffins. There was a time when you could get a scrumptious jumbo muffin at a chain or bakery for fairly cheap. Now, the price has almost doubled and they're much smaller. If you can find a decent muffin at a bakery, they're expensive. Understandably so because the cost of ingredients has gone up. 

I make homemade jumbo muffins with fresh fruit and ingredients for a tiny fraction of the cost. 

Our favorite during the past couple of Summers has been this. Right here. Fresh Maine Chic Lobsters. There was a time, not too long ago, that we used to enjoy these a few times during the Summer. When we lived in our old home. These beauties would go on sale for $4.99-$5.99 a pound. 

Those days are long gone...

Since buying our house, the cost has doubled. Even when on sale. That's the reason why the price of lobster dinners, lobster rolls, and anything else including lobster meat, has doubled and nearly tripled over the past couple of years. 

Lisa and I refuse to pay over $30 for a single lobster dinner or a single lobster roll at a restaurant. 

As quoted on my personal Facebook wall...

"Thank you, Mom and Dad Violette, for your sweet Anniversary Gift to us. We always save those funds for a rainy day. For when our favorite Maine Chic Lobsters go on sale. We buy enough for a scrumptious lobster dinner. And. The next day, my homemade lobster rolls. That happened today. Between our Anniversary and Lisa's birthday. Exceptionally thankful."

Did I mention homemade Whoopie Pies? That happened several times too over the past couple of months. 

So, yeah. Super long post. But. I know a lot of people are complaining on social media about fast food, takeout, restaurants, etc. It all ranges from rising prices, smaller portions, poor service, quality going downhill, etc. 

Do yourself a favor. 

And, once again I sound like a broken record, but I don't care. 

If you want the best. Make it yourself. At home. 

It's that simple. 

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