So far we have determined that, on this cold Chicago winter, we are broke. But life is still worth living and we need to spend more time practicing our instruments. We have also determined in one swift move that cooking is the answer to this particular situation. Cooking cheap that is.
Onward to a few practical advice.
My mum was a cook teacher. She was also a hippie. We had to burn furniture in the winter to heat ourselves. Bohemian lifestyle for us since we still manage to live very happily. But it also meant that she had to find a way to feed four people everyday with her skills in the kitchen.
I am now using her knowledge to help the different musicians reading this blog who are hoping to make it as a pro, or stay as a pro for a long time. When the going gets tough, the tough gets cooking.
I’ll give you a recipe for a soup.
Four medium carrots.
One big onion
Four branches of celery
Five or six cloves of garlic
One green cabbage
4 to 6 pounds of the cheapest piece of beef you can find (preferably no bones).
Pinch of pepper to taste
Rinse the carrots and celery. Cut in little pieces no bigger than 1/2 an inch. Cut the onions also in little pieces. You can brown all of these in pan with a little oil, but you don’t even have to. Rinse the outside of the cabbage, don’t tear out the leaves. Cut the cabbage whole in slices no thicker than 1/2 inch. No need to brown that.
Cut the meat in little cubes no bigger than 1 and 1/2 inch. You can decide to brown it (you don’t have to) but be aware that it’ll give you quite a bit of water you’ll have to drain from the pot. In any case, don’t overcook it in the pan.
Now you’re ready.
Put all these things I just mentioned in a big pot. Top it with water. Add the garlic crushed, some chicken bouillon and the pepper. Keep tasting until it is to your liking. If it’s too acid, don’t worry, that’s the cabbage, that bitterness will disappear as it spends time on the stove. Let it cook at very low flame for a long time (Until the meat is really tender and the acidity of the cabbage is gone). If you have a crock pot, you put all your ingredients in it with water to top it and you can go 6 hours minimum on the clock at high or low setting.
Serve it with a piece of bread. You can slice some cheese in it. You can put a little heavy whipping cream.
Once it’s cooked, you let it cool, you pack it in plastic containers, you put it in the freezer. There! You just got yourself 12 to 14 delicious meal that you can use all week long. Price? Less than $40. The meat is the most expensive bit, but again, take the really cheap one. You can also decide to do without it.
Little trivia: those French recipes that the whole world enjoys when they taste it, the Boeuf Bourguignon, the ratatouille that seem so fancy and luxurious, are family recipes, farmer’s delights. They are always with all the cheapest ingredients.
A note. You don’t like the soup I propose, no problem, go on the internet and type in the ingredients you like, you’ll get a recipe for them.
Now, before I get asked the question whether this is a blog about music or not, I’ll say this: it takes all sorts of skills to become a successful musician, mainly endurance. And I do not shy away from sharing any trick I know to keep my wannabe pros or current pros in the business. So, yes, this blog was about music.
Next time I’ll talk about how to mend your socks.