Cheap Eats at Bloglander

Your guide to eating cheap including tips, recipes and techniques

Archive for March, 2010

3/30/10 | Wasa Crispbread

[ Currently Eating: Whassup Wasa ]

Wasa Wassup Whassup - Cheap Eats at Bloglander


Yes, I did buy this Wasa Crispbread entirely for its moniker’s resemblance to the catchphrase from that outdated, archaic, so-1999 commercial filled with telephonically challenged idiots who look sort of (but not exactly) like your brother’s inebriated dog’s girlfriend’s owner. I do things like that.

I also smell my armpits. Hmm… Oniony.

You see, the other day I was at Whole Foods.

Wait, back up there Mr. Moneybags. You were at Whole Foods, the mortal enemy of Cheap Eaters around the land? Don’t get me wrong, I like a little expensive toejam tofu now and then. But for the most part, I stay out of Yuppiefoodville. (Incidentally, Sandra Tsing Loh of the Loh Life has a sort of funny series called
“Escape From Whole Foods”

What’s the negative of slumming? I don’t have a word for it, but let’s call it “riching”. Every so often I like to go riching it up: rolling down the aisle, eating Parmigiano-Reggiano and sippin on merlot and Reed’s Ginger Ale. With my mind on my money and my money on my mind.

I usually don’t buy anything, merely limiting my interaction with the soccermoms and yogamasters to surreptitiously sampling the cheese platters. Sometimes I can make about 3 rounds before the cheesemonger calls security.

But this time I was stopped in my tracks in the cracker aisle. Excuse me, the crispbread aisle. There are no crackers here – only ryebread, crispbread, bagel chips, melba toast and dehydrated dollar bills. I saw these Wasa Crispbread crackers and though, “Dang, that would make a nice easy review. Just look at the name. Whassup.”

But at $3.29 a pack of crispbread (I actually can’t find the receipt but I know it was at least 3 bucks) this would set me back almost an entire meal or so. So, I headed back out to the car and dug underneath the seat to see if I could find any change. No, of course I’m just jerking your chain – I actually whipped out my bright and shiny American Express card and paid for that bad boy box of crispbread with a single swipe. Damn, that felt good.

But when I got home, I found much of the Whassup magic had evaporated. Would most people who read this blog even remember that commerical? What, they were like 8 years old? And more importantly, even though the ad campaign had been inducted into the CLIO hall of fame, would anyone WANT to remember it. Was I opening up a whole can of whoopass worms that would come back to bite me in the form of commenters who tell me to please jump in a boiling vat of Velveeta cheese? Would people hate me for reminding them of their brother’s inebriated dog’s girlfriend’s owner? Would the castaways on Lost ever finally get off the stupid island?

In the end, I decided to go with it – mostly because of the stunning appearance of these crispbread crackers. A lot to talk about there. Have you ever seen a cardboard box disassembled into 12x6cm rectangles, covered with glue and then sprinkled with sawdust shavings left over from chainsawing a barn door in half? If you have (and I know you have), then this is what Wasa looks like.

Wasa Wassup Whassup - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

I had a large corn on my foot, but I used a slice of Wasa to grind it down to a manageable nubbin.

And so on.

Seriously, the crispbread does look rather woodchippy. Or rather, as more people would say, it looks rather healthy. That never stopped me from putting someting in my mouth, so I went ahead and jammed it up between the choppers.

Bit of a mistake. Slicing up eyeballs, ow ow ow ow. You have to be sort of careful eating these things, but then a lot of these healthy crackers are like that. The look and taste sort of reminded me of Ryecrisp, though I haven’t had those for umpteen years. If your teeth aren’t so good, you might want to opt for something softer. Either that, or soak these in milk first. Or bacon fat.

I suspect things could get really delicious-er if you added grilled chicken, lettuce and curls of parmesan cheese as they suggest on the photo on the front. Then again, if you add grilled chicken, lettuce and curls of parmesan cheese onto a 12x6cm rectangle of cardboard, I think I could probably choke that down.

Incidentally, long ago I attempted to eat a small square of cardboard on a dare. The ex-friend assured I was going to get in the Guinness Book of World Records or something. I did not get in. However, I did feel like a termite for just a little while.

Cardboard resemblance aside, these crackers are ok. A bit dry, but I bet they would be great with some sort of spread on top. I have a problem with paying over 3 bucks for it though. If it wasn’t for that momentary Whassup weakness, I never would’ve brought them home. I considered going back to Whole Foods and returning the opened package. But that cheesemonger – ah, he’s got his eye on me.

Price: $3.29 for 9.7 oz
Found At: Whole Foods
Cheap Eats Score: 4/10

[ Currently Eating: Earthquake Food ]

Chunky Gumbo Soup - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

Fresh on the heels of a small earthquake that rocked me out of bed at 4am, I’m just not really feeling excited about reviewing food this morning. Oh, it was no Haiti or Chile (or Whittier Narrows, in which I was on the second floor of a 1930s era school building), but definitely not the type of thing to calm your nerves.

Because of that, this review of Campbell’s Chunky Grilled Chicken & Sausage Gumbo is going to rely on a tried-and-true, boring, unimaginative review “device”. That device is to present you with the raw list of things I wrote down whilst sitting eating this soup. It’s entertaining for me (but maybe not for you) to try and decode what I wrote down, sometimes months ago.

Yes, I actually sit with a pen in one hand, a spoon in the other, and I try and think of witty things to say about canned soup. It’s a wonderful life.

Transcript follows, with later commentary in brackets:

Chunk Gumb Soup

Smell – Smokyness is pleasant, pretty good, very peppery – Jalap & green peppers, if you don’t like, then bad. [Spelling, grammar: terrible. 10 Demerits.]

Soup Consistency – More watery than some Chunkys I’ve had [erm, isn't that Chunkies?]. Bit “slippery” like gumbo should be [I've no idea what I meant by this].

Salt – Med. high, would dilute it for most ppl. [Usually dilute it nearly two to one with water].

Spice – Med. heat, pleasant – I like more. [Please sir, may I have another] Not sharp, but this may be just right for majority.

Taste – Tiny bit of metal tincan taste overall [Good for goats]. But not bad. Slight smokiness [I thought we already covered the pleasant smokiness in detail, must be important]

Broth – Good flavor [Gee, THANKS FOR NOTHING]

Rice – I personally like rice “soft” in soup. If you’re used to crunch of risotto, may not like it. Almost like noodles. [Definitely showing my age here, but I do still have most of my teeth]

Veg – Tomatos [Ding. Quayle issues], Cellery [I kid you not, I wrote "Cellery". Did I mention that I used to spell at a 5th grade level in Kindergarten? I dunno what happened], Bell pepper, decent amount [As opposed to an indecent amount, I guess]

Chicken – Breast meat – a little dry bland. If I was make homemade would use non-breast or brin it. [LOL - just grin and bear it, or brin and gear it.] But at least not salty.

Sausage – Pretty decent size [Insert joke about my sausage and your sausage, and how one may or may not be lengthier than the other], has some heat to it. But in general, not much flav [Flavor Flav] believe it’s given its all to the flavor of soup. If homemade, you put sausage in later. [At least this is somewhat true, I've found it's better to delay putting in sausage into gumbo until like 1/2 hour before serving.]

Score – Probably 7, but price? 1.49 not bad. Overall excellent [My, my - very descriptive]

Chunky Gumbo Soup - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

Price: $1.49 for 18.8 oz
Found At: Fresh & Easy
Cheap Eats Score: 7/10

[ Currently Eating: Iguana Lot Of Money ]

Mac N Cheese Hot Dog - Cheap Eats at Bloglander

Before you blurt out, “What is this godforsaken malarkey,” I would like to assure you that this kind of things does not NOT happen very, very often.

In a perfectly sane, normal world, I wouldn’t be eating this.

However, as we’ve come to realize, this is not a perfectly sane, normal world. In fact it is such an imperfectly insane, abnormal world that anything can happen. Wonderful times. Wonderful times, don’t you agree?

That is how I came to be ingesting a Macaroni and Cheese Hot Dog the other day.

Oh, it was a perfect storm all right. Leftover macaroni and cheese, hot dog buns and an open pacakge of lonely Oscar Meyer hot dogs. We don’t tend to have that combination all at once in our house. I took full advantage of it and made me a Mac-n-Cheese Dog with Habanero Tabasco sauce.

Pretty damn good. The hot sauce really kicks it up.

A notch, on my belt buckle, that is.

I had hoped to patent this macaroni and cheese hot dog, but I don’t have any money to do so.

Please send me some. Money, that is. And three cases of McCutcheon whiskey.

Thank you, and so on.



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