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Tight-Arse Hobo Picnic July 9, 2009

Posted by Toy Lady in Cooking, Cooking Challenge, Food.

OK, so first, to get us all in the mood for the latest Formerly Monday But Now Tuesday Hobo challenge at Thursday Night Smackdown, here’s a bit of a cartoon.

So, the rules.  This month, we’re serving two for $5 or less (4 for $10, etc., which, I guess, means 3 for $7.50) and we’re doing picnic food.  That was my contribution – the Smugness Prize is, apparently, choosing the challenge for the following month, and, what with it’s being July and all, what would be a better hobo challenge than a picnic?  After all, isn’t that what hobos do anyway – picnic?  😉


OK, so we started with two (yes, two) chicken breasts that we dug out of the freezer.  These babies were HUGE – about 3/4 pound each.   When we put them in the freezer, Peeps had cut them in half – I filleted them the morning of our “picnic” – while they were still kind of frozen (it’s SO much easier that way).  This will ultimately serve four – Peeps, me, Surly Boy, and either my lunch or the Boy’s middle-of-the-night snack.  🙄


We rubbed the chicken breasts with a nice blend of spices and let them sit in the fridge for the day:

  • 1½ Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne

PhotobucketSo while the chicken was doing its thing in the fridge, I was working, and Peeps was doing his thing on his second-to-last day of his vacation.

Now we had intended to serve leftover mac salad from the 4th of July – because one thing I’m sure hobos don’t do is they don’t waste food.

Unfortunately, remember what I said about Surly Boy’s middle-of-the-night snack?  You thought I was kidding, didn’t you?  Yeah, not so much.   What had been enough macaroni salad for the three of us for dinner when we went to bed was no more than an empty Tupperware bowl in the dishwasher the next morning.  😥




However, far be it from  us to be caught carb-less – especially for a picnic!

While it’s not my mother’s potato salad, Peeps tossed together a warm, mayonnaise-free simple potato salad with stuff on hand – some potatoes, olive oil, garlic and parsley.

So simple – how can it be bad?

We did, however, have coleslaw leftover.  I don’t know if the Boy didn’t see it, if he was full, but he didn’t devour that like a horde of locusts.  😆


So.  Time to cook the chicken.  Actually, it’s very simple – just take it out of the bag, and toss it on the grill.


And cook until done.  Remember, if you’ve got breasts like mine (heh) and need to fillet them, they’re going to cook fairly quickly, which is all the better – dinner in mere moments!


Oooh . . . grill marks!


But wait, you say!  What about the picnic?  Shouldn’t a picnic be served al fresco?

Yeah, probably.  But here’s the thing.  I had quite enough nature over the weekend.  I was outside most of the day Saturday, and my eyes are still itching and I’m still sniffling.  So here are some lovely, lovely flowers for you to enjoy.   We good?  😀


So.  Breakdown time.

The numbers for 4 servings of:

BBQ-ish chicken
1.5 lbs. chicken @ $1.87/lb (on sale at the meat market) = $2.80
A bunch of spices = pantry staples

Potato Salad
1 lb. new potatoes = $.65? Maybe?  Actually, that’s another pantry staple, but we do replace them fairly often.
olive oil & garlic = definitely staples
fresh parsley from garden

Left over from the 4th of July

Grand total for 4 servings = $3.45 = $.86 per serving.  Really?



1. origamifreak - July 9, 2009

Good Lord. How can you beat that price?!

Toy Lady - July 9, 2009

I know, right? 🙂

It helps that we have a well-stocked pantry and freezer, though.

2. anne - July 9, 2009

You said “was no more than an empty Tupperware bowl in the dishwasher the next morning”. Did Surly Boy actually put it in there, or do you have elves? Please send SB to demonstrate to my DH how that works. 😕

Toy Lady - July 10, 2009

Actually, yeah, he did. 😀

He changes rolls of toilet paper and actually (usually) writes stuff on the list when we run low, too. 😯

I’m telling you, I was one tough mom! It’s probably too late for your DH, though – you’ve gotta start training them young, I think. It takes a while. 😉

3. thursday night smackdown » Hobo Tuesday Roundup: Did I say by noon on Sunday? - July 12, 2009

[…] churns out plates of incredibly cheap food: they come to play. This month is no exception; their barbeque-ish chicken and potato salad clocks in at $0.86 a […]

4. robbingpeter - July 12, 2009

I find myself with mostly stuff that I consider to be a Pantry Staple – cooking out of the cupboard and freezer. But I cannot bring myself to call them “free”. I am such a tightwad I am crazy aware of how much everything costs.

The chicken looks delish! Hoorah for an excellent theme.

Toy Lady - July 13, 2009

I know what you mean about that – my “pantry” has migrated to the basement. . . 😉

But for me it’s just too much effort to calculate the cost of such small measures from the “Sam’s Club size” we still insist upon buying! I did enough of that with the business . . . I used to actually know how much a 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper cost! 😯

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