Hunger kills

Don’t be a victim: Learn how to eat food

SURVIVAL TIP <br>This is some food, which you eat with your mouth, and the utensils with which you can prepare it. Don’t know how? Read on.

This is some food, which you eat with your mouth, and the utensils with which you can prepare it. Don’t know how? Read on.

Photo by Tom Angel

CHICO CHECKPOINT: You may get a jolt the first time you hear a Chicoan talk about almonds. A top money-making crop here, the nut has historically been referred to as an “aa-mond,” as in “salmon.” Tradition holds that it’s because, at harvest time, growers shake the “L” out of the trees.

CHICO CHECKPOINT: Among his many skills, John Bidwell was an accomplished horticulturalist. He especially loved trees and brought many varieties to Chico. It’s said he used to carry black walnuts in his pockets and stop to plant them when he went on walks, which accounts for the many examples of that magnificent tree locally.

Here’s the deal: You need to eat.Sure, you can survive on pizza slices, Slim Jims and 99-cent hot dogs from 7-Eleven, but sooner or later the cost of eating out is going to cut into your party—oops, I mean “school supplies"—budget. You’re going to need to go the grocery store.

But which one? And what will you buy? You can go to the nearest supermarket and spend your whole student aid check on cases of ramen and generic soda, but how do you know you’re getting the most for your money? And since your mom’s not around to tell you to eat your vegetables, how do you know you’re getting enough vitamins to survive? You could get sick and die! But if read this, you won’t, because the CN&R has prepared this wonderful little shopping/menu guide.

Because we love you, we sent a reporter out to find cheap, fast and easy-to-cook meals from a number of Chico’s many food stores. For less than $50, we were able to buy about a week’s worth of food while staying away from the mac-'n'-cheese diet that has killed so many of our nation’s young people.

Bon appétit! (That means “peace out” in Italian.)

Si, Safeway puede nachos
Shopping list: 1 lb. jack cheese, $3.89; tortilla chips, buy one for $2.69, get another free; 1 pkg. tortillas, $1.89; 1 can refried beans, $1.39; 1 can salsa, 69 cents.
Total: $10.55

Nachos son superfantasticos—tasty, cheap, and only un hombre muy stupido can screw them up. Here’s a tip: Opt for buying the big block of cheese, not the little package of pre-grated stuff. You’ll save some money and have lots of cheese left over.

Preheat your oven to about 350. Put a tortilla on something that won’t melt. Pile on alternating layers of chips, beans and grated cheese. Bake until the cheese melts. Top with salsa.

With the stuff you bought, you can have not only nachos tonight, but also burritos tomorrow and quesadillas all week. See how this works?

Albertson’s gets Italian
Shopping list: 1 baguette, $1.39; 1 head garlic, 39 cents; 1 lb. pasta, buy one get one free at $1.59; 1 jar spaghetti sauce, 2 for $5; 1 lb. margarine, 99 cents.
Total: $9.36

Can you boil water? If so, you’re halfway there. Pasta is one of the cheapest things you can eat, and it takes no skill to make. Same goes for garlic bread. You can make the following recipe meatier by adding ground beef if you want—you might think about cooking it first—but it will set you back about $3 for a pound.

Boil water, add a pat of butter to keep the noodles from sticking. Add noodles and cook over medium heat. When done, strain, put on plate, dump sauce on top. For garlic bread, peel and then chop or crush a clove or two (not the whole head, a clove is just one section) of garlic. Slice a baguette in half and down the middle, slather on margarine and prepared garlic, cook in the oven at 300 or so until it looks done.

Breakfast at Raley’s
Shopping list: 1 half-gallon milk, $2.19; 1 quart orange juice, $1.79; 1 dozen cage-free eggs, $2.69; 10-lb. bag potatoes, $3.89, one-half lb. mushrooms, $1.49
Total: $12.05

So you finally got her to come with you last night, huh? Big man, huh? Well, don’t be a jerk about it—the least you can do is make the poor girl breakfast. A mushroom omelet, orange juice and fried potatoes ought to at least partially make up for anything embarrassing you might’ve said before you passed out.

Break three eggs into a bowl and add a little less than one-quarter cup milk and a dash of salt. Whip with a fork until frothy. Melt a pat of butter in a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Wash and chop mushrooms and whatever else you want in the omelet. Pour the eggy stuff into the pan and sort of swish it around until the pan is evenly coated. Add fixings and then gently fold the omelet in half, turning it over. Just like your love life, you will screw up many an omelet before getting it right, so don’t worry if it turns out looking like scrambled eggs.

Potatoes are even easier. Wash ’em, slice ’em and fry ’em in oil with salt and pepper until cooked.

Shopping List: 2 half-pound. king salmon filets, $5.99; 1 box couscous, $1.39; 1 bunch asparagus, $1.99
Total: $9.37

This is one of those “impress a date without doing or spending very much” kinds of meals. If you can pull it off, you’ll get a bitchin’ meal that will knock his or her socks off, and it’ll be ready in less than 20 minutes.

You have a steamer, right? You know how to use it? Wash and steam the asparagus first—it should take about 15 minutes. Then follow the directions on the box of couscous and set it aside.

If you don’t know what couscous is, you’re missing out. It’s basically pasta chopped in little bits—it cooks in five minutes. If you’re lame, try a boxed rice mix instead.

For the salmon, make sure you get a nice, shiny pink piece without a lot of separation in the meat. Take it home and wash it, pat dry with a towel, sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides, then lay it in a pan with melted butter on low heat. Use a cover. Cook the skin side for about four minute, then turn over for another four, then turn over again. Test for doneness by poking with a fork.

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