Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Steak For Everyone

I barbecued a few steaks yesterday for dinner with creamed corn and boiled potatoes.  The can of creamed corn was about 79 cents and we used about 4 potatoes, figure 50 cents.  The three steaks (1.79 pounds) were $19.67.  You kind of have to wonder what does a whole cow cost.

There is something very political about this, a farmer can make a hell of a lot more money selling corn for ethanol that to farmers for feed.  I’ve heard that the government ethanol subsidy for production is about to expire this year, so maybe cattle prices can drop a bit if feed becomes cheaper.

Of course with the new $15 dollar minimum wage push, I guess that steak can be on everyone’s menu.  People are concerned because they can’t support a family on $15 per hour. And we are not even talking about saving for retirement.  In today’s world you have a choice, cell phone, cable, retirement, or steak.  And of course the average person will want them all but will settle for all but one--retirement.

A nice steak used to be very delicious.  And now as I reach retirement, I realize that the cost of the steak detracted from my enjoyment of it. Of course I have other worries.  My dentist says I could lose my teeth in 20 years if I don’t spend $8,000 on bone grafts.  I advised him that I probably wouldn’t be around in 20 years. My hearing doctor wants me to spend $4,000 an ear for hearing aids, and I mentioned that not being able to hear what most people were saying wasn’t worth a quarter of the price she was asking.

 From a humorous perspective, I look at all of the young people protesting for a $15 minimum wage and wondered where all of the silver foxes are when it comes to protests.  Its real simple, a walk to the bathroom is a major accomplishment in old age.

 So let’s get this straight. Ethanol makes my steaks more expensive.  Food stamps makes my steaks free.  Somehow I am missing something here. “Eat mor chikin”  is a reality check for people that have morals when it comes to gaming the system.


AIM said...

Hey Jim,
Instead of spending that $12,000 on dental and hearing aids, you should use the money to buy yourself a couple of cows and a bull. You'll get a full return of capital in a couple years and then be eating free steak for the rest of your life. Steak and eggs for breakfast; cheeseburgers for lunch; filet mignon, porterhouse or t-bone steak and a baked potato for dinner. As for Congress... let them eat cake.

paul taylor said...

I just priced a cow and calf $3800




Jim in San Marcos said...


You make my mouth water, but the practicality of it is beyond my means.

affordability isn't really an issue, I enjoy food that has a reasonable cost.

"Let them eat cake" reminds me of Bastille day. Is history about to repeat? Might clear out the "dead wood."

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Paul

Count me out with the cow. My small dog is enough to clean up after.

I'm thinking a sheep or two could cut lawn maintenance to zero and they are tasty. Of course with the limited water rationing, they won't have much to eat. Which gives me another problem, feeding the sheep. The solution to one problem leads to another problem.

Thank you for your comments.

dearieme said...

We don't eat a lot of steak but had a tasty one each last night, at about $5 per pop. Probably you eat bigger ones. These were from a local herd of Red Poll - lovely beasts, they are - which graze on the local common pasture for much of the year.

One of my wife's loveliest kitchen ideas has been to harvest plenty of tarragon in the autumn and make pats of tarragon butter for the freezer. These decorate any steak we eat through the winter. Mmmmmm!

I mention this because you live in what I imagine is a tarragon-friendly climate.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi dearieme

I might give it a try. Usually the steaks we get are about 2/3 of a pound and about 5/8 of an inch thick. Sprinkle with garlic and pepper. I barbecue them over charcoal 5 minutes to a side and they are delicious.

Maybe I'm just getting thrifty in my old age, I could buy twice as much chicken for the same price.

Barbecued rabbit is delicious also, and they are free. It used to crack me up when I had guest over and they ask me how I got 2 extra legs with the chicken.

dearieme said...

Oh well, "poulet a l'estragon" is pretty wonderful too.

To get a fowl with much taste, we find it's worth buying not chicken but Guinea Fowl. One of these gives us a roast dinner, sandwiches later in the week, perhaps a small lunchtime risotto, and a pretty fine soup. And our tarragon has begun to thrive in the Spring sunshine. I'm licking my lips at the thought of it.

aim said...

With all of the deer, rabbit and quail around my home and the trout in the creek, I'd be set and wouldn't have any food worries. Yet, I don't have a fishing rod, don't have a rifle or a bow and arrow... and, I don't know the first thing about field dressing rabbits or deer. Modern man. I could learn but... for now I'll remain dependent on the local grocery store (and hope that I'll always be able to do so).

Jim in San Marcos said...


Cleaning a rabbit or a chicken could change your appetite.

Food tastes different when you have to clean out the entrails.