Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dinner Improv

I know I have a few Improv actors and "Who's Line is it Anyway?" fans on this reading list, but I am hear to talk about frugal improvisation. My favorite frugal vacation memory took place while we were staying with a good friend in Plattsburgh. Let's call him Jake for simplicity sake.

Jake has just moved into a new apartment the day before we arrived and started a new job roughly 8 hours before we arrived in town. Needless to say, he had not fully "unpacked," while it was more like he hadn't bought anything for his apartment :)

So after a night of going out to eat and drink like old college students, we decided that we should cook dinner at home on the second night. We were all tired and trying to keep costs down, so eating at home is cheaper then eating out.

What could we do with very little kitchen items? We decided on a fest of picnic food: hot dogs, french fries, mac-n-cheese, beans, and a salad :)

Key kitchen items needed: A knife, a sauce pan, a frying pan, a baking sheet, a large bowl.

It wasn't until we got home from the store that I actually inspected what was available, and we started to improvise!!

French Fries: We had a baking sheet and spray olive oil... now if only we had something other then a butter knife to cut potatoes. Nick managed and the fries were in the oven cooking before we knew it :)  
Salad: No Large Bowl Available...

Paper towel with cleaned lettuce, and a small bowl with grapes (the only thing the butter knife could cut easily). Just to make it a little more commical, we bought the seeded grapes...

Mac-n-Cheese: We made it easy on ourselves and bought two boxes, rather then do anything fancy. I realized when we got back to the apartment that when Jake says he has a sauce pan, he meant a sauce pan the size of my hand! So, we made mac and cheese in batches and heated both batches in the oven in a casserole dish once they were ready. PERFECT :)

I think as soon as we were done with the pan for Mac-n-Cheese we threw the beans to warm up as well. So this small little sauce pan got a work-out!!

All in all, dinner was an adventure and we got to sit on the porch drinking out of our improvised beer mugs and discussing politics over a 6 year old's dream dinner :)

Thanks for the fun memory Jake!!

Sorry for the lack of posts over the past 2 weeks. With vacation and our AirBnB rentals, I am still a little off schedule and trying to get back into a routine. Bare with me for a few more weeks :) 


  1. This "Jake" guy sounds like a cool dude.

  2. The sauce pan totally made me giggle ...