Thursday, March 22, 2012

Leftovers...Kinda Sorta, But Not Really

I find it amusing that the food supply system we've created has gone to such great lengths to make sure that nothing is "seasonal" anymore, only to turn around and make various items artificially seasonal to suit the industry's own purposes (and pocketbooks).

For example, why is soda, a completely manufactured product, half price during the summer months?  Why is it that turkey and ham are more than 75% off during the winter holidays?

The answer lies in marketing, of course.  Products like these are known in the business as "loss leaders."  A store will choose a product, in this case one you'll need for your holiday or seasonal gathering, and sell it at cost or even at a loss.  They know that once you get into the store, you're going to round out the meal or the weekly grocery list with items that still have high mark-ups.

And all this brings me to the subject of corned beef.  I confess, I did not make corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day.  It's not that I wasn't feeling festive.  It's that I'm the only one in the house that will eat it.  So instead, we went to a restaurant where my wife could chow-down on a nice grilled chicken breast and sip green beer while I enjoyed my corned-beef.  Win-win, except for the leftovers.  Oh, but there WILL be leftovers.

You see, I'm not shy about still taking advantage of these loss leader deals.  The next day, I marched right into the store, snatched-up two good-sized pieces of corned beef, headed home and stuck them in the slow cooker.  I then broke it up into pieces and froze it for months worth of breakfast meat, tasty sandwiches, and delicious home-made corned beef hash.  Mmmm...

(Tonight's dinner...a corned beef sandwich)

And I don't just do this in honor of St. Paddy.  Around Christmas and Thanksgiving, I stock-up on Turkey or Ham (who can beat 19 to 25 cents a pound?!?).  Sometimes, I keep it frozen whole and other times I roast them up, slice or de-bone, and re-freeze to be used in other meals like soups, stews, stir-fries, brunch--you name it.  You can really get some great deals this way.

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