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Old 05-14-2016, 06:31 PM   #221
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I think most people know how lobsters used to be the food given to slaves, prisoners, and servants. They had to eat lobster till it came out of their ears. Some servants avoided this with a contract stipulating that they would eat lobsters only twice a week.

Lobsters used to be so abundant that they washed ashore in piles, were scooped up with shovels, and used as fertilizer.
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Old 05-14-2016, 06:45 PM   #222
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Yes, it was the airplane that opened up the "lobster market"

They are very perishable especially live and refrigeration technology was evolving then too. My uncle had an "ice box" on the side of his house.

The locals thought they were "garbage fish" and you now know "the rest of the story"
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Old 05-14-2016, 06:57 PM   #223
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While we are talking about expensive food, here's another story I ran across recently.

Filet mignon or tenderloin has not always been valued. In some countries, it was regarded as a lousy cut, being too lean and so not having a good beefy taste, and of mushy texture.

Somehow, it slowly changed into the most expensive cut, and in demand.
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Old 05-14-2016, 07:10 PM   #224
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Yeah Baby! My favorite cut of beef. I try to get prime and one of these days I'm gonna internet up some waygu



Cooked fast (2 min/side) on my Big Green Egg with a load of mesquite and flames shooting out the top before I begin. I've burnt the hairs off my arm many times turning them.

The upside is I no longer go to expensive steak houses anymore, I can do better -
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Old 05-15-2016, 01:16 PM   #225
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The upside is I no longer go to expensive steak houses anymore, I can do better -
Me too. I think it is a waste of money to order a steak. Give the chef a challenge! The steaks we served last night on the BBQ with friends were perfectly done.

I binge on Dungeness Crab once a year when I visit my friend's cottage on Galiano Island. We get in the boat and go collect them from his traps. Then we steam them in his boiler on the dock. Heaven once a year. Being on the west coast, lobster is always a disappointment by comparison.

Lobster was referred to as Cockroach of the Sea
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Old 05-15-2016, 01:22 PM   #226
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On FoodTV, some chefs call steak houses "heat and serve" places because that's all you can do with a steak. Their advantage is that they can get prime cuts that we cannot.

My son-in-law just got a Kamado grill. I am waiting for a chance to try a steak done on that.

I thought about crabbing for Dungeness when visiting WA state (which I do often). But without a boat, it is often not fruitful to do it from a pier. I want to do it for the experience, but am too lazy. Buying it to eat is easier, particularly when I can do it at any Costco. I don't know if freshly-boiled crab would be better, but the experience of catching them then eating on a beach would be more fun.

PS. About cockroaches of the sea, crabs are scavengers too.
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Old 05-15-2016, 02:28 PM   #227
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On a recent visit to my local Costco, I observed prime cuts o' beef right along side the regular stuff. Don't recall the price, other than it being "pricey"...
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Old 05-15-2016, 05:33 PM   #228
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I will look the next time I go there. Even if the prime cuts are pricey, it still beats steak house prices by far (restaurateurs have bills to pay, and they also have to eat). Regular groceries where I am do not carry prime cuts. Costco used to have entire tenderloins, and they probably still do.

I have not bought meat in Costco for a while because the packages are just too big for the 2 of us. As I remember, even their Choice grade was better than supermarket meat.
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Old 05-15-2016, 06:23 PM   #229
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I think most people with money have some thing they spend more excessively on. They might be cheap in all areas of life but they have one splurge. I generally fly coach and rent a small car on vacation but I really like a nice hotel room and with a good ocean view (if in Hawaii). We often don't get out to nice meals during a whole week in Hawaii... but we have a nice hotel room! It's all relative.
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Old 05-15-2016, 08:35 PM   #230
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I've been cursed with poor taste. I prefer krab to crab (maybe it's because I'm too lazy to pick the meat out of crabs?). Prefer either of those to lobster.

Also prefer a good burger to any kind of steak I've had.

Don't worry, fellow spendy friends, I'm going to keep trying crab, lobster, and steak from time to time in the hopes that I'll develop a taste for it (or maybe I haven't found The One yet...). It's not for a lack of trying though.
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Old 05-15-2016, 09:19 PM   #231
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We splurge on lobster once a year on our anniversary. Two years ago we got 2 4 pounders. We decided they were too much work, and last year ordered 4 2 pounders. This year we will just order lobster tails.
I agree with everyone that we each have different priorities. I live in a trailer down by the river, just like that guy on SNL Chris Farley, or that is what we tell people.
Actually, it is a beautiful upgraded manufactured home in a +55 park. That being said, I just spent $400 to treat my copilot to a ride in a B-25. The next day I got to fly it for $$$$. I would not pass up the experiences for anything.
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:23 PM   #232
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As I said in an earlier post, people have different preferences and tastes. Just because a guy spends a lot of money on a car that he enjoys not mean he is trying to impress anybody. My mother spends a lot of money on clothes and jewelry, but she is frugal otherwise.

I think that when a person happens to spend money on something that is more visible, that might make an observer say that it's "conspicuous consumption", but that really depends on how a person acts. One has to be careful not to make blanket statements, lest it comes from envy. And I am not a religious person, but know that envy is one of the 7 sins.
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:26 PM   #233
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That's what it's all about eh? Do what you want and do what you enjoy. Live a little.

We've done our share of working and now it's time to enjoy before it's too late.

There are no resets in this life, no take backs, no "do overs". It's a one way ride.
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:37 PM   #234
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At this point, what I desire for enjoyment becomes fewer and fewer. And I do not think this problem of mine is unique.

I have my basic needs met long ago, and there's nothing that I currently crave. No fancy toys, no expensive clothes, etc... Occasionally, I thought of getting something like a better camera, but then suspect that I will not use it much. I can get a new car, but would not feel anything different than when driving my existing ones. It just doesn't matter.

Even with food, I now derive more pleasure out of preparing it than eating it. What I can use is health and youth, and no money can buy that. I love to travel, but don't know how long that will last.

So, people who can still enjoy "stuff", I say good for them. No envy here.

PS. I forgot what I still want. Business class international seats. Yeah! I don't know when I will have enough money to pay that without flinching, or can overcome my frugal self to pay the price, whichever comes first.
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:10 AM   #235
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Some people are easily impressed. I am a single woman and hired a man to do some yard work and he asked if it was my parents house. My house is old brick on a large lot with a 6 car garage, nice enough but not luxury. A young girl once called it a mansion but it is a 3 bedroom house 1600sq ft. A couple months ago a man was impressed with my car, Chrysler Sebring 2007 he asked if it was a 200 or 300 when I told him 2007 Sebring he was shocked it was that old and not more expensive. I wear cheap clothing because I hate to shop or get dressed up, have old furniture because I can't decide how to decorate, don't have decorator gene. I want a different house but don't feel I could make it look nice and don't want to do the work. I have been in this old house 23 years so may have the same old house and same old car for decades more.
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Old 05-16-2016, 06:50 AM   #236
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At this point, what I desire for enjoyment becomes fewer and fewer. And I do not think this problem of mine is unique.


So, people who can still enjoy "stuff", I say good for them. No envy here.
Well, people do get older and seem to lose interest in many things. Agree health is paramount. So far, I haven't noticed much of a decline in the kind of things I enjoy. Our various properties, time with family and friends, first class travel, especially bike trips, nice cars and clothes, dinners out. Certainly don't do these things to impress anyone. Just still enjoy them. When (if?) I stop enjoying these things I will be a little sad I think, and my world will be a little smaller. Im 65 retired 10 years.
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Old 05-16-2016, 07:54 AM   #237
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I still know the difference in quality of higher-priced items and appreciate it, but it is just not that important to me anymore. Our siblings buy new cars, and I look at them with indifferent eyes. It does not make me want to go out and get one for myself. BMW X5 that my brother has, and the Audi S4 my son has, they don't interest me at all. Good thing my wife is the same. We have that compatibility.

I used to be picky about food and drink, but recently found that I can enjoy lesser Cognac and do not care that much about XO anymore. I was able to tell the difference between Bombay gin and Bombay Sapphire, but my palate has been fading.

Things I enjoy more do not cost much money, if any. We like to host family get-together, and I like to prepare food for them. And it makes me happy when my 30-year-old daughter learned to make a dish, tried to have it like my wife makes it, and gave us some to get our feedback. Yesterday, my son came over asking for my help in using my power tools and some advice to build some simple furniture. We spent some quality time together. My tomato plants look like they are doing OK, and I may have some success this year after several failed attempts over the years.

I am 60 and fully-retired for 5 years. I look like 50, and feel like 70 (mentally that is, not physically, thank heaven).
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Old 05-16-2016, 07:59 AM   #238
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Dunno if this qualifies as hiding wealth, but with the tilt towards lobsters, some memories:

Living in New England for the first 24 years, never more than an hour, and sometimes less than a minute from the ocean, seafood was a regular part of the diet. In fact, fish was often associated with those who couldn't afford meat. The poor mans's fish was commonly called "schrod", few seem to remember that this was an acronym for any whitefish such as haddock, pollock, cod, whiting and hake. This made it easier for restaurant menus, when the mix of the catch changed.
Lobster was a different story... more expensive. Inland, in the 1950's loabster could run to as much as $1.25/lb. At the docks, more like $.50 to $.75 a pound. DW's dad (before we were married) was relatively well off, and commonly held lobster feasts at their rented summer home in Buzzards Bay, MA. Often 15 to 20 friends and relatives. The full seafood menu would usually include RI Clam Chowder, cherrystones on the half shell, fried and steamed clams, crabcakes, and 1 1/2lb lobsters...cooked on hot rocks and seaweed. (Usually planned more than one lobster per person).

This was not an unusual event, as we continued these feasts for many years, into the 1980's. Everyone had his/her own specialty. BIL was a master at "stuffies"... mine, opening the cherrystones, Aunt W made incredible fried clams, the kids did the clamming... two hours = 2 pecks... My mom paddled the rowboat into the reeds across the bay with our 5 year old son, to dipnet crabs.

When we lived in Maine... and when the shrimp were "in", we'd go to the docks and buy ten pounds of small shrimp @ $.20/lb. they were stored in wooden barrels.

As to lobster price? Full seafood dinners in oceanside restaurants were usually about $5 - $7 and included the chowder, clams and lobster described above... extra lobsters (as many as you could eat... @ $.75 each.)

We haven't had lobster in years... just wouldn't seem right, and we'd never enjoy it as much as we did back in the "old days".
.................................................. ......................

Oh!... One more thing while talking seafood. Talapia...

Didja know that Talapia was imported to the US, as a fish to control freshwater weeds? Was called Nile Perch. At the time, it was considered on a par with gizzard shad... and inedible. It was introduced into the lagoons in our Florida senior park in 1992, to control the green weeds, and in less than six months proliferated to the degree that when we had a cold spell, the fishkill amounted to 500 lbs which had to be scooped out and buried.

While there has been a change in the breed/feed that has produced more meaty fish, the memories of that smelly time has turned us away from the more classy "Talapia" fish.
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:27 AM   #239
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PS. About cockroaches of the sea, crabs are scavengers too.
Monkfish are also scavengers and, when properly prepared, they have the texture and flavor of rock lobster tails.
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Old 05-17-2016, 01:07 PM   #240
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We were in Thailand in Feb/March. There was a large ongoing scandal/investigation of the Talapia fish farms and fishing in general.

It seems that the authorities had found many slaves. People who had been in captivity for a long as 20 years. Many of them from Burma. An expat was telling us about it. Guess where the tilapia was going?
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