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Skunk’s Whole Wheat Biscuits thumbnail

These biscuits are anything but low carb. They are an experiment in finding an easier way to cut fat into the flour. I remember my ex-mother-in-law sitting on a stool, kneading Crisco into her biscuit dough by hand. This method uses a food processor – and the key is using frozen butter. By using frozen the butter does not melt until cooking in the oven. [continue reading…]

Skunk’s Savannah BBQ Sauce thumbnail

Real barbecue (slow-cooked, smoked) is a staple across the south with many regional twists. North Carolina has Eastern style – cooked in a pit, picked from the whole hog, and liberally doused with a spiced vinegar sauce. The sauce always reminds me of the Caribbean mojo sauce. In western North Carolina, there’s Lexington style, which features a tomato based sauce. Fans of both insult the other.

In South Carolina, German immigrants created mustard-based sauces. All of these regions specialize in pork. Farther west, in Texas and Kansas City, beef is the meat of choice. Florida seems to favor sliced pork barbecue.

Georgia is a bit different in that it hosts just about all styles and includes chicken.  The styles vary BBQ joint by BBQ joint. Savannah had a world famous restaurant, Johnny Harris’s, that featured barbecue and a sauce that contained both tomato and mustard.

This recipe is a no sugar sauce influenced by Johnny Harris.

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Low Carb Beef, Broccoli, Egg thumbnail

This post launches a new direction for the Tightwad Gourmet – a series of low carbohydrate recipes for the slow cooker. They will also avoid some of the common allergens, such as dairy, but not all. This recipe is for breakfast or an any time of the day meal that combines protein and roughage.

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The Pig – Callahan, Florida thumbnail

E. S. Murdoch opened his first The Pig restaurant back in 1955. The first location was on Kings Road in Jacksonville, Florida. Four generations later, his family still runs the business at five locations in and around Jacksonville.

At first they served only barbecue – ribs, pork butt and chicken – plus the traditional beans and cole slaw. But in the 1960s. a friend who worked in commercial fishing talked Murdoch into adding seafood to the menu. That’s the biggest change in the 60-year history of the business.

I visited the location in Callahan – just a few miles north-west of Jacksonville. It sits at the end of a strip mall, so there’s plenty of parking. Inside, the restaurant has a couple of big rooms and lots of seating. A friend and I sat in the side room, and amazingly, it had sound absorbent tile in the ceiling and carpet on the floor. It was quiet enough to have a conversation.

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Larry's Giant Subs Larry’s Giant Subs thumbnail

Larry’s Giant Subs is a franchise that originated in Jacksonville, Florida back in 1982. It was begun by Larry and Mitch Raikes with a single store, and there are now more than 60 nationwide. Most are in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, but some are as far away as Minnesota.

They pride themselves on serving higher quality meat than their competitors – in most places Subway, Firehouse (another Jacksonville based franchise) and Jimmy Johns. The Larry’s menu features submarine, deli and New York style sandwiches, as well as salads. Some locations cater.

I’d have to agree that the meats are far superior to Subway and Jimmy Johns and somewhat better than Firehouse. The bread is good and fresh, the garnishes are high quality.  I had a New York Special (roast beef) at the St. Simons location and a Cuban at the Brunswick store.

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Hillbillys Grill Hillbilly’s Grill & BBQ thumbnail

JESUP, Georgia (August 8, 2016) – It used to be that good barbecue joints were drive-ins with carhops or sit-down restaurants out on the highway.  The drive-ins were usually sandwiches only, while the sit-downs offered a whole loaf of white bread and a roll of paper towels on the table.  You were supposed to sloppily enjoy yourself. But lately, barbecue joints spread themselves across the strip malls of America and became nothing but bland fast food restaurants.

I found myself in Jesup at lunchtime, so I looked up BBQ on my phone.  I was given three options – one was closed, one I had been to previously, so I chose the third – Hillbilly’s Grill and BBQ. [continue reading…]

Tightwad Assignment – Almost free digital TV antenna thumbnail

With broadcasters moving to digital TV next month, you won’t need to pay for cable to get a lot of TV channels.  Digital allows your local stations to put out more signals – for instance, my public TV station has five different signals.

You’ll need a tuner if your TV does not have a digital tuner, but you don’t need one of those expensive “made for digital” sets of rabbit ears.  Here’s how to build a digital TV antenna from clothes hangers.

Tightwad Assignment – Avoid bank fees thumbnail

(May 12, 2009) – I’m old enough to remember Savings and Loan Associations – you had a document called a passbook, you took in in to the S&L, added money to your account, and the S&L computed your balance and entered it in the passbook.  You generally earned 5% interest.

Because of changes in financial laws, crooks in high places, and general incompetence, the S&L’s went out of business about 20-years ago.  I put my savings account into a bank, where I was stunned to see that fees cost me more than the interest I earned.

I switched to a credit union and now pay no fees at all – on any accounts.  Don’t pay those fees. Shop for a bank that doesn’t charge them, or find a credit union.  You’ll save your family money.

Tightwad Assignment – Buy gasoline early thumbnail

(May 11, 2009) – Here’s a tip for buying gas – buy early in the morning.  As the temperature rises, the gasoline in the pump (yeah, I know it’s actually in a tank in the ground) expands.  The pump thinks it’s giving you more gas than you are actually getting, and the error increases as the temperature gets hotter.

Only folks in Hawaii don’t have to worry about this.  State law requires their pumps to take temperature into consideration.

So, buy your gas early in the morning or late at night when the temperatures are lower and the pump more accurate.  Get what you pay for.

Tightwad Assignment – Extending your car warranty thumbnail

(April 29, 2009) – A long time ago, I bought a new station wagon for my then wife.  A month after the warranty ran out, one of the shock absorbers punched it’s way through the floor into the luggage area.  Clearly a manufacturing defect.

I went to the dealer and complained.  The service manager was very surprised.  He complained to the zone manager and told me how to complain, also.  It worked.  Ford repaired the problem even thought he car was out of warranty.

You might be able to do the same, particularly if the problem is later identified as a manufacturing defect.  Visit your dealer.  Try to meet a zone representative when he or she is at the dealer.  Write letters as though you are writing to a jury that will eventually hear your case.  Write emails daily.  Be firm, but remain polite.